Posts Tagged ‘review’


I studied business at college. A large part of business is marketing, so is economics. Here it is.
Books, in most varieties, would be classified as an “elastic” product. What this means, in its simplest form, is that as the price goes up demand will go down. Books are a “luxury” item, you don’t have to buy them.
If the price of your favourite author’s next book suddenly jumped to $900 the chances are you’re not going to run out and buy it on launch day. Whereas if an author you’ve never heard of offers a book for $0.01 then you might be willing to give it a whirl.
We can all agree that supply of ebooks is covered from every angle. If you look at the market as a whole then we know there are choices abound. Even down to the individual author, we don’t have a problem supplying a specific book. The costs to produce are minimal. Time is the greatest factor in creating our product.
Fixed costs are likely covered by our personal bills, as are the variable costs. Again, the only exception to latter would be labour, but every author going in knows that time will be required and it is usually just our own. Further down the line there may be costs accrued for editors or cover designers, etc. but realistically you can’t claw that back by inflating the cost of your novel. You would need to project exactly how many you may sell and if you’re a new author that’s virtually impossible.
When you publish through Amazon they can chose to alter the price of your books without reason or notice, which makes it very difficult for us to control sales of our product. CreateSpace is just crazy because they dictate the minimum price your book can be sold for (which is always an extortionate rate) meaning that a lot of authors are lucky to make more than a couple of pennies for sales of paperbacks. It’s the author who is judged for setting a high price – but we didn’t!
So you’ve written your book, you’ve published it, you may have set up the paperback set up too. Then comes the next big task, promote your book!
I brought up the business thing because I spend a lot of time thinking about pricing, even though it’s sometimes outwith my control. I’ve witnessed the truth of my economics professor’s words on my KDP sales dashboard. I’ve watched the coloured lines go up and down. I’ve watched the royalties go up and down too.
I want to say here that I recently read a blog post about KU and whether or not the number of the books borrowed were added to sales figure, and as such influenced rankings. I can’t find the blog post again. But if there’s anyone out there who is interested, the answer is, no. The number of units borrowed in no way contributes to your book’s rank. I’ve worked it out. Sales alone dictate the rank.
If the economics theories are correct, the next focus is factors that affect demand. So I’m certainly looking forward to winter because summer is a bummer on book sales! Especially with the glorious weather we’ve been having, lol.
But because I have been considering pricing, and marketing strategies, I want to let all new authors in on a little secret. The vast majority of promotion opportunities out there don’t do squat for you. The price for some of these advertising campaigns is nothing short of daylight robbery. I’m still new to this publishing thing too, which is why I wanted to let you know not to part with your money. It really upsets me that websites claiming to make you the next big thing prey on those eager to carve out a writing career. It’s a passion but it can leave author’s open to being taken advantage of. There are some good sites out there with reasonably priced offerings, seek those out first!
But, I’ve gone and done it again with the rambling. I’ll try to pick up this thread again soon because I have lots of views on the promotion machine, and some personal experiences I’d like to share. For now…

