Friday, 3 August 2012

Despite the terrible summer - so far - I've been very busy at work, hampered by an embarrassing fall from a low wall and doing myself all sorts of damage. 6 weeks later and I am still limping and my ankle is still badly swollen. My writing has suffered and I am way behind on my schedule for the next title Revenge.
I had a late night last night when I finished off and published a short video clip. It was a lot of fun, but as with these technical things, there is a steep learning curve. Having said that, I know it made a few people smile! Look out for the next two parts. The link is below.


Thursday, 12 April 2012

Food for thought.
I read last week that there were 12.7 million ebooks downloads in the UK in the first 6 months of 2011.
This morning there was an article in the Daily Mail saying that paperback sales were down 25% and the paper back will be dead by 2020.

Then I saw the article in the Telegraph reporting that Apple was accused of ebook price fixing.

Suggestions for a garage full of paper backs?

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

I watched the programme about the Royal Marines in Afganistan on Channel 5 last night, it makes me even more determined  to try to raise funds for Combat Stress and BLESMA. I uploaded both books to Amazon over the last few days and have decided to give a donation of 10% from the sales split between the two charities. The UK links are below.



One day they might get the front cover pictures in place!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

At last an ebook!

I finally bit the bullet, yes, the dinosaur succumbed, I finally uploaded one of my books. I did notice in the guide that it claimed you could do it in 2 hours. I think I took 2 hours to read the guide! When I recover I'll do the other one.

What is Smashwords? I 'borrowed' their description to save me typing.
Smashwords is an ebook publishing and distribution platform for ebook authors, publishers, agents and readers. We offer multi-format, DRM-free ebooks, ready for immediate sampling and purchase, and readable on any e-reading device. The ebooks on Smashwords can be read online using our online readers, or they can be downloaded to other reading devices such as the iPhone, iPod Touch, Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader or Barnes & Noble Nook, or to other ereading devices. Smashwords offers generous sampling options so readers can try before they buy.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The Charities

Combat Stress and BLESMA each get £1 each from all sales of Repercussion through the my web site.

Following the publication of Reprisal I changed layout of the checkout on the website so that the customer has a choice which charity the £2 is donated from the sales of Reprisal.
The options are below, with a link to their websites if anyone wants to know more about them.
                              Combat Stress  


                                The Royal Marine Charitable Trust Fund


                                Veterans in Action

                                The Royal British Legion

Over the last year or so we donated the money we saved on postage through cash sales to the Royal Marine Charitable Trust Fund.

Brigadier Mark Noble RM (on the left) receiving a £150 cheque from Peter Houghton for the Royal Marine Charitable Trust Fund.

The website address is;

Monday, 2 January 2012

A Target Too Far?
The Learning Curve gets steeper.

 At the outset I set myself a target for the next three years of £3000 per charity. Obviously, I assumed, “everyone” would read books. Wrong! I quickly discovered that only the minority of people read books and an even smaller number read my genre.  It soon became clear that many more would like to read, but had difficulty in finding the time, or at least the various electronic boxes scattered around the home have a far greater priority on their time.

Thankfully, some people still read – I sold a few books. The feedback was good, the majority of the people really enjoyed Repercussion. The other side of the coin was that I soon started to get requests for the sequel. People wanted to know what happened next and “how dare I finish the book like that?”
 Hmmm I can hear the comments already, “Why didn’t you sort out your marketing to sell more books?” Given that option, I’m sorry, I prefer writing them! (In fact the plot for the next one is already causing me problems – it’s good and I want to get on with it!)

 The sequel, Reprisal, took about a year to complete, quite fast when you have a full-time job.

If you haven’t read Rob Alexander before note the introductory offer, if buy Reprisal, you can purchase Repercussion for half price. At the checkout you are offered a drop-down menu for your choice of charity. We will donate £2.00 for each sale of Reprisal. All internet sales of Repercussion are still divided between BLESMA and Combat Stress. Post and Packing is free of charge.
You'll find the website at;

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Man on a Mission


Rob Alexander is the pen name of Peter Houghton.

A little bit about me. I served with 9 Parachute Squadron, Royal Engineers in the 70’s. I ran my own business for over a decade before going to university, at the young age of 39, to become a qualified youth worker. Then followed a period of diverse jobs including outdoor pursuits instructor and expedition leader for groups of young people to foreign lands. Eventually, I became a civilian climbing instructor for the Royal Marines at Lympstone. Over the next few years I worked with many of them, either as recruits, permanent staff or on training teams. When the Marines were in Afghanistan taking casualties it became personal, I was also well aware of what the lads had been through to get their ‘green lids’ and wanted to help some of those who were less fortunate and came back from operations with the more severe injuries. I found it heart-breaking to see some of the guys with prosthetics.
Around that time, writing under the pen name Rob Alexander, I had just finished writing a thriller, titled Repercussion. I started looking into ways of selling it to raise money for the charities that help injured servicemen. Quickly realising that the author is the last one in the food chain I decided that the way forward was become the publisher. Houghton Books was born.
Reality was hard work. The vision hadn’t included where to store the books, how to raise the money or the many hoops I would have to jump through to get things in place just to start trading. The store, a garage, needed a new roof to keep the rain out, unable to afford professional editing I had to rely on friends, and yes, I did make a few mistakes. Publishing a book on a tight budget was hard, but we decided, my helpers and me, that if we can be instrumental in helping a few of those guys it will be worth it.

I chose two charities to support. BLESMA (the British Limbless Ex-Service Men’s Association) because of the high number attacks using IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and Combat Stress who deal with the psychological effects that some will suffer, sometimes decades later. I have several friends who served in theatres like Northern Island, The Falklands and Bosnia who have suffered from their experiences years later.

I will be donating two pounds, one pound to each of the charities, BLESMA (the British Limbless Ex-Service Men’s Association) and COMBAT STRESS for each copy of Repercussion by Rob Alexander sold through the website.

 Post and packing is free of charge.