So, we are into the penultimate month of the year, and I am in need of some assistance to achieve an end of year target. Calling all book bloggers and booktubers: Do you like reading fantasy? Do you appreciate a character driven narrative? If the answer to both questions is yes, you might be able to help me break the 100 ratings and 50 reviews barrier for my book, The Exercise Of Vital Powers, on Goodreads.
As you may have noticed, it’s been a while since my last blog post. There are reasons for this, the principal one being that I’ve been focussed on my fiction writing for the past several weeks. After being sidetracked by a couple of novellas (that I’m still not sure I’m actually going to publish), I finally resumed work on the second draft of the sequel to The Exercise Of Vital Powers, that some of you are eagerly awaiting. With any luck you’ll get your hands on it no later than summer 2019; I’ve been making good progress on it over the last couple of weeks.
It’s exactly a month since the re-release of The Exercise Of Vital Powers, and it’s time for a look back at what the book has accomplished in those four weeks. To start with, I probably don’t need to state that sales, so far, are nothing to write home about. But as mentioned in a previous post, I’m not particularly interested in sales figures this time around. My primary goal in publishing a revised second edition of my debut novel is to ensure there is a large enough potential audience for the upcoming sequel. With that in mind I set three (non-sales related) end of year targets to determine whether the publication of a sequel next year is worthwhile. Now, one month later, let’s see how much closer I am to achieving these targets.
Greetings folks. I just want to give those of you who are Reddit members a quick heads up that I am the “Writer Of The Day” on the R/Fantasy subreddit. For the next 10+ hours you can pop in an ask me questions. So whether you want to know my favourite books and authors or who my biggest influences are, feel free to drop in and join the conversation. Just click the link below.
This post is a little bit different from my usual ones given that I haven’t previously used my blog to discuss matters pertaining to popular culture. But I would actually like to expand the topics I write about beyond my own books and publishing journey, while still remaining within the realms of speculative fiction, and recent developments in Hollywood has given me the perfect opportunity to do so.
In a change from today’s scheduled post (which will now go up tomorrow) I’m just going to post three quick updates. First, I recently did an interview for the long-running book blog, Fantasy Book Critic, and that interview is now online for people to read. I’ve been a follower of the blog for five years, and it I feels surreal to be featured on such a well-known, established site. If you want to read the interview (and why wouldn’t you?) just click on the image below.
At the turn of the year I was fully committed to a revised second edition of my first novel, The Exercise Of Vital Powers, but it wasn’t until the middle of April that I finally decided to move forward with the project. From the get-go, I knew I would actually have to spend money on my book second time around if it was to have any chance of attracting readers in a way the first edition failed to do. That being the case, I earmarked £2500 as my budget for getting the book published to a sufficiently high standard. This post will let you know where the money went, and if it was well spent. I hope it will be helpful to other authors thinking about going the self-published route.
Today marks the commencement of a free book giveaway hosted by Instafreebie that I am not only participating in, but actually organised. The “Heroine Chic” fantasy giveaway is a one week only giveaway offering readers the opportunity to claim a free copy of one (or all) of twelve books featuring a memorable female protagonist. Obviously, my own novel, The Exercise Of Vital Powers, is one of the twelve books available, alongside eleven other titles by authors including Krista D. Ball and Donna Maree Hanson.
At the start of the year I set myself the goal of reading ten books for the annual Goodreads Reading Challenge. As I mentioned in a blog post earlier in the year, the reason for setting such a modest target was that every previous reading challenge I participated in ended in failure. This was typically the result of never having enough time to read as many books as I would like. But this year, much to my surprise, I read my ten books by the end of January. At the time, the ease with which I successfully completed the challenge caused me to contemplate the possibility of reading fifty-two books by the end of the year―an average of one book read a week―although I’d settle for twenty-five. Today this seems like wishful thinking.
Reader reaction to the protagonist of a story will not only influence whether they like a book or not, it can also make or break the fortunes of that book; maybe not in terms of the critical response, but certainly in the commercial sense. This is an observation I was very conscious of while writing my first novel, The Exercise Of Vital Powers. I realised early on that my protagonist, Kayden Jayta, was a character who many readers would struggle to get behind. In fact, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to me if most of the people who end up disliking the book do so primarily on the basis of their dislike for Kayden.