READERS IN U.S.A. – now it’s your turn.

Mrs. G on October 1, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Oh my goodness, what’s not to love about this book? The author is supremely Scottish and it’s all about antics with animals. I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time. I’d hire Mr. Jackson to care for my pets in a heartbeat–except I think I’d prefer to go along on the walks to see all the adventures myself.

This marvelous narration takes the reader through the ins and outs of life as a Pet Care Professional. Dog, cat, and bunny lovers will all find moments they recognize as well as plenty of surprises. The writing is engaging, real, articulate … in a word–BRILLIANT! My kindle’s pages are marked all over with passages that had me in stitches. Mr. Jackson could surely make any profession or commonplace activity sound far more entertaining than it really is, but when the spirited cast includes these special dogs (and one alarming hamster in particular), it’s even better.

Since this is a real life story, I don’t know how we wrangle a sequel, but I certainly want to read more from this author!

This is it!
The last hurrah for my first book,  ‘DAMP DOGS & RABBIT WEE.‘  In celebration of its second anniversary, you can buy the Kindle version for a measly 99 cents until 17th August. 

It’s time now to concentrate on my new work, the long awaited, much vaunted, light-hearted fantasy that is ‘Evhen & Uurth’ (I know, it’s a dreadful working title, and it will change.)

Right, gotta go. I’ve got a psychopomp with a ‘history’ and a  bad tempered crow … sorry raven, to sort out.

DESIST, ASSIST and PERSIST.

Book Week Scotland - Balloch Library - 28th Nov 2015 - 3It’s now one year since I published my first book, ‘Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee.’

Get me –  ‘first book.’ Now I’m talking in some kind of author-type language. Like I’ve got another book in me. Well …

I’ve learnt a lot these past twelve months: I cringe now when I think of the number of exclamation marks I used in my first drafts of ‘Damp Dogs;’ I now understand why many readers dislike the overuse of adverbs; head-hopping can become confusing and overuse of ellipsis (oops – see above) and quotation marks can becoming annoying.

I’ve also learnt to cultivate a thick skin – this being the result of submitting pieces of work to Critique Circle. Boy, can they be brutal? (See? – in the old days, I’d have had an exclamation mark just there. And there.)

But most of all, I’ve realised that to be a writer, successful or otherwise, you need to learn to desist, assist and most of all, persist.

STOPDesist from talking-down your book. Understandably, you will be unsure as to how it will be received. Will it merit many / any ‘five star’ reviews? Will it attract any reviews at all? Authors writing in the same genre are far better and more experienced than me. Those thoughts, and others, can easily lead to the conclusion that the best way to prepare for disappointment is to get your strike in early. Lower the expectations of any potential readers and work from the ‘promise low, deliver high,’ perspective.

Logically, this may be a sound approach. Except that the number of potential readers may have been greatly reduced as a result of the author’s perceived negativity.

Don’t do it. Tell the world how great the book is. Show some belief.

Sheepish modesty may be cute, but it doesn’t sell books.

You Can HelpAssist other aspiring authors in reaching their goals. Whether this is through constructively critiquing their work via online writing groups, or re-tweeting details of their work / special offers, or sharing links to their sales pages on your social media / blogs, it doesn’t matter. Writing is fun, but it’s kinda lonely. Not in a sad way, but it’s good to talk as a wee bird once said.

Mutual back scratching is way better and more productive than mutual back slapping. Be honest with your comments to others, but be positive. And guaranteed, you’ll receive the same benefits in return. Authors are a breed apart, but form a tight-knit, worldwide association.

I know from experience, I’ve had invaluable help from The Inca Project; Scribophile members; the CLOG group on Goodreads; Clean Indie Reads and numerous individual writers.

Show support, and if at all possible, buy their books. Kindle editions normally cost only a couple of pounds. I’ve read more books this past twelve months than at any point in my life since leaving school. And all have been from indie authors, the majority of whom have not yet made it into the High Street stores.

There are some tremendous stories out there.

PERSISTPersist with your belief. Writing a fabulous book is the easy bit. Telling the world it even exists, especially with no marketing budget at your disposal is another thing entirely. It’s a slog, I know, but a little bit of work, even just through social media can pay dividend.

This past week, I’ve run a low-key promotion in the UK – there will be a bigger effort made in the U.S. market after the Olympics. I spent a total of £10 and that was on a donation basis to a site that promoted ‘Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee.’ The direct results of that promo were poor, but through my own efforts of persistence, I managed to sell another twenty-six books.

