It’s a book!

Smoke and Mirrors 0602 (Medium)

It’s a book!

Name: Smoke and Mirrors

DOB: 18th December 2014

Gender: Mixed

Weight: I think it was worth it.

Should be live on Amazon sometime tomorrow.

Copies will be free to download on Christmas Day. I’d love to think that my regulars will help themselves then, but please remember that Amazon’s Christmas Day starts later than GMT. (Last time I advertised a free give-away the price didn’t drop to £0.00/$0.00 until sometime in the morning. It all got a bit tense.)

Work smarter not harder.

There goes another week of my lives – my real life and my second, authorial life. Even though I’ve extended my ‘waking’ week by ten hours compared to last year, my lives seem to be flying by quicker than ever.

I remember being concerned that the new job would take its toll on my second life, my writing life. It’s not turned out that way, yet. I’m still managing to get a couple of hours a day in front of the computer. Something I hadn’t factored into this year is my son starting Kindergarten full time. He’s not getting the lunch sleep he was and his new routines are obviously taking it out of him. Consequently, he’s usually sparko by eight instead of last year’s half-nine, which means I get to slump at the writing table that much earlier.

This week, I’ve been working on Booker and Cash #2. I’ve read the ‘finished’ first draft through twice making alterations as I go. All I ever want from the books I write in each of my three series is that each subsequent title is considered a worthy addition to that series by readers who’ve enjoyed them. I think that B&C #2 meets that success criterion.

Started and quit three more ebooks this week on the commute and was reminded of last week’s reading lesson for me as a writer. Each was a freebie for a few days as the author or his/her agents did some promotional work. Each is by an author with either their own tame agent/publisher, a load of great reviews on Amazon and high chart places for other books of theirs, or both.

I’ve only read two authors lately who’ve sucked me into their stories from the first pages. Neither author would claim to write erudite prose, I’m guessing, but both of them have a writing style that is so easy to read. And they write engaging stories, of course, which is surely what it’s all about.

Work threw up something this week that has me a little excited. We had four brand new table-tennis tables delivered. I last seriously picked up a bat over twenty five years ago. I used to play a lot. When I was a junior I represented Kent. (Only once and I lost both my games, but I literally got the T-shirt). So I toured the academic departments today looking for anyone who reckoned they could play a bit. I want to get back into it. And it turns out that one of the men in the PE department was representing Turkey internationally only five years ago. He’s promised to take it easy on me.

Now, I’m going to try something. I wonder how it will turn out. It’s really only for my own amusement, so you might as well go and get on with something important, if you haven’t already done so.

Today is a pivotal day in the history of the UK. I’m going to make it a significant date for me too. I’ve mentioned before that I’m going to try writing in another direction – something that is not a crime novel. I haven’t written a word of it yet, but I’ve been giving it some thought and I’ve done some research. I’m going to start it this evening because the date has a special significance. What will tickle me greatly is that if I manage to finish the project I will be able to say quite truthfully that I wrote the first sentence, thereby getting the project under way, on the 18th Septemeber, 2014.

And here it is, provisionally and for posterity.

‘Will someone please tell me exactly how the fuck that happened?’

(It amuses me that I’m killing two birds with one stone here: I’m writing my next book and I’m churning out another blog post. Work smarter not harder.)

The Moyes Effect. (Think butterflies without wings.)

 

Writer’s diary: stardate: 25.04.2014

Perhaps, a bit like voting Labour in the last couple of elections expecting change – scratch away the thin veneer of sun-blistered, faded red, they’re just a lighter shade of blue – my hope is false, but I like to think of the Kindle Top 100 Free chart as the promised land for an author, like me, to wake up in.

I like to think that everyone who owns an ereader, whether it’s new or they’ve had it for years, still trawls the Kindle Top 100 Free chart from time to time for something for nothing. I like to think that it’s basic human nature. (It should be noted, for the record, that I also like to think that there are fairies at the bottom of my garden, that Elvis runs a simit stall in Istanbul and that one day Ronnie Corbett will call to enquire after the film rights to my Acer Sansom novels – think TC & JR.)

