Friday, 18 February 2011

In Which I eat my Words

In my last post, I spoke of how indie writers are secretive, and I also mentioned sales numbers. I wasn't particularly meaning indie writers are secretive of sales numbers: traditional publishers aren't very forthcoming either. My main point was that indies can be different from trads and still look professional.

Anyway, I shall have to eat my words.

Here are some sales numbers: Susan Bischoff, Victorine Lieske, Guido Henkel, B.V. Larson, Blake Crouch, Sam Torode.

There, that's just a few. There's a whole host of guest posts on Joe Konrath's blog about this very thing.

And S.L. Armtrong kindly shared hers in the comments of the last post.

S.L. Armstrong describes herself as a midlist author, but she is selling in a genre (m/m erotic romance) that is notoriosly difficult to sell in. Susan Bischoff has sold 10k books in just six months with only a single YA book released. Guido Henkel hasn't been selling quite as well as the other names up there, but essentially they are Amanda Hocking's peers.

At the same time, e-book readers are down to £75.

At the same time, Borders in the U.S. has filed for bankruptcy. Borders in the UK went bankrupt and closed a few years back.

And now Aplle is challenging Amazon, which I haven't been able to find a link to, or read upon, or anything, so I'm not going to comment except to say it's happening.

What does this all mean?

Fucked if I know, but it's exciting, isn't it?

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Why I Unpublished my book, and What is Next

You know, I'm getting a bit sick of all the tra la la las. Things folk are saying, advice they are offering, and its the same shit all the time. Here's one I hear a lot.

if Stephen King wouldn't do it, I won't do it

Okay, in actual fact, I've never heard that, never with King's name anyway. But peeps keep floating in comments about how a trad pubbed midlist author doesn't do certain things. So Indies shouldn't, cause it makes us look professional (if'n we don't).

Personally, I call that a crock of shit.

Trad pubbed midlisters (TPMLs from here on) have rules to follow, like Never Piss off a Potential Customer, and so on. And if they did, they'd get their asses chewed by their agents and editors and everyone else. It's why so many TPML books are formulaic, and it's why so many readers love the originality and personality in indie novels.

Shouldn't we let some of that originality and individuality shine out of our asses, too? Sorry, I meant shine out of our blogs.

So what makes indie's look professional? Well, great books, great covers, great storylines, good editing. Those kind of things.

I'm not saying you should be like the monkey at the zoo and fling your shit at people, but I am saying with no one breathing down on indie's backs, its refreshing to be honest, and up front, and just be yourself.

I've noticed indies can be a bit "defensive" about certain things, like there are rules
  • don't talk about money
  • don't bad mouth other indies
  • don't bad mouth the trad publishers
  • act like you've got a big stick up your jacksie
Some of that's just pish. Here, look, I'll break some rules and the world won't end.


I published Invictus on Smashwords on Sept 10th, 2010. I put it on Amazon a month later. It is now the 16th of February and I have to date sold (oh my God, don't reveal your sales figures)

50 copies
Yep, that's all.

40 on Amazon, 10 on Smashwords.

Amanda Hocking I aint, huh?

So, what went wrong? Well, it was actually quite a lot of things.

For one, the cover. I like the cover, but it is very plain, very bland. Invictus begins in medias res and never comes down. I want the cover to reflect something of the story, whether it be the airships or the demons, the revolvers or the clockwork robot assassins.

For two, the pacing. Invictus, as I just mentioned, is fast. Very fast. It races from attempted royal assassination to the sinking of the Titanic, setting fire to half of London and crashing an airship along the way. The pacing needs to be reconsidered, and one or two slower moments introduced.

For three, the editing. Which will be a post all on its own.

For four, the marketing. I released Invictus in October, separated from my wife in November, and am just returning to my book in February. All the marketing Invictus had was word of mouth, and that didn't happen much. Not surprising, with the points addressed above.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Resurrected from the Ashes


Anyone still read this?

Probably not, lol.

Hi. My name's Chris. I used to live here, or at least I spent so much time online that I felt like I lived here.

Apparently, my wife felt like that, too, lol. We separated in November.

That makes it sound like it was all because of the blog.

It wasn't.

It was about 70% due to toothpaste, and about 30% due to lack of certain lubricants. Romance writers take note: applied in certain areas, toothpaste burns.

No, that wasn't true. Mostly.

The bit about the separation was. The reasons I'm not sharing. :)

Being a guy, I moved out and left my ex the house and kids. I'm still looking for somewhere to stay. Things have been difficult. Parts have been fun.

The strippers on xmas eve were great. The doc trip afterwards, not great. I've never been so embarassed, getting lectured on condoms by a middle aged woman. Again, not true.

I write fiction, for fuck sake. I'm supposed to make stuff up.

I haven't really written since November. I'm starting to knock ideas about. Could be a while before anything makes sense. Could be a while before I post again.

In the meantime, I Aint'nt Dead.

Free STD if you know who wrote that. :)

Love xxx