Sunday, 24 June 2012

All the fun of the Fair - New Edition

Just a quickie today folks,

First off, the rains stopped! Thank God because for the first since I've lived here my house sprung a leak. Thankfully it was nothing major and nothing a bit of sunshine can't fix.

Anyway, always one to listen to feedback (and generally ignore it) I have revised my book All the fun of the Fair. I've toned down the vocaulary because I was basically showing off. Hopefully now folk will be able to understand what I'm saying without the need for a dictionary.

I've also restructured a couple of chapters near the end which I think makes it flow better. It's not a big deal because I was reformatting it anyway because it's going to be out in paperack in the next week or two.

As such, since it's a new version, it also features a new, more grown up, cover, handily pictured here:

If you needed more reason to buy yourself a copy then I've also reduced the price to £1.31 in the UK and $1.99 in the US. As ever, I hope you like it and a review is much appreciated.

Right, quick hour in the garden tidying up before the football. Let's hope Uncle Roy has got the beating of the Italians.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Emails and Venice

Evening groovers,

As predicted I've been over thinking the submission I sent to Simon Trewin. That said, it was a bit strange. I sent the email around midnight and received a read receipt at 6AM. So I awoke to find it waiting for me and was immediately a bit excited and then a bit curious as to who on earth was opening emails at that time.

Later, at about 10:30AM I received another read receipt for my email which made me more curious and a bit more excited.

I also spent a bit of time thinking about Carole Blake (of Blake Friedmann agency) because she is on Simon Trewin's Twitter list so I know she is on holiday in Venice. I have just booked to go to Venice so I began to wonder if this was a sign that submitting to Simon was the right move.

You see how these things mess with my mind? This is exactly the reason why I was so unsure about sending anything in the first place.

In other news I've sold a few books today which is good and the revisions for the paperback version of All the fun of the Fair are progressing. I've done about half the book so it should be ready early next week. Needless to say I'll post updates on here.

Sadly I've not written much but I'm just too damn tired. I managed a couple of hundred words of fairly meaningless prose last night and I've just not had the inclination tonight but by the time I got in from work and shopping and had tea I fell alseep on the couch and that was it. I've got a couple of days in the Lake District booked at the end of the month though so hopefully that might help the creativity.

Until next time...

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The need for submission

Morning folks,

I thought I was cured. I honestly thought it was behind me, that I had rid mysef of the demons and that the darkness had lifted. Tonight, however, I succumbed and gave myself over to desire and embraced my weakness. Tonight, loyal reader, I submitted a letter and novel extract to a literary agent.

I know, I know, it's pointless, futile, humiliating. My only excuse is that I could not help myself.

After years of being oh so close, after having my own agent, after contact from one of the biggest publishers in the world and then nothing, I thought I had learned. The advent of Amazon's self-publishing option seemed to scratch my itch. I was able to sell my books, even in paperback, worldwide and it felt good. My mother is proud of me. I am a published author who recieves royalties each month.

So what happened? A single Tweet from Simon Trewin. Who? He's a partner at WME in London. He rejected my earlier work years ago when I didn't know any better. But the world is smaller than it's ever been.

I started to write crime fiction. Simon tweeted that he'd like to see some. I was unable, perhaps unwilling, to resist. Despising myself, I attached an extract to an email and sent it off within the last hour, knowing in my heart that Simon will never even see it. One of his team, a subordinate with two less degrees than me, will glance at my email, the attachment might well never be read. Later, perhaps in 6 weeks, maybe 2 months, I will receive a standard reply thanking me for my submission but politely declining. They will wish me luck elsewhere and I will be despondent.

Until then I will think about the submision every day, outwardly claiming not to be bothered, expecting rejection, while inwardly praying for acceptance.

Amazon's self publishing option has allowed any author to make their work available to a global audience. I have sold my books in Germany, the UK and America, in ebook and paperback. The reviews have been, without exception, fantastic. My social network is growing exponentially.

Would I change all of this for a leading agent and a publishing contract with Random House (or similar)?

Let's wait and see what Simon says.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Followers, Friends and Book Sales

Evening folks,

So it's been an interesting few days. My push to increase my social networking presence is going well. I now have about 800 Twitter followers and just shy of 300 friends on Facebook.

Most of these folk seem to be like minded i.e. authors with books to promote and opinions on all aspects of writing. After a few days of actively seeking new people the growth seems to be starting to feed itself as my networks are growing without my input. The plan is to monitor and review to keep things on an upward trajectory.

Which leads me nicely to my next issue. How to translate this presence into book sales. It's all well and good being able to reach more people, but if they are largely like-minded, then I don't think it will lead to vastly increased sales. After all, while I have checked out a few of the recommendations I've received from my new friends, I am not about to buy all of the books available on my friends lists. So that begs the question, why would they buy mine?

I have no answer, but if and when I figure it out hopefully I can then build my sales.

In other news, Tiger Woods looked like he was in line to win his first major in four years only to have a shocking day yesterday. Sadly, his start today will have him longing for the golf he played yesterday. Meanwhile, Federer lost the final of the tennis to a bloke even older than him who hasn't won anything in three years. On the plus side, England have a good shout of progressing in the football.

I also went to the see the National Theatre Live screening of Frankenstein tonight. Brilliant. I ran into the ex-wife of a friend of mine at the bar. He left her the week after attending a BBQ at my house last summer. On the plus side she's looking pretty well but it was a bit awkward all round.

Anyway, I'd best crack on. Tonight's plan, some editing/revision of All the fun of the Fair which I plan to launch as a paperback in the next few weeks. I shall be relying on my vast new social network to spread the word far and wide.

As you were...

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Jazz Cafe price reduction

Evening gang,

So, after the excitement of meeting lots of new folk all over the world thanks to Facebook and Twitter, what next?

