My Publishing Journey: Always Learning

I didn’t think I had much to talk about this week until I took a few moments to think. Then I realised how busy I’ve been!

Signing Event

On Saturday I held my first signing event in WHSmith since before the summer break and it was a great success. I sold 13 signed copies plus the manager took seven for the store as the last ones sold so well. It was great to have two books in my series on show and when people told me they only read ebooks I would had out the cards with the QR codes on. Plus when they said zombies weren’t their thing I would hand out the cards for OPERATION DAWN WOLF. I even had an answer for when people said they didn’t read. I offered them a sweet instead!

The event has reignited my enjoyment for being back in the stores, and although I barely break even, it gets me a decent haul of new readers. I’ll start making arrangements to visit the stores I was successful in before then see if I can branch out.

ODW covers!

I received my author copies for the ODW earlier in the week and found there was an issue the red of the cover being nowhere near as vibrant as it had been on the proof. Across the ten copies it varied from a faded red to orange. It looks almost like they were running out of ink! It’s the first time I’ve has this type of issue and I’ll let you know what the outcome is.

I’ve complained and have already received a refund and they don’t want the books back. Once they have confirmed what the issue is, and it’s fixed, I’ll get more ordered. In the meantime I have decided to offer out the paperbacks to people who want to review. I will pay the postage in the UK. If you’re interested just let me know in the comments.

Cover of the month

The AllAuthor cover of the month competition is going well, although I don’t think I’ll be making it through to the final round. I’m at around 37 and I need to be greater than 25 to progress. If you do fancy helping me out then you can vote here.

Sales, Marketing and Advertising

Facebook ads are where I feel I have been the busiest this week, at sometime to the detriment of my writing time unfortunately. I’ll bore you with the detail in a few weeks time but I’ve been recording what have been doing and I currently have seven ads running, having discarded another three. I’m testing loads of aspects including the ad image, the copy, the call to action button, the targeting and the landing pages. So far I’m getting great clicks but converting them to signups has been dire for all but one set of targets!

Here’s a sneak peak of one of the ads and my favourite landing page so far.

In other marketing efforts, I have made the decision to update SURVIVOR with more calls to action and then put the ebook as free on Amazon. Currently it is free exclusively to those on my mailing list (available to purchase on Amazon) but I think this is another possible avenue to drive sales and attention my writing. I’ve added it to my list of tasks and hopefully I can get it ready for early next year. I will also be producing and trying out a black and white version of the book. Production is simple but I want to see how it works inside before I proceed. I can then offer the book at a significantly reduced cost!

He’s a banner I now have on my website homepage and on my email. The link works if you did want a copy!

ODW review

I received a lovely email from someone who read the book in one sitting and she left me a wonderful review on and I’ve been using it already on my advertising! I wrote back and thanked her, telling her that kind of feedback keeps me writing!

There’s a few more reviews coming my way too so it’s looking like some people are enjoying the book.

News in Brief

I’m having to ramp up the FATE’S AMBITION proof read as time is passing by very quickly and I need to get the book out to ARC readers for 7th Jan. It might just have to take up some of my writing time. I’m yet to decide if I’m going to put FATE’S AMBITION onto Kindle Select or not.

Writing Progress – After drafting three acts and having written around 80,000 words, this week I have produced a detailed outline for the final act and finally I think AFTER THE END has found its mojo. The story now has a proper theme and ending, so I can now work through the book and update the writing to bring it out, rather than it just being a deadly race across England. I now have proper emotional drives and desires for each of the characters, apart from their preference not to be dead!

Updated Release Schedule – With the release of the first in the Agent Carrie Harris series (OPERATION DAWN WOLF) last week and the first in the James Fisher series (FATE’S AMBITION) on 7th February 2020, I have decided that the release of the rest of the books in each of the series should alternate. I have therefore decided the next release, maybe May / June time, will be LESSON LEARNT, the second in the Agent Carrie Harris. I’m really looking forward to working on this as it is my favourite series and the one I will probably write more novels for next. However I need to discipline myself to have a decent draft of AFTER THE END before I start serious work on the next project! I can see myself having to take days off work to make sure it is ready in time.

A friend in the US has mentioned I might want to think about updating the title as they use LEARNED instead of LEARNT. Both work in the UK so I think the update is a no brainer but I’ll do some research first.

Here’s a sneak peek of the cover mockup I’ll be handing over to my designer in the coming months, now with both variations of the word!

I’ve also uploaded OPW to most of my wide marketplaces (Google Play, Smashwords and Kobo) but not Apple Books as I’m not looking forward to that process!

That really is it for me for now and I’ll be back with an update in the new year! Happy holidays to you all! I’m off to get some rest, or do more work probably!

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