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That was the week…

Reviews

Undoubtedly the highlights of the week are the reviews and feedback that I’ve been getting for Cool Hand.

There are 33 reviews on Amazon now: 29×5-star, 3×4-star and 1×3-star. There are 13 reviews on Goodreads: 7×5-star, 5×4-star and 1×3-star (and a bunch of good ratings as well). It’s not so much the ratings as the words that have given me such a buzz, whether delivered on reviews, here on the blog, the Facebook pages or email. Thank you all. I love ya.

Ranking

Cool Hand was in and out of the top 100 Urban Fantasy books, and averaged about 2,500 in all books over the last week (where 1 is the highest rating).

Sales

Cool Hand sales now stand at over 1,600, of which 550 were added in the last week. In that time, Sleight of Hand added 150, Hidden Trump 100 and Wild Card 130.

Audio book sales of Sleight of Hand topped 500 in total, but the last week was slow with only 28 sales.

Comparison

Hidden Trump is still my leading launch.  Both HT and CH took 9 days to reach 1,000 sales, but HT was launched into the January book sales and continued to sell very strongly. In the comparable week that CH has just sold 550, HT sold 1,300.

 Some thoughts about Cool Hand

No book is ever just right, or exactly what the author wanted to say. Any author who tells you that is lying. Cool Hand was especially difficult for me because of the number of times I wrote and re-wrote the penultimate section (essentially what ended up as being chapters 47-55 – Santa Fe to the start of the Carson National Forest scenes).

When you rewrite that much, you lose a feel for the quality of readability of the work. I mean, each word is better selected, each sentence is better put, each plot strand better presented (otherwise what are you doing), but you lose a sense of how it feels as a reader.

The enthusiasm of the reviews vindicates Lauren’s insistence I could do better, and I hope justifies the delay in release.

 And some thoughts about the next book

If you’ve caught your breath after the ending of Cool Hand…well, it could have been more complex and longer. Or shorter and simpler. And of course, there is that cliffhanger. Longer? Well, I could have resolved the cliffhanger, but the end of the book would have then become unwieldy and either the existing ending(s) or the resolution of the cliffhanger would have felt anti-climactic. Shorter? Well, one of the things that happened at the end, you’ve been waiting very patiently for, but I could have let it slide into the start of the next.

The point I’m trying to make is that there is some leeway in the scheduling of the resolution of ongoing threads. And I’m interested what you, the readers, absolutely have to have resolved sooner rather than later.

The core structure of Bite Back 5 is going to be provided by an ostensibly non-paranormal PI case, with threads for paranormal and relationship arcs woven in. What do you have to see progressed and/or resolved? Or, just who/what you have to see more of. Or less of! 🙂

I’m not promising to implement these!

(Progress on writing at the end of the month)

A final point

I never expected everyone to like my books, and frankly, scathing reviews of Sleight of Hand did little more than make me grin.

However…I do feel a responsibility to those of you who have come along for the ride and are unhappy about some direction developing in the books, or the balance of the story, or didn’t like Cool Hand, or parts of Cool Hand, or whatever.

I’d just like to say I’m happy to receive constructive negative feedback. By that I mean ‘I didn’t like this because…’ rather than ‘I didn’t like it.’ As with positive feedback, any route is fine – reviews, postings or emails to me at the contact address.

As with the last section, I can’t promise to change anything!

 

Cool Hand first week summary

A week is a long time in publishing.

But not as long as the time since I last gave you the sales numbers.

Total sales

  • Raw Deal 20,000 (between 5,000 and 7,000 free downloads)
  • Sleight of Hand 21,000 (+1,250 German translations and 460 audio books)
  • Hidden Trump 15,000 (+500 German translations)
  • Wild Card 6,250
  • Cool Hand 850

Each book’s first week of sales

  • SoH 20
  • HT 700
  • WC 660

So Cool Hand is way out in front. Thank you all for your continuing support.

The USA leads the way with 49,000 total sales to UK’s 9,000 and Germany’s 6,000.

With the USA leading the sales, all the rankings below are based on the USA Amazon site.

SoH went all the way up to about 1500th most popular book over the last week, but is back down at around 8,000-9,000 now. The others moved in a similar fashion, but are lower in the rankings. Cool Hand was ranked at 1,300 overall this morning, and at 65 in the Paranormal & Urban fantasy list.

I have 15 reviews for Cool Hand already on Amazon and GoodReads, and many very positive comments in posts and by email. Thank you all! This writer runs on that kinda fuel.

I am still delighted to be selling well, and remain puzzled at the cause of the drop after Hidden Trump.

