Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Alright then, I give in.

As I said in my last post I gave up on Smashwords and unpublished my stuff from there.

I've recently been reading some other bloggers who speak reasonably well of them, and someone said that they're working hard to build up their reader members.  The impression I got from them before was that they had lots (and lots, and lots) of writers publishing there, but not many readers buying there.

Now I have to take it all back.

I was persuaded to try again and so I put two novels and two short story collections on there yesterday, and I got my first sale ever from them today!!  Wahay!!  Who said you can't sell short stories.

And I got 56p for it instead of 26p!  I shall now be able to celebrate with a latté instead of a plain coffee.

I shall keep you, my loyal readers, up to date with any further progress.

Regards, Barry.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Just thought I'd mention .......

Sales are still absolutely nowhere, but I've been reading my arse off.
I find it hard to find the good stuff at a low price, most of the ones I've bought haven't been up to much, but that's been cheering me up because I know I'm better than those.  The first real goodie I found was Lexi Revellian with her two books 'Remix' and 'Replica' and I'll buy anything of hers from now on.  Also, I've just discovered Debbi Mack's first book 'Identity Crisis', and I'm about to buy her second 'Least Wanted'. a pair of cracking noir thrillers, just the style I like reading.
I'm not one given to empty bragging, but my writing is way better than a lot of the other stuff I've found so far.  I'm not big headed but I honestly don't think I'm part of the tsunami of crap that everyone's talking about lately.  I do feel swamped by everything out there though, there's just so much of it.  I hope Joe Konrath's right when he says it will all come right in the end.
I've just published a book I've been working on for some years called 'The Special Project' and I'm quite pleased with it.  It's the second novel I've put out with two more still to go, but the next two still need a lot of work so it won't be for some time.
If there's anybody out there please drop by and say Hi, and if you can give 'The Special Project' a quick look I'd be delighted.

Cheers for now, Barry.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Changes afoot.


 Still disappointed, but still plugging away.  The seven stories I published on Smashwords have had more than 130 free sample downloads but not a single sale.  Ouch!  I'm either a rubbish writer, or Americans just don't like my (English?)style.  I've been on there almost two months, so I figure enough is enough, I give in, and I've unpublished them all.  I know short stories are hard to sell in any case, but not one?

 The Kindle is a different case though.  Still slow, but I'm up to 30 sales so I'll hang on in there and see what some new stories can do.  I've left the novel, "Silverback!", and one short story, "Christmas Carol", one of my favourites, but I've taken the others down and grouped them into two four story collections, "Possessed" and "Jeopardy", by the addition of two new stories so now it's four stories for the price of one twice over!  Can't be bad.

I'll keep my spirits up by pressing on with some new content for the Kindle site but unless I feel differently later on it's goodbye to Smashwords.  Ah, well, it was worth a try.

Regards, Barry. 

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Fly fingers, fly!

I'mj a big fan of Joe Konrath and he's certainly inspired me, even at my age, to write, write, write, but at the moment I'm doing more reading as Wendy bought me a Kindle.  I didn't have one before as I read stuff on my computer via Kindle for PC, the free download, but I got fed up reading sitting at a desk so I wanted to flop on the settee or the patio and read there.  Kindle ahoy!  What a clever gadget it is.  3500 books can be loaded onto it so I would think that's just about enough!  I've downloaded a dozen free ones so far, but some of them were bad choices and I've deleted them already.  She also bought me a posh leather cover and I'd recommend that to anybody thinking of getting one.  It makes it easier to hold and the two together still weigh less than a paperback.

The stories I've published so far, seven, are all I want to do for now.  I've got one more short story to finish and publish, then it's back to the partly finished novel so that I can publish it later on this summer before carrying on work on my biggy, a sci-fi romance about sailing around theThames Estuary, my local area, that I've got high hopes for.

My sales have reached twenty one, (oh, alright, eighteen to my family), so my stranger sales are a grand total of three.  That's alright though, it's early days, and that's three more than I've sold previously so WAHAY.  I reached 9500 odd in the Amazon best selling list although I've slipped back from that as others are selling more but that's out of a total of approx 125,00 authors at the last count so most are selling even less than me.  To be in the top 10,000 out of 125,000 is not bad for a beginner.  All the advice is that it takes time for people to discover you as there are so many books available, but what I like about it all is that I'm my own publisher and Kindle puts me in front of my readers - no one can reject my book as happens to all of us with the big print publishers.  As many ebooks are sold these days as print books, but most of the sales are from a few popular authors - and they are making megabucks.

