Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Comments Received On The Cycle Book

Current Amazon rating for the book is:  5 Stars   Amazon Bestseller Rank: #17 in Kindle Store > Books > Nonfiction > Parenting & Families > Family Relationships

N.B. Not all are flattering. Check out number 9.  Bloody kids!

1. Mr Mark Swain. Loving your book, you’re one amazing man with an astonishing family. T.D.James

2. I'm just reading your amazing book, the Lao Lao sneeze incident really made me laugh! Mark Rhymes

3. Just finished reading this book and it 'twas fab. Lots of laughing out loud and interesting moments. Thanks Mark Swain for sharing your journey xx   Tracey Davies

4. Friend from college (art college, back in the day) wrote a book about cycling from Ireland to Japan with his 18 yr old son. It's fab! Inspiring me for future cycling holidays with boys, but not to Japan!  Larraine Rettie

5. Hi Mark, Finished the book;
I have experienced so much reading it although I have never owned a bike! – The descriptive writing and relationship between you and Sam made for a very good read -
· I laughed aloud with the drunk getting caught having a piddle by his missus!
· I got hungry every time I read – proper food!
· I was astonished at some of the places you stayed
· And couldn’t believe the ‘risk’ taken when cycling along, going down waterfalls etc..
Brilliant!   Ian James

5. A friend recommended this to me, and WOW. I couldn't put it down!
Not only could I relate to my relationship with my father, but can also see how this also relates to me and my children.
You find yourself wanting to know what is around the next corner, how they will cope, and will they see the next day, let alone the end?
I suppose the only question is where will they go next? I for one will sign up for the Japan to Ireland book if it ever came off.
I would recomend this to anyone, grab a copy and enjoy. There is something in there for everyone! Thanks. Richard

Highly Recommended. Bought this as a stocking filler for my partner and he couldn't put it down. I have never known him to talk so much about a book before. He is a keen cyclist and also has a grown up son so he could relate to everything that was written in the book. This is much more than a story about 2 guys cycling to Japan (his words not mine). Helen

6. The author of this book has created a masterpiece - engaging from the first word. I did not get bored at all. The book also has pictures and beautiful maps so you can fully engage in what is going on. Would recommend.  Lopez

7. Excellent. Well written, honest and compelling. A real adventure that inspires the imagination. The descriptions of physical challenge and emotional reflection combine to make this a great example of travel writing. David H

8. Fantastic Read. Not the type of book I usually read but I really enjoyed the book and the different perspective from Mark and his son Sam. Made me want to visit some of the locations and avoid others at all cost. Tracey.D.

9. A good read. Thank God this man was not my father; he would have driven me mad. A very long suffering son. Steven

10. Excellent! A psychological, spiritual and philosophical, inspirational connection between father and son. When I read the book, it almost felt like someone was speaking to me. His experiences are very well explained, I felt like I was living the experience. I would love to recommend this book to my friends, if only it was translated in French. I recommend this book to anyone, especially those wanting to experience the journey themselves. Veronique

11. I love reading guides but not many travel stories as I normally get bored pretty quickly. I just drift off to my own travels. However this was different. I loved the fact he had used such a good opportunity to share the adventure with his son. Such a long way and a long time, well put across, thanks for sharing. W.G.Skipper

12. Mark and Sam have written this book honestly and from the heart. It is a great adventure and kept me interested all the way to the end. I liked their honesty and found it refreshing to read about a man who so obviously wants to improve his relations with his son while also working on improving himself! La Lucy.

13. Read it, you will love it! As you follow Mark and Sam on their journey from the UK to Japan it is fascinating to read about the highs and low's that they come across along the way. I love the way that you read Marks version of what happened and then Sam's and how different the journey can feel through a different set of eyes. This is an insight into different countries and cultures and the great people that they meet along the way. It is a great read about father and son relationship as well as the trials and tribulations of an amazing cycling experience. An entertaining and interesting read for all. Linzi.B.

