Final Ramble of 2021

What a journey this year has been. Rewarding and difficult in equal parts and a major turning point that signals how much potential this writing journey has.

I came into 2021 with relatively grounded expectations and into a world where the pandemic was continuing to unfold and evolve much like it still is now. I won’t dwell much upon it as my whole philosophy has been to mostly exclude the negativity of the whole subject, instead I’ll dive into the positive aspects of this year and how the last twelve months has served as collective corner that I have turned as a creative. I hope none of this is received as a boast because I always share my results with a hope they are inspiring and helpful to my readers, you. While there are many wonderful things this year has given me, it wasn’t easy.

And without you, this wouldn’t have been possible and without you, none of this would have felt real and for your support I must thank you. From having a book I wrote back in 2018 that I thought nobody liked being downloaded over 10,000 times in a single day to the abundance of followers I befriended over on Twitter; 20,000+ and starting this year with just 5k – that is probably my finest achievement in all of my writing. This all started with convincing one reader at a time and if you can convince just one reader then you can convince thousands – I am living proof that being a creative in this modern age can be a successful endeavour and you can be happy with the results. There are a host of other wonderful moments this year has given me like being recruited to be a part of an author academy for young people, an exciting venture that I look forward to sharing more of soon. The abundance of wonderful reviews I got for my works, many of which have been waiting for a long time to reach readers. The support for the content I have churned out on here and of course my most recent release which has seen paperback sales that far exceeded expectations. My next ambition is to see creatives who have read my guide book finding success with their endeavours, while it is great to write all of these guides, seeing others benefit from them would be the dream for me.

After these twelve months I can happily say that I am at peace with so many aspects that were once struggles. Hard work and wanting to be successful go hand in hand. Now I look towards a new year as a more opportunity to build upon the foundations this year has laid. All of what I have achieved is very much possible for you too, remember that.

I’d like to take this moment to wish all of you a happy new year and let us hope that 2022 will be the start of some better days for all of us. Rock and roll man!

Weekly Ramble #132

In 2021 over 20,000 readers visited this blog. A record that stands as the best ever for Lee’s Hall of Information and proof that your words can eventually find an audience no matter how long you have been trying. And to me, trying is all you ever have to do in any vocation to find results.

Good things take time, work and patience and if you are willing to endure the journey of facing zero and the general graft of it all then someday that reward will present itself. That may sound easier said than done, especially now as I sit here with such a great number but those who have been around a while will know this journey has not been easy. From reverting to zero to dealing with the general snooty gatekeepers who I share this literary industry with. I have also found a wonderful and giving audience, you guys, who keep me blogging.

The future of this blog is incredibly bright and after so many years, ups and downs and work, this whole deal is starting to pay off! Thank you for reading and joining me. 2021 is coming to a close but there are just a few more tricks up my sleeve before the sun goes down on it.

Every Book I have read in 2021 Pt1

2021 has been a year of variety in terms of reads for me. 43 in total and all of them indie or self published. I’m a big believer of supporting the industry that I’m apart of and so here is a break down of the first 21 books I read and reviewed in 2021…

‘Civil Blood: The Vampire Rights Case That Changed a Nation’ by Chris Hepler

An alternative but realistic take on vampires with sharp political and biological edges…

4 Stars Full Review

‘The Word of the Rock God’ by Brooklynn Dean

An intimately descriptive fable that merges rock and roll with a powerful message…

5 Stars Full Review

‘Husband for Rent’ by Kristina Gallo

A tale full of twisting suspense about those on the fringes of society…

4 Stars Full Review

‘Deadly Odds’ by Allen Wyler

He’s in deep with the big fishes and the odds are hardly in his favour…

4 Stars Full Review

‘Moojag and the Auticode Secret’ by N.E. McMorran

Colourful and imaginative with a positive message about being different…

5 Stars Full Review

‘Snag’ by Dylan Burroughs

A well-paced horror that puts story first and the finer details perhaps second…

3 Stars Full Review

‘From Voiceless to Vocal’ by Danielle Larsen

Candid, brave and ultimately inspirational…

5 Stars Full Review

‘Judd’ by J.D Toombs and Erika Schulze

A ‘high school for heroes’ tale about the power of accepting who you are paired with some unique world building…

