Just did my weekly sales OCD – I’m now over two hundred copies sold for GHOST IN THE MACHINE!
A huge thank you to everyone who has bought it, especially those 18 who have reviewed it on Amazon (it’s sitting at an average of 4.6, with all reviews >= 4 stars).
This is absolutely staggering – when I submitted the file to Amazon on 13-Apr, I did not expect to sell this many so quickly. And my sales are on average getting higher. Say what you like about Amazon, the fact that they offer the indie author, such as myself, this sort of outlet is huge. The mental pain I’ve gone through over the last five years looking for an agent and a publisher… Well, it’s almost worth it to be in control now. I’m not making big money (yet!) but I am really enjoying myself – the pace at which I’m attacking DEVIL IN THE DETAIL shows that.
As with last time, I’ll share my channel breakdown chart – it’s very interesting. Bear in mind that I’m a Scottish writer, writing in a Scottish dialect, in Scottish locations about Scottish people…
One final thing, I’ve noticed that my sales tend to spike at the start of the month and then tail off towards the end. I can’t work this out – it’s happened in June and July – other than it might be some seasonal blip, or people have a hankering for indie Scottish crime fiction at the start of the month…
Anyway, back to the editing.
GHOST IN THE MACHINE wasn’t always called that. The working title was HONEY TRAP – those of you who’ve read it might work out why. It’s a crap title though. I decided to change it after I’d written the first draft, way back in 2009, after the idea came to me from a chat with my girlfriend. (Note to self – I really need to dig out those old blog posts from my old site)
She’d been studying philosophy at University and one of the areas she particularly enjoyed was the Philosophy of Mind. This is an area dominated by Rene Descartes and his “cogito ergo sum” (or “I think therefore I am”) and its many corollaries. Gilbert Ryle classified this as a category mistake and refuted the separation of the body and the mind – Arthur Koestler expanded on this in his Ghost in the Machine book in 1967.
… And that’s where I come in. One of the abiding memories of the cupboard that my Dad kept his LPs in was of this beauty:
It is such a cool cover – evoking the retro-futurism of the early digital age, crafting the three faces of the Police members in a digital clock read-out. The red and black is visually striking too, sucking my very young eyes in. I don’t know why but it’s an image that has really stuck with me.
(The album itself is, in my entirely honest opinion, utter shite – this is the point where the Police had most definitely lost it. The predecessor “Zenyattà Mondatta” was a band on the way down, creatively, and this confirmed that. The first two records are very strong and I would recommend anyone to check them out – the last three were precursors as to why Sting is so largely reviled through the 80s and 90s. Shows that you shouldn’t judge a record by its cover…)
That album cover – rather than the content – has really stuck with me and greatly influenced me. Just be thankful that I didn’t try and rip off the album cover for the book cover.
There will be more of these, periodically.
I’m not all about the crime fiction, you know. I’m a big fan of science fiction as well, particularly the writing of Iain Banks, or Iain M Banks as his scifi work goes under. Banks is an enigmatic writer, essentially flitting between the two axes of his writing – the sprawling, wonderful space opera of his scifi from the Culture universe and others; and the mainstream fiction that has produced so many of my favourite novels – The Crow Road, Complicity and Dead Air to name a few. They’re never that clear cut – his mainstream has a huge amount of worldbuilding (and even a few notes examples of scifi in Walking on Glass, The Bridge and Transition) and his scifi is incredibly well-written and includes a narrative flair and humour you seldom see in the genre.
Banks is one of the reasons I write – seeing a fellow Scot making a living out of locally set (and galactically set) fiction is a tremendous inspiration. I may not write in the same style or genre but there’s a lot of Banks in my writing.
Anyway, the Guardian is running a Book Club on his Use of Weapons, a dense scifi mystery, and this week the great man himself goes through some of the themes and problems he had in writing it. What’s interesting is that he wrote it a full ten years before he was published (1984’s Wasp Factory) and he outlines the struggle he had to make it work (something I can associate with from the hell that was writing GHOST IN THE MACHINE) but also shows some of the personal perseverance it took for him to become a success.
