Monthly Archives: January 2014

Read It Through Another Damn Time, You Idiot!

Well, the four day estimate for wunderboxmedia to supply the trailer videos for Tiberius Found was way off. They sent them back a few hours ago, but I’ve only just downloaded them and watched what they produced. First off, let me say how impressed with these guys – I ordered package 2 – two videos – and they supplied a third, free of charge. Their choice of music and video manipulation was, I think, pretty much spot on. But then I saw the problem…


Or rather the text I supplied them with.

I gave a flow-chart in Excel. I love working in Excel but it’s so easy to make speeling mistkaes spelling mistakes. The only problem was that I rushed the text, read what I expected to read and mailed it off. I’ve requested the changes and am prepared to pay for another gig if need be but it would have been better to not have made the cock-up error in the first place. I’ll let you know what their answer is.

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My publishing month – January

ImageJanuary saw the re-launch of Tiberius Found, not only as an ebook but also in a paperback version via Amazon’s sister publishing house CreateSpace. It was a busy start of the year for me but how did it go?

Well, not bad but could have been better. We all say that, don’t we? Even Jo Konrath, I’m guessing and he did around $1m in sales last year. So, how did the breakdown look?





  • I had sales via CreateSpace, which was nice, but not many. I need to push the physical version a little more. If a reader buys the physical book then they can also purchase the ebook (Kindle) for $0.99
  • I had most sales via Amazon Kindle, both in the US and UK – the UK outsold the US by 7:1, so I need to promote more for the US market
  • I didn’t have any sales via Smashwords but the book only went live close to month end so no real surprise there. It’s now been approved for their Premium catalog and been uploaded to most of their re-seller partners – it’s available in the Barnes & Noble ebook store but yet to go live in Apple, Kobo, WHSmith etc but will, hopefully, do so in the weeks to come

This month also saw the launch of my official website – self-built via the WIX system – which, I think looks pretty good, and I have ‘Buy It Now’ buttons for both the paperback and ebook versions. I’ve used the American-based Ganxy provider which allows a variety of eformats to be uploaded – .pdf, .mobi, .epub and .doc – so should allow for pretty much a version suitable with most ereaders. A potential buyer can click on the link and choose whichever format suits them best. The website only went live in the last couple of days, so again no real surprise there haven’t been any sales.

The Facebook page for The Emperor Initiative saw a huge increase in traffic and is growing nicely – I just need to keep the momentum going. I’ve had good support from other self-published authors on the Kindle community boards as well as friends and friends-of-friends. The number of page ‘likes’, as far as I’m aware, plays a massive part in Facebook’s algorithms so if you haven’t ‘liked’ the page yet, then I politely encourage you do so now. I thank you.

Today saw me finish the script text and images to be used for a video production company to make two one-minute videos, which will be uploaded to You Tube as promotional tools. I’ve once more used a company through the Fiverr platform – wunderboxmedia – which has cost me a massive total of £3.14. I had to source all the images, which was a bit of a pain, but for a cost of just over £3 I can hardly complain. I used Angie at pro_ebookcovers through Fiverr for the cover image you see above and was very happy with the result and I’m planning to use them again for the next book, Tiberius Bound. For $25 I got a Kindle version, a CreateSpace version, the .PSD file and a better quality stock image – the grand total? £16.20 Bargain.

The videos should be completed in the next few days, so I’ll let you know how they turn out. Wunderboxmedia have a 100% positive feedback, so I’m pretty hopeful they’ll be what I’m after.

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Tiberius Found now listed on Barnes & Noble

Well, the filtering of distribution from Smashwords has started to happen: Tiberius Found is now available as an ebook via Barnes & Noble here for their Nook ereader. It’s starting to feel like it’s a ‘proper’ book now that it’s got ‘shelf’ space on one of America’s largest sellers.

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The Eagle Has Landed …

Or rather … Tiberius Found has been approved for Premium status on Smashwords!

Very happy about that.

