I was at the London Book Fair last week - and I'll be blogging about that soon - when the news broke that David Mamet is to self-publish his next book.
His reasons? "Publishing is like Hollywood—nobody ever does the marketing they promise."
While I think it's great that someone as high-profile as David Mamet is self-publishing, I was very disappointed to find out the
So, the excitement of my latest KDP promotion is over. No massive results to report – but I did hit NUMBER ONE in Germany!
Thanks to Susanne from the xtme.de website, I had over 100 downloads of Findo Gask from Amazon’s German site on Monday. This got me to #170 in the overall free books listing and #1 in the Action & Adventure category on Amazon.de! Does this mean I can claim to have an international bestseller best freebie now?
Anyway, back to work now. Got to finalise the cover design for The Vault then I can get the presses rolling on the print version.
Today’s images have no particular relevance other than I love Banksy’s art – and was delighted to read that the piece ‘stolen’ from a wall in London (above) has now been withdrawn from sale.
My favourite novel The Tale Of Findo Gask is on promotion via Amazon for the next five days – and I’m waiting to see if the book’s new blurb will have any impact.
Findo was first published – in print – after winning a national UK competition for new authors back in 2005. But the company behind the award went bust not long after and my treasured publishing contract turned into just another piece of scrap paper.
Then ebooks came along and Findo was re-published in December 2011. But – even though it’s been out for longest – it’s the worst-selling of all my novels, both in terms of actual sales and free downloads.
I probably should have stopped to think about this a long time ago but was more fixated – like I suspect most authors are – on the next great ‘Work In Progress’ rather than worrying about petty issues like marketing and publicity.
A few weeks ago I wrote a rant about indie authors who don’t even properly edit their book blurbs. Then I had to come clean and admit in a subsequent post that – although grammatically correct – my blurb for Findo just didn’t ‘sell’ the book.
So now I’m hoping that my more dynamic new blurb will tempt more readers to try Findo. I think it’s a wonderful story – full of excitement and adventure, with a strong dash of romance, all underscored with some biting analysis of modern society and the world in which we live.
I must admit I am a bit biased. But I do wish more people would take the opportunity to see whether I’m also right!
If you want to download a copy, it’s free from today until Monday 25th February. Click on the links below:
A major problem with ebooks occurred to me the other day – not being able to see what other people are reading.
That’s because, as an author, I’ve always dreamt of walking into a cafe, getting on a train, going to an airport etc and seeing a stranger engrossed in reading one of my novels.
But ebooks are so anonymous compared with old fashioned paper and hardbacks. Unless you lean right over the person’s shoulder you’ve no idea if they’re reading War And Peace or 50 Shades Of Whatever. (They could even be reading this blog or doing their shopping.)
Anyway – partly in a bid to one day realise my dream – I’m in the process of putting together the first print edition of The Vault. Today was a bit of a red letter day – I sent off an application to buy 10 ISBN numbers. (For some reason you can only buy a minimum of 10 in the UK.)
When I first published this book (on Kindle) I decided that 50% of any royalties would go to the charity ShelterBox. The ebook version has now been on sale for about a year and sold enough copies that I was able to hand over a donation of £85 the other week. Not a huge sum but it’s a start!
Anyway, I’m hoping that once I’ve got a print version available I might be able to sell a few more copies. Sadly the royalties on print versions are much lower but at least I might spot someone reading the book!
But before I hit ‘print’ I’ve got a few more things to finalise apart from the ISBN numbers. One important thing is the cover. The image above is the cover for the Kindle version but I’m thinking of a new design for the print edition.
Below are three versions of one possible cover. I’d love to get any feedback. How does the new cover compare with the old one? Do you like either of them? Which version of the new one is best?
Please be honest! Any comments welcome.
NB. The image on the ebook cover shows part of the locking mechanism of a vault (so an obvious link), whereas the forest scene is because much of the story is set in an ancient English woodland that’s crucial to the four strands of the story.
A week or so ago I wrote a rant about lazy indie authors who can’t be bothered to proofread their book blurbs properly.
Then, earlier today, I was thinking about whether to set up a new promo for my one award-winning novel, The Tale Of Findo Gask.
And the thing is, Findo is in many ways my favourite out of the books I’ve got published. (I know having favourite children is wrong but I just can’t help it.)
It’s probably got a lot to do with the fact that this was the book that back in 2005 won a national UK contest for new authors and got me – albeit briefly – a real, genuine publishing contract. I got to hold the first print edition of my book as well as see it on the shelves in the local Waterstones book shop and on Amazon.
This, for those of you who don’t remember that far back, was in the era BK (Before Kindle). I’d never even heard of ebooks at this stage and to be able to hold a printed copy of my novel was an emotional moment.
Anyway – to cut a long story short – I’ve always felt very proud of Findo and consequently rather disappointed that it’s also the worst seller out of the four novels I’ve currently got available on Kindle.
So before setting up my promo I had a look at the book’s blurb. Which is when I felt a serious pang of embarrassment. I didn’t see any typos or bad grammar – thankfully there was nothing that bad! But I read it and couldn’t help feeling that the blurb just didn’t live up to the book. I mean, I’m proud of this story – it’s exciting, thought-provoking and emotional but I don’t think anyone would have got that from the blurb.
Anyway – after smacking myself around the ego for my own laziness – I’ve now had another go. I don’t know if I’ve got it right yet but hopefully the new Amazon blurb might convince a few more readers that this is a book worth their time!