#52 Choosing the name of the next novel



Click on the image to take part in the survey

What better way to avoid writing than to choose the title for the next book. I have already commissioned the cover design but had a little doubt about the exact title so decided to ask the members of my newsletter email list.

I set up a survey using Survey Monkey in the same way that I did to decide the cover of my first novel and I will do the same for the cover of the second novel once it is ready.

I had been building up my email newsletter by offering my first novel free to anyone who signed up and did get some initial success from Facebook ads.

However,  once the cost per lead of the Facebook ads got too high, I turned them off and focussed instead on Bookfunnel promotions. This is when writers get together to offer their books in a joint promotion. I offer my book for free but readers must give me their email address to download it.

I’m taking part in one of these promotions at the moment called Attitude of Gratitude in which many books are available free to download.



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#51 Trying to get to sleep at night


Despite the post below on Facebook in February and several attempts to complain to the city council via their web site and call centre, plus calls to the military and civil police, the bar behind our flat still seems to be able to play its music so loud that our windows actually vibrate and my daughter cries at night because she is unable to sleep.

The Sao Paulo mayor posted a hilarious video to Facebook in February in which he appears to close a bar which was playing music too loud with very little protest from the owner.

Inspired by this video we used the portal on the council website to protest about the bar but as the year progressed, nothing has happened despite more messages, phone calls, complaints and calls to the police.

Recently when complaining to the council that nothing had been done they suggested I call the military police. The military police hung up on me, as did the mayors office when I attempted later to complain to them. The Civil Police did not hang up but also did nothing to stop the sound.

Any ideas anyone?


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#50 Preparing a new cover for #pinkmonth

pink month cover.png

[WARNING SPOILER ALERT] Because the main character in Living with Saci is diagnosed with cervical cancer I’ve decided that I will make the e-book free for a limited period during October which has become #pinkmonth to promote women’s health issues.

I also decided to create a special version of the cover, incorporating the pink ribbon, which involved me learning some new things about Microsoft Paint such as how to make image backgrounds transparent. Surprisingly easy when you know how. While the image is highlighted you go to the select tool and there is a make transparent option. Who’d have known?

Anyway, it’s all just another excuse to put off that writing. I’m past the 11,000 word mark on this tricky fourth novel but my target for this point was almost 29,000. Still quite a bit of catching up to do.


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#49 Testing Amazon giveaways


You know how it is, it’s late at night, you’ve had a few drinks, you’re on the Internet, you have your credit card handy and you end up making a rash purchase.

This happened to me this week when I decided to set up a giveaway competition with a printed copy of Living with Saci as a prize. To enter all people needed to do was follow me on Twitter and then had a 1 in a 100 chance of winning.

The only problem was that in my tired, slightly inebriated state I neglected to check the start and finish times of the promotion correctly and it ended up running for twenty minutes in the early hours of the morning. The 29 people who followed me on Twitter during this period cost me the price of a copy of Living with Saci plus postage and packing, about $15 so that’s about 50c a subscriber. Next time I’ll try to set up the promotion in the day before I have my first drink.

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#48 Adding sharing buttons to my blog


The further I get behind my word count target for my current novel, the more  extreme I become in my attempts to avoid writing the bloody thing.  This evening I successfully avoided doing any writing at all by adding some extra sharing buttons to my blog.

And, of course, once I had added the sharing buttons I had tomwrite this post to see whether the bloody things work.

Sonfar Inhave written less than 8,000 words of my fourth novel. If I was on track I would have already written 22,000 by now. Quite a lot of catching up to do when it gets to half term.

Please make this distraction worth it by clicking on some or all of the sharing buttons below.

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#47 Checking how many books I haven’t sold.


The daily visits to kdp, createspace and draft2digital continue to see how many books I have, or haven’t sold.  Then I usually have a look at how my Amazon ads are doing.

Facebook decided to reinstate my ad account with no explanation of why I had contravened their policy. So I have set up four new Facebook ads on a tiny budget so I regularly have a look to see how they are performing, or not.

Then there is the task of checking whether anyone has left reviews on Amazon. Fortunately all five stars so far.

Once I’ve done this round and checked comments on the Facebook page and stars on the blog, there’s nothing left to do except write.

Fortunately,  the novel I’m currently working on, being a historical novel requires quite a bit of research so this is doing an effective job of keeping me away from the actual writing.

I’m now at a Mormon wedding in Brazil where, I kid you not, they are playing Creep by Radiohead.

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#46 Checking how many books I’ve sold


Once the book is released it is too tempting to keep going back to look to see how many I have sold. To do this I need to go to three web sites. KINDLE direct Publishing for the Kindle versions sold through Amazon. Createspace for the paperback sales and Draft2digital for sales in all outlets other than Amazon.

In addition to this constant obsession with up to date sales figures is the equal desire to know how my adverts are performing. The Amazon ads are very interesting to watch how many impressions there have been compared to how many clicks and ultimately how many sales. I now have a range of Amazon ads running all with different keywords and the great thing is that I only pay when someone clicks on an ad.

Facebook has been less successful.  They suspended my ad account for breach of policy but have failed to specify exactly what that breach was. I even used a different profile to try and create a different as and had that account suspended as well.


I’m still trying to work out exactly what the problem is.

On top of sales and adverts come reviews and I was very pleased to recieve my first five star review. I now need to really concentrate on re-writing the second novel for launch and writing the fourth novel. Anyway, must go and check if anyone has bought a book since I have been typing this.



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