My Smashwords page can be found here

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2000 AD Future Shocks

images-22000 AD has been at the fore front of UK comics since the late 70s and ranks up there with Marvel and DC in terms of respect and admiration. About a week or so ago I saw a tweet posted for 2000 AD about their Future Shocks shorts, which caught my attention as I’ve been considering comic script writing for a while now. It’s a different medium toeither novel or screenplay writing and I’m always open to new writing challenges. 2000 AD have been including these short stand-alone stories since the early days and big names including Alan Moore have cut their teeth writing them.

2000 AD have an open submission policy regarding their Future Shocks shorts – for both artists and writers – and have very clear guidelines as to how work should be submitted. Personally, I think the artists’ requirements are much more rigid than the writers’: they have a six-page script to draw (choosing from a small selection) with quiet specific criteria. The writers’ can do whatever they want, with the following requirements: a 4-page (between 5-7 panels per page), futuristic story (in existing 2000 AD worlds, or completely made up) with either a sic-fi, horror or fantasy angle, that has a twist at the end. They have some other guidelines regarding speech bubbles and the amount of words per bubble but otherwise it’s pretty relaxed.

Now, that’s the easy part. Thinking up a worthy story with an appropriate twist is an altogether different matter.  And then there’s the blocking it out and determining what goes in each panel. OK,so I managed to do this elements then came the actual writing. With such little text – either in narrative of dialogue – it should be a pretty straight-forward task, right? Wrong. It’s probably been the hardest piece of writing I’ve had to do.

Anyway, the task is now complete, subject to review amendments and I’m pretty happy with the results. I’ll be sending in the submission in the next week or so and will wait to see how they take to it. Who knows …

Their submission page can be seen here.

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‘Tiberius Found’ now available via Smashwords

If I thought formatting for CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) was difficult and frustrating then welcome to the world of Smashwords. Phew. Their easy-to-has formatting guide is, from my perspective, overly complicated and rage-inducing.

Particularly the ‘Table of Contents’ (TOC) issue. Wow. After several hours spent trying to fathom the guide and linking the chapter headings to the TOC list – cue grinding of teeth and venting of swear words – without success I simply googled the problem and lo-and-behold work-around found.

Now, after only a few short minutes the file was accepted and has gone live via the Smashwords system, and available in these formats: epub, pdf, rtf, lrf, pdb and txt. I don’t even know what some of them are (lrf?)

You can find the Tiberius Found Smashwords page here.


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Praise for ‘Tiberius Found’ when you should be working …


I received a mail today from a chap called Rik Payne after he’d started reading my YA action/adventure Tiberius Found, and I thought I’d share it with you. It’s always nice to get positive feedback but this one felt genuinely heart-felt. It made my day.

WARNING – this does contain some profanity but in a good way …

“Andy, I downloaded some of your short stories a while ago and recently get round to reading them. I enjoyed them, particularly The Regret of Cause and Effect. So I thought I would download Tiberius Found, now I wish I could say I enjoyed it as much as your short stories but I can’t. It’s fucking awesome! It’s a totally cracking read I am only 30% into it and I’m hooked. Well done mate I am going to have to buy Tiberius Bound as soon as I finish this one. Can’t say more at the moment as I am meant to be working, but had to say what a good job I think you have done. Masterly.”

If you haven’t yet given Tiberius a go then why not see why Rik’s so excited and read it for yourself!

Amazon (print) UK: here US: here

Kindle UK: here US: here

Kobo: here


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Tiberius Found in print

Well, it’s been a long time coming but Tiberius Found has, at last, been published in print form, and can be found here.

I used the CreateSpace service and, like a great many others, found it to be not all that user-friendly. What should be a simple process dragged into may long hours of formatting anguish. I was doing what the software told me to do and yet when the ‘preview’  option started the text was clearly not where I was expecting to be. However, tongue-biting and perseverance prevailed until I eventually managed to manipulate the layout.

I have to say that from that point CreateSpace have been fantastic – sending the proof material etc – and I’m really happy with the end product. I just hope that any and all books that people order are printed with the same care and attention the proof had.

Then came the excitement of formatting the file for the Kindle system. Again, the front-end part is great but the back-end – the nuts-and-bolts side – is not particularly user-friendly owing to the idiosyncrasies the Kindle system has. Conversely, the process of converting the .doc file to an .epub and then uploading it to Kobo was blissfully pain free.

Now I just have to start prepping Tiberius Bound for publication …

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