 

Bite Back 5, as yet unnamed, is under way. The core of the book is a bit more like SoH – there is a non-paranormal investigation which determines the overall structure. I may link in Manda and Scott from The Biting Cold, which would mean a short story to bridge from where they are now to being part of the Bite Back series arc.

I’m also looking at re-starting Bian’s Tale.

As per my comments on earlier posts, I’m unhappy with predicting release dates after getting it wrong, but I’ll get back to end-of-month updates on writing progress.

Thank you all again.

 

 

 

Weekly update – Cool Hand and overall

Cool Hand is still progressing slowly, but, having now redrafted key scenes in the first 3/4 of the book, it now feels right to me. Lauren, my editor, agrees and there’s only some tidying up to do on that part. The last quarter is well fleshed out, but I decided I need to light a fire under a couple of scenes and reduce the timespan. The last major draft of the last bit is underway. It might be released in January, but on my recent performance, I’d have to say it’s likely to slip a week or so. But soon, folks, soon.

The recent releases:

The anthology is going well and has been hovering at around 10th-15th in the SF&F anthology rankings. It’s still available free from any of the authors, but you can buy it on the major platforms as well.

The audio book has also done well. Audible has sent me some free code numbers, but for the UK only. I’ve requested some for other markets, but in the meantime, if you’re in the UK and fancy a free audio copy of SoH, email me or request in the comments below. (Limited to first 5 requests, alas).

Trumpf im Armel is selling well in Germany and has re-ignited Die verborgene Hand. DvH sales are going to overtake SoH in Germany this week (i.e. German version vs English version). How significant is this? Well, let’s put it this way: German sales of all books is already half way to overhauling the UK sales, and I suspect that with the translation of Wild Card later this year, I’ll have more readers in Germany than in the UK! (USA still accounts for about 75% of all sales).

Sales generally – slight upturn. Already better than dead December. 🙂 I’ll post numbers in the month round-up.

 

Progress report for Cool Hand and other projects

Cool Hand

Okay. The first half went to my editor, Lauren Sweet, and came back with a sort of B+. She liked most of the major scenes, the general setup and she thought the twists were cool. There are three scenes she really didn’t like and I’m going to have to make them rock before I pass the first half to the wider readership of beta reader reaction.

While Lauren’s been doing that, I’ve been working on the second half. I have five major scenes which are done, five that are pretty much done and the remainder are in better than skeleton form. There are some thoughts I’ve had about another little twist or two and I have a character who leaped out onto the page while I wasn’t concentrating—do I keep her?

All in all, the whole book should be in final draft form during November, and the first half will have been mostly copy-edited. With that situation, I am reasonably sure that Cool Hand will be published by Christmas. It’ll be closer to Sleight of Hand in size than the others. I’m estimating 120k words.

I did promise myself last year that I wouldn’t be working with Lauren right up until the morning she got on her flight for her vacation. I hope I keep to that.

The book does wrap up some long running loose ends and set some new ones scampering off…  🙂

The Biting Cold

I also committed to doing a short story for an Urban Fantasy anthology to be released at Christmas. My story is called The Biting Cold. This is in its final draft and with Lauren (who likes it). I’m just waiting for a detailed report before sharing it with my co-authors.

What’s the deal on the anthology? There are six of us:

Jennifer Bock (JT Bock)
Debra Dunbar
Susan Illene
JC Mells
Connie Suttle
And me

We are each writing a short story to be included. The anthology will be published in time for Christmas and is (very loosely) Christmas themed. The only way you get to read the anthology is to send any one of us an email request, and we’ll send the ebook back to you.

Of course we then have your email, and of course we will not abuse it, or sell it to others or market it in any way like that. We will send you an email alert when any of us has a release. 🙂

I wouldn’t have joined this group if I didn’t believe all of us are worthwhile indie writers with the sort of books I think you’d all enjoy. I highly recommend them and I know many of you are already fans of theirs.

What’s my short story about?

Detroit in winter.
A city in the grip of decay.
A legal system struggling to deliver justice.
An amnesiac woman who is dying.
Psychiatrist Dr. Amanda Lloyd is focused on living long enough to give her expert testimony in court and put a vicious criminal away. The defense are fighting for a postponement she can’t allow, and questioning her memory problems in an effort to discredit her.
She can’t spare the time for the patient who claims to be a vampire.
Unless what he offers her is exactly what she needs…

And it’s as close as I’m ever going to get to PNR! Lol.

The lines are open folks.

