Monday, 30 July 2012

Medals and reviews

Hi folks,

Just a quick post while I have a brew at work.

Federer is cruising inthe Olympic tennis, our omwen set an Olympic record in the rowing earlier and there's Tom Daley to come in the diving shortly. Epic!

But to more pressing news. I stumbled across a review of my book All the fun of the Fair which was quite simply bursting with enthusiasm, to the extent that I've included it here. Huge thanks to the reviewer, it's much appreciated.

"Usually, I only ever read horror. However, after being 'horrored out' on holiday in Corfu I decided to read something from a different genre and had downloaded this book a while ago. I am so glad I did. The story centres around a group of Morecambe residents. The author does an amazing job of inter-twining all the main characters to tell their individual stories. It is funny, sad and heart wrenching. What I especially liked about the book is the fact that Morecambe holds many dear memories for me and it was lovely to read about places I recognised (Happy Mount Park being one) and it gave me a nice warm fuzzy feeling! I could picture the streets of Morecambe clearly. This is a really well written book, and after reading it I am eager to read more by Jamie Sinclair. The author portrays his characters exceedingly well and the reader becomes attached to them all. He gets into the minds of the young and the old alike, seamlessly. This is a brilliant book and I am so glad I read it. Look forward to reading more by this author."

London 2012 and job applications

Evening folks,

Just a quick one tonight. How utterly awesome is the BBC coverage of the Olympics? I admit some of the commentary might be a bit mundane but in terms of the way the BBC has made the events viewable it's staggering. Press the red button, all the events on live as they happen. I've been like a kid in a sweetshop flicking between Federer on the tennis, Adlington in the pool, bit of archery, bit of Gymnastics, some diving while I had a snack, then some more swimming, bit of cycling. Brilliant!

In between all this I've applied for a new job! Just submitted the forms now. It's a huge step up from what I do now but I have the skills (on paper at least) and if I don't go for it there's next to zero chance it will come up again before I get made redundant. I'll let you know how that goes.

On top of that the new book is pouring from me. 31,800 words completed now. The aim is to keep as much momentum as I can for the next 3 weeks which will be busy at work and then I have a week off so I can hammer it then.

Sold a couple of books over the weekend too, it's never enough but thanks anyway. We also found time to go see Woman in Black in the park. If you follow me on Twitter you'll know this already but it was superb, very atmospheric in the dark with the wind rustling through the trees. Plus a young lady who had too much to drink nodded off and fell off her bench to the floor. She was fine and it was hilarious. Oddly enough the lady in question saw my Tweet about it and retweeted it!

So, as you can see, it's pretty much all go and non-stop but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

London 2012 and pink grapefruit

Afternoon everyone,

So then, how good was the opening ceremony then? Apparently 26.5 million folk stayed up to watch here in the UK. The wife and I sat pretty much mesmerised by the whole thing. I can only imagine Danny Boyle and his team will receive some sort of mention in the Queen's next honours list.

It seems that our American chums struggled to see the opening of the largest sporting event on the planet owing to NBC not showing it live. I don't know details only what I've seen on Twitter etc, but a lot of people seemed pretty unhappy that it wasnt being shown live. If it wasn't, it begs the question, what's more important than showing the opening ceremony of the Olympics?

I'm established on the couch today for a full day of olympic viewing - I am going out tonight though. Outdoor showing of Woman in Black in a local park. Hope it stays dry.

The BBC have pulled out all the stops with the coverage. They've got a fancy menu TV guide thingy where you can just click on the sport you want to watch and away you go. Epic.

The other bonus was that I discovered a tin of grapefruit in the cupboard so that became a late breakfast.

Since this is a writing blog I'd best mention the books. I've written 30,500 words of the new book so I'm still on course to have it published this year along with another from the back catalogue. My existing books are also still available on Kindle, Createspace, Smashwords, Kobo, Apple Ibook, Sony Ereader, Bibliocracy and doubtless a few more. They're all priced to sell too, except the paperbacks which are vastly over priced but look superb on a shelf.

Oh, one last thing. An associate of mine went to the local library yesterday and asked if they could order in a copy of one of my books. He was, I believe, armed with the necessary ISBN info. From what I can gather they seemed to suspect that he was, in fact, me trying to abuse the library and use them as some sort of self-promotion tool. I have to admit to being a bit miffed. After all, I thought libraries would order in pretty much any book if a customer asked for it. Add to that the fact that I'm local and it's win win all round. If I end up selling millions all of a sudden they'd have "local author" posters all over the bloody place to drag people in. Poor form!!

