A Major Competition and a New Audiobook!

Tales of the unusual


Yes, the above audiobook is on its way very soon, as in hopefully-in-about-six-weeks soon. But you know what? That’s not the main reason I’m talking about this today.

Here’s the main reason: how would you like to get a book from me that is the only one of its kind in the world?

Once the novel I’ve been writing in parts for my Patreon subscribers – Kill Someone. Anyone – is finished, I’ll be preparing it for publication for the masses, and I want as many people as possible to know about it. So I had an idea for achieving that, and offering you guys a very unique prize for helping me do so.

Firstly, let me tell you what you can win.

Not only signed paperback copies of every single one of my paperback books – The Physics of the Dead, In The Darkness That’s Were I’ll Know You, A Head Full Of Knives, Weird. Dark.,  an upcoming secret novel (but more on that in a future email) and of course Caementum himself – but … the first ever print copy of Kill Someone. Anyone, signed by my good self.

And you know what? That’s not even the main bit.

The rest of the Tales of the Unusual series – Do Anything (Closure and Your Name Is In The Book) He Waits (He Waits and Keep Your Children Close)  and the mailing list signup story The Jesus Loophole are going to be released as a collected audio book (that you see at the top of this email) called, unsurprisingly, Tales of the Unusual.

While it will be getting audiobook release very soon, it will never be available to the public in print form.

There will, however, be ONE print copy that exists in the world …and it’ll be the winner of this competition that gets it. Signed too, of course.

So that’s all of my print novels (including the two upcoming, as-yet unreleased ones) printed and signed, including the first ever print copy of KSA (signed) and a print copy of Tales of the Unusual that no one else will ever own, also signed. Sound good? I hope so, it’s gonna cost me a fortune to post. So …how do you win it? I’ll tell you.

I want to get more people onto my mailing list, and I want you to help me. 

So I thought about what I could offer that would be really unique and special as a prize for doing so, and I came up with this.

Ok. Think about people you know who a: are readers, and b: who you think would like my stuff. Picturing them right now? Got ’em? Good. Then, if you want to have a go at winning this, what you do is forward them the below link, which contains the usual mailing list signup form with a very important addition: a box where they can add the name of the person who referred them. That way, I know who the signup came from.
The person who gets the most signups/completed referrals wins the bundle mentioned above!
Second and third place runners-up get a signed copy of Kill Someone. Anyone!
It’s that simple. A few important things to remember here:

1. Don’t just send an email to everyone in your address book. They won’t like it, and it’ll just create signups of people who have no interest in books anyway. Really think about who might actually want a free story at least (as all mailing list signups get The Jesus Loophole upon signup now).
2. Add a message to your email explaining why you’re doing it – as they’ll be more likely to help you – and tell  them that, of course, they get a free story for signing up. “Hey, if you signup to this mailing list which hardly ever emails, you’d be helping me out and you’d be getting a free story from this writer I think you’ll like for your trouble.” That kind of thing.

You may be wondering why I’m going to this trouble. Well, it’s because I have these new novels/audiobooks on the way and I want to really give them the best possible shot. More to come on those very soon …

So, if you want a chance of winning, here’s the link to forward to your reader friends (that’s your reader friends!) Closing date for the competition (and your chance to win a pretty nice bundle including a book that no one else will ever own!) is July 26th. Good luck!

Here’s the specific mailing list sign-up link to copy and forward (although add an explanation or they’ll just wonder what the heck it is):

My New Podcast! (And Matt Shaw’s)


Out now on iTunes, Stitcher, and Soundcloud, the podcast ‘Are You Sure? with Smitherd and Shaw’ is available for download, consumption, and general enjoyment. Each week we dissect the pros and cons of the minor issues, as well as regular features Transatlantic Swearing and It’ll Never Work. Check it out and (of course!) leave a review on your platform of choice. I’m really proud of it, and if I say so myself I think you’ll find it at least marginally funny. Here are all the links below:

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/are-you-sure-smitherd-shaw/id1110446274?mt=2

Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=89450&refid=stpr

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-288453827




Here’s me being interviewed again on the wireless, courtesy of the good people at BBC Coventry and Warwickshire, during the time of my recent nomination for Audiobook of the Year. I didn’t win; surprise surprise, JK Rowling did …not that I’m bitter or anything. I just wanted to say a huge thank you to all the people that DID vote for me. I really, really appreciate it, and the nomination itself was a huge deal. Anyway, suffice to say, the voting has now closed, but here’s me frantically promoting my ass off on the BBC. See if YOU can hear the desperation in my voice.

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So, here are the TWELVE audiobooks nominated for Audiobook of the Year 2015. Stephen King, JK Rowling and WAIT OH MY GOD WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT DOWN AT THE BOTTOM

For the love of God, if you’ve ever/never shared or voted or reviewed anything of mine … Click on the link below and vote (you can vote for three but fuck THAT, you vote for ONE) because this shit could change my life. And more importantly … can you share thisto FIVE PEOPLE you know who would vote too?

Can you help?

SMITHEREENS, NOW IS YOUR TIME TO SHINE. Ronson, though … I can’t see me beating Ronson. A big social media following. Ransom’s lot vs the Smithereens … you are the Spartans, Ronson is the persian army. Even though I like Ronson. ‪#‎smitherdvsronson‬



New book DO ANYTHING out January 1st 2016… but here’s how you can get it THIS WEEK!

