It’s Alive!!!

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After what seemed like forever (in reality a calendar month), the third and final edition of Glob’s wonderful tales are now live on Amazon in Kindle and paperback form.

Here are the two main links:

US

UK

So now is the time for you to read the anthology. Then post that review.

Just remember – we all need a little magic in our lives. Glob’s Tales are chock full of magic and wonderful characters!!!

Definitely a wood for the trees moment?

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This post follows on from the other day – https://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/2015/09/02/a-message-to-the-slackers/ where one of the commenters (Ken Thackerey) questioned my thoughts on reviews being the author’s only real means of knowing how many people actually read a free copy of a book. He got me thinking further on the subject.

***

Why do some books become best sellers? Is it the fact that the author promoted their book, hoping for sales, by initially giving it away once it was published? Perhaps it’s because the author publicised it on every book and social media site, not to mention their blog? Could it be because the author let it sit for a while in preorder mode, prior to publication? Maybe its the cover? Maybe its the fact that it was edited by a professional, or that a lot of money was spent having it promoted? Each one of them is standard practice, and yes they all help. But only up to a point. Might it have anything to do with genre? Not necessarily.

Then the penny finally dropped. It’s none of them or any combination you care to come up with. I’ll tell you why some books succeed while the rest don’t. It’s only taken me twenty years to finally figure it out. Call it a case of not being able to see the wood for the trees if you like. It’s blindingly obvious once you see it. The answer was staring me in the face all the time from the books in my library. It’s in yours too.

In this day and age, no matter the genre, or how much time and effort you put into bringing that story to life to make it stand out from the crowd, what any book needs is reviews. It doesn’t matter how good the story might be. Nor does it matter how eye-catching the cover is, or how much money was spent on having it promoted. To become popular, and therefore by osmosis, to be considered a best seller, if it doesn’t have glowing reviews prior to publishing, quite simply you are wasting your time. I’m not talking about those written by the general public after a book is published. Instead I’m talking about presale reviews.

Look at the cover of any book coming out of any traditional publishing house. Whether the author is a known quantity or a newcomer, all trad publishers ensure that each book they put out receives a smattering of excellent reviews prior to publishing, one or two on the front cover. Others inside after the title page, and maybe one on the back cover along with the author’s bio. It’s simplicity itself when you think about it.

What about Indies? Does this apply to them as well? Emphatically yes. I known what I’ll be doing with my next novella or novel before I publish it. Oh, and no more free samples…

😉

Derek Haines’ Latest Novel Is Out

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My good friend and fellow author Derek Haines, has just released his latest novel. If you enjoy reading his posts here on my blog, then I guarantee that you will love to read his books.

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When one door closes, there is alway another, all too ready to slam you in the face!

It doesn’t take long to destroy your house of cards life, when there are those around you who are ready to blow an ill and vengeful wind your way. In Sam’s case, his secure, stable and perhaps, even boringly comfortable suburban life is turned on its head in a matter of hours. Within days, his life is twisted beyond belief, and with the passing of only a few short weeks, his life is well on course for complete and utter destruction.

Yet, no matter the evil one perceives in others, in the end, it is often one’s own deeds that come back to haunt you. Being no angel, Sam discovers that he can’t walk away from his own mistakes, misadventures and misgivings, although his conscience would prefer to blindly ignore his own failings.

His only possible means of escape comes by sheer chance, and an accident, yet he is so blinded by bitterness and hate that he shuns his one true hope of a possible return to reality, and normality.

In doing so, he exposes himself to having his life torn to shreds.

Through his own selfish and inescapable mistakes, he is to be savagely cut to pieces, by three ill and very vengeful winds, who all wish to render their revenge upon him.

Read Cut In Three – a very noir and bitter account of life in the all too real.

Derek's cover

Click the cover to get your copy from Amazon.com

Introducing the award winning Belgian/Flemish writer, Robert Van Laerhoven

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As readers if you have never heard of him before, it’s not really surprising. Until now, few of his books have appeared in the English language. Usually they are published in Dutch and French, only available in paperback and hard cover. Hopefully that will change in the not too distant future. Like all of us, all he wants is to ensure his books are read by the widest audience possible.

