Next book (Wild Card) progress & sales update

Wild Card

Not October.

Bite Back book 3, Wild Card, is progressing, just much slower than I had hoped. I’ve given percentage finished figures before, and that seemed to work with Raw Deal. However, the point I’m at with Wild Card is difficult to quantify.

The first half of the book is written, and close to final – just one chapter to rewrite. That’s about 85k words in all, or roughly an average sized book. The second half is about half written – that’s to say I have written most of the major scenes and turning points and have sketched out a lot of the rest. It just needs ‘joining up’. However, that’s where I was with the first half of the book back when I said it would be ready in October. Then I found that joining up has become trickier as the story gets more complex.

So anyway, not October. Has to be before Christmas. Somewhere between. I’ll ask for your patience and keep posting progress.


Sleight of Hand has gone past 17,800 total sales, Hidden Trump 12,400, and the retention rate has now touched 70%. Raw Deal has just gone past 17,000. The big question on the RD numbers, which Amazon will not answer, is ‘how many of those are new readers?’.

German readers bought more SoH and HT than UK readers in September. And I cracked the Spanish market – 1 sale of each.

Amazon ranking is up and down. SoH and HT both averaged around 16,000 out of all ebooks in September. RD is averaging around 2000 out of all free ebooks for the last couple of weeks.

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About Mark Henwick

I was born in Africa and left out in the sun too often. An early interest in philosophy and psychology was adequately exorcised by tending bars. And while trying to enroll in a class to read Science Fiction full time, I ended up taking an engineering degree which splendidly qualified me to move into marketing. That in turn spawned a late onset career in creative writing. When not working, I get high by the slightly less conventional means of a small light aircraft. My first books are available on Amazon at

14 responses to “Next book (Wild Card) progress & sales update”

  1. Sharon Sayegh says :

    I’m looking at it as a wonderful, wonderful preChristmas gift!

  2. Richard says :

    no worries Mark, better you take the time to get it right. We will wait and we will purchase it.

    PS when do you start filming the movie??

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Richard, thanks.
      The movie…
      Y’know, the flippant response to this is “when someone comes up with $100 million”.
      And having got that out of the way, let me say I recently came across a young Asian lady on the internet who put out a crowdfunding request because she couldn’t get cast in any roles with any depth.
      Now, she’s made the $75k she thinks she needs to make her own film, so I’m not saying put your money in, I’m saying let’s see what she produces.
      The wealth of talent out there far exceeds the range of ambition of the Hollywood financiers, which is to say, there are people out there with the skills who are hungry to make budget films and might be interested to have a look at my stories. Because you guys would watch it, wouldn’t you? And that’s some sales already…
      So my mind is open, but at the moment I’m focused on Wild Card. 🙂

  3. mike gibbons says :

    take your time please 🙂 a good book late is better then a rushed book soon lol. love some of the covers you have posted. getting some good books off what your posting, loved that imp series by debra dunbar and on the second book of the sensor series which is good also thanks!

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thanks Mike.
      I’ve also enjoyed the Darkness and Imp series. I keep meaning to make a full blog post on all the books I’ve read and enjoyed, but lack the time at the moment. (Any proper attempt at this means me crawling about in my attic space, because that’s where my paper library is).

    • soncee says :

      I love your comment “a good book late is better than a rushed book soon” and will have to remember that whenever I’m short on patience and long on complaints!

  4. Alan Smith says :

    Just wanted to say, that I read a preview of the first book (Sleight of Hand) and purchased it and I am about halfway through reading it. The book is outstanding; it has action, drama and good natured bantering with the array of characters.

    I would just like to make one comment about Amber having served in the Army. No I am not disputing the choice you made of her shortened career on active duty at all. I liked where you came from on that. I am commenting on the fact of her Veterans Administration disability pay. I just happen to work for the VA and do acutal VA disabilty claims. The level of disability in the book is stating hers is at a 25% level. This is an impossible disability level, as the compensation ratings only allow the following: 0%, 10%, 20%, 30%. As you see the levels increase in 10% increments.

    If you have done this on purpose, please accept my apologies for noting this and addressing this. For me also being a veteran (and receiving disability pay), I always hear of people “misquoting” veterans disabilty pay and that tends to make me cringe and wish I could do something more to inform more of the correct levels of disability and what is and is not covered by the VA.

    Thank you for an outstanding book.


    • Mark Henwick says :

      This is exactly the detail feedback I love and I will amend the 25% to 20%. I tried to research this while writing SoH, but it got too difficult. I wanted to come up with a figure that meant Amber got only a little – so she remains dependent on her PI income. A small enough figure that Amber is amazed that a lieutenant has actually come out all this way to check, and just large enough that it’s useful and adds to her feeling of ongoing obligation to the army.
      (Lt Krantz was obviously checking on something far larger, and that subplot is not done yet, just on the back burner. I wanted to put a small continuation in Wild Card, but it looks as if I’m running out of space).

      • Suzie says :

        I’m looking forward to your next book, Mark. As everyone else has said, there is nothing wrong with delaying it if you need more time to make it just right. Thanks for the update!

      • Alan Smith says :


        If you provide a way of contact, I can provide the updated information that would most likely reflect the correct percentage of disabiity that you were looking at for Amber. I can also provide details on how the Colonel would be able to provide documents to the VA that would prove her active duty service and re-establish her benefits. I would just need some sort of communication. I could provide my email address, but I am not sure if that is what you would like posted here. I look forward to hearing from you.

  5. Mark Henwick says :

    Thanks! That would be very helpful. My email is
    As you read further in SoH, you’ll see I’ve chosen to keep the proof of service and re-establishment of benefits problematical due to the secrecy requirements of Ops 4-10. But the right formula for Amber’s benefits is the sort of real detail I love to have.
    Thanks again. Mark

  6. Sarah Dolan says :

    Hello Mark, Just finished reading “Hidden Trump”. I am totally into your books now. I got “Raw Deal” as a free download from Amazon and was so taken with your writing and story line, that I just had to read “Sleight of Hand”. Now, I am patiently waiting for the 3rd book. Please take your time because I will be waiting patiently for the next book. Again, thanks for a great book.

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thank you, Sarah! (Both for the positive feedback about the books and for telling me the route you arrived) It’s difficult to tell how many people have read Raw Deal and gone on from there to the other two.

      I’ve been so wrong on the schedule for Wild Card, I’m nervous about giving dates. I’ll see where I am at the end of October and I will post something, even if it’s only ‘going well’. And I really want it to be out by Christmas, so the post at the end of November should be ‘final at the editors’.

      Thanks again

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