Nothing ventured…

Nothing ventured, nothing gained – is how the saying goes.

An interesting cliché – which I tend to rely on.  Even, over rely on, perhaps?

Ultimately, used as the upside to a defeat and there are alternatives… Look on the bright side/there’s always a silver lining or better luck next time.  But I prefer nothing ventured

And so it proved this weekend.

Ever adaptable and vigilant for opportunities to sell my wares – my books, writing or my standing on stage and making people laugh – on Saturday, I headed to a comic book shop for an organised and well publicised signing of my book, Eclipsed – to be followed by a stand-up show later in the evening for the patrons of said comic shop.

What could possibly go wrong?


The two hour drive from my home took longer than expected courtesy of the monsoon that befell our beautiful green and pleasant land. But even so, ever punctual, I arrive on time. I get parked and I duck in to the shop (with, as things transpire, far too many books).

All authors – even very famous ones – have stories of nightmare book signings. Where they’ve arrived to a shop with great fanfare but no takers.

It isn’t just the lack of sales that stings, but more so the embarrassment.

Particularly for me in a comic shop – sitting behind a desk with a pile of books, whilst middle aged men – often overweight and wearing black mooch through shelves laden with figurines.

I should have known really. The clue being that this is a comic shop. And patrons who read comics are unlikely to be interested in my books.

But hey, nothing ventured

3 hours later and 4 books sold, I am chilled to the bone and in dire need of sustenance, warmth and a pep talk. The shop proprietor is boundlessly happy, however and explains that the show this evening will be a belter.


I smile and get on my way to a café which needs to be comfortable because I have three (further) hours to kill.

But, ever the opportunist, to be fair I have used my down-time in the shop wisely. Suspecting a lack of takers, I thought to bring my laptop with me and I make great progress with the updating of Open Links – my fourth novel – which I published some years ago – with all the proceeds going to Anthony Nolan – the charity presiding over the largest bone marrow tissue register in the UK – for people with blood cancers.

Our plan is to republish the updated book and publish it via The Brothers Trust – reasoning that our reach now is bigger than even a large charity like Anthony Nolan. And we have some interesting ideas for promotion – including, a number of random books being signed by the four brothers – although nothing firmed up as yet – and of course, two said brothers (including the main one) are away at present.

But to end this short post – back to my forlorn and soggy Saturday.

I found a nice restaurant on the pretty square in the town. A lovely Polish girl seats me and a Hungarian man with impeccable manners takes my order. Genuinely interested in people, fairly regularly I run the risk of appearing ‘racist’ by asking from where people hail.

The food is excellent – the place is quiet and I make even more progress on updating my novel. My belly is full. Just a few chapters to go, now. I am warm. My disastrous book signing is confined to history – and feeling funny, I have a gig that I am going to smash. Maybe I will finally give an airing to a new routine I am excited to try…

Still raining and driving back from the train station where I have met and retrieved,  Mike Cappozola – my support act for the gig, I share my disappointing afternoon with my friend and how the gig cannot possibly be any worse.

On to the A34 – according to my sat-nav, a mere 10 miles from the venue – (22 mins) – we come to a complete stop on the dual carriageway. Quickly, traffic backs up behind us and shortly, emergency vehicles with flashing lights are squeezing past us all.

It is 7.15 pm. Pitch black, raining hard and somewhere ahead is an accident and a gig that we need to get to.

We sit there until 11.15 pm.

A mere 4 hours later we begin moving but not to the gig which has been cancelled long ago. I return Mike to the station for his 11.50pm train to Central London whereupon I head home – arriving at 2am – cold and with spirits dented.

Nothing ventured…  feels distinctly inadequate.

Sam is still up and has a couple of mates with him. And Paddy too. What’s the occasion I wonder and enquire?

They are waiting for a big fight on TV.

Oh, who? Which fighters? Anyone I might have heard of perhaps?

Er, no.

Two, you-tubers, in fact!

How is you-tuber even a noun?

Two young men who are proficient with technology – having a fight in LA and my boys – and presumably millions of others like them are forfeiting a night’s sleep to watch it.

Naturally, I don’t join them.  I am cold, tired and already vanquished and watching two nerds or neeks or geeks fighting is unlikely to help very much.

I write this post on Monday morning with Open Links now fully updated and completed – in large part because I wasn’t distracted signing copies of Eclipsed.

A lack of sales I can live with, therefore – a silver lining then!

Open Links coming very soon via The Brothers Trust. A novel that contributes to a cause that saves lives – and with this, another cliché to end…

What’s not to like?






OPEN LINKS – is no longer available on Amazon or elsewhere – but will be available shortly and exclusively via







30 thoughts on “Nothing ventured…

  1. Sar says:

    Way to look on the bright side of things! I am reminded of Psalm 27:3: “Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident.”

  2. Shaina D says:

    Dear Dom,
    It’s too bad that I don’t live in London, I would have loved to come to the book signing.
    Is there any way that I could purchase a signed version of eclipsed to be sent to me? I live in New York, and I was going to buy it off of amazon but if you have some extra signed versions I would love to buy one of those off of you.
    Shaina D

  3. Ilona says:

    I am sure that the only reason for few people showing up at the signing is, that everyone was busy being at home reading ‘I, Gabriel’.

