Monday, 29 May 2017

One Day Free Book Trial on Amazon Kindle

111free downloads is not much but if you check the rankings you'll see that it worked - for one day! I don't think it will sell a single extra copy. I did it to give my friends a chance to download the free book and to get a benchmark for a paid book promotion. There are lots of operators who will guarantee you 5,000 or more downloads. The problem is that the publishers have now jumped on the Amazon Kindle wagon and they use providers like Book Bub to push their ware. On the very day I had my promotion I was up against heavy hitters like Harry Potter and the likes. A paid promotion to give away books can actually makes sense if you have other titles in a series, like Potter. What you pay for the give-aways you most likely more than make up with the sales of the other books. However, it is very expensive. Book Bup charges $ 500 - 2,000 for one promotion and that's just to give away books. $ 2,000 is about what most new authors can expect as an advance from a traditional publisher. I think I'll give it a miss but I will use one of the smaller outfits just to test the water.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

animal or plant?

from our backyard.... animal or plant?

My all time favourite song - Tin Soldier by the Small Faces

Some songs stay with you forever. It's hard to pick one but if I have to, this is the song that stayed with me and still makes me smile. That was me way back then ... I even looked a bit like Steve Marriott.


Friday, 19 May 2017

All Quiet on the Western Front, again!

All Quiet on the Western Front,  again
The Kindle version of “All Quiet on the Western Front” prompted me to revisit Remarque. I read the original German version back in the 1960s. It felt dated then and it is even more dated now. After WW1 there didn’t seem to be more horrors left to tell. Little did Remarque know that the horrors the Nazis were yet to inflict on mankind would make the mud fields of Flanders pale in comparison.
When Im Westen nichts Neues was published in 1929 it was an instant success abroad. It suffered widespread condemnation in Germany. Lewis Milestone’s Academy Award winning film was banned. Remarque’s books soon suffered the same fate.  Remarque fled to Switzerland in 1932. His sister was killed by the Nazis during the war. Remarque left for America but returned shortly after to Switzerland where he stayed until his death in 1970.
In many ways, Remarque lived the life that was the core theme of his novels: How to find your way back when your life has been taken from you. Remarque never really found his way back. I remember one of his last interviews on Swiss TV. He was still bitter about the fact that the German literary establishment had never really accepted him. He was a German writer. His English was basic but improved over time. He certainly could not have written Im Westen nichts Neues in English – yet that’s where he made it as a writer, translated and, to some extend, interpreted by others.
There is no point  in slapping a critique on a long gone writer who deserved success and suffered tragedy for it.  His novel has not lost its message that scores more of young servicemen and women will have to suffer: coming back unscathed is impossible.

And now Kindle at its worst, has caught up with the old war horse. For a staggering $ 7.41 Amazon offers a “new” (2010) translation that does nothing to lift the old version into a new century. Whatever literary merit the original once had has long been lost. It feels and sounds tired, done and dusted. There is no coming back. 

PS: Look for the earlier print version if you want to read this book.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Reality Check Day 30

One month in... I know, this might eventually turn into an exercise in self humiliation but I want this Blog to end up as the journal of Addison Marsh's first book adventure. I have some experience in Indie publishing nonfiction and based on that I actually don't think this has been a bad start at all. I really love being an Indie author. In my former life as a traditionally published author my publisher sent me press clippings and an end-of-year statement. Now I can follow the progress daily, see that most of the subscriber readers actually read the full book GREAT! and if somebody tells me they just bought my book I can go and check.
Here is my score card for the first month
Summary month one: 10 Kindle books sold, 3,000 page reads = about 10 readers who read the full story and (not shown here because I use Createspace) 2 print copies sold.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Nicholas Alkemade's miraculouse escape
click on picture for the full war log
Avro Lancaster DS664 with Roekker's Ju 88 in the background. This is a picture from Nick Alkemade's war log, made available online by the Loughborough Echo.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Bombs Gone!

It took me 80,000 words to tell the story -
Steve Rotter managed it in one minute

Sunday, 7 May 2017

The Day I was born

Day 1  when I was born.....

              Day one is actually around day 180. That’s how long it took me to write and edit Fish from the Sky- including two months working on the plotline and getting the basic research done.
I get up at 4am and write around 800 words. Edit. Research. A lot of it went into this particular story. I wanted the historical background to be solid. I write the first and the last chapter simultaneously. It’s easier to write towards a known target.

              I submitted the manuscript to around 20 publishers and agents – I got a few nibbles, was asked for the full manuscript three times but nothing with a signature on it. I had to face the facts. I’m writing submission letters to editors who are younger than my children. The old hack had to go. Addison Marsh, Indie Author, was born.