Did you know that David Hasslehoff has / had a thriving music career in Germany? Maybe you did, but to some people it’s a surprise. And so it was for me when I decided – I really had no expectations at all – to translate my Time-Travel novel ‘The Unexpected Gift of Joseph Bridgeman’ into German. Well, I say that as though I translated it!Continue Reading
Hi lovely people,
This is something I’ve been wanting to do this for a while; a short film showing where I write and explaining a little about the process. I knew from the start that if I was going to write consistently I would need a special place to do it, a positive, creative environment. This shows where it all happens.
I hope you like it!
As always, get in touch. Say hi, let me know what you think of the film etc.
P.s. Please note, I’m updating my website (work in progress) and also have a NEW EMAIL address. firstname.lastname@example.org Add this to your email thingy so I don’t get blocked.
Transcript of the film below… (with most of the urms and ahhh’s taken out : )
Today I’m going to be taking you through some behind the scenes stuff on how I write my books but also, showing you where I write as well. My day starts pretty early and the main thing for me? Coffee. My day definitely starts with one of these. A good strong coffee fuels pretty much everything I do.
But I want to show you where I work because that’s an important part of what I do. I knew fairly early on that if I could, it would be great to have somewhere to write that was away from everything else. So when I moved here I was lucky enough to have a garage which I then converted myself into a studio.
And I know a lot of authors that have this and it can be anywhere. It can be a place under the stairs or a spare room or anywhere like that. For me, it just felt really important to have a completely separate area that I could make mine and I could leave with all my writing stuff scattered. I am extremely lucky to have this and I would like to show you around. Let’s have a look.
This is where I do all of my writing. Let me take you through it. This is Louis. Say hello Louis.
And here you can see I’ve got various different boards. This one is a kind of mood-board. Gives you some idea of where I might be going with my next book… [ Note: One or two spoilers here! ] And here is where I do all my planning. This is something I’m going to talk about in other films. This is where Ian and I put together all the plot-lines and map out the books. As you can see we are in early development and the left side is pretty full because it’s what I’m working on at the moment. And over here are various thoughts and scribbles of things we come up with.
This is where I have all my reference books. Some of my favourites and also books that at the moment could help with the book that I’m writing at the moment. So I try and take as much input as I can – taking a nod from Stephen King really – it’s important to read but also the kind of books that I’m writing at the moment.
Over here, we have all important vinyl. Anyone who has read Downstream will know it’s important to me. I’ve got my Beatles box-set and for all you Star Wars fans out there…. You have to have a light-sabre, obviously!
And this is where I do all my writing, where I sit at this desk and see what comes out. Also, you’ll see the board up here. That’s got quite a lot of character work, stuff Ian and I have worked on with specific characters and some of their traits. A good reminder for me. The important one here; for anyone who has read my hibernation books. This is a Histeridae beetle, where the concept of the histeridae originally came from.
When I’m writing my books, I have a word-count with a manuscript target. So, every day I can see how much I’ve written and I where I am and if I’m on target.
So, there you go. That’s just a small insight into where I do my writing, where my current books are being written and how I do it. See you next time, thanks and happy reading.
Self-publishing comes with so many advantages. Control, direct relationships with readers, immediacy and control. Did I mention control?
It also comes with it’s own set of challenges (note I didn’t say problems). The main one is marketing and promotion. How do you get your book see in a sea of competition. Amazon offer a number of tools designed to help an author promote their baby. ‘Kindle Direct Publishing’ offer a ‘select’ option. This provides 5 days in which to make your book free in return for complete exclusivity (i.e., you aren’t then allowed to offer your book on any of the competitor sites, such as apples’s ibooks, kobo or nook etc).
The idea is that you generate interest in those free days and hope that translates into actual sales further down the line.
For me KDP select presents an interesting dilemma. Amazon are by far the biggest retailer, and if I can get traction there then all good, but are those free days really worth the exclusivity?
Let me share some numbers based on my experience so far.
The free days can be any days, individual or concurrent but must be used within your three month (exclusive) period. I made ‘The Whisper of Stars’ Free for 3 days. I did a lot of promotion in this time. Facebook, Twitter, paid ads and email hits. I shifted 4,000 free books. Sounds a lot, and I was pretty excited about that to be honest. My book on 4,000 kindles…. ooooooohhhhh!
Then, the day after it was back to its original price of £2.99.
I sold 41 books that day.
41 Books. I nearly cried. Seriously, that is a good amount and means a lot to me. I was suddenly number 15 in the Sci-Fi charts. It felt good. Really good. I started imagining (dreaming) of it settling down to maybe 10 or 20 a day….
But then, as expected, sales dropped of a cliff and I was back to 1 or 2 books a day. Literally back to where I started.
So, I ran another promo, using up my last 2 days of FREE promo. Again, lots of freebies, a few sales and then back again. To be clear, I am more than happy to give books away for free. But, the question now is whether I am better selling 1 or 2 books a day on multiple channels or sticking with the kindle exclusivity for the odd boost.
For me, it’s not about income. It’s more about reaching readers. Apple, particularly with the release of the oversized iPhone 6 (and plus) and iPad mini, finally have a viable reading platform. There are a number of users on those devices that might never read me if I remain in Amazon’s pocket.
With the release of ‘The Embers of Hope’ imminent I am starting to wonder whether I just get my work ‘out there’ in as many ways as possible. Either way I will continue to experiment and write my findings here.
I’ve had some great comments on the cover of ‘The Whisper of Stars’ so thought I would share some of the background to how it was created. I knew I wanted it to feature my main character and nod to the fact that the book is a thoughtful kind of Science Fiction. Stu, Jo and I got together to discuss the kind of feel we were after and stu sent me some options for style and model. Obviously as soon as I saw Chanelle I knew she was Jen! In fact, I went back and re-write some sections of Whisper of Stars to include her red hair! Interestingly the final cover looks like we shot it in a studio! Massive thanks to Tim Baker for the use of his woodland. It was great fun.
You can see some of the pics from our shoot here.