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Jon Smith

Agent: The Agency
Barcelona, Spain

Email: toytopia@hotmail.com

Home page: www.jonsmith.net

Jon was born in 1975 and was brought up on the Wirral, (which is much healthier than meph-amphetamine) where he remained until he was eighteen. A happy childhood; making daisy chains, holidays in the sun, a few minor brushes with the law and an obsessive interest in all things fantasy. No brace, few spots and only one broken bone and one broken heart (not his). It all went swimmingly.

A three-year degree course, occasionally studying American Studies at the University of Reading coupled with a semester at the University of Texas, at Austin paved the way for a year in Korea, teaching scouse to unsuspecting locals. Although it was nothing to do with Jon; the Korean economy collapsed in the summer of 1998 and with his school now bankrupt, Jon returned to England.

A little-known company called Bookpages had just been bought out by an equally unknown company called Amazon.com. Jon applied and found himself part of the launch team of Amazon.co.uk and was soon involved in the wacky-world of Internet commerce, stock options, .jpegs, bubbles and dot booms. Aggrieved that he had not been offered the position of CEO at Amazon, and now expecting his first baby with partner Lisa, Jon took the position of Project Manager and Head of Development at Kitbag.com then and now, Europes largest e-tailer of sports equipment. The reality of parenthood and the responsibilities of fatherhood kicked in and the commute to Kitbag was no longer tenable.

So, having no previous experience in the cut-flower industry in made logical sense that Jon should become Service Development Manager of TheFloristExchange.com and oversee the launch of a website that would beat Interflora at its own game. It didn't. The Florist Exchange ran out of money one week before launch; just before the company went to IPO, the Twin Towers were destroyed along with the nominated broker and thus ended a heaven smelling of roses.

But let not adversity stand in one's way. For Lisa and Jon now had a beautiful baby girl. Alia. She liked playing with toys. Most children do. "There's a business to be had there, isnt there?" They thought. And there was. Toytopia was duly formed and launched with a high street and web presence. Lisa and Jon were gunning for ToysRus. The web business took off, but the shop was painfully quiet. On the day when Jon made a net loss of 15 he went a bit mad. The only customer to grace the shop all day wished to return an unwanted birthday present. Swirling images of decapitation for the hapless customer were thankfully replaced with the far more creative and less life-threatening dreams of becoming a writer. Given how quiet the shop was, the Internet orders could be taken care of in the morning and Jon had all afternoon to write. The product of all that creative time was Toytopia, and The Blokes Guide To Pregnancy both published in 2003. Smarter Business Start Ups and Web Sites That Work followed, shortly after. Life was so good Lisa and Jon decided to get married.

Lisa and Jon could have stayed in England, continued Toytopia Ltd. and lived happily ever after. But they were expecting again. Mix that hormonal cocktail with too many re-runs of A Place In The Sun and you're playing with fire. Jon goes to Spain to stay with Shane Rhodes of Wrecking Ball Press for a week of writing and ends up buying a house. Three months later Jon, Lisa, Alia and a four-week old Ronin are off for a new life in the Spanish mountains. Sangria, fat cigars, a great climate and Jon has become a full-time writer.

Published writer: Yes

Freelance: Yes


Published works:


  • Web Sites That Work
  • The Bloke's Guide To Pregnancy
  • The Bloke's Guide To Getting Hitched
  • The Bloke's 100 Top Tips For Surviving Pregnancy
  • Smarter Business Start Ups
  • Dominate Your Market with Twitter
  • Get Into Bed With Google
  • The Bloke's Guide to Baby Gadgets
  • The Bloke's Guide to Babies
  • Google Adwords That Work
  • Start An Online Business In Easy Steps
  • Children's Literature

  • Toytopia