AUTHOR Dan Holloway is reaching out to thousands of fans and even winning favour with some over top city authors Evelyn Waugh and Colin Dexter – all thanks to the internet.

The 39-year-old administrator is getting his thrillers into the hands of fans in print and electronic format via the World Wide Web.

Mr Holloway began writing aged eight and, since 2007, has written four books for the electronic Kindle device which are printed on demand.

Until now his biggest selling book notched up 300 sales – but last month The Company of Fellows sold 1,766 copies in the UK alone. This has seen it ranked 63rd with retailer giant Amazon, which has also ranked it as the 57th bestselling Kindle book.

Publishing on demand sees authors register an electronic copy of their work with a company which then prints and sends books when orders are received. Any author can upload books for the Kindle.

Mr Holloway said: “Self-publishing is all about independence and freedom to do what you want, when you want, to write in lots of different genres and once you have got the technical stuff set up it is very easy to do.

“You actually get a higher royalty per copy than you would if you had a publisher.”

Now his thriller, The Company of Fellows, has topped an online poll by Blackwell’s booksellers in Broad Street.

To make his success even more impressive, the book was not one of the original 15 listed for people to vote for.

Fans listed the book under the heading of “other”. It beat Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, Philip Pullman’s Lyra’s Oxford and Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse novel The Dead of Jericho.

The other category got 31.3 per cent of the votes with Charlotte Mendelson’s Daughters of Jerusalem next on 23.1 per cent. A total 150 votes were cast.

He said: “It’s very exciting because Oxford has this rather cosy reputation so it’s nice to have something a bit more gritty which is why I think this book has done so well.”

His efforts will now see his talent recognised on old fashioned ink and paper when Blackwell’s puts out his book for general sale.

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THE COMPNAY OF FELLOWS The Company of Fellows is the first of what is intended to be a series of thrillers featuring failed academic Tommy West.

Mr Holloway describes the novel as set in the “dark realms” of the thriller spectrum.

The central character has a nervous breakdown and decides to bow out of academic life, only to be drawn back in following the death of his former professor.