And if you’ve never read Banks, you are in for a treat…
… is like dancing about architecture, or so the quote that’s perhaps erroneously attributed to Frank Zappa. But anyway, I wanted to use it to make a serious point.
I’ve just written an 80,000 word novel in about six weeks (okay, so I had a 25,000 word head start) and the real secret to my success is the fact that I devote almost two hours a day to writing. And before you picture me in a book-lined library writing longhand with a quill on parchment, I am sitting hunched over a table on a commuter train writing on a NetBook. What I think makes me get through it is the ability to blot out the world. As soon as I’ve locked my bike at the station, my headphones go on. Standing on the station platform, my NetBook gets powered up and the files loaded. I burst onto the train, grab a table, usually piss someone off and I’m away, writing. I’m organised – I’ve got a spreadsheet which tracks where I’m at in the book and what actions I need to take, so I know exactly where to pick up. It’s efficient for writing and editing maybe not so for planning.
The real success point is the blotting the world out. I generally listen to electronic music, and having some noise that gives me a pulse and also masks out the tedious commuter chat is central.
What’s got me through DEVIL IN THE DETAIL is Thom Yorke’s solo album (it’s amazing and I’m not a big fan of Radiohead), Portishead live at roseland NYC and Third, My Bloody Valentine Loveless remaster, DJ Shadow Endtroducing, Olafur Arnalds’ spooky Icelandic modern classical, Ghosting Season (album and EP) and a load of Oliver Huntemann albums. I use Spotify – ten quid a month for unlimited music and such a range of material. Highly recommended – they’ve ironed out most of the kinks in the iPhone app.
I plan to write more about my love of music. The more eagle-eyed among you will notice that my book titles are all music-related so far…
Now, where is that Warp Artificial Intelligence box set…?
In GHOST IN THE MACHINE, one of the editing comments I had was drop the use of the “F-word” (okay – FUCK). I cut it from 250-odd examples down to 133.
The reason I left so many in is that the book should reflect reality – it’s 2012, that’s how people in the central belt of Scotland speak, especially police officers under colossal amounts of stress.
It’s therefore nice to see someone else (Dina Santorelli) blog about it –
That’s one of my very favourite blogs as well – check it out.
I just finished the first full length draft of DEVIL IN THE DETAIL. Phew.
It’s been a monstrous effort, writing 40,000 words in just over two weeks. I will admit that I’ve been worried that I’ve over-stretched what was a novella into a novel but I think it works really well now, better than novella length.
Next things – got about thirty little changes to make, got the epilogue to write and then another draft. I hope to get through that lot in two and a half weeks and then take a break – I’ve been full on writing and plotting and editing and publicising since christmas and I need some time to focus.
Feel pleased with myself – brought it on early so I’ve bought myself some more editing time later on.
… And relax.
Just got my very first royalty payment from Amazon! It’s not going to pay the mortgage but it will buy a bloody good bottle of red wine. Thanks to all who’ve bought GHOST IN THE MACHINE!
Been a busy week for me, averaging over 2,000 words per day (and on some days hitting 3,500). That might seem superhuman, but it is a mix of new writing and editing old stuff. In all honesty, it’s the old stuff that’s the hard part, as there’s up to 3,000 words in some scenes and some of the detail has changed and so on. Taking it from a 22,000 word novella to an 80k novel is a challenge but I’m finding it’s not stretched – there had been big chunks missing that I have not expanded into multiple scenes, a lot of the scenes that I had written have required expansion, and of course there’s a big subplot or two that I’ve put in, and some stuff that deals with the fall-out from GHOST IN THE MACHINE. One of the big things I want to get across with the SCOTT CULLEN books – and I’m glad to see it reflected in some of the reviews – is that he’s young and inexperienced. Most modern Detective books open with the embittered, alcoholic, divorced DI (I think Rankin is the one that set the tone in the mainstream, the others follow) and that’s great but not the story I want to tell. Cullen is going to make his mistakes and receive his plaudits on the page.
