Weekly Ramble #156

It’s good to be busy. Having deadlines and things to do keeps me motivated and keeps this machine rolling. Now my 8th book is out there I’m moving back to content creating and even a little editing for a book I plan to query next year. You can also expect a few more indie book reviews.

With the recent BookBub success not slowing down, I’ve noticed a slight dip in the ratings as so many readers are discovering my eldest title. I’m sure it will level off soon and the feedback has been pretty valuable for the most part and the lessons learned here are ones I shall take on for life. Not everyone is going to like my stuff and that’s fine, its good for the ego I suppose. The wonder of being self published is the fact I can instantly amend any potential problems with any of my works – something I am always looking to improve upon. Some of the feedback I’ve received for that has been very much appreciated.

Having a large quantity of readers come in all at once is a slight culture shock but being published means I have to accept the fate of whatever people say about my work. I love my stories, and that’s all that matters sometimes. I also love being a writer and a content creator.

Back to the grind for now.

Weekly Ramble #155

The past week has been a ride. To see my debut book get downloaded several thousand times in 24 hours has been a rollercoaster of emotion. As a proprietor of one’s and two’s in terms of sales, these numbers aren’t exactly a daily occurrence.

Its going to take a while to come down and this result has kind of been everything I have ever wanted on this path and it is even more special because it is my debut book. It might not be my best work, and yes it is of a certain age but to see my book get an opportunity to be thrown in front of just a slice of mainstream readers is awesome.

Of course the reviews will contrast from glowing to obsessively obtuse and weird – I’ve been there before and to see my book after all these years get such numbers is fantastic. In the middle of all that was a hugely successful launch of my 8th book which has outsold every one of my previous releases. Sometimes this whole deal can be awesome.

And now I can retreat back into content creating and even editing of a book that I am going to hopefully query next year. You can expect the results of that recent promotion soon.

Weekly Ramble #151

All the usual festivities of a book release are coming. Book 8 ‘Darke Apocalypse’ is about a month and half away from release and it will be a relief to get this one over the line.

Way back in 2020 I committed to releasing this book next and so that time and work is about to culminate. Social media promotion is a grind but I am ready and now we are in August I’ve got no choice but to ramp up my presence because all of the sales, follows, reviews, interactions and success is built upon presence. When someone does ask me how I get daily book sales I simply tell them it is based on presence but of course a lot of other factors have to align also.

August also marks the anniversary of starting Patreon which has now become quite a success. 10 kind Patrons have signed up and the content is growing – to those who support me there, thank you. I plan on releasing much more soon so for that and my 8th book, I’ll say what I always say, watch this space!

Introducing a new Tier with more rewards!

Are you looking to grow as a creative on social media? Perhaps you want to reach more people or even find yourself a following that grows and invests in you. Maybe you want to sell more books through social media.

Having been around the social media creative scene for nearly 10 years I have the knowhow and experience to show you exactly that. Quite recently I have laid down that experience in the form of audio and text based guides over on my Patreon which now has a brand new tier!

Introducing the Royal Rock Star Patron Tier which offers much more to those who sign up in the form of digital content. Upon signing up for less than $5 a month you’ll receive a free copy of my guide book Consistent Creative Content and then every few months I’ll send you another one of my ebooks!

Either tier are great value and especially so right now because I have a stack of content coming including more episodes of my audio Twitter Coaching Sessions. Sign up today and start your own journey to success!

Guest Book Review: ‘Cascade: The Sleep of Reason’ by Rachel A. Rosen

Review by Rohan O’Duill

A generation has passed since climate change brought about the Cascade that transformed the world, smashing the tectonic plates of the political landscape and infesting the wilderness with demons and shriekgrass.

“Jonah knew that holding power always meant drowning, that every second in office meant fighting for oxygen, with one’s enemies baying like hunting dogs on the shore. Ian, with the treacherous sea in his fisherman’s blood, must have been used to drowning.”

