Roller-coaster month…

October was interesting, exciting, nerve-wracking, scary, in almost equal measures, but ultimately very encouraging.

Perhaps the most interesting – daily (well, ok, hourly for the first few days – I’ve calmed down now) watching the totals of sales

Screenshot 2015-11-03 15.10.23 and pages read of both books on Amazon,

Screenshot 2015-10-28 23.37.45 and armed with a currency converter working out the royalties. I’m not planning a holiday in the Bahamas yet, but I am pleased so far – no days with nothing happening – definitely beats the last few quiet months as a mainstream published author. It’s hard to describe how excited I was the first day I topped 1000 pages read (sad, I know) and I’d love to have a breakdown of that – was it 3 people each reading a whole book or 33 people reading a little each?

Then there was the day I had 1 page read – yes you have read that right – 1 page. Now, assuming Amazon doesn’t count the cover that means only the Title page – what could have turned someone off there I wonder? And turned off I assume they were because that co-incided with the day I got my first return…

Also exciting was watching the rankings change

Screenshot 2014-11-07 14.36.53– the high point when Turn of the Tide was sitting at #4 in British / Irish Historical right next to Bernard Cornwell. – Sadly I didn’t think to get a screen shot of that, but I did remember later when it was at #6 – just underneath Cornwell. Nice picture to have.Screenshot 2015-10-03 08.26.00

Definitely into the ‘exciting’ category – Two separate bookshop launches of my new novel – thank you Blackwells in Edinburgh and Mainstreet Trading in St Boswells – both lovely bookshops. Favourite comments – from Ann Landmann – bookshop organiser in Edinburgh – ‘See you next year!’ (That’s a bit optimistic actually – I’m planning on spring 2017 for Munro 3) and from John Wood – chair of the St Boswells event – ‘You can bag a couple of Munros without leaving your armchair.’ (For those who mightn’t know a ‘Munro’also refers to any mountain in Scotland over 3,000 feet and climbing them is called ‘Munro-bagging’.)

John Wood giving his introduction.
Reading an extract.
Book signing.

Also exciting – my first real royalty statement from the distributors – I discounted the several (pre-launch) statements with 0.00 in every column!

The printing of the physical copies of the books went right down to the wire – that was nerve-wracking in the extreme – a huge thank you to the printers, Anthony Rowe of Chippenham, both for the fabulous job and for pushing me up the queue a little to make sure I had them in time. I won’t say how many panicky emails I sent them in the last few weeks.

And scary? I’ve just had a photograher from the local paper around to take pictures for a feature they will be running later this week on me and my journey as a writer. Anyone who knows me, knows that I hate getting my photo taken – hopefully it won’t look too bad. But a big thank you to the Johnson newspaper Group for suggesting an interview. Hopefully I was reasonably coherent – it’s quite hard to do a telephone interview. Slightly apprehensive as to how it will all come out, but pleased that they were interested.

And who knows maybe some folk will be inspired to pop along to one of the local bookshops – Mainstreet Trading in St Boswells and Grieves in Berwick-upon-Tweed – to buy a copy of my book(s) – ideal Christmas presents…

And didn’t the designer make a fabulous job of the covers?

Turn of the Tide / A House Divided
Turn of the Tide cover Layout 1