I have prayed and promoted and blogged and tweeted and accosted people on public transport and sacrificed chickens and been nice to children (probably the hardest of the lot) in my quest to see the first R&M File, Rope Enough, make Amazon’s Top 100 Free chart. This week after months of yo-yoing around the cusp the book made it. And all I had to do was follow some good advice, click a few buttons on my laptop and send Amazon a message.

My message was only slightly more complicated than: ‘Dear Amazon, please put my book in the Top 100 Free chart.’ But only just. The good advice came from a gentleman called: David Gaughran. See it regurgitated on another website here:

http://www.selfpublishingadvice.org/self-publishers-use-amazon-categories-to-drive-more-sales-50-ways-to-reach-your-reader-10/

So I followed that good advice. Amazon responded quickly, sending me a message that they would implement my category change request and it would be live within seventy-two hours. Sit back and wait. As is my usual experience with Amazon the reality of the changes was a lot sooner. On Amazon.co.uk all was well and overnight Rope Enough found itself at #2 in the chart Kindle Store > Books > Crime, Thriller & Mystery > Crime Fiction > British & Irish > English This leap-frogged it up the slush pile (surely, ranks of overlooked, talented authors in waiting? Ed.) to #49 in the Top 100 Free chart. I managed half a cartwheel in the lounge before colliding with the dining table, knocking my future-ex-wife’s floral display over and smashing that ‘collectors’ vase she bought from Disneyland. (When I say cartwheel I must confess to catching a glimpse of myself in the floor-to-ceiling living room mirror as I got halfway through my impromptu acrobatics. Granted, I was upside down but I could have been looking at a crippled, midget hunchback falling out of a low tree in a dressing gown. Poetry in motion it wasn’t.)

I thought that surely the floodgates would be thrown open and a flock of free downloads would explode out of my portal (?) like last night’s chicken vindaloo comes out of my…curiosity to experiment with spicy food. Maybe one out of ten of those who grabbed a copy would actually read the book. Maybe one out of that ten would actually enjoy it. Maybe one out of that ten would be persuaded to download the second in the series. Maths never was my strong point, but the possibilities of that equation made me want cake and quickly. I was having a blood sugar episode.

Within two days the book had slipped into the late eighties, a bit like how my haircut invariably ends up looking when I go to that cheap barber next to the vets in Kadikoy.

TIME OUT:

Istanbul anecdote alert. (I’ll try to tell it quickly.)

Two weeks ago I went to the cut-rate barbers next to the vets in Kadikoy. It costs 9TL (@£2.50) for a SB&S. (I love a bargain. Mind you, what I save there I usually end up spending on cream, antiseptic and plasters afterwards at the pharmacy next door. That haircut could be a false economy.) There I was in the reclaimed dentist’s chair, smock draped round my top half, smelling faintly of mildew and cat piss (the smock not me, although after only five minutes in that converted parachute the stink tends to stay with one.) The senior partner of the franchise, the one with the chronic shakes and the incredible spectacles (I thought it was a practical joke first time I saw him in them. I reckon a normal-sighted person could probably make out craters on the moon on a clear night through them – was lining up for another run through my barnet with the grade four trimmer. (I do wish they’d change the blades once in a while. It feels like he drags out more hair by the roots than he cuts. If there’s any pain like that anywhere else, I don’t want to find it. I wouldn’t mind inflicting it on a few people but that’s for another blog-post.) And the door was flung open making everyone jump. (I still have the plaster on my ear to prove it wasn’t just me.)

In rushes a rather hirsute gentleman dressed in the uniform of the professional veterinarian and cradling a mangy, aged looking Alsatian. His enormous tongue was lolling out of the corner of his mouth like a yard of red flannel and his eyes were rolling around like marbles on a saucer. (This is the vet not the dog. The dog looked dead to me.) There was a frantic exchange in guttural Turkish of which I caught only three words: quick, arsehole and shit. (It occurs to me now that it is not so odd these are the only words I managed to decipher from the vet’s outburst as these are words I hear on almost a daily basis in my adopted country.)

Without apparent thought for what we in the UK take for standard hygiene practices the dog was positioned upside down in the chair next to mine. The vet lifted the tail. The barber took one pace right and to my horror began to run the electronic trimmer around the dog’s rather swollen, weeping and infected looking backside. Great tufts of matted and soiled hair ended up on the floor releasing a rather noxious scent that had me thinking about…well…dog-shit, if I’m perfectly honest. (It must have been potent to overwhelm the smell of that smock and I had a bit of a cold.)