4 Stars Full Review

‘Deification’ by Brooklynn Dean

The intimate description and deep prose will consume you long before the apocalypse…

5 Stars Full Review

‘Raven Woman’s Tavern’ by Laura Koerber

There were many things the people of Warrentown didn’t know about Raven…”

4 Stars Full Review

‘Pestilence’ by Susie Kearley

A well-thought-out pacey tale of the times from a promising British author…

5 Stars Full Review

‘Sex, Violence, Mars’ by Walrus

A short but fun sci-fi story with great world building, action and some laughs…

4 Stars Full Review

‘Nocturnal Salvation’ by Villimey Mist

The Nocturnal series has returned and is better than ever…

5 Stars Full Review

‘Don’t Lose Your Head’ by Dave Williams

A twisted, haunting and enjoyable read that dives deep into the shadowy depths of one man’s mind…

5 Stars Full Review

‘Hearts and Spears’ by Somto Jefferson Uwazie

A unique and thought provoking collection of emotion-resonating poetry…

5 Stars Full Review

‘Operation: Palmetto’ by R.T. Breach

The chase is on for one man on a mission to prove his worth and the stakes are high…

3 Stars Full Review

‘Josef The Writer’s Cat’ by Ellen Khodakivska

A heart-warming and fun story told from a unique perspective…

5 Stars Full Review

‘Life of Maggot’ by Paul Jameson

A masterfully written vision and song about the end of time…

5 Stars Full Review

‘King of the Wicked’ by T.R. Hamby

An immersive imaginative take on Angels, humanity and immortality…

5 Stars Full Review

‘Born in Stockport – Grew up in the Royal Navy: Book One’ by Maurice Perkins

An entertaining and gritty series of real life tales told with charm…

4 Stars Full Review

‘ARIA: Book 1 of the Scintillance Theory’ by Gyorgy Henyei Neto

Immersive science fiction with some mystery and time travel elements…

4 Stars Full Review

And so that wraps up part 1. You can read part 2 here! Thanks for reading and make sure you check out some of these awesome books. Remember to leave a review if you buy any! Peace out readers.

Weekly Ramble #130

What an incredible year 2021 has been. Although challenging at times the past twelve months could be described by many words but for me as an author, I’m going to use potential.

Potential because the results I have seen for my efforts has convinced me this journey is worthwhile and has potential to go a lot further than I am right now. Of course the support I have received by you on here or across the platforms has fuelled me to reach higher and further than ever. I’ve achieved so many wonderful things this year and that tells me I can go on and get even better things. From having my book downloaded 10,000 times in a single day to tripling my Twitter following from 5k to nearly 18k, damn, things have really gone from strength to strength, I have even made money from selling books.

I’ve never been one to boast and while my statistics are awesome let them be the greatest advert for what you can achieve because I know there are so many creatives who follow me and who are just like me. If I can get these awesome things then you certainly can, for me, the next chapter is around the corner and so is yours. All I have ever done is never given up and kept going. From figuring out what my following enjoys seeing to the wider aspects of selling books and myself as a brand. The truth is, I want others to achieve what I have done, you’ll see from the plethora of guides I have churned out this year because helping others helps me, helping others builds trust and friendships, helping others is also incredibly rewarding. If you can find just one aspect of a journey to be rewarding then it makes the whole thing way more worthwhile. I’ve left my mark this year and potential is what drives me every day to keep leaving it.

Weekly Ramble #129

I’m hanging on down in dry county… Truthfully, this whole author blogger social media plant requires constant watering if I want any type of flowers. The rain being how much I put in but the measure is determined by my following and how they receive my content. Sometimes no matter how much you raise your game, it just feels like you are wading though semi-dry concrete.

