2009
15.01

SAS soldier turned best-selling author Andy McNab is extending his reach further into the mobile market through a deal with phone operator 3.

McNab founded the audiobook-for-mobile firm GoSpoken in April last year and has been working on a series of deals to increase the number of distribution outlets and titles on offer.

The latest deal with 3 will add GoSpoken’s inventory to Planet 3, the free entertainment and information service available on all the operator’s handsets.

As well as a dozen military adventure novels by McNab, GoSpoken offers more than 1,000 titles from authors including Stephen King, Ian McEwan and Patricia Cornwell. 3 customers can browse and buy titles in either text or audio format and, says 3, download each book “in minutes” over the operator’s 3G network. They can then either read the book using their phone or listen to it. Books cost £5 to £10, though titles can be downloaded in sections for £1 to £3 each. The cost is added to the subscriber’s 3 mobile bill.

“Since leaving the armed forces, books have become my life, so making them easily accessible in this way is a natural progression,” said McNab.

“Using the strength of the 3 UK network millions of people can access the latest books in seconds, regardless of whether you are sitting on the bus or abseiling through embassy windows.”

GoSpoken has signed content deals with Penguin, Random House and HarperCollins, and launched to Vodafone customers in October.

Source: The Guardian.co.uk

 

2008
06.11

Female First (also Male First) Helen Earnshaw interviewed Andy who’s ‘on tour’ promoting the release of the ‘Tour of Duty’ DVD.

Andy McNab is a British soldier, serving in the infantry as a Royal Green Jacket, joining the infantry at the age of sixteen and serving in Northern Ireland before being selected for the SAS.

In the SAS he served in the Middle East as well as Southern and Central America. He shot to prominence in 1993 when, after leaving the SAS, he wrote a book on the failed mission Bravo Two Zero, which told of the events that happened during the Gulf War.

Since then he has gone on to write a series of fiction and non fiction novels and has, more recently, been behind the documentary Tour of Duty which looked at the soldiers serving in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. I caught up with him to talk about his new project.

You are promoting your DVD Tour of Duty can you tell me a bit about it?

“For the past three or four years all the stories that are coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan it’s always someone else telling the stories, so the idea is to get the guys that were involved in these things to talk about it themselves. Instead of me sitting there all day gobbing off about it, lets get these lads in as they know the story well, they are articulate and actually what happens is you get all the emotion and you can identify with them.”

Read the full interview here (2 pages!)

2008
06.11

This was in a lot of articles but I’m quoting The Telegraph for having the most catchy title.

01 Nov 2008

Lord Ashcroft, the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, is investing millions in an e-commerce venture launched by Andy McNab, the former SAS soldier, that sells virtual books to mobile phones.

The millionaire businessman and philanthropist has taken a minority stake in GoSpoken.com, a platform that Mr McNab launched earlier this year. The service allows mobile phone users to access audio or text versions of books over their handsets.

Lord Ashcroft is believed to have invested “single digit millions” in return for the stake, according to executives close to the company.

Although the men seem an unlikely pairing, they are both keen military authors. Mr McNab’s works include Bravo Two Zero and Seven Troop, while Lord Ashcroft has written books including Special Forces Heroes: Extraordinary True Stories of Daring and Valour, for which Mr McNab wrote the foreword.

Mr McNab said: “The commitment of Lord Ashcroft and his investment team reinforces the potential of GoSpoken. They add another level of skill and experience that will help develop the product and our expansion into international markets”.

GoSpoken.com has signed a partnership in Britain with Vodafone. Tony Lynch, who co-founded the company with Mr McNab, said that it has signed up major British publishers as well as the BBC. The e-commerce firm is also planning to expand into Germany in the near future.

Lord Ashcroft said that the company has good growth potential. “It is early days, but we believe they have already in place the right people, the established platform and the necessary content to build a very successful business,” he said.

Source: The Telegraph

2008
06.10

Vodafone Books on Mobile has strategy for mobile books

An idea born from a conversation in a pub will today become an international business when Vodafone launches a service bringing books to mobile phones.

Under Vodafone Books on Mobile, books are expected to cost between £5 and £15 and any purchases will be added to monthly Vodafone bills.

The service is a partnership between Vodafone and GoSpoken. com, a website dedicated to putting books on mobiles co-founded and co-funded by Andy McNab, the soldier-turned novelist, and Tony Lynch, now the managing director of the company.

“I met Tony through a mutual friend,” Mr McNab said of their initial discussion last year. “We met for a drink and were playing about with how we could combine story-telling and technology. Finally he said: ‘Let’s have a look at books on mobiles.’ ” The pair launched their idea with three 15-minute short stories by the former SAS man, which they recorded and released on iTunes. “They became the three topselling audio stories on iTunes for three to four months,” Mr McNab said. “We thought. . . the concept’s really working, so we started to look seriously at mobile phones.”

Since then the pair, who each own 50 per cent of the business, have signed up every leading publisher in Britain, including Penguin, Random House and HarperCollins, and are in the process of signing the big European names.

High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) technology, which provides faster data speeds, means that a three-hour audio book can be downloaded in three minutes. And as mobile screens get bigger and better it gets easier to read a book on them.

“Sometimes we wonder if it’s just us that think this is great and it won’t catch on,” Mr McNab said, “but there’s not a single person we’ve gone to – a publisher, retailer or operator – who hasn’t got it.”

Mr McNab began his writing career with his first novel Bravo Two Zero in 1993, based on his experiences during the first Gulf War.

Source: Times Online

2008
17.09

There’s another Newsletter! This time Andy tells us that Seven Troop can be downloaded as an e-book to your mobile phone. He gives away 2 free chapters which you can download from a test site. The newsletter says ‘the first 2 chapters’ but I only got one… of the audio book. Maybe that is me not getting this new technology?? Anyway, Andy narrated the audiobook himself so I am not complaining!

[edit Lynn: It did work a few days later so I managed to download the 2 free chapters of the e-book]

He also writes that he just got back from Afghanistan and that a Facebook fansite will be launched in the next few days.

Last he writes about running a competition to find ‘the best unsung heroes’.

Andy: “So tell me why your mate is an unsung hero – a single act of heroism, a regular all round good guy or maybe he is the company clown who keeps you laughing when times are tough? – Before Christmas I’m going to pick the best story and you could each win £500 of vouchers to spend on whatever you want on play.com. Can’t be bad! Go to www.McNabHeroes.com

Mmm, I think I’ll pass on that one – not sure my heroes fit the profile of the target group here 😉 Still it will be nice to read the stories that are going to be send in. I wonder if he publishes those??

2008
07.08

Greymansland was informed (bows gracefully to the source) that the title of the new Nick Stone novel, coming up this November, has been altered into “Brute Force”. The synopsis still stands.

Perhaps that is the reason why the cover is still not published?

We also learned that there has been made a slight alteration to the Seven Troop cover: Andy’s decorations DCM and MM have been added.

Last – but definitely not least: all fans start saving up their money, Andy has been spending 4 days in the studio to narrate the audio version of Seven Troop! So apart from the printed version, us die hard fans will have to get hold of that one too!!