Writing books & learning experiences

Second book out, with a third on its way in June. Going good right? A little bit about what I have learned and what’s to come.

First off, all self-publishing platforms have their issues. Create-Space sets the price way to high for picture books. I would need to sell a 96 tale book for £18 with £0.00 coming to me. I tried Comixology, better, but far more suited to actual comics. I ambled back to KDP. Published the paperback edition, ordered a copy, then unpublished. Better, but it removes the ability to pre-order. All jolly frustrating yes?

I know these problems are mostly to do with releasing colour picture books. Not much I can do about that. So KDP is where I shall continue publishing.

Getting reviews on Amazon as akin to drawing blood from a stone. Everyone says this. We cannot incentivise reviews now (see October 2016). I’m told getting 50 reviews is needed because from there on you get your book featured in the ‘also read’ more often. Makes sense. Doesn’t help newcomers when the market is flooded with ‘bought review’ books. I wanted to gather some reviews, but given how bias the system is, it’s not something I want to waste time on. Instead, I hoped to get people talking and sharing the book elsewhere.

For promotion, I fell a bit flatter than I should have.On KDP you can set an ebook to free for up to 5 days. I had a pre-made social media battering campaign ready. The intention was to go mad the first five days and gather up some Amazon reviews. The reason it fell flat, was because I got a bunch of freelance work dumped my way and I need to pay my bills. I should have prioritised the book. I didn’t. My loss. Learn from my own advice, and prioritise your own shit before others.

One other thing. On some social media channels, I only linked to UK Amazon. Some people didn’t realise it was available on USA Amazon as well. In future, I shall endeavour to link to both in every post on social medias.

The next book Spiders is almost ready to go, and I was aiming for a June release. Unfortunately, throughout June I have a stack of work and am moving a house worth of stuff towards the end of the month. I also need to share a few stories around to get a grasp on whether they are offensive or not. I m aware I have posted some stories that are deemed offensive. Old British humour dips that way sometimes without intending too. So, June, it’s going to be busy.

I had an unfortunate knock the other day. I write a long way in advance. The folk who followed me here from my old blog can attest to that. I currently have nine books written in flash fiction style. 9 of the buggers! At one a month, this will keep me releasing a book a month until the new year. But here’s the thing. At some point, my writing style changed. The books became more narrative instead of a series of unrelated puns. The 4th and 5th books have a theme. The 5th takes place entirely in a bar. The 6th, 7th and 8th books are entirely one story per book, each consisting of 96 tales. When I wrote the 9th book I went back to 96 unconnected puns. It was fun, it was me, but after the strong narratives of the prior books I have just written, I struggled to reread my own book.

Book 9 would be a December release time at one a month? I may feel differently then. At the moment though, I feel like I can’t go back to writing straight up stand alone independent puns. Of course, the alternative I have is to strip Bugly’s down and sell the stories to flash fiction books or magazines. That might be a better option aye?

If you aren’t interested in buying a book, you can still read the Little Fears here, as for as long as I can I shall be posting 1 tale a day here. Though I am only half way through Book 3, so you will have to wait a couple of years before you see that later books heh.

If you want to help keep a creator well stocked with Hydra’s kibble, you can hit me up over on Patreon and support me for as little as $1 a month. You’ll be helping to support the free daily tales I publish here and Hydra’s waistline.

Finally, a quick repeat, both January and Capricorn are now available in paperback form from Amazon ~

January USA – $15.54

January UK – £12.00

Capricorn USA – $15.54

Capricorn UK – £12.00

33 thoughts on “Writing books & learning experiences”

  1. I feel your struggle. I publish through KDP, but it’s so hard to get attention my way…not to mention I haven’t published anything new in quite some time. But I do hope it all works out for you, of course!
    Good luck! ?


      1. So true! But with so little options available for people like us they have the crown in the game. We’re stuck and they know it. What can we do?


      2. Keep generating the awesome and talking among ourselves I guess. Every company fades back at some point. As will Amazon. We’ll be ready for whatever comes after kDP.


  2. The key to writing it to write. Write in your own way. It’s what is unique about you and your style that will get noticed because it is fresh and new. Thanks for visiting my site.

    Peace be the Botendaddy


  3. Oooh I can feel you! But you’re doing it right. Keep going, don’t get caught up with swapped or bought reviews. You just risk Amazon getting angry with you.

    But you could try Facebook Groups if you haven’t already. Tell them about your book and where they can purchase it. They still need to buy it though to leave a review (read group guidelines ;))

    Anyways, keep your head up! Good luck with your upcoming book 🙂


  4. Thanks for the like of Beginning. I like this post with all the ins outs and doubts of self publishing through KDP. All the best with your publications. I will check back. Cheers.


    1. Hey hey. You’re welcome. Switzerland always looks like an awesome place. Natural scenery to the architecture. Thanks for the good wishes!


  5. Lots of good insights here into what you are facing in regards to promotion – doesn’t sound easy. I wrote a contemporary/romance novel a number of years back and loved the writing but was exhausted by the endless hours doing querry letters. I considered self-publishing but there weren’t the same options back then but most of the same road blocks. I’m wishing you all the best!!


    1. Cheers, Star. Been a while since this post, I’m up to five books now and have continued to learn with every release, heh.


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