I've decided a little bit of a promotion might be in order. So, just for a little while, my latest 5* crime thriller is available at a reduced price on Kindle only in the UK, Europe and US. It's now just £1.33 or $1.99 depending on where you are. Please spread the word.

To get everyone in the spirit, here's a few lines to tempt you in...

A host of memories passed through his mind, particularly one of himself as a child playing on the beach, paddling in the sea. He smiled, but it was tinged with regret. This town, Morecambe, had never taken responsibility. Its inhabitants were always keen to blame someone else, something else, constantly hoping – expecting – to be bailed out by a third party. Well, now perhaps it was time to pay, time to face up and answer for what had gone before.
    He smelled lighter fluid and glanced down. His right hand still held the lighter only now a blue flame rose from it, ending in a point. For something new to begin, something else had to end. He dropped the lighter."
You know where to find the book by now but for the sake of completeness, here are the links:
Jazz Cafe UK
Jazz Cafe US

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Welcome new friends!

Evening all,

Just a short post tonight to welcome along all my lovely new Twitter and Facebook chums. I hope we can exchange thoughts and ideas and generally interact in a way that benefits everyone. I've already looked at some of the blogs, Facebook pages and websites of some of my new friends and it seems you are all a busy bunch. It's all very impressive and, I hope, just the start.

As ever, if anyone takes the time to follow this blog, follow me on Twitter or indeed Like my Facebook page then it is much appreciated and will be reciprocated.

Now if I could just translate all this into book sales....

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Jazz Cafe Paperback

That's right folks, my latest book The 24 Hour Jazz Cafe is finally out in paperback. It seems to have taken ages but I'm delighted with it. Plus the reviews it's had have been fantastic 5* ones which helps.

Anyway, as ever the link to buy is in the title of the book i.e. The 24 Hour Jazz Cafe! It's not cheap at £9.49 but it's worth it. Unless you have a Kindle in which case buy that version instead.

Either way I hope you love it. This is the first in the series so get on board. When this book turns out to be the next Fifty Shades of Grey (but without all the sex) then you'll want to be able to say you read it first. Now you have no excuse.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Another 5* review. But no sales!

Morning folks,

I'm riddled with some sort of vile cold which has darkened my mood somewhat. Although nobody seems to have noticed any difference.

Anyway, despite doing a bit of promo so far this month my total sales have been slightly above sod all. So that's been a worthwhile investment of my time. There is, however, a silver lining to this snot covered, light on sales cloud. I have received another 5 star review of The 24 Hour Jazz Cafe. So, as much to cheer myself up as anything else (because God knows it never seems to lead to sales) here is the review:

"This book is a must have. It was so gripping I had a job to put it down. I have never read a book so fast! Superbly written with an excellent twist. A nice gentle start which built up to an exciting and gripping action packed story with a brilliant finale! I would never have guessed the culprit or that some would have walked away alive. Excellent characters and descriptions, some you could like and others you would not. You could almost visualise the characters on the page as you read. It has it all Crime, Corruption and Murder ~ Brilliant. I will be definitely purchasing more of Jamie Sinclair's books. Lets hope there is more Rupert and Mitch!"

All this and Federer got soundly beaten in the tennis. Best days behind him nw, but the best there has been.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Self-promotion. A chore without reward?

Afternoon folks,

Did everyone have a lovely jubilee? If nothing else having four days off work has been a delight. Mind you, the wife has worked every day but she gets paid lots so fair play to her.

Anyway, self-promo. I'm not a fan simply because I work full time and what little free time I do have I like to use to write books. If I spend an hour in an evening touting myslf around the internet it leaves nothing left for crafting the novel. Of course, logic suggests that if I don't do some promotion then nobody will buy my books as they won't know they exist.

This, I suppose, is true. To an extent. If you're a best selling author shifting thousands of copies then surely self-promo is pointless as the sales and word of mouth will feed into each other. I sell in dozens rather than thousands (so far) but I've found that no matter what promo I do my sales are pretty consistent month on month.

For example last month I did a couple of days promo and then only because my debut book, Playground Cool, was lauched in paperback. But I was busy at work and also decorating bits of my house, so that didn't leave any time to promote. Yet at the end of the month I'd sold near enough the same amount as the month before.

Anyway, since I did have time today I've posted on several discussion threads, also on Kindleoards and Book Blogs. I will post on later and on Goodreads, as well as this blog post obviously. This will automatically appear on Facebook (hi facebook) and that will be about it. Will it lead to sales? Probably a couple. But then I reckon I might have had those anyway, sooner or later.

If you work it out in terms of a job, then self-promo for an author selling the amount I do is expensive i.e. an hour a day of promo for 2 sales? That's about £1 in royalties. Who on earth does anything for a pound an hour? Of course, if one of my books starts to take off and an hour of promo equalled a hundred sales, a thousand? Then all of a sudden that's a great return. But making that leap is proving hard, not just for me but for thousands of other writers in this position. We all know the game and the rules, promo, lots of it, on all the right websites. But it's so time-consuming!!!

So what to do?  I will do some promo, as much as I can be bothered to do, and hope something sparks and takes off. But it's not the be all and end all. I'd rather spend the time writing books than promoting them.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Jazz Cafe proof has arrived

Morning gang,

As the title suggests the proof copy of my latest book The 24 Hour Jazz Cafe arrived this week. I know I'm biased but I think it looks superb. It's 480 pages long too which is hefty. Admittedly I could shave plenty off by reducing the line spacing a bit but I like how it looks.

As soon as I've checked it for errors I'll be approving it for sale worldwide via Amazon. Until then it is available on Kindle. Here's a photo of the proof. For £7.50 you could have that on your shelf.