No – it’s not big-time. And no, I can’t yet give up work to become a full time author. But it’s all relative, isn’t it? The fact that the book rose from around 200k to circa 12k  in the Amazon Kindle rankings was good enough for me.

UK Promo -pre campaign - KINDLE27th July - 9am - KINDLE

 

 

I’m not writing for money – just as well, eh?. I’m writing for experience. So that I may learn how to make more of a success of the comedy-fantasy, ‘Soul Survivor’ that I’m currently working on.

Success is all relative. I started out as the hopeful writer at the start of the ‘desist‘ paragraph above. I reckoned that if I sold about thirty books to family, friends and clients, then I’d be happy. So, having sold over two hundred and seventy (when the average for a debut effort from an indie author is, I believe, ninety) I’ve now embraced the mantra from the end of that section.

It’s not rocket science, and it’s all been said before. But after a year, the penny’s finally dropped. With all your invaluable assistance and support, even from just reading this blog, I know both ‘Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee,’ and when ready, ‘Soul Survivor,’ are / will be successes. Even if just in my own head.

See you on the shelves of Waterstones and Barnes & Noble.

Wimbledon 2015b - 200

(Cee Tee)

99 cents book promotion in the USA!

Amazon.com bannerHere’s one for all readers of this blog in the USA, or who have access to buy goods from Amazon.com:

Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee’ will be on a Kindle Countdown deal from Wednesday March 23rd until Saturday, 26th.

The price will be reduced to only 99 cents throughout this period, before returning to the original, $2.83. That’s a reduction of almost 67% if my arithmetic’s correct.

If this were Walmart, there’d be massive advertising hoardings in the car park and along every aisle in the store.

Bramble.

Bramble.

But it’s not. It’s just a wee blog, written by a wee bloke, in a wee country, who uses the word ‘wee’ in a different context in the book’s title.

So, if anyone can help spread the word to dog / pet lovers and dog walkers in the USA  by means of social media, or even personal interaction (remember those days?) then I’m on the beers.

Thanks.

Cee Tee

 

KATZENWORLD – ‘Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee’ giveaway.

Katzenworld logo

Nubia likes ....

Nubia likes ….

The ever popular, cat-centred blog, KATZENWORLD, is currently running a ‘giveaway’ competition, the prize being one of two copies of my book, ‘Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee.’

For details on how to enter, and to read what  Her Meowjesty Queen Nubzilla the Disturber of Peace has to say on the book – click here.

Book Week Scotland

Talking about Marley - not Bob, as on the T-shirt. The character from DD&RW.

Talking about Marley – not Bob, as on the T-shirt. The character from DD&RW.

With copies of ‘DAMP DOGS& RABBIT WEE,’ in all their libraries, West Dunbartonshire Libraries & Cultural Services invited me to host their closing session of the Book Week Scotland celebration.

To say I was surprised to be asked is an understatement. Especially when I saw that the list of speakers from earlier in the week included Arne Dahl, the Swedish crime writer whose books have been serialised on UK television.

I was even more, and very pleasantly, surprised that an audience of twenty-five interested people braved the horrendous weather to come long to Balloch Library to listen to my patter.

It’s been a while, a long while, since I last spoke to a group of people. I’m more used to talking to dogs, cats and rabbits these days. Lizards too. They’re hard work, though.Book Week Scotland - Balloch Library - 28th Nov 2015 - 3

A few excerpts were read from the book, followed by a pretty extensive Q&A session, followed by a book signing and one-to-one chats.

Hopefully more Personal Appearance opportunities will present themselves, and maybe some other local councils will decide to stock their libraries with the book.

But even if nothing else should happen from here, I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon at the head of Loch Lomond and my thanks go to all who organised the afternoon and those who turned up  …… and even bought the book!

The last book is sold.

The last book is sold.

Ran out of books! Had to take list for order.

Ran out of books! Had to take list for order.

Competition winners!

Dogvine BannerLondon based website, The Dogvine, recently ran a competition to win a signed copy of ‘DAMP DOGS & RABBIT WEE.’

There were over two hundred entries and the winners were recently announced as being:

Hayley Atkins, from Bexhill, East Sussex, and

Elaine Bryant, from Tipp City, Ohio, USA.

Congratulations to both winners! The books are on the way. Hope you enjoy it.