Bob, as he prefers to be called, is an award winning Belgian/Flemish writer. I’ve known him for years. So far he has written more than thirty books. Among the awards he has won is the much coveted Hercule Poirot Prize for his crime novel Baudelair’s Revenge, published in 2007, (paper and hard cover) set in Paris in the eighteen seventies.

A few days ago he contacted me via chat on Facebook to ask if I would be willing to participate in a project to our mutual benefit. On Saturday he sent me an email explaining exactly what he had in mind.

In essence, if I was prepared to read and review the English language version of his collection of short stories Dangerous Obsessions, he would like to do the same for one of mine. Needless to say I readily agreed. So I suggested that for his part he read and review my novella Cataclysm published in 2014. He emailed me to say he had ordered the paperback version yesterday (Sunday).

Normally this is an arrangement that I would not enter into. But Bob is such a likeable character, it would be churlish of me to refuse. So why not oblige him?

He offered me a link to a free PDF version of the collection to read. But, if I’m going to fully support his wanting to break into the fastest growing English language literary market – eBooks, particularly in the USA, I’m going to do it properly. So I started as I mean to go on by purchasing a Kindle copy.

He went to the expense of having the collection translated by Bryan Doyle here in the UK – accredited by the Flemish Fund for Literature. Bob asked that I review it on Amazon and Goodreads. I told him that I’m more than happy to place a review on Amazon, but not Goodreads, explaining that the latter is still riddled with author hating trolls.

So from now on my evenings will be taken up with reading through the short stories in the collection. The following link is for the interview with him that his US publisher Anaphora Literary Press produced – Bob’s Interview.

If this writer who’s first language is English can’t support another who is more comfortable writing in Flemish, what is the world coming too?

PS – why not join me in helping Bob out. Get your Kindle copy by clicking on the Dangerous Obsessions link, or go to the Amazon site you usually use. Then read and review it. Come on folks, let’s help a fellow writer.

PPS – My fellow bloggers, you can all do your bit by reblogging this post. Bob’s name and his books need to become known to the entire English speaking world.

PPPS – before anyone thinks of pointing out the obvious yet again – I only use Amazon.com links in my posts. Why? Because the majority of my readers live there. Ok?

😉

Cataclysm – A Review

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For hundreds of years history books went unchallenged and all religious beliefs were considered to be inviolable, never to be questioned, until the era of the Teleportation Gate. Consider what would occur if the origins of mankind, together with many of the preconceptions we hold dear concerning religion, were proven to be false. How would you react? At the end of the twenty-first century, time travel became a reality. Humanity was about to get an unwelcome wakeup call.

Nothing is every straight forward…

***

A very dear friend and fellow blogger who lives in South Africa, the lovely Jo Robinson, recently read and kindly reviewed my novella Cataclysm, written last year (2014).

Take note one and all, this is how a review should always be written. It’s brief and very much to the point, with not a scathing comment in sight, nor any plea for the author of the work to delete something the reviewer objected too; either that or a demand that various scenes include more detail than they already do.

At one time or another, we’ve all had these various negative types of review. Despite what the ill-informed and some publishers today may hold to be the truth, negative and often wordy complaining reviews simply don’t sell books! But neither do they hinder sales. Usually they are ignored. On the other hand, people do read reviews like this one.

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Here is what Jo had to say about Cataclysm:

5.0 out of 5 stars Fast Paced Action March 29, 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dr Gilbert Briggs invents a time machine in 2097, and from the first page of this fast paced novella, the action doesn’t stop. The secrets of ancient Earth have always fascinated me, and I loved this take on it. Gilbert and his New Zealand cohort head back to various times in the history of the planet, and find the Sun King of the Maya to be an alien, who they befriend. I don’t want to write any spoilers, so all I’ll say is that the love at the end of this book is definitely bittersweet, and the action and time mind bending were great. Romp of a story.
***
Many, many thanks Jo
If what Jo had to say intrigued you enough that you want to read the novella for yourselves, click on the above cover to go to Amazon.com. Cataclysm can also be found on all other Amazon sites worldwide.

