It all began in 2012, when I posted the first three chapters of The Chronicles of Mardoun to a Weebly website and wondered if people would think I was nuts. I still remember the thrill when I noticed 25 hits and that took a week. Now my various books have had literally hundreds of thousands of online reads and downloads. On a good day, my sites gets over a thousand hits. It’s slow to get going though and you have to stick at it. The important thing is posting new chapters when you say you will and eventually you’ll get an audience….. build it and they will come!
Everyone has their own way of doing things. Approaching Literary Agents, The Small Press, Self-Publishing or other means. Be careful though, there are sites that seem less about promoting new talent and more about financial exploitation.
No decent publisher will charge you a monthly subscription.
No decent publisher will charge you to promote your book.
Publishers pay you…… not the other way round.
Have a care, do you own thing, just don’t get ripped off!
I now have my Mendera Trilogy finished and it will always be my favourite work. It was in my head as ideas and half formed characters for nearly 30 years. Ruby is finished and I’m about two or three chapters away from the ending of Bradford.
Someone asked me if I heard from readers. I do, but you have to steer towards the middle ground of what people say. In a single day I had some guy tell me my work was unreadable and another saying my sentence structure was the best he’d seen in years. You need to not be shattered by bad comments and not be too flattered by the good ones. Just listen to it all and adapt as needed. If you really want honest critiques? Post a few excerpts to Wattpad and duck!
So what next?
City of the Lost God was intended as a quick fill in while I wrote my books. It gained faithful readers and took off. It’s now up to Part 31 and over 200,000 words. The small fill in has grown to be two or maybe three novels. It also gives me a whole world of made up folklore that I can dip into for other stories and ideas. Muzzie the tavern owner will one day get his own book.
For now though I have other things to do, so I’ll be writing a huge ending for The City of the Lost God as a Christmas 2016 special. Not goodbye forever, I will write about the characters again, but in different formats.
As I’m currently writing the November issue, I’ll soon have the Christmas special finished and be ready to write other things.
Bradford is a real marmite book, I get some really nice emails, but others hate him. A right wing cop in a savage future world….. he was never going to be loved. That said, every chapter is read by hundreds and there will be a Bradford 2, but not for a year or so. Again the San Pablo universe will be dipped into for other stories; it’s too wonderfully dark and dangerous to waste.
Ruby is by far the most popular book I’ve written. I plug it little, but I’ll notice a hundred downloads some days and the odd message saying thank you. Mostly in English, but sometimes in Romanian, Bulgarian, Spanish and even Arabic. I deliberately wanted Ruby to go east, to explore a part of the world we just don’t see in our media. If we do see it, it’s only because someone is having a war there. Places like Baku, which really do deserve to be known far better. The east of the Caspian really is the most dangerous place on earth and much of it is just a sandy blob on Google maps. Syria, ISIS, Russian ships in the Caspian, even the rise of the drones, were all quietly simmering when I started writing Ruby. Then they all hit the fan and Ruby was eerily current and topical. Ruby walked through it all, ignoring the local troubles, which is a great part of her charm.
Ruby 2 (as yet unnamed) will begin soon! I’ll start her off on the troubled coasts of China, down towards Vietnam...... and see where she goes.
Haunted Mansion Book (As yet unnamed)
I’ve seen this done well and done terribly, even by famous writers. It should almost be its own genre. I have wanted to do a full haunted mansion novel for a while and I’m going to start it this summer. A group of strangers meeting at………. Yes it’ll be cheesy in parts, but hopefully you’ll love it. It’ll be dark (of course ) and there will be odd twists.
Further down the road
Bradford 2 – A book about Mo from Mendera – A book about Muzzie from City of the Lost God – A vampire book set in London……… and lots of short stories.
It will all be free and posted online…………….