The character complexity in Rachel A. Rosen’s debut novel Cascade is fascinating. Ian moved from a working-class fisherman’s family into being a campaigner and protestor. When he developed magical powers and the ability to see into the future, he aligned himself with the new hope in politics. But it turns out that predicting the future doesn’t mean anything in a political system that is just not fit for purpose to deal with the climate crisis. It’s a chilling observation of the struggles in today’s corridors of power. But despite the weightiness of the messaging in this climate-disaster fantasy, there is a whole lot of laugh-out-loud moments and action that keep this 400 page novel careening along.

“You go lookin’ for terrorists, you see every daft kid dreamin’ of his 72 virgins and every chinless loner prick with a case of blueballs that he blames on his ex-girlfriend.”

Ian Mallory is Malcolm Tucker with heart, and the abuse that he dishes out to confuse and divert attention from his actions is priceless. His apprentice, Sujay, is not far behind with the cutting observations, although these start out mostly in her own head before circumstances force her into the open.

What starts out as a political thriller with magic, quickly evolves into a quick-witted action-filled fantasy that explores climate change, activism, corruption, racial profiling, brutality and the chaos inflicted on the world through popular politics. This is all held together superbly through Rachel’s beautiful writing style and storytelling ability.

This is a guest book review by Rohan O’Duill who you can find on Twitter.

Let’s Talk About… Twitter Statistics

Converting any kind of social media traction into sales, follows or anything else is really really hard. It takes a boat-load of dedication, time, patience and the sheer will to move mountains to sometimes feel like you are making any progress – that’s how it feels to me every so often but it is not impossible to turn your social media into some level of success. This post will highlight the difficulty us creatives can face on social media whilst also providing a few solutions to help move the needle.

The inspiration for this post came from my recent ‘break’ from social media, now I say ‘break’ but really I just reduced my efforts for a few weeks for a little self repair. For all the things social media can be, it can be a drain on one’s mental health and can also be addictive so its good to take a break every now and then and focus on the to-do list.

Tip: When it comes to social media, you always come first. So does your mental health. There is no shame in practicing self-care and you can only do what you can do. Take a break if you need to.

For someone who has built their Twitter presence from zero to 30,000+ it took a long time to get to where I am now and so I went forth into this recent break knowing the majority of my numbers across platforms along with sales would drop, and I was right.

So for perspective, let us look at the Twitter numbers for May before I reduced my presence and tweeting whilst cross referencing that with book sales:

Now everyone’s Twitter is different, including numbers but May was an awesome month for me which was mainly driven by the grey bars on this graphic which represents Tweets. In simple terms, the more you Tweet, the more you get back eventually.

For me, any impressions over 20k a day is the sweet spot and means good things should eventually happen such as more followers and even book sales. Anything below that for a period of time and everything slows down. Because everyone’s Twitter is different, you’ll probably have a different sweet s[pt number. Using the Twitter analytics via the browser version should help you dive deeper into your own numbers.

Here are my book sales for that period:

Now these a pretty good numbers, with a little paid advertising thrown in at the mid point but most of my regular day-to-day sales come from Twitter and so I have to keep those numbers up.

Let us now look at what happens if I reduce my Tweeting which I did in June.

The numbers pretty much halved and then after the 60k spike, they dropped below that ‘sweet spot’ and over time the sales dipped.

So the numbers say it all. Less tweeting for me equals way less regular sales. Now by July I decided to do something about this and began upping my Tweeting. It took a few days but I managed to push the numbers back up to that ‘sweet spot’ and even sold a book for my efforts.

I keep a close eye on the Analytics of my Twitter and its pretty good for indicating what is needed to get the numbers up. But what was I Tweeting about?

Tip: As long as it aims to inspire, inform, entertain, give value or incentive then a Tweet with these things should be well-received eventually. Quantity is key.

Now this post is just a slice of the Twitter pie and you can read so much more for free via the resources section of this very blog.