Hidden Trump in German

This is due out this month! I will post separately about this.

Sleight of Hand in audio

This is also due out this month! Also, another post to cover this.

Miscellaneous

I’ve got the main image for the cover of Cool Hand. I just need to pick a background that depicts (little spoiler) New Mexico.

My daughter and son are going to rework all the covers for Bite Back. Expect something very different next year.

Sales are okay…

The only ‘marketing’ I’ve done is to keep Die verborgene Hand down at 0.99 Euros to try and make the release of book 2 that much more of a splash.

My Seville trip post. I know, I know, I’ve been so busy. However… the fanatic watchers have now published a slew of photographs, and since I was there, some of them are of me! I will put this together with an anecdote or two when I next take a bit of a writing break and I’ll post it here.

Those writing breaks… Yeah, guys, I’m like everyone else; I have to do tax returns and challenge crazy insurance quotes and all the other drek that comes along. The rest of the time, every day, I get somewhere between 1k and 4k words down into the book.

Recommendations for reading: Another post. Christmas time (ish). I hope.

Bian’s Tale. Looks like I’ll pick it up next year now. I have read some more out-of-print books with fascinating detail about Saigon in that time, but the main thing I’ll be working on when I get back to it is getting that story sharper.

September end of month update

Apologies for missing the end of the month!

There’s little to add on sales and rankings at the moment. All the books continue to tick along, and whereas it’s wonderful to think of the dozen or so new readers a week picking up the series, obviously three dozen would be three times as wonderful. 🙂

There’s no new marketing going on either. All that is because I’ve been writing more. In a couple of weeks (approx) I will post a request for beta readers and they’ll get the first half of Cool Hand and a bunch of questions from me.

I’m going to have to take this next weekend off. I will be visiting the set of Game of Thrones in Spain and watching my daughter Jessica as Lady Nymeria. I doubt I’ll be able to take photos, but if I can, I’ll post them on the Facebook site.

My main writing effort is going on Cool Hand and the short story for the 6 author anthology which will be released at Christmas and only available via email requests. More details on that sometime over the next month.

Cool Hand schedule? Definitely by Christmas, hopefully late November, early December.

 

 

 

August end-of-month with / mit English and / und Deutsch

Sales Numbers

Raw Deal  19738
Sleight of Hand  20390
Hidden Trump  14579
Wild Card 5536

Die verborgene Hand 578

Small, steady selling. Nothing to blog about!

Marketing

As per my report in one of the previous blogs, I reduced the price of SoH to $0.99 for a week and got BookGorilla to include it in their daily email posting. I reported the numbers in the week, so I’ll just say that there were some slightly higher sales after the end of the promotion, but the effect dies away quickly.

I did get a slight boost (I think) from Susan Illene promoting Darkness Haunts. Why should that help my sales? Because the two series are associated in the ‘also read’ linkage in Amazon, and it’s entirely possible that people coming in to Susan’s series will also get recommendations for Bite Back.

Amazon knows the real reasons behind many of these sales questions, but they say nothing! 🙂

Promotion

I’m appearing in a podcast for http://bitterwithoutyou.com/ on September 21st. I’m not sure how I appear in a podcast, but anyway, I’ll be answering questions and reading a section of one of the books, or whatever they decide to do with me!

Deutsch

Die verborgene Hand :
Ein Leser hat eine Beschwerde. In dem DvH Buch spricht Werner im bayerischen Dialekt. Dieser Leser, sagt der bayerische Dialekt ist falsch.
Haben Sie es finden?
This is a short end-of-month report because writing is going well!

July round-up

NEWS

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.

SALES

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

MARKETING

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.

PROGRESS

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

OTHER

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.

FAMILY NEWS

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.

June round-up

NEWS

I have just taken on a narrator, Kimberly Henrie, to narrate the Bite Back series, starting with Sleight of Hand. Kimberly’s sample clips on the ACX website are good, but what really got me was the sample reading she did from SoH – the opening couple of pages of Chapter 2. Wow! Anyway, the show is now on the road, and the audiobook should be available through Amazon and iTunes in a month or so. I’m really excited.

I’ll have to see how it goes on Amazon, but I’m hopeful that all the books will appear in audio.

The German version of SoH – Die verborgene Hand – is doing well. I published on the 18th, and there were 57 sales in June. There are already 27 this month (just checked).  Ich liebe euch.  If it keeps going like that, I’ll be talking to Haike about translating the rest as soon as she can.

