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State of the Experiment: An Update on Lazarus

State of the Experiment: An Update on Lazarus

On the 11th March 2011, www.Bookstogonow.com a Seattle based epublisher released The Lazarus Experiment on to the US and UK Amazon Kindle stores and the Barnes and Noble Nook Store. It remains a great point of pride to have someone look at your work, edit it with you and want to publish it (and publicise your talents). I have enjoyed the experience of going through the revision process with them – a first for me as my work for Ether Books didn’t go through a third party editing process. I had been nervous about it, not being sure how far I could push the defence of aspects of the story against the editors axe. I wanted to be published, but I wanted it to be my story that was published. The Seattle company were fully understanding and engaged on a reasoned debate. I gave on certain issues for them and they accepted my defence of other passages. The finished story, available to buy today, is undoubtedly superior, tighter and more polished than the one that debuted as a free Tuesday Serial in January. Publishing a story is only half the battle.

Does anyone actually want to read it?

I have an ideological perspective on this question. If you are interested, somebody else will be, its natural. It boils down to finding that person and getting that story in their hands. The big publishing houses will blanket advertising hoardings, subway trains, bins, web advertising, television and radio slots to find those people who are interested. For most of the small outfits and the Indy publishers, they don’t have the luxury of such a war chest. The strategy becomes refined even further to targeting each individual sale. I have used Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Shelfari so far to promote The Lazarus Experiment. I have discussed it with strangers and friends of friends in bars when watching Champions League soccer and seen a direct consequence of it being a sale. They in turn have discussed it with friends and lecturers at the local University. I have reached a lot more people than I had thought possible on an advertising budget of £0.00. Not being the publisher I do not have sales figures but have been able to use the Author Central websites for the UK, US and German Amazon sites to track the sales ranking.

My Amazon.co.uk sales ranking has looked like a dodgy heart monitor, stuttering up and down every week since publication. The good news is this tells me that there are sales being made, that if I link the days when I spike (to a highest of 9,271, low of 81,363 and as of posting current rank of 26,502) then I can relate it to my marketing activity. The Amazon.com sales figures sailed consistently down since publication, giving me the distinct impression of irony that my story which was published by an American company wasn’t selling in America. That changed this Thursday when I must have shifted a fair few downloads as I lifted from an all time low of 346,821 to a four week high of 66,511.

I have learned two things from this. On the one hand not to despair when the blue line seems to be going consistently down, you won’t lose your shelf space after all, when the customer turns up they will find it. Secondly, twitter is an incredibly powerful niche marketing tool. Yes we’ve heard it before, social media is great for marketing. Its still nice to have proof in the return of dollars/euros/pounds though isn’t it?

I embraced the book trailer rather after the fact and more as an experiment than any serious effort. I realised that having a discussion page on Facebook and an advertising/networking platform on Twitter was great, but I had no presence on that other behemoth of social media – Google’s YouTube. I have no software besides the abysmal Windows Movie Maker, and no funds to purchase images so I was limited to using just the book cover, scrolling text and a voice over.

I scripted several voice overs to dramatize the plot without giving anything away and lucked out in being able to turn to my voice over producing, international DJ, father Jonathon Wesley over at www.cjmq.fm. We worked back and forth for a week on getting the sound and pacing right, his voice certainly lending considerably more credibility than my squeaky pitch. I then put everything together and published it to my Facebook profile and YouTube account. It was a good learning experience. What do you think of the effort?

I mentioned the German Amazon website. I have to thank the Mad Pulp Bastard Bill Cunningham over at Pulp 2.0 for pointing out that his recent release Frankenstein Lives Again! had surprisingly gone live on the German kindle store. I had a quick search and found my own baby The Lazarus Experiment on sale there too! I will be sure to nudge my publishers to ensure that their eBooks go out on the other Amazon sites. Even without translation there is a large English speaking audience just waiting for our material in those countries.

That pretty much sums up my activities promoting The Lazarus Experiment in the last couple of months. Remember if you are having a story published or publishing one yourself – never stop marketing it, the problem particularly with ‘streams’ is that your audience may simply not be looking one week when you plug your baby. Be proud of your accomplishment and don’t let modesty get in the way of a possible sale when your out and about. Writing is like having a kid. Takes you a set amount of time to create the thing, but your left being responsible for it for the rest of your life. Don’t neglect it!

Do you have any suggestions for ways/places I could be marketing The Lazarus Experiment?

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2011 in Publishing

 

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Bookstogonow.com publish ‘The Lazarus Experiment’

Bookstogonow.com publish ‘The Lazarus Experiment’

It is with great pleasure that I can announce the publication this weekend for download of my mini-serial The Lazarus Experiment, penned this January and first shared through the Tuesday Serial network of writers and readers. The Lazarus Experiment has been published by Seattle-based electronic publishers Bookstogonow.com who have been wonderfully patient with me over the editing process given how new it was for me to be working with somebody on polishing my work. It follows the publication of several of my short stories including the suspense thriller KATAKOMBY on the Ether Books mobile platform in late 2010.