When it was done the vet gathered up the inert beast and rushed out, presumably back to his practice to perform what looked like a life saving operation. The barber and I exchanged a look in the big mirror. He raised his eyebrows and through his plate-glass spectacles the effect on his magnified eyes was something quite startling. He mumbled something, which I took to be his apologies for the interruption. I etched an understanding smile, although in truth I was greatly disturbed by what I had witnessed.

The barber then turned his attention left and raised his free hand to someone passing his shop window. I automatically followed his gaze and before I realised what was happening he had run that electric trimmer right across the top of my head. He managed another three strokes before I could even think about finding my voice let alone forming a suitable Turkish phrase to express my outrage. But by then it seemed pointless to make a fuss. The damage was done. Better to get it over with as quickly as possible and get home – he doesn’t wash your hair for 9TL.

About the only good thing to come out of this sorry episode of life in Istanbul is that I had two seats to myself on the bus home. Come to think of it, it was more like four. And there were lots of people standing.

Where was I? Oh yes. Amazon.co.uk and one foot in the ‘promised land’. Within three days Rope Enough had disappeared without trace after a disappointing performance. I call it The Moyes Effect.

Quick peek at Amazon.com by way of procrastination before hammering on with Acer #3. Rope Enough’s second category now listed as NON-FICTION. Fucking hell! FUCKING HELL! This was potentially far worse than sharing the hairdresser’s clippers with a dog’s arsehole. To their credit, again, Amazon sorted it out quite quickly. And then the really good news. Rope Enough leapt the charts Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > British Detectives and Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > Police Procedurals to the number one spot in each which also put me in the Amazon.com Free Top 100 charts (for about twelve hours).

Screen shot rope enough number 1 amazon us pp

Cue The Moyes Effect. Sigh.

My future-ex-wife is still treating me to her ‘north’ face. I call it her ‘Eiger Sanction’…to her ‘north’ face…she doesn’t get it…hahahaha

Time Files.

Rope Enough Final JPEG 1205

Writer’s diary: Stardate: 13.12 2013

It’s now been a year since the self-publication of Rope Enough (The First Romney and Marsh File). How time flies. Rope Enough is the first book I self-published and as such was the start of something rather important to me. I feel I should really mark the occasion with a blog-post. So guess what?

When I wrote the book I had no plans to write a series of police procedural novels. I actually got the basic idea from Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train. I find it quite incredible that in over four hundred and fifty comments on Amazon for this title only one reader has mentioned that they saw a connection to the film.

Until I figured out how to get Amazon to list the book for free I had it priced at 75p. This was the lowest price I could list it at. (Something to do with the dollar. Isn’t it always?) In the first month of publication I shifted six copies and felt chuffed. In January I sold eleven copies and felt disappointed. In February, eight and felt miserable. In March, eighty four and felt encouraged. In April, over twenty four thousand and felt several contending emotions: gutted that they were all free downloads, awfully excited that so many people might end up reading me, staggered at the figures.

It was at the beginning of April that Amazon price matched the book to zero because someone had told them it was free with B&N and Sony and ibooks. Better late than never. Ever since then it’s been mostly free and it’s been downloaded over eighty thousand times. As a freebie it got into the top twenty of the Amazon free books chart. That was amazing. Since it went back to having a price (77p) it’s always been in the police procedural for sale chart. At the time of writing it’s number fifty-seven. I don’t feel that I really cracked Amazon with it yet. But one day when I get my self-promotion into gear I hope for better things. There must still be millions of Kindles with room on them for Romney and Marsh.

Rope Enough has not made me rich but it’s got me read. It’s encouraged people to go onto to the others. And the knock on from all those downloads is that I’ve had some fairly healthy sales for the other two books in the series. I’ve also had some great communication with people. Generally the comments I’ve received by email, through Amazon and on the blog have been very encouraging.

I’m involved with doing an edit of the book at the moment. That effort has stuttered because I had an idea for another book and I’d always rather be writing something new than raking over old ground, even if it is important. Reading the book again for the first time in a year I don’t hate it. I actually quite like it. A few things have made me wince. Probably the greatest sin I committed was to have a minor character with two different first names. That was bad. Worse than the homophone mistakes and the ‘could of’ error.

