Tuesday, 30 April 2013

A 'MUST' for all fans of 'Les Miserables'...

Hey guys;

I had a very pleasant lunch today with writer and author C.A.Shilton (Ann to her friends) who is a former colleague of mine.

I have posted before regarding her current release...

'Barricades - Javert's Story'.

If you are a fan of Les Miserables - the book , stage play or film, then this is a 'must buy' for you.

I am not a fan YET, but the book is a great read and has given me the encouragement to find out more about the man, now that I know about the boy!

Currently available on Kindle...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barricades-Javerts-Story-ebook/dp/B00BI2RDAO/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1367345788&sr=1-1&keywords=barricades

Monday, 29 April 2013

What sort of a writer am I?

Hey guys;

I have been dipping my toes in various discussion groups and writers' workshops recently.

Some are brilliant and supportive, whereas some are a little 'elite' and brimming with what I call 'book snobs'.

The fact that I identify 'book snobs' is a clue to where I come from.

I am a guy who likes to pick up a book, whether it's just in time for a two week relax in the sun,( in which case I will be looking for 3 or 4) or a long lazy weekend (1 or 2).

What sort of books do I like to read? 

They have to be fun. They have to be a good story. They have to entertain me. I like sewn in wit and astute perspectives of real life.

James McGee; Ben Elton; Sebastian Faulkes; Ian Banks...all names I admire and who write books I like to read.

What sort of books do I write?

I hope they are books that I would pick up to read and based on my own criteria. For Fiction particularly.

For reference? 

Well researched and presented in a manner where they really help the reader!

I hope that I can deliver what I purport to offer.

I was over the moon last night when I realised that in just five weeks, over 1,000 of my books have been purchased and are being read (or have been relegated to posh coasters - if they were not well received!).

First real look at book 'sales'

Hey guys;

After a little prompting from fellow Google+ contributors, I have just done a check on 'sales' since my books went out on 25th March 2013.

Jack Ketch's Puppets has been sold in paperback or downloaded 867 times!

Leicestershire Myth & Legend - in verse - 124 times.

Sadly for me, many are the giveaways, so I can't retire in comfort quite just yet!

I have also sold some copies through Createspace store as paperbacks but as yet am unclear on totals.

I am unable to gain information as to paperback versions from FeedARead as they are produced every 6 months, and I shall have to wait until October!

They say that a first time writer sells about 500 copies of their first book in total. I am therefore over the moon at what has been achieved in a little over five weeks!

Thanks to those of you who have contributed to the figures!

A wonderful accolade from Chaunce Stanton, a fellow writer in the USA...

Just had a really nice accolade from a fellow writer in the USA, Chaunce Stanton, which I share below...makes it worth while!

*****

Putting the Artist in the Work

Do you see the painter in the painting?

I like it when an author conveys a personal voice -- even within troubling story lines like gruesome murder investigations. As a reader, I feel like I come to know the writer in some small part even as I come to the characters and the action enfolding them.

Reading +Phil Simpkin's Jack Ketch's Puppets, I sometimes find myself laughing aloud or releasing intrigued "hmmmms" so that my wife, Naomi, asks me what I'm on about, and I read something to her that not only advances Phil's story but shows his sense of humor or the amount of time he spent researching and deliberating over his subject matter.

One brief example that made me pause to write this post:

"I'm afraid, sir, that we have the gravest of problems - the corpse has been stolen," said Beddows...

Phil's person comes through. I know many writers from the objective school try to "cover their tracks" in order to completely remove themselves from their work. But the natural way in which Phil accomplishes this balance between "narrative dream" and the reality of writer as creator is truly a credit to his comfort level with himself and with the story.

I'm certain of one thing: for those readers beginning with the Borough Boys series, they will begin a relationship with Phil as well as his characters.

Fortunately, he is a highly accommodating companion.





Chaunce's blog can be found at...


https://plus.google.com/100915686438618444292/posts

He is a great guy and writes some dark and humourous stuff!

Sunday, 28 April 2013

My latest Character is taking shape, nicely.

Hey guys;

The latest member of The Borough Boys is developing nicely, in what will be 'Book Two' in the series.

Constable Archie Perkins. Young, cocky, a very aggressive and dogged street fighter, with quick hands and a quicker brain.Slightly built and wiry, he is in need of a strong leash!

Paired off and matched with the developing talents of Samson Shepherd, the Rookeries are having a bit of a hard time in the next one...and the bad guys are not having much their own way!

With Detective Sergeant John Beddows backing them up with his 'in your face' investigation techniques, and the illustrious masters of disguise, Tanky Smith & Black Tommy Haynes doing their 'what nobody else will do' incursions, book two is looking to be an entertaining follow-up, and hopefully, will be out as a 'short novel' for the Summer!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Happy Saturday!

Hey guys;

Just been looking at Amazon & Kindle sales ratings as of 10 am today.

Amazon currently has 36.6 million books on sale!

Kindle has 1.99 million books on sale.

Jack Ketch's Puppets showing in top 1.5% of all books, and all Kindle books...

Leicestershire Myth & Legend in top 2.5% of all books and all Kindle books...

