Frequently Asked Questions
How much money is passed on to Meningitis Research Foundation?
This isn't as straightforward as I'd like because it varies depending on whether you have bought the paper book or electronic book so bear with me.
If you purchased the paper book then most online bookshops (or a shop made out of bricks) will usually keep 40% of a £12.99 book price. That leaves £7.79 that the bookshop passes on to the printers. The printers charge a minimum of £4.55 to print a book which leaves £3.24 per book being passed on to me (my royalty). 80% of that (£2.59) is passed on to the Meningitis Research Foundation and I keep the remaining 65 pence. This isn't always the case as some booksellers will check exchange rates and purchase it in the country that will charge them a lower amount - in which case myself and the Meningitis Research Foundation receive less (told you it wasn't simple).
If it is an e-book then the price is £4.79. The book distributor retains 40% of the price which leaves me with £2.87. In this case £2.30 is passed to Meningitis Research Foundation (let's just call then MRF for short) and I keep 57 pence. Again some booksellers will check exchange rates and purchase the e-book from my printers at a lower cost so JB (that is me) and MRF don't receive so much.
In the street
If you pass me in the street and shout 'Jeff, here is money for a book'. I will then whip out a book and gratefully accept your £12.99. The 40% that the bookshops (online or bricks) would receive doesn't apply and the extra money will be counted as my Royalties. It therefore boosts the money that I pass on to the MRF (I pay postage plus between about £4.50 and £5 per book depending on how quickly I need it). So based on £5 per book + postage of 50p then the margin is £7.49 and I can pass on almost £6 per book sale.
Books are not the best way to raise money (although they are good at raising Meningitis awareness) but I am topping this up with a Just Giving website to top up the money received. This is at
How did you design your front cover?
I always like pictures of earth and maps so gave some initial 'scribbles' to Emma Shoard. I think she probably shook her head at the messy squiggle in front oh her and immediately removed my matchstick men. She then worked some sort of magic and came up with something far better than I could have imagined. More of her images are on the link below.
How did you manage to get published?
I was just completing an amazing sentence when I was spotted by a gaggle of top publishing scouts who fought to sign me up. That is the version I prefer anyway. The truth is more like that I looked at getting published in about 2001 but got rejected. I continued working (and travelling) on my diaries. After about another 40 re-writes, re-structure of how to link the seven different diaries, additional trips and life happening – I ended up with something of which I was incredibly proud. I didn’t send it off to a publisher because I thought that they wouldn’t be keen to publish the book. This was based on the fact that they seem less likely to publish a world travel book and I had no existing audience (no existing blog audience, no thousands looking out for my twitter/Instagram posts, not a world class sportsman or Love Island contestant). However, I thought that what I had written deserved to be read and that I’d go down the self-published route instead. I assessed many different self-publishers before narrowing it down to one larger one and a small one. I clicked with the small one (https://www.indieauthorsworld.com/ ) and never really looked back. The self-publishing option with Indie Authors World gave me the creative control, ownership of the book, guidance and new friends. I think it was the right option for me. Although, if that gaggle of top publishers want to fight over me then I probably won’t say no to that either.
Who designed your website?
That was me. I used the Wix website builder and it took time, but I was surprised how straightforward it was. I have used their basic version although I do have access to their premium version. It was just that when I have used the Premium version it has got a bit more complicated and time-consuming so I have reverted back to the simple version. This all means that unfortunately any problems with the content of the website or spelling mistakes are my fault.