Good luck on your adventures,




Yes, you heard me right, I said sex.
I feel a bit like a pinball at the moment, bouncing about all over the place, only to hit one wall and fire off into another. I don’t know what to do. I’m completely torn.
As I’ve told you guys before I’ve had contradicting opinions on the volume of sex had by Rushe and Flick. Now lets leave aside for a second that the word “Explicit” is in the title. Let us also leave aside that fact that just about every review references the fact that there is a copious amount of sex. Oh, and that there’s a warning in the description. Somehow readers are still surprised that there is so much sex in the book.
My frustration comes from the fact that half of readers want implied sex and half want explicit sex. Some want it soft and slow, others want Rushe to take what he wants. Maybe the most confusing part is when people talk about how unbelievable it is that Flick suddenly wants lots of sex. They are in an intense situation and most relationships start out heavy on the sex. Rushe wants it too but no one has mentioned that.
Anyway, it sounds like I’m pouting but I’m not, I’m just frustrated. Having readers connect with my work, and enjoy it, is my highest goal. But somehow I just can’t seem to do it. All I want to do is write interesting characters in interesting situations and entertain the audience, to have you engage with those I create.
When people read sci-fi they expect spaceships and/or unfathomable technology because it’s par for the course. Romance novels have to feature some physical connection, whether it’s a kiss, or an implied sex scene, there has to be something, doesn’t there?
I’m feeling the sting because I’m editing Explicit Detail (the Explicit Instruction sequel) so if the sex has to be cut, now is the time to do it. I’m tempted to get out the red pen. I’ll put in the warning this time that there is no sex whatsoever. Will that warning work? I made a joke once about writing a “clean” version and an “author’s cut”, it would delay publication but I’m increasingly tempted to do just that.
Grr, I’m so indecisive. Does the sex matter? Should it make the final cut, or should readers be relied upon to use their imagination?

Good luck on your adventures,



I had a moment of clarity this week, which is great. On the back of that revelation I then made two decisions and one mistake.
Want to know about my epiphany moment? Well, as counter-intuitive as this may sound I realised: good reviews actually help me improve more than bad ones do. I know this might sound backward. Maybe you think it’s just my ego dismissing negative reviews as obvious garbage. A lot of them are not, but a lot of them are. People who enjoyed reading my work, those that leave positive reviews, actually care about the novel and I find that people will often point out areas for improvement. They also point out what works, what they enjoyed, thus allowing me to become aware of what I am doing successfully.
Most bad reviews tend to be about slinging insults or they’re completely unhelpful like, “hated it”, or “rubbish”, those might be valid opinions but they don’t really help me improve as an author.
So my two decisions? The first was to forget all about reviews completely. I decided that I would pick a day of the month to read them all, good and bad. Amazon don’t notify authors of reviews so we have to check just like the rest of you do. It can be a hold your breath, close your eyes, ignore your pounding heart moment when you click through your titles (on the different territory websites). I don’t check reviews as often as I used to. In the early days I was on every day, hoping and praying that someone enjoyed my work. Now I try to only look if I’m doing something else, lol.
The second decision was to reach out more to those who do enjoy my work, and ask them about areas I’m uncertain of. Like tonight on Facebook I asked about the frequency of sex my characters should enjoy. The question was on the back of a reviewer mentioning that they believed there was too much sex. It was a positive review and it was superb. But it’s exactly what gave me my epiphany moment. The reader enjoyed the work and reviewed but also pointed out something specific that I could look at again. It was brilliant for me! Honestly, it was a great experience. The reviewer made me think about my work. I asked people who I knew had read my work what they thought, and so I moved forward. I felt like I had progressed, something had been done.
So fantastic, all very good, right? Well, yeah, but then I made a mistake. It wasn’t really a mistake. Well, ok, yes, I suppose it was. But it was unintentional. I went to a website that carries one of my novels, a website I hadn’t checked since loading the novel. What did I find? A bad review. A long bad review. I read it – of course – and now I feel like complete crap and I don’t want to write any more tonight. It’s ludicrous that I should let one opinion sap my mojo but it’s done. I can’t undo it.
I’ll wake up tomorrow stronger. These things don’t last forever. But my mood is low, my creativity has been flushed away, and anyone who says they are always completely unaffected by bad reviews is lying.
I made the decisions, stuck with it, felt good, moved forward, and now it’s four steps back.
Anyway, the original premise is still in place. I’ll stick with my two decisions. But damn, I wish I hadn’t read that. It’s so typical, isn’t it? You’re free and flying high, then your wings melt.
Thank you for the support you’ve all given me though. I do feel petulant in moments like this. I know it’s dramatic. It’s irrational and uncalled for. But it’s honest and that’s all I can be. The positive support has been overwhelming and I still struggle to comprehend how any of this is real. People have read my work. Wow… I’m… it’s just amazing. Thank you everyone.

