All that said... I can't feed my family on an award so I wouldn't object if you did want to help a pauper-writer by purchasing one or more of my books... And, if you do buy one, it would be brilliant if you could write a review (however short) on Amazon.co.uk. After all, 40 pence is better than nothing...
So the Awards ceremony was last night... and I didn't win. Nevertheless, an honour to be on the shortlist.
Many people I talk to think that writers are rich and that - by extension - I sell lots of books and make lots of money. The truth is rather different. A recent survey of writers found that the mean annual income from writing is around £10.5K - and has declined by 15% in the past five years. This accords with my personal experience. I don't write to get rich. If I cared more about money than being happy (and about making people happy) I would have stuck with my day job in Government. I'm not sure that any of my books have sold more than 10,000 copies - although two may be getting close - and if you buy one from Amazon, say, I probably end up getting 40 pence a copy. Against this backdrop of impoverishment, critical accolades are very important - particularly when they come with an industry stamp of approval. I was delighted when A Summer of British Wildlifewon UK Travel Guide Book of the Year in 2016 in the Travel Media Awards. And I am stoked at yesterday's announcement that my new travel book, 52 European Wildlife Weekends, has been shortlisted in the same category of the 2018 equivalent of those awards.