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.

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?


My First Mystery Novel

My first Mystery novel goes up on Amazon today. I’m not making a lot of noise about it yet because I want to wait for the 30 days on KDP Select and then do an introductory promotion.

Front200A fatal accident at the circus sparks an insurance investigation that leads John Nieves, a former New York cop, to a list of murder suspects. It seems that The Great Rollo, beloved of millions, had enemies… both at the circus and among his own family. All that is surreal and magical about the circus brings out Nieves’ deepest fears, blinding him to the very real danger that is closer at hand. A bizarre series of revelations and coincidences keep Nieves’ suspicions of the circus people high, even after the actual evidence suggests that the incident really was only an unfortunate accident. The furtive actions of Rollo’s wife and brother, the beneficiaries of his insurance, lead Nieves into even dirtier family secrets. Apparent attempts on his life from all quarters threaten Nieves, but he refuses to drop the case until the whole truth of who killed The Great Rollo is revealed.