New beginnings as we move from the USA back to the UK. Previous book has been completely re-released and news on the latest SciFi book. Apologies to you kind reader but I have been remiss in my ability to post […]
New beginnings as we move from the USA back to the UK. Previous book has been completely re-released and news on the latest SciFi book.
Apologies to you kind reader but I have been remiss in my ability to post a new blog the last few weeks. We decided to return from the USA to the UK and so our time has been consumed by selling our home in the US, organizing flights for us and the pups, booking AirBnB’s, buying cars and desperately passing all of the COVID tests and paperwork need to travel internationally. Good news is we all made it safe and sound.
We stayed in our old home town of Southport for a few days and picked up a second-hand Mini Cooper which, so far, is working out great. We then headed towards Ripponden in Yorkshire and are now in a tiny cottage on the Adwell estate south of Oxford. Hopefully the house we bought (mostly sight unseen) will be ready in November so until then we are gypsying it around the UK.
There are new beginnings for my last book as well this week. I took some advice and renamed and re-packaged the book, so “Surcease of Sorrow” is now called “The Haunting of Edgar Allan Poe.” It is the same book, although the title, blurb and cover convey the topic in a much clearer way I think and recent book orders would seem to agree. I took advantage of a Beta program offered by Amazon and released a hard cover as an option too. I don’t expect to sell many, as the publishing costs are significant and the margins for the author are low, but hey, who knows?
The latest Work in Progress (WIP) is progressing too. I have spent a lot of time focussing on the character ARC of Layla who is the lead protagonist in the story. I don’t think I focussed enough effort on this aspect with Haunting, and while Joseph does develop as a character it is almost accidental. Like I have said in previous posts, every day is a school day and the main thing for me is to just keep developing the craft. BTW – for any budding writers I would highly recommend a book by Libbie Hawker called “Take off your pants”. It really delves into story creation and development.
I have received some lovely reviews from strangers and many have agreed to join me on the journey by following my Facebook page which is extremely motivating!
If you did buy a book – I thank you from my heart. Please keep me away from the welfare office by leaving a review on your local Amazon store, and if you enjoyed the blog, please follow along and subscribe to the newsletter.
This blog is going to drill into the differences the Indie Author faces when deciding to publish narrowly or widely.
The quote from Bram Stoker is a timeless classic right? But the title also refers to a great charity whose mission is to provide intervention in the lives of children who are sexually exploited and vulnerable to or involved in prostitution and pornography. More on how that directly relates to the indie publishing industry later on, so please read on kind and patient reader…
There are definite pros and cons to going large & wide for book channel distribution but lets first discuss the main differences between narrow and wide.
Narrow means Amazon only. The Amazon storefront is a given, a must, an essential. But then every author needs to decide if they want to distribute on Amazon Kindle Essentials, or KDP Select, as it is also called. This channel doesn’t provide book sales at all. Instead it rewards the author to share in a $38 million global pot of cash. The royalties are paid based on pages read by Kindle Select members who get to read your masterpiece for free. Each page read sends the writer a whopping $0.004297. This can add up for sure, and many people make a living in KDP Select, but for most writers out there the cost of being locked into this distribution model for 90 days is prohibitive. For example, to receive $100 I would have to generate 23,272 page reads. Hint: I am nowhere near that figure, my best day ever got 425 pages read. When you join Kindle Select you are contractually unable to sell ebooks on any other store.
The alternative is to go wide. My first book, the true life travel tale of our adventure to move from the USA to Spain, the one that sparked my career as a penniless wordsmith, “Mistakes Were Made” is still published narrow and gets decent page reads. It’s not quite “A Year in Provence” but whenever I advertise it, it does quite well and is always well reviewed. Well, apart from one lady in the UK that is, who took the time to leave me a review to let me know I was “just too full of himself.” Made my day by the way, because it is almost certainly true.
You can buy a copy here, or if you are a Kindle Select member read it for free!
My Paranormal Thriller “A Surcease of Sorrow” was just pulled from Kindle Select and I am trying a wide distribution model. This allows me to publish on all the other big name book sellers:
I am using Draft2Digital to manage this for me. They allow a Universal Book Link to be generated which then allows the buyer to choose which store and format they prefer. On these sites I am keeping the US price $2.99 as the royalty share is the same as Amazon – 70%.