#Read #books by #Jack Eason

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Well, I’ve blown apart the old adage about everyone having at least one book in them. When I am ready to publish The Guardian, it will bring the total to nine. Not bad for someone who was totally dismissed out of hand by one or two mainstream publishers a few years ago.

It all started with Turning Point back in 1995. Next came Onet’s Tale, which follows on from Turning Point. Onet’s Tale was the first of my books to be published. While it still shows up along with my others on Amazon, sadly it is no longer available. Next came The Adventures of Ursus the Bear, an illustrated book for tiny tots, which I wrote the stories for. After waiting since 2012, it has finally appeared (for the moment, only in paperback). Next was The Seventh Age, immediately follow by The Forgotten Age and The Next Age. Then came my one and only fantasy anthology Goblin Tales. Last year I branched out somewhat with Cataclysm. Why do I say branched out? Because its beautiful heroine, Arianna, is a shemale.

To go directly to the book you want on Amazon.com, just click on its cover above.

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For the rest of the world, if any of the titles take your fancy you can find them here, depending on where you live:

If you live in the UK, you can find his books here:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jack-Eason/e/B003MEA7AY/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1403637845&sr=1-2-ent

If you live in the Netherlands, you can find his books here:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Jack+Eason&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3AJack+Eason

If you live in Germany, you can find his books here:

http://www.amazon.de/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?__mk_de_DE=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack+Eason&rh=n%3A530484031%2Ck%3AJack+Eason

If you live in France, you can find his books here:

http://www.amazon.fr/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/280-2910619-3635906?__mk_fr_FR=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack%20Eason

If you live in Spain, you can find his books here:

http://www.amazon.es/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/277-9237284-1409746?__mk_es_ES=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack%20Eason

If you live in Italy, you can find his books here:

http://www.amazon.it/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/279-3173850-6452712?__mk_it_IT=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack%20Eason

If you live in Japan, you can find his books here:

http://www.amazon.co.jp/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/377-0278014-1105143?__mk_ja_JP=%E3%82%AB%E3%82%BF%E3%82%AB%E3%83%8A&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack+Eason

If you live in India, you can find his books here:

http://www.amazon.in/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack+Eason

If you live in Canada, you can find his books here:

http://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/184-3433483-4301906?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack%20Eason

If you live in Brazil, you can find his books here:

http://www.amazon.com.br/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/182-7535102-2859815?__mk_pt_BR=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack%20Eason

If you live in Mexico, you can find his books here:

http://www.amazon.com.mx/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/182-5143004-3863603?__mk_es_MX=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack%20Eason

If you live in Australia, you can find his books here:

http://www.amazon.com.au/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/377-2168353-7357751?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack%20Eason

 

You can also find links to my books on AuthorsDen

Which is more important to you?

Think back to when you were a child opening your Christmas or Birthday presents. What mattered to you the most? Was it the packaging, or was it the content? If your preference was for the packaging, you need some serious one to one time with a psychiatrist!!!

Click to buy from Fishpond

As a typical example of packaging, the above cover for Matthew Wright’s – The New Zealand Wars – A Brief History, could hardly be said to be attractive to the eye. What sells the book to students of New Zealand’s history is its content and Wright’s reputation as a serious writer, not what the cover looks like.

I don’t know how many times I have to say it – forever it seems, but far too many of today’s writers become totally obsessed with relying on the literary equivalent of packaging, believing that somehow or other it will sell their book on its own, or at the very least make their book stand out from the crowd. Many times I see examples of an author desperate to bring their book(s) to the attention of potential readers, either by changing the cover or the title, or both. If the book failed to sell in the first place, no combination of fancy cover and title, original or new, will ever help.

