The Jack Lockwood Mystery Series is to be a number of books whose protagonist is the eponymous Jack: psychologist/criminal profiler, who also writes well researched nonfiction books about true crime. I published Rock’n’Roll Suicide at the end of last October, and Doppelganger, the second book (which I actually wrote first) just yesterday. Rock’n’Roll Suicide has got eleven 5* reviews, and two 4*s. It’s strange how you throw a book out into the ether and you haven’t a clue what people are going to think. And it’s nice if some people like it, even better if they’re kind enough to give good reviews.
The Long game
I suppose all new novelists face the same problem. We just want people to read our books, whatever they might pay is a nice bonus, but until much later we have to face the fact that obstacle number one is being unknown, a far more immediate problem than not getting paid for our books. I think the reality is that if you price your ebook low (by that I mean around 99c) more people are likely to take a chance and buy it. But if you give it free, as with Kindle Select, even more might download, and this is what I want most: as many people as possible reading it, spreading the word, so that, sometime in the future, I might begin to make some money. But obviously it’s going to take time.
Of course I can’t afford to do a print version yet, and clearly you have to charge much more for the print process, meaning that the obstacles here must be even greater.
For me the free offer paid off last month, when over 2000 free dloads of Rock’n’Roll Suicide were taken, as a result of a free 4 days, though this was undoubtedly helped by Maria Savva kindly letting me guest blog for her. Even though many of the free downloads will probably never be read, there’s a chance that some of them will.
Lots of help
As I said, kind Maria Savva let me guest blog for her, and earlier so did Darcia Helle and Mary Metcalfe, which was all tremendously helpful.
Discovering new authors, making new friends
One very pleasant aspect of this whole KDP publishing and Twitter experience has been discovering books by interesting new authors, some of whom have become Twitter friends. These include Maria Savva (Haunted – a fascinating insight into madness), Terry Tyler (Dream On – the lives and loves of rock star wannabees), Martin Johnson (Niedermayer and Hart – full scale horror), RJ McDonnell (The Concert Killer – a serial killer on the concert circuit), Darcia Helle (The Cutting edge – a hairdresser has homicidal daydreams), Rosary McQuestion (Once upon another time – the heroine sees her husband’s ghost) and Ralph Chatterforth (The Spire Chronicle – an epic Victorian tale, based in Salisbury), plus the lovely rock’n’roll saga Three Steps to heaven by Pam Howes – 60s nostalgia at its best. Not to miss out the brilliant @ProofreadJulia, who has kindly checked my book and found lots of mistakes, as well as resourceful and friendly Terry Tyler, who has been a wealth of support and help, as has been Jennie Orbell.
I’ve just finished ‘The Reaping’, by H E Joyce, a fantastically chilling, thrilling read, I’m halfway through Goddess of the Moon by Polly Iyer, and very much looking forward to Gary Henry’s American Goddesses, and also Clive Mullis’s Bankers Draft and Jennie Orbell’s Mulligan’s Reach.
I have been writing to conventional literary agents, telling them what I have done, how many downloads I’ve had, in the hope someone might help me get published conventionally. Not one of them has even replied, and I chose the 4 or 5 who, having read the first chapters of Doppelganger, asked to read the whole m/s, even though they subsequently rejected it. I would have thought that out of common courtesy one of them at least would give me a reply.
Has anyone thought of publishing their book as an audiobook? I contacted audible.co.uk, who wrote back immediately, saying yes, they were very keen to get people to place audiobooks for them to market. Trouble is, all new providers have to give them 5 products, each over 5 hours in running time. Maybe this is something that can be done in conjunction with others, I don’t know, but at present I only have two books to offer, so on my own at the moment it’s out of the question.
RT or not?
Many many kind people have RTd my promotional tweets, so I keep a long list of those folk, and others who look as if they might like a hand and RT them all. But I’m conscious that this can be irritating to some. But if people RT me, then what else can I do? Besides I want to do it, to show help and support other people.
It’s good to know that there are so many good, interesting and talented writers out there that I’m discovering one by one.
Rock’n’Roll Suicide http://amzn.to/UBiJir