Now stop reading this and watch some Olympics!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Midland Hotel & the Jazz Cafe

Evening gang! Everyone okay? Excellent.

First off, how on earth does an 11 year old child get from Wythenshawe to Rome via plane on his own without a bloody passport? For God's sake the Olympics starts on Friday. Should we not be on top of security at major airports? Just in case you've missed this story here's the LINK TO THE BBC.

In other news, this picture is of the iconic Midand Hotel.

Awesome photo isn't it? Thanks to Crosby Camera Club for the image.You should see the inside of the hotel. In fact, come to Morecambe and stay there. This hotel features in my book The 24 Hour Jazz Cafe. In fact, it's on the front cover.

Not bad is it? Accordng to the reviews it's a pretty good crime thriller too. Sadly in the book the Midland is not open but being redeveloped as it was a few years ago. Then the hotel is burned down at the end. Don't worry, they build something awesome on the site for the follow up!

Anyway, that's the point of this post. I use real places in my books to ground them in reality. Makes the story more believeable. In Edinburgh you can go on an Ian Rankin Rebus tour to see the places featured in the books. I hope one day that folk will come to Morecambe and district for my books in the future and, hopefully, that will help the regeneration of the town.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Featured at Bibliocracy

Morning folks,

Just a quickie. A couple of my books are on the front page of Bibliocracy as featured books this morning which is nice. So if you don't fancy buying them from Amazon get yourself over there. All four of my books can be downloaded from Bibliocracy right now. Just search for Jamie Sinclair.

Is it just about numbers?

Morning gang,

Progress on the new book continues. I had a thinking day yesterday because I suddenly realised I was writing myself into a bit of a cul de sac. That seems to be sorted now and I've written about a 1000 words today to take the total to over 26,500. Hurrah.

I have to admit I've been sidetracked somewhat by The Open on the BBC. As ever, if you've read my profile you'll know this, I was routing for Tiger while knowing that, realistically, he would fall short. It was frustrating viewing because he was basically trying to win a Major tournament without using a driver. Such is his talent he still came third. If he ever manages to recapture his previous magic God help everyone else. The numbers are interesting. Adam Scott was winning but bogeyed the last 4 holes to leave himself level needing to par the last for a playoff with Ernie Els. He didn't. Also a big thumbs up to Team Sky and Bradley Wiggins for winning his first Tour De France. Never been done by a Brit!

Last night also saw Liverpool's first pre-season game take place against Toronto FC. Interesting largely because it was Brendan's first game in charge. What did I take from the game? That Liverpool has a lot of players on it's books, many of whom will never, ever play in the Premier League. The game was a 1-1 draw. It's a miracle I've written anything.

Right, I'd best dash, I've got to be at work in 5 and a half hours and I've got a bottle of beer to finish first.


Sunday, 22 July 2012

Will this Blog Post lead to a book sale?

Hi folks and welcome to my first post since announcing the relaunch of my blog. The purpose of this post? To see if a single post can lead to

a) more traffic to this blog
b) more followers of this blog
c) increased sales of my books

It's a big ask but here we go.

Today I changed the title and description of my blog. I am going to mention that I am an English author of crime thriller books in this post. I am also going to tell you that they are set in a small seaside town called Morecambe where I grew up. Hopefully you'll wonder where that is and click the link I put in the word Morecambe. The reason I'm sharing this is because it's relevant and also because I hope that people like you will search for these terms and find my blog.

If you're still here you might wonder what my books are about. You can learn about them from this very blog or from my Facebook page or even my Amazon author page. It shouldn't be a surprise that I've put links to all these in the text too.

If you are a fan of romantic fiction you'll hopefully like my book Playground Cool or All the fun of the Fair. If you're not sure why not download a sample? You can do that via Amazon or Smashwords and, soon, Bibliocracy.

Do you like crime thrillers? Great, try my latest book The 24 Hour Jazz Cafe. It's set in Morecambe and you can try a sample fo that for free too. If you've been paying attention you'll know the link was in the title of the book.

As part of my new strategy to meet aa many people as I can and introduce them to my books, today I aso updated my LinkedIn profile, did a press release and made sure that my entire online presence is linked. That means this blog post will go straight to this Facebook page. It will also appear on my Goodreads page too. If I post a Tweet that will appear on this blog and on my LinkedIN account.

