#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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#36 Finding out all about self-publishing

M J Dees

Like a lot of people, I always considered self-publishing to be tantamount to vanity publishing.  However, the more I learn about self-publishing, the more I realise that many authors are choosing it over the traditional route because it gives them much more control over how their work is promoted.

I’ve been glued to You Tube this week watching the Self Publishing Formula podcasts which have interesting discussions about all aspects of the self-publishing process.

Having just re-written the ending to my first novel,  I have still sent it off to agents in the UK, Australia, Canada and the USA but I have also been giving much more serious thought to the process of self-publishing.

I’m already promoting myself as an author through my own Facebook profile and page, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google + and of course this blog. The next step is to set up a mailing list which I…

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#21 checking emails

M J Dees

Once the first five chapters, synopsis and cover letter have been sent to the agent there is the prolonged period of waiting for the response. Despite the fact that the website clearly states: allow ten to twelve weeks for a response, the vigilance for incoming emails and the obsessive scouring of the spam folder begin in earnest late into week one.

One consoles oneself with the thought that the longer the deliberation the more positive the response in the hope that the agent is taking their time because they are seriously considering the submission. Of course this is not necessarily the case but it is the thing that keeps me going while I wait.

And while I wait I check my emails. In all my e-mail accounts just on the off chance I gave a different e-mail to the one I know I gave. And while I’m checking my e-mail…

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