One Year Anniversary

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Cover art by @asa_argeus

This weekend marks the one year anniversary of my debut novella Emma’s Story. It’s only a year, but it feels like a very long time ago, and for sure I’ve come a long way since that day.

I’ve published four more books, with a fifth one due out in two weeks. I’ve quit my day job to focus on my writing, and – I believe – I’ve grown a lot as a writer. Perhaps most of all, I’m much more confident in my stories.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have doubts. They’re just not quite as a bad they used to be.

Emma’s Story is where it started though, and the story will probably always be extra special to me. Three years in the making, countless revisions (well, seven or eight or so), and a large number of changes back and forth, while at the same time trying to figure out how to tell a story in the first place.

It did eventually get done though, and a year ago, I published it.

One thing I’ve been asked is if there will be a sequel. The story ends with a few questions unanswered, and people are curious to know what happens next.

The answer is that I don’t plan on writing a sequel to Emma’s Story any time soon. It would be fun to get back to her and write about what happened next, but there are a lot of things I still need to figure out myself first.

That said, I’m going to be rewriting an old, never published, novel called Enar’s Vacation, and in doing so, I’ll have an opportunity to reveal what really happened to Emma after Emma’s Story ended.

I don’t yet have a specific time frame for when Enar’s Vacation will be out, but hopefully I’ll be started on it before the end of the year.

Finally, if you’ve read all this far, you’ve probably also read Emma’s Story already, but perhaps you know someone who hasn’t. This weekend, to celebrate the anniversary of the book, it’s on sale for $0.99/£0.99 on Amazon – here. Please let your friends know.

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Painting of Emma’s horse Ussilago, by @memu_

I’m also running an ad campaign on facebook over the weekend, and hopefully it’ll lead to some more people discovering the book. The horse in the image probably wasn’t intended to be Ussilago, but a friend of mine linked it to me, and it kind of works. The artist was kind enough to let me use her image.

One Year Anniversary

Lost Dogs #1 getting reviews

I received my first ever book-blog review. It’s awesome, and you can read it here.

This all came about due to random internet chance. Someone commented on my previous post about my cover issues, comparing the image in the post with one from an earlier post. Turns out they run a book blog, and that they’d found the description of my book intriguing.

I checked their site, offered them a free review copy of Lost Dogs #1, and they were happy to accept. A few days later the review appeared, and I couldn’t be happier. Sure, it’s four stars instead of five, but that doesn’t really matter compared to the actual review itself.20180811_074056_0001.png

The critique against the book is fair. The reviewer loves MMA and romance, and would have liked to see more of it. It does say in the blurb that Roy (the main character) is a superstar wrestler (or something to that effect), but in the end the story really isn’t about the fighting. There also isn’t much shown of the back story between Roy and Toini (his love interest), but that’s something that’ll come up again in later parts. It’s fair to have been wanting more of those things.

The review mentions some other things as positives though, and that’s what makes me really happy, as those are things that are important to me and that I put a lot of pride and effort into. Again, check it out, here.

Also, I just released Lost Dogs #2: Undeserved Second Chance a few days ago. I’ll write more about that another day.

Lost Dogs #1 getting reviews

Panic!

LD2 - Skullv2So…

Due to reasons that probably aren’t any of my business, my cover artist had to cancel the art for the cover of my next book. I’ve got no hard feelings, but it put me in a bit of a tight spot. I learned about this yesterday (27th), and I have up until the the 29th to make the final changes to the book before it goes live.

I’ve got some experience working with layout software, but I have no confidence what so ever in my visual artistry skills. I know how the tools work, but not how to use them – if you catch my drift. I did put something together though, and it’ll have to do for now.

Once things calm down a little (“things” in this case meaning “me”). I’ll have a sit down and think things over. It’s annoying when things don’t work out as planned, but with a little bit of luck I’ll be better off with a new start – or something. Go me.


EDIT: Seems like I misread something. Instead of the deadline being tonight, it’s tomorrow night. Means if you have any feedback, let me know.

Panic!

Book Published: Lost Dogs #1

Lost Dogs - Ebook cover - aligned - v2
“Werewolf wrestler gets told he has to lose the last fight of his career or he won’t get any retirement money. There are complications.”

