The self-service page is up

(This is the long, slightly rambling version of an email I sent out on December 30th 2016)

Good news, everyone!

I try not you bother you with vain entreaties, but then again: shaking the apple tree that is this email list really does tend to remind people there’s a book or two out there they’ve been meaning to buy. I’d happily do a weekly column on the state of the world if I thought it would help remind you of my books, but like the well-meaning idiot I am I have been plastering the promise of ‘low volume, no spam’ all over the site, wherever the sign-up box appears. And so I try to keep my word, even as my wife and newborn child are simply desperate for me to be able to afford a Tesla and I have no more moral obligations towards you all than a hungry dingo towards the Guild of Babysitters’ Code of Conduct. So this email is not about trying to sell you another book. Or your first one, for about 80% of you…

Now, as we find ourselves in the interbellum between Christmas and global nuclear annihilation because 62 million racist, sexist morons believed all the fake news on Facebook and/or just wanted to watch the world burn, you may want to settle in with a good book and forget your troubles. You may even want to revisit my books, if the store that sells good books is closed and mine are all you have to hand.

If you have lost the digital copy of the book(s) you purchased or if you would like to have an updated version of your purchase, you can now use the self-service section of my website to get a fresh, updated copy. For free.

It took me a while to set up, but it has been quietly available for some time now and I think it is ready for prime-time. So if you decide to revisit a book (and I know many of you do) you may want to have the most up to date version. Also, if you’re some sort of happy-go-lucky optimist who thought a phone or a tablet was a safe place to keep files you PAID FOR and you lost them, you’re gonna like this option as well.

Your journey, young Padewan, starts here:

I regularly update my books to fix typos, grammatical errors, sentences what that don’t are are running good and even to remove or alter minor details that are inconsistent with what I wrote in later books. It’s nothing major, really: no new jokes, no extra scenes. Just a smoother reading experience. It’s just that my English has improved somewhat after six books and so I keep finding things that need fixing. That’s the entire reason all my characters are Dutch, by the way: I thought it would give me an excuse to make some mistakes. But it doesn’t, really, because I still get helpful emails about the Oxford comma, polysyndectic coordination, compound words, the differences in international numeric notation, a billion ways UK English differs from US English (carburator/carburetor/carburettor/carburetter) and other such issues, which is a bit much for a guy who picked up his English mainly from watching Knight Rider with Dutch subtitles. Even so, keep ’em coming. I’m keen to learn.

Here’s a list of current versions:

Best Sister Ever: 1.1, last updated December 2016
An Audience With Carstairs: 1.5, last updated December 2016
And The Winner Is: 1.4, last updated December 2016
The Trials of Carstairs: 1.1, last updated December 2016
The Reluctant Guide: 1.7, last updated December 2016
The Most Hated Man: 1.8, last updated November 2016

You can look up the version number in your copy. It will be somewhere near the acknowledgements and it is mentioned in the receipt with the download links. Doesn’t really matter, though. Just get a fresh copy, what do you care? It’s free! Oh, ignore the numbering scheme. I simplified it. Best Sister Ever has actually gone through seven updates by now, even though it’s currently numbered 1.1. Some updates were just about two or three typos.

Want the latest version? All you need to know is the email address you used to make the purchase. Did you forget which one? Try as many times as you like: the website doesn’t care in the slightest.

As ever, I am here to help you if you run into any kind of problem. However, I am but one man and I live in time zone GMT+1, so it may be a few hours before I get back to you. Use rather than replying to this email, please.

There is one tiny bug: some of you bought bundles of books that I have since deleted. The bundles, not the books. Like the Best Sister Ever / An Audience With Carstairs bundle, which makes no sense today as there are now two more books in that series. I had no idea what the repercussions would be of deleting bundles, but what’s done is done.
In that case you may not see your purchase listed after going through this procedure. Never mind, because I can look it up via Paypal and restore the books to your account. Just send me an email if you think something is missing. All I need is the email you used to make a purchase, or the email associated with your Paypal account. (They’re not always the same.)

You can email me anyway, if you have a question, a comment, a joke or even if you just took a funny picture of your cat. I like cats.