The Lazarus Experiment is available as a pdf, a Kindle book and a Nookbook making it available on any kind of electronic device you can think of. Readers should note that it is a short story, and I hope an entertaining ride through its electronic pages.

Product Description (from Amazon):

Condemned to death by gas chamber, Frank Swan has little to lose when he agrees to a secret military experiment at the height of World War 2. Little did he realize that he was about to get a second shot at redemption.

Retailers:

Bookstogonow.com

Amazon.com

Barnes and Noble 

Amazon – Germany

Amazon.co.uk

WHSmith.co.uk 

Android Marketplace

Booku.com

Booksonboard.com

Alternatively – ask your local library to get The Lazarus Experiment for digital loan! It’ll cost you nothing!

If you do not have a Kindle or Nook Book you can download reading apps for FREE on to your PC or Mobile Platform. For Barnes and Noble NOOK Apps click here. For Amazon Kindle Apps click here.

Read a Sample! Click here for Part 1.

Don’t forget to stop on by my Facebook page and click Like for future alerts on short stories. If you read the story, why not leave a review? Thank you to everybody who encouraged the completion of the serial in January. I couldn’t have done it without the enthusiasm of you readers.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2011 in Publishing

 

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Ether Books publish KATAKOMBY and more….

If you have enjoyed reading some of the stories on the Cul-De-Sac and would like to read more of my work, several stories are now available to purchase and download from Ether Books iPhone App. Ether are a mobile publishing company specializing in short stories and essays and I am very proud to be included on their distribution system. Mobile phones and short stories have always felt like a perfect match to me, something you can read on the go whilst commuting between work and home or on other long journeys. The Ether Books App allows you to search by author or genre to find new content by established big name authors like Conn Iggulden and Paul McCartney and new writers just bursting into the literary world. Mobile publishing could well be the democratization of the publishing industry. As ever, the customer decides. All stories you download are kept in a little collection just like a traditional ereader so you can build up a library of short stories and pick and choose from them depending on your mood.

Some of the stories featured on Ether Books have also been published on the website here. Exclusive content is marked.

Below the title, genre, price and blurb for the stories is listed. To download the Ether Books App click here.

KATAKOMBY (Noir) *EXCLUSIVE*

Czech Republic, present day. They had targeted him for a while and now they had their leverage… KATAKOMBY is a story of love, industrial espionage and prostitutes set in the underworld of a medieval town. Can he save the woman he loves?

Cost: 59p

FOR DANIELS BENEFIT (Satire)

Based on real council blunders. The ways of local government, and the benefit system in particular have often been described as ‘other’. Find out how this sense becomes literal as Daniel applies for the benefits he is entitled to and gets more than he bargained for.

Cost: 59p

THE GOD PARTICLE (Sci-Fi)

Mankind’s insatiable appetite for resources has already had enormous impact on the Earth. In this short story the dream of unlimited resources is explored with a consideration of possible political and social impacts. And as Mankind reaches out to the stars, how will the universe respond?

Cost: 59p

Photographs submitted to the Facebook ‘Like’ Page..

 

The God Particle was 'What's Hot' on its weekend release...

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2010 in Publishing

 

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Ether Books to Publish (My!) Short Stories

Spiral Logo for Ether Books

Small, but perfectly published...

I have been sat on some exciting news over the last couple of weeks. The pessimist in me has not allowed me to get too excited by the fact that Ether Books shall be publishing up to 3 stories from yours truly. Potentially, should time allow and I feel confident in my material there may be further stories to come down the line.

Ether Books, who were recently shortlisted for a prestigious Mobile Entertainment Award in the ‘Best Mobile Book Company’ category have been mentioned before on the Cul-De-Sac. They are a recent start up platform for delivering short stories to mobile phones (initially the iPhone but others hopefully in the new year). It allows established and new writers a chance to reach a massive market with a form of writing that in recent decades has been much maligned by the traditional publishing industry. Now, modeled perhaps on the mobile APP market, readers can download and collect great stories on the go – reading something compelling and fulfilling on the way to work or at lunch. No lost book marks, no space taken up. Authors, I blushingly include myself in that bracket, receive a percentage of sales which offers alongside the readership a wonderful incentive to keep on writing!

Best of all – Ether Books claim no rights on the material. It entirely belongs to the author who can publish their story in a book or magazine at the same time as it appears on the Ether app. That kind of flexibility is refreshing in today’s market and certainly a way forward.

There are no current dates for the publication of my three stories but I shall notify readers here on the blog, on twitter and my facebook author page as they become available.

The three stories forthcoming include two reissues of stories on this blog (The God Particle, For Daniels Benefit) and a new original story that will initially only be available from Ether Books called KATAKOMBY a noir thriller set in the ‘underworld’ of the Czech Republic.

Until they become available why not download the free Ether Books app and try some of the other great authors from Paul McCartney to Conn Iggulden (who is a personal favorite of mine) and many more new and award winning authors!

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2010 in Publishing

 

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