Six Weeks Ago

It’s been just over six weeks since my debut novel ‘Their Last Words‘ was released into the world and I’m astonished at how well it is doing. I thought I’d indulge myself a little bit here and write about its fortunes to date. The facts and figures I give here are accurate at the time I recorded them but may not be true now. By the same token, they may well have done even better than I think but I haven’t been looking at the charts on a daily basis. Although every fibre of my being wants to, that way lay madness, my friend.

Please note that none of this is meant as a brag. It’s just so damn weird!

Six weeks ago I was unpublished and since then I have been on bestseller charts with some of the biggest names in the world. For a while, I was in front of Lee Child and James Patterson, Clive Cussler and even J.K Rowling.

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top 100 No 100 near JK Rowling 27-07-18

(Never thought I’d see myself next to JoRow. Bet she never thought she’d be next to me either!)

For an unknown author with no back catalogue and no readership, it’s unreal and is down to the efforts of my publisher Joffe Books and the marvellous team who have worked hard to get the book seen and noticed.

Everything here refers only to Amazon and their respective bestselling charts.

So, to my knowledge, I peaked at No 31 in the Amazon bestsellers chart and as of today’s date, I am at No 100. I have been at No 5 in the serial Killer category and No2 in Heist Crime category (I have no idea why I’m in there).

In Australia, on the 8th of August, I am No 5 in Crime Thrillers, No 3 in Crime and No 12 in Noir and to my immense satisfaction, find myself next to the great Michael Connelly at No 11. 8th August 2018 No 12 in Noir Next to Michael Connelly

(Me and Mike, tearing it up…)

I have had some fantastic reviews and I’m grateful to everybody who took the time to write their thoughts and feelings about the book (even the ropey reviews too, but they weren’t particularly constructive). I have been humbled by some of the things that people have written and it gives me hope for the future. I have also had some fantastic emails from people who tell me how much they enjoyed it and are looking forward to the next in the series. I am truly grateful.

Amusingly, from what I can make of it, it would seem the Aussies don’t like the book at all. Seems they don’t like the swearing! That I do find amusing particularly as I remember the song by the Australian warbler, Kevin ‘Bloody’ Wilson, which was entitled, ‘You Can’t Say C**t in Canada.’ After singing the title line he followed it up with, and I paraphrase, ‘Well, you fucking well can in Australia!’ Still, you can’t please everybody.

The Americans are better. For the most part, they have been positive in their reviews but again, there are a few complaints about the language. I will at some point write a post about the language I use but for now, I’m struggling to understand why people read the blurb, presumably use the ‘Look Inside’ feature, read other negative reviews (misery loves company) and then go off on one about it being violent and full of bad language. Well, there’s a shocker. Who saw that coming? One bloke said it was a waste of his $1.49. But he read it all the way through though!!

The other thing that has been interesting is to read the reviews of those who state that some bits were implausible and that ‘that wouldn’t happen in real life.’ Wouldn’t it? My friends, you have no idea. I have seen and done things that you couldn’t make up. Genuinely couldn’t make up. So, maybe a few bits have been exaggerated (it is, after all, a story) but please be under no illusion about what would and wouldn’t happen in real life.

So, a bit long this post, but it’s been a surreal period of my life and I wanted to document it for my own benefit as much as yours. One day I’m going to look back on this and go, ‘WTF!’

 

Where am I now?

Joffe moves fast! Listen to this. I submitted my MS and after four days, Jasper Joffe the owner sent me an email. We spoke on the phone and after some correspondence between us and a couple of calls, I signed. The whole thing was done and dusted within a fortnight. Compare that to traditional publishing…

The manuscript for my first book is currently being edited and I should have it back within a week or two. It’s nerve wracking knowing that an unknown individual (Anne, is her name) is poring over my book and whilst I’m a little uneasy, I’m also very excited. I think I’m a good writer but not brilliant. The thing is, wherever I am on the writing scale, I just want to be better and I know that my editor is working away to make that so. For that, I’m grateful.

My second book is finished- has been for some time and I did pay to have that edited. Good move? Not sure, but what I’m looking forward to is seeing what Anne makes of the book when she eventually gets it and how it compares to the previous editor’s report.

Book three is underway and I have finished the first draft in the last couple of days. I’m currently self-editing the double-spaced white bastard of a manuscript which I both love and hate in equal measure. One minute I look at it and think ‘Yeah, that’s the stuff’ and the next ‘Yeah, that’s total shit!’ I guess that’s what we writers do.

My plan is to get it into decent shape by the 1st of June and, if the timing works out, start the fourth book in July with a completion date of 1st January 2019. That should give me the chance to make the edits in the first three books whilst drafting the fourth. Lots to do.

 

Welcome

Welcome to this, my first post.

And I open with some exciting news! Not for you (although it may be) but for me. After having written two full length crime novels I have managed to secure a publishing deal with Joffe Books. For those of you who don’t know them, they are a hugely progressive publisher of crime thriller whose stats speak for themself. From their website:

We sell a book every 15 seconds. In 2017, 1.4 million of our books were sold, with over 300 million pages read on Kindle Unlimited alone (equivalent to another 1.5 million sales). Recent successes include: “Their Lost Daughters” was a UK #1 best seller, and #3 in the USA. All four of Joy Ellis’s books in the top 50 UK best sellers on Amazon. T.J. Brearton’s “Gone” sold 25,000 copies in its first month, topping UK and US best-seller lists. Joy Ellis and Helen H. Durrant’s mystery series have sold over 500,000 copies and rising. Faith Martin has had her first five books hit the UK top 20 best sellers. Taylor Adams’ No Exit has sold translation rights in 14 countries.

That is, by any standards, impressive and I can’t believe my good fortune in being offered a contract to work with them and it is a thrill to be part of Joffe’s stable of writers.

This blog will, amongst other things, chart my progress as I take my first tentative steps with Joffe and I will do my best to record the lows (hopefully, very few if any at all) and the highs (hopefully, loads). I don’t know how it will all go of course, but I think I’m in pretty good hands with Jasper and his team.