Welcome to the centre of the Astronomicon Universe

3 Astronomicon booksYou have found the official home of the Astronomicon series of scifi novels. Four novels have been published and a fifth is on the way. This epic series charts the progress of the human race from early interstellar exploration, through political upheavals, subterfuge, first contact, interstellar wars and even the reason for our existence.

Use the left menu to see  each of the Astronomicon books, reviews and more. Please feel free to ask any questions, I will attempt to answer them all!

Back in 2011 I published the 1st volume of the series, Astronomicon: The Beginning on Amazon.  The 2nd volume, Astronomicon: Distant Relatives followed just the following year, also on Amazon. The 3rd  instalment, a prequel to the previous two books,  Astronomicon: Those Left Behind, was published in July 2013. In 2012, the first spin-off book set within the Astronomicon universe was published: Astronomicon: Icarus (also available on Amazon). More books are in development, with plans for six further Astronomicon books but writing all of them is going to take some time. This site is the best way to keep up with my progress or, if you prefer, use the social media links on the left side of this page and follow my progress.

Thank you for your support, especially to the rapidly growing number of people who have purchased my books.

Paul.


How to Get the Best #Indie Books on Amazon

KindleAnyone who has ever browsed independently published ebooks on Amazon will know the daunting, overpoweringly vast range of books available.  Every so often you stumble across an excellent book, a true treasure, but we’ve all wasted lots of time wading through a great many poor books too. With so much out there, it’s hard to find the good stuff.

Some indy authors do very well but the vast majority, including some excellent authors, remain completely undiscovered by almost all readers. If only there was some reliable way to sort the good stuff from the bad stuff!

The thing is, there IS a way to solve this and it’s very effective. Most authors find only around 1% of readers leave a review/rating on Amazon. Everyone knows that the first 3-5 people who review a novel are probably friends and relatives of the author, so we all ignore those. The problem for authors who only have a few dozen readers is that no-one trusts the very few (if any) reviews they have.

If every reader left a review for every single indy book they read – even just a sentence will do – then all indy authors would get many, many more reviews and suddenly review scores would be statistically vastly more accurate. Those great authors with very few readers would begin to properly stand out from the crowd and all readers would benefit from reliable opinions.

It only takes a few seconds to leave a review and it is one of the best ways to say thank you to an author. Telling him/her how good his/her novel is is a very nice thing to do, but leaving a review on Amazon is a much more powerful way to say thank you.

If a book has hundreds of reviews, you can be much more sure that the average score is a more accurate measure of the book’s quality.


Reviews are SO hard to get!

Astronomicon: The Beginning cover 3DI don’t have any figures comparing the rate of reader reviews between genres, but I can report from personal experience that getting readers to write a brief review of science fiction novels isn’t easy. My readers are more than happy to send me an e-mail, write a PM on Wattpad or Twitter etc., but persuading them to write a review (even a few words would do) on Amazon is another matter.

I’ve been preaching the line of “don’t tell me, tell everyone else” for months now, but it’s still not making much headway. I am extremely pleased to be able to report that Astronomicon: The Beginning has received nothing lower than 5-star reviews on Amazon.co.uk since the latter end of 2016 and the same on Amazon.com since July 2017. It looks like that last revamp of the novel really paid off – and it’s still FREE on both sites!

These consistently higher reviews have pushed my rating up to 4.3 stars out of 5. I’m very pleased with that.

My quest for the rest of 2018 is to find new and better ways to encourage my readers to post more reviews on Amazon. If I could just get 5% to post reviews I would more than double my total reviews in a month.

Maybe, when Behemoth is released on Amazon in a couple of month’s time, I should offer free copies to anyone who reviews one of my novels on any of the Amazon sites?

 


How to Praise a Creative Person

Man shouting into a megaphone

Why isn’t EVERYONE thinking this??

 

Just imagine a situation: You’ve just read a great chapter, a fantastic short story, seen a stunning illustration or heard a great tune. You’re moved to tell the creator how great you think their work is so you leave a comment, a vote, a thumbs up or send them a message.

 

That’s great! You will make their day, improve his or her mood and, hopefully, encourage them to keep creating. But here’s the problem: Who are you encouraging them to create for? You love their work and you want to see more of it. That’s lovely but that doesn’t benefit the person whose work you love so much. You may not be aware of it, but you’re hoping that by making them feel better, they will work for you more. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but that’s a little selfish!

Let’s roll back to the start of this scenario. You experience the creative person’s work and want to give something back. A comment or thumbs up is nice, but does it help that person? Does it improve their situation?  Not really.

So, what can you do? How about instead of telling the creative person how great you think their stuff is, try telling everybody else how great it is! Tell your friends, family and social media followers how great you think it is. Believe me, that is worth a thousand times as much to any author/artist/musician.

Do this and you will be increasing their fanbase, spreading the enjoyment and, just possibly, helping them sell a few books/pictures/tunes. That is a MUCH better way to say thank you and much more likely to encourage them to produce more. The more people you recommend the book/story/tune/picture to, the bigger the thank you!


Can I finally call myself an Award Winning Author?

A while back, I was nominated to enter a writing competition on Wattpad. I’m not big on entering competitions. Too many times I’ve entered and heard nothing back from then on. This time, as it had been recommended to me, I entered my novel Astronomicon: Icarus and assumed that I would most probably never hear any more.

For the first time ever, I did hear something afterwards. Better still, much better, I was informed that I had actually won the competition. Now it’s not a massive competition and there’s no cash prize, but I am still thrilled to be recognised in any writing competition.

If nothing else, I will feel much more inclined to enter more competitions in future.