Five star review for The Wretched!

Five star review for The Wretched!

Portsmouth By Heather Jennings on 25 May 2017

Very enjoyable read for some one who lives in the area and can relate to the places we are taken to. The fact that this is half fiction (or is it) makes it more of an interesting read.

Wretched Review

New Vertical - Award Winning

Why do I write?

Several people have asked me why I write and where I get my ideas from. After answering this question on Stage 32, a resource for writers of all disciplines, I put down the following.


After reading the first couple of chapters of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds, in school, I took the book home and finished it that evening. Since then, I’ve always written.

Whether it be short-stories, poems, film-reviews, interviews with the famous or full novels, I’ve always loved the putting together of words to describe something in a specific way.

I was fortunate enough to meet and interview Clive Barker, Terry Pratchett, James Herbert and many other writers and their responses when I asked them what advice they’d give to an aspiring writer was consistent. “Don’t give up. Keep writing. You will get better and better” they all said.

Clive Barker, and his horror work in particular, was inspiring to me and so I wrote. I was published in film magazines such as Samhain and Starburst along with articles and stories for various fanzines, but it wasn’t until I put into words the telling of a personal tragedy that things really kicked off for me.

Access Denied, the true story of an emotional trauma and the subsequent battle I had with corrupt and despicable organisations, was self-published as my first book. It met with immediate success – to date, it has 100% positive reviews! People who read it told me I had a real talent for writing with many of them telling me that once they started reading it that they couldn’t stop. “I couldn’t put it down.” several have said. I was humbled but ecstatic.

The self-publishing boom enabled me to look at some things I’d been working on, revise and complete them and publish them. I write fiction primarily, loving the short-story form and poems, and the responses to my horror books (The Roots of Evil and The Wretched) has been phenomenal.

It’s a hard slog though. The writing bit is easy. But getting people to buy your books and marketing them is a massive struggle in a world that’s saturated with talent (and non-talent). It’s very difficult to get people to try something new. There seems to be no end of competitions which appear to be nothing but exercises in making someone else money, so I tend to only enter those that are free or cheap.

I have already won several awards but real success (to the point – as Arthur C. Clarke did – where his book sales earned more than his day job so he could give up the day job) eludes me presently.

I clearly have something of worth on those pages. What I write is not to everyone’s taste, but a lot out there really like it. If only they’d leave reviews and tell all their friends, I might make a few more pennies. Despite all this, I soldier on, hoping for that big break, to get my stories in front of the right people, living in anticipation that the word-of-mouth explosion will occur. As Clive, James and Terry suggested, I’ve never given up. I’ve come close but my love of creating stories and visions for people is something I’m passionate about and I’m always drawn back to those ideas, some of which come in dreams. Expanding upon them to create a world and characters which people love and enjoy taking the journey with is very rewarding, even if it’s not financially enriching.

Getting that finished book in my hands, all those months or years of effort coming to fruition, is a feeling like no other. And, one day, I’m sure I’ll be on a train or in a park somewhere and see someone reading one of my books. When that happens, I know I’ll be humbled but ecstatic once more. Something to look forward to.

You can follow my blog at or my author page on Facebook @davidegatesauthor where you can find details of all of my books and free short-stories to download or buy.

Thank you.

All Books

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Vote for my cover of The Wretched [Please]

My book, The Wretched, has been entered in the 2017 Cover Contest.

It literally takes just a couple of clicks to vote and your vote will help get it noticed to progress to the next stage of this esteemed prize. I’ve previously won Gold and Silver for the covers of The Roots of Evil and Access Denied.

Click here to vote or cut and paste the following link into your browser.

The Wretched 2D Cover


the-wretchedThe Wretched - Full Cover

Available at all good online bookstores in paperback and eBook formats.

Facebook author page is now up and running.

My Facebook author page is now up and running. You can stay up-to-date and in touch with all my work by liking my brand new author page on Facebook.
Facebook Profile
Please head on over, take a look, like & share.

Why Amazon search is bad for your business.

Amazon recently changed their search engine parameters and the results are pretty dreadful.

