Tuesday, 27 November 2018

The author live on t'internet - but only intermittently

So, yesterday evening I officially launched my new novel, The Dog-walking Club, live on FaceBook.

I think it should still be viewable here* and, in fact, viewing it after the event is probably better as, for some reason, the internet connection kept breaking down during the live production:

*I'm not sure how long FaceBook keeps these things.

I've noticed my book cover image is back to front. In fact it's all back to front. That doesn't usually happen with a camera, does it? 

It's available from Amazon in paperback and ebook format.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Okay, so slow blogging might be the way forward

Sorry I've been absent. (I am assuming here that I have some readers who might have noticed my absence.) Book stuff went quiet while life went wild, mainly around my birthday. But I'm back now and planning a book launch.

Yesterday I did the final checks on the manuscript of The Dog-walking Club before uploading it again to Amazon and confirming printing. It's now available to buy on Amazon as both an ebook and a paperback.

this time next year novel
5* reviews on Amazon!
When I launched my first novel, This Time Next Year, I did a 'proper' event in the local library, the library I'd grown up with, my second home as a child. This time with improved technology I am planning an online launch partly because it's the wrong time of year to expect people to come out and attend my little event and partly because online opens it to potential readers away from Swansea and even in other countries.

So far so simple. 

Technology. I use the word with gay abandon as if I understand any of it. But I can do it, can't I?

I'm planning a practice run in the form of an advance warning notice i.e. telling people about the book launch. I've planned what to say and practised and amended it while I was walking George. That's the easy bit. 

The hard bit is 'doing it'. 

I did some investigating yesterday. First problem was that my webcam didn't work. After much fumbling under the desk trying to disentangle wires to check that it was actually plugged in - I'm old school in that I have a separate webcam that sits on top of my monitor - I gave up and fetched my tablet instead. 

My first pathetic attempt was in too dark a room and my chins were too many. Still I managed to pick up some helpful tips:
make sure the room is well lit;
film from above-ish rather than below;
get someone else to do it for me.

Now I have to publicise it. Again publicity will take a different form. No more posters on village noticeboards but thinking about it, all the people who attended my first novel launch did so because they knew me; no-one came on the basis of having seen a poster.

Times they are a'changing. 

Now would a Monday or a Thursday be better?

And, oh dear, I've just seen my Author photo on Amazon. I'd better update it.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Is slow blogging the way forward?

I shouldn't be doing this. Writing a blog post that is. Apparently slow blogging is the way forward. Working on the tortoise and the hare principle I assume.

Fewer and better qualities posts rather than a daily ramble. I learned this from a blog post, written by Anne R. Allen, a blogger who is in the Top 50 Bloggers for Authors. (Wait, I've just noticed the post is from 2013 so she may not be there any longer.)

The fact that there is a top 50 chart for bloggers writing for authors suggest there an awful lot of, well, bloggers writing for authors. It would be easy to spend all day gathering good - oft repeated - advice when I what I should be doing is writing. Or publishing. Or promoting.

I've asked Husband to read and review The Dog-walking Club before I create a paperback of it. When I self-published This Time Next Year I thought it was pretty good grammar, spelling, punctuation-wise, but Husband quickly pointed out several errors. So I'm hoping he'll find them before I publish this time around. 

In the meantime I shall start editing my next novel, Tabitha's Table. I also plan to draw a map to include in The Dog-walking Club. Husband said, 'It's not going to be one of your drawings, is it?'
This is the sort of thing I'm aiming for
On reflection, and finding myself unable to make any of the relevant software work, I've decided against including a map. Husband is right: my drawing skills are not up to it.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Huge excitement!

I've sold a copy!

After a few wild goose chases I finally worked out how to tell if I've sold anything and I have! My first copy!

Please excuse the copious numbers of exclamation marks! But I'm excited!

I also ascertained that it was paid for in American dollars. I think. 

I definitely need a long lie down now. Or chocolate.