It is a really satisfying feeling to realise that you are selling, I just want to say thank you to all of you who are making that possible!

Friday, 26 April 2013

Jack Ketch's Puppets - New Cover; new blurb!

Hey guys;

After an average free giveaway on KDP, and lots of negative comments about self-published writers on LinkedIn groups, I finally decided on the revisions to my cover and blurb, hence why the book was 'down' at Amazon & Kindle during the day yesterday.

It may not be perfect, but it got pleasing comments from a select group, and here it is...

The blurb now reads...



‘Perhaps there has been a little - Jiggery Pokery?’ 

This was the first thought that crossed the mind of experienced Constable John Beddows, when he and his rookie, Constable Samson Shepherd, first set eyes on the body of a young boy in the local river.

Had the Constables known then, that this was to be only a mere glimpse of what they and their colleagues would shortly have to face up to, they may have thought again, and shuddered!

Rumour; folklore; legend; what place in these events? Flesh and blood was more likely to be the key to this one, in every sense!

This is 1850 in Leicester, England, where the rich are getting richer and the poor are to all intent and purpose, disposable!

Do Shepherd and his mentor Beddows, together with their colleagues ‘The Borough Boys’, have the skills and resolve to cut out the heart of this depravity?

I will wait and see whther it catches a few more eyes!





Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Morning after blues!

Hey guys;

Thanks to all of you who took the opportunity to download the last free versions of Jack Ketch's Puppets and Leicestershire Myth & Legend - in verse.

Not as good an exercise as I had hoped for, with downloads in the area of 40 or 50 of each book.

Guess it's back to the grindstone. I need to get the next volume of 'The Borough Boys' out for the summer, if it is achievable, and also work to be done on the first of my new contemporary 'Tony Lawrence' novels set around the Med.

I hope none of you are disappointed. Reviews would be welcome if you have an opportunity to add them.

Thanks

Phil

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Your views requested, yet again!

Hey guys;

Thanks for your help on Saturday.

I had some interesting feedback and as such I have two covers now to consider...


The first cover is one you may have already commented on.

The second has a revised graphic, and retains the original artist's scale. I have simplified the text and centralised it.

Which would you consider is a more attracting / compelling cover?

Thanks

Phil

Monday, 22 April 2013

Final chance for free copy of 'Jack Ketch's Puppets' & 'Leicestershire Myth & Legend - in verse'

Hey guys;

A final reminder about tomorrow...

Tuesday 23rd April 2013 is St George's Day, an important day in the English Calendar.

On Tuesday 23rd April 2013, for one day only, I will be offering both of my books...

Jack Ketch's Puppets

and

Leicestershire Myth & Legend - in verse


AS A FREE PROMOTIONAL GIVEAWAY!!!!!


Do not look miss this opportunity! This is my last free day for Jack Ketch's Puppets.

Read the reviews on Amazon, Goodreads or my website & blog.

YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Your views would be appreciated...

Hey guys;

I told you last week I had some feedback re cover image and blurb. Well I have been giving it some thought, and have come up with the two alternatives below.

I would like your feedback, if possible as comments, with why you prefer, e.g. stronger, more impactive, clearer, gets more attention, etc...

I have placed the two alternatives below;-

Top image is the current cover, bottom the possible alternative...



Current blurb...

'What have a corrupt detective, an incompetent undertaker, a minor Borough official, staff of a local workhouse and a small group of local Irish businessmen in common? This is the challenge facing rookie Constable Samson Shepherd and his experienced mentor, Constable John Beddows.

From the discovery of a body of a young child in a local river, and alarming tale of murder, child exploitation and corruption is exposed.

Starting off in Victorian Leicester of 1850, an emerging Industrial town, set against the abject poverty that created a breeding ground for a life of crime, this is the first of a series of novels featuring Samson Shepherd, John Beddows and their colleagues in 'The Borough Boys'

Proposed revised blurb...



‘Perhaps there has been a little - Jiggery Pokery?’

This was the first thought that crossed the mind of experienced Constable John Beddows, when he and his rookie, Constable Samson Shepherd, first set eyes on the body of a young boy in the local river.

Had the Constables known then, that this was to be only a mere glimpse of what they and their colleagues would shortly have to face up to, they may have thought again, and shuddered!

Rumour; folklore; legend; what place in these events? Flesh and blood was more likely to be the key to this one, in every sense!

This is 1850 in Leicester, England, where the rich are getting richer and the poor are to all intent and purpose, disposable!

Do Shepherd and his mentor Beddows, together with their colleagues ‘The Borough Boys’, have the skills and resolve to cut out the heart of this depravity?



Readers choice - possible cover and blub changes - Jack Ketch's Puppets

Hey guys;

I told you last week I had some feedback re cover image and blurb. Well I have been giving it some thought, and have come up with the two alternatives below.

I would like your feedback, if possible as comments, with why you prefer, e.g. stronger, more impactive, clearer, gets more attention, etc...

I have placed the two alternatives below;-

Top image is the current cover, bottom the possible alternative...


Current blurb...

