Archive | January 2014

Print version of Wild Card

I’ve just confirmed the proof and ordered the first copies.
I dropped the font to 10 and accepted the large format 6×9, which means the book is ‘only’ about 1.1 inches thick.
I’ve ordered some copies, two of which will be signed and sent – one to Moritz in Berlin (won a competition on Lauren Sweet’s page), and one to TK in London (beat me on a challenge I put on the FB page). They’ll still take another 2-3 weeks to arrive!
Next up Raw Deal print version. And then either redo the covers for SoH and HT, or redo all the covers…

Working (slowly) on ‘Saigon – The Reach of Lies’ and ‘Cool Hand’ – update on progress at the end of the month!

Monthly update

What am I working on?


My intention for the year is to fit in two Bite Back books, so I guess my release dates would be July and December. I do not intend to get quite as complex or as long as Wild Card, and that should help. It is, however, also my intention to publish a Bian’s Tale book, or two. These are much smaller and less complex than Bite Back books, and the first one is well advanced (teaser on the blog some time back). Four books is …er… hopeful.

Also, it proved too much last time I tried writing two different books at the same time, so we’ll have to see what comes out first. Bite Back has preference, but Bian’s Tale is more advanced.

Bian’s Tale is not Urban Fantasy, in that it is not contemporary and does not focus on one city. The first book will be set in Saigon around 1890-1895. I’ve scratched my head over the title and I think it’s going to be ‘Saigon – the Harvest of Lies’. The next Bite Back name might be ‘Cool Hand’.

 Marketing and Other Stuff

I’m going to become familiar with the Mac computer and I will release the Bite Back books on iTunes.

I’ll have a look at various promotional email lists – you may remember from August, that BookGorilla appeared to boost my downloads of Raw Deal by a couple of thousand, and that sort of thing is worth pursuing.

I’m also going to redo the covers for Sleight of Hand and Hidden Trump. They’ll end up more like the Wild Card and Raw Deal covers.

I’ve delegated the Bian’s Tale cover design and implementation to Jessica and Gideon – I’m really excited to see what they come up with.


It’s been a good time for reviews on Amazon (5 new Wild Card reviews today) and Goodreads. Many of those came from folk who visit the blog, and I can’t always connect between your internet names, so a general ‘thank you’ here!

There has been criticism of Wild Card – the length and complexity mainly, and I’m guilty as charged. I will make serious effort to start ending some of these threads rather than letting them tangle with new threads!

Well, where are we? Sleight of Hand has just reached 183 reviews, Hidden Trump 139, Raw Deal 47 and Wild Card 22, on the various Amazon sites. On Goodreads the numbers are 75, 36, 21 and 10.

I’m delighted with the response.


I wanted to get Wild Card out by Christmas for three reasons – I’d made predictions and slipped twice, I hoped it would be a nice Christmas for my patient readers, and also to surf the Christmas and New Year sales boost in ebooks.

You may remember that Hidden Trump was released just before Christmas in 2011 and went like a rocket. Wild Card hasn’t done that. The first couple of days’ sales were even higher than Hidden Trump, and then the numbers dropped. They’re still excellent sales, but there’s not the frenzy there was for Hidden Trump, which sold 4,500 in the US from just 5 days before Christmas to the end of January. I estimate that Wild Card will sell about half of that in the same period on current numbers.

What’s changed? Amazon started sending emails to people who’d bought Sleight of Hand as soon as Hidden Trump was released. They haven’t done that for Wild Card. There is no marketing department address I can call and talk to, so it’s a bit of a guess as to why that is. I’m not that concerned – I believe the majority of people who’re following the series will spot that Wild Card is out and buy it, but of a necessity that’s slower unless Amazon emails them.

So total sales as of today : Sleight of Hand 18,437 – Hidden Trump 12,990 – Raw Deal 18,495 – Wild Card 1,100.

US Amazon rankings have Sleight of Hand and Hidden Trump at about 40,000, Raw Deal at about 80,000 and Wild Card 3,700 overall and 38 in Urban Fantasy.

I’m very happy.