If you want a detailed deep dive at how I have turned my Twitter into a book selling machine then do check out my Twitter Coaching Sessions here. As you can see one of my students A-M is benefitting from it. Thanks for reading!

Weekly Ramble #149

The social media grind can be just that, a grind. Any type of momentum and sales conversion pretty much disappears the minute you stop. Whilst it was great to recharge and take a step back in the past few weeks, my sales and Twitter engagement has suffered. Getting it back to pre-break numbers has proven to be quite a challenge and has also reminded me how hard it can be no matter the follow count.

Those who know me will know I do not give up and I will do anything within reason to succeed on this path, that’s what has gotten me here and that is why I will always improve from where I stand because I just don’t give in.

Good, bad, indifferent – they are the variables but the constant is me and my resilience.

Passing on my knowledge is starting to bring in results and just yesterday a Patron from my Twitter coaching celebrated a big win driven by something they learned from my resources. My next step is to find more who can vouch for these resources because just advertising them on Twitter is killing my numbers. The algorithms can be difficult sometimes.

Those who do want to get better at social media can check out my resources section.

Awesome Recommended Indie Reads #8

And so the journey of reading indie books continues. Here are some of my recent reads…

‘Sentinel: Galaxii Book 4’ by Christina Engela

Immersive and enjoyable space-sci fi…’

Full Review

‘A Still Life’ by Elliott Wink

Short and intriguing, an original sci-fi tale perfect for reading in one sitting…

Full Review

‘Dead of Winter’ by Antoinette McCormick 

‘It comes in the night…’

Full Review

Check out Lee Hall on Patreon

‘Fallout’ by Pat Griffith

An imaginative and highly original tale about first contact with corporeal beings from another world some of which are already here….

Full Review

‘Where Darkness Meets Light’ by Sabrine Elouali

Thought-provoking poetry reflecting many themes surrounding the dark and light…

Full Review

‘San Francisco Suite: A Rudy Parsons Story’ by Ethan McCaffery

Well-written detective mystery with noir tones and a metaphysical twist…

Full Review

‘Pirate Sea’ by Kyler Kuehler 

A swashbuckling and sometimes brutal tale packed with action

Full Review

And so that wraps up another edition of awesome recommended indie reads. Thanks for stopping by and remember to leave a review after your next read!

‘Fallout’ by Pat Griffith – Review

An imaginative and highly original tale about first contact with corporeal beings from another world some of which are already here….

Pat Griffith takes readers on an original and unexpected journey that begins in one place and then takes a direction I did not see coming. A group of high school aged friends spend an evening camped out in the woods for some stargazing and experience something none of them could have possibly expected. And then there’s first contact as the real story kicks in.

The light around them dimmed, eliminating the shadows. The sun grew cold and the wind blew harder. As they looked up, gravitating toward each other, there was a mutual, unspoken question between them: What in the world was that?’

The pace suddenly quickens as its apparent this fallen meteorite contains life that has a unique invisible ability to spilt and take over a human mind. This life even has a conscience and thought process even if it does find the human anatomy seemingly foreign. After hitching a ride on their nearest hosts the chase begins as the authorities are informed – the FBI who usually turn up to these things are on the case and then comes the realisation that some of these beings were already here, hiding amongst us. The focus is on the human mind and how it can be altered or even intercepted to the point where they (the humans) are no longer in control.

Through the vessel of some wonderful description and heaps of originality we are taken on this ride of chase and hide adventure as these beings intercept and try to run. There are even those in authority who have succumbed to the effects of them. What they want is never really known but does it matter? Perhaps not because like all life, that’s probably what they want, to live. There are brief shades of Invasion of the Body Snatchers but with a less horror-esque tone and more of a focus on that corporeal life that silently takes on a human host.

For anyone looking to read an original sci-fi adventure about life from another planet that intercepts life on this one, this is definitely one for you!

4 Stars – This review first premiered via Reedsy Discovery