Amazon Marketing Services

The Dog-walking Club ebook

My campaign stats - a grand term for some zeroes on a spreadsheet - are not awfully impressive so far. Five something or others - I think the number of times the ad has appeared - and no clicks - as in follow-up interest. 

I thought perhaps I should investigate advertising a bit more. 

Well. The first article I consulted baffled me totally. I didn't understand half the words. And I had to go back and re-read the first paragraph to find out that the AMS it kept talking about was Amazon Marketing Services. Obvious really. 

Also, people keep talking about scary sums of money like $90 or $200 a month. Makes my $20 experiment look a bit tame.

One real example showed a book that had 15,000 appearances generating 12 clicks which led to anticipated sales of  1 book at $2.99. Only anticipated you notice. They can't actually tell you if a sale did result.

But the general consensus seems to be that AMS can work but you need to keep a close eye on the figures. I think I need to spend more time on this. And not just bleep over words or phrases I don't understand. Or I could go for a long lie down.

The Dog-walking Club is currently only available as an ebook. Paperback to follow soon.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Marketing Guru

I think I have begun an advertising campaign on Amazon. I think. Last time, when I published This Time Next Year, I didn't do any paid advertising or promotion at all really except on my blog and FaceBook but I think if I want to get sales I need to promote. Invest and conquer. Or something like that.

I've booked the campaign to run (in US only - for some reason it doesn't work in UK) for a week on a fairly miserly budget. If I get much interest I can change it to take advantage. Ooh, I sound like a proper professional marketing guru. If only I could type without writing gobbledegook I'd be almost perfect.

Now available!

The Dog-walking Club
The ebook of The Dog-walking Club is now available in the Kindle Store.

If you decide to buy and read it please let me know if you find any mistakes of any sort so I can amend it for the paperback edition. Many thanks.

My email is liz dot hinds at btinternet dot com.

Monday, 8 October 2018


After many more hours and total confusion I have today uploaded The Dog-walking Club to be published as an ebook. It will be available to buy from Amazon in 72 hours I'm told. Then I'll discover all the mistakes in it.

I'm hoping Husband will read it for me soon. He's good at picking up errors. I began the Word grammar check but it can't cope with my style. No doubt it's excellent when writing official letters or documents but it doesn't like incomplete sentences or many of the little phrases I use. Even spellcheck isn't straight-forward as it queries things like nilly - as in willy nilly - or bye bye. So I'm relying heavily on my eagle eyes. They can spot a typo in a professionally published book with great ease but they're less reliable when familiar - as in read eight times at least - with a manuscript.

And here is the chosen cover.
Soon available at the bargain price of $2.99!

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

The Dog-walking Club

After having spent hours - hours and hours I tell you - working on a cover for my dog novel I've finally settled on one. I think. Until I look at it tomorrow and decide it needs just a little tweak.

And I've settled on the title: the highly imaginative but at least it 'does what it says on the tin', The Dog-walking Club.

I've tried lots of puns and variations on paws, walkies, pooches etc but wasn't grabbed by any of them. At least this title will tell people what it's about.

One of the covers I didn't choose was this one:
I like it but it looks amateurish and self-published. It's quite difficult to tell what makes a cover look professional. I've studied loads and maybe it's just knowing they're professionally published that makes the difference.

In the meantime I've learned a little more about the workings of Photoshop - and sworn at it a lot more.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Done editing!

I've finished editing my novel about dog walkers. No, really I have. I'm not going to do any more on it. I'm stopping.

Do you know that feeling? I'll just do a bit more. Change that comma for a full stop or replace 'and' with 'but'. Could go on for ever.

Now I need to design a cover and to get it into ebook format so I can give it to a few people to read and check for me. Check for grammar, spelling or sense issues and read for critical value. Scary.

I know roughly how I want the cover to be; it's just doing the artwork that is tricky for a non-artist like me.

I've had a busy week so it's good to have reached this stage though. And here to keep you going is an example of my - ahem - art work.