Anyway, that digression aside, progress is good – I have completed 87% of the current draft, just 5,000 new words and 5,000 old words to get through. And on that note:
DEVIL IN THE DETAIL will be published on 14 October 2012
There is a hell of a lot of work to get through between now and then. I’ve got another two edit drafts before it’s passed onto my trusty editors. At some point in the next week or so, I will do the very minor redraft of GHOST and release that in a print version. There is also a gap of about a month in there while it’s getting edited that I should really spend having a break but will inevitably spend plotting DYED IN THE WOOL and writing ALL IN A NAME.
Anyway, I’ve got a lot to do so that’s all from me.
(The super awesome picture above is courtesy of Society 6 – you can buy it as a poster.)
I’ve managed to accrue 14 reviews on Amazon UK for GHOST IN THE MACHINE. The book is currently sitting at 4.6 with five 4-star and a whopping NINE 5-star reviews.
Amazon UK page
This is really flattering and blows my mind. I really appreciate all of the positive comments raised. Being stuck in the belly of the sequel, it really helps the motivation getting such glowing praise. I’m not letting it go to my head, mind…
Some choice comments:
“Cullen the new Thorn? … Scott Cullen was an interesting character who I am sure Ed will mould into a crime fiction legend by the time he is on book 10 of the series.”
“This is a really great first book by Ed James. He has a good and believable cast of characters and you can see that there is plenty of scope to develop the character of Scott Cullen and his relationships with the other main players. … If you like Ian Rankin and Stuart MacBride, you’ll certainly want to read this.”
“If you like Ian Rankin and Stuart MacBride, you’ll certainly want to read this.”
“If you are looking for a good new author to follow then this is your man. Scott Cullen is a believable main character & has a good cast of supporting characters.”
“A gripping debut from Ed James, Ghost in the Machine is a fast paced crime thriller based in Edinburgh.”
Thanks to everyone who has reviewed it!
I blogged this a few years ago on my now defunct blog (one outstanding thing I’ve got is to try and reclaim that stuff and publish it here at the correct point in time), but this is a truly inspirational interview between two of my favourite authors and biggest inspirations, James Ellroy (LA Quartet and American Underground trilogy) being interviewed by David Peace (Red Riding Quartet):
This following section has been the biggest inspiration to me as a writer:
DP You alternate narratives from chapter to chapter. When you are writing the book, do you go from chapter to chapter; chapter one, two, three? Or do you follow one narrator all the way through and then go back?
JE No, I have a 400-page outline of the book: chapter one, two, three; viewpoint, viewpoint, viewpoint; Holly, Crutchfield, Tedrow. Holly, Crutchfield, Tedrow.
DP So even the outline is broken down into the separate chapters?
JE I start out where I have the research notes. I have pages of notes on character. Historical events. Soon things start coming together. And then I do a shorthand version of the entire story and then I flesh it out into a big outline. And the outline is just, Chapter one: Pete Bondurant / Beverley Hills Hotel / Watching Howard Hughes shoot dope / Following leads / Following information / Boom, boom, boom.
If you’ve never read Ellroy – and you should, start with the LA Quartet – you’ll see that his work is so densely written. The section above is from the start of the COLD SIX THOUSAND, the first in the American Underworld trilogy. That iterative approach that he mentions is how I work now – start with the big stuff, which you treat as islands, and then put bridges between the islands, then start looking at the maps of those islands and bridges, and then you start driving across the bridges and walking around the islands. I’ve made huge mistakes with plotting in the past but that one paragraph, seeing how the master does it, has seriously helped me.
I’ve been reasonably quiet of late but that’s because I’ve been writing.
I’m stuck in the dank, dark recesses of the second proper draft of DEVIL IN THE DETAIL. I’m at 73% and I’ve just overcome the difficult middle part of the book. All middles are difficult – there’s a point where you’re so far from the momentum of the start and from the crescendo towards the end that you struggle to determine the quality of the work. Fortunately, I’m past that for this draft but I think there are a few skeletons in there for the next draft.