Good luck on your adventures,



I’m home and blogging before I’m fully unpacked but what can I say? I missed my office.
I love coming home. It’s always a hassle with the washing and the re-stocking of cupboards, no doubt someone has left something behind and there are bills on the mat. But, I’m home.
I love to travel. I always have. It’s something I did much more in my younger days (pre-parenthood) but every time I travel in my home country I’m reminded of just how beautiful it is.
Anyway blah, blah, blah, moving on… I came home to an R2R request for ROA and a one-star review for EI. But I’m still buzzing. As I traverse this path of publishing I’ve learnt that there are more than a few bumps and I’m much better at dealing with negativity. This reviewer was very polite, considerate, and respectful so that might help too :p
So without getting too bogged down in my rambling I came to blog to tell you all that I was back, open to requests and questions, lol. Before I went away I was feeling weighed down, sluggish, not at my creative best but eureka! I feel revitalised and refreshed now! It looks like this break was just what the doctor ordered for my writing.
I got quite a few pages down, I’ll transcribe them tonight and check out the word count. I haven’t completed anything and maybe under other circumstances I could have achieved more but it’s back, the juices are flowing. My well of passion was running on low pre-break, now it’s filled to overflowing… let’s hope it lasts! 😀

Good luck on your adventures,



Hello guys!
SPECIAL NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT: Explicit Instruction is available now! I’ve put the link below for you all to check it out when you can. It’s been a long journey and finally we’re here. I look forward to receiving your feedback about this novel, and I very much hope you enjoy embarking on another adventure with me!

Good luck on your adventures,

Twitter: @finnscarlett

Headless chicken

I promise to write something meaningful as soon as I have time to spare! But in the meantime I wanted to let you know that Explicit Instruction is on Goodreads! So check it out, there is a review there already, and remember to add it to your lists!


Good luck on your adventures,


We all have it in us...

We all have it in us…

There aren’t enough hours in the day. Shoehorning in the time to do all of the things that we need to do is hard enough, let alone trying to fit in the things we want to do.
We’re back! Might not mean much to most of you; my son and I have been away this week but we’re home now. My work schedule over the weekend is jam packed, simultaneously I’ll be trying to get my inspiration onto paper. Every once in a while inspiration hits, sometimes I enjoy it in the moment then mentally move on. Other times one idea leads to another and before you know it I’ve got half a novel in my head – and half a novel is all it takes.
So while parenting, running my business, and editing Rivals ON AIR (it has a name now), I am getting my inspiration onto paper. The funny thing is the idea struck me a while ago and I’ve been musing on it. But during the long drive home I pondered it. I don’t need a lot of brainpower for staying on the road it seems, lol.
I get so much enjoyment out of writing that the extra work isn’t a chore for me. I often feel for Val my Vaio because she gets less rest than I do. From the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed my computer is on. It’s never off. I at least get pleasure from my writing, the computer can’t say the same thing; though being inanimate probably helps.
Anyway, let’s talk about Rivals ON AIR. I’m so pleased I’ve decided on the title. Oddly, naming things can be the most difficult part of the process. The title has to be catchy, and if possible weave into the story in more than one way. This one does it for me. I can’t wait for you all to get to know Hunter and Annie, I hope you all grow to love them as I do.
A story can be expanded and trimmed. Ideas incorporated whilst others are thrown out. The process is dynamic, it has to be organic (as Annie would say) and getting the details straight in the course of the story is of course paramount. So many times I’ve got an idea into my head and I rush off to get it out of me but find myself stumbling over the first hurdle… who are these people?
I’m not sure how many of you are writers and so I wouldn’t want to be teaching you how to suck eggs (lovely expression, eh?) so suffice to say that not getting the details hammered out early can lead to delays further down the line.
As far as marketing goes I’m at a bit of an impasse because I just don’t have the time to do it properly. Then again, even if I did have the time I probably wouldn’t have the money. One avenue that I’ve used with both Mistake Me Not and XY Factor I’ve decided isn’t worth the money – two avenues actually but I called the first a dud a while ago.
Truthfully, I do what I can but as all indie writers know the curse of the review – or rather lack thereof – can make or break us. Readers don’t review very often and so without the word of others to encourage would-be readers of our work we’re a bit stuck. I can tell you how great my novel is until I’m blue in the face but I wrote it so I’m ever so slightly biased.
So I trundle on. I’ll get the boring stuff out the way and get Rivals ON AIR released when I can though there’s no real rush. I’m excited about it but I’m the only one – and I’ve read it! Hehe.
Have fun y’all, don’t work too hard, and remember to always make time for fun!