Today is the day. The ebook version of Lost Dogs #1: Last Fight of the Old Hound, is now available for purchase, here.

It’s a big deal for me, and it’s been a long time coming, so I’m quite excited now it’s finally here. Excited, and a little bit nervous.

I feel good about the book when I read it, and I have read it quite a few times. I just hope it’s good enough people will want to read the next part too, and the part after that, and so on. There will be a lot of parts.

On that note, I’m off to work on Part 4…

Book Published: Lost Dogs #1

Updated Blurb

I updated the blurb for the book. It’s now significantly longer, but I’m hoping it’s also better. Have a look:

Lost Dogs #1 - Back Cover - New Blurb

As you can see, it’s longer, and it’s a bit difficult to read as it’s so much text, and the font is a bit weird. I’ll be tinkering around with the layout for a while, and I’ll update the text on the Amazon page, but I won’t update the paperback cover just yet.

I have a hunch there will be more updates before the week is over.

Updated Blurb

Cover Reveal – Lost Dogs #1

Lost Dogs - Ebook cover - alignedHere we go, I finally have the cover image for my next book: Lost Dogs #1: Last Fight of the Old Hound.

Big thanks to Jess for the art. I’m really happy with how it turned out in the end.

As I’m looking at it now it strikes me as odd that I didn’t include the secondary title of the book on the front of cover. It’s not that I forgot about it (seriously, I didn’t). It just didn’t seem all that important.

It’s a series, and the name of the series feels more important than the names of the individual parts. As I recall, many TV series has a name for each episode, but few of them stick with me for longer than they appear on the screen. Then again, maybe that’s just me?

It also seemed like it might be tricky fitting that many words onto the cover. I’m sure I could have, and I actually tried (a little), but I didn’t work out (and I gave up pretty quickly). Instead it just says “Part 1” now, and like I mentioned, the title is written on the spine, and it says inside as well. It’ll be grand, as they say here in Cork.

Lost Dogs #1 - Back Cover
With a little bit of good will, the blurry shape in the background looks kind of like a human heart, doesn’t it?

I used the same image, but significantly faded, for the back cover too. What mostly stressed me out about that was the blurb – again.

I thought I had a good blurb this time. I shared it in a previous post. Then, today, as I sat looking at it, I begun to feel like there was something off about it, and I began tinkering, and tinkering, and tinkering…

The idea is the same, and the first part is very similar, but the second part has been expanded upon. It’s a little bit clearer what the story is about, which is probably a good thing. Hopefully potential readers will find it interesting enough they’ll want to have a closer look.

Hopefully they’ll find it interesting enough to read the whole thing, and the next part, and the next one after that, and so on. This first book is a self contained story, but it’s also the start of something much bigger. After all, it does say Part 1, and I have a lot more parts planned.

So, when can you read the story?

Well, I pressed the Publish button for the paperback version about an hour and a half ago, and it’s currently in review. The review period can take up to 72 hours, meaning you should be able to order the book on Sunday by the latest. That is, if you want the paperback version. I’ll make sure to share the link once it’s available.

The e-book version is still scheduled for release on the 5th of July. You can pre-order it here (UK), or here (US).

 

Cover Reveal – Lost Dogs #1

Last Fight of the Old Hound

Copy of Lost Dogs #1 - PreviewThe first book in the Lost Dogs series is now available for pre-order. It’s called Last Fight of the Old Hound, and you can pre-order it here (US) or here (UK). The cover image is a temporary one, and the real cover will be revealed once it’s done – in about two weeks.

Also, if you’re interested in checking out a sample of the story, you can download the first four chapters for free, here.

I’m going to try and not rant too much about this release, but rather focus my energy on making sure the next few parts come out in time. I’m still excited to publish a book, but all the advice I’ve heard about advertising suggests that the best way to promote a book is to write a sequel.

Once I have a few books out I’ll start looking into promoting the first one more carefully, and then I’ll have to start figuring advertising and suchlike.

For now though, there’s just the one book. Next one to be released Soon<tm>.