For “Surcease of Sorrow” I am really pushing the boat out and selling the ebook for only 99 cents on a brand new Indie publishing site called Godless. The link to the book is below but please go check them out regardless. They generously offer 90% of royalties to the authors who choose them for distribution. Most writers also opt in to give 5% back, which Godless uses to fund Children of the Night, who, since 1979 have rescued over 11,000 American children from sex trafficking and prostitution. You can find a donate link on the Godless website and also on this direct link URL https://www.childrenofthenight.org/
I really hope you enjoyed reading the blog today. I do try to couple shameless self promotion with some insights into the underground working of the self-publishing industry and hope you find that as interesting as I do. The journey continues so follow along on the blog, sign up for the monthly newsletter and get some cool updates on my latest Sci-Fi project. Just writing stories and telling tales – Andy C wareing
I had to take some time this week when we weren’t traveling, to work on September’s Newsletter. We were busy taking a trip to Fort Myers this week to say farewell (for a while) to both a great friend and to the crazy state of Florida. We also took a dolphin viewing trip on the inter-coastal which was very cool. My wife always asks the guides if the dolphins ever make the clicking noise out of the water (you know, like Flipper did in the 1980s). The guides response is typically a chuckle and an amused shake of their heads. Well…this time, one dolphin jumped out of the water, looked directly at Paula and trilled and whistled right at her. MADE…HER…YEAR! She is certain that she is now able to converse with the entire species…and who knows, she might be right.
I am going to include chapter one of the latest WIP in that edition to all subscribed members (so be sure to follow the link below and join soon!). The latest WIP is a work of hard SciFi. Its set not too far in the future and is themed around the joys of friendship and collaboration triumphing over autocracy and tyranny, all intertwined with a fleet of Galaxy cruisers, whose fates hang desperately in the balance. It’s close to 75% complete at around 43000 words (less edits) so will hopefully be available by the end of the year, if I can find the time, focus and energy to stop writing blogs, tweets and newsletters and actually write the damn book.
I (not very humbly) think its by far the best thing I have written to date, and it’s certainly been a challenge in range of both characters, backstories, side plots and just pure, all out technical research to make sure it stays within genre. For those not familiar with “hard” SciFi my previous blog goes into some detail. Take a read here:
For those who subscribe to the blogs and newsletter, you will receive more previews as the book progresses. I will also be asking (begging) for feedback and ideas on titles, blurbs and book covers as I get closer to publishing, so don’t miss out!
I really hope you enjoyed reading this blog post! If you found it interesting or even a little informative, please subscribe to the blog and sign up to my newsletter. The link is in that BIG GREEN box right there…no, look up a bit, there ya go! In addition, if there is anything in particular that interests you, feel free to reach out by email or the contact form. I’m always happy to answer any questions about my books and the writing and publishing process in general. It’s been a crazy year of learning the nuances of Amazon KDP, Facebook Ads, Instagram in general and the dreaded pixel in particular, so happy to share with new authors and the more generally interested readership.
Science fiction is often thought of as a genre that depicts the future or some imagined world, but it also can be used to explore and explain present-day issues. This blog post will examine hard science-fiction. It’s going to get hard—in more ways than one!
The term was first used in print in 1957 by P. Schuyler Miller in a review of John W. Campbell‘s Islands of Space. It is characterized by a focus on accuracy of logic and adherence to something achievable, or close to achievable with current technology. The subject of the genre should exist within the realm of scientific possibility.
The research for my latest book has been both arduous and fun in equal measure. One day I found a useful calculator that measures time dilation based on percentage of proximity to light speed travel which I spent way too much time playing around with. Try it here:
I tried to keep the space travel elements grounded in reality. None of the Galaxy Cruisers in my book can travel at anywhere close to the speed of light (c) ,so the journeys the occupants face are loooong.
I use Tokamak Torus magnetic reconnection propulsion systems for the space travel elements. It’s the same physics that can be seen on the surface of our Sun. Magnetic lines converge there and then split apart. When they re-combine they release truly enormous amounts of energy. The Tokamak Torus confinement field harnesses that energy and converts it into a plasma field that could be sustained (even using today’s technology) in the Mega-Ampere level, the sort of energy seen in the most powerful lightning bolts.