Why? Because I want you to know about me and where I'm from. Then I want you to buy my books, and enjoy them. Then, finally, I want you to tell all your friends about me.

But it all starts with you reading this blog post. Welcome aboard.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

SEO. Using Keywords to get seen.

Afternoon folks,

Morecambe. Crime thriller. Romantic saga.

You might have noticed, if you're a regular reader, that the name of the blog has changed. And the description too. Why?

Well, as part of my ongoing efforts to drive traffic to this blog and, ultimately, to drive sales of my books, I am trying to embrace the idea of Search Engine Optimisation. Like most folk, I'm aware it exists but I don't have a great understanding of it. But I've been doing some reading and have decided to give it a go.

The idea seems to be to mention certain keywords regularly throughout blog posts which are then picked up by search engines. These need to be words that are likely to be searched for so there's no point picking something random like Handbag Clasp. So, for this post I'm trying Morecambe because it's where two of my books are set and Crime Thriller, because it's the biggest selling genre of fiction.

Apparently the trick is also to reference old blog posts too, with a view that you drive traffic to yourself. I haven't grasped that yet but I'll persevere. The plan is to keep an eye on my traffic stats for a month and see if there's been an impact and review after that.

So, to recap. My book The 24 Hour Jazz Cafe is a CRIME THRILLER set in MORECAMBE and has received fantastic reviews. My book All the fun of the Fair is a ROMANTIC SAGA and is also set in MORECAMBE. Too subtle? We shall see.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Golf, EL James and Bibliocracy.

Evening gang,

So the golf at Lytham is at the halfway stage. Tiger produced a stunning last shot on the 18th to leave himself in contention for the weekend. I shall be planted in front of the tele all weekend.

In other news I was just looking at my last post from Monday where I said the goal for the night was to clear 21000 words. Well as of today I've written 25,500 so it's going well. The weekend plan is to review and tighten up some scenes and then attack it again next week. But if you liked The 24 Hour Jazz cafe, you'll love the new one.

Last thing, as part of my ongoing efforts to increase my online presence I have uploaded my books to Bibliocracy. Essentially a platform to publish and sell work, they take a small cut for the service but no more than Smashwords and a lot less than Amazon. They reckon it'll be about five days before the books appear on their site so I'll post links when I have them.

Until then my books are still available on Amazon everywhere, on Smashwords in every conceivable format and in paperback via Amazon or Createspace. I know how many I've sold so I know lots of you have yet to treat yourself to a copy. You'll regret it when I'm suddenly the next EL James (Fifty Shades of...)

Monday, 16 July 2012

Royalty payments and Federer

Morning folks,

I'll be really quick tonight because I'm writing and it's going well. Tonight's goal is to clear 21,000 words of the new book and leave it in a place to hit the ground running tomorrow. That's key because it's a Monday and I'm at my most tired and grumpy on a Monday. Why? Because I always stay up late on Sunday writing, drinking beer and blogging.

Anyway, as regular readers will know my existing books are now available in all formats via Smashwords. I've sold a couple already and here's what I noticed. The royalty percentage is 77.5%. Why is this interesting? Because Amazon's best offer is 70%. Don't get me wrong, I'm really, really happy with everything Amazon do for Indie authors. But they do make a big deal of their percentage and, if you want the most flexibilty, their 35% offer is the best and the one I use. On a 99p Indie book that's not going to make you rich.

Anyway, I don't know why or how Smashwords offer more but I'm glad they do. Obviously when they sell via retailers the royalty is far less because the retailer takes a cut, then Smashwords take a cut from that. But direct sales via Smashwords are impressive from a royalty point of view and I'm surprised they don't make more of it in their advertising.

Of course, I only benefit from this if you go and buy my books so crack on.

Oh by the way, the Federer reference in the title? I was reading about him on the BBC website. I never get bored of him. Obviously I mean his tennis, I don't know the man. But good grief, even though he's past his dominant prime, when he manages to conjure up the magic like he did at the recent Wimbledon final it's mesmerising. It's nearer to art than sport, but then all great sport is in my opinion. Ali at his best? Woods when he used to win just by turning up? Federer on grass.

Anyway I'm rambling. In short. Buy my books. Watch tennis. Night.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

My books. All formats. Right now.

That's right kids, we're taking things up a notch. As of tonight all four of my books are available in every available format. As such you are bang out of excuses not to buy a copy. If you can't be bothered to read anymore and just want to dive in then click HERE, select the book you like buy it in the format of your choice. You can even have a 20% sample for free to see see if you like the book.

