Friday, November 28, 2014

Step Nine - Realise that the 30 day writing challenge started on 1st Nov

After writing 999 words for my new novel, I realised that the Wattpad challenge started on the 1st November.

That effectively leaves me with erm, two days to get 49,001 words into a readable script.

In my own words, 'that ain't going to happen'.

So, Simon and his Sea Disaster, possibly renamed to Simon's Maritime Disaster will build-up at my website of Ieuan Dolby

Step Eight - A 50,000 word novel, #JustWriteIt: A 30 Day Writing Challenge

Whilst meandering through various websites offering inane promotional deals in exchange for my credit card details, I came a cross Wattpad.

Wattpad appears at first glance to be a simple site to navigate and so far I have not been asked for magic cash. This certainly is a welcome change.

The reality of the situation is that Wattpad is probably not going to blast me into the number one slot but I somehow feel that using the site could be a gentle form of self-promotion. I'm certainly not going to use the site to search for friends to 'chat' with (which appears to be the sad aim of most social media sites) nor am I going to invite friends from my list of ten on Facebook. I am also doubtful that I will enter into a 'writers community' to pass on opinion/review - as I have recently realized that demeaning oneself in order to self-promote is not going to be worth it in the longer term. I want to retains some sense of pride in my work.

However, Wattpad have posed an interesting challenge to see if a writer can produce 50,000 words in one month. This challenge can be viewed here

What a great way to to spend ones time. My theory is that even if Wattpad fail to raise my profile by iota at least I will have a few thousand words to show for my time.

So, never one to shy away from a challenge, 'Simon and his Sea Disaster' hits the water

Follow me on Wattpad to view progress on this 50,000 word novel and its hopeful development.



Step Seven - ensure the book is now available at Barnes and Noble

My novel 'Fall of the Suns' Book was eventually located at the Barnes and Noble online book store.

The link follows:

I also today checked the books rankings. A quick check on Amazon shows that my novel is 

Amazon Best Sellers Rank US: #508,901
Amazon Best Sellers Rank UK: #208,983

By assuming that my half-pint is half full rather than half empty I only have a few hundred thousand books to beat to the top spot in the UK and in America!

Lots more work to do here I guess - I'll have to finish my pint whilst thinking about this.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Step Six - Take a well-earned Break from the Promotion Trail

After nearly five days of trying to promote my novel I have decided that today I should turn a blind eye to it. So I did. Both eyes!

There is nothing quite like ignoring something totally to reset life's clock.

I feel better already - let's see what tomorrow brings.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Step Five - To Reduce 'Fall of the Suns' Price on Kindle by One Dollar

Today, after struggling to decipher a thousand websites offering mind-boggling promotions at packaged costs I decided that nothing out there is worth it the degrading efforts involved. No website appears to offer genuine agency work, a read of a manuscript to get the interest flowing - in fact no website appeared to care about the actual content of an authors work - its all about social media hype without doing any actual reading.

Most of the websites promoting 'increased sales', 'instant results' and 'top of the list guarantees' appear to be spam box fillers, generators of endless emails that might sell one book but result in extensive frustration and junk email overflow.

Many websites offer author interaction but then show lists of authors reportedly having sold a million copies of their book - unheard of authors whose dubious numbers defy accountability. Simply put, if I had sold a million copies of one book it would add up to a potential 2,000,000 dollars in the bank. I would certainly not be wasting my time 'showing off' on a hastily produced forum, I would instead be hiding away writing my next novel or enjoying spending some of the money earned.

I mention two websites that appear to be less money-grabbing orientated than many others. These are Goodreads at and Wattpad at

I have created a profile in both and time will tell if either lives up to hopeful expectation of helping budding authors to move ahead. I now intend to look out for other websites with marketing potential - keeping a wary eye out for the money-grabbing spam box fillers.

What I have certainly learned over the last four days is that social media is a complete mugs game, that those who swear by it are generally shallow and that to market one's hard-worked book on social media is to enter into that shallowness. Along the way morals are lost and reality of the outside world is reduced to a screen and inane conversations with a keyboard.

I had one tweet today from a published author, Cindy Dees, who tweeted "would love to trade complete sentences with you". I found this tweet peculiar, not only is this the anti-thesis of Twitter and social media in general but also I don't know here from Adam. I don't know Adam either but .... perhaps I should read a novel of Cindy Dees to see where she was coming from!

Oh well ,,, end of another fruitless day.

Step Four - Ask a few bookshops if they would stock my book

Yesterday, I sent a number of emails out, with free copies of my ebook, to various bookshops around the world. I chose maritime based or orientated bookshops, after-all my novel has great maritime backdrop.

The replies were less than entertaining with most suggesting that I self-publish, get an agent or forget the whole thing and return to my day job. Some even went as far as suggesting that I attend a writing course which suggests to me that a) they never bothered to even open up one page of my novel and 2) that I have nothing better to do  with my life than to spend the next ten weeks with some dubious unpublished teacher telling me which end of a pen to write with..

This is all rather depressing. Here we have a product, a great one, and nobody wants to even bother read it.

Is the next step to offer it for free for a week or two or even a month?

So far Twitter appears to be a game for mugs, bookshops appear to be stuck in the mud without drive or apparent fervor for the written word and my flash sale on Google Play generated one sale only (which I think was my sympathetic wife).