The new book also delves into the bizarre concept of “Qualia” and how that interleaves with “quantum consciousness” but I will leave that for another post, as I just finished writing that chapter and my brain still smarts.
If you’ve been looking for a new science fiction book that is both “hard” and grounded in reality, I encourage you to subscribe to the blog or sign up for my newsletter. https://andycwareing.com/promotions/
I am roughly 70% done with the structure so hope to publish within the next three months, so let’s keep in touch on progress, release dates, early access to chapters and all things sci-fi!
A very different week for me this week. Instead of sweating and being bitten by ravenous mosquitoes in Atlanta, I am instead, taking shelter from the rain in leafy, pleasant Britain.
An urgent need to find a place to live has brought me across the Atlantic, masked, sanitized and tested, to the gentle rolling and sheep speckled hills of Somerset. It’s barely 65 degrees out, so I am wearing jeans and scratching the recent bites I received doing yard work to get the house in America ready for sale.
There are benefits to being in Britain though. I started my journey in Glastonbury (to get yet another Covid test, this one needed to hopefully allow me back into the USA later in the week).
Glastonbury is a charmingly bizarre place. Lots of folks here dress like wizards and witches, full regalia mind, cloaks, staffs, long white beards. Not for a special occasion either, this is just a normal Monday morning in this town. The shops here really only sell books of spells, magical charms, wind-chimes, crystals and as many pointy black hats you can shake a broomstick at. It’s partly to do with the Arthurian folklore based around the famous Tor, that does indeed eerily dominate the skyline for miles. But it’s not JUST that. This place is a genuine draw for the displaced and the unconventional, those who refuse to adhere to the norms (whatever they are) of society. You can call them hippies and gypsies, but overall the people of Glastonbury embrace their charms, oddness and uniqueness.
My taxi driver told me a story, that one day, without warning or introduction, a stranger appeared in the town dressed entirely as a Roman Centurion, the full regalia, armor, plumed helmet, sword, ankle boots, the whole thing. He would march around town, silent and aloof , never made a single friend and never appeared out of costume (uniform?) and then two years later disappeared without a trace. Nobody knew who he was or why he did what he did. How wonderful is that? The actual word “wonder-ful” was made for that nameless stranger – morituri te salutant!
I expect to have lots of rushing around time, interspersed with hours of waiting for the next appointment, all stretched out over three days. In the downtime I really want to catch up with my writing. The visit to Glastonbury has been a good reminder that reaching for the differences is a good muscle to mentally stretch. The progress on the new Sci-Fi hasn’t exactly stalled out, but it isn’t blistering along either. It can be too easy to fall into the mundane, the overworked trope. I am going to harness my inner wizard and don my plumed gladiator Galea and go strut my stuff, unfazed by the stares of passersby (only in a more quiet, self-effacing and indoors-y manner).
Different and wacky are not just cool, they can be great. In the world of writing, this means that you should shake things up a bit. Be different from your competitors by presenting something new to readers or showing them an innovative way to introduce new and fascinating characters. If it’s done well enough, people will flock to your website for more information on what makes you unique and buy more books! So don’t let fear get in the way of being creative with how you market yourself or your products—go big (or go home!). You never know where success may lie; if there is one thing we know about humans, it’s that they love exploring novelty and pushing boundaries.
BTW – fingers crossed I ace this Covid test. The alternative is a 10 day quarantine and i neither have the time to spare or a place to spare it in.
If you enjoyed this blog please follow along for the ride, I certainly don’t know where it’s going!
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I am definitely a bit of a science nerd. I was immediately hooked by the 80’s TV series “Cosmos” hosted by the wonderful and enigmatic Carl Sagan. The episodes had the most intriguing names to capture the eager mind of an easily influenced teenage boy. Sorry, for some reason Daisy Duke just came to mind. Catherine Bach and Carl Sagan – those were some formative years!
