If It Worked for Dickens - Andrew Crofts

Since Wattpad is proving to be such a fruitful source of readers, (hits for The Fabulous Dreams of Maggie de Beer are now heading towards a quarter of a million after about four months), I am now in the process of putting up a new book, one chapter at a time, (serialisation worked for Dickens after all ...)

The Secrets of the Italian Gardener is set inside the palace of a dictator about to be overthrown in the Arab Spring. The story is told by a ghostwriter who, while inside the palace writing a book for the dictator, meets a wise, elderly Italian gardener who gradually unravels the story of who really holds the power and wealth in the world. He literally discovers "where the bodies are buried". As the rebels draw closer to breaching the palace walls the ghostwriter is also struggling with his own breaking heart and an overwhelming burden of guilt.

The inspiration for the story comes from the times I have spent during my ghostwriting career amongst the dictators, politicians, arms dealers and billionaires who hold the reins of power and control the wealth of the world, visiting their lavish palaces and heavily guarded compounds in the wildest parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East as well as in comfortable tax havens like Monaco and Bermuda.

The cover is once again by Elliot Thomson at http://www.preamptive.com


Lee said…
Would you mind provding a Wattpad link to your serial? Thanks.
Jan Needle said…
please explain wattpad ref for us electronic cthonians. does it mean you're now a millionaire?
madwippitt said…
Yes, I'm also too lazy to google Wattpad - please explain!
And I like the idea of serialisation - it worked for Alexander McCall Smith too with his Scotland Street books, so why not for you?
Andrew Crofts said…

If you just go to http://www.Wattpad.com, Lee, and have a little surf around you will find this serial (which is nearly all up there now) and my previous book "The Fabulous Dreams of Maggie de Beer", plus millions of others.

Sadly, although Wattpad brings in millions of readers it does not bring in millions of pounds, Jan. The concept is pretty much the same as YouTube, only for books and stories instead of videos. You just put your stuff up there and people read it - mainly young people using phones and tablets etc.

Some people use it as a teaser, putting up sample chapters in the hope of leading people to buy the whole thing in Amazon etc, but I suspect with only limited success.

Personally, I think it is an amazingly good thing for writing and reading in general, but it is not a way to make money, which is, I guess, where potential controversy lies. Since most writers end up virtually unread and virtually unpaid anyway, it does at least opportunities to be read.
Lee said…
Hi Andrew, I use Wattpad myself, but their search facility is very unreliable. In fact, I've just opened a ticket because one of my novels cannot be found this way.
Stephanie Zia said…
Sounds intriguing, especially with your knowledge! And love the cover...
Sheridan Winn said…
Andrew hi - where can I get your books in complete form? Can't find them on Amazon!
I love the jacket designs.
Interesting to learn about Wattpad.
I enjoy your short and to-the-point posts.
Andrew Crofts said…
Hi, Sheridan,

Thanks for your comment. I just googled "The Fabulous Dreams of Maggie de Beer Amazon" and it came up all right. Let me know if that doesn't work for you.
The final chapter of "Secrets of the Italian Gardener" will be going up on Wattpad tomorrow (29th), and it is also up on Authonomy. I have not yet made it available commercially anywhere.

I love the covers too. They are by a designer called Elliot Thompson, who I think is a bit of a genius.


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