July round-up


Well, mixed news.

First, a short message in my bad German for my newest readers:

Ich werde eine Nachricht in Deutsch zu versuchen.
Der Verkauf von “Die verborgene Hand” in den ersten zwei Monaten waren 57 und 332.
Das ist spannend!
Der Verkauf von “Sleight of Hand” in Amerika in den ersten zwei Monaten waren 50 und 357.
Deutschland ist dicht hinter, Amerika ist ein viel größeres Land.
Ich habe 3 Kundenrezensionen, alle 5 Sterne. Danke!
Die Frage, die sie fragen: “Wann ‘Hidden Trump’ werde übersetzt werden?”
Peter arbeitet jetzt, und ich werde den Entwurf an Haike im September zu senden.
Ich hoffe, dass Sie in der Lage, ‘Hidden Trump “im Oktober zu kaufen.
Vielen Dank für Ihre Geduld!

So, from that you can gather that I’m happy with the take-off of sales of the translation in Germany. The numbers come quite close to the first two months of sales in America, but I will be amazed if that continues! America has about 4 times the potential readers, but I did see somewhere that German readers individually read more books on average. We’ll see.

In the USA, Amazon’s new initiative (Kindle Unlimited) was always going to hit sales and rating, as my books are not in the scheme. I’ve kept them out (but see below) because I would need to make them exclusive to Amazon.
Having said that, there are no disasters, just a slowing down. And summer has been a slow season for my books before.


I passed 20,000 for Sleight of Hand!

Raw Deal 19,614
Sleight of Hand 20,076
Hidden Trump 14,455
Wild Card 5,362
Die verborgene Hand 389


I’ve taken Raw Deal off Kobo and put it into the Kindle Select and Kindle Unlimited schemes. There hasn’t been any response from new readers yet. I didn’t really want to do this, because I wanted to keep Raw Deal free for anyone who emails me, but I need to test out the KU scheme. Since the payment for a KU borrow is the same regardless of the length of the book, it seemed a better return to use RD for this.

I still have a pre-prequel on the back burner, comprising Amber’s last mission for Ops 4-10 and her first failed job as a trainee accountant back in Denver. I guess when that’s done, it’ll be the freebie that I offer for anyone who emails me about the series.

On that, I have hatched a plan with other writers to do an anthology which would be marketed initially in the same way, i.e. free, but only available if you email us. More in due course.

I’ve also been reluctant to play with pricing on existing books, and I’m going to change that this month as well. Sleight of Hand will be available at a lower price for a couple of weeks this month, and that’s to co-ordinate with a Book Gorilla mailing. Last year, while I was on holiday, Book Gorilla put Raw Deal on one of their mailings (without asking/telling me). At approximately that time, I had a surge of 5,000 downloads. I can’t get Book Gorilla to confirm how many were due to them. That’s frustrating. They know this because when you click on a book from their email and it takes you to Amazon, they get a cut from your purchase, so they have the data.


Bian’s Tale 1, Reach of Lies, is on the back burner. I know what needs to be fixed, but I’m letting it stew a bit. Instead, I’ve been concentrating on Bite Back 4, Cool Hand. I wish I could say that has resulted in a huge leap forward, but it hasn’t. Writing has been slow. I will say that writing from Amber’s POV feels good, and I believe the quality of Cool Hand is right up there with the others. As always, I’ve written the start and the end and I’m working out the messy middle. 🙂

The audio book is coming along. I’ve only heard a couple of chapters so far, but I’m excited. Kimberly has pointed out to me that Amber’s favorite gun manufacturer is called Heckler and Coke in the USA. I’ve always used the German pronunciation Koch, which is like Scottish Loch, and which is most definitely not Lock. I should really put a link in here… so here’s a Scottish guy whose upset that you don’t know how  to pronounce Loch :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRiWBRS3OC8


Books I’ve completed this month that I’ve enjoyed.
Jacqueline Carey’s Santa Olivia. Urban Fantasy / SciFi with young heroine and adult themes.
James Corey’s Leviathan Wakes. SciFi collaboration between two authors. Real page-turner space opera.
Madeleine Robins’ The Sleeping Partner (3rd book of Sarah Tolerance, best read in order). Regency female ‘private detective’.
Leigh Lane’s Jane the Hippy Vampire. Just a wacky vampire novella, great fun, but also asks an interesting question.

A host of others that I’m dipping into. I’ll do real reviews in due course.


