Matters of the moment:
It’s true–but don’t get too excited, we’re only talking a very small number of books here. JK Rowling can sleep easy in her number one position.
After months of virtually no sales, you might remember that at the beginning of this month (March) I decided to start experimenting with key words. Initially I played around with The Poisoned Pastie and–after an almost immediate result–the following week took a look at Polly Picked the Pistol Up. Now, as I always saw the Karno series as having a limited market and really wrote them as an experiment in self publishing, I decided to look closely at niche marketing, make some changes to the keywords and see what happened.
In the category ‘UK Police Fiction’–do I sound like an Oscar ceremony announcer here?
Karno’s Casebook (a collection of short stories) as of today–18th March–is at number one.
Polly Picked the Pistol Up is at number three.
In the category UK Police Humour
Karno’s Casebook is currently number two.
Polly Picked the Pistol Up is at number four.
These are very narrow categories and I was surprised to see that the short stories came out ahead in both, considering I hadn’t touched the keywords. Maybe the low price has something to do with it? Whilst I’m not exactly selling a book a day, every couple of days there is some interest, which has to be encouraging even if it doesn’t exactly pay for the new–shiny–computer that several people have taken me to task for buying. Well they simply don’t understand–it’s shiny and it’s an Apple, hence a lifestyle choice. Some might say that it’s the only thing in my life that has some style, but I’m going to simply ignore them.
So, what now? Quitting the job, buying a boat and sailing away from the UK weather is–alas–not yet an option but further tweaking may well be in order. That and getting on with the next book, which I am having difficulty getting motivated about. Short stories are fun to write but you need to have the ideas to write about and right now they are in short supply. Most of my plots used to come after or during long walks, but now back at work and putting in eleven or twelve hour days, long walks are a thing of the past–at least for the moment. Despite my complaints about the UK weather, it is getting better so perhaps more walking will be occurring in the future.
Other literary things that have occurred:
The two Trembling Tim books have been taken away from Solstice Publishing. They were never really interested in childrens’ books and although it was good they honoured the contract to publish them, in a way I wish they had not. I–and John the Illustrator–feel that it’s been a wasted year in terms of marketing. I would dearly like to take all my books away from Solstice and self-publish them but there is–inevitably–a problem. They were placed with Solstice by Emma the Agent. Yes I could not renew my contract with Emma but she will not release those books without also releasing the two Tim books and I know that John is a little hesitant about self-publishing. He also has hopes that they may become animated movies–a couple of books that he has illustrated for other authors are headed that way and he would dearly like to see the Tim books on the silver screen, particularly Tim Turpin which was his baby from the start. So, right now we wait for Emma to find another publisher and trust that when the new editions come out they will be in colour, as John drew them.