Friday, 8 August 2014

Self publishing & me - an honest account

When I started this blog I wanted it to be an honest account of self publishing & I hoped any newbies who stumbled across it may find it helpful.

However as time has gone along I've not revealed my true feelings as I didn't want to appear unprofessional or moany but feel this therefore is not doing what I originally set out to do.   

In truth self publishing is creative, hard work, rewarding & a little lonely. Sales are slow & hard to come by. In the last 90 days I've sold 4 copies of The Awakening & 57 free copies of Origins were downloaded in my summer promo. I hope the free downloads might lead to some future sales but worry they may simply end up unread on kindles around the globe.
I'm not very good at blowing my own trumpet & in the early days received a bad review in America which seriously dented my confidence.

Here's the review -1 star

Most of you know by now that I am what I lovingly refer to as a "book masochist"; meaning that I will read pretty much anything I start all the way through, no matter how hard it is to get through, just so I can write a review on the entire book.
Unfortunately, despite the interesting synopsis and the cover of this book, this has earned the title of "First Book I Could Not Read". In fact, I made it a whopping 18% into it before I was forced to move on. Normally, I would wait a few days and try again, or just forgo the review entirely, but I feel in just that 18% I can write an honest enough review. After all, what I write may still appeal to readers of a certain taste. To me, this book reads as either a bad role-playing narrative, or as something that was written by a very inexperienced (and young) writer. I could not get into this story at all. I didn't care about the characters, what their secrets were, or how their story would end. Perhaps after reading for as many years as I have, I have become a bit of a book snob (I would like to hope this is not the case), but I need more to a story than this drabble.

Its a little upsetting my hard work is reduced to the term drabble & only 18% was read but I've learnt to brush it off.  You need a thick skin & a strong belief in your own product.
I love my book but have had periods of self doubt.
I've been working on the sequel & am really happy with it. I've included a lot more dialogue as this was feedback I received & love the ending.
Along the way I think you can get bogged down by KDP, Twitter, Facebook and updating your blog & forget how much you enjoy writing. Some people advise you need a strong presence online & others say don't post too often and annoy people. Its a minefield!!!
I've actually really enjoyed the blog side of things although I don't think mine is read much. This however doesn't bother me. I love my little blog.

Anyway back to self publishing I think I've forgotten a little of why I first self published. It was simply to share my story which consumed my thoughts & the sense of achievement. Obviously I wish it was being downloaded in larger quantities but the fact its out there & has some good reviews is amazing & I strongly believe the sequel is better.

I've decided to take a little step back. Not worry about stats, reviews, kindle countdown (which doesn't seem to work for me) & wait for my beta readers to come back to me & then polish book 2. Although my laptop is currently poorly & in the shop argh!!! Fingers crossed they can mend it otherwise book 2 will be delayed & I'm currently in the editing zone.

When book 2 is ready I've decided I'll do a proper one day book blitz launch & then fingers crossed it does well. If not I love it & am proud of it & that is the most important thing. After book 2 I feel I will have achieved what I set out to do.

I do have another teen book idea & have wrote 30000 words but am unsure if the present format works. I'd also love to write a holiday chick lit one day and have the beginnings of a book at 10000 words although that may never get finished or may end up for my eyes only. I enjoy writing & think I need to remember that & not the pressure I have put on myself. The pure beauty of self publishing is you are your own boss. No deadlines, timescales or limits. You decide & I think I needed to remind myself of that.
Sorry for the long post but hope someone out there will find it useful or interesting & if not I simply feel better for doing it.


Emma xxx

Monday, 4 August 2014

Point Horror Club - Part 2

The Snowman R L Stine

The Snowman (Point Horror, #21)

Heather feels cold all the time. Alone. Her guardian hates her. He'd like to see her dead. He'd like all her money. But for now he settles for controlling it, and making Heather's life miserable.

Poor little rich girl, just like Cinderella...

Then the gorgeous, ice-blond guy shows up at the crummy restaurant where Heather works after school. He understands about Heather. He's her Prince Charming. No one can get to Heather now.

Heather feels so safe. So loved. So warm...

Heather lives with her aunt & uncle and hates her uncle with a passion.  The very first chapter starts with her fantasising about his death.  At her diner job (how American is that?!?) she meets the mysterious Snowman & things change. She splits up with her boyfriend Ben & spends more time with the supportive and exciting Snowman.  However he soon asks her for money & the £2000 cheque she gives him comes back to haunt her. One day Heather's uncle dies and you find out the Snowman did it & starts blackmailing her. I found this twist slightly odd and the FBI bit even more so.  A 50/50 book for me and not one I remember from my teenage years.  Still a good quick read. I won't reveal the final twist.

Do you remember this one? What did you think?

The Yearbook Peter Lerangis

The Yearbook

Pity, pity Laura Chase
Pretty hair and pretty face
Isn't it a sorry fate
She won't live to graduate?

Somebody has a morbid sense of humour at Wetherby High School. The yearbook has been sabotaged and nasty poems have appeared next to some students' photographs.

David Kallas thinks it's just a sick joke - until his friends start disappearing one by one. And when he finds a dead body, he realises that something far more sinister is going on ...

This starts with Davis Kallas agreeing to help the lovely Ariana with the yearbook so he can get closer to her & she might actually notice him.  However students start to die and it is connected to the yearbook and the two try to work out what's going on.

I found this book too weird and its the first Point Horror book I actually didn't like at all.  The weird squid monster, calcium requirements, odd number system to work out which kids are taken/killed it was all a little odd. The whole squid monster thing didn’t work for me. I’m more into ghosts, stalkers, vampires etc. The end was also rubbish to me why didn’t they just pour loads of coke on? It did seem a bit ahead of its time which was good but felt very different to other Point Horror books.

Do you agree? What are your thoughts?

I think I might read The Waitress next.

Emma xxx