UPDATE

Bian’s Tale 1, Saigon – the Reach of Lies. I got feedback on the first half from my editor. Some of you may have seen a comment I made on Facebook, that some people in traditional publishing claim editors can’t do a good job for indie writers. The reason given was this: because the writers are paying the editors, the editors will only say what the writers want to hear. Ahem. My editor tells me what I need to know, and in this case it wasn’t quite that I’d lost the plot, but I’d definitely lost the pace. She also brought up a couple of reality checks for young girls living in Saigon in the 19th Century. I’ve stopped writing while I process that feedback.

Bite Back 4, Cool Hand. I’ve got the first and last quarters well outlined with some scenes filled in, but the events that drive the middle of the book just weren’t doing it. So back to the drawing board there as well.

All of the above pushed back my completing the back story summaries I’ve been talking about.

There will be better news by the end of the month.

SALES

Summer is  s l o w  season.

Raw Deal 19,601

Sleight of Hand 19,969

Hidden Trump 14,339

Wild Card 5,197

I’m still talking to people who say they loved SoH and HT, and ask when the 3rd book is coming out. Sigh.

MARKETING

Yes, I have something to report! One of you guys (Brian) is attending a convention and has started carpet bombing with the leaflets I put up on the Facebook page earlier this month. I’ll tell you how it goes next end-of-month.

The slow pickup of Wild Card convinces me that I need to have some way of communicating with more of my readership. I’ve asked a couple of writing friends about creating an anthology of short stories which would only be available by emailing in a request. Not definite yet, but a good maybe. Watch this space.

OTHER STUFF

Well, I will have some news (not about me or my writing) that I can release soon… It’s very frustrating not being able tell you 🙂 Watch this space…

Into SciFi? Have a look at Leviathan Wakes by S. A. Corey. He’s just won the Locus award for the 3rd book in the series. I haven’t finished it because I’m only reading a chapter or so a day, but it’s very well done. About the only thing wrong with it is he’s not an indie.

And in the meantime, Happy Independence Day for those across the pond and enjoy the weekend anyway for the rest of us!

 

German version of Sleight of Hand

The last of the polishing and preparation appears to be complete, and I will release the German translation of Die verborgene Hand on the 18th.

Cover image

Many thanks to Peter, Moritz and Haike for all their efforts.

I’ll make another posting on the day, and then please, please, all my German readers who’ve enjoyed it in English, please tell your friends!

Inevitably, some things change slightly between languages; humor and poetry especially.

As an example, Amber makes a sarcastic joke about Bian being the ‘spotter’ when she’s first captured by Skylur and Diana, making reference of course to Bian’s leopard tattoos. That doesn’t work in German.

Poetry? Well, Diana quotes an Athanate lamentation when she and Bian meet Amber and Mykayla at the golf club.
The English goes :

This is the gift and the sorrow of the Athanate; to see your loves pass before you like the days of summer while your heart still beats. To keep your vigil in the shadows and rise again with every sun.”

And the German :

„Dies ist die Gabe und das Leid der Athanate; unsere Geliebten schwinden zu sehen, wie die Tage des Sommers, während dein Herz noch schlägt. Um im Schatten der Nacht über sie zu wachen und doch mit jedem Sonnenaufgang aufzustehen.“

Now, I have no feel for how that sounds in German! This is very unsettling. 🙂

What else? Going back through the English text and thinking about it, there were two minor adjustments are now in the German version and which I will make in the English published version.

The first dates back to my very first draft, when Chapter 1 was the current Chapter 2 – the classic PI sitting in her office and the client comes in. Lauren persuaded me to open with a bang, and so you got the scene at the truck depot with lots of action. That’s all fine. But a little later, in Chapter 4, Amber is looking at the photos on her desk. Originally, I mentioned Tara’s little memorial tablet as well. I was persuaded to take this out to keep the pace of the early chapters going. I didn’t want to do this, because the next mention of the tablet is Chapter 29, and it makes it seem like something I invented later. Anyway, the paragraph is back in, in Chapter 4, and that section now reads:

It was my proudest day.
The third I didn’t pick up. It wasn’t actually a photo. It was a slim rectangle of jet black granite the size of a desktop
photo, polished to a sheen, with gold letters in the bottom right hand corner saying simply, Tara Farrell. This one was for
reflection rather than inspiration.
If Dad and Top had something to say to me, I knew it would be: ‘If you’ve got a job to do, girl, get out and do it.’

