#57 Launch Day

Anniversaries_full-wrap_draft01_on fire

So it’s launch day and I’ve already bought my own copies, copies for friends and the copies for the launch competition which I’ll tell you about in a moment.

The book is live on many stores including  Amazon.co.uk on Amazon.com

If you decide to buy a copy then please leave me a review as this will help me reach more readers.

I’ll be hosting a live Q&A session on Facebook Live tomorrow, Monday 22nd at 5pm GMT, 12noon EST and 9am PST. Send any questions you might like me to answer via email at mj@mjdees.comvia Twitter, or leave a comment on my Facebook page.

I am also giving away five free signed copies of the print version of the book.

To win one of these fantastic prizes, all you have to do is to email me at mj@mjdees.comwith the first word of the ‘1976’ chapter. The first five people to email me with the correct answer will win a signed copy each.

Finally, I’m experimenting with a new way to stay in touch with Facebook messenger . If you would like to be part of this experiment then please click here.


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#56 The day before the launch

facebook page OUT NOW

As it is the day before the launch I have already prepared images, like the one above to go on my Facebook page. All the advertising on Facebook and Amazon is set up and ready to go. Book promotions have been booked and emails scheduled.

Tomorrow I will email my mailing list advising them that the book is live and available at its special launch price of 99c (or equivalent). Hopefully, my Advance Reading Team will leave some reviews and the Facebook, Amazon ads and book promotions will start running.

Over the last few days, I have been trying to ensure that the book is available in as many locations as possible. I have loaded it up to Amazon directly using Kindle Direct Publishing for the e-book and CreateSpace for the print version. I have used Draft2Digital to sell the book via Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble (Nook), Scribd, 24Symbols, Indigo and Angus & Robertson. Following a tip from a colleague on the Self Publishing Formula Community discussion group, I loaded the book up to Publish Drive which should make it available in 20 more locations including Google Play. After a bit of effort, I also managed to load the book up to Smashwords which has added half a dozen more outlets to my distribution. I also looked into XinXii but the fact that they wanted to make the book available as a word file and that they weren’t able to offer me any additional outlets than I was already reaching via the other platforms made me decide not to use them.

So all I can do now is wait and monitor the sales, or lack of, tomorrow. One thing is for sure: I won’t be getting any writing done.


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#55 Within a week of the book launch


Over the last week I have been busy preparing everything for the launch of my second book this Sunday.

My first task this week was to schedule all the emails which will go out to my mailing list. I do this through Mailchimp and I also had to update my list with the new members I had obtained from the Bookfunnel promotions.

Then I had to create and schedule adverts for Facebook and Amazon.  I am running 16 variations on Facebook and 26 ads on Amazon – same creative but different targeting. My 16 Facebook ads are based around four different creative treatments which includes one video.

I also became eligible to run ads on Bookbub which is a massive resource for independent publishers comprising of a huge list of e-book buyers.

I am hoping that the combination of the adverts and book promotion deals will generate enough sales in the first few days to get Amazon’s algorithm going.

With all this going on I haven’t got round to changing the header image on this website or on Twitter, though I did manage to update my Facebook page.

Needless to say I haven’t got any more writing done on my fourth novel and the completion of the first draft of that is slipping further and further away. But it’ll all be worth it if we have a good launch on Sunday.

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#54 Sending advance copies out to my review team


I spent the last week making last amendments to my manuscript before sending it to draft2digital together with the final e-book cover to be formatted and converted into epub, mobi and pdf formats.

I then used Draft2digital to publish them for pre-order so that it would generate an isbn number which I could send to Jackie, my cover designer, to add to the wrap around cover for the print version which I also started setting up on create space.

With the book on pre-order at three online retailers plus Amazon UK and US, I was in a position to be able to send out advance copies to my advance review team who had signed up in the previous weeks.

For this I used Bookfunnel’s certified mail option which creates a unique version of the book for each reviewer. Bookfunnel sends out an email with download instructions and I sent a follow up email from my own account to advise reviewers to check their spam folder of they hadn’t seen the email.

The reviewers now have two weeks to read the book while I focus on the marketing plan and creating adverts.

All this has distracted me from finishing my fourth book which was meant to be ready by the end of December but now looks unlikely to be finished by the end of January.

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#53 Preparing for a book launch

Anniversaries_full-wrap_draft01_on fire.png

Having given people the opportunity to choose the name of my next novel I have given them the opportunity to choose the cover and the blurb as well.

I’m now building up a list of people who would like to be part of my Advance Review Team

In about a week I’ll email the team with a free copy of the book and they’ll  have a couple of weeks to read it and leave a review before the book launches at the end of the month.

In the meantime, I’ll continue developing my marketing plan and building my mailing list, mainly through bookfunnel promotions.

I am currently involved in three promotions: Thriller, Mystery and Suspense, New Year Steamy Reads and Swirl Interacial Romances. You can get free books by clicking on any of those links.

Happy New Year to all readers of this blog and I hope you continue with me on my journey as I find many ways to avoid writing in 2018.

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#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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