Whilst not perfect, before a couple of months ago, when entering “David E. Gates” as a search string, it would invariably return most of my publications on the first page.

Amazon Search

At best, I now only see my author page as the second result and my latest publication ninth on the list. However, the results now are very inconsistent and frequently return NONE of my books on their first page. Other results include anyone with “David” in their name or “Gate” in the title which overrides what one would expect from entering the full string of “David E. Gates”. One result which is always featured is:

Hamish and the GravityBurp (Hamish 3) by Danny Wallace and Jamie Littler

How on EARTH does the search return this in relation to “David E. Gates”?
For a long time, Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney always appeared at the top of my search results. Again, nothing in that title or author’s name that can possibly be linked to  “David E. Gates”. It still appears, though on subsequent pages. Baffling!
I contacted Amazon who simply fobbed me off every few weeks saying their “technical team” were looking into it. Confounded by potentially lost sales, with those not being able to see my publications when they search for my name, I wrote directly to Amazon’s head office with my complaint.
After a couple of weeks, they responded thus:
We are not able to modify the search results for titles on our site. The order of the items that appear when searching for “david e. gates” is determined automatically by our system from information such as past sales history, current availability and length of time the items have been listed on our site.”
I would suggest they change the criteria that returns results, as some publications have been on the site significantly less than mine and mine are all currently available in a variety of formats. I have no data regarding the number of sales but question why the sales history is important as a search result? Surely by increasing the relevance of results, you can anticipate more sales? Hiding results merely stops any potential buyer of my works from seeing, and in consequence buying, them!
It was a frustrating response from Amazon to which I wrote back the following:
“That is ABSOLUTE NONSENSE! What a joke! If J K Rowling or Stephen King’s search results brought up none of their books, I’m sure you’d sort that out!!!

Plus, it USED to work! YOU CHANGED SOMETHING recently and it suddenly – literally ONE DAY TO THE NEXT – STOPPED working!

Really not happy about this and if not sorted will remove ALL references to Amazon from my publicity and links. What’s the point of my directing people to your pages if a search on my exact name doesn’t even produce ANY results????

VERY disappointed and would ask that you refer/escalate this appropriately.”

I also told them to compare Apple’s search results I get on Apple’s iTunes store – a search for my name there reveals ALL of my books!


I received another response from them:
While researching this issue I took a moment to search for your book by typing in your author name and found all your book listed in our search results here:

– Page 1 = The Wretched
– Page 4 = The Roots of Evil
– Page 8 = The Ghost of Clothes
– Page 5 = Access Denied
– Page 19 = First Words
– Page 29 = Omonolidee (I’m on Holiday): Black & White Version

A search query on functions much like an internet search engine, producing results for each of the words separately and in relation to one another.

The order of items that appear when searching for your title is determined automatically by our system from information such as past sales history, current availability, and the length of time it has been listed on our site. These factors change and the search results are continually being updated to reflect those changes.

I am sorry that I don’t have better news for you.”

Put my name into an Internet search engine and the results related to me FILL the first page. This occurs on AND so it’s no comparison!
It’s like putting in “cat” and getting results about dogs!
They clearly don’t get what it SHOULD return. Apple get it right. Put my name into the iTunes bookstore and ALL my books are shown on the first page!!
Not spread over twenty-nine pages!! How likely is a potential buyer going to scan through two or three pages, let alone more than twenty?
Not only that, but their latest response was from a no-reply mailbox. We all know how annoying THAT is when you reply and get a message back saying “Undelivered!”
So, without any resolution from them after MONTHS of trying to get them to understand and sort it out, I’m removing all references to Amazon from my advertising/promotional materials. I’ll direct people to Smashwords to download the Kindle versions and Apple for the iBook versions. I’m working on the provision of a direct print-on-demand service I can utilise for the paperback versions so I don’t need to rely on Amazon for that either.
I don’t see why I should promote a company that does little to help people at least find my books! It’s hard enough trying to get them to sell without someone’s ridiculous search results hindering the process as well!
David E. Gates.