What I like about it is that it costs me nothing so long as I do all the work myself.  I write the story, edit it, produce the book cover, format it for the distributor and present it in a professional manner.  It then stands or falls on how well written it is, how readable it is, and that I won't really know until a few readers give me reviews.

Until then it's keep working on new content and fly fingers, fly!

Barry Dashwood
Author of Silverback!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

ebook update

I must admit I'm disappointed so far in how many stories I've sold since going digital over a month ago.  My total sales to date are , wait for it ... seven!  And six of those were bought by my son as a birthday present to me.  I know you have to be patient, but pageview totals are adding up, and sample downloads are now over fifty, but still the sales are almost non existant.  I'm taking this as a bad sign, but I shall press on with the effort.

Has anyone else had a similar experience?  Or have you done better than that?

I've spent this afternoon posting my seventh book, a collection of six short stories called 'Brief Encounters' on both Smashwords and Kindle, and Smashwords have distributed my first six books to some other retailers, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Diesel, so I'm hoping that might help.  Sony and Apple are to follow shortly.  It's all very exciting, I must say, but it would be nice to sell a few and get some reviews in either to confirm the bad news or cheer me up with some good news.

I'll try and post each week with a progress report.  Or lack of it.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Er ... I've been away.

I haven't posted anything for more than three months and it's time I updated on what's been going on.  If you've read me previously you may remember how disillusioned I was about the whole business of trying to write.  I haven't done anything writing wise for a while because I got thoroughly down about it all.

But hey ... I've got my enthusiasm back with a vengeance and it's all because of the upsurge in digital self publishing.  Ebooks, to be precise.  Firstly, at the start of the year I put a novel and five short stories onto a free to download site called obooko, just for fun really, and sat back to see what would happen.

To my amazement, people started downloading the stories, and in three months there were 250 downloads!  I know that's not setting the world on fire, but after all these years to have 250 people read something of mine ... well, I tell you!

I looked forward to receiving some comments and even star rating votes to get an idea of what people thought about my stuff, but sadly, no one commented, and only two people voted, one 5 star and one 3 star - not much response from 250 downloads.  I took this to be a bad sign but when I queried obooko about it they said that was the average as most readers never bothered to comment or vote at all.  They also said that some writers had been on there for a long time without receiving a single vote so really I should cheer up.

So I did.

At the urging of my best friend, (who I'm lucky enough to be married to), the next step was to post them onto one of the numerous paid sites and see what would happen there.  The first thing was to take the same six stories and re-format them for Smashwords, (which is no easy feat!), and they've been on there for a few weeks now - all priced at $0.99, which seems at first glance to be too cheap, but is in line with all the advice of the very successful indie producers.  They are about to distribute them through five other sites but already there's been some response to them on their own retail division.  More than 100 page views and over 30 free samples downloaded.  Sadly, no sales, which again I'm taking to be a bad sign.  I think patience has got to be the order of the day here though, and I'm determined to stay in it for the long haul and keep adding more stories.

One distributor they haven't yet been able to reach agreement with is Amazon Kindle so I spent last Sunday afternoon adding them on there as well.  It's a much more confusing site than Smashwords, and I can't at the moment see how to raise my head above the waves, but - Lo and Behold - today I sold my first one!  I never thought I'd be so thrilled about someone spending 70p or so on a story of mine.

So now it's head down, write, write, write, post, post, post, and just see how far I can go with it.

I'm a solitary sort of person, no facebook, no twitter, no big circle of friends to encourage me, so how I'm going to get on with promoting my stories remains to be seen.  I'm feeling like a very small fish, in a very large tributary, of the really huge Amazon, but I'm going to try.

See?  I told you I'd got my enthusiasm back. 

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Free-to-download ebooks.

I've not been on the blog for a while so I thought I'd pop back to ask for some advice.

I've given up all hope of ever getting published in print, so I've very recently started putting some of my stories on a free-to-downlooad ebook site called obooko, and I'm pretty chuffed with the result.
Although comments are non existant so far, I had eighty four downloads in the first week so at least somebody somewhere is reading them.

Does anyone have any thoughts or knowledge about ebooks, and what are your thoughts about using a free-to-download site like obooko?

I haven't had much response to my blog so far, but I hope at least some of you will comment on this posting.