'What have a corrupt detective, an incompetent undertaker, a minor Borough official, staff of a local workhouse and a small group of local Irish businessmen in common? This is the challenge facing rookie Constable Samson Shepherd and his experienced mentor, Constable John Beddows.

From the discovery of a body of a young child in a local river, and alarming tale of murder, child exploitation and corruption is exposed.

Starting off in Victorial Leicester of 1850, an emerging Industrial town, set against the abject proverty that created a breeding ground for a life of crime, this is the first of a series of novels featuring Samson Shepherd, John beddows and their colleagues in 'The Borough Boys'

Proposed revised blurb...



‘Perhaps there has been a little - Jiggery Pokery?’

This was the first thought that crossed the mind of experienced Constable John Beddows, when he and his rookie, Constable Samson Shepherd, first set eyes on the body of a young boy in the local river.

Had the Constables known then, that this was to be only a mere glimpse of what they and their colleagues would shortly have to face up to, they may have thought again, and shuddered!

Rumour; folklore; legend; what place in these events? Flesh and blood was more likely to be the key to this one, in every sense!

This is 1850 in Leicester, England, where the rich are getting richer and the poor are to all intent and purpose, disposable!

Do Shepherd and his mentor Beddows, together with their colleagues ‘The Borough Boys’, have the skills and resolve to cut out the heart of this depravity?



Gaining interest worldwide

Hey guys;

One of the things I have found slightly moving with writing, is the desire to spread news of my books not just locally, but globally.

Who would believe that there could be so much interest in a new writer (date I say - author - you old cynics out there) and his books?

I have just completed two interview sessions for talented authors in both Australia and USA.

I have sent off a very detailed Q & A set to the multi-talented Clancy Tucker, who writes YA and fiction and had received an abundance of wonderful awards in the land of OZ, and who is also a photographer and champion of less privileged kids! 

http://clancytucker.com.au/

I have done the same for the amazing Lynn Swayze Wilson at Genrebooks in the USA, who champions equality and new writers worldwide.

http://lynnswayze.com/

Both interviews were detailed, challenging, and great fun to think about!

Clancy and Lynn - thanks for the opportunities!

 

 

Friday, 19 April 2013

A big thank you to all my friends and readers!!!

Hey guys;

I sometimes...okay...often... get caught up in what I have got to do next.

In doing so I forget to say thank you to those of you out there, who are showing me your support and loyalty, by becoming involved and interacting with me in some format.

It was a post by Steven Malone today, that reminded me...


Since January, when I really got my act a bit more together...I have had the following support shown.

My website has received 15,692 hits, and I am averaging 301 visits per day.

My blog, here, has received 5,247 visits, and I have as of today, 567 followers.

I am truly grateful to each and every one of you for your support!

 


Thursday, 18 April 2013

Frustration - Amazon Kindle review system

Hey guys;

Anyone else out there feel like me regarding Amazon Kindle's current review system?

I had naively assumed, that a review posted on one edition of my book, would be on a central review page, allowing for all reviews to be accumulated at one point.

I was dismayed to find that I have reviews on Kindle versions that do not appear on paperback versions; I also learn that a review on Amazon.co.uk is not visible on other Amazon sites, and vice verse.

Crazy or what?

Anyone there from Amazon Kindle that can offer any hope?

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

St George's Day giveaway Tuesday 23rd April 2013

Hey guys;

Tuesday 23rd April 2013 is St George's Day, an important day in the English Calendar.

On Tuesday 23rd April 2013, for one day only, I will be offering both of my books...

Jack Ketch's Puppets

and

Leicestershire Myth & Legend - in verse


AS A FREE PROMOTIONAL GIVEAWAY!!!!!


Do not look miss this opportunity! This is my last free day for Jack Ketch's Puppets.

Read the reviews on Amazon, Goodreads or my website & blog.

YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

I've got to stop being so negative!

Hey guys;

Yesterday, I received some constructive criticism about my novel 'Jack Ketch's Puppets'. It was obviously well intended, but also, made me think.

So much so, that this morning, my brain woke me at a silly hour and I just had to get up and take another look at what he had said.

Consequently, I started to make changes to my cover design, and to my blurb, both of which are quite a nice alternative to what I currently have for the book.

My wife started reminding me about the 'don't try and run before you can walk' conversations of the last coupleof days.

I decided to look at how 'Jack Ketch's Puppets' was doing compared to my favourite authors and their books...

Sebastian Faulkes - Birdsong - #1,037 paid books on Amazon

Kate Summerscale - The suspicions of Mr Witcher - #2,623 paid books on Amazon

Ben Elton - The First Casualty - #11,036 paid books on Amazon

James McGee - Ratcatcher - #43,844 paid books on Amazon

James Mcgee - Resurrectionists - #31,687 paid books on Amazon

Elizabeth Speller - The return of Captain Emmett* - #56,675 paid books on Amazon

*Elizabeth's book is reviewed as 'Better than Birdsong'.

Mine? #22,685 paid on Amazon!

So, I am selling better than three of my all time favourites! And higher in the ratings!

And my feedback providers status - I shall not disclose, for I now know who I shall be listening to!

Those voices in my head...

The voices inside my head have finally started, once again. I have been struggling with how to adapt the work I have already under...