For me, it’s been an eventful week. A very eventful week. I have experienced great distress and great joy. The joy centred on Sam’s Song. On Wednesday, Sam’s Song reached #1 for the seventh time. For the past two years this has been an ambition. You could argue that there is no difference between six times #1 and seven times #1, and you would be right. For a reason I can’t really explain reaching #1 for the seventh time was important and now that that landmark has been achieved the desire to reach new readers isn’t as great. I wouldn’t say that I don’t want to reach new readers, but if it doesn’t happen it no longer matters. In terms of eBooks on Amazon, I have achieved my goals.
I still have goals in other areas of publishing, with audiobooks, translations, paperbacks and secondary rights. I also want to write many more books, develop Mom’s Favorite Reads and her projects, and help authors find more readers.
I do believe in the concept of setting clear, obtainable goals and plans to achieve those goals. My main aims with writing are: to entertain my readers and to prove certain things to myself. On a personal level, Sam at #1 this week proved something to myself, and that’s all that matters. Now I feel ready to move on.
I first met Val Tobin around five years ago, through online author groups. At that stage I became aware of her high quality books in a number of genres, including mysteries. Val studied general arts at the University of Waterloo, then obtained a diploma in Computer Information Systems from DeVry Toronto. She worked in the computer industry as a software and Web developer for over ten years, during which time she started to get serious about energy work and the paranormal and occult.
Val uses her background and knowledge in her novels and this adds a great air of authenticity to her stories. She is an excellent author and I highly recommend her books. Furthermore, she is very supportive of other authors.
Val is doing podcasts on Anchor, reading Walk-In chapter-by-chapter. If you want to hear how she sounds when she tried to mimic a minor character who is Hungarian with English as a second language, you can listen to the story here: https://anchor.fm/val61
MARK COKER IS THE CEO OF SMASHWORDS, THE LARGEST EBOOK DISTRIBUTOR IN AMERICA. MARK WAS KIND ENOUGH TO OFFER ME AN INTERVIEW, AND HIS ANSWERS ARE TRULY FASCINATING, A MUST READ FOR ALL READERS AND WRITERS.
Smashwords is a wonderful platform for authors and publishers. What sparked the idea for Smashwords?
Smashwords grew out of my personal experience trying to sell a novel my wife and I co-wrote.
My wife is a former reporter for Soap Opera Weekly Magazine. About 12 years ago we wrote a novel titled Boob Tube that explored the dark underbelly of Hollywood celebrity.
Despite enthusiasm from beta readers and representation from a top New York literary agency, traditional publishers rejected it. Our agent told us that previous novels targeting soap opera fans had performed poorly which made publishers reluctant to take a chance on our book.
Our failure to land a publishing deal opened my eyes to what I perceived as a horribly broken publishing ecosystem that was no longer working for authors and readers.
My publisher, Goylake Publishing, has teamed-up with the Fussy Librarian and in partnership we are offering you 20% off your first book promotion with the Fussy Librarian. To qualify for this promotion, your book must be either permafree or listed free during a special offer.
In our experience, the Fussy Librarian is the best book promoter in the business. When we promote with him, our free books always reach the top five of Amazon’s genre charts, most often they reach the top three. We promote with the Fussy Librarian every month and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future.
Prices start from as low as $15, minus our special discount of 20%. Click here:
You have written your book. With justification, you are very proud of it. What next? The obvious move is to contact an agent or publisher. However, in the 21st century this route is becoming old-fashioned. Agents and publishers reject far more than they accept. They take a percentage of the royalties. They exert control over content, cover design, marketing, etc. Sometimes, they take a very long time to publish a book. If you are happy with that package, give agents and publishers a go. They could be ideal for you.
If agents and publishers are not for you, you could try self-publishing. Amazon and Smashwords, for example, offer excellent self-publishing platforms that place your books in front of millions of readers. Self-publishing is now an established part of the book industry. The stigma, which existed at the start, has long gone. Indeed, many traditionally published authors are turning to self-publishing because they recognise the advantages it offers. Lesley-Ann Jones is a Sunday Times bestselling author, yet she decided to publish her memoir, Tumbling Dice, independently to great media acclaim. You too could become a bestselling author. More about that next time.
Along with fellow authors Ronesa Aveela and Denise McCabe, I’m delighted to be a founder of Mom’s Favorite Reads. Mom’s Favorite Reads is an international community of readers, writers, teachers, librarians and book lovers established to encourage reading amongst adults and children. We believe that reading offers great joy to people. Furthermore, it is a cornerstone of education and education is a cornerstone of a civilised society.
There are many strands to Mom’s Favorite Reads, including our monthly magazines. Inside our magazines you will discover
• Parenting Tips
• Short Stories
• Activities for Children
• Exploring New Worlds
• Wellness and Well-being
• New Authors
• And so much more
If you are a reader, you can read our October edition here
If you are a writer, you are welcome to join our community via our Facebook group. Mom’s Favorite Reads promotes the authors within our group and in December we will publish the first of our quarterly book catalogues, an impressive publication showcasing over 300 books. Furthermore, you can submit articles and reach new readers through our magazines, which are distributed through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Issuu, Kobo and Smashwords and to our subscribers.
If you would like to join us, details of our Facebook group can be found here
The first draft of Saving Grace is complete. I have a month of editing ahead. Then the book will be printed and made available for pre-order on Amazon. This is a very exciting project and I am looking forward to publishing the book.
Ornate ceiling and lighting in the Grange from my forthcoming Victorian novel, Saving Grace.
Florrie the maid plays a key role in my forthcoming novel, Saving Grace. Here is an example of her working environment, a Victorian manor house kitchen.
I have now become a business with an accountant, tax forms, etc. This reminds me of a joke Detective Inspector Sweets MacArthur told Sam in Love and Bullets. “A company director is interviewing candidates for an important position and decides to select the individual who can answer the question, how much is two plus two? The first candidate is an engineer. He pulls out a slide-rule and shows that the answer is four. The second candidate is a lawyer. He states that in the case of Jubliman versus Jubliman two plus two was proven to be four. The final candidate is an accountant. When asked what two plus two equals the accountant slips out of his chair, looks under the desk, scans the room for hidden microphones and makes sure that no one is listening at the door. Then he whispers, “Did you have a particular number in mind?'”
A wonderful weekend for Betrayal, book one in the Ann’s War Mystery Series. The novella reached #1 in Australia, #2 in Britain and #5 in America and Canada, on the historical mysteries charts. In addition, Betrayal is our ninth audio book production and it’s now available from iBooks, Amazon and Audible.
Ann’s parents, in my Ann’s War Mystery Series, run a general store, like this one.
Three of my books are in the top 100 in Germany, A Parcel of Rogues, Mind Games and Digging in the Dirt. Also, I am delighted to be featured in this article by Riffle Select
My books are mysteries, but all are centred on emotional issues, the sort of issues we face as individuals or through family and friends. Therefore, I am delighted to announce my partnership with BetterHelp
In case you missed it, here is my latest mini mystery for the Seaside News.
And finally this month, bestselling novelist Ken Follett presents an excellent series of videos on how to write suspense, based on a history of the genre.