So there we go, the qualifiers have ended and now we know who the final 32 teams will be at the next world cup, held in Russia next summer. The successful teams will be…
- Costa Rica
- Korea Republic
- Saudi Arabia
There are some big guns missing, mainly Italy, USA and the Netherlands, but brilliantly, for me at least, England have made it. As we wait for the World Cup it seems now is a good time to do a promotion, I have not done one for some time. To keep you going while you wait for the World Cup you could read World Cup Dreams: Extra Time Edition and for this weekend it will be absolutely FREE on Kindle. I would like to do a promotion on the print copy but, unfortunately, that is out of my control (paper costs money you see!). So, you can download World Cup Dreams: Extra Time Edition from Amazon in the UK here or from Amazon in the US here. It should also be free in all the other countries Amazon operates. The only thing I would really like back is a review, be it good or bad. So here’s to a summer of excellent football and, hopefully, some excellent reading before that!
I have often seen local authors sitting in shops, particularly WH Smith, with a pile of books to sign and no-one buying them. I feel for them but move on pretty quickly. However, today I said no to a book signing and now I feel bad. The book is one I have heard of from a local author and fits into the Young Adult genre. Maybe the reason I feel bad is because this is a genre I write. Anyway, he told me he was signing books as I walked past but I just said, “no thanks.” After walking on a few paces I thought, ‘I am an aspiring author, I should be supporting this person.’ I did have my one year old daughter in my arms and was walking to calm her down, I am a little low on cash and I have too many books to read so did not want to buy it, but are these all poor excuses? Should I be buying signed books by local authors to support the cause even if I have no interest in the book itself? I then started to think about how I would feel if this was me. I think I would be indifferent, I mean he did go out his way to tell me he was signing books. I would not want to bug people who walked past if I had a book signing. However, I struggle to get people to review my books online and know how down it can make your feel. Really, the question I am asking is should we support other authors just because we are authors too or should we be truthful and only promote or help authors in those areas/genres we enjoy? I feel I am a hypocrite in some ways as I would always promote my friends no matter what they are doing. And the book that was being signed was, itself, a book I would not have minded reading. Oh well, none of us are perfect, he is probably over it now so I really should be.
Euro 2016 starts in less than a week so to celebrate I thought I would do a different type of promotion to those I have usually done. I have made a book free for two days, which is quite easy when they are on Kindle. However, the Extra Time Edition of World Cup Dreams is both on Kindle and in print. So this time I am going to give away two print copies of World Cup Dreams: Extra Time Edition for FREE. As I have had to purchase the books before sending them on I am going to make you work a little for them. What you need to do is write a poem about football, it could celebrate the Euros coming up or the World Cup. It might be about your favourite club team or a great manager or player. It might even be about grassroots football. The only rules are that it must be original, it must be about football (sometimes called soccer in some countries) and it can be a maximum of 250 words long. To enter you need to fill in the form below. The competition will finish on Friday 3rd June at midnight UK time. I will then pick my two favourite entries (very subjective I know!) and contact them for an address to send the book to. When the competition has ended I will put some of the entries up on this blog (both the winners and other good entries) and will link to the websites/blogs/twitter/facebook of the writers (so you can get a little promotion yourself.). Right then, all there is to say now is good luck and I look forward to seeing the entries.
World Cup Dreams competition entry form
To celebrate the birth of my second child, a beautiful little girl, Captain Caleb and the Tickle Monster will be free on Kindle for the next two days (15th and 16th May). I have talked about reformatting and publishing in print so this may be the last time you can get it for free. You can get it from the US Amazon store here or the UK Amazon store here. My biggest fan, my two year old son, loves it and every time he sees my tablet he says, “can I read the Caleb pirate book?” That is the only endorsement I really need. Please grab it and enjoy. If you want to review it as well that would be great.
Whilst I only consider my writing as a bit of a hobby that I would like to make some money off of, I am noticing that the only way to get anywhere is with endless self promotion. I do not want to appear pushy but it seems you have to shove your work under everyone’s noses, whether they want it there or not. It is a constant; look at me, I will read your stuff in the vain hope you will read mine and have I told you I have written a book (what only about a thousand times)? In an area that is so crowded, it feels like I am the proverbial plate spinner and have to keep running back to each plate to give it a quick spin, not being able to stop to reflect on where I am. The interconnection of different sources and being able to post in one place and it then appearing on multiple platforms does help but it also feels like a hard slog of repeating information. On the back of all this I have decided to create a new platform in which to promote myself, well actually it is the obvious one. Basically to add to Twitter, Shelfari, Wattpad, Smashwords, Kindle Direct Publishing and this here blog I have created my own facebook page. This can be found here. If you want to like it then please do, although I should say I wont be offended if you don’t. It may be a case of seeing my post in multiple places as when I tweet it appears on facebook and when I update my status on Wattpad it tweets then appears on facebook and when I review on Shelfari it….oh you get the picture. Right, I am now off to think about where to promote next; Independent Author Network, Whizbuzz, Author Marketing Club? I think I’m going to have to make a list of websites, usernames and passwords before I go a bit made and start shouting at crocodiles! What? There are no crocodiles in England? It’s started already!
If you have not read any of my other posts you will not be aware that I am a teacher, a teacher who got inspired to write a novel that had been in his head for some years. I was inspired by my friend and aspiring author James Camp (check out his site here). Since then I have written some other short stories as well as slowly creating my novel (I will finish it one day!), I share all my work on wattpad (you can get to my profile here).
As I am not that happy with my job at the moment, my mind has been turning more and more to writing and potentially making a career out of this. Maybe even working part-time as a teacher and part-time as a writer. The real issue I have is time. With house improvements, a baby on the way, completing a Master’s Degree and the pressures teaching brings I find little to no time to actually get pen to paper, or rather fingers to keyboard. I seem to go an age without writing and when I have time to start I do not feel as passionate. But it only takes a few words being typed or a short walk thinking about my story and where it should go to get me motivated once again. I find that I am daydreaming when doing other tasks; I want to be working on my novel or one of the myriad of short stories in my mind. I get frustrated, my legs feel tense, I am restless….I just want to be getting my stories down and sharing my thoughts with others.
Recently I was thinking how I could move forward with a career in writing and talked to two people, a friend who is on a creative writing course and my budding author mate James Camp. The first told me to write lots of short stories and submit them to magazines, the second told me to write lots of short stories and promote them online (I may even have to get a twitter account!). I have looked at the editorial or article industry online but have been told to avoid that, pay is low and it is not as interesting as writing stories. I would have to agree. A short while ago I completed a children’s book for my nephew which involved creating images on Adobe Flash. I had it professionally printed and all who looked at it were impressed. It might well be my proudest achievement (I did a post about it here). This brings up the idea of self-publishing, but is my work good enough? Have I got the funds? Is it worth the hassle of self marketing in the almost vain hope I will get a large readership?
Writing is most definitely a buzz. I love it. I love getting all the ideas out of my head. I write for myself and that is wonderful but the question is where to go now? Do I seek publishers, do I self publish, do I work on promoting myself online or do I just carry on as a hobby? I feel at a cross roads, a potential change in life, one that I would love but one that will take a lot of hard work and sacrifice. Is it worth it? Will I be constrained by writing for my audience rather than 100% what I want to do? Who knows, but sometimes you have to take a leap. However, I think I’ll start with a small step and go from there, look to promote myself a little more online and see if anything happens. Who knows, I could be the next Dickens!