Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Re-writing a classic

Chronicles of Mark Johnson
Award winning book
 Last week I started to edit my award winning e-book Chronicles of Mark Johnson

 While checking the stories with Grammarly, I found numerous errors. This is the problem when you decide to go back after improving your style - and my styling has improved radically - with the help of my good friend Julia Petrakis

Sales record 
 You may question the validity of re-writing an award-winning book after three years. The editing is validated by the fact the book has had no sales since the award in October 2012. 

This triple book edition will be a better-composed edition of the first two series of stories, plus a series that is in the work-in-progress stage.

Nothing to lose 
 All I have to lose is my time, and being disabled and not being a TV addict - I have a lot of time to use.

Will the effort be worth it? 
 Only the readers can decide. As for me, this is the final act for a story I loved and wanted to succeed.


Memorable people
 True Heroes 
 People talk about sporting heroes but to me a hero is required to do something good, not just play sports and get paid well. 

First World War
 During WW1, my late grandfather was enlisted in the East Yorkshire Regiment. I had the opportunity to keep a record of the battles he fought. Owing to a row with my late mother I lost that when I said my aunty Joan could keep his field glasses - on which he'd etched the battles he'd been involved in during the war.  I can remember he took part in, sadly, I never had the chance to find out which battle he was involved. 
 During the engagements he has bayoneted and the fact he wore a helmet saved his life - he had an indented skull until he died in 1974. My book is written as a loving memory to a generation whose lives were changed beyond belief.

 Although my late father and I didn't get on for many years, he was involved in a little-known rebellion in India at the end of World War 2
My father wasn't a part of the uprising, he was stationed in India at the time of the rebellion. 

Royal National Lifeboat Institute
The RNLI like many organizations has awards for bravery, and my late Uncle, Leonard Oliver was among the men of the Teesmouth crew who were awarded a gold medal for bravery. 

One stormy night in October 1972, their lifeboat was launched in gale force winds and a blizzard to rescue a stricken Polish trawler. She was being driven onto the shifting sandbar at the mouth of the River Tees, despite numerous pleas from the lifeboat crew the captain refused to abandon his ship.

 Fearing for the lives of the crew, the boatswain sent a man across to the trawler, to try to impress on him the urgency of the crisis. The man who was sent over was my Uncle, amid roaring seas and freezing winds he crossed the seas, and boarded the ship. My e-book is written as a loving tribute to the men who risk their lives, so sailing is safe. Also mentioned in my story is an accident that left another uncle of mine disabled. The names have been changed, but the story behind the story is part of my family history.

As an after-thought, I always intended to leave something in my will for the RNLI, but as my late mother donated a substantial amount in her will, what I could give wouldn't matter.

Northern Ireland 
 When I was in the Royal Air Force, I got posted to Ireland during "The Troubles," To my children, I am a hero because I got awarded the General Service Medal. I don't deserve the medal - in my opinion - our camp was 15 miles from the front line, and in no real danger. The medals should go to the soldiers, police officers and other people involved in the fighting. Because of the amount of GSM recipients, I was one of the last people to be awarded the Medal for this action.

Amazon / Barnes & Noble 
 The links are for Amazon, but the e-books are available on Darft2Digital, and Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

575 sales

575 sales 
Forgestriker - the collection

 The hit series of science fiction stories reached the unheard of total of 575 sales last night

I can't thank my readers too much for the success of the series; at this rate the series has the opportunity to reach 600 sales by Christmas - what a present that would be for me.

Monday, 5 October 2015

They're off

They're off 
Sons of Baal 

I'm sorry, I put the wrong image up, but it got your attention. 

The race - if there is a race - continues this month with Sons of Baal taking the early sales lead.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Fading glories

All gone in a blink

Amazon ratings 
 It took me several days to climb from the bottom of my rating to a monthly high point, and in the blink of an eye it was all gone - and more.

Such is the fickleness of the rating system on Amazon.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Breaking news

 From this month, my work will only be available on Draft2Digital  My work will still be available in the UK, you can buy it from various outlets on Draft2Digital.

 I can hear the familiar argument about needing coverage already. After more than three years on Amazon, I still make less than $1 a month, so, I don't think I'm going to miss them. 

 After three years, I am still waiting to receive the only payment I am likely to get from Kobo. I decided not to use the Toronto-based distributors again.

Barnes and Noble 
 Over the last year, Barnes & Noble have been my largest sales market, outselling Amazon every month. Thanks to Draft2Digital I sell more on B&N in one week than on Amazon in a month. 

A long wait

Three years 
 Shortly after I signed on to Amazon's site, I joined a site in Toronto called Kobo. I thought this site would be a good addition to my sales outlets - I was wrong!

It is three years since I joined Kobo, and as I haven't reached the $10 minimum I haven't earned a dime. 

The situation is so dire, I am at the point where I am willing to buy my own books, so I can get something from them and end this torture. 

If I reach $10, I won't be putting any more books on this site. My main sales outlet is Draft2Digital and their link to Barnes & Noble

Friday, 2 October 2015

Our Daily Blab: I Hate Writing

Our Daily Blab: I Hate Writing: The little boy clung tightly to his mother's hand, sure of her navigation past the treacherous crosswalk dividing their Navy base housi...

TGIF again

Another week in the life of this writer

TGIF  again
Another week is behind me, and although I did more than last week it wasn't as much as I would have liked to do. 

I started to re-edit my award-winner Chronicles of Mark Johnson; in preparation for the combined trilogy I was going to call Mark Johnson's quest.Then, I changed my mind - after all - this month is the third anniversary of the award, and book 1 still hasn't sold since the award. I will write book 3 in the series, only for my good friend Ruth.

The best of times.
The last quarter has seen my sales rise from the depths and soar to new heights.

Three months ago my sales hit rock bottom, and I was close to throwing the towel in - nothing has changed in that respect. 

Last month saw new highs in sales not only for my e-books at Barnes & Noble but my best seller Forgestriker, the book sold more in the month than my Amazon bestseller has in over three years. 

Despite the great strides I'm taking; I still feel unfulfilled because out of all my collection, only Forgestriker is doing well. I was pleased to see my ghost stories starting to sell finally. 

A novel idea. 
 Some time ago, several friends asked if I'd thought of writing a novel? At the time, I hadn't as my stories were limited to about 3,500 words - too many writing contests entered - the 40,000 wordage appeared well beyond my capability. After combining the various stories for Chronicles, I found I had almost written a book of novel length.

 Although I never got to write an e-novel, I did write the e-novella A Sailor's Love. The book took 14 months to write and is yet to sell. 

I would have liked to attempt a novel, but the lack of interest in my previous stories dissuades me. I know I can write the length needed, and keep the interest in the story strong, A Sailor's Love was closed off at around 35,000words, not because the story ended, because I thought after 14 months of living the story I didn't think it was worth progressing. I could have gone on a lot longer - and I had plans for a sequel - the lack of interest in the book confirmed my thoughts.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

9 out of 10

Many thanks to my readers 

I never stop being amazed

 That is the only way I can describe this month. 

 I can't thank my readers too much. I'm amazed that after 18 months, Forgestriker is selling as - if not better than ever - and doesn't appear to be slowing down. 

I can't believe that nine out of every ten days of the month I had a sale. I was hoping to get ten sales in the month; the 27 sales you gave me created new sales records. These sales figures are well beyond my wildest hopes.