The more observant of you will probably notice that I said “second proper draft” there. I wrote DEVIL two years ago as a novella, and I’ve recently been expanding it into the proper second SCOTT CULLEN novel. Looking back, I had seriously skimped on things the first time though and there are a lot of complications to the case that I never investigated or progressed. Well, I’m putting Cullen through that pain now, that’s for certain.
When I picked up GHOST again at Christmas time, it was to complete the replot I’d done in August 2010 and had made some progress towards last summer but had jettisoned in September – hey, momentum is everything and I’d run out! The big learning for me was how to properly finish the book – my writing style improved immeasurably in the first three months of this year as I attacked the manuscript. (There are things I’ve since learned, having published the book – v1.01 of the book which corrects typos should be published soon)
Getting back into DEVIL, I find that I’ve developed my writing process. I created a spreadsheet which allows me to manage the book efficiently and track progress. I’ve bought Srivener now – as my Twitter followers will note – and I am trying to figure out how this writing model could be adapted to work in that application, rather than the two spreadsheets, one txt file and one Word doc that I currently use.
To that end – and here’s an announcement – I will be working on a short story, which may become a novelette, between drafts of DEVIL called ALL IN A NAME, which picks up a tiny incidental point from DEVIL and also is set in the same time frame as WHISKY IN THE JAR. The main purpose is to see if I can use Scrivener before I get stuck into the full-blown monster that will DYED IN THE WOOL. NAME will be released at the same time as DEVIL – that’s my current intention, anyway, but finishing DEVIL will take precedent. Currently, I think I’m on track for publishing in October – my panic of a few weeks ago has subsided somewhat.
Anyway, enough of this, I’d better get back to writing.
Poor Andy Murray – heartbreaking really. That’s his best shot at Wimbledon, I think – next year he’ll get spanked by Nadal in the semis, no doubt. He broke a national hoodoo but I think he’s got a better chance in Australia or the US.
Anyway, that’s a typical distraction from me – focusing on tennis rather than writing. In truth, though I’ve done a lot this last week. I’m back in my usual commute – no bloody London trips for the foreseeable future but that doesn’t mean they won’t happen – so I get roughly 1500 words written a day. I’m up to 58% of the latest draft of DEVIL IN THE DETAIL, which is really extending it from novella length to full novel. In all honesty, I’ve not stretched the story past breaking – if anything there are a few scenes I’ve under-baked that I’ll go back to and fix in the next draft – and it’s flowing well. I’ve not come across the huge problems I had with GHOST where I had to perform radical surgery on it to make it work, this story flows a lot better. I’ve pretty much run out of old material, and it’s into writing new stuff from scratch – I’m finding that to be a lot easier and higher quality than picking through the old stuff. The hell that I took myself to in DEVIL is really paying dividends just now.
I get asked a couple of questions on twitter a lot – is GHOST coming out in paperback, and when is DEVIL out?
The first one is easier – I’ve got a copy editor going through it just now for me, and I hope to get stuck into it between drafts of DEVIL. That would mean that I’m about 2-3 weeks away from devoting some time to it – I might set aside a couple of evenings this week to correct the manuscript. The service I’m using is Amazon’s CreateSpace (yep, all roads lead to Amazon for the indie author) which gives a print on demand (POD) service for a low-ish cost, and avoids the upfront costs the vanity press have. It won’t be 99p, unfortunately.
DEVIL due date? Well, you can see above that I’m firing through it – I’d expect to take another 3-4 weeks after this draft to really hone the manuscript (at a more line-by-line level) and then send it to my editors. I’ve had a really good offer from a reasonably well-known crime author to do some editing which I will definitely be taking up. I think I’m still on track for the middle of October and that includes a lot of work from me, and from others. That’s a stretch but the wait will be worth it to the readers, I think.
Final thing – sales of GHOST are going well, had my second best week ever last week. Given that I haven’t done much of the Amazon hacking that’s prevalent I feel pretty pleased with it.