I say the book went back to having a price. That’s because I made a mistake elsewhere and then had to withdraw the book from Smashwords and so it was no longer free around the web and so Amazon no longer felt obliged to price match it to zero. On the eighteenth of this month my KDP Select contract expires and so I will look again at relisting it on Smashwords so that I can once again have it price matched for free by Amazon. Having a free book is the best publicity for an unknown.

All in all a good year for Rope Enough. I’m happy with the way it’s gone. And it certainly has gone quickly.

PS Time Files is deliberate. I just know someone is going to call me on it.

Don’t Panic!

Writers blog: Stardate: 07.06.2013

Part 1:

Because of the timing of the competition that shall not be named run by the organisation that shall remain nameless that I failed to make an impression upon, last week’s blog-post was given over to clearing the ground for my subsequent face-planting.

But I had other news. Shocking news. What I really wanted to write about last week was my discovery and consequent reaction to learning that one of my books had been pirated and was available for download on the Internet. Really. Don’t believe me? http://pehahupa.jimdo.com/2013/05/30/rope-enough-the-romney-and-marsh-files-download/

I remember that when I stopped screaming, got my reptilian brain under control and my mind rationally processing the information and the consequences of my work being pirated (I would potentially never earn another penny out of the Romney and Marsh Files. Why would anyone buy them if they could download them for free?!) I almost had a stroke (apologies to anyone who was just offended. Please don’t lecture me on how truly horrible and debilitating a stroke really is. I know. It’s just a figure of speech.)

It was really a worrying fifteen minutes. A bit like reading about the cause of Michael Douglas’ throat cancer. I shudder to think some of the places that man has had his tongue.

I first learned of the situation when I noticed that Amazon.com had started giving away Making a Killing for free again in their price-matching way of doing things. I don’t want Making a Killing or Joint Enterprise being given away for free. I’m giving away Rope Enough as it is.

Amazon would only price-match to zero if they’d been advised by a customer that the book was available for download elsewhere for free. So I searched the Internet. And found ALL my books available for download on sites that I had no knowledge of. It was about this time that my stomach felt the way it did an hour after I consumed 3kg of cherries in thirty minutes.

Everyone knows that you’ve got two hopes of getting stuff taken down from the Internet that was put up in a country that was once part of the USSR – Bob Hope and No Hope. I was a worried man.

I emailed the service provider and asked them to take it down. I emailed Amazon begging them to ignore it – it’s piracy, I said. Amazon wrote back quickly and said it’s not; it’s Sony. What? Sony? Punch in Sony ebooks author name Oliver Tidy and sure enough all three Romney and Marsh Files available for free download. I was incandescent. How the fuck? Who the fuck? When the fuck? Why the fuck? Smashwords. It must be. Smashwords didn’t tell Sony to remove MAK and JE from their catalogue when I ‘unpublished’ them from Smashwords all those weeks ago and a reader has only just noticed and notified Amazon. And then, oh shit, if someone does the same with Joint Enterprise then suddenly all my books are being given away for free by Amazon and on top of that Amazon will rap me over the knuckles because MAK is in the KDP programme and it’s not supposed to be available for download anywhere else. It would be a violation of T&C. I could go to prison. I could be colour-listed. Or I could email Smashwords.

Good news – everyone was really quick, helpful and efficient about it. Amazon acted quickly and replied promptly with friendly, helpful emails. Smashwords sorted it quickly and were friendly. Sony removed the books without much delay. Even that service provider took down that website within forty-eight hours. I was pretty impressed all round.

My Amazon.com prices reverted back to what they were. I’d given away over two-hundred copies of MAK, but funnily enough it gave a bit of a boost to downloads of the other two titles.

What about the other pirated copies being offered on the web? I hear you ask. Well, when it all kicked off I smartly checked out the Amazon forums. Another useful resource. The consensus of opinion there was, don’t worry about it. Generally this kind of pirating is just a scam to get people to part with their credit card details. And when I went back to where the books were still available, sure enough one had to sign up, log in, provide this and that information. I don’t think that I have anything to worry about. And like they say, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. You know what I mean.

