Free Books For The Self-Isolated

I haven’t been doing a lot to market my book, but now I’m going to step up to offer it free. Several authors are doing this and Smashwords has organized a ‘sale event’ to make it easy for readers to find us.

So now’s your chance. Head over to Smashwords and grab A Spark of Justice while it’s free!


What have you got to lose?


I don’t believe any author who says they don’t read reviews of their books.

Having expressed my scepticism on that, I’ve actually neglected to look at reviews on Amazon for quite a while. Life’s distractions just took my mind off of it.

Imagine my joy when I had a look today and found twelve reviews on A Spark of Justice! I know it’s not the hundreds that some well-known books get, but after giving away review copies and allowing my publisher to put it up on the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program, the lack of reviews that showed up for quite a while became discouraging. So, it seems that it just takes time.

Even better, the reviews were generally positive! There was one three star review that pointed out where there was room for improvement, but mostly four and five star reviews. This one was very long and detailed. It really made my day!

So, while I will always strive to make my future stories better and take on board any comments that have appeared in reviews, I’m pleased with the reception A Spark of Justice has got so far. The question is, how shall I go about sharing it with more readers?

Well, the most effective way seems to be to put it on sale. So, A Spark of Justice will be reduced to 0.99 in the US and UK from November 3rd to November 6th. A full weekend to grab your copy of an entertaining circus mystery! Why do I say it’s entertaining when I can’t possibly be objective? Because I have it on the best authority; the readers who have generously taken the time to write their opinions on Amazon. To all of you, I say Thank-You!

More big cat adventures are to come soon. Stick with me, I want to take the time to make it as good as it can be.

KDP Select

So, I’ve been experimenting with KDP Select to see what Amazon’s tools can do. It seems that Kindle Unlimited reads can be worthwhile. The exclusivity is a pain and I almost opted out this round, but I think one Christmas season is in order to make a complete experiment of it.

Front200Of course I’m not that visible yet due to only having one book out. I wish I had all day every day to write because I’m constantly running aspects of my next stories through my head and time to write it all down is competing with making a living. Work slavery is a big challenge to the newer writer.

I’m not complaining though. I have the same advantages as anyone else in the Western world. I just have to keep plodding along and get the writing done. The multiple layers of the next story take longer to write and I want to make it good.

If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, please do give A Spark of Justice a read. It’s a fun story, I promise! Then imagine a darker story done ten times better and watch for my next release to come out. It may not be fast, but it will be my best effort to date. I want it to stick in the minds of you, the readers. The first one was my own self-indulgence. This one is for you!

Another Sale

Well, I’ve left myself totally unprepared this time, but there’s another sale this weekend.

The price will stay down through Monday, then I will be reassessing whether to stay exclusive with Amazon or move on to wider distribution. I’ve heard a lot of authors join KDP Select for a while with new releases and then take them out of the program and offer it in other formats and with other retailers. It sounds like a sensible plan.

I’m still slowly working on the next book. It seems to take a long time, but most authors with only a book or two behind them have to work a day job.

Writing is not a profession that offers an easy ride. Making enough money to give up gainful employment takes a lot of output and more time spent on marketing than I’ve managed so far. I should have had this weekend sale listed weeks ago!

The irony is that I could happily sit down and read this book myself this weekend. It’s just the sort of light entertainment that could take a man’s mind off some of the awful stuff happening in the world.

I’m Not Dead

Seriously, I’ve been busy.

However, things are happening. Sabertooth is coming along and I’ve got a sale coming up for A Spark of Justice.

Just in time for May Day! Look for a .99 sale from 28 April to 2 May.

Christmas and all that jazz

Christmas is coming! Books make great presents, need I say more?

Well, yes. All the commercialism and sales gets to me every year and having just finished spending far too much time promoting over Black Friday and CyberMonday, I’m looking forward to getting back to writing. It’s all very well promoting a book, but what a writer really enjoys doing is writing the next book, and I’m very pleased with how this one has been coming along! It does happen far too slowly though. Wouldn’t it be great if all a writer had to do was write?

A single book does not a career make. Writers who make a living from writing have to work around day jobs to get a few books out before sales can justify doing it full time. I’m not complaining. I’ll pay my dues like the rest. However, having indulged the market over the big sale weekend, I’m now going to ignore all the hype and get some work done while everyone else competes for your Christmas dollars. I’ll do a Winter sale in February maybe, when everyone else has exhausted their KDP sale days over the holidays.

sabertooth150I’m far enough along now to start talking about my next release a little. It’s called Sabertooth. It would make a great Christmas book in the same way that Gremlins makes a great Christmas movie, but it won’t be out this Christmas. Quality over speed. By Christmas 2017, it will hopefully be in all formats including audiobook, but the release should be well before then. I’m not speculating dates yet. The process of editing and rewrites takes time.

In the meantime, I’ve just agreed to have a few copies of A Spark of Justice released on the LibraryThing early reviewer program. If you’re signed up on LibraryThing, get your request in! Who doesn’t love a trip to the circus?


Black Friday and Cyber Monday

November is upon us and all the holiday sales are approaching quickly!

So, in getting with the spirit of things, A Spark of Justice will be on sale for just .99 through the weekend of 25 November to 28 November.

Front200  sample1

If you haven’t read it yet, grab it now! I’ll have something new for you in the new year.

The Marketing Monster

One thing that is pretty universal among writers is that we despise marketing.

As if it weren’t challenging enough to find time to write while holding a day job, taking care of a family and carving out some sort of writing routine, we are faced with the prospect of total obscurity if we can’t also make time to push our creative ideas onto an already jaded and glutted public who get bombarded with marketing messages at every turn.

Like my writing, my marketing comes in spurts. I’ve just added a header to my Twitter account after receiving some very good advice from a reviewer and I’ve started ticking other things off a list of suggestions she very generously gave to me.

However, like many other writers, I cringe at the prospect of foisting my scribbles onto a oversubscribed and sometimes hostile public. I’ve been fortunate to find my first book generally well received and I have confidence that the next one will be a vast improvement, but to stand up and shout my praises is not something that sits naturally.

I’d love to sit back and let the books speak for themselves, but if I do that, no one will ever know of them. So, I will take this good advice and make an effort to polish up my ‘author platform’ and do my best to participate more on social media.

It could be a long road.

Guest Posting

I’ve just finished a first draft of a guest post for a Mysteries Monday feature on someone else’s blog. This will be coming out on 6th June and I’ll link to it then.

So why write guest posts when my own blog is getting infrequent attention? Well, to be honest, I haven’t developed the blogging habit yet. Finding time to write is difficult enough, adding blogging and social media to an already busy schedule can be daunting to those of us who haven’t yet achieved full time writer status.

However, I’m starting to make an effort. By agreeing to guest posts, I set myself a deadline and someone relying on me to deliver. I’m big on keeping promises.

I’m told that I should try to privide new posts for my own blog at least once a month. I’m going to try to attain this. It doesn’t sound like a lot of commitment when you put it that way.

In the meantime, the occasional guest post will help keep me aware of this aspect of the writer’s journey when it’s so easy to forget. This will be my second guest post. I’m purposely not committing to more than one at a time so I don’t over pressure myself.

Meanwhile, just in case I forget, A Spark of Justice will next be on sale for May Day weekend. If you haven’t got it yet, now is your chance to grab it at rock bottom price!