Most of you also have a look at the Bite Back and personal Facebook pages, so you’ll have heard by now that my daughter has been cast to play Lady Nymeria in season 5 of Game of Thrones. If you’ve heard before, my apologies, but please indulge a proud dad. Lady Nymeria is the second eldest daughter of Oberon Martell who died in a fight with Sir Gregor last season. Her special weapon is a bullwhip, and Jessica’s been practicing on our drive.

Jessica’s currently in Belfast rehearsing and filming. During the summer, she’ll also be on-site in Spain, and we’ll be going out to see her there. She’s been issued with her armour which she said is ‘fantastic’, and has met her screen sisters this week. HBO has a trailer of the three of them and other new season 5 castings on their site.

She also has a smaller part in another major film and she’s finishing writing a book (Epic Fantasy about dragons)! I’ll keep you posted.

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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 https://www.amazon.com/Mark-Henwick/e/B008SBO5YK/

12 responses to “July round-up”

  1. C Hoskins says :

    Love reading your round ups, great news from a rightly proud dad too. Looking forward to reading your next books

  2. soireadthisbooktoday says :

    Hey, Mark! You have been busy! Tell Jessica I said CONGRATULATIONS!!! I am checking online for the video right now. I don’t watch the show (not a lot of TV watching goes on around here – just book reading!) but I will make special effort to watch any episodes she is in, so have her send me info – or, of course, the proud papa can!

    I am glad you are working on Amber again. Sorry things are going slow – maybe you need to come visit us here in Colorado and get wound up again! ;-))


  3. rjbird77 says :

    Congrats to your daughter. I don’t watch much tv but I’ll check it out. My niece watches that show obsessively (she insists on watching new episodes same night so her friends don’t spoil it for her).

    I’m looking forward to more Amber whenever you manage to get it done. The messy middle is perfectly understandable. Finding the best route from point A to point B can be very complicated after all, even just in the literal sense on a map. This is more complicated.

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thanks Robert!
      I normally batch up TV series on the recorder so I can watch them at my leisure and without adverts. This is difficult with GoT because the kids want to watch it the night of broadcast for the same reason as your daughter.
      I’m on Twitter now (I tweeted when Jessica’s news was released) and I’ve been followed by lots of GoT fans who are full of speculation and spoilers.

      I’ll keep you posted on the messy middle of Cool Hand. I think I see the way through, but it involves re-doing the climactic scene at the end.

      I’m very conscious that I’m at the limit for most people in terms of the number of threads running, and Cool Hand is the first real opportunity that I feel I’ve had to tie up many of those threads. But not at the expense of plot, pace or character. Balancing act as always.

  4. Robert says :

    Always interesting to see what you’re up to. I used to work in a lab (in the US) where we used stuff made by Hoechst. You should have heard the various permutations of butchery that went through – at best it came out as Herkst.
    Incidentally I enjoyed your posts last year talking a little bit about your writing process – I’d love to see a few more along those lines.
    Congratulations on your daughter on the part. Frankly if people complain about your complicated plot lines (which I have been enjoying) or tying up threads, they should try reading Game of Thrones. The books at least, are ten times worse! I read the first 3 which were all out when I picked up the first one, but when I looked at the fourth, several years later, I had no clue what was going on.

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Lol. You are feeling my pain. As a background project because of Jessica’s role, I restarted GoT. Like you, I’d read to a point back in ~2005 and decided to let him finish before I bought any more. So now, to make sense of it all, I’m re-reading book 1 and starting on book 5. Only going for a couple of chapters at a time. He makes no effort to help you along. Either you live inside the twenty threads, one chapter at a time, or you fall off. How does he get away with it? 🙂

      I’m familiar with Hoechst, they used to be clients of my company. Yes, fun name to spring on applicants in an interview, along with Grünenthal and Rhône-Poulenc. Hope all the accents work on the site.

      I have gotten lazy with my postings. I’ll try getting back to a Sunday post and end-of-month roundup. I’ll try throwing in a few about the mechanics of writing.

      Jessica’s back this weekend, as is my eldest, Gideon, so we have a full house and lots of stories about the filming of GoT, which (I hate it when people do this) I cannot talk to you about.

  5. Rocky Wells says :

    Please don’t let Bian’s Tale languish for too long. Her character intrigues me and Viet Nam during the late 19th century through most of the 20th was certainly a place where one “lived in Interesting times”. I can only imagine that Bian would change significantly over the course of time, especially early on, and I’m interested in how that story unfolds. Of course, I’m also waiting for Cool Hand so …

    Keep up the great work.

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thanks Rocky. Yes, Cool Hand is taking priority at the moment. But the additions I’ve thought of in response to the problems in the first half of Bian’s Tale are now starting to itch in my brain, which is a sign I’m going to have to get back to writing it. 🙂

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