Become your project…

Wow! The project is growing. The world of publishing is so vast that simply clicking “PUBLISH” on CreateSpace, KDP, Smashwords or Draft2Digital is just one step along the process. In today’s digital age the possibilities are endless and so far I have simply tapped into those possibilities.

Since my last blog entry I have begun the journey into the world of audiobooks and am just waiting to see if the narrator who auditioned best wants to follow through with the project. His voice was perfect for what I wanted and I am hoping by doing a royalty split option it will allow me to have another avenue for word-of-mouth and advertising to get the story told to the world far and wide.

And so to marketing………….I don’t get it! I honestly am trying my best and every day I learn something new.

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Having more fun than I probably should be (being a respectable, mature, grown-up dad….oh no I’m just being me)


I have employed some traditional approaches which include flyers and leaflets, posters and word-of-mouth. I have tried less conventional in Facebook Ads, silly videos and explanation graphics and posters. One thing I am learning is how many opportunities I seriously miss out on by not being prepared. I bumped into a CBBC presenter the other day and didn’t even have a single leaflet to give him to give to him! How poorly planned was that!?!

So I learned that I must be prepared. Ask me anything about the story and I can talk enthusiastically for hours on end. I just need to engage something to pull people in to ask me those questions.

A friend who knows PR advised me that I am the product, I am the only one who can be the story or else get the attention it deserves.

I took that literally! With a trip to a few clothes shops, I managed to pull together the sort of look I expected Archy to have in my mind’s eye. There are a few extra bits to the outfit but you know what, I suppose he is my (fictional) Great Grandfather so we should have a family resemblance (artistic licence of course). So armed with the fledgeling outfit and a camera smartphone with a timer I played male model and became the face of my own story.

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Years watching America’s Next Top Model and this is the best I can do!


My funds are minimal (father of three with a recently renovated house etc etc) so I have to do as much as I can on my own. My silly attempt at a viral-type video was self-made, my modelling as Archy self-done, my cover art self-devised everything on this project comes from me, the young Archy pictures self-done with my own children……this whole story and process is a family story and we will continue to do it like this for the whole journey. As others become involved they are welcomed into the family of this series. I would rather it remain a close-knit journey than sell off to the bigger machines that don’t have as much invested in what I/we are doing with The Magdon Series.

So the main thing I have learned is going it alone is a long journey but it remains MY journey. I have compromised so little in getting my story from brain to page to print. Yes of course the big kid in me has loved all of it, especially trying to portray Archy and dressing up, come on who can deny spraying some fake blood, wielding a sword and taking pictures in the sun is a fairly decent and entertaining way to spend my rest days! Better than working I can say that much.

I am no male model, I am no award winning author, I am no ground-breaking parent, I am no graphic designer, I am no PR guru, I am no well trained editor…….YET in all of this I am all of these things. Perhaps not to the shining meng-bucks level but I am taking on every role I can to ensure the product I get out there is the best I CAN GIVE YOU.

This journey is long, it is difficult but hell I will make it as FUN AS I POSSIBLY CAN.

Enjoy the ride.


Adventures and changes

Needless to say, it has been a busy few weeks promoting the first in the series Origins Of The Magdon: Vercovicium but also preparing for the release of Book 2. I know it is difficult to justify releasing the second in the series with moderate sales for the first series but the story is more important than sales. This journey is about the story being told and anything else that comes from that is a bonus.

To that effect Origins Of The Magdon: Valley Of The Kings (Book 2) is set to land on the 8th September and continues Archy’s adventures.

At quite the last minute I decided to change the cover of Book 2 from how I had planned (a simple subtle change to something more distinctly individual for each entry into the series but all following enough of a theme to know they come together! Changing the covers was a big deal for me as I had planned everything around the old cover that suddenly I realised did not quite do my book justice.

So the journey began to create something new and thanks to the contacts I am making online with other authors and (potential) readers feedback was taken and changes made until I managed to create the new finished product of which I am very happy with.

Outside of writing and designing I have spent some quality family time clambering mountains with my son which has allowed a big amount of time to just let the addled brain relax a little. Instead of swimming with ideas they were very much washed away by the natural beauty of the mountain. It was some bonding time allowing freedom, relaxation and reflection thus charging my creative batteries a little.

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Writing can become so absorbing but what I am learning is that writing the book is only the start. It’s all about marketing and whilst I have remained determined at this time not to accept the contract I have been offered for my manuscript it is still hard deciding how best to get support and momentum for the story. That said those I am connecting with as readers are investing in and enjoying the story which fills me with the confidence that there is something in the story to keep trying to get the world to notice.

I have struggled to find the right “compartment” into which the story fits as I have written it for such a wide-ranging audience. Adults, children, parents, grandparents, mid-grade, teens….everyone can enjoy something from the story and that is how I want it to be.

Someone asked me why I wrote the story and the only way I could explain it was like this:

I remember watching films like Indiana Jones as a kid and wanting to embark on some epic adventure into history. This story arc for The Magdon Series is my way of rekindling that childish sense of excitement and adventure, that escapism from the real world to question the world and imagine the what ifs. This is a story to encourage a sense of fun, excitement and give you that little tingle when you put yourself in Archy’s place and think “what if”. It’s really my mad way of keeping my childhood alive even though I am, supposed to be a responsible adult these days.

What I really need to try and get done is get myself featured and interviewed somewhere so I can be that human face of the story, explain in my own peculiar way why I do what I do and what brought all of this about.

It’s tough, it’s confusing but it will be worth it in the end.

Also in view of Book 2 coming out you can get Book 1 FREE from Smashwords using the code VK43P