Amazon


Planning for the Remains of the Year

Mobile Word ProcessorLike many, many authors out there, my writer income doesn’t cover the bills so I have to work a full-time job on the side. Between work, family, chores, school runs and more, it’s hard to muster any time for any actual writing. Mobile writing technology has proved invaluable, allowing me to write in those small windows when I’m waiting or travelling, but it’s still hard to make any significant progress.

To coin a phrase, I’m not getting any younger, and with time in short supply, I feel much better if I make maximum use of it. The best way to do that is to have a plan and to stick to it.

 

The Plan

I usually find the best way to plan is simply to create a To Do list, sorted by priority. What I’m going to show here isn’t the fully-detailed list, but I’ve tried to include everything that my readers (and other authors too) might find interesting:

  • Finish writing Deadline.
    As this is novel with my best chance of publication, seems wise to get this one completed first. The story came together well and I am very happy with the characters but finding a good ending has been troublesome.
  • Finish writing Sceptic.
    This novel is already complete but could use a final edit and proofread. In case you are wondering, it’s not part of the Astronomicon universe but, even though I could not make it fit, it was far too good a story idea to skip.
  • Rewrite Astronomicon: The Beginning.
    This one is LONG overdue and by far the biggest task. As it forms the introduction to the Astronomicon universe, it’s important that it’s up to my recent standard and representative of later novels. I’m expecting this to take 2-3 months, then I’ll publish it on Wattpad before relaunching it on Amazon.
  • If there’s any time left, I also hope to complete the ongoing project Behemoth too.

 

During all the above, I’ll be developing ideas for a range of other books I have in the planning stages. These include a historical fantasy, a magical contemporary fantasy and a psychological horror (I’m branching out from scifi!). I’m also looking to find a literary agent this year and encourage a few readers to support me on Patreon. If I can earn a little money from writing, I may be able to cut my working hours a little and get more writing done.

Seven months left to get ALL of this done. Wish me luck!


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?

 


Astronomicon #1 now available in Paperback

Astronomicon: The Beginning cover 3DFans of books in traditional paperback form will be pleased with this announcement:

After an extensive edit and repolish, Astronomicon: The Beginning is now available in paperback form. I know that e-books are not to everyone’s taste and many people prefer reading novels in a traditional, more tangible form. 

At 330 pages, The Beginning is a substantial piece of science fiction. Although it appears to be shorter than the e-book edition (385 pages) this is purely due to variations in formatting between the two media. The content of both versions is identical.

I’m aiming to get at least one more Astronomicon novel out in paperback form before the end of 2018. Ultimately, all my novels will be available in both formats but that’s going to take a lot of work.

 

The paperback version is available from Amazon US ($9.99), Amazon UK (£7.95) and all other Amazon sites. Visit your local Amazon for full details and order your copy now.