Sunday, April 29, 2012

Blog the thirteenth - Around the world and back

I've just returned from a 3 - week trip to the UK to visit family, taking in Paris, London Cardiff and a brief stop in San Francisco airport. After 10 years, my impression of the UK was -  what recession? There are more retail outlets than ever, with a constant stream of people emerging from them laden with bags of 'bargains'.

 A new phenomenon was the ubiquitous Apple Store where people seem to just stand around in huge numbers gently stroking Ipad screens. A bit like a nightclub but without the booze. Or dim lighting. Or music. No one seemed to be successful though. Not one person seemed to be leaving having actually secured the services of the aforementioned Ipad. They are, after all, not a cheap date.

The other trend I encountered was the apparent insatiable appetite for German cars. The M3, M25 and M4 motorways were choked with a seemingly endless variety of Mercedes and BMW's, with a few Audis and frequent VWs thrown in as well. I swear the same sporty black Merc kept lapping me on the M25.

In book news, I took a few copies of Milkshake to give to friends and relatives. I decided it would be a bit of fun to leave my last copy in the departure lounge of Terminal 3 at Heathrow. 

I wrote inside asking the finder to pass the book on when they'd finished and note their brief possesion on the Milkshake facebook page  So I sat down, carefully placed the book on the empty chair next to me and then waited until the cleaners had passed by before walking away.It felt a bit like one of those subtle document drops you see in spy movies. Only later did I remember that the opening chapter is actually set in a Heathrow departure lounge in 2002.

The sequel to Milkshake is currently with 4 beta readers, one of whom has already given me plenty of feedback to work on now I'm back in front of a proper PC rather than a netbook which seems to have about 20 minutes battery life before needing re-charging.

Incidentally, it was nice to see how many locations offering free wifi also offered the chance to re-charge laptops etc free of charge.

I'm off to start work on amending the first draft of TheDestiny Stone. It's 6.40am and I've already been up for 2 hours thanks to jet lag!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Blog 12 Beta readers and a fly on the wall

An update on beta readers for the Milkshake sequel; The Destiny Stone. Thanks to some generous offers, I have 3 willing readers (2 in New Zealand and 1 in Australia), who have agreed to go through the draft in the next couple of weeks.

In Milkshake news I had an interesting experience this week. A work colleague has purchased the paperback version from The Book Depository (free worldwide delivery) and keeps asking me about various aspects as she reads. Meanwhile, my manager has downloaded the e book onto her Ipad from the site. On Thursday I overheard them discussing what page they were up to, what had happened so far and how much they were enjoying it.... all without acknowledging I was actually in the room! This proved to be far more immediate and worthwhile than any written review I've ever had!

Incidentally I now have 10 reviews on American Amazon and 7 on the UK version.

Also this week, Milkshake had been reviewed on the popular and well-respected KIWIreviews website. It'll be interesting to see whether or not it generates any sales at all.

Milkshake has now been on sale since mid-October 2011. I understand this week the publisher gets all the royalties and sales details from places like Smashwords (and all its affiliates; Kobo, Barnes & Noble etc) and Amazon. Once the figures are passed on, it'll be my first indication of actual sales numbers.