One Soul, Cheap, Barely Used

With Deep Shell now on amazon and not exactly selling in droves, I decided to pull my sleeves up and throw some money at the problem.

Wait, you may ask, is there a problem? Well, yeah. People aren’t buying my excellent novella in the numbers I desire. And how many do I desire, you might wonder? Seven billion copies. After that I’m happy.

Ebook advertising is hard. You can only bug your friends and online acquaintances so much and after a while the only avenue left open is filthy, dirty advertising. So I bit the nipple and went with a couple of options.

The first was Amazon. They work hard to inform authors of Amazon Marketing Services, which places a tiny banner for your book in front of prospective buyers. And it does. The problem being the next step.

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 18.49.40Here’s the latest data for my amazon campaign. As you can see, of the 1671 people who saw the ad, 1670 of them didn’t click on it. Which isn’t great, as stats go. I don’t think I’ll get very far with that one.

Another option is Book Daily, suggested to me by the nice people at Space Opera: Writers group on Facebook. Here you pay the site fifty dollars a month and they send your book out in their newsletter to all the people who signed up, plus promote it on their site. The problem being the people who signed up are probably also self-published authors who want people to buy their books but aren’t necessarily ready to shell out for someone else’s.

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 19.01.04So what’s left? No idea. Short of shoving leaflets through my neighbours’ doors and accosting strangers on the street while holding a sweaty clipboard, I can’t think of another good way to market a rather good kindle short. You got ideas, you let me hear them. And the cheaper the better.

/ paddy

Free Space Bacon

DeepShellAttention people of Earth. My novelette Deep Shell, 55 pages and 16,000 words of gore and space intrigue, is now available for FREE as an ebook on the amazon store of your choice.

Go on, download the bugger. You don’t have to read it, if you’re pressed for time and don’t like awesome stories. Just download it and help me climb the charts and get some traction so I can bask in fame and bathe in Donkey milk

Every single download really is a big help. Every review is a bigger help. And telling your friends and loved ones, well, I wouldn’t say no to that either. And hey, anybody want an interview…? I can be truly adorable.

By the way, you don’t need an actual kindle. Just get the free kindle app on your smartphone or pad and read away to your little heart’s content. Go!

/ paddy

The Vagina in the Room

This Saturday finds me in a bit of a pickle. A slight pickle. A slippery micro-pickle.

As posted last time, I received the amazing final cover for my novelette Deep Shell. But just hours after posting it online for comment, the whispers began. “A fine cover,” they said. “A great cover entirely. But … isn’t it a bit … well … vagina-like?”

Now I won’t name and shame the filthy people who thought that, but the artist who made it decided to tweak it a little to see if the vaginal taste could be removed, as it were. He sent me this new one today.

And, as I like them both, I can’t decide. Is the new one better? Is the old too much like a gee? Or are we all just dirty-minded losers with too much time on our sorry fingers … sorry, our hands? Comments please.

/ paddy


The old cover


The new cover

Deep Shell

So I decided to blow a wad of money in a proper writerly manner. I’m having a novelette of mine professionally edited, getting a cover made, and putting the whole thing out on the kindle store. Putting my money, basically, where my mouth is.

The story in question, clocking in at 15000 words, is called Deep Shell. And it’s kind of a weird one.

The idea sprang from a fascination I have with holes in the street. You know, when they dig up the road to get at the pipes and shafts and all those lovely deep-buried bits. Those pipes and cables always struck me as vaguely organic. Kind of like a wound in the flesh of the city. And I started thinking — if it were a wound, then somebody would need to come fix it, before it all went yicky and bad. So what would that person’s job and life be like?

hole2I set about making up a world where it might happen. Science fiction was the obvious arena, and as I already had a science fiction universe, from an old put-in-the-drawer novel, I decided to set it in that — the universe of the Conflux, a short time after the galaxy-spanning waytubes collapsed for murky and unknown reasons, shattering that civilisation into scattered bunches of survivors, all trying to rebuild their lives.

The story would take place on the back of an enormous, floating turtle-like beast known as the behemoth, the only solid surface on the entire world-wide ocean. I put humans there, living in the ruins of the ancient ships that crash-landed after the collapse decades before. And I set the story clock ticking in the form of worsening fleshquakes, fading power cells, and people gone missing deep inside the shell.

Street Surgeon was for a long time the title, although I finally went with Deep Shell. I wrote it over a couple of months, edited it, polished it, work-shopped it with the excellent people at the Stockholm Writer’s Group, submitted it to a few places, got refused, and put it aside.

But then, six months later, something kicked it back into my life. After a tip from the excellent Jennifer Foehner Wells, I was enticed into sending it to a real, proper editor. Her editor, in fact. The cost of this person’s services put me off at first, but after I got a sample of his work, the corrected first two pages of the story, I was gobsmacked. It was so much better. Worlds better. I knew I had to take the plunge.

The editing took a couple of passes, which I buggered up just a little by fiddling with the story in between the passes, making more work that necessary for the editor. Warning: don’t do that, dear writers. But as that process neared completion, I needed a cover. So off I went into the jungle, searching around for a good cover designer.

I was finally pointed to this guy by a Facebook acquaintance. He had only done a few covers, and it was a risk, but we decided to give it a shot. And as a first draft, he delivered to me this:

DEEPSHELL-PaddyKelly-DRAFT1 2I must say I really like it. I have a few comments and we’re doing a new version. But this is definitely a large step in the right direction, and hopefully it’ll be done in a few weeks and ready for the kindle store sometime in April.

Will Deep Shell languish at the bottom of the bog hole or rise and bob proudly on the top-selling list, like a bloated and gilded turd? Only time will tell. Time, and lots of people buying it.

Like the cover? Hate the cover? Have ideas? Want to give me a book deal? Let me know below.

/ paddy