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SO SAYS LIBBY PURVES, while interviewing Gary Bell QC on Radio Four’s Midweek show this morning about his new memoir, ANIMAL QC.

The Telegraph interviewer praises the ‘unvarnished candour’ of ‘his riotous new autobiography’.

Both touch on the reason for the book’s title, which is that Gary was for a time a football hooligan known to his chums as ‘Animal’.

Here’s the full explanation, which we think is quite funny (and here’s a link to a free chapter of the book).

Gary ANIMAL 1Gary ANIMAL 2

For more Monday Books news and general chit-chat, please subscribe under ‘EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION’ at the top right hand corner of the page, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter via @mondaybooks

ANIMAL QC – the life story of a most unusual criminal barrister, Gary Bell QC – is published on Tuesday (and is also available for as an eBook).

We’ve teamed up with Good Reads to give away two free copies of the book.

All you have to do is click on the following link and put in your request (the people at Good Reads decide who get the books):

GARY BELL’S ANIMAL QC – FREE COPIES VIA GOOD READS

If you’d like a sneak preview of the book (we’ve chosen a key turning point in Gary’s life) please click on the following link (and please feel free to share it with friends):

ANIMAL QC – FREE CHAPTER

For more Monday Books news and general chit-chat, please subscribe under ‘EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION’ at the top right hand corner of the page, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter via @mondaybooks

Animal QC full jacket

PARAMEDIC STUART GRAY – author of our book A PARAMEDIC’S DIARY – was on duty in London on July 7, 2005.

Actually, he was in the operating theatre at St Thomas’ Hospital practising his intubation skills on people undergoing routine surgery when the garbled messages started coming in.

Then the hospital’s Clinical Director interrupted the surgical team to tell them that all operations had suddenly been cancelled, and Stuart quickly got out of his scrubs and into his paramedic’s green.

in the ambulance, he heard the chilling radio call, ‘There are a lot of people with blood on them coming out of Russell Square tube station… make ambulances, one hundred.’

‘I almost didn’t believe what I’d just heard,’ he writes. ‘One hundred ambulances? It made no sense. The streets around us, just south of the river at the bottom of Westminster Bridge, with Big Ben just across the water, were as they are every day – calm and normal, full of people strolling along in twos and threes, chatting on their mobiles, hailing cabs.’

He spent the rest of the day watching – and doing – heroic things to save the lives of the terribly injured victims.

Here – in a free extract from a different part of the book – Stuart discusses a phenomenon that really bugs him…

Paramedics Diary

Diary of a Paramedic

THE HEALTH SECRETARY Jeremy Hunt this week suggested that people who don’t attend their GP appointments should be charged, and that the price of drugs should be included on prescriptions.

Our book SICK NOTES – by the GP and Pulse columnist Dr Tony Copperfield – dealt with both of these questions and many more.

Please click below for a free extract.

SICK NOTES – FREE CHAPTER

SICK NOTES is the hilarious, shocking and occasionally tragic truth about the working life of a British GP, written for the lay reader. Dr Tony Copperfield is an average GP in an average town. He spends his life fighting off the worried well armed with internet print outs and health pages torn from newspapers, dealing with youngsters with meningitis, worrying about swine flu, mopping up vomit, shouting at bureaucrats and banging his head against the brick walls of the NHS. Perfect for anyone who has ever wondered what really goes on in a GP practice.

‘A wonderful book, funny and insightful in equal measure, and an ideal gift for all doctors and those brave enough to use them’ Dr Phil Hammond (Private Eye magazine’s medical expert and all-round TV doc)

‘Hilarious and poignant… reveals what goes on behind surgery doors’ The Daily Mail

‘Original, funny… an incredible read’ The Sun

‘Copperfield is simply fantastic’ British Medical Journal

For more Monday Books news and general chit-chat, please subscribe under ‘EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION’ at the top right hand corner of the page, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter via @mondaybooks

ANIMAL QC – the extremely funny, disarmingly frank and, at times, very moving autobiography of the leading criminal barrister Gary Bell QC is published next week (and is already available for pre-order as an eBook, too).

For a sneak preview – we’ve chosen a key turning point in Gary’s life, which appears in Chapter Eleven.

Please click on the following link (and share it with friends):

ANIMAL QC – FREE CHAPTER

 

Gary in his study

Gary during filming for his BBC TV series The Legalizer / picture by Jamie Wiggins

 

For more Monday Books news and general chit-chat, please subscribe under ‘EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION’ at the top right hand corner of the page, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter via @mondaybooks

The eBook of ANIMAL QC is now available for pre-order on Kindle, and we’ve spent quite a long time working out what to charge for it.

