January 2014 – Monthly roundup
It’s the end of the month, and the monthly update is due.
The last week has been slow on the work side. Apparently a super-resistant plague bacillus was infected by a hyper-virulent avian flu virus and mutated into the worst disease known and it infected me. My wife says it was just a cold, but that’s ridiculous.
Anyway, I’m alive and sitting here waiting for the Broncos to stomp all over the Seagulls (this post may subsequently be edited due to unforeseen circumstances), so I thought I better sum up what’s where on the writing side.
Sleight of Hand was briefly overtaken by Raw Deal, but is now back in front with 18,950 sales in 19 months. Raw Deal is 18,880 in 10 months, Hidden Trump 13,400 in 15 and Wild Card 3,100 in 3.
The take-off that HT achieved hasn’t been copied by WC, due mainly (I think) to Amazon not recommending WC in their emails to readers of SoH and HT. That’s no concern to me really, slow or fast isn’t such a big thing. What I am pleased about in those figures is that HT is now at 71% retention from SoH and WC has re-boosted the sales of SoH and HT, putting them up around 15 daily.
I’m also pleased at the reviews that WC has brought in. Yes, there are people saying I need to tie up some of those threads that have been running for three books, but generally the reaction has been better than positive. And yes, I know that the next couple of Bite Back books have to tie up lots more.
Bian’s Tale 1: Saigon – The Reach of Lies is cantering. You’ll remember I said these books would be simpler, and they are. I have however had to deconstruct some characters and re-create them as two separate characters, so I’m having to revisit some of what I’ve written. I’ll have a more accurate update next month and I’ll put a teaser of the first section of the book up.
Bite Back 4: Cool Hand is trotting rather than cantering. I’m going slow because I’m nervous about the end of this book. My standard writing pattern is to have a very clear picture of the first and last quarter of a book when I start putting words on the page, because in writing terms everything has to ‘follow’ from those fixed points. I haven’t yet firmed up on the end of Cool Hand. It’s a double scene ending, as with HT and WC, and my problem is that the two ending scenes aren’t connected, physically, geographically or thematically. That doesn’t feel right. I can get around it, but it starts to feel like a triple scene ending. I can’t explain better without giving spoilers. It may be that I write the last quarter first, and when I’m happy with that, go back and start writing/re-writing from the beginning again.
I’ll try and communicate a bit more this next month, and, as I say, teasers will be coming out.