Writer’s Blog: Stardate: 03.10.2013
This week I had an unusual icon appear on my blog’s message notification bar. On further investigation I discovered a note from WordPress saying: Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com. Has it really been a year? I asked myself. Yes, it has. Sixty seven blog posts (not including this one) which, for those readers with something of a mental blockage where mathematical equations are concerned, is an average of over one a week. (1.288461538 and lots of other digits that I can’t be bothered to type to be precise). So what? I hear shouted from cyber space. So what? It’s a milestone, that’s what.
My Acer Sansom books have been on Amazon for just over three weeks now – how time flies. It seems like only yesterday I was anxiously fumbling with the keyboard, like some green midwife delivering her first baby, trying to make sure I brought my twins into the world without a hitch. I wonder if any other self-publisher gives themselves a really pulse-racing, heart-thumping time over putting books on Amazon (Is that the right file? Is it the right edition of the right book? Did I choose the right image for the cover? What the hell does DRM mean and is it important to me? Should I click the box to be on the safe side?)
At time of typing, both books are doing reasonably well: Dirty Business is sitting at number twenty-nine in the Kindle Store>Books>Fiction>Action Adventure chart and Loose Ends is at number forty-nine. Encouraging. It really is something special to see one’s book in a chart sandwiched between Patricia Cornwell and Robert Harris, even if they are charging pounds for theirs and mine is virtually being given away. Incidentally, it’s worth mentioning that I started out with Dirty Business in the thriller category but when I saw that Loose Ends had made it into a chart I enrolled Dirty Business in the same chart to get more exposure. It’s all about exposure as Cartier-Bresson used to quip. I’ve had a couple of good comments on both books, too.
One thing I can report to myself this week with the confidence of statistical evidence to back me up is that the Romney and Marsh Files are selling quite well since the promotion day I had a week or so ago. (That’s always going to be a relative thing and I mean relative to recent sales not some blockbuster by Dan Brownstain.) Both books that I’m charging for have lurched back up the police procedural charts with all the elegance and grace of DC Grimes in hot foot-pursuit of a Dover toe-rag. Making a Killing was knocking on the door of the top twenty for a couple of days. However, no one answered and the door remains firmly shut.
I’m nearly fifty-thousand words into the fourth Romney and Marsh title. When I can find the time and the energy to have a good crack at it it moves along well, I think. But work and life are proving particularly demanding at the moment and time is just what I seem to have too little of. That and energy. I think I’m getting old. Crap.
It’s not easy writing a book, you know, when you’ve got a full-time job and other calls on your time. The further you get into it, the more you must keep on top of it. Leave it for a couple of days and you’re going to start forgetting stuff, losing threads. And then you’re going to have to have a big re-read-refresher, which can get quite annoying after a couple. Keeping notes just isn’t the same, I find. Writing is all about the mood. And all I’m in the mood for right now is bed and a good book.
PS ‘Life is full of mysteries, and whether you’re working with a traditional publisher or you are an artisanal publisher (a.k.a., “self-publisher”), the potency of your marketing platform can determine your success.’ Guy Kawasaki, Advisor at Motorola Mobility. (I prefer self-publisher, thanks, Guy. I don’t find much to commend the term ‘artisanal’ for something I’m making my life’s work.)