There are no reasons for me to complain because this year stands as the best ever but it is a grind and a constant one and as soon as you let off, everything drops to zero. I suppose the demand to keep going does make some fall of the wagon and its understandable. Very little reward for constant work can bring anyone down but those who do keep going throughout the droughts and rains will find something good eventually.

Social media success if forged by presence and reaching out to others. Conversation and interaction, giving and helping. All of the things that make us human are what help us succeed in the virtual world that we are becoming more and more reliant upon – something I enjoy and embrace. With this year nearly coming to an end, I just got to keep hanging on no matter the weather.

Weekly Ramble #127

November brings the start of reflection for me and what a year this has been. Some of you might remember at the start I said it would be long and brutal in places and it has been. It has also been the best I have ever known as a creative for both book sales and social media results – for that I have you to thank. This train is going to keep rolling because in December I am eyeing up a rather spectacular finish with something special.

You could say this spectacular finish is something I have been planning all along and this path I am on might have always been leading to this. Quite soon you’ll be hearing more and normally this time of the year my writing efforts are wrapping up, not this time as things are only getting busier towards December; a month where my final act shall appear. I’m being super cryptical here but for those who follow my efforts as an author, this will be good for you I hope.

I have always gone where the demand is. My past releases have been dictated by having an ear on the ground and looking at what readers are buying from me. This final thing will hopefully secure what has been an awesome but difficult ride while also laying a good path for next year. More soon and of course, watch this space.

Weekly Ramble #126

For all that life can be, it is also incredibly short and the unexpected of both good and bad are always around that corner. To me, that is why chasing your passions and dreams is so incredibly important. With the plethora of crap life tries to throw your way, those who can overcome even the adversity of the mundane deserve a huge amount of credit. To stay afloat in life with your dreams and you still intact takes effort and even talent.

Life is sacred and to me it is also too precious not to try and chase those passions and dreams, to try and make strides towards getting better at your craft, your art and anything else you hold dear with passion is living in my eyes. To live in this world that is always trying to pull you below the surface is a challenge at times and those miniature battles seem to appear out of nowhere. The results, while they could yield near enough anything, they don’t always matter, but the passion does, the creativity does, the living does. If we can do those things then we would have lived well and can stand proud of our achievements even if it can feel like they are far and few, its all down to you.

So keep chasing, keep creating, keep making strides to be better than yesterday and let that passion carry you to heights you might never knew existed. Those words, those creations of yours will go further than anyone can imagine, even you. The battles and the mundane will always be there, but that passion, its a completely different force, its bigger, stronger and way more powerful than anything else life will throw at you from the mundane. Keep going.

Weekly Ramble #124

The place you once stood compared to where you are now in writing and publishing can get better if you keep going. I boast continually to be nothing special and I’m not, but the results I’m seeing are both a constant and a variable because they keep improving over time. All I have ever done is kept going and the rewards follow, whether it be higher social media numbers, more supporters on here or even more sales. In the past three months my books have gotten more reviews than 2016, 2017 and 2018 combined. As an author I am very much in unchartered territory of regularly selling books, leveraging social media and getting an uncanny amount of reviews, its fantastic.

It might feel like a struggle, and believe me it is, but eventually and if you keep going that struggle turns into reward. The efforts of a person who seeks to find a better tomorrow might not stand in a great today but if they work hard it will eventually be better than yesterday. While that may sound philosophical or like some over hyped motivational speaker I am simply a person who started from zero and cultivated that number into something better through creating. As I said, nothing special which means what I’ve done is more than possible to achieve by anyone who works at it.

People, good people along my journey resonated with my efforts while I did with theirs and we connected to make this whole thing bigger and better over time. To me this is and always will be a one person at a time deal, but the number of people is just way bigger than yesterday.

To those who have left reviews for my work in recent months, thank you.

