It’s all progress in the right direction

Self publishing is hard. Just when you think you’re doing things the right way you see how wrong you’re getting it and make adjustments and try again. It is not an exact science and I truly think, as has been my experience, it is a big case of trial and error.

So far the sales for Footprints On The Other Side have been steady and The Magdon is still getting legs.

As an author you sit there thinking how nice it would be to log on and find you’ve sold hundreds or thousands of copies but that is a long time coming I expect. You join forums and get yourself integrated with other authors and glean whatever information you can to make a success of what you have and what you are offering the world. Obviously as the creator i have every love and every appreciation for the story I have created.

Just how do I convince others that I’m not a hack, that I’ve not written drivel and it is worth spending your hard earned money and your well earned time to read what I am offering?

It is difficult.

So far I have used Twitter, Facebook and social media to create a footprint, create a little profile and presence and try to convince people I am here for the long run and have something to offer them.

Tweets, memes, images, posts I spend hours pouring over different designs and creating what I think are eye-catching and good adverts to post and spread the word.

This week (between shifts at work) I have spent hours designing a website for my author profile. It’s going well, I just now not only need to increase traffic and confidence in my books but also the presence of my website.

When you look at how big and busy the internet is you really realise how small you are against it all and how much you are swimming against the tide of the world just trying to make the smallest of waves and keep myself afloat.

I keep looking at all these PR companies that say they can do this, that and the other for you but mostly when you look for what they offer you there is very little information and detail. How can I be expected to pay for services and not really know what it entails, most just seem to offer more tweets (I’m already hammering the world of Twitter I don’t feel I want to spend loads asking someone else to do it for me).

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When it comes to press releases, launches that’s where I get lost.

In truth I get lost in so many places but trundle along all the same.

No matter what though I keep increasing my portfolio, keep pouring the imagination from my addled brain onto the page in the hope that soon, someone, somewhere will look at it and think “what have we been missing, this is awesome”and the real journey will begin in earnest.

Until then I won’t stop, I enjoy it too much and seeing my imagination printed on the page is simply amazing.

So for now spread the word, help one little man try and make an impression in the world!

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Making it worth while

Whilst not surprisingly I have not ascended to the realms of C S Lewis, J K Rowling or similar the feedback I have received so far has been encouraging and having taken receipt of a quantity of my books in paperback I decided to give me oldest son his own copy. He was awash with disbelief but then after a while quite surprisingly he just started reading it aloud to me.

It was a lovely feeling knowing he was so keen to read it and has even been telling his friends at school about Archy and the Magdon!

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This gave me a lot of inspiration and formed the idea for the atmosphere of “the end”

I also devised the ending to the entire series today and having written it I don’t think I want to write anything else today as it’s quite knocked the wind from my sails.

I have been very focused on the Magdon series lately but also last night I had trouble sleeping so lay awake thinking about Jack James and came up with a bridging aspect that I had missed in my final chapter of Part 1 so have gone back and added something that paints the path for the story.

It can get quite confusing, sometimes I may use the wrong name in my stories but as long as I focus myself on the story at hand it seems to work. Like I’ve always said I “know” the Magdon stories so well that it is quite easy, although as I move across into the stories I haven’t really played out yet it becomes a little more of a creative battle between WHISPERING SHADOWS and ORIGINS OF THE MAGDON.

But that makes it so much fun.

Anyway for now here is a little reading from my little man. Please excuse some of the mistakes as I couldn’t ask him to read it again knowing I was filming as he would have gone shy!

Facebook Magdon

 

Confusing world!

Well as I go further along this journey of self publishing I learn each day that I have done something wrong (or on the rare occasion – something right). Following the general advice of Amazon I decided to enlist in Kindle Select which not only forced me to list a price I thought was too high for the eBook but also means I can;t sell it anywhere else on the internet as an eBook (for 90 days). Fine print is fine but when reading it not everything makes sense and it is very easy to just go with the flow as I did and find yourself missing out on getting your work out on all available channels.

So that was my big lesson for this week. As a result I’m now stuck with Amazon only Kindle until JULY for Footprints On The Other Side and even worse SEPTEMBER for Origins Of The Magdon. Saying that though I have now signed up to Smashwords so I can release on all other formats just as soon as my agreement with KDP Select and Amazon comes to an end.

This is honestly a massive roller-coaster affair. Some days I think why did I bother and then other days I love the fact I have done it.

Marketing is another whole new dimension to me. There are some many people offering to Tweet this, feature that, sell this and sell that. Very little makes sense to me and really doing all this off your own back is a very daunting affair!

Thankfully I have managed to receive support from the internet in the form of CircleOfBooks who have featured me and both my books. I have no idea how this will impact, if at all, on any sales but I clearly don’t know what I’m doing on my own so am really grateful when someone takes the time and effort to help me along. The two features for my books are brilliant and keep floating around Twitter so that’s good. Spreading the word is the first step.

I don’t know, it’ been a tough week and you always go in with high hopes and expectations/dreams that never really seem to be reached. That said though at least I am out there in the wide world available for people to read if they want to. Anything less and all the time and effort I have put in would really be a wasted venture.

I was reminded today that four years ago I was editing parts one and two of Footprints…..FOUR YEARS AGO. Now look at it. I have the ability to say people have read it, people have bought it and judging by the slowly rising number of reviews (we are now on three) people have been enjoying it.

I suppose it’s a word of warning to always remain realistic going into this. It’s fine to dream (after all that’s where most ideas come from) but remember it’s not all plain sailing and every day as they say is a school day!

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Obsessed much!

Well it will only be a brief addition to the blog but by heck has The Magdon Series become something of an obsession! A good one though.

From an idea to “perhaps” share I’ve now rocketed forwards to a release date of 06/06/2016. I can’t wait. I’ve loved writing it so much that I’ve already done a full draft of Volume 2. T say I was filled with nervousness at having scale down my length to pretty much 1/10th of my normal Novel target I feel it is really doing me good.

Forcing me in a way to cut some of the over articulate stuff to get to the point, build the story I need and want in the best way to tell what I want to tell.

I’ve spent some glorious days on the Isle Of Wight with the family and whilst I’m focussing more on family time than writing time I am still finding opportunities between fun and frolics to jot some ideas or tap away just a little on the keyboard of the laptop.

So I will share one idea that started as a case of me spraying a moss covered stone with the jet wash.

I needed a symbol, something to represent a hidden symbol of the Magdon and I was struggling. I designed my symbol of Syndicus from Footprints On The Other Side and loved it. A blade between two serpents facing opposite ways making the shape of an S. Obviously someone with far more artistic skills could protray it better but for me my crude sketch is enough for me to implant it into the story.

For the Magdon I was really struggling and then I started researching for Volume 2 and then the jet wash helped me. A squiggle and circle and I could see it, my sons could see “Magdion symbols” and I made something of it.

So here you have the before:

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And the after:

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It’s nothing complex but it represents something that could be hidden in plain sight without being too over the top. And that really represents what The Magdon Series is. A retelling of a story that has really been with us for so long. When you hear it/read it you won’t think you have to change your world to believe it, it is instead something you should believe has always been part of your world you’ve simply forgotten about it.

So as Monday 6th June 2016 approaches I hope and wish that people become welcoming to the story that has been so much fun and adventure for me and mine.