Updates on Publishing

Another chilly Sunday in the Kawarthas and it’s April. At least the ground here is bare of snow for now.

I’ve been working for the last few weeks on re-editing The Facepainter Murders and I’m happy to say that the new, better version is up on Amazon and Create Space.

I’ve also explored some further advertising opportunities.


I’m in the midst of a 2 week free trial with this company, in which a membership costs 99$ US a year. A lot, but that lets me upload all my books and get them before the thousands of people who follow the site. Every weekend, Bublish hosts a twitter campaign that ends with a virtual bookstore on Monday. Whichever bubbles(see below) are new the week before are featured.

The bubble includes an author biography, an extract from one of the books and an insight section. The latter is a short paragraph about what ever the author might think would interest a reader, such as an introduction to why the book was written or how the writer coped with a particular scene. I started with book 1 of my Dangerous Journeys series last week, wrote two bubbles and have had 187 views so far and 2 clicks thru to Amazon. I’ll see how it goes by Thursday.

Amazon Ads.

You know the books that appear below the one you have searched for on Amazon? Those lists result from Amazon Ads that are written by the author or publisher. Amazon runs a bidding programme so that each ad, once clicked upon, costs the author what she bid for placement of that particular ad. It’s not a great system. The results are delayed, sometimes by as much as six weeks and the sales are not in real time. However, the clicks data and the information about sales form Kindle Direct can help determine whether or not an ad is working.

Brian Meeks wrote a book on the subject called Mastering Amazon Ads, which is helpful although a bit confusing for a non-analyst(Brian is one). There is also a oa free course in the subject. You can find it here. I’m in the midst of both the book and the course and setting up ads. I think it’s useful to do all three in conjunction. Brian runs a Facebook group about the ads as well.


That First Page

A commentator on this blog suggested Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel to help with revision on my new novel. As always, Amazon suggested another, Noah Lukeman’s The First Five Pages. I started with that one, because it didn’t come with a workbook, as Maass’ does.
Ha! The work comes at the end of each chapter, when he assigns exercises to be completed before venturing on to the next. First, remove all adjectives and adverbs, he says. Secondly, make a list of all the nouns and verbs, checking for the tired, or cliche. Then revise. Does he know how long that takes? Three hours on Sunday morning, and that was on the first page , which had all ready been revised countless times.
But it’s a much better first page now. Removing words from context showed me where I had duplications or commonplace words.
I long to drop this novel now, moving on to the revision of the one just written, which lies dormant in my computer, waiting for me to work on it’s first page. I won’t though, because this one is a sequel to my first published novel, and I want it to be the better book.
I’ve started Maass’ book as well, curious to discover if a breakout novel is something I can aspire to, and how to improve my writing to achieve it.
I started late at this craft of writing. I’m grateful to Donald Maass and Noah Lukeman, and others for helping me learn it.