My Publishing Journey: Big News!

It’s been two weeks since my last update so please forgive the length of this one. I have a lot to cram in, including some news I’m bursting to share with you!

Marketing & Promotion

I’ve been flirting with AMS (Amazon Advertising through KDP in the US) to see how effective the ads would be now a I have a few more reviews. The results were not terrible, but were difficult to properly analyse. I’ve come to the conclusion that although I sold only one book, I sold six audiobooks in one day on the back of the advert. However the reporting does not connect audiobook sales to the advertising. I’ve now switched the ad off again as the sales rush didn’t continue.

Staines Market Stall After Action Report

On Saturday 6th July I hosted a book signing event on a market stall in the high street of Staines Upon Thames. This was the first stall I’d paid for directly so I was keen to see if it made economic sense. On arrival the market manager put us right in front of the Waterstones which would have been a great spot if Waterstones was a big draw to customers. To my surprise it wasn’t.

The highlights of the day were spending time with fellow authors Suzanne Rogerson and Laura Laakso, who I met for the first time, plus her extremely well behaved dogs who we can credit at least a couple of sales to!

We managed to sell some books and collect subscribers for our mailing lists, I also met four people who bought IN THE END during my Staines WHSmith signing event a few months earlier. Each of them gave it high praise and I blushed in the appropriate moments. What a wonderful feeling that was!

In summary I made a small loss on the day, but I’m happy with the experience and we’ll be doing something again later in the year. I think I might have saturated the Staines zombie book market!

I think I can put down an audiobook sale and kindle book sale after the event down to promises made at the stall. I’m going to be researching using BookFunnel to enable me to sell kindle books on the stall. If you’re not aware, then the service allows you to produce cards with one-off codes for which customer pay you directly on the day and then they download the book using the link and code at their convenience. So many people promise to buy on kindle at the time but it’s difficult to know if they’ve had second thoughts when they get home, or just forget.

My next event will be a table at Hastings LitFest by the sea in late August, where Suzanne has also managed to grab the last table!

News in Brief

  • My mailing list went past the 500 subscribers point last week! I have a few people on the list I have to cull but I won’t do that until it leaves me with 500 still!
  • The Kobo Independence day sales netted precisely zero sales and sales from the other platforms are very poor. I will be keen to see how these platforms work when I start heavily promoting IN THE END @ 99p/99c in the run up to release of BEFORE THE END.

Adventure on The River

If you read my last post or follow me on social media (facebook / twitter / instagram) you would know I took a break from the updates because I was away with friends canoeing the River Wye. We had an amazing time and I can use some of my experience in Volume 2 of Survivor. Here’s a few photos of the beautiful scenery and a few of the highlights, including a moment when I really should have been wearing my life vest properly!

Writing Progress

This is much as last week. I’m writing Book 3 still, about half way through the second act whilst I wait for the beta read of BEFORE THE END to complete. Not much progress on SURVIVOR Volume 2, other than the above amazing experience. I wonder if it is tax deductible 🙂

My Big News

After chatting with Laura at the Staines event last week, she was the latest in a long line of people who asked me if I would ever release the first six books I’d written before IN THE END. My stock answer was probably not, then after mulling the idea for a couple of days I decided to never say never and that I would put the question and my answer to bed once and for all.

I had after all worked on these books long before I’d ever thought independent publishing was ever going to be a ‘real’ possibility.

I made a commitment with myself to re-read each of the six books and then make a decision. After getting the first three printed via KDP into one paperback for ease of reading and then reading the first few pages of the first book, I’d already come to the conclusion that I definitely would release the books and I’d get on with doing it sooner rather than later.

So here I am and I’m halfway through the 1st book, currently titled CONSEQUENCES, but I think that will change. I’m loving the story and I think it’s really solid. I have a tangible excitement running through me as I read the pages.

I wrote this book in 2012 and re-wrote it ten times, finally laying it to rest in 2016, whilst in the meantime writing another five. I spent a lot of money on three rounds of literary consultancy / development advice so it’s had a great deal of investment put into it.

I’ve learnt so much since 2016 when I last looked at it and it’s going to need a decent copy-edit by myself, updating the paragraphs, using the characters names more instead of the repetitive he / she, I’ll then have it professionally edited and a cover designed and it will be pushed out to the world.

The first book (CONSEQUENCES) follows the protagonist James Fisher who has been hiding away from life following the brutal murder of his parents. He blames himself for not doing more to help them as through his touch he has an unnatural ability to make people believe what he says. The story follows his journey in coming to terms with his talent in an action packed adventure as he tries to find his friend who goes missing on a night out with him.

The journey leads him to work with an agent (Agent Carrie Harris, a driven and beautiful redhead) from a shadowy government organisation charged with protecting the country.

The second and third books continue the journey as they uncover a world where more than just James has uncanny abilities!

The fourth book is about Agent Harris’s journey into the government agency (this has also been worked on through a literary consultancy) and the fifth and sixth are about her first few cases. I will need to tone these down as with books five and six I thought I’d try my hand at erotica. Some of the scenes won’t be suitable for a wide audience! Maybe I’ll release the explicit versions afterwards!

I need to make a decision whether to edit these as YA or Adult fiction as I have been told they straddle a fine line with both (without the erotic sections of course). We’ll have to wait and see.

All this said, I’m desperately trying not to take away from my IN THE END series but I have set myself a target of being a published author of eight books within the next two years. Not sure why I put so much pressure on myself!

It certainly will be nice to say that I don’t just write about zombies and preparing for the apocalypse!

I will of course be recruiting beta-readers and ARC readers if anyone is interested.

That’s it for me for now. I have two interviews in the bag and I’ll be bringing the latest to you next Monday. Have a great weekend and I look forward to any comments or questions.

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