14. A compelling read. I read this book in one sitting, which is unusual for me, and found it quite compelling. Like some other reviewers have commented, it can be enjoyed on several levels. The psychological journey unfolds in parallel with the gruelling physical journey. Descriptions of the many locations were fascinating and memorable and real eye openers - especially when father and son stayed in less than glamorous lodgings! Their stamina and openness is impressive. Recommended reading! Veritas

15. Fascinating website Mark, I launched 1 child (now 40) and have 2 teens to go... you're my new hero:) Seeley James

16. Something for everyone. So far, this is a great book! (I'm a third of the way thru'). Never a true word said using the phrase `there's something in it for everyone'; if you love to travel and want to learn a little about the countries they visited and locals they met along the way, if you love cycling (this book would equally be invaluable for those who choose an engine instead of pedals!), if you want to do the same kind of journey (with or even without one of your offspring!) and if you're a dad, (my son is 8 months old and I have much to learn. At times reading this book, it also made me reflect upon my relationship with my own father, which may not be a bad thing), if any of the above strikes a chord with you then give this book a try.
One of the messages I have taken from this book so far, is that if you're a successful businessperson with a loving family; who `says' you can't take some time out for a journey like this, it's what life is all about.
It's fascinating to read what goes thru' the minds of a dad and his son during the long hours on the road and to read about how they deal with all sorts of challenges on route, it's as interesting to read about how they deal with all the `good stuff' that happens too.
It's extremely well written and has a nice helping of humour along the way, I feel like I'm on the journey with them, both physically and mentally, I'm looking forward to the next country! Colin.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Thank You India – Memories of Cycling in Paradise

Back in October 2008-9 my 18yr old son Sam and I reached India. It was an overwhelming experience. The busyness as we cycled along the potholed roads, the crazy traffic, the friendly people smiling at us from the roadsides, the smells of delicious food and the stunning views. We were immediately in love with it.  After three months of often strenuous cycling throughout the country, Sam and I were sad as we left Calcutta, heading for Thailand. Four years later we still think of those three glorious months. The people, the culture, the food, the countryside and the sheer variety that is India will never leave us.

I won't try to tell you here about all the wonderful things we experienced cycling through India. I'll leave that to the book. It took three chapters to do it justice! But in case any Indian readers look at this blog, I want to say a big thank-you and that we wish you and your wonderful country well.
N.B. There are many more India photos in the book & the e-book (see link on right), plus on the original travel blog:

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

1,968 Free Downloads in 3 Days

A promotion of the Kindle version of LRHL on Amazon last week resulted in an astounding 1,968 free downloads of the e-book. This may sound crazy to some, however, it is a surefire way to get things moving in the Kindle store. and to introduce the book to new countries. Downloads were received in Japan, India, Germany, France, Spain and the USA as well as the UK. In the day since the offer closed 19 paid for e-books have been downloaded. We expect this to continue to grow. Not so crazy eh?

The big advantage of the Kindle platform is that as well as being the most reliable and easy to use device, people can download a Kindle App free from Amazon, enabling them to read Kindle books on a PC, Mac, Laptop, i-Pad or phone. That's why I've decided only to publish on Kindle (in addition to paperback) in the future. Let's hope they stick to their tax promises though. Not that any of their competitors are any more generous of course.

Watch out for a new book of short stories by Mark Swain coming in the next few weeks. Might even be a free promotion on that too.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Free Kindle version for 3 days

As a little New Year's present to his friends, Mark Swain is making the updated e-book (Kindle) of Long Road, Hard Lessons available for free download for a period of 3 days.
This book is currently rated 5 Stars by purchasers from Amazon.

When?  For 3 days from Sunday 6th January

Why?  As a token of appreciation for those who have bought the paperback and because it helps to get things moving on Amazon's Kindle store.

Any other requirements?  Yes. We would ask you to please put a review on Amazon (Kindle version) for the book when you've read it. 

Also -  Please send the link to all your friends so they can benefit too.

Just wait until Sunday 6th January, then go to the Kindle version of the book on Amazon and you will be able to download for free.