The other change was to do with a scene that I’ve had a lot of feedback on – the aftermath of Onebrow’s attack on Amber and Jen at Silver Hills. Jen’s never had people coming at her with guns and threats before. Amber comforts Jen with a hug. No one had a problem with that. Jen starts praising Amber, which embarasses Amber, and Amber responds by quietening Jen with a finger on Jen’s lips. Ooooh. For one small gesture that sure got a lot of criticism. Not least from my sister, who’s one of my principle beta readers. “I’d bloody slap her” was the comment 🙂

Reviewers have also highlighted it as an ‘out-of-character’ moment, and an example of where I’ve failed in writing a female lead.

Enough already. I knew this was a very intimate gesture and out of character for Amber in the relationship with her client at that time. Which was why I had Amber immediately turn away, embarrassed by the unconscious liberty she’d taken. But all I said was she was embarrassed, and clearly I needed to emphasize it a bit more. So I’ve added “What the hell was I thinking?” in both German and English versions.

Why did this come up now and what’s going on?

SLIGHT SPOILERS

Obviously, if you’ve kept up with the books, you now know that Jen is Amber’s kin. However, there needs to be a transition from the initial client-PI relationship to a more intimate one. Previous scenes showed that the relationship had quickly become familiar. This scene is the first where I’m raising a flag that it will be more than just familiar, even though Amber isn’t consciously aware of it yet. And the reason this came up now is that, in German, the word ‘you’ translates two ways – the formal ‘Sie’ and the informal ‘du’. Native German speakers sense when they can change from Sie to du in a relationship. My understanding is that, in this type of business relationship, it would usually be the client who initiates the change. So, I used this scene for Amber to slip into ‘du’ mode and further embarrass herself. Not that Jen minds at all, but Amber doesn’t know that yet. 🙂

I’ll see how sales go before I proceed with translating the rest of the series, but I have a reasonable hope, given German sales of over 1000 of just SoH alone in English, that the German version should do better!

Any German readers with advice about where and how to market?

 

 

 

Late month end news

If I was my boss, I’d fire my lazy ass already.

I promised a teaser, and it’s not ready. I was away in the Netherlands last week, came back this week and just didn’t get back into the zone. The second part of Bian’s Tale has lots of writing completed, and the scenes are just about all there, but the timing and links between scenes aren’t right. It’s a similar situation with the first part of Bite Back 4, lots of scenes but not a story yet.

This is not an excuse, but part of the problem is the timing between scenes of the two series is very different. The Bite Back series is deliberately intended to be full-on, in your face, barely time to grab a breath. That’s why the action happens over such a short time in each book – it helps keep up the runaway train feeling. The Bian’s Tale series spans a century and a quarter, so the same technique will not work, even though there will be sections that are intense action.

So, what’s up on the sales and marketing front?

Raw Deal : 19,280     Sleight of Hand : 19,545

Hidden Trump : 13,936      Wild Card : 4,500 (yes, exactly).

Ticking along, but no particular changes, then. Wild Card is still selling very slowly, and I’m assuming that means that Amazon is still not promoting it to readers who’ve read SoH and HT (but I don’t know because they don’t talk about those sorts of things with authors).

I’ve experimented with raising and lowering the price of Raw Deal, because I’ve seen that recommended on some author’s blogs. I will try that with Wild Card, but my gut feeling is that sort of marketing works better for series openers rather than for book 3.

Amazon have also been fiddling around with the volume numbers for book series, saying that it will make it easier for readers to find books in a series, but Bite Back already had the numbers displayed clearly, and all they’ve managed so far is to mess the titles up.

I did see a spike in SoH when it got nominated for Book of the Month in a couple of the Urban Fantasy groups on GoodReads – again that’s for series openers.

I’m open to suggestions for how to raise awareness in existing readers that there’s a third book in the series! 🙂

To spruce things up for the whole series, I’m redoing the covers, adding Charles de Lint’s recommendation (see previous blog post) in the blurb, and I may offer the books in boxed sets as a special promotion (which might alert readers of SoH & HT that WC is available).

I will be asking professional narrators to read a sample from SoH, and may put those tests up on the blog for you guys to vote on. (I know, been promised and I’m late on this too). If we can agree a narrator, then I’ll do audible versions of all the books. I’d love Scarlett Johansson’s voice for the narration, but she’s out of my league. Anyone got any favorites?

The German translation of SoH is being copy-edited and formatted, and I expect I’ll have it up by the end of the month. I will be fascinated to see how it goes. I wanted to do a more ‘European’ cover for the German version. If any of my German readers are reading this, I’d be interested to hear what they think a good cover looks like for a German Urban Fantasy. Any favorites you’d care to mention?

I have a couple of blogs to put out this month – one about sex, and maybe one about advertising 🙂