Got a Kobo or a Nook? Buy my book.
Ipad? Got it covered.
Sony Reader? Dive in

I know, it's all a bit overwhelming so let's take a breath and just see where we're up to. Since November last year I've been publishing my books via Amazon and it's been far more successful than I'd dared hope. But of course I was always aware that there were other games in town, especially in America. As of tonight I have published my books via Smashwords so if you dash over to their website and search for me, or my books, you can buy them in any format you like, including PDF, Text file, as well as all the fancy ebook options. The price is the same regardless of format so nobody is gaining or losing anything by having one reader or another.

But it gets better. Smashwords also distribute to all the major retailers. What does this mean I hear you all cry? It means that within the next few weeks my books will appear on websites like Barnes and Noble (very big player in the US), the Diesel Bookstore, Baker & Taylor, as well as Apple's Ibook store. So all of a sudden I'll be everywhere. Exciting times.

Of course it means I'll have to get a bit more creative with my promo which currently is pretty pathetic. I'll need to promote myself on sites specific to each format, find forums which deal with formats other than Kindle. It'll be a challenge but there's no downside to being seen more.

So that's it. I'd best get back to writing the next book. As ever there links throughout the text but since this is a new venture I'll include some specific links at the bottom to get you started.

If you click HERE you'll see my books on Smashwords. Click on the one you like, read a bit of blurb. Scroll down and there's a list of every available format. Just click your choice and away you go. The really cool bit? You can download a 20% sample for FREE to see if you like the book.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

It was always going to end in rejection

Evening gang,

I'm going to open with a positive. I've written just over 20,000 words of the new Mitch and Rupert novel! This week I've managed to tap out a few words at work because I've been in a different, very quiet, office. It took a bit of effort to get back into the story but it's all good now. I've added a prologue to kick start the action. As ever I'm writing in a pretty visual way for when the series is picked up to be a film or on tele (let me dream!!!) and the opening scene is pretty shocking, not so much because it's a bit violent, but because of the way the violence happens. You'll learn more when it's finished!

And now the negative. Regular readers will recall I sent a submission to Simon Trewin in the middle of June. I was pretty cross with myself for doing it as I know that rejection is the most likely outcome. So it was no surprise when I received an email from Mr Trewin's office politely declining my efforts. I won't bore you with the details, a no is a no however you dress it up. I was miffed at first but then realised I had lost nothing and I've been there before.

And now more positives to finish. I've got 1200 Twitter followers, thanks to all of them (a few more retweets of my promo stuff would be nice) and over 300 FB friends so my network is growing nicely. I've also sold a few copies of my Christmas short story which I find amazing given that it's July (much appreciated though). Finally, it's the 50th anniversary of the worlds greatest rock and band. If you need me to point out who, then really, what have you been doing all this time? There's talk of a tour next year and I might, just might, have a sniff of a box seat to see them at Madison Sqaure Garden in the Big Apple.


Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Making the most of Morecambe

Evening folks,

Just a quickie tonight. The wife's out so I'm going to indulge in some big screen film/xbox tom-foolery. But I will be recording Turn Back Time on BBC 1 as it's set in Morecambe and features several places featured in my books.

Speaking of which, I have recently acquired the Winter Gardens in Morecambe as a follower on Twitter. If you've got a spare million or ten, send them a donation. If they crack on and get it refurbished they could have The Rolling Stones do their 50th anniversary gigs there next year. Now wouldn't that be something to aim for!

Dreaming aside, here's a bit of Morecambe based book promo. You'll like this, it's clever.

The photo above is the entrance to Happy Mount Park in Morecambe. Alfie, the central character in my book, All the fun of the Fair, is park keeper here. Also, the vile Lee Etchman runs the cafe and has an ice cream van in there too. He is obsessed with his young assistant Tania Streatham.

The park also features in my book The 24 Hour Jazz Cafe. The body of a schoolgirl is found at the back of the park by a dog walker.

So you see, while the work is fiction, the places featured in the books are quite real. You could even come to visit, perhaps use my books as a kind of guide to places of interest.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Another agent submission

Morning gang,

I've only gone and done it again. Fresh from submitting a chunk of the Jazz Cafe to Simon Trewin in mid June, last night I sent the same package to Carole Blake at Blake Friedmann.

