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10 Reviews for Succedaneum – Living Like A Vampire on!

Hooray! I have ten reviews for my first book, Succedaneum – Living Like A Vampire, on! Slowly but surely we’re getting there. I also have three on, three on and two on, so I have eighteen in total. A bit to go yet before I can get on a promotional website, but it’s only been five months since it was released.

Most reviews are for four or five stars, which is a great boost as I was wondering whether I should write at all. But people seem to like what I have written. I only have one three-star review, which was a very honest review telling me I still have a long way to go to become a good writer (hey, I’m still wearing writer diapers here!). I also received a one star review, which appears to be a mistake as the person in question mentioned that they downloaded the sequel and wanted to read more in the series. It gave me a bit of a freight when I saw it first as it did take my overall rating in the UK down to three stars, but if people read the review they will realise what happened.

Mind you, I have only sold thirteen books. The most recent reviews were given by other authors after I gave them an ARC. It is great to get reviews from other authors as it gives you an idea of where you’re at. They could have said it was rubbish. But they didn’t. Phew!

If you haven’t read my book yet, you can get it by clicking on the top image of it in the left sidebar. It’s very entertaining, a good six hours read, and well worth the (little amount of) money! And tomorrow the price will go up, so get your copy now!

As I have promised so many other authors to read their books and give my honest opinion (I’ll be reading well into the new year by now) I can’t accept all requests. So I promised one author to put the blurb of his book on my blog, so here it is:

The Man Upstairs

– by Mark Fowler –

Frank Miller, hero of the best-selling mystery novels written by The Man Upstairs, works the weird streets of Chapeltown as a private detective. During the legendary case of the Black Widow everything changed when Frank became aware of his fictional existence. Proclaimed at the time as a work of genius, Frank wonders if it was the first sign that The Man Upstairs was sick.

This latest case, involving the death of a care worker, and coinciding with the appointment of Chapeltown’s first elected mayor, has Frank baffled. The Man Upstairs appears to be losing the plot, giving the womanising Frank a steady girlfriend, Marge, who warns him that to survive he must change from the tired cliché that he has become.

As the case darkens Frank recognises the depth of his creator’s sickness. His days are numbered as clearly as the pages in the books in which he features. The looming battle with the Mayor of Chapeltown is nothing less than the battle to save himself, Marge, the series – and the mind of The Man Upstairs.

The Man Upstairs is plotting to kill Frank Miller and take Chapeltown to hell.

If this has sparked your interest, it’s available here.

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I am trying to juggle at the moment. I never was any good at it. I could do it with two balls, sort of, but I never managed three. I knew girls who made it seem so easy, they could even do it with four! I have asked them how they did it, but all I got was ‘just do it.’ Much help that was.

Now I’m trying to juggle with more than I could ever handle. I’m trying to follow these writing courses, to advertise my books, to keep up with FARG entries, to read and write reviews for fellow authors, to write for the local writers’ club, to blog, to keep my Twitter entries interesting, to write my new book, to run the film group I started, and on top of that I need to keep my family taken care of (no, not in the final way).

I think I must be slightly manic-depressive, because I know I’m going to crash soon, experience tells me. I have these moments that I take on so much. I could take on the whole world if they wanted me to! And then there come the moments I come to nothing, when I prefer to stay in bed all day (and sometimes do). Fortunately I have this miracle husband, who never asks, never blames, never points the finger. He just takes me as I am. Frustrating sometimes, I admit, but good in the long run.

I don’t know how other people do it, ‘to stand in the middle of life.’ I don’t know if that’s a typical Dutch expression or not, but what I mean with it is that some people just do, and keep doing. I can’t. Everything is an effort. Usually I only do because there is a deadline. I run out of dishes, I have visitors coming, kids are waiting at school… I bought car wash soap the other day. My car needs washing. But I can’t make myself do it. Just the thought of getting wet horrifies me. I’ve driven past the car wash a couple of times, but it keeps being shut. And there is no deadline, so it will never happen…

When I write I don’t have this problem. Writing is not a chore for me. I don’t need to leave the house, I don’t need to get dressed, and, the best part, I can do what, when, where and how I want in my stories! Nothing is holding me back! It is such a wonderful feeling, it is almost intoxicating! I wished I could be like that in real life, but, alas, I am only me…

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Copyright infringment!

Through my dear friends at #FARG it came to my attention that my second novel, Succedaneum – Raising A Vampire, was available as a free download on an obscure pirate website. I was furious!

I entered my first novel into the KDP Select program and had a free promo day last week. It is a common strategy to make your first novel available for free, so people get hooked an buy your sequels. Hence my second novel has never been available for free. These pirates must have bought it, converted it into a PDF and are now handing it out for free. WHY?

First of all my book is copyrighted, to offer it to anybody without my permission is an infringement of the law. Secondly, why would they want to rob me of my income? I worked hard to make this book happen. It cost me time and money, lots of it, to make something beautiful that brings enjoyment to others. Why do they want to punish me for this?

I saw this entry on the internet the other day about people paying just under £5 for a coffee that is made within minutes and then tipping the barista as well. These same people are complaining that a book, a work that somebody has sweated over for months if not years, something that will give them hours of reading pleasure, is too expensive at £0.99! This is just wrong! Why do people value books so little nowadays? True, indie books can be dodgy with bad storylines and atrocious grammar that make you cringe with every spelling mistake. But there are those of us who have pride in their work and have our work edited and proofread professionally, which costs lots of money… not to mention the time we spend on it…

Illegally downloading a book for free is like a kick in the nuts for an author. Some argue that it is a form of publicity. How else are people going to notice that you exist and have written a book? Lots of people have favourite authors because they were lent a book, they didn’t buy the first one. There is something to say for this. To find my book available on this website was a bit of a pat on the shoulder. Apparently they thought that people were interested in my books. I have no idea how many people have actually clicked on the ‘download’ button. I have no idea how much money I could have retrieved to cover my costs if these people would have bought my book. I only know how many books I still need to sell to have this happen and, according to the current indie book stats from Amazon, this is very unlikely to be in the near future…

If you truly want to support good writers, please please, pretty please, BUY their books!