Allan first started publishing books when the principal at the school one of his daughters attended heard that Allan had been a magazine editor and knew a bit about publishing.
He asked Allan to publish for him some children's non-fiction books he'd written.
He was a minor celebrity in the field as he'd already had many children's books published by big publishing companies. But he hadn't received much money from it.
So Allan agreed to give it a try and ended up publishing about 20 successful books for him.
Successful for him, compared to publishing via a big publisher, but Allan received virtually nothing for his work.
But "Hmmmm", Allan thought. "I could write as well as him".
And that's where it started
When Allan started off publishing his own books for children, he was lucky to pick the best subjects to write about.
Allan wrote and published a series of books on the nations of the Pacific at a time when children's books about these nations were few and far between. Included in the series were books on countries such as Fiji, Samoa, Tuvalu, Tonga, The Solomon Islands, The Cook Islands, and one on the Pacific Ocean itself.
This was a popular series and at one time, every New Zealand school had them in their library.
New Zealand has a very complicated electoral system that is called the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) system.
Because it is so complicated, most adults, let alone school pupils, don't understand much about it.
So Allan saw the need, and wrote this book as part of a four book set on Parliament itself, how it works and a dictionary of Parliamentary terms,
Because the MMP book explains the system in a simple way, it was (and still is) a very popular book in New Zealand school libraries.
Allan also wrote a series on Famous New Zealanders.
One interesting thing was that Allan approached each famous person for background while writing these books and the then Prime Minister Helen Clark, and world champion squash star Susan Devoy went out of their way to supply information for him. But Peter Jackson basically indicated Allan could go get stuffed. (Another, adult's biography came out on Peter Jackson not long after Allan's book was published. Perhaps Mr Jackson didn't think a kid's book was important enough to supply information for,)
Included in the series was a book each on Helen Clark, Peter Jackson, Helen Devoy, and the late Sir Peter Blake.
In Masterton, where Allan lives, there is a Hot Air Balloon Festival every year.
So Allan wrote and published this book to fill a hole in the local market.
Actually, Allan was thinking of buying a hot air balloon but it's a bit up in the air at the moment.
And, two nationally-known hot air balloonists live in the area amidst rumours that their marriage is a sham. Papparazzi hound them everywhere in the hope of getting a photograph of them falling out.
A major factor in the weather in New Zealand are the El Nino weather patterns.
As the editor of the international magazine published in New Zealand "Soil & Water" Allan had written a lot on this sort of subject.
And since El Nino is such an important part in New Zealand life, Allan wrote and published a book, aimed at a readership age of about 13 on the subject.
Other People's Books
Allan also published a few non-fiction books by other authors, but since he didn't have particularly big marketing network, they weren't particularly successful.
Allan must be good at choosing authors though. He published this story by Dawn McMillan, It was the first story she had ever had published.
Called A Weta On The Curtain it's a delightful story but Allan didn't have the marketing push to make it successful.
However, on the strength of the fact that one of her books had been published (by Allan), a big publishing company published another of her stories and she has gone on from there to become one of the most sucessful children's authors in New Zealand.
A less than successful publishing exercise was the Farms in New Zealand series, a series Allan thought would sell since New Zealand is a farming nation.
He was wrong.
Having written lots of books for children, Allan decided that it was time to write something for adults.
Allan's book, "The Diary Of A Dating Site Bachelor" received great reviews and people keep remarking about how his adveture with the mink blanket and the washing machine detailed in the book had them in stitches simply because they had been there, done that.
This book resulted from Allan deciding it was time that there was a funny reference book published.
And in this time of tourists and tourism, what better book to publish than a guide to Kiwi slang?
An amusing event involving this book occurred when the Eketahuna Vistitors Centre decided to stock the book for sale.
This decision was made simply because the word Kiwi was in the title - Eketahuna is the New Zealand town of the Kiwi.
Unfortunately, a little old lady volunteer at the Centre decided to read the book at a slow time and was aghast. The younger ones at the Center thought the book was funny. But the political correctness mentioned in the book title took over and the Centre stopped selling the book, because it was "too naughty".
Having meditated for more than 40 years, Allan often gets asked by friends about the benefits and techniques of meditating.
To save a long and complicated explantion, Allan wrote this book to solve that problem.