Weekly Ramble #119

Last week saw my Twitter hit the 13k follower mark and I was so busy with content that I had no time to take a moment and let it sink in. Of course we are already moving towards 14k and things just seem to be going from clay to stone on the platform for me.

I seem to have figured things out over on the Tweet machine and just this year it has become an exceptionally powerful tool for my author blogger endeavours, Not only do I regularly sell books on there but I also bring that following over here to read the various articles and guides I write. Now I have even managed to leverage that awesome following over onto Patreon. Over the weekend I secured my first Patron – a fellow author who will get their own feature on here soon and that is just one of the many incentives you’ll get if you join. Others include a free book and social media shout outs to that 13k following.

This week my first fictional Patreon post will premiere in the form of a western sci fi horror I am currently querying. The first part will be Free to read and then Patrons will have exclusive access to the further instalments planned this month and next. Of course this new venture has started slowly but I am hopeful it will eventually be a success not only for me but for other authors who decide to support me. As I said there will be rewards, incentives and plenty of guides coming so watch this space like a hawk!

The Power of Positivity on Social Media

Over the many years and through great trial and error on social media I have concluded that positivity is a powerful thing. Now I’m not talking about stapling a smile to your face for the crowd because when it comes to being positive online, that’s something that cannot be staged. But like most of the things I say that work on social media, they are no good unless I show you. So what do I mean by being positive – perhaps something one shouldn’t go shouting about these days out in the street without some context or a mask…

Some Context

Any victory small or large that you positively share with a social media following in a gracious way should be well received. How do I know that? Because I’ve spent a huge amount of time testing the waters and those stormy social media seas can be weathered by anyone; all you need to do is try and keep trying. But what do I really mean? All I can do is tell you my results that have worked and no, there isn’t any hack or magic formula to being positive online – you just have to show up and share.

But what if it feels like I haven’t achieved anything big or small to share?

That’s the wonder of being positive because it has multiple inputs. Sometimes it isn’t all about you and yes even I struggle with telling my ego that but, well-wishing is greatly received on social media. Just wishing your following a good day will resonate with someone and that resonation might compel someone to converse which is engagement which will turn into visibility and visibility turns into sales or follows or often overlooked – a good conversation and experience on social media. And remember social and media, they are named in that order to me for a reason – be social first, share media second.

Being positive on social media isn’t always about sharing results or victory but simply sparking an opportunity to engage and talk with another human behind the handle. So many users forget that or don’t even realise that. Just being on social media to sell things probably won’t take you very far unless you have a very mainstream and needed product or a bucket load of money to push your presence in front of everyone.

There are so many social media users out there who try to stir a reaction by being controversial or perhaps even spicy. I call that sort of thing bait and they’ll cast it out to the masses just to stir engagement – having been a reader most my life and present on social media for years, someone like me can see straight through it and none of that stuff ever really compels me to engage plus ultimately it is negative. Those who do thrive off negativity on social media will not last, no human can sustain negativity for long so be positive instead because sharing good things leads to even better things.

The Outlook is Positive

I know all too well that it’s hard having a lower following and for a long time it will feel like you are simply shouting into the void. Fill that void with positivity and it will answer back eventually. From sharing those smaller victories like a follower milestone, single book sale or new book review to simply wishing others a good day – humans are drawn to good news, good things and good things happening to you.

It fosters hope and if you give another person hope, they are unstoppable.

Practical Applications for Being Positive on Social Media:

Basic Tip: For those looking for a better reach, try using some hashtags. Most of the time the Hashtags I use are writing based like: #writingcommunity #authors #indieauthors #booktwitter #readingcommunity

There are even some mainstream hashtags that trend at certain times or days like: #mondaymotivation and #fridayfeeling

You can find more positive things listed on the original post which can be found and read for FREE over on my Patreon.

Those thinking about signing up will receive social media shout outs, coaching, a free book and will also get first dibs on my many guides coming soon.

Thanks for reading and stay positive folks!