January 2019: a recap

New for 2019 I thought I’d do a brief recap of what’s happened each month.

It’s likely gratuitous self-promotion, and if anything major has happened you can be pretty sure it’s already been mentioned elsewhere, but I’m using this as a bit of a self-check to ensure I’m keeping busy and ‘doing stuff’.

Main points of January were:

  • My Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP) Read views were my best yet. Not just a little either – a whopping 31% up on the previous month which was, itself, the best month to date at that time. For those note sure what KENP is – it’s when your book is available on Kindle Unlimited – the membership version of Kindle where users pay £7.99 per month for unlimited downloads of books available. KENP shows each page view and provides a (tiny) payment per page. It’s an interesting way to compare to how many kindle or print versions of your book have sold and is potentially important to an author for lots of reasons. I’m not sure why this month was such a jump – maybe it was lots of people getting new kindles or KU memberships for Christmas, maybe it was just natural organic growth as word starts to get out. Maybe it was just a slow build up of the promotion I’ve been doing. Whatever, it was nice to see (and quite addictive to keep checking those figures each day…quiet, quiet..SPIKE!….quiet…- what happened that day??) and I’m intrigued to see what happens in 2019 moving forward.
  • I ‘finished’ a major edit/ rewrite of an old novel. In fact my first novel. I liked it originally, I really like it now. I don’t know whether others will: it’s not a ‘jump-out-at-you-from-page-one’ piece. It’s a 107k slow build murder mystery/ fish out of water piece. If anything, in this major rewrite I made it slower – a more character driven piece. I took out the ‘action’ pieces of the original because, frankly, I’m sick of reading the ‘killer POV interludes’ so common in mainstream crime thrillers these days so why would I write it? I’m not actually sure what I’ll do with this – but within the next month I’ll have made a decision.
  • I have been invited to speak at a major UK fiction event. This was confirmed during January, and I’m hoping I can say what it is and give a bit more detail in February…so still a little hush-hush at the moment…
  • I currently have a work being translated for publication into Slovenian…very exciting stuff, and my translator tell me some interesting challenges due to a couple of the ‘twists’…more news to follow soon I hope.
  • I finished a new script and performed it with a couple of other ‘actors’ in public. You can read more about that here and here
  • I’ve decided on my next self-publication title, which should, all things being good, be released in February. You can read about that here
  • I’ve written quite a bit – and quite a bit of different stuff. Not just prose fiction, but more scripts, some business articles (gotta pay for dinner somehow), and some non-fiction articles due for publication in February.
  • On a few less successful notes, I’ve spent some time trying to get Amazon to change their minds about some of their stranger policies around reviews and why they take some down. No luck there. “Computer says no”. I’ve tried to claw some of these backs by asking people to leave reviews on any of my stuff up on Amazon: again, not a huge amount of success there – I never really got it until I was putting stuff up there myself, but Amazon reviews do make a difference. It’s a mixed feeling when someone tells you that they really enjoyed reading your stuff…and you ask them to TELL PEOPLE via Amazon. They promise they will but never get around to it. It’s almost like they have something else to do with their lives and you’re not the centre of their universe. Weird, huh? Oh, and lastly, I’ve sent a lot of emails to a lot of different people about a lot of different things and realised there’s a hell of a lot of people out there that just don’t reply to emails. Maybe they’re suspicious, maybe they’re too busy, maybe they’re just not interested. But sometimes…sometimes you really just can’t give good stuff away for free: prose, appearance, offers of help, suggestions…nada.
  • And I’ve seen a few things – on tv and in print. Not as much as I’d have liked but that’s a two sided coin in itself: the reason for minimal viewing is down to being too busy writing. All I can say is, seasons 1 and 2 of Deadwood were seriously binged.

Well, that was January – roll on February. A lot to get done in the shortest month…

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