FREE Book Available!

My Book is FREE from 31 August to 2 September!

Cover_Book_2_170725_W300

You can get it on Amazon here!

I made some Twitter ads that I’m rather proud of. Here they are:

B2_Ad_Clilffhangers_7

B2_Ad_Fire_2

B2_Ad_Jim_4_TwitterSize

B2_Ad_Lovers_3_TwitterSized

B2_Ad_Reading_5_TwitterSize

B2_Ad_ReadyForReading_6_TwitterSized

Let me know which one you like best!

 

My Book is Soon Live on Amazon!

Cover_Book_2_170725_W300

I finally did it! The second book in the Suckers Trilogy has been handed in and will be published on Amazon the 28th of August! I’m so glad it is done. I need to tweak the blurb still, but the manuscript is as good as it can get.

Now to work on advertising…

 

Vampire Fun Stuff

I know I should be working hard on editing Book 2 as today is the deadline for handing it in to Amazon, but I came across this funny pin on Pinterest and it inspired me to make a new board called ‘Vampire Stuff.’ I had plenty a chuckle adding a number of pins. Check it out if you love vampire stuff and/or want to have a chuckle too.

YKW_Joke.jpg

 

Politics and Zombie-Sci-Fi Shit

Can the combination of politics and zombies be fun?

Oh yes, it can!

School started yesterday which means the kids go to bed at a reasonable time and my husband and I have the TV to ourselves again. We decided to watch Braindead on Amazon (sorry, I thought it was Netflix), not having a clue what it was about. It started as a pretty standard politics flic-type series. Now, everyone who knows me a little knows I don’t do politics. West Wing and those type of series are wasted on me.

braindead2B.jpg

Braindead was different.

Interspersed through the story of Laurel Healy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a documentary filmmaker who gets persuaded by her father to help her senator brother in the office, is the story of a comet that lands on earth and releases an alien ant colony that crawls into people’s ears and pushes their brain out. You read that right. They push people’s brains out. Through their ear. And you see it happen.

Tell me you don’t think this is funny!

Another occurrence is that, instead of their brains being pushed out, in some people, their heads explode. They call it the E.H.S.; Exploding Head Syndrome. There’s an explanation for this, but I’m not going to spoil it for you. ‘How can people live without a brain?’ I hear you thinking. Well, it’s all impossible, of course, but they do in this series. And the people start to act differently. One of their new quirks is that they listen to ‘You might think’ by The Cars.

(musical notes) You might think I’m crazy… (musical notes)

Anyway, I’ve got to get back to my writing. I only have one more day before the Amazon deadline of handing in my final manuscript of Book 2. Lots of work to do still.

Don’t forget to check out Braindead if you’re in for a laugh.

Braindead3.jpeg

Keep Calm and Write On

keep-calm.jpg

As I am preparing for my first ever book launch and realizing how little I know and how unprepared I am for this process, articles like the one below give me hope.

By the way, I still post articles to my Flipboard magazines. The article is from my Writer’s Corner, but check out the new articles in Pretty Pictures, Sci-Non-Fi, Heath Herald, and Focus on Filming.

Writing Insights Part One: Becoming A Writer by The Wayfinder

Image: A Divine Humour (Creative Commons)

Header Image: Thought Catalog

I’m still alive!

I just wanted you to know I’m still alive. In case you wondered.

Holiday

I’m sorry for not posting for over a week now. I actually have been on holiday, but my dear husband didn’t want me to announce that while we were away. As I had just read the news that a famous football player had been burgled after he posted an image of him and his family skiing in Europe on Instagram, I agreed with him. We didn’t get burgled.

Where did we go? Tuscany, Italy. It was beautiful there, albeit a little hot. At some point, we had the car registering 45°C! We went there with my husband’s family and had a great time.

Tuscany.jpg

In the meantime, we’ve been back for a week now and I’ve been working day and night on my Book 2 promotion. It is so much harder than I expected! Nothing seems to work with me.

Word

I have been struggling for about two days to get my three books (the Prequel, Book 1, and Book 2) to look the same (formatting-wise). I have been wrestling mostly to get the header and footer lines on the same height. Not that eBooks need headers and footers, but I had them originally formatted to be printed books (something that I’m going to postpone for now). Somehow, Word totally ignores you when you hit the ‘delete header/footer’ button. Yes, the text/numbering disappears, but the actual header/footer stays. So annoying. It took me forever to get them exactly on the same height (and not a mm off). If anybody else struggles with them, don’t hesitate to contact me. I think I can say I’m an expert now 🙂 .

Twitter

Next, I’ve been really pissed-off (pardon my French) with Twitter. I used to have an account called @JackyDahlhaus. Somehow this got deactivated due to spamming (accidentally, according to Twitter). I had no clue then and opted for another handle; @DahlhausJacky. As I’ve recently been looking into spreading ‘my brand’ over the social media, I was advised to have my brand name the same everywhere. Hence I needed to change my Twitter handle to my first one. I contacted Twitter and asked them to activate @JackyDahlhaus. ‘Sure, no problem,’ they said. And they did.

That’s when the problems started. As they activated the first account, they deactivated the second account. I lost all my followers (about 2500+ of them). No problem, I thought. I’ll just build it up again from scratch and get ‘real’ followers this time. People who actually read and like my books, not sexy snap-chatters, car sales people, or phoney army guys wanting ‘a friend’ and the likes. But when I tried to use the old account, it needed an email address first. I typed in my email address. ‘Sorry, this email address is already in use,’ was the message that popped up. Duh, of course it is, as it is attached to my second account. As this was now deactivated, I can’t get in it to remove the email address there. I have to wait thirty days to have it activated again. I’ve tried in multiple messages to Twitter to make them see the issue here, but all I get is automated responses with suggested actions that don’t help. Aaargh!

