Another newspaper article – the starving writer can eat again!

February 25, 2014

I just found out today that The Algarve Resident has done a piece on me and  See  I’m so pleased!


Negative marketing works!

February 24, 2014

As you know, I’ve been promoting my books on Amazon via Twitter and this blog.  Most of this is hype and hard sell, getting potential readers intrigued in only 140 characters.  So, naturally, you’d expect to see things like:  This is a great book.  You NEED to read it!!!!… know, all that boring blurb stuff that you just gloss over.  Well, I got bored with that and decided to try some negative marketing of Miracle in Carvoeiro ( as it’s light and largely comic.  So, I tried tweets like:

Miracle in Carvoeiro.  ‘I am frankly disgusted.’ ‘Drivel.’ ‘Shocked and dismayed.’ ‘Never again.’ #comedy

Miracle in Carvoeiro.  67 1-star reviews!  Universally loathed. ‘Appalling.’ ‘Hated it.’  ‘Rubbish.’ #comedy

Result?  5 downloads!  OK, it’s not much but it’s better than all the other books together since the promo of Flight Into Darkness stopped.  OK, it can only be done with a humorous book but it was an interesting little experiment.

Negative marketing seems to work!

Amazon sales ranking chart for ebooks – the steep hill

February 24, 2014

Here’s an interesting chart I ran across in David Gaughran’s book, “Let’s Get Visible.” It serves as a guideline for estimating how may sales are required for an eBook to make it on the Best Seller List in the Amazon US store (, not

Rank to Sales Estimator
#1 to #5 = 3,500+ books a day (sometimes a lot more)
#5 to #10 = 2,000 to 3,500 per day
#10 to #20 = 1,100 to 2,000
#20 to #65 = 850-1,100
#80 = 850
#90 = 750
#275 = 325
#500 = 200
#1,000 = 100
#2,000 = 50-55
#3,000 = 40-45
#4,000 = 30
#5,000 = 20-25
#7,500 = 16
#12,000 = 10
#25,000 = 5
#32,000 = 3
#42,500 = 2
#70,000 to #1,000,000 = 1
#1,000,000+ = less than 1 per day

So, you can see that even with around 10 dowloads per day, which I would regard as good, the rating would still be barely visible.  It’s only when you get to around 750 per day that you even get into the top 100. is kinder in that the global number of downloads is lower but they give you the ratings in your specific category which doesn’t do.  So, you’re competing with your real competition rather than books by celebrities or famous writers.  Interesting stuff, but it shows just how steep the climb is to become visible in Amazon.

Sweet Free Books for Kindle!

February 20, 2014

Just a quick one.  There’s a website where they make available free books and books of $0.99 or less for Kindle.  I’ve only just joined them but it sounds good.  They will send me a list tomorrow by email, apparently, but I’m not sure exactly how they will be downloaded as my Kindle is set for Amazon’s Kindle home page.  All you have to do is give them your email address and book genres that appeal to you.  Then sit back.  I’ll let y’all know.

Please…say it’s not so!

February 20, 2014

As part of the Goodreads Book Review Group, a bunch of us get together, agree to download each others’s books and review four of them.  I’m on my fourth now.  I have to say that I’m really disappointed with the quality of most of them.  Most are littered with formatting, punctuation, spelling and typographical errors, several on each page, to the extent that some are actually unreadable.  I had to stop one at 15%; there were numerous errors on each page.  One or two are quite creditable and the authors have clearly taken care with the proof-reading.  I always use a professional editor for my books and believe I have eliminated almost all errors.  I think it’s professional and mandatory when you asking people to pay money for your book.

In addition, I can now see why people are self-publishing; no right-thinking agent or publisher would touch them.  It’s as if someone had a box full of conspiracy theories, supernatural powers, lost manuscripts, Nazis, characterless characters and voyeuristic narrators, then distributed them at random to a bunch of writers, tasking them with trying to put together a story from them.  Really.  Then we have the point-of view shifts mid-scene and swinging from first person to third.  I could go on.  I shake my head.

The problem is that I have to review four of them and don’t like to leave bad reviews.  I’d prefer to leave none at all.  I also have to remember that four of them will be reviewing my book and one of them might be a vengeful axe-murderer.  One of the group pulled out when someone left a one-star review for his book on solar power, which wasn’t even a novel.  I shake my head again.

Then, a horrible thought occurs to me.  Maybe I’m deluding myself about Flight Into Darkness ( .  Maybe those nice reviews were just being nice.  Maybe it’s rubbish as well…

Please…say it’s not so!

Kindle Countdown Deal – a personal review

February 18, 2014

Well, the Kindle Countdown Deal in UK for Flight Into Darkness ( finished last night and that on finished on Sunday.  I combined the promotion with a lot of blog activity (connected to Twitter and Facebook) plus Twitter plus Goodreads.  I joined a Goodreads review group to get reviews and more downloads to improve the ratings statistics.

So, how did it go?  Here’s a summary:

  • ·         Number of downloads of Flight Into Darkness = 57 (first 2 weeks of Feb)
  • ·         Downloads of other books not being promoted = 4
  • ·         Followers on Twitter went from 50 to 154
  • ·         Goodreads friends from 0 to 28
  • ·         Best rating in UK: #9 political thrillers (1740h 17 Feb), Overall rating #6,772
  • ·         Rating in US: Overall rating #109,976! But, what the hell…it’s a big country!
  • ·         Max number of hits on my blog in one day = 47 from 11 visitors (Saturday)
  • ·         But, so far, no additional reviews of Flight Into darkness

So, overall, I’m very pleased.  The great thing is the downloads.  Of that total of 57, 14 were set up as a result of the Goodreads review group, so don’t really count.  However, the other 43 were downloads by people who don’t know me and I don’t know them and this is what I have been wanting to achieve; selling to strangers.  36 of these were in the UK, so my UK sales are four times my genuine US sales.  These sales will hopefully result in reviews and recommendations that will lead to more sales.  There’s always a possibility of word-of-mouth effects reaching a critical mass when I can sit back and relax, although I suspect that only happens to Dan Brown.

Twitter has been interesting.  I’ve connected my blog to twitter so, every time I blog, I tweet.  The interesting thing is that many of the hits on the website come late in the day or overnight, ie, from the USA.  Therefore it’s worth bearing in mind that they only see Tweets if they’re awake in America and their clocks are a bit behind ours.  The East coast is GMT –  5h and the Pacific coast is GMT – 8h. At 1500h on this side of the pond, they’re just waking up in California.

 I’m pleased with the ratings as well but I’ve seen them fluctuate on an hourly basis and won’t take them seriously until I’m in Amazon’s top 100.  Dream on!  However, all this has been entirely the result of marketing and publicity.  That’s what it’s all about.  And, actually, it wasn’t such hard work.

Flight Into Darkness now #9 political thriller in UK! Still cheap as chips!

February 17, 2014

Sorry to brag (no I’m not) but have a look at this, from at 1740h today: