Hi there guys,
Thank you to those of you who read and enjoyed my debut blog last week.
I published it after putting my second crime novel ‘Long & Winding Road’ onto Kindle. My first book ‘No More Lonely Nights’ is already on Kindle, and both are also available in paperback on Amazon.
Both feature the adventures – and personal complications – of Detective Constable Dominic Strider of Chester CID, who has to single-handedly tackle serial killers and assorted criminals (including corrupt cops!) in the beautiful medieval city in the North West of England.
Importantly, I want to thank Amazon for the services they provide for authors. Yes, I know you don’t get the royalties you might from a ‘traditional’ publisher but you have to accept that the exposure it gives you is phenomenal.
So, since last week, I have been working hard to promote both these older books, and hope to use them to build up a brand recognition for myself and for Strider, in order to publicise and generate interest in my new Strider novels (book 3 is already written but unpublished, and I’m starting book 4 right now). Books 3, 4 and about half a dozen others I have planned are all new, fresh stories. I’m currently seeking literary agents/publishers to take them on.
This publicity work has proved both gratifying and frustrating. For example, Facebook adverts have a great reach but cost ££. Writing a blog on WordPress is fantastic but you need to work hard and spend ££ to ensure a wide readership. Updating my personal website – lonelynightsproductions.co.uk – has taken me hours today, as I had to go into the coding, and the content management system is a little unwieldy and doesn’t always give you the results you want.
But one of the biggest surprises was with Amazon. Now, I’m certainly not biting the hand that feeds me, as it were. But I can vent my frustration here because I’ve already spoken to Amazon about it (and they’ve responded).
When I uploaded L&WR to Kindle, I updated my Author’s Page and thought that would be it. But then I remembered that I’d had some good reviews – all 5/5 from Kindle readers for NMLN. Naturally I wanted those to be linked to my Author’s Page but could not find them anywhere. I took me a while to twig that Kindle and the Author’s Page it takes you to are all on Amazon.COM and not, as I’d naturally expected, Amazon.CO.UK as I am a British author based in London.
I spoke to Amazon and, while they thanked me for pointing it out and said they’d take on board my suggestion that an Author’s Page should be synced across all territories, they told me that – bizarrely – at present each different territory operates separately.
Which meant that, today, I had to go to CO.UK and duplicate my Author’s Page already on COM. Not too difficult, except….. what they offer is a little different. COM allows you to upload up to 8 photos, a biog, events listings, videos, and a dedicated Author’s Page URL. So my COM Author’s Page is packed with all that stuff. It’s fantastic, and I actually prefer it to what the CO.UK site offers.
However, my CO.UK Author’s Page just has the biog, videos, events and 8 photos. It looks OK but a little anemic compared to the COM page. Most disappointing is that it doesn’t include any link to my WordPress blog… ironic as it’s the UK site and I’m a UK writer!!
Also, bizarrely, my Amazon pages on both COM and CO.UK both had my info wrong – they had a line saying I’m interested in Arab culture (I’m not), have been to Palestine (I haven’t) and am a talented musician (well, I used to play the violin in an orchestra when I was a kid, but that’s about it…). I couldn’t find a way to remove this line either, so had to complain to Amazon directly for them to remove it.
Anyway, it’s all done and dusted now so this could be a little academic, I guess. But it could serve as a valuable heads up for any other writer. 🙂
I feel knackered now as I’ve been working hard on just the publicity for my books for the past three days now. There’s still more that I could do – I haven’t even started compiling a list of readers yet (though I have researched it). I’ve also made contact with a publicist for authors and provided him with links to all my online sites. He hasn’t got back to me yet but I hope to hear from him shortly and maybe, just maybe, I’ll get the chance to pick his brains and get some great ideas which I haven’t thought of yet.
I’ve also got to write a script for some 30-second videos of Strider I’m thinking of filming and publishing on my YouTube page.
So… what now? After publishing this blog and publicising it across my social media, I’ll give it a rest today. After all, it’s been more than 5 hours since I started and it’s been a bit relentless.
From tomorrow I’m going to a local cafe with my laptop and will start writing book 4 – which starts with an action scene at Chester Races, and sees Strider clash with the most evil woman he’s ever met!! Wish me luck… 🙂