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Duck and Dive: dedication and acknowledgements

When I published my first novella, Duck and Dive, I was very new to formatting and preparing ebooks for publication. I am still far from being an expert, but I have gained a little more confidence in adding other bits and pieces to the book. So, I’ve updated the ebook with a dedication at the front, and acknowledgements at the back.

Unfortunately, Amazon does not automatically update copies which have been previously purchased. These changes will only appear for people who have purchased the book since I made the changes. Here’s the key information from Amazon’s help topic:

You can change your eBook at any time and republish the updated version. Customers who bought your eBook before you changed it keep the original version. If you corrected serious errors in your eBook and want us to notify customers of your updates and send them the latest version, you need to contact us.

They only send customers updates for serious quality issues, and it doesn’t look like my changes would qualify. So, if you’re interested, I have copied below the dedication and acknowledgements I added to Duck and Dive.


For Te Peeti, who encouraged me to tell people I’d written this thing.


I’d finished the first draft of a novel and put it away to get some distance before coming back to edit later, hopefully with some objectivity. I still wanted to keep up the habit of writing every day and couldn’t bring myself to get stuck into another big project right away. So, I thought short stories might be a way to keep it up and clear my head at the same time.

I’d written a few stories based on little ideas I’d squirrelled away on my phone’s note app, each only a few pages long. Then I came across this idea I’d noted down: ‘Groups of friends. One is gay, having trouble coming out to his mates. They unknowingly make it more and more difficult.’ I envisioned this as a fun and frustrating scene, just a few pages long like the others. But I was so amused by the characters and ridiculous situations that it grew into a 22,000 word novella. Still, a fun exercise, and that was all I intended for it.

Then the country went into lockdown for Covid-19. My commute had evaporated, as had all evening and weekend plans for the foreseeable future. My partner and I were fortunate to be in good health and able to continue working from home. So, with all this extra time in lockdown, I thought I might as well sort out this story I’d written, tidy it up, edit, format, etc. I learnt independent publishing is fairly involved, but I enjoyed the process.

The Bestseller Experiment podcast, hosted by Mark Stay and Mark Desvaux, was a valuable resource with useful advice from themselves, bestselling authors, and others in the writing/publishing industry. It’s so inspiring and motivational – highly recommended. And their BXP2020 campaign, which encourages people to commit to writing just 200 words a day, was what kicked this story into life.

David Gaughran’s Let’s Get Digital: How to Self-Publish, and Why You Should is packed with practical advice too. It gave me the tools and confidence to take on the big, daunting beast that is publishing, and get my book out there. David discusses how authors aren’t just writers, but publishers and marketers too. He makes it clear that writing a good book is up to you, but for the other aspects he explains every step along the way, suggesting where might be best to focus your time, effort and money.

Now, this is the point where I want to thank my partner, Te Peeti, for being brave enough to be the first to read Duck and Dive. His reaction now graces the book’s description, ‘I didn’t know what to expect, but I genuinely enjoyed it. I’m glad I did, otherwise that would’ve been a very awkward conversation.’

I also want to thank him for pushing me to tell people I’d written this. I’d tidied up my story and independently published it on Amazon as a bit of a trial. I just wanted to see how it all worked, with no intentions of taking it any further. Te Peeti told me off and asked what was the point? Surely marketing and promotion should be part of the trial? He was right, of course. Telling people is daunting though, isn’t it? Who did I think I was – a geotechnical engineer – writing fiction? Anyway, it’s up and I’m telling people now.

And you’ve read it! So, finally, I want to thank you for giving Arthur’s story a shot, and I hope you enjoyed it.

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