Part 2:

Still working hard on the two Acer Sansom novels. I have some help for these and it’s all taking a little longer because of it. Good job too. If I’d sent them out when I thought that they were ready I would inevitably have had to suffer the similar valid criticisms that I have for the R&M Files regarding punkchuation, gramer and speelling errorz. I know that the books will be worth the extra wait. I haven’t had anyone asking after them, but should there be any readers keeping an eye out for publication my apologies for the delay. Other than that I can only crave your understanding.

Making A Killing

Actually, I’m not – making a killing that is, not in the money-coming-out-of-all-orifices kind of way, like some outrageously gaudy and crude Las Vegas naked-human-shaped novelty slot-machine jackpot. But on free downloads? Crikey, I looked this morning and a little bit of wee came out. And that’s not normal for a man of my age.

Look, before I get going on this second blog in two days, please, you have to bear in mind at all times that a long time ago (in blogging terms) this blog’s main purpose became far-and-away most importantly an online record of my journey from total and, some would say, deserved literary obscurity to… well I just want to leave a mark. DC Grimes in that little-known but superior British police procedural, Joint Enterprise, that should be on every mystery reader aficionado’s bookshelf put it best, “We’re all going to die. Most of us will leave no mark of our existence behind what-so-ever. Not a stain or a smudge or a smear on the face of history. I think that’s sad.” I agree with him, even if I can now see that the punctuation sucks. I’m not perfect.

I’m blogging for me, for nostalgia, for anyone who wants to know something of the process that I went through to self-publish – there are some things to learn from – and then how that pans out. With that understood, this post should be viewed as a follow up to yesterday’s: an update on the development discussed. I’m making it because it’s important to me and it might also provide some figures that other self-publishers might like to know. There doesn’t seem to be a wealth of information out there and when I was stumbling about cyber-space at the beginning, looking for anything helpful, I was pretty disappointed.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, approximately thirty-six hours ago Amazon price-matched Rope Enough, the first book in my series of British police procedurals. They price-matched it to zero making it a free download. I was happy – see previous post. In that thirty-six hours the book has been downloaded 394 times on Amazon.com and a staggering 1431 times on Amazon.co.uk. (I wrote ‘Fucking hell!’ after that but decided to delete it.)

The immediate upshot of that is that the book currently sits at #27 in the Kindle store Best Sellers chart for free books. It was at #22 earlier. To my limited way of thinking that has got to be a positive thing. OK, I’m not making a penny out of it, but I do have two other titles that could see a knock-on from this. And I feel great.

Yeah, I know, people are just downloading a freebie; 95% of them probably won’t even read it; just ‘cos it got downloaded, doesn’t mean that it’s any good. I’m quite capable of pissing on my own chips, thanks.

There has been no discernable knock-on for sales of the other two books, yet. I’ll have to wait and see what happens.

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about two days – Saturday and Sunday – where I listed the second book in my three on the KDP Select programme for £0.00 to download. I managed 351 downloads through Amazon.co.uk there. I thought that was OK. So, perhaps, it makes a little more sense just how bowled over I am by getting four times that number in less than two days.

That’s all from me to me. Now, I really should get some work done.

The Loss-Leader Strategy.

Writer’s blog: stardate: 10.04.2013

WARNING: This blog contains some big numbers to crunch.

Part 1

It’s Wednesday. It’s eleven o’clock in the morning and it’s the holidays.

Normally, for reasons explained previously, I’ve come to be a Friday-morning-blogger. So why today? Well, as mentioned, I’m on holiday and so I’ve got some time to update my self-publishing diary aka my blog. And I have an interesting development for an entry.

I say it’s the holidays but I’m at work.  My current-future-ex-wife has started to complain about me loitering around the place. I’ve only been on holiday for two days. I told her I’m on holiday – I don’t have to go to work for the week. She said that the house smells different when I’m there during the day. She implied that this was not in a good way. She suggested that if I want to write, why don’t I go to work where it will be quiet? So, I’m at work in the holidays. I’m writing and I quite like it. It’s peaceful. I can pick up a good coffee on the way in. There is still free food in the staff canteen at lunch-time. I’m living the life of a real author for a week – the kind that don’t have to juggle jobs and writing (writing doesn’t seem like a job to me, but maybe that’s because I don’t need the money.) And I can smell how I like without people complaining.