I have solved the problem for now with another email address I had made a while ago, but didn’t use. I’ll do for now. I just have to wait thirty days before I can have the other account activated again and remove my email address. would have been nice from Twitter to warn me to do this before they deactivated it.

Photoshop

Photoshop is another one of my peeves this week. It’s a great program and I love it, couldn’t do without it. Sometimes it drives me round the bend though. It’s not their fault, it’s my fault. I’m just not always as focused as I need to be and then I suddenly can’t find my images anymore. Or the black background of one book is not as black as the others, even though it’s made with the same ‘stock’ image. Or I can’t change a component of an image for no apparent reason. Very frustrating.

I’ll Live 🙂

I hear you think ‘She’s losing the plot!’ Not to worry. I’ll trundle on and make the most of it. I see this whole promo exercise as another learning curve. It’ll make it easier next time!

What Price to Set Your Book?

This week I tried to find the answer to this question; what to price your book? How do you value your work? Of course, I have worked very hard to write my books so I find them invaluable. How do readers value them though? What price will they pay to read it? This is what I’m trying to find out in this article.

Books_For_Sale_700.jpg

Some say that when you compare a book to a cup of coffee, the price of a cup of coffee is overrated (as it often costs more than an eBook). The coffee was made by the barista within a few minutes while it took a few months (if not years) to write your book. This, however, is a distorted and simplified vision. The coffee beans were grown in a field, nurtured by the farmer for weeks if not months as well, harvested, dried, roasted, and transported to where you are, and prepared the way you like to drink your cup of coffee. All the people involved in this, the farmer, the coffee roaster, the transporter, the barista, all need to get paid. When writing a book, it’s not much different. Apart from the writer, there is the editor, formatter, cover artist, and publisher that need to get paid. Yet people are willing to pay more for a cup of coffee than they are for your book. So how to price it in order for them to buy it?

If you have a publisher, you are very lucky. They will deal with the whole ‘selling of your book’ stuff. Not all publishers put in the same effort, though, and I’ve heard stories of authors that still need to do a lot of the advertising themselves. Most of us, unfortunately, have not been so lucky to find a publisher willing to take our book on. We’ll have to do the hard work of trying to sell our books ourselves.

You can’t get around Amazon as it’s the book seller nowadays. You don’t have to sell on Amazon, but with the reach they have at the moment, you’d be stupid not to. When you do, you’ll find out that Amazon makes a distinction between books priced under $3.00 and those priced $3.00 or higher. For the former, you only get 35% profit, the rest is pocketed by Amazon. For the latter, you earn a whopping 70% of the sale. It is tempting to price your book this high so you will earn more profit. Unfortunately, the effect is that not a lot of people will buy your book as they will find it too expensive. There is such a large offer available on the internet nowadays, with many books even offered for free, that most people don’t even want to pay for books at all anymore. True readers know that ‘you get what you pay for’ though and are willing to spend that little money to get something worth reading and only go for the free offers from tested (and liked) authors.

When I put my book on Amazon, I opted for the cheaper version. As I’ve only got one book to sell at the moment (soon three), I want people to try it out and get hooked. I’m no longer with KDP Select anymore, as I would like to try and sell my book elsewhere than just Amazon, so I can’t offer it for free (if I wanted to). Amazon will price match with other publishers (i.e. free), but you’ll have to ask them as this isn’t done automatically. I looked around on Amazon and it seemed that $0.99 is the absolute minimum that books are priced for when not offered for free and that’s what I priced my first book.

I wondered if I was selling too cheap so I did a (very small) study of vampire books on Amazon and came to the following conclusions:

  • There is no correlation between the number of pages and the price of the book. The number of pages varied from just over 200 to over 450, not including prequels (which are normally a lot shorter). The prices varied from £0.99 to nearly £5.00, some whole box sets were offered completely for free, but the price didn’t correspond to the number of pages.
  • Most stories are part of a series, with the first book priced cheaper than the subsequent ones, which are not always the same price. I find this strange, but perhaps the number of pages were not the same (I didn’t look into this, yet).
  • Price is not an indicator of the quality of the writing. Some were highly priced, but had bad reviews regarding grammar, punctuation, and formatting. One of the higher priced books had the worst reviews.

When taking into account these observations, I can only conclude that there is no real guideline to follow. Authors just do what they want. I’d have to do more research to find out what the results of these prices are (resulting in more/less reviews) and finding out what quality their writing is.

Authors of other genres have told me not to sell my work too cheap and never to give it away for free. True, it has cost me a lot of time, effort, and money and it is of good enough quality to ask for more rather than less. I like to think that my books are of better quality than some trash you find out there that make your toes curl with every misplaced comma, spelling error, and formatting faux pas. Nevertheless, I think I’ll keep my first book priced at £0.99 and will ask for more than that for Book 2 and 3 of the trilogy, but stay under the £3.00. I don’t have a following yet and I don’t think my work is of such high quality ( I know my work will never be literature)/number of pages to ask for more (it won’t be epic stories either). We’ll see what happens. I’ll keep you up to date 😊 .

Memes

I don’t have a lot of memes this week. I’ve been too serious 🙂 .

Photo by Aris Sfakianakis on Unsplash