Twitter is once again responsible. I found Carole via Simon's follower list and, of course, recognised her name from past rejections and because her agency is a big one. So I followed her on Twitter and she's pretty prolific. I then found myself repsonding to a tweet and, shocker, she replied. Nothing major, just a comment on something someone else had said. I replied to that and she replied again.

That started me thinking I might as well send something in and, after pondering it all day yesterday I finally sent off the submission last night via email. Then I went to bed...

I awoke this morning to a read receipt from Carole at about 8:30. I know I know, it is likely either an automatic response or one of the staff, either way it's keen to get a response on a Sunday. Of course, much like the submission I sent to Simon Trewin, I will now think about little else for the next fortnight. Hopefully this will be the last time I submit because I always feel miserable afterwards.

Right, I'm writing for a couple of hours before the Wimbledon final. I suspect this one might have the highest viewing figures since the early 80's when Borg was about. Murray vs Federer. History made either way. Readers of this blog know who I want to win but I hope it's a classic.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

New Paperback out now!

Afternoon folks,

This is a note worthy post simply because it is being written from my garden. It's hot and sunny, the flowers look great and, knowing the British weather, this might be the only chance I get to do this.

The other news is that my book All the fun of the Fair landed on my mat this morning. That's right, if you don't or won't do Kindle, you can now buy it in paperback. It's slightly smaller, in terms of measurements, than my previous two books, but in terms of word count it's the longest.

It's also the revised version based on reviews and feedback from the Kindle version. I've toned down the language a bit and restructured the chapters leading up to the ending. Either way the reviews are all super and the feedback positive. I'm also particularly proud of the cover. Although it's in no way linked to the book, the house where a number of the characters live (Westminster Road in Morecambe) is real and features in the new Mitch and Rupert book. It is also adjacent to Albert Road where the BBC has set it's new Turn Back Time series. So if you want to get a visual idea of where the book is set, watch the programme.

Anyway, here are the links for the two main Amazon sites:

All the fun of the Fair AMAZON.COM

All the fun of the Fair AMAZON.CO.UK

Right, I'm going to wander inside and keep one eye on tennis. The last bit of good news is that I have started work on the new Mitch and Rupert book again after a few weeks off.

Until next time...

PS Roger Federer in Wimbledon final tomorrow for record 8th time. I know I'm supposed to want Andy Murray to win and if he's the best player tomorrow then full marks to him. But I'd rather Roger won. There I said it! He's the best player there's ever been in my humble opinion and to win tomorrow would be a huge achievement in terms of the history of the game. 7 titles, back to World number 1 and finally breaking Sampras's record for weeks at number 1. Immense.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

The Stone Roses and Agents

Evening folks,

It's been a very lively few days and in all the excitement I forgot to mention I went to a concert on Friday night. Myself and a few friends went to see the Stone Roses at Heaton Park, their first gig of any note in over 15 years. I won't bore you with the details because if you're interested you were either there or have watched the videos on Youtube. Suffice to say, in years to come I will be able to say I was there and it's something that I and my friends will talk about whenever we meet up.

Aside from that the wife turned 40. I went large with the present budget which seemed to be the right play. Lots of tears and talk of it being the perfect weekend. So that's not done me any harm long term.

One thing I haven't done is write. Not a word in weeks. It's a particular shame because the new Mitch and Rupert book was pouring out of me. I've decided to print off what I've done so far, read it and try to get back into the flow. Fingers crossed.

Still no response from the material I emailed to Simon Trewin, but I've let it go now. On the other hand I did get a couple of Tweets from Carole Blake so I'm toying with the idea of sending something to her. Humour me, I have a blind spot when it comes to rejection.

Sales remain steady, if a little slower which I'm putting down to it being summer and my doing less promo. Mind you, the British summer has been so bad I'm surprised more folk aren't indoors reading.

Until next time...

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Turn Back Time on the BBC

Interesting news folks.

UK readers might be aware of a series called Turn Back Time on the BBC. It's set in Morecambe like my books! Places like the Midland Hotel are featured, as well as local theatres, the park, the promenade and the beach.

Why is this interesting? Aside from being set 200 yards from where I was brought up, these places also feature heavily in my book The 24 Hour Jazz Cafe and All the Fun of the Fair. In fact, the Midland hotel is on the cover of the Jazz Cafe and All the Fun is set on Westminster road which is the street next to Albert Road as featured in the BBC programme.

I'd be daft not to try and use this to market my own books so if you want to read more about Morecambe and the locals, buy my books. Then, watch the BBC series, it's very, very good.