Last Fight of the Old Hound

A Village Is Blind Under The Stars

My father, who enjoys messing around with brushes and colours, made this painting of a scene from my book Emma’s Story:

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A single light burns at the top of the hill.
A village is blind under the stars.

The cover image of Emma’s Story was painted by a friend of mine. You can read more about it here.

After I got the cover and showed it off, it struck me that it would be fun to have some more images from the story to share. It’d also be really fascinating to see how others imagined it.

I’m not sure how many of my friends who read the book are into painting, but I know my dad is (he counts as a friend too), so I asked him. Turns out he was more than happy to help out, and you can see the result above.

What amazed me was that I was able to tell right away which scene it was he’d painted. All of the details add up, and it’s actually really close to how I imagined it myself. Most likely this is what I’ll see next time I read that part.

I hope those of you who’ve already read it will be able to recognize the scene though, but perhaps the caption gave it away?

The scene is from very near the end of the book, so to avoid giving away any spoilers I won’t be going into details about it – other than what you can see for yourself.


In other news, I’ve brought the price of the ebook version of Emma’s Story up to the full retail price ($2.99, £2.49, €2.99)  instead of the cheaper launch price. Sales dropped off after the first week, and I figured everyone I know who wanted the book would have gotten it by now.

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It’s cheaper than a coffee and a brownie too.

I’m unlikely to do any more promotion of the book for the time being, and anyone who finds it will have heard about it through word of mouth. My thinking is that if you get a recommendation from someone you probably won’t be too fussed about whether the book is 0.99 or 2.99.

Sure, it’s three times the price, but it’s still cheaper than a pint of beer, and it’ll take you longer to read – and hopefully it’ll bring you more enjoyment too.

A Village Is Blind Under The Stars

Special Book Offer – For Locals

If you’re in Cork, Ireland, I would recommend stepping into Alchemy Coffee & Books on Barrack Street to check out this fine offer:

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Unfortunately, they’re out of brownies, but I didn’t know that when I made the sign. There’s plenty of other good stuff though.

Alchemy is the place where I wrote almost the entire first draft of Emma’s Story. I went there after work, and I went there during my weekends. I used to sit on one of the bar stools over by the window to the coal yard and write, with my laptop on the shelf and with a coffee and a brownie next to it.

It’s how the story got done.

Sure, I might have done some writing at home, and perhaps in a pub once in a while, but it’s writing in the window at Alchemy that I remember. They’ve moved the bar stools now, and put two small tables and chairs in their place. Better use of space like that. It gets crowded enough in here as it is anyway,

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I need to take more time and be less self-conscious about taking pictures in public. This one got a bit rushed and the sign is out of focus a bit.

I’m very happy to have been able to work out this deal with the staff here. I consider them friends of mine, and they always seem happy to see me. Sometimes I get a free coffee.

I don’t know that I’ll make a killing selling books at the local coffee shop, but it’s a fun little gimmick, and it’s getting me some good attention. That’s the main thing for now I think. If I’d had sequels lined up to release I’d have put more effort into promoting the book and trying a little harder to sell it.

There’s no follow-up though, and my series I’m working on won’t launch until early July. For now, this is mainly just for fun, and to try and learn a bit about self-publishing. In that regard it’s working out great, and I believe I’ll feel a lot more confident once my new stories are due for release.

That said, if you want to have a closer look at the book, you’ll find it here. Also, since sales on the book have dropped off I’ll be raising the price to 2.99 tomorrow morning. I won’t be doing any more promotion for it in a while, and as such people will mainly only find it through word of mouth.

Special Book Offer – For Locals

Book In Hand

Just a quick post to show off that the print copies of my book I ordered finally arrived:

I’ve seen pictures of the book myself, and I received a proof copy shortly after the paperback first went live, but this is the first time I hold the finished book in my hand.

It feels pretty good.

A few of these will go to my friend who painted the cover. I’ll keep one for myself, and the rest will probably be sold at the cafe where I wrote the book. I even have a special deal worked out with the owner of the cafe, but I’ll show that off on Monday when I know for sure it’s all going through as planned.

EDIT: I’m apparently crap at self-promotion. Here’s the link to the book on Amazon: Emma’s Story.

Book In Hand