Wednesday, 31 October 2012


300,000. That's not the number of books that I have sold, that is the ranking my novel is currently sitting on the Amazon website.

It's very daunting, and somewhat depressing to see a number like that. I know that in the month that I published my first novel, 10,000 more books were self-published by authors trying to have a go at writing.

I have joined forums, I am doing social media, and I lurk on writer's blog that all say the same thing. Writing is a long hard game. And most say, don't expect to make a living from it.

I listen to a lot of things — but I refuse to 'hear' that.

In a bit over two years my wife will finish her Ph.D. in literature. At that point, if I have not been able to make reasonable money from this writing gig — then I will have to do the unspeakable. I will have to go and get a job.

That threat to my lifestyle is motivation enough for me to work as hard as I possibly can and get as many books as I can in the time period that I have left. I believe that three a year is possible; maybe even four (once my little girl gets into pre-school).

I have an endgame. And the timer is ticking down.

The good thing about this blog is that I will be able to look back at it in years to come and see if I was right.

So future self — did I make it?

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

New Version 1.01

After some great feedback I decided to make some changes to the novel and remove references to children begin used as 'sacrifices' that seemed to be the sticking point for people.

My intention was to invoke an emotive response from my readers and so they could identify with Cloudy's new role. The effect worked, but in a way that was detrimental to the rest of the story. Ah, the wisdom of hindsight. It has also shown the importance of Beta Reader in this process.

There is still violence and blood sacrifice to demons, it's just the the victims are now over the age of eighteen. A far more suitable age to have a blade raked across your throat it seems....

So if you bought a copy before, email me and I will be happy to send you the revised Ver 1.01.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Price Point

I have joined a couple of forums where writers of eBooks hang out. It is inspiring. It is depressing. The path I have set out on is not going to be easy. There is a lot to learn – especially about the business end. The pointy end. Publishing.

After reading a dozen excellent debates and looking to experienced writers for advice, I have decided to set my novel’s price to the seemingly acceptable price point of $2.99.

Ultimately, I just want people to read my work. The research conducted by some established authors shows that people are willing to pay $0.99 for a short, $1.99 for a novella and $2.99 for a full-length novel.

So, if that price point is right for you, let me know. Perhaps I will find out by looking at the numbers. I’ll let you know what happens.


I spent some time rewriting my book description to make it more edgier and intriguing. Enough to tempt people to just take a look inside and see if they like my ‘voice’? Only time will tell.

It’s come up pretty well.

In fact, if I didn’t write it, and hadn’t already read it a gazillion times during the editing process – I’m pretty sure I'd buy it!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Destinations of the Imaginaut

Imagin•aut    [Im-ahg-in-oort]

- an adventurer who travels to the inner realms of one’s own thoughts and dreams or the like.

In the process of world building for a story, you must become an Imaginaut. You explore the wild creations and vivid imagery created within your own mind. It is limitless and has no boundaries or constraints. Anything is possible.

You stop to admire the flowing forms in the perceived reality of the ultra-world. With a whim it changes, it adapts, it morphs into the shape molded by desire. Then, you solidify what feels right.

Yes, that is what I want it to be. That is the way is must be for this to work.

The fuzzy sketch becomes outline and from its conception, foundation is born; a sturdy place to build upon. More ideas flow, which add color and detail to the construct. Suddenly all the senses become entertained. New sounds are heard, strange texture felt and exotic tastes tantalized... and soon after that, emotion follows.

The world manifests and it becomes real.

As an adventurer, the Imaginaut explores the new world; astonished at the breathtaking beauty and wonder of the detailed creation. However, like all great things that stand tall in the brightest light, there are shadows. The Imaginaut perceives the darkness and feels compelled to investigate. How deep can the can darkness go? How far do we dare venture into these places?

We know what we encounter it is NOT real. It is only imagination. It is only thought, explored.

The question for the Imaginaut is - Do you risk bringing back what you have seen? 

Sunday, 7 October 2012


It is inevitable. You cannot please everyone, nor should you want to.

The Elemental Cloudy is a story about a young man who hunts demons (though I have termed them the Ethrane). These demons are malignant and vile creatures and they feed on the life force energy of humans. The Ethrane have servants on the Earth that entice them into the world through blood sacrifice.