Okay, final final thing – something I forgot to add to the end of GHOST – if you really liked it (or even if you didn’t), it would mean a hell of a lot to me if you could take some time to post a review to Amazon. I’ve currently got four 4-star and eight 5-star, which is really blowing my mind.
Keep an eye on twitter for my progress updates through the week.
Been a fairly quiet week for me. Got up to about 38% of the latest draft of DEVIL IN THE DETAIL but then I had to be in London four days this week. I get most of my writing done on the train here, so I lost 90 minutes per day. That said, I did get to walk into work through the city of London in 15 minutes and avoid the hell of the Tube, other than the horrific switch at Bank on Monday morning and Thursday night.
The other thing that has hampered progress is trying to stop myself getting these stupid colds. I’ve traced them (latest theory anyway) to overindulgence in caffeine. And when I say overindulgence, I think I’ve got a sensitivity to it. I’m not drinking ten espressos a day, more like five cups of tea – albeit strong, mash-the-teabag-to-the-side-of-the-mug, proper builder’s tea – but cutting it down to one first thing and maybe another seems to help get the sleep. I find that I don’t need the caffeine to keep me going through the day like most seem to and if anything I’m more on my game than ever. Not having to get up five times during the night to go the toilet or thinking about stupid work things seems to have a helping hand. I’ve been eating better, too – whatever you think of London, it is amazingly good for food, especially at lunchtime. I’m addicted to wasabi and their Sweet Chilli Chicken or Chicken Spicy – delicious big pots of rice with Eastern fusion curries ladled on the top, and less than a fiver so I can expense them, hur hur. And there are so many burrito bars in London – the many Chilango’s and the Clerkenwell Road Flying Burrito Bros are the best I’ve found so far.
I’ve had a long-running battle with my sinuses – sinusitis – which meant that my sinuses would close up and put pressure on my brain and be absolute agony for weeks. I’ve managed to get over it with a long course of antibiotics (which knackered me – I’m allergic to penicillin), and now I’m entering the undiscovered country of hayfever, streaming colds and having to avoid the air conditioning on planes.
Anyway, enough about me, my belly and my ills… The bottom line is that I’ve recovered and I’m going to head straight into finishing this book. I’m getting so much good praise for GHOST IN THE MACHINE from readers that it’s really motivating me to get DEVIL out there soon. Health warning – I’m not going to write book three in six months…
Had a few queries this week asking where people could find my book not on Amazon UK or US. Well, it’s available on multiple Amazon channels (France, Spain, Germany and Italy) as well as Smashwords (which covers all regions plus all formats). Here is a list of where you can buy GHOST IN THE MACHINE internationally (I’ll update the book page with this) albeit in pig ignorant Scots rather than having the “ken”s and “aye”s translated:
Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/Ih2ros
Amazon US – http://amzn.to/IzknfQ
Amazon DE – http://amzn.to/MKKeDr
Amazon FR – http://amzn.to/N9H6Pj
Amazon ES – http://bit.ly/LpB5xl
Amazon IT – http://bit.ly/KUdBDJ
Smashwords – http://bit.ly/Iy1dpJ
… and in the European Cullen book Championships, Germany are beating Italy 2-1…
Ploughing on with DEVIL IN THE DETAIL. It’s been tough due to the face that I’ve had three colds in the last six weeks, like an idiot – no idea what’s caused it but writing is probably linked. Cutting down the caffeine and increasing the sleep has meant I’m feeling better again, so I’m confident of firing on and meeting my own insane deadline.
I wrote DEVIL IN THE DETAIL about two years ago to a novella length of about 22,000 words. This time last year, I got so fed up of GHOST IN THE MACHINE that I decided to just publish novella length books like that, the logic being that it’s easier. I sort of gave up on that plan as DEVIL works better as a sequel, as there are a few things established in GHOST that are picked up in DEVIL that I’d otherwise have to pick, plus about 25% of GHOST is exposition – setting up Cullen, Bain, the fictional Edinburgh they live in, their careers, plus all of the supporting characters – McNeill, Caldwell, Deeley, Anderson, and so on. When I picked GHOST back up in December and finished it, I realised that I needed to write long-form detective fiction. I finished GHOST in February and had it edited (yeah, yeah, yeah – that’s proofing which I’m stupidly getting done now) – at that point, I had a look through DEVIL and decided that there was enough unexplored in there that it could easily fit the long-form.