I tried it once, never again. In my own case when my fantasy anthology wasn’t selling, I altered the title from Globular Van der Graff’s Goblin Tales for Adults to Goblin Tales. It still failed to sell even though the original version had received seventeen five star reviews like the following:-

“While I read this book, I must have thought at least a dozen or more times to myself, “This should be made into a movie.” The storyline is perfect for it. Magical characters. Battles of good vs evil. It has everything it would take to make another Lord of the Rings. I would see it in the movies and then buy the DVD.” 

So you see, you are not alone. Even mid-listers like myself have our failures from time to time.

In light of this example and others, it appears that once again I need to restate what really matters when it comes to any book is not the packaging, but the book’s content. Unless your book holds a reader’s attention, it matters little that you have found a title that not too many others have also used, (bearing in mind that there is no such thing as an original title these days) which you think will appeal, and spent your hard earned money on having a cover created.

I can just hear book cover illustrators hackles rising at this point as they read this, but the simple fact is this; no matter how good a cover and title may be, unless the book’s content is up to scratch, you’re book will never sell!

If you are pinning your hopes on gaining regular readers by your book’s titles and covers, I would argue that you are deluding yourselves. While catchy titles and pretty pictures may appeal to some, mainly those who occasionally read something other than gutter press newspapers and glossy magazines for airheads, written by airheads, neither a book’s title nor its cover picture will sell your book to serious bibliophiles.

They couldn’t care less either about the cover, or the title. What the book contains within its pages is what interests them. That is what you should be concentrating all your efforts on. Its worth spending all of your time getting that right first. Any book wholly reliant on its title and cover to attract sales, is nothing more than mutton dressed as lamb; currently there are millions of examples on offer. The only time most of these shift any meaningful numbers is when their authors offer them for free, or as an online promotion on social media sites.

Is that the fate you had in mind for your book?

It is a fact that for a book to sell more than five copies, first of all it must be well written. In most cases it needs to be fast moving. It must have a good plot as well as a concise, well written ‘hook’ to even begin to pique the genuine bibliophile’s curiosity.

Everywhere you look on the internet these days, there are writer’s sites and blogs telling you that unless you have an appealing cover and title, your book will soon disappear from the public gaze. While that may be the case for most new writers, the reverse is true if you are a mid-lister. My own book sales back up what I’m saying.

Yes, that first book you published probably did need a cover and title to make it stand out from the rest at the time it was published. But once you have published several books, and by definition gained a loyal readership, they couldn’t care less about the cover and title. What matters to them is that you have built yourself a reputation for telling stories they enjoy. Consequently they look forward to reading your latest.

I would further argue that if you want to attract even more readers, get yourself a blog like this one. Don’t just constantly advertise your books on social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Twitter as many hopefuls do. Instead, regularly contribute to your blog about anything which interests you, giving your potential readers an insight into how you feel about all kinds of topics. As for advertising your books, do what I’ve done, add the links to the sites where they can find your books on your blog’s ‘About’ page.

What people really want to know about is you. By letting them glimpse your life through your blog posts, it helps them to realise that you are just another human being like them. As a sub-species of humanity, writers are not unapproachable. Instead we’re constantly thinking about and writing our current WIP, and blog posts like this one.

When it comes to your latest Work In Progress, why not do what I do. Produce ‘Progress Reports’ concerning it on your blog from time to time. By the time it is finally published, and always providing that your blog followers are anticipating reading it, in effect what you have done by providing those ‘Progress Reports’ is a bit of pre-publication advertising. My good friend, and fellow author, Robert Bauval, does exactly the same thing as I do, in his case on his webpage – http://robertbauval.co.uk/books.html with links to his blog and his books. As a consequence our readers are chomping at the bit, continually asking us when our latest book will be available for purchase.

Remember this as well – endless advertising of your books on any social media site is guaranteed to put off potential readers. It looks like just another case of sheer desperation on the part of the book’s author…

😉