Anyway back to Sagan’s episodes. Episodes with names such as “The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean,” “One Voice in the Cosmic Fugue,” and the episode that deftly dealt with the possibilities of infinite universes and multiverses, “The Edge of Forever.” Incredible stuff.
A little later, I went on to read Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time” and then continued on to battle through Brian Greene’s “Elegant Universe,” “The Fabric of the Universe” and “The Hidden Reality.” Despite the Washington Post calling him “the single best explainer of abstruse concepts in the world today,” he constantly challenged the ability of my meagre brain to follow his logic, and truly comprehend the theories he posited. I must have read and re-read the chapters and books a hundred times trying to fully understand the nuances of his revelations.
When I started to write I dabbled with a couple of genres. My first book was based on a true life experience, our adventures of traveling from the USA to Spain during Covid 19. My next book sprang more from an idea I had when I read about the last few days of Edgar Allan Poe. He died in extremely strange and sinister circumstances after going missing for five days, and then turning up entirely deranged and wearing clothes not his own. That book tilted towards the paranormal. Not because that was the genre I wanted to write, but because the idea I had chose the genre.
But deep down, it was always Science Fiction for me and my nerdy brain. The new book (yet to be titled) is a work in progress that includes standards such as time dilation and quantum mechanics, but also pushes the boundaries of innovative (and almost to be attained) propulsion systems, and the entirely theoretical (possibly even pseudo-science) of quantum consciousness. Every chapter surprises me with the new directions I am able to take the story.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and found it interesting. If science fiction is your thing, be sure to subscribe or sign up for our newsletter so we can keep the conversation going! In the next blog I will talk more detail of the bleeding edge technologies I am leveraging in the book.
I will leave you with one last memory from the 80’s that also influenced me greatly…altogether fellow Gen Xers…”Your a wonder…”
Writing is a deeply social activity, we write so that other can read our stories after all. The difference is that it is largely undertaken in complete solitude. I hear that some writers start their manuscripts in the hubbub of a noisy coffee shop, only moving to more peaceful surroundings for final proofreading and editing. I prefer silence.
It has been something I have struggled to find since moving back to the USA. We lived for eight months in a sleepy rural village called Somerton in the green rolling sheep speckled hills of South-West England. It helped that BoJo had everybody completely locked down for several months, but during that time I was writing at least a chapter a day (1800 words on average). My word rate had dropped precipitously since moving to the US and I blame the environment.
In the UK we would rise late, drink some tea and feast on Warburton’s toasted bread, piled high with hot melting butter, and then walk the dogs across a couple of miles of damp and muddy fields (often having to carry Pi across the deeper puddles).
After a lunch of bacon sandwiches I would settle in to write for at least three hours, intermittently working on a new chapter, and then editing the previous days work, before breaking to drink more tea and watch a Tipping Point on TV.
Here in the States, neither myself or Paula have managed to settle into a good and regular routine. There is always something to be done to the house, or the yard, or things to be purchased. The weather has been too hot and humid to really walk the dogs or play any tennis and my writing routine has largely fallen by the wayside.
Despite all of those things, I am still over half way through the latest work in progress. Its a science fiction story, which should yield a series if I don’t screw it up too badly. The story is set not too far in a dystopian future, where the warlike Maori nation has risen to control what remains of the worlds dwindling resources, and launch an attempt at off-world colonization. Layla and her friends are desperately trying to save the crew and colonists of the “Tuatahi” Galaxy cruiser as she nears her destination.
There are heaps of quantum entanglement and relativistic time dilation issues to deal with which has been fun to research.
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When I started out writing and self-publishing I really struggled to understand where successful writers were getting there information from.
Then slowly, bit by bit I stumbled across forums and websites that provided guidance and sometimes even free services to rookies and pros alike. I thought it would be nice to try and share some of these back to folks. Many of the sites listed are useful for everybody, not just us writing luvvie types btw.
Free images for book covers, promotions etc:
Free 3D Book images for advertising:
Free HTML Formatting Generator for writing blurbs etc on KDP:
Free site that mines your published book and returns all the categories it is listed under on Amazon (tip: Amazon shows you can list up to only two. There are actually eight but you have to contact KDP directly). The site also has the ability to generate a Universal Book Link:
And finally, at least for the moment, I urge you to join this Facebook Group. It is called 20BooksTo50K. It has an amazing support group and mountains of guidance and tips, as well as a super responsive and helpful team of members.