The market price for the electronic version of a new hardback seems to be around 60% of the paper version – I say ‘seems to be’, because there’s no hard and fast rule (and, to be perfectly honest, we’re really just sort of following the herd, albeit being a bit cheaper than most other publishers).

After lengthy internal wrangling, we’ve priced the eBook at £7.99 – less than half the price of the hardback*, but still not an insignificant purchase for a lot of people.

We think £7.99 for the eBook is a fair price.

It’s true that we don’t have the same level of production cost as we do with a paper book (though it’s not free!), and that we don’t pay the retailer as much (though we do, in common with other publishers, pay the author more).

But then, collectively we have spent a great deal of time working on the book with Gary, and we’ll need to sell an awful lot of e-copies to show a profit on our time alone.

Never mind us, though: does it represent good value?

Well, perhaps naively, I assume that most† of the value of a book resides in the words (unless you’re talking about Kim Kardashian’s latest).

It terms of sheer quantity, you’re getting a good deal – it’s around 100,000 words long, so even reasonably quick readers will derive several hours of entertainment from it, and way more in £-per-minute than going to the flicks to watch a Hollywood film, say.

(We took the kids to see Jurassic World at the weekend; two adults, two children, one litre of Coke Zero and four smallish tubs of sweets came to £46; we enjoyed it, though we couldn’t help but question the number of velociraptors, and their astonishing ability to survive being crushed against trees by speeding trucks. I think we should have gone to see Minions, where no questions of reality should intrude.)

Gary as a fairy

Gary Bell QC (left). Can an eBook by this man really be worth £7.99? The jury is out (but then they usually come back in Gary’s favour).

In terms of quality, only readers can judge that. I will say that you will never have read – and perhaps never will read – a more astonishing memoir by a leading British barrister.

Re the pricing of eBooks, it’s a strange thing. My basic understanding of pricing is that it is a signal, of scarcity. An apple costs (say) 50p because that price contains the cost to produce and make available the apple, plus some profit.

The profit reflects the fact that the buyer knows that apples are not scarce and can be bought elsewhere (or substituted by plums).

This applies to paper books, too; – they are priced at a level which tries to take account of unknown demand and known supply.

With eBooks, there is no supply problem: we can supply a billion. Maybe this is what makes it hard to price them.

*At £16.99, the hardback is also very reasonable: once you tot up the costs of production, sales and distribution and the (at least) fifty per cent of the jacket price which goes to the retailers, and then the author’s royalty, you can see that the return on the fairly substantial amount of cash we’re outlaying and risking is not vast. Unless we sell 500,000 copies, in which case, yes it’s vast[ish].

†Whenever I travel by train I usually do so with my copy of whatever book I’m reading wrapped inside a loose jacket for something by Gogol or Proust. I’ve often wondered whether there’s a market for 50 Shades of Grey-type soft porn disguised as A Tale of Two Cities, or a Jack Reacheresque thriller with a Dostoevsky jacket. Chicks dig Dostoevsky, apparently.

For more Monday Books news and general blah, subscribe under ‘EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION’ at the top right hand corner of the page, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter via @mondaybooks

 

Gary Bell QC – author of our forthcoming title ANIMAL QC (published July 7) – will be appearing on BBC Breakfast (telly) and as a guest on Midweek, Libby Purves’ brilliant Radio 4 magazine show (dates TBC).

We’re particularly excited about Midweek – it’s one of a few shows we down tools to listen to, mostly because Libby Purves is such a good interviewer and takes the time to develop lines.

He’s also going to be interviewed for the BBC World Service programme Outlook, which is excellent – it’s a fifty-five minute extended interview, basically, and will be available to download. Not sure if that’s long enough to deal with the whole Bell story…

We also have reviews and other stuff lined up in The Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday, The Sunday Telegraph and elsewhere.

Media enquiries: please contact Sue Amaradivakara at The PR Collective (sue@prcollective.co.uk) for advance copies, interview requests etc, and she’ll be delighted to help. (You can also tweet Gary direct at @garybellqc – if he doesn’t respond it will be because he has forgotten his password, so just come to us!)

Trade enquiries: Turnaround PSL via @turnarounduk or 020 8829 3002.

For more Monday Books news and general blah, subscribe under ‘EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION’ at the top right hand corner of the page, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter via @mondaybooks

Animal-QC-v2_AI-cover-WEB

Gary signs copies

 

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