Tag Archives: Amazon

Kate vs the Navy – On Sale now!

The wait is over. Fire up your e-reader and settle down with your favourite mug full of tea and some biscuits. Then head over to Amazon where you can purchase our second novel, Kate vs the Navy for a bargain price of 99p.

Plenty of high jinks on the high seas and one of the team becomes an unlikely hero. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be desperate to know what happens next…

(Don’t worry paper book fans, we haven’t forgotten you. The print version is coming very soon)

Kate vs the Navy – Kindle edition

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Publishing, Writing

I bet JK Rowling doesn’t buy her own books…

amazonpackPhil: A few days, the postman delivered an exciting parcel to chez Parker. Inside was a rather excellent book ordered two days before.

The same day, my mother was dispatched to Waterstones to pick up a copy ordered a couple of weeks earlier.

“Why are you buying copies of your own book?” I hear you cry. “Is this an attempt to force it into the best seller charts?”

Not a bit of it. That would be cheating, underhand and also far too expensive.

No, all I wanted to do was make sure that the process of ordering physical copies actually worked. That and try to push the book into Amazon’s “People who bought this, also bought this…” section.

Anyway – buying from Amazon or Waterstones works. So what’s stopping you?

P.S. Signed copies also available. E-mail me.

Leave a comment

Filed under Phil, Publishing, Writing

Watching people read our book

readingPhil: The Interweb is a wonderful thing that has changed all of our live, mostly for the better.

Authors like us can publish our book without recourse to the traditional gatekeepers of publishing houses. A few minutes work and your words can appear on Amazon available to all for purchase.

Working this way provides a completely new experience for the author – watching as people read your book.

I don’t mean looking over their shoulder as they leaf through the pages. That would be creepy and we’d probably get caught.

No, we can do this electronically. And no-one will know.

Anyone signed up to Amazon Prime can read books like ours for free and we are paid per page read. Yes, the more you read, the more money we make.

To provide results, there is a graph and it’s this that provides the entertainment. Every so often the line leaps into life and we know how many pages have been read each day.

The graph shows some action from last week. Total pages read, 475.

This is a bit odd as there are 313 pages in the Kindle edition of the book. Even if you lose the blank ones at the front and back, this is more than one read through but less than two. Not sure what is happening but we’ll not worry too much. What I do know if people do pick it up electronically and read our story, which is the point of the whole job. Every time the line surges skyward, I imagine a reader enjoying the story so much they can’t put the book down!

Leave a comment

Filed under Phil, Writing

Kate vs the Dirtboffins paperback – Out Today!

booflash

A big day today – Kate vs the Dirtboffins, the funniest novel you will read this year – IS OUT IN PAPERBACK!

Yes, you can head on down to your local Waterstones and order a real, physical copy for £7.99.

Check it out on the Waterstones website.

Or, if you are reading this at your desk and it’s wet outside, go to Amazon.

Check it out on the Amazon website.

And if you want the cheaper option, they have the Kindle version – and you can read our reviews!

Or if you’d like a signed copy, drop me an e-mail and I’ll sort it out post free.

That’s Christmas sorted then!

1 Comment

Filed under Books, Publishing

What do I do now?

Capture

 

Candice: Its my turn to write the blog post after the big launch.  And I don’t know what to say.

We’ve done what we wanted to do – published a book.  Phil even has physical copies for me to fondle later this week. So that’s it then…

I suppose the next step is to make sure we do some serious marketing to get people to buy it.  I’ve done an unashamed plug at work and sent an email round the whole department – so that should get some bought.  I’ve plugged on Facebook and Twitter as has Phil.  Now we need to ramp up the next bit – local press.  Time for a cheesy photo when we meet on Friday to send out to the press.

And then its more plugging over the next few months until the next book comes out.  I gave Phil a scare as I put in that Book 2 would be out in the summer, well we all love a deadline, but I think that is achievable as we have made a good dent in it and I have 5 days holiday to use by the end of March so I think some of them can be writing days.

I think the big build up is why I feel crap today – I’ve come down with a cold and nasty cough.  I just wish I was enjoying the fruits of my labour on a beach like my sister (not jealous at all).

So, plug time, don’t forget to buy Kate vs the Dirtboffins, now available on Amazon!

 

1 Comment

Filed under Candice, Publishing, Writing

Amazon Publishing – A few pointers for newbies

Our book in Kindle and iPad simulatorsPhil: It’s true, we are going to bring the book out using Amazon. That means someone has to get down’n’dirty with the mechanics of stuffing our words into their system so you can buy it. This sort of work is defined as “nerdy” so falls to me apparently.