  4. Paul says:

    Is there anywhere in the world where traffic isn’t the bane of human existence?
    One cliche you could have used “It could have been worse” – returning home with those 4 novels you DID sell, being on the receiving end of the emergency vehicles, a dead laptop battery with no power cord or even more damaging – a virus. So, many silver linings 🙂
    And at least your in home and not about to endure the wrath of Mother Nature your 2 sons are will be enduring on this side of the pond:

    Looking forward to the re-release Open Links (at least signed by the author)… Cheers

  5. Audrey says:

    My favorite writer said this “endeavour is never wasted”
    Nuff said, and at least 4 more people are enjoying Eclipsed!
    Looking forward to reading Open Links .
    Thanks for the stories.

  6. A.J. says:

    I’m so sorry your signing was a flop, but it’s sort of reassuring to beginners like me to see that more experienced authors occasionally have flops too. At least you looked for the bright side of things! Glad you made it home safely.

  7. Charlotte R says:

    I’m curious. What keeps you going? A lot of your blog posts have an air of defeat about them (don’t get me wrong, I bloody love your writing and even own many of your books!) but you seem to not have much self confidence?
    I apologise if I’ve completely missed the mark. I just think you’re very talented and should give yourself a lot more credit! You have a lot to offer.

  8. Andy D says:

    Sorry the day was such a bust for you, Dom. Coming from one of the four people who bought Eclipsed on Saturday, I would just like to say thanks for coming over to our little town. I really enjoyed meeting you and having a little chat about your blog.

    And I do think the evening would have been much better; there were a decent amount of people in the club, and we were gutted that you got stuck on that damn A34.–it’s always a nightmare! Hope you can come back and do the show at a later date, but if not I totally understand.

    Very best,
    Andy D. from Tennessee

  9. Pamela says:

    I am looking forward to reading the updated version of Open Links!! I read the kindle version but this time I want the book! Getting a signed copy from the author himself would be the “icing on the cake!”

  10. madsonali says:

    Thank you for BMTRC.
    It is really important to me and thanks. I wish I would have been driving you or just being with you all this time, so you would not have felt sole.
    Someday, I really want all our parents together, so I can be with all of them and not worry about any one of them.

  11. Lorraine says:

    Sorry to hear your Saturday was such a washout. There’s nothing like the feeling of a “real book” in your hand though. At least you’re aware that the audience for the night gig was substantial. Thankfully you weren’t involved in the collision and had company during your wait to ease the pain. Delighted to hear that you got the edits completed. On the upside – ads are appearing again on your wonderful blogs Dom.

  12. Sam says:

    Oh Dom, sorry to hear that! Great to learn about the upcoming rerelease of Open Links though. The brothers signed copies sounds like a great promotional idea. I bet a limited run of Dom & Tom/brothers signed copies of Eclipsed would be popular for a future promotion too? Onwards and upwards, to use another cliche….

  13. Kira says:

    Love your blog! I live by the A34 where the crash was its a nightmare! My sister was stuck in it too we quickly learnt you’re not going anywhere once your stuck on that road! Sorry you didn’t make your gig but on the bright side … there’s always tomorrow. Can’t wait to read more

  14. Amy says:

    Brilliant marketing offering Open Links through The Brothers Trust website! What great timing! Now when I do purchase the book I’ll be supporting a great charity! Brilliant I say!

  15. Theresa says:

    Oh Dom what a Saturday! So sorry your book signing wasn’t successful and that your gig didn’t happen but given the horrendous weather, we’re glad you got home safely…. and with regards to the You-Tuber fight, I think your bed was the best option!!

  16. May Fernández says:

    Hello, Dom

    My name is May (like the month). I’m currently living in Uruguay, miles away from my family in Venezuela (it’s ok if you have to Google it) I’m going home this Christmas and I am very excited. The reason why I’m telling you this is because I have a little sister, and I want to give her something very special. See, she is a big fan of yours and Tom and I just read on Twitter she want one of your books: Eclipsed. I also read here that you give sign copies if we buy the book in this site. So, I want to know if there’s a chance of a book signed by you and Tom. I think I will be the sister of the year

    I don’t see her since 2017 and I really want to give her this surprise. I’ll appreciate your help.

    Thank you and have a nice day!!

  17. Andra Jenkin says:

    I once played a humiliating game of hide and seek with Douglas Adams at his (horribly under-advertised) book signing because I was the only one in the shop. He was perfectly reasonably approaching someone holding two of his books, but I’d never had one with a dust jacket before and didn’t know that the guy leaning over my shoulder waggling his eyebrows at me, was my hero. He followed me around the shop till I hid behind a bookcase, then finally under a table, where his bemused face when he found me would have been priceless to a less ignorant fan. Years later and I am a contributor to the third in the trilogy of the books I held, and have a publisher of my own. Every time I slog to a library to talk to a non-existent group of readers about the book I spent so much time and effort to write, I remember this. I guess this is an extremely roundabout way of saying it could be worse, and yet it doesn’t always get any better.
    Well that was less comforting than intended.

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