The trouble would be, I had 22,000 words written and I needed something like 70-90k. There was a subplot I used in my first book – BECOMING VISIBLE which is just shite, but there’s something in it that I plan to revisit some day, working title GIMME DANGER – that I could use. There was something else that I picked up that gave me another idea. Those two ideas linked to something from GHOST and an idea I had for the third book, DYED IN THE WOOL, that would give a nice thematic link across the three. The other thing, I guess, was that the book was “under-written”. I had a habit – any my editors will concur – of not fully describing scenes or people’s actions – one of the things that comes across from the reviews is that I fixed that in GHOST. However, the problem persists in the manuscript for DEVIL, so that 22,000 is probably about 40,000 when it’s fleshed out. Also, the whole second act was quite tight – one of the key things about writing thrillers is to make things as difficult for your antagonist as possible, which is something that I hadn’t quite done. So, after about 3-4 weeks of solid planning, I had seriously expanded the story into something that was full novel length, but the crucial thing is that the story is not stretched thin by it. There’s enough meat on the bones already to give a satisfying tale. The pacing is better now as well.
I’m currently at 32% on my “death bar” – a term the comics writer Warren Ellis uses to determine how fucked he is making his health from his writing – which is pretty good, and about 20% in a week. I’m finding it easier to write the new stuff than to edit the old stuff, which is what I found in GHOST. That’s quite reassuring – I’m getting better as a writer, more structured, methodical and writing better first time – and by better, I mean more focused, with less tendency to drift down tangents that don’t quite work. My death bar is using a rolling average of what I’ve written – e.g. 82 scenes with an average of 1,000 over the 30 scenes I’ve written would give an estimate target of 82,000 words. Most of the earlier scenes are longer due to the exposition and scene-setting but there tend to be more new short scenes added later on as I write it.
One other thing that I’ve been doing is some proper detailed research into forensics and pathology. I got there in GHOST eventually (and hopefully you don’t notice) but the actual technical detail in DEVIL is far higher. I’ve used correct terminology and thought through the crimes in a level of detail I didn’t think possible before – one of the problems with writing off the hoof is that every detail you put in should actually mean something, if you make it up as you go along then you’re in for an interesting ride but there will be tangents that just don’t go anywhere and you have to remove or turn into red herrings. I’ve learned the hard way that I need to plan!
I notice that I used a lot of instances of the word detail in there. Hmm.
One final thing – there’s an incidental character called Whammy in there, which was requested by one of my followers on Twitter. I do that sort of thing. I know that the likes of Ian Rankin and Stuart MacBride have charged for that sort of thing with the proceeds going to charity. You’d be surprised at how easy it is and how fun it is.
Oh, and I’ve had another sale in Germany. Weird!
GHOST IN THE MACHINE
The other day I posted that I had sold my hundredth copy of GHOST IN THE MACHINE – turns out I’d done so an hour or so earlier as I’d missed out my first German sale at the end of May (Amazon’s tracking is done by week or month with the same overlap problems I have to expend so much effort on during my day job).
I used to analyse my sales daily which is total mental behaviour, so I now look at it on a Sunday morning which is when the Amazon weekly reports come off. The interesting thing is that 96% of my sales are through Amazon, with a staggering 20% of the total coming through the US – there’s obviously a reasonable market for Tartan Noir in the US (I could make a joke about the differences in pronunciation of Noir, i.e. Ne-war vs Noyre, but I won’t). Interestingly, something has really booted my sales up the arse in the last week – I’ve had some great reviews, I fiddled my categories, I fiddled my tags, I’m regularly in the top 7k sales, I’m regularly in the top 40 on Hard-boiled Crime Fiction, I’m almost at 2,000 followers on Twitter, I launched my Facebook page, but who knows – and I sold more last week than I did in the entirety of May (I went long days during my mental daily tracking without a single sale).
