Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Rip Off Britain

I saw a link on the BBC website to submit story ideas for Rip Off Britain - so I submitted this idea - something that has been bothering me for a long time.

One of the biggest rip offs in Britain today is the selling of concert tickets months if not years before the actual event.

Typically events from major music and comedy stars sell out within minutes of going on sale, for example earlier this year I bought tickets for Michael McIntyre’s tour for dates in September 2012, almost 18 months before the actual show at the O2. The O2 has a capacity of over 20,000. The tickets are sold for £35 each, that is a total of £700k gross ticket revenue for just one show.

Michael McIntyre’s tour has over 58 dates, 6 of which are at the O2. I decided to do some quick maths for his entire tour – the dates for which are published here

Tickets for the tour went on sale at the end of March, 2011 and according to the Daily Mail sold out quickly

So, over £24m was paid out, about 18 months before the events. What happens to that money? Presumably some of it goes on fees for the venues, booking agents etc. – but I assume a substantial part of it gets paid to the artists up front. The Daily Mail article says not, claiming that he will "only" make £2m from the tour if it sells out. So who is getting all that money?

But what really concerns me is the fact that I have to pay the money so far in advance. If I bought 4 tickets for the show, costing £140, I am missing out on the potential interest for that amount. Over 18 months that is equal to approx. £6.50 at 3% savings rate. So the actual cost to me of the tickets is £146.50, approximately 4.7% more than the advertised price.

Now that doesn't sound a lot, but if you multiply that by the total amount of tickets sold in the tour, that is 688,200 x £35 x 4.7% = £1,132,089 of missed interest by fans who bought tickets for this tour. How many big tours are there every year, 10, 20, 50?

If I place an advance order on Amazon for the latest album by Coldplay, or new novel from JK Rowling, they do not charge me anything until the product actually ships. So why should we be paying all this money so far in advance?

These big stars could advertise their tour as early as they like, but don't actually put tickets on sale until a month or two at the most before the shows. Anything else and I believe they are ripping off their loyal fans.

What do you think?

Last Day of NaNoWriMo

So this is the last day of NaNoWriMo and I have to admit defeat. I started OK, lost some groujnd, then pulled it back about mid month. However, this has also coincided with a manic period at work and something had to give.

But I don't think it's a complete failure, I've written more in the last month than I have done in years and I think it's good stuff too.

So my personal commitment is to keep on writing and get this novel out of my head. Obviously long term goal is to be published, but that, as they say, is another story.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 14 of #Nanowrimo

So after Day 14 of NaNoWriMo, I am up to just over 17,000 words. To hit the goal of 50,000 words by end of November, I need to maintain another 2,000 per day. From a practical POV, I am totally capable of creatively writing 2,000+ words per day, but it is a combination of motivation and time that stops me.

I wrote over a 1,000 words on the train to work today and aim to do it again on the way home, but yesterday was a different story. On the train into London I didn't get a seat, nor on the way home, so no writing there. When I finally got home about 8.45pm, I knew I should write something, but the combination of TV and family meant it was soon past 11 and I was just too tired.

I suppose if you are talented and lucky enough to become a full time author, you don't have these issues, but I'm a long way from that. But I will persevere, this is the most writing I have done for years and I feel really good about it

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day 8

So Day 8 of NaNoWriMo and it's been a busy few days, unfortunately mostly Birthday related at the weekend, so not as much writing done as I would like. After 7 days (not counting today yet), I'm only up to 3,737. Which is an average of only 467 words per day.

So to hit the 50,000 I now have to do over 2,000 per day for the rest of the month...ho hum

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Day 1 of Nanowrimo

Spent several hours planning and writing last night, in a Mcdonalds of all places, whilst waiting for Hannah at her Irish dancing lesson. Only managed 790 words, but that was after a lot of planning and laying out several sections before actually writing something - could have written more, as was in good flow, but had to go and pick Hannah up.

If I get back into that flow today, then I hope to write 2-3 times that and get my stats back on track to write 1666 words per day. Note to self - must remember to update stats on the Nanowrimo site each evening as today it thinks it's Day 2, so my average is 395 words per day and it's predicting I will finish next March!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Taking part in National Novel Writing Month

After years of procrastination, I decided that drastic action was required and have signed up for NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. That works out to 1,666 words per day.

Now nobody expects to have a bestseller at the end of this, at best you will have a rough first draft - but as several of my author friends have told me - just get it out, get it on paper, onto your computer, anywhere than in your head - you can then edit, rewrite etc far easier because it's out.

Looking back at my pas efforts to write a novel, the best I did last year was writing about 7,500 words over a couple of months - so the pressure is on. The good news is that I still like that idea and plot, so can use the same broad outline and characters.

Just to add extra pressure and no doubt to give me an extra outlet for procrastination and do anything other than actually write anything, I will update this blog, my Facebook and Twitter profiles with my progress.

All comments, suggestions, offers of beer welcome - email me