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Clarifying the Situation re: Inception Point

ARead Inception Point for FREE on Wattpadfter the mass of questions and complaints I’ve received over the past couple of weeks, I feel I should clarify the situation with Astronomicon: Inception Point and Astronomicon: The Beginning.

 

I believe the simplest way I can put it is: “Inception Point” is a completely new book, written to directly replace “The Beginning” as the first book in the Astronomicon series. It has not yet replaced it as it is not finished.

 

To make this totally clear, here is a list of things that are NOT the case:

  • You do not have to decide whether to read “The Beginning” or “Inception Point” first. They fill the same slot in the series and “The Beginning” will be retiring completely soon.
  • You cannot read the first 10 chapters of “The Beginning” then jump to chapter 11 of “Inception Point”. They are different books with hugely varying stories. Chapters in them are NOT interchangeable.
  • There’s no point complaining when reading “Inception Point” that things are different from how you remember them in “The Beginning”. They are DIFFERENT books, with different stories.
  • “Inception Point” is NOT an edited/enhanced version of “The Beginning”. It’s a new book.
  • I will NOT keep BOTH novels on Amazon as that would be hugely confusing for readers.
  • If you’ve already purchased “The Beginning” (which was and IS free BTW), then you can’t have Inception Point for free. It’s a different book and it’s NOT free (Although 99p is pretty cheap!).
  • No, I will not rewrite “Inception Point” to include your favourite scene from “The Beginning” – that would not make any sense.
  • No, I am not writing “Behemoth”. That is on hold until I finish “Inception Point”. I will announce when work begins again there.
  • No, the characters in “Inception Point” don’t all have the same names as “The Beginning”, nor are they all the same characters. Some have been removed, some replaced. It’s a different book!

I’m still posting a chapter per day on Wattpad, so it won’t be long before the entire “Inception Point” novel is complete.


Don’t tell me how good I am!

StarsIt’s SO hard to write this article without sounding ungrateful, so I want to stress, right from the beginning, that I am extremely grateful for all the support and positive feedback from my readers. It keeps me going and encourages me to write more.

Almost every day I get messages from readers praising my writing, telling me how much they enjoyed reading my work and, usually, urging me to write the next book, reveal the next chapter or let them know how the story will go in future. It’s lovely, and great for my ego, but fundamentally they are telling the wrong person!

Most authors feel like they are shouting into the void. We announce new works and hardly anyone reads them. We ask for feedback and only a tiny (but hugely valuable!) percentage reply. We want to be read but there are SO many other authors expecting the same that we just get lost in the crowd. It’s hard for readers to pick out the works worth reading when the good stuff is buried amongst the stuff that still needs work.

If every compliment that arrived in my inbox was, instead, a recommendation sent to a friend, a review posted on Amazon or a positive comment posted on social media, I would be able to spend a lot less time promoting my work and more time actually writing.

If you want to see more Astronomicon books, if you want to see the next one launched sooner rather than later, then don’t tell me about it – Tell everyone else!


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!