There are scenes in the novel that some readers may consider offensive. That was my specific intention. I make no apologies for that. The imagery portrayed is written in such a way as to build emotion in the reader to ‘feel’ what Cloudy felt when he was witnessing such atrocities. Utter contempt and aversion towards the beasts that rise from the foul dominion. I felt the need to create a realistic motivation for Cloudy. I could not think of a better motivation that would drive me to become ... what he becomes.

In general, what is offensive is purely subjective. Used in context, we see it daily throughout our lives to bring attention to that which we do not normally think about; or want to think about.  

This series of novels in The Final Insurrection does not dwell on the terrible things done by the demons, but on the characters that resist their influence. The war against the Ethrane is nasty business. They are not ‘fluffy bunnies’, and neither are the people who fight against them.

I just thought you might want to be aware of that. 

Friday, 5 October 2012

The long game

I have had seven(7) sales now. I know they are mostly family and friends supporting my venture. Many thanks to you all; it makes me feel good. I am a published author now. Those sales make me a professional; albeit that I have made more money in five minutes washing dishes in a restaurant.

I know that Indie publishing is a long process. The race is a marathon; it is a journey of a lifetime. There is no real marketing I can do that will make me stand out of the crowd. I am in the ‘noise’, and with just the one title, that is where I will remain unless extraordinary luck changes my fate.

The 1st novel is the planted seed. If you have ever plant a seed, you will know that it takes time to germinate. It has to have the right conditions; it has to be in the right place to grow. Once the little emergent seedling breaks through the soil, it sits there for such a long time. Doing nothing. Well, we cannot see it doing anything, but I am sure beneath the surface a lot is going on. Roots are spreading; seeking water and nutrients vital for growth.

However, for the longest time, seedlings just do nothing... much.

You cannot rush them. If you water them too much, they die. Too much sunlight, they die. Too much plant food, they die. The seedlings need to be left alone and given time to do their thing. But, eventually they do begin to grow. Every new leaf becomes a new power source, a collector of energy from the radiate sunshine; and then growth becomes exponential.

Novels planted in the ‘noise’ of the Amazon eBook lists are like the seeds. A farmer does not stop to watch the single plant. Hoping and waiting; expecting all the bounty from his harvest to come from the one source. They plant many, and they plant different types to cater for the various demands of consumers.

The Indie author has to keep planting. Drop the seeds into the potentially fertile ground and keep moving. Of course, you have to do the best you can to give the seedling the best start. The seeds have to have come from sturdy stock, a good quality variety that will produce a result that will be appetizing to the consumer. You cannot pick it too early, or try to disguise any blemishes. The savvy consumer will always know. You might as well spend the time producing the best quality rather than wasting time marketing a bad one.

I imagine that being an Indie author, my chosen career path, is NOT for the impatient. Neither is farming crops. So how do I keep going, after seeing only 7 sales? How can I be expected to keep churning out the books, that take so much of my time and effort for such little return?

Because eBooks are forever. My children will benefit from what I do today. It’s a long game. I’m happy to play this one because I have confidence from knowing the universal truth – it is from the little things, that big things grow.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Day One

Well I have two sales. Woohoo.

$4.99 x 2 = $9.98

-30% Amazon cut 

Total: $6.99

Estimated time to write, edit and format: 300 hours. (not including the 40+ hours for other eyes)

Hourly rate to date:  $0.0233 per hour. That is seriously odd when you look at it like that. Talk about a labor of love. Got to get that production time down to 200 hours. Then I'll be making the big money.

My novel is currently sitting in the Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,687 Paid in Kindle Store

I am officially buried deep within the 'noise'.

But you know what?        I'm there.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Uploaded to KDP

Well, well, well.

It's done. I have just pressed the "Upload and publish to KDP" button.

The novel is "in review" within the Amazon system for about 24 hours and then it will be available for download.

It's kind of surreal. Anyway, just thought you'd want to know. Better get onto book two I guess.


I have just checked my Amazon KDP account and the novel has moved from a "In Review" status to "Publishing". Apparently there will be another 12 hour delay before it actually becomes available for purchase.  


It is up on UK site. The US site is playing 'funnies', but it should be up in the next 12 hours.

Pretty cool!


It is now available on the US Amazon Site.