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Some dear friends bought me a guitar today as a leaving present.
I say they bought it me today, but in reality, today was merely the day I took receipt of her.
She had enjoyed a journey of over twenty thousand miles over a period of twelve months for us to be finally united in musical disharmony. As a humble acoustic guitar she may be the most well-travelled instrument outside the entourage of a world famous internationally touring rock band. On her journey, she has obtained Diamond Platinum status on British Airways, Delta and Virgin, and accrued more air miles than most of us who travel a lifetime.
She began her journey in Maryland USA, where she was purchased and tastefully customized with a silver rose inlay on her delicate lower frets. She was sent with love and letters to a remote villa in Altea Spain, but her seductive curves attracted the sharp, but predominantly heterosexual (and almost definitely pervy) attention of the customs officers in Madrid. She sat there for a long time, imprisoned, as we in the villa were planning our Covid inspired escape to England. Sadly, when she was finally released and delivered we had already left.
In her ever deteriorating packaging she took a long detour back to MD; weary mail hub by weary mail hub she was rudely handled and sorted and stamped and scanned. She rattled along in the backs of vans and jostled in packed crates in the airless and frosty holds of 747’s until she turned up unexpectedly on the doorstep of the original sender, who stood on his doorstep, reading all of the airline and customs stamps with his head tilted, scratching his beard and straightening his pork pie hat with an odd and quizzical expression.
Off she went again, this time with confident certainty to arrive at her intended destination, Somerset, England. Back in the cradle of the 747 she streaked across the Atlantic. She quickly cleared customs in Heathrow, where the customs officers were immune to her sexy tonal roundness in the way only the British can be. The British Mail van that sought to deliver her turned the corner onto West Street just as we pulled out of the driveway of the cottage and headed in a cab back towards where she had originated, Heathrow.
Undelivered once more, her packaging ripped and rent, and cheekily revealing more than a bridge too far, back she went to Heathrow. At some point I like to think that me and my beauty were within the same terminal, star crossed lovers, separated by mere feet from a romance to challenge the ages. We may have been on the same 747 that blistered the skies back towards America. But I was destined for Atlanta and you were returned to an ever increasingly startled bearded man in MD.
With an indefatigable spirit not seen since WWII, his pork pie was once again straightened and back to the UPS office he strode with steps never more resolute. This time to mail the seductive curves of the twangy (yes, twangy, the guitar has an amazing tone, but I am not the maestro you believe me to be from my profile picture) goddess to an address in the USA.
And that’s where I finally found my leaving present, twelve months after the start of our combined journeys, from the USA to England, across Europe to Spain, back to England and finally a return to the USA. This beautiful, huggable beauty was waiting for me in my garage this morning. Sent by incredible lifelong friends who would not cease in their efforts to unite us. The most travelled and seductive guitar in the world (and her incredible airline status gets me access to first class travel whenever I am with her 😉
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One of the hardest things I find about transitioning from a traditional working role (i.e. Employee) to one as an indie writer and author is the perpetual need to self-promote. I am certain my family and FB friends are weary of my incessant posts (and now blogs for crying out loud!). “When will it end, please God, make him stop,” I can hear them cry.
The problem for the Indie author is that there really is no other option. I am really a very quiet, and while my wife will wholeheartedly disagree, modest person. And yet here I am writing another blog post on a wet Tuesday morning in Atlanta that I will post to FB, LinkedIn and Twitter in the vain hope that I will get some love (and likes and shares and retweets and a follower or two, maybe even a subscriber to the blog or newsletter, or perhaps somebody will end up buying a book or three – come on people get with the damn program, it’s not that hard!).
Of course that’s really the end goal. To engage with sufficient like minded individuals, who might like my writing and stories enough to part with a few hard earned dollars or pounds or Euros and ultimately enjoy the tales in my head.
Anyhoo – in the spirit of the blog today, here is another selfless selfie with my latest published book “A Surcease of Sorrow” available for free on Amazon Kindle Unlimited. Happy reading and follow the blog and visit the website to sign up for the newsletter!