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The Boy Who Biked The World

Coast to coast cycle

I think an update is due for all those who have been asking me when my second children’s book will be available.

The first book, about a young boy called Tom who cycles through Africa, has been receiving really good feedback. Here’s an example of the sort of email I have been receiving following my offer of 40% discount to schools:

Dear Mr Humphreys,

Mrs Johnson has justfinished readingThe Boy who biked the World to our Class. We really enjoyed it and we wanted to tell you the things we liked the most.
We enjoyed:
The startof the book and the blood & milk drink with the warriors – an exciting start.
The part about Tom daydreaming - some of us are very good at that.
Finding a scorpion in his shoe.
Lovely new words like baobab tree and hyena.
The way Tom described his feelings about feeling worried about lions.
Deciding what to pack -we have the same problem before school camp!
We didn’t know that in Ethiopia peoplealways eat with their right hands.
Also the funny bit about mouse kebabs and fly burgers.
When he was telling himself ’another mile’ , ‘another mile’ to persevere
We can’t wait to hear the rest of the journey.
When you write more adventures for Tom, please keep putting funny bitsand more pages so it doesn’t finish so soon.
Thank you very much for writing this book.
Best Wishes

Messages like this really make me want to get on and write the rest of this series.

Unfortunately that is not going to happen for a while.

Although the book has been well received (5 star average on Amazon), it has sold very few copies. It is available in a miniscule number of book shops. There has been no publicity about its release or prominent reviews. Consequently the book has sold just 100 copiesin the UK(yes, you read that right: one hundred) in its first six months (this does NOT include figures from my website, thank goodness!).

As I only receive 4% of the cover price for this book, I hope it is clear why it is futile for me to write more, so long as this situation continues. I need to earn more than £24 royalties!

I can only apologise to all those young readers who are anxious to hear how Tom fares in his next adventures!

If you know of any primary schools who might be interested in buying a class set at 40% discount please do let them know! You can read a sample of the book here.

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  1. Dang, that’s some depressing statistics. Time to fire your publisher…?

  2. And I count for two of those books! Very good for birthday presents. Great shame – but I still want you to write book two as I get asked regularly by my two boys when the next one is out.

    And a recommendation to anyone who stumbles on this – Owen Slot and Cycling for Gold about a boy becoming an Olympic cyclist. Nearly as good. Well worth a read for the ten year old sort of age.

  3. “The start of the book and the blood & milk drink with the warriors – an exciting start.” – The first think that came to my mind too when I saw the title of the post. That Bloody Strawberry Shake 🙂

  4. The bit on the border with the chat between border guards ought to be taught in Conflict Resolution courses for the UN.

  5. Press on, regardless. Publication is just another sort of adventure.

    The secondary consequences publishing the children’s book may be far more interesting (and often lucrative) than the direct income. It may open doors into other ventures that you might not be seeing right away. The trick is to keep “building the brand” – relentless self-promotion at every opportunity and the realization that it can take years to be an overnight success.



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