Do Anything 72 Pixels

My new novella, DO ANYTHING, is out on  and is available for pre-order now on Amazon HERE … but how would like to get your grubby mitts on it THIS week?

Sound good?

Ok. Before we go any further forward, click on this link HERE to pre-order and read the blurb (YOU STILL NEED TO PRE-ORDER TO GET IT EARLY!) and then come back here to find out how you get a pre-release copy. AMAZON PRE-ORDER LINK, CLICK ON THIS TEXT TO PRE-ORDER!

Ok, welcome back. Now, that might enough for you. And that’s cool, I hope you enjoy the book when it comes out. However … having to wait until January 1st … do you REALLY wanna do that …? Well, here’s how you can get it within the next 7 DAYS!

Today I’m starting the official Luke Smitherd’s Premature Release Review Group. Now, there’s a little bit of an honour system involved here, as you’ll see, but let me explain how it works:
You sign up for the group at the REVIEW GROUP SIGN UP LINK. You’ll get sent the book three weeks early, pre-release, IN RETURN FOR A PROMISE THAT YOU LEAVE A STAR RATING ON AMAZON THE DAY THE BOOK COMES OUT. Now you may be thinking ‘Hang on Luke … I could just sign up to the group to get a free copy and then not actually pay for it?’ Weeeeeeeelll … no. Your review on Amazon will say if it’s a ‘Verified Purchase’ or not, so I’ll basically know if you’ve lied to get send a free copy. This would be stealing my work, because on this occasion I am NOT offering this book for free, and as a result you’ll be blacklisted from all future mails and pre-release offers. I don’t think any of you would actually be enough of a scumbag to do that, but obviously I have to be clear … 😉 So:

1. You pre-order the book using the link above.
2. You click on this link: REVIEW GROUP SIGN UP to sign up for the group, obviously. What that means is I, personally, will send you a copy of DO ANYTHING by the end of this week.
3. You’ll get a reminder email on release day to get your star rating up ON RELEASE DAY. That’s the whole point of this, to get the book launched in the best possible way, so reviews after release day kind of defeat the point …

This means hopefully that it creates a win/win system; you guys get the book early, and I get reviews from day one. What do you think? Let me know.


The Stone Man and Maths

Received a fantastic email from a reader recently, one making a few points about how Andy’s dismissal of TSM as an ineffective alien invasion would actually be very, very wrong if things had gone a different way … here it is in its entirety. MAJOR SPOILER ALERTS if you haven’t read the book!


First off, I just basically inhaled The Stone Man and The Black Room on
my kindle over a few days. TSM was recommended to me after I read The
Martian by the Amazon AI and the reviews persuaded me and your devil’s
trick of including a bit of the next book at the end worked. I’ll rate
and review on Amazon, of course, but what really struck me reading them
back-to-back was the development of the writing between the two. TBR was
a much richer book, I felt, with themes threading through it and I felt
genuine empathy with the characters. Both were absolutely gripping and I
couldn’t put them down – thanks for the immense pleasure I got from both
of them.

However, I couldn’t help but pick up on something in TSM which I am
certain has been raised before (unless I was reading too fast and
misunderstood; entirely possible given how excited I was). As I
understand it, the Stone Men intend to take their target, extract the
body part, split it into two and create two new stone men. The
characters seemed pretty casual about this not being an invasion since
the population would grow and this would always be a relatively small
harvest compared with the population. I feel like the characters were
wrong about this because of exponential growth.

First visit: 1 stone man creates 2 more (we now have three)
Second visit: 3 stone men create 2 more each (OK, one failed, but let’s
just go with the ideal model) – we now have six new stone men, making a
total of 9
Third visit: Each of the 9 stone men make two more, so that’s 27
Fourth visit: 27 x 3 = 81

So you can see from the pattern that the number of stone men (in the
ideal scenario as far as they are concerned) trebles each visit. This
needs a little table:

Visit Total Stone Men After
1 3
2 3×3=9
3 3x3x3=27
4 3x3x3x3=81
5 3x3x3x3x3=243

n 3^n (three to the power n)

The problem with exponential growth is that it is fucking fast. It
starts off looking OK, but then it cuntifies. So at the end of visit 10
there will be 3x3x3x3x3x3x3x3x3x3 = 59 049 Stone Men. This is still
pretty small compared to the population of the UK, but how about after
15 visits?

3^15 = 14.3 million. That’s a big chunk.

18 visits? – 387 million. We’ve run out of British people. 20 visits
wipes out half the world’s population.

Anyway, I’m a maths teacher and I go back to work tomorrow. My holiday
has obviously been too long so I feel the need to explain maths to
whoever, including an author who probably heard this all already or
thought of it himself. So apologies if this wasted good writing time.
Anyway, I bloody loved the books. Keep it up.”

Audiobooks – read by me – out NOW!

To celebrate the release of my first self-narrated audiobook, THE BLACK ROOM, PART ONE (Part Two is also up, and three and four and The Man On Table Ten are being processed as we speak) here’s the sound of me getting angrier and angrier as I keep screwing up! Apologies for all the swearing. Check the books out on Audible.com!

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