Have fun on your adventures,


Talking to myself

Insanity’s just another word for thinking outside the box…

This is tough. This whole publishing bit. The writing I’ve got a grip on. The editing I can cope with. The publishing is fiddly but you get to grips with it. The hardest part (and this won’t come as a galloping shock to anyone) is marketing.
It’s not that the marketing is difficult per se, the process is never ending, and there are a bunch of decisions to make. Often as soon as you make one you almost immediately decide it was the wrong choice *deep breath*. But that’s not why it’s difficult, read on…
As a writer I’m used to talking to myself. I do it out loud, in my head, on paper, on the keyboard, pretty much everywhere it can occur it does. But as a writer when I put something on paper, when I make a decision, and talk to myself, I can respond. It’s not as kooky as it sounds. We’ve all had the odd argument with ourselves, talked something out loud just to make sense of it, and as a writer that’s what I do.
Also, part of my job is dialogue, so when I type out something a character would say, or read it aloud to see if it makes sense, I can decide what comes next.
“How you doing today Joe?”
“Muddling through, how about you?”
“Not so great, some nutcase dinged my Ferrari.’
“Didn’t your wife just leave you?”
“Yeah, but replacing her is easy.”
I make it up as I go along – so to speak.
So, when I published ‘XY Factor’ I did a bit of advertising, not loads because I didn’t want it to take over my life – you really could go round the bend with all the options out there. E-books are everywhere, and everyone has one to publish; fair dues.
Then I put ‘Mistake Me Not’ out there and did less advertising.
I’m not wholly concerned with exposure. I don’t care if only five people read my novels. But the difficult thing is knowing when to stop.
I have another novel that I’m editing, and I’m excited about this one, really, really, excited because Hunter Riordan is such a sweetie-pie (though he’d never say it out loud) and I had such fun writing it. Maybe the most fun I’ve had since writing Nick and Bella’s tale (prequel to XY Factor). I want to get my work out there, and I want people to read and enjoy it. Like I say if it’s only five people who care about my characters then I’m happy to write for them. I’ll allot time to ensure deadlines are met and I’ll continue to feed the beast – so to speak.
It’s like this, blogging, it’s actually quite fun, and I hadn’t realised. I didn’t know I would enjoy this. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer so I type fast, and can get my ideas out quickly, that it’s nice to meander without a specific goal in mind – though writing as myself is a novelty, lol. Except if no one reads it, and no one cares about my characters, or has an interest in news or sneak peeks, then my writing may as well have stayed on my hard drive. I wouldn’t have to take time away from writing to publish, blog, advertise etc. and that’s the only thing I miss when I do these things. If I don’t have to do this then I could be writing just for me and immersing myself in the worlds I create.
So, if you care, if you’ve read my work, or are reading it, if you have ideas, comments, questions then please do share them with me. Comment on the blog, or review a piece, hell swing by goodreads and mail me, or Amazon, or Smashwords.
I love writing. I love getting my work out there. But I do wonder at what point talking to myself becomes a problem, lol. Without a hello how do I know anyone’s there… is anyone there?

Thanks for listening,