Where did August go?



Just ambling along. Nothing exciting to report apart from The Biting Cold, which I’ve handled in Marketing.


The Biting Cold was a surprise. The story had already been published in the anthology last Christmas and many (?most) of you have that already. But what the hell. So I cobbled together a cover with Jessica and Joshua, got you guys to vote on it, put a chapter of Sleight of Hand at the end and…

Well, hold on now, do I just sell it like the others, or do I give the Kindle Unlimited (KU) option another go?

Raw Deal has been on KU for a while and it’s been…unexciting.

I put TBC straight into KU and I was impressed by the number of KU readers it got. I can’t tell you how many, but the number of pages read (which is what Amazon pays me on) peaked at 3,500 a day. I think that means about 25 people read it on that day, at the same time as another 40 people bought the book. That happened two weekends running, and there’s a total of 29,000 pages of TBC read in KU in the three weeks since release, just in the USA.

Okay, so that’s not going to deluge the bank account. I’d be surprised if I make much more than $300 in the month. 🙂

But, given it was just a short story, it impressed me enough that I removed SoH from Kobo (Amazon require exclusivity if you go on the KU program).  The two existing German translations, Die Verborgene Hand and Trumpf im Armel, are exclusive to Amazon anyway, so I put them on KU as well. This is a 90 day test.

SoH hasn’t responded. There have only been a couple of readers through KU.

The German readers, however, have rocked. It’s too early to tell how much, but I’ll update you next month.

Other marketing? I’m also on twitter. I’ve no idea what I’m doing there. No one seems to engage much.

New Releases

I am *still* waiting for ACX/Audible to finish ‘preparing’ the Hidden Trump audiobook.

Julia finished narrating around the 10th July. She needed the payment to go through ACX/Audible for guild and tax reasons. We asked ACX how to achieve that, given their website only envisages sending a bank check from an American account. Parochial or what?

We finally got a response on the 27th July, giving us the details of an account to which I could send an electronic transfer. The account details provided to me were wrong!

On the 29th I had to re-send the money. (I’ve requested that the paymaster cover my costs of $80 levied by the banks for sending it to the wrong account. He’s ducking).

Around 5th August, the ACX paymaster ‘posted a check’ to Julia.

On the 17th August, Julia got the check and updated the appropriate status in ACX.

The book status changed: “Now ACX will put the audiobook through a quick final quality control process.”

Quick. Ha!

On the 26th August, the book status changed to “Preparing audiobook for Amazon, Audible and iTunes”.

Where it remains. Sigh.

Wild Card (Entfesselter Wandel) has gone through preliminary translation into German by Peter, and is sitting on Heike’s desk waiting for her to do proofreading and layout. She’s reserved a slot, but not till the end of October.

Writing Progress

The beta readers are about to receive the 3rd section of Angel Stakes, which I originally said took it to the midpoint. Okay, it’s not the midpoint. It’s somewhere between 2/3 and ¾ of the way through the book.

There are reasons for this estimating error on my part.

  1. I’m not good at estimating.
  2. With a book that has multiple themes, which ‘mid-point’ do I chose?
  3. I’m very bad at estimating.

It’s proceeding okay. As I go through editing, I’ll be looking for a few other short non-spoiler sections to release as teasers.












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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/

4 responses to “Where did August go?”

  1. Jason says :

    Don’t worry about the length Mark, I think we are caught up in word counting, a short book is often disappointing when I want more of something I like. If people enjoy it, a book doesn’t seem long, and with all the action yours has I think it will keep people interested. I often wish movies would be made longer also, who the heck decided that a movie was only about 1 and a half hours or 2 hours long? I tell you who people who could not write that is who. Keep up the good work. (Sorry about all the commas, blame my military bullet point writing style, it is what I know. Thanks.)

    • Mark Henwick says :

      I think movies have a bladder and buttocks limitation on length. For those that need to be *lots* longer, the TV series seems to be the new high ground. But I know what you mean – when I see the director’s cut and find that they saved three minutes of movie time to get rid of that little scene that added depth and/or complexity I want to yell at them.

  2. XK says :

    I had already received TBC as part of the Christmas anthology, but couldn’t resist grabbing it on Amazon when it showed up. I thought the price point for the length was just fine, and didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to show some support. 🙂

    I think twitter works well enough for a lot of things, but my writer account (which almost exclusively follows other writers, agents, editors, and professionals of the field) is usually a huge source of frustration for me. There are huge communities out there, and you can join virtually any of them by simply following someone and having everyone they know follow you back, but the level of interaction is often very shallow, and it’s easy to get mired in negativity. I found that the more time I spent on twitter, the less I felt motivated to actually write.

    In other news, I did finally identify the the problematic thread in my book 4, and when I finally send my last batch of agent queries out, am looking forward to rewriting the whole book from scratch (again). At least this time, I am more optimistic that I’ll be headed in the right direction!

    • Mark Henwick says :

      Thank you (and many others) for doubling up on TBC 🙂

      I upset at least one of my friends when I said people don’t engage on Twitter, and I admit that statement is not clear.

      I follow only about 600 accounts and have about 500 following me. In the time it takes to type a tweet, I have about 50 new tweets slide past on the screen. I can’t look at them all. 90% of my tweets don’t get a response and I’m guessing 80% of them aren’t even seen. I follow a lot of authors and we all (yes, me included) fall back on “read my books” tweets to show we’re still alive.
      I have commented on tweets or replied and had replies back, but never have I had a third person joining in.
      The overwhelming feeling I get from tweeting is of standing in a busy railway station shouting at the rush hour commuters running by.
      I’m delighted to engage with readers. I get a fair few emails, which are of course private conversations. I get public interaction here and on Facebook. Those connections I enjoy. The few interactions I’ve had on Twitter have been good, but overall, it’s not felt great. I’d love to add Twitter to the routes I enjoy using to connect, but I clearly don’t know how to use that medium in a way that satisfies (m)any correspondents.

      Good news on the direction of the thread in book 4. We’re intrigued…

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