Okay, despondency has not yet fully set-in - it is early days yet and loads more avenues are out there to follow.

Step five tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Step Three - Attempt to woo twitter users with tweets

Yesterday and today I blasted a few tweets out in sudden thought that I might attract some voracious readers to buy my book.

I have never taken to Twitter, in fact I always thought it was daft to send inane thoughts out into the ether. However, many people have recommended such a path to create awareness, so in good faith I laid aside my apathetic view and tweeted.

After a few tweets along the lines of 'flash sale of 'Fall of tbe Suns' now on at Google Play' I was instantly rewarded by loads of beeping responses. Unfortunately, most of these responses appeared to be 'paid for' promotion sites, with extremely dubious credentials. They all appeared to want me to open my wallet for ........ erm, them to tweet for me?

I have therefore decided that shameless self-promotion via the Twitter platform, whilst perhaps having some debatable merit for others, is perhaps not for me.

Two days wasted.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Step Two - Create a Flash Sale on Google Publisher

As my novel is now accepted onto Google Play/Books then a promotional price can be entered. To create a promotion is similar to navigating a minefield but I eventually managed to get to the other side.

Google use CSV files ?!?! Dates are provided for when the flash sale will occur on the website. Then, upload a completed CSV file (why they do it this way I have no idea) with the 'flash sale' lower price and details of the countries in which the promotion will occur. My first promotion is a 'flash sale' between the dates of the 25 to the 27th November and in the US and Britain only. Lets see if 'Fall of the Suns' sells any copies ..............

Lets see what happens. I feel that this is a bit like giving away ones hard work but ........ as a start to title promotion I guess this is the way that it is done. Or perhaps it is doing it the Google way.

Step One - PDF Version of 'Fall of the Suns'

As a result of a customers suggestion the novel 'Fall of the Suns' has now been made available in PDF format direct from this blog as per the Paypal gateway below.

After payment is made a download page will be provided to obtain a copy of the novel for reading on your computer in PDF format.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Budding Writers Hard Work at the Promotion Stage

When I wrote 'Fall of the Suns' it was easy. The actual writing part involved a brief flurry at the computer as I traversed various airports and sat in bland hotel rooms waiting for a taxi's, room service or time to checkout.

The brief flurry was in fact a series of brief flurries but the point is that the writing experience was enjoyable and that at no point along the way would I suggest that 'hard work' was involved. I love to write.

Conversely, trying to get the book published and more-so noticed is 'hard work'. In fact, the work involved is akin to a large hole on a narrow path, a veritable chasm blocking progress to writing the next book. Getting published is a series of hurdles to clamber over, not erected by traditional publishers who I have completely ignored for various other reasons, but from self-publishing arenas.

Every self-publishing platform e.g. AMAZON/Kindle, Google Play, CreateSpace, Smashwords, et al, all have their own pernickety requirements many of which are indefinable and can only be tackled one-by-one-by one until eventually the computer scripts allows for the next stage to be broached.
Then after the platform finally stops erecting assault course style hurdles and when they finally accede acceptance of the finished manuscript then the real hard work begins. Imagine if you may that you have just managed to self publish your novel. It's out there in the jungle waiting to be noticed. In reality though, it is sitting under an enormous mountain of books, competing against best-sellers, against authors who have agents, against known series, against authors who have multiple books out and against marketers who are professionals. In reality the chance of your little book getting noticed is about as likely as an elephant finding the proverbial needle in the hay stack.

So, what to do?

My Novel 'Fall of the Suns, is now published. It is readily available in print and digitally as an epub, kindle ebook, etc. I know that because I worked through the self-publishing hurdles and I have constantly checked that the book is available on-line by repetitively checking the sites - inanely so. I have also ordered myself some print copies, partly for vanity but also to check that the printers are working. My novel is out there in the big wide world but covered by a million books with no daylight showing.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to start the long road of promotion, to boost sales (or at least attempt to sell a copy or two) and in the process I will document this journey and its success (or lack of it).

I have no idea how to start this journey off (apart from telling a few friends about my book and morally forcing them to buy a copy) and I will try to document the results here, on this blog, for all to read and hopefully learn from - but first I must find out where to start.

I guess that now the real hard work starts. Watch out for steps, one, two, three ....

Novel 'Fall of the Suns' is now available

The acclaimed Novel, 'Fall of the Suns' by Ieuan Dolby, is now available at the following locations:

In print at Createspace
In Print and for Kindle (UK) at AMAZON UK 
(for other countries conduct search with title)

In various other Ebook formats at Smashwords
In Google Books/Play - to be advised.

Reviews are welcome at any of these sites and/or please email me with your review for inclusion on my website.

A sequel (part 2), titled "A Ray of Hope" is currently in the pipeline.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Fall of the Suns

My new novel is now published titled 'Fall of the Suns'.

It's been hard work - not the writing as that was easy - but self-publishing the works as an ebook and in print.

I always thought that writing a novel was the hard part, the publishing an easy end. It is in fact the other way around. It is though nearly there and as soon as I get my last act together I will place the direct links to those sites were the book can be purchased and were printed copies can be ordered.

Further information on this finisged novel can be held at my website, Ieuan Dolby