I’m pleased to say, it’s remarkably easy, or at least appears to be so far.

Here are a few pointers to help anyone thinking of following the well-worn path we are currently walking:

Set all the text in your manuscript up using “Styles” rather than fiddling with the fonts. Define your own styles by all means but use them consistently.

For example, all our text is set up using “Body Text” style. This is currently 12pt Times New Roman but in truth it doesn’t matter. All the words in this style will be shown the same size, even if the reader makes the font bigger on their device.

(As an aside, e-readers are great news for those with poor eyesight. You can set the font size to massive, no need to search out large print books. Mahoosive fonts, especially with a high contract background, make reading a possibility for a huge number of people technically registered blind – accessibility needn’t mean special equipment, hooray!)

I’ve also got a chapter title style and one for e-mails shown on the page which we like to show using courier font.

If I’d set this up from the start, work at this end of the process would be reduced as the manuscript would be properly formatted already.

I’m hoping this also helps when we look at paperback print options. With large chunks of text defined by styles, I can alter the entire book with a few clicks.

*

Pay attention to the sign up process.

Even for non-US authors, there’s a load of American tax questions to answer. Mostly in the negative for us but it’s a bit of a bind doing them. Be prepared.

*

Amazon isn’t based in the UK. You’ll need the international versions of your bank account number.

I headed over to my banks’ website and after a little searching found a number generator that gave me the required information.

You can only pay royalties into a single account. Candice trusts me so it’s going into mine and I’ll transfer money to her. This is pretty safe. I’m only going to spend my cash on toy trains, old cars and unfashionable clothing. If I suddenly turn up in a flash car wearing designer labels, she’ll guess something is up and demand answers when I regain consciousness. If you are less trusting, set up a special account.

*

If the book is a joint effort, share the login details.

Seriously, if one of you drops dead, how frustrating would it be for the other not to be able to administer the book? I’m not sure it is strictly speaking allowed, but seems a sensible move.

*

Once your book is on sale, buy a copy.

This way, it will appear in the “People who bought this also bought this” bit of the page. The more people who buy, the more often you’ll appear. Don’t give copies to friends and relatives, make them buy it for added exposure.

*

You’re not going to get rich.

We’re going to sell at £1.99 or its equivalent in other countries. Amazon takes 86p of that for providing the service. Stop moaning, this is world-wide sales for a relatively small fee. Imagine the printing and shipping costs you are saving.

We are lucky to be realistic about this. Writing is very, very rarely a route to riches. However, if we do strike it rich, we are prepared to deal with this.

*

 I hope this helps. In a short while, once final polishing is complete, we’ll be doing it for real (I’ve tested everything so confidence is high). I’m genuinely surprised how easy all of this appears. Let’s hope I’m still saying this soon.

Then we only have the reviews to worry about!

1 Comment

Filed under Phil, Publishing, Writing

Musing on Polly Courtney

Candice: So another lovely author has given  us some key tips on how the get going in this tough world of publishing.  It seems it’s all about the self publishing.

Right, I’ll just go and pop down to the printers and get 5,000 copies made and then stick them on Amazon then.

Seriously, it’s not as easy as it looks.  Years ago this was called ‘Vanity’ Publishing, where you could get your book printed and bound to look like the real thing then hand it round to your mates – “Look I’m a published author“.  I met a man once who did this, telling everyone that he was an expert in acting skills off the back of his book.  You won’t be surprised to discover he was a con man.

So, how is this different?  Well look at Polly’s planning.  It’s more like the project management I have to undertake at work – marketing strategy, time line, launch plan – than just sticking a word document on an email and saying “print me some”.  The route to distribution compared to the old style of ‘Get agent, get publisher, get published’ might be different but the tools she uses are the same as they will.

What do we do with this information?  Well at the moment we are still looking at the conventional route; because we like the idea of being fawned over, taken to lunch and being invited to premieres.  But realistically, it looks like self publishing is the way forward.

But we wont be taking this lightly.  I refuse to send something out that hasn’t been properly edited, proofed, copy and grammar checked.  When it sees the light of day it will be a quality publication that won’t put people off due to its poor spelling.

Taking this route will also solve the pigeon-hole problem.  I think we will have the same thing as Polly as we are delving into a genre but not following a well-worn path.  “Where do we go in Waterstones?” Is what the marketer will cry – well I don’t know but that doesn’t matter on Amazon.

Now Phil and I just need to find some time to get that editing done!

2 Comments

Filed under Candice, Writing