I can’t complain about the way things are going for me as a self-publisher – especially when one factors in that I have done no self-promotion worthy of the label. Since my promotional weekend with Amazon’s KDP Select programme I have noticed a marked increase in sales of all three titles. I’m still not making enough money to re-roof the dog kennel but I’m encouraged.

In the first nine days of this month’s sales figures I sold ninety-two copies of Rope Enough (The First Romney and Marsh File). That’s more than I sold in the whole of last month with the promotion. Factors of knock-on sales from said promotion and some good fortune with an Amazon sales algorithm – I doubt whether even God knows the mathematical equations involved in those – are likely reasons for this figure. The second and third books in the series are doing better than normal also. As usual I will share those figures at the end of the sales period.

Last evening I had settled down to watch Real Madrid thrash Galatasaray (good job I’m not a betting man) with one eye on the laptop when something in the Kindle download figures of my books caught my eye. It hadn’t been there an hour earlier. Kindle had made twenty-two price-match sales of Rope Enough ie given away twenty-two books for free. I checked on the Amazon.com site: thirty-four books price-matched. Initially, I was a bit peeved. Sales had been going well and I was netting 26p a download. But as I took the development on board, I became rather pleased.

I have seen it blogged by many successful self-published authors that giving away books as loss-leaders was a real boost to the spreading of the word, raising their online profile and, if they have other books available – especially in a series – good for knock-on sales.

Mindful of this, when I originally uploaded Rope Enough I tried and tried to get Amazon to list it as a free ebook – I have had it for download through Smashwords and their outlets for free since it was first published in December of last year. I notified Amazon of the availability of the book for free through B&N and Kobo et al (can you say et al for companies or is that reserved for people?) but they still wouldn’t adjust the price, so I had to plough on with it at 77p – the minimum that I could list it for.

I can only guess that now someone else, or the plural of someone else, has/have let Amazon know about a cheaper price and they have knocked it down to zero in line with their policy. I’m happy with that. It’s like having a full-time promotion going. I was only making 26p a download anyway, which is essentially nothing.

Rope Enough has finally become the loss-leader that I wanted it to be and I hope that it is going to attract attention and sales for the other two in the series. In fact I had trouble sleeping last night when I thought about this. Here’s the first reason why: in the first four hours of the change there were over two hundred downloads of the book on Amazon.co.uk and the same for Amazon.com.

Here’s the second reason why: when the book went live for free I, naturally, checked out the competition in the free category – Amazon’s top 100 chart. The book at the number one slot was called The One You Love by Paul Pilkington. I looked at his Amazon page for this book. He claims to have had over one-and-a-half-million downloads of this book since publication in July 2011. That is a shitload of downloads by anyone’s standards. And looking at the reviews a lot of people think that it’s shit (fitting). He has a sequel for sale. It’s a thirty thousand word novella (probably falling over himself to try to get something else published to capitalise on his fifteen minutes of fame before the freeloaders forgot who he was). It’s listed at £1.92. If he is on the 70% royalty scheme then he is netting @ £1.30 per download for that second title. If just ten percent of the people who downloaded his free book pay for the download of the second – and let’s face it, why wouldn’t they if they were happy with book one? – he is making a shitload of money (double-fitting). Good luck to him.

If Rope Enough can get one tenth of the downloads he got for his first book and then one tenth of those people go on to part with the meagre sum of £1.53 and £2.05 for the other two books in the series – both of which are better than the first (I would say that wouldn’t I?) then I might be able to give up my evening job at the petrol station – at least. Maybe even re-roof the dog kennel.

See why I’m in a fairly good mood today? That’s right – I’m a dreamer.

Part 2

This week, I’m really getting stuck into my two Sansom books. I’m editing like a battlefield surgeon in the Crimean War. I feel that there are a couple of half-decent stories in these books somewhere if I can tease them out. I’ve emailed the guy who did my book covers for the R&M trio and I’m waiting for his thoughts.

When these are done and out there I’m going to write the third in that series. It’s going to be focussed on Iran and their nuclear weapons programme. I have never been to Iran (I’m not likely to either) and I don’t know anything about plutonium enrichment, so, this is going to have to be a book that I need to do some research on before writing. That will be a novelty. I might even try planning the book beforehand for a change, just to see what that’s like. Another novelty.