Your life is about to get a whole lot more boring

So, the sequel that no one on Earth ever asked for is now available at Amazon.  The Most Boring Christmas Special Ever Written is now available in paperback and will be available for the Kindle on November the 6th.  I’m not sure if I should send copies of it out to be reviewed, or just see what happens.  With The Most Boring Book Ever Written, I don’t believe I sent it to a single reviewer, and yet it ended up being the most downloaded book I’ve written.  I’ll make it free for the Kindle in the coming weeks, but, really, wouldn’t the paperback make the perfect Christmas gift for that person who has everything?

 

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The World Ends in the UK

So, I’m a little confused, and if you’re reading this and you live in the UK, perhaps you can help.  Book One of How the World Ends has been available for a little over two weeks now, and it is doing surprisingly well in the UK.  I’ve made essentially no effort to promote this book in any marketplace, aside from this blog, a few tweets, and my Kindle Scout experiment.  In the UK, it’s been in the top 100 charts for paid Kindle books about alien invasions for a while, and has consistently been in the top 10 000 kindle books for the last couple of weeks (and there are more than two million kindle books available).   So, my question is: why?  Is there a social media presence from someone in the UK who has been promoting this book?  Or do those in the United Kingdom just have a soft-spot for apocalyptic fiction in which very little is explained and lots and lots of people die?

I’ve had books available on Amazon for more than six years now, and never have I had such a proportion of my sales for a book come from this marketplace (well over 50% of sales have come from the UK).  Does anyone know the answer to this?  If you do, please comment on this post, or email me directly.  You can find my email in the contact tab at the top.

I should also add that I have a soft-spot for the UK.  I worked in London for almost three years from 2000 – 2002, working as a teacher right after I finished my university degree.  Although the work was challenging, it was one of the greatest experiences of my life, and was foundational in making the person I am today.  And as such, there are references to England or London (usually small) in just about every book I’ve ever written.

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The Most Boring Xmas Special Ever Written

Boring Xmas Cover
So, today I finished a draft of what’s tentatively being called, The Most Boring Christmas Special Ever Written.  It started with an idea I had last Christmas, about making a semi-sequel to what is, ironically, the most popular (at least in terms of downloads/purchases) book I’ve written.  I spoke/emailed with Daniel about this for some time, but in the end he gave me his blessing to write it myself.  Daniel is simply too busy with work and his kids and life to put his whole heart into this right now.  I started writing the draft in May, and finished it, well, today.  Like I already said.

I’ve toyed with the idea of writing a sequel over the years.  The title would be very obvious (The Most Boring Sequel Ever Written) but I really don’t want to write any more choose-your-own-adventure style books.  I think Daniel and I have kinda beaten that to death.  So, I was thinking that this Christmas Special might be purely linear, doing away with the many banal choices that were in the first book.  However, in the end, I decided that the book would need something to make it a little different from a straight-ahead (boring) book, so there is only one choice, fairly early on in the story, that leads to two different endings.

The book is actually longer (in terms of a word count) that the original.  Like The Most Boring Book Ever Written, it follows the same ex-military person from the second person.  It takes place five years after the first, and incorporates some of the same characters.  What I hope is that it has the same tone and funny/boring flow of the original without just being a retread.  Only time will tell if I was successful with that.

Anyhow, The Most Boring Book Ever Written was a relative breeze to edit because of its complete lack of pretension.  I really, really want to have this Christmas Special ready by November.  What’s the point of having a Christmas Special out in the new year?  It’s too short for me to enrol in Kindle Scout (which is too bad, as I think it would stand a chance of doing well), but that will also speed up the process.

After I’m done with this, I’ll return to editing Book Two of How the World Ends with the idea of it being released in the first half of next year.

August the 14th

So, Book One of How the World Ends will be released on August the 14th, 2017.  It is now available as a pre-order at Amazon.com for the Kindle versionHTWE Cover 1.  The paperback version will be available soon, as well.   I have to get a few more things ready for that, so not sure when.  There will be updates.

As you can probably tell, this means that my experiment with Kindle Scout let to a rejection, which is not at all surprising.  I’m actually more positive about the entire Kindle Scout experience than I expected, and I will most definitely use it again in the future.  Like I’ve said in the previous post, Book One is not meant to be a standalone story, so I didn’t expect it to be chosen.  Still, an interesting idea, even if I did refer to it as a crowd-sourced slush pile before.

As for Book Two, it will certainly be ready sometime in 2018, hopefully in the early part of the year.  I’ll see if Book Three will be released in late 2018 or 2019.  The drafts of all are complete, but I don’t want to needlessly rush their release.

 

How the World Ends (Book One)

So, I thought I’d try something new.

First of all, I thought I’d try to write a science-fiction/horror novel and I’m not sure if it ended up really being either of those two things, but I’m never a fan of straight-ahead genre specific stories.  It started almost three years ago as a strange dream (in which I was watching a movie, the plot of which became the basis for this book), the complete draft was finished back in September of 2016, and now I feel pretty much ready to release the first third of the story.

Book One, along with the other two parts, is not meant to be a stand-alone story.  It is quite literally just the first part of a three-part novel, but I feel that the story in its entirety is a little too long for most people to be willing to grab onto.  Plus, trilogies are all the rage these days, so I might as well try jumping on that bandwagon.  Each Book has it’s own story arc, rising tension, climax, but it’s still most definitely one story.  Over the last six months, I’ve been focussing on cleaning up Book One as much as possible, with the hope of releasing it this summer, and specifically on August the 14th, since it is a significant date in the story.  Why not.

But I also thought I’d try out Kindle Scout.  To be honest, I’ve heard mixed things about this program, in which Amazon effectively crowdsources the old ‘slush pile’ that used to (I guess the probably still do) clog up valuable space in the mailrooms of literary agents and book publishers.  Once accepted to Kindle Scout, a book is placed on a 30-day online trial where people can recommend it.  In the end, however, the Amazon overlords/editors decide which books are selected for a specialized type of book contract, not the voters.  One of the issues I have is that books being accepted in the Kindle Scout program are supposed to be “professionally copyedited, at the very least,” which in a normal book contract is something that publisher takes care of.  If a publisher truly likes your work, they should be able to see past a few typos and pay for that themselves.  But, anyhow, I thought I’d try this.  Like I said, I thought I’d try something new.

So, as of today, How the World Ends (Book One) has its own Kindle Scout Campaign page, on which you can read the first 10%ish of the book, look at a picture of me without a beard, and potentially recommend the book for a Amazon publishing contract.  The page will be active for 30 days, after which I’ll be told the results.  I really don’t expect this novel to be picked up, as it doesn’t fit into a clean genre/category, but why not.  And if Amazon gives me the rejection letter that I know so well from the literary agents of old times, I will promptly prepare it to be released on August 14th, both in Kindle and paperback formats.

So, if you’re reading this, why not click that link.  If you are interested in the except, why not click the recommend button.  And if you’re too busy to actually read the except, why not click the recommend button anyhow.  After all, doesn’t that summarize modern life?  Clicking likes and moving on to something else?