IN MY DEFENCE
Firstly, a few things I need to tell you. This will bring you bang up to date with what’s been happening in my world this month.
The short story collection ‘A Sting In The Tale’ went on sale from the end of October on Amazon both in the UK and the USA. Competitively priced at just under £1 or $1.50 it’s not designed to make me a fortune; its main purpose is to spread my name across a whole new raft of readers. As the collection contains love stories and ghost stories as well as some with an element of crime and revenge then the tags for the genres covered are much more varied than my first novel ‘The Final Straw’ which is being understandably swamped by the plethora of #crime #thrillers etcetera out there.
It’s still early days, but for instance ‘A Sting In The Tale’ has regularly featured in the upper reaches of lists of books containing ‘Humour’ and ‘Criminals/Lawyers’! Now, this may be a niche market but you never know who might stumble across it nestled among books by Martin Amis and John Mortimer and investigate further. I live in hope.
Early this week the reviewers on Smashwords eventually passed this short stories collection as suitable for their Premium Catalogue; they have had a glut of book submissions lately evidently. Even more competition, just what I need!
Now that hurdle has been crossed, the book is on sale in pretty much every format available out there, so if you are a Kobo person, Sony, Apple or Oyster plus half a dozen more, there’s no excuse – get moving and download a copy as soon as possible. As I said to someone I work with who did just that ‘You can’t really go wrong for a pound can you?’
As for the advertising campaigns, well they’re a mixed bag. The Orangeberry Tour continues until mid December for the novel and I’ve got a Twitter campaign running for another week or so for my short story collection. I’ve not had much time to drop into the World Literary Café but the Goodreads campaign has let me reach around 50000 potential readers so far and is going reasonably well.
The BookBuzzr giveaway campaign got underway last Friday (8th) and this could bring some more reviews in due course, but it’s a slow process. I spotted another site called bookclubreading.com via Twitter as well, which offered adverts for both my latest books for 15 days at a very reasonable price; after four days there has been a healthy pick up so I may use that site again very soon. Happy days!
There have been seismic changes in the Tayler household. At long last my wife Lynne has realised that work is a four letter word! The last year or so has seen a multitude of changes at her place of work and she’s crumpled under the strain bless her! We had a preliminary chat on holiday, then a summit meeting at the beginning of November and she’s currently working out her notice.
Whether she’ll take up the offer of a job as my full time PA (unpaid) is still to be decided. We also have the trickier task of the allocation of home duties! I’ve cooked, cleaned, washed & ironed for the past 13 years and I’m not going to give up any of these jobs without a fight! She reckons we’ll share the duties out between us & this will give me more time to write, but sometimes when you’re stood working your way through a pile of shirts with an iron in your hand, you get a great story line pop into your head. Sitting looking at a blank sheet of paper on the computer screen can be far less stimulating.
Dave our guitarist’s final Melksham gig passed us by I’m afraid, entirely due to the matter above; we were double checking our finances and writing an important letter, but it went pretty well by all accounts. Dave & I went to the Nose to listen to Dirty Arry last Friday (8th) and despite the absence of Lou (bass) who has left altogether and Lottie (singer) who was taken ill at the eleventh hour, it was a good night. It’s a shame about Lou because he gave the group a touch of gravitas; he always had the air of someone who had been there, done that… very little movement & never a smile, just rock solid bass lines throughout. I missed him anyway.
In case you were wondering what this chapter’s title was alluding to, well a lot of comment has been recorded on the group page for the Nose, reflecting on the ‘good old days’ when we had some pretty good bands playing there. Naturally, now and then we had some not so hot bands too. That’s life. Every band I watch gets a review on my personal Facebook page, which has hitherto been visible to ‘friends’ and ‘friends of friends’. My friends know where I’m coming from, they know my background and they realise I have a fairly sarcastic sense of humour (it’s not a character trait I’m proud of & I try to curb it as much as I can but every now & then I lapse! So sue me!). Since I resurrected my Author Page, with me as sole Administrator my personal page is now also set to ‘Public’ because I want as many people as possible to know about my books. I’ve asked Facebook why I can’t have two separate privacy settings but so far no reply. This means that the world & his wife can see my comments & some bands weren’t happy. One band member questioned my experience & thankfully someone leapt smartly to my defence. So, could I do what the bands in the Nose do? Maybe not regularly these days at 68, but I served my time and I think it qualifies me to comment on what I hear.
I’ve been on Twitter for two & a half years and I have always described myself as a former musician as well as a writer. I have received something in excess of a thousand requests to listen to and comment on songs on SoundCloud & other sites. I’ve heard more rap & hip hop artists than most radio DJs for my sins! I try to say what I think they need to do to the best of my ability; the girl singers who post a video clip of themselves sounding more like Adele than Adele, I tell them to ‘write their own material, the voice is in place, now you need your own identity, don’t cover other people’s work.’ Every day a new submission; every day I spend a few minutes listening, hoping that a ‘real gem’ will land on my doorstep. I give my time freely and the number of requests shows no sign of drying up. Will there be a ‘gem’ one day? Who knows? Why do I do it? It costs me nothing but time & I want to give something back to music for all the great times it’s given me.
I think that will do for now; Lynne & I are off to watch Farcue at the Forester’s on Friday night. They’re her favourite band & one of mine too, so we’re looking forward to it. Will there be a review? You bet!