Saturday, 17 September 2011

E-Books, Linda Gillard and The House of Silence

Another respectably published author whose publisher didn't think her latest book was 'commercial' enough, so Linda took the business into her own hands and has already sold 12,000 copies of her novel over the internet without any hype, reviews, or marketing campaign.

Linda Gillard is one of my fellow authors over on what used to be 'Kindle Authors UK' before Amazon complained and is now 'Authors Electric'.

I liked the plot summary of House of Silence (Rebecca meets Cold Comfort Farm) so I downloaded a sample and was soon captivated enough to buy the book.   Like a lot of E-books, it's an affordable bargain at £1.90, unlike the outrageous £11.49 you have to pay to read Philippa Gregory on Kindle - twice the price of her paperbacks. How do they justify that?

This is a very well written novel, easy to read with a fascinating plot.  Gwen,  an orphan, meets Alfie, the actor, on the set of a BBC TV historical drama and begins an affair.  Things get a little sticky when he goes home for his annual Xmas visit and Gwen insists on being taken along too.

Alfie's mother is a famous children's author who has written a best-selling series based on her son.  She has four daughters, all outrageously neglected and is currently a senile figure confined to her bedroom (the mad woman in the attic).   Home is a 17th century manor in Norfolk (the aptly named Creake Hall)  and the family turns out to have more secrets than the Pentagon. 

I enjoyed every minute of  this book.  It's written with considerable panache and humour, despite the fact that there's a very serious underlying thread to the book - how do we, as individuals and families, deal with tragedy?

If publishers are going to turn down sure-fire bestsellers like this one (as they seem to be doing) then I'm afraid the industry is in for a crisis.  Authors don't need publishers any more.  Not when they can do it for themselves as successfully as this.

If you're interested in E-books and authors doing it for themselves, check out


  1. Thank you so much for this wonderful review! I was absolutely thrilled to read it. :-) I'll link to it on Facebook, but I'd also like to quote it on my website, if that's OK?

    (You might be interested to know that the plot of HOUSE OF SILENCE is based loosely on a family story my mother told me about her own mother.)

  2. Aren't family stories a wonderful source?
    Glad you like the review - yes, please feel free to use it whereever you like.
    best wishes

  3. My very good friend Jackisi Eraesta recommended me this author you mentioned on here Linda Gillard and in particular her book "The House of Silence" and I have not had time to read it, maybe on the holidays!