Hey peeps. If you are active on social media you are probably already aware of the #IndieApril hashtag which is being used to promote independent and self-published books and authors this month. We are now more than halfway through the month, and to mark the occasion, the ebook edition of my first novel, The Exercise Of Vital Powers, is on sale for just £0.99/$0.99/€0.99 all this week.
One of the inescapable truths about literature is that there is no such thing as a universally loved book. Even the most lauded work you have ever read has its detractors. In other words, one person’s masterpiece is another person’s trash. This being the case, every author knows that sooner rather than later their books will receive bad reviews, and yesterday I received my first ever 1 star review on Goodreads for The Exercise Of Vital Powers. I have since been inspired to write how I’ve chosen to deal with this unwelcome development.
Greetings people. To say that I have been neglectful of my blogging duties this year would be something of an understatement. Regrettably, as much as I would like to be posting new updates on a regular basis (I certainly have plenty of unwritten posts I want to share), all my free time at present is being spent on writing my second novel while continuing to promote my first. In other words, I’m not likely to be in a position to start frequently updating the blog again before the end of May, at the earliest. Until then, this is a quick post to let you know I’m still breathing, and inform you of the most significant developments in my writing life since the turn of the year.
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.
Please check out this new review for The Exercise Of Vital Powers, posted on Nana’s Fantastical Reads.
~Werbung / ad – Thank you to Ian Gregoire for providing me with a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.~
Ever since The Exercise of Vital Powers was reviewed and praised by Booktuber Kitty G as part of SPFBO 2017, a contest for indie authors hosted by author Mark Lawrence, I was very intrigued by the premise. However, the cover didn’t really appeal to me and might have been the reason why I didn’t pick it up immediately. The next time I checked, the book was no longer available on Amazon since the author wanted to revise the book and publish a second edition with a brand new cover. I was lucky enough to participate in the cover reveal in May. Since the new edition is available now since the beginning of July, I was finally able to read the book and share my thoughs on it…
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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.
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.
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.