In the spirit of transparency, here is my sales by “channel” (e.g. UK Amazon, US Amazon, etc) – note that I’ve not yet burrowed through the Smashwords premium catalogue yet so I’m not listed on iBooks, Barnes & Noble etc:
I don’t want this to seem like I’m blowing my own trumpet because I’m not. I’m trying to thank those who have bought and enjoyed (or not) a copy of GHOST IN THE MACHINE. Doing it this way, I’m very unlikely to be able to do this for the money so having a modicum of success is the thing that keeps me going. When I was writing to get a publishing deal, that was a motivation/pressure, but now it’s much purer – I’m writing for the enjoyment of it and for the people who are buying my books.
DEVIL IN THE DETAIL
I keep getting asked about when the sequel – DEVIL IN THE DETAIL – is out. I’m currently working hard on it (though I’ve had a stinking cold for the last few days and I’ve ended up taking on management of another three teams at work) during my commute or travel. When I published GHOST I set myself a target of publishing DEVIL by “late summer”, which is likely to mean October… ; ) There’s a hell of a lot of work is required before then – I have roughly 50,000 words to write, another 17,000 to edit (which will eat into the 50k), some forensic research to do, and I somehow agreed to include a Big Issue seller called “Whammy” into the mix. After that, there will be a hardcore start-to-finish edit plus another readthrough. THEN, it goes to my two editors, while I collapse into a heap / plot the next one. There is then a fortnight or so of me reworking it based on their comments. Finally, there is a proof read (which I stupidly rushed for GHOST). That’s a hell of a lot of work but I’m heartened by the fact that the plot I have got is much more solid than GHOST which was a hell of unpicking three times over.
I’m still thinking through what comes after DEVIL. One thing I will probably do is write a short story / novella called ALL IN A NAME which will be set after DEVIL and will likely be given away free or very cheap to help publicise DEVIL (the plot for it will be set up in DEVIL). I’ll probably write it in the editing gap. One thing I need to decide is what book three will be – DYED IN THE WOOL or BEAST IN THE SHADOW. DYED flows from GHOST and DEVIL but I’m struggling with the plot a bit (though to be fair to myself I haven’t tried anything) whereas BEAST has a load of great ideas already forming but there’s something in it that I want to get some distance from. I’ve got months to make a decision.
Thanks for reading this blog and for reading my books!
Today marked my 100th sales of GHOST IN THE MACHINE, exactly two months since it went on sale. Feels quite amazing that I couldn’t fit all the people who’ve bought it in a room. Staggering and shows the power of the modern self-publishing.
Being stuck in the depths of draft two of DEVIL IN THE DETAIL (17% done, thanks), it’s a real shot in the arm. The afterword to GHOST said I’ll keep writing as long as you keep reading, so thanks for putting me under more pressure…
I’ll pull together the sales stats at the weekend but it’s been roughly 70 UK Amazon, 25 US Amazon and 5 Smashwords. It shows how dominant Amazon is, but every limitation is an opportunity.
Just noticed that GHOST IN THE MACHINE has broken into the top 50 hard-boiled chart on the Amazon Kindle chart. Thanks to everyone who has bought a copy – it means a lot to me.
Had another five star review from book blogger Julie Weight, or Julie W8 as she goes by:
“It was a good read and the fact that I feel asleep while trying to finish it isn’t a reflection on the book itself, but on my desire to find out how it ended while ignoring the obvious signs of complete exhaustion! … Priced at $0.99, this book is a great deal. I’m looking forward to the next installment, and getting to know DC Scott Cullen and his co-workers better.”
Very much appreciated! Her site is a very good source of honest reviews and I encourage you to have a look around.
In other news, I’ve been a bit ill (second time in a month which isn’t good). I’ve managed to progress some of the new draft of DEVIL IN THE DETAIL, still on track for publishing in September/October.