Author Newsletter July 2016

Yep – I’ve given up on the silly titles.  It didn’t take long did it?  My knowledge of news based quiz shows is not extensive enough to keep it going any longer.  And beyond that, I saw an article by Jane Friedman here which suggested it was not a productive idea!  So we have a functional title instead.

And on that note – thanks to Jane for her excellent blog advice.  I have signed up to a few ‘writing bloggers’ out there, but I have to say that Jane has become my go-to source of self-publishing info.  There’s always something useful there.

Now, on with the news.  What’s been happening?  Here’s the highlights:

  • England rugby union rolled over the Aussies in their own back yard!  Hurrah;
  • England football limped out of the European Championships with an embarrassing whimper.  Not so hurrah;
  • And Brexit happened.  Brexit actually happened.  Oh dear god;
  • I have been reviewing a lot of books in a quest to get some feedback on Fear’s Union;
  • Mandestroy has continued to be edited and is being blogged with a view to getting it published at the end of the month (still).

And that’s about it – I think.  It doesn’t sound like a lot when I put it like that.


It feels like I’ve eased off Mandestroy this month, which is a bit silly when I’m publishing it at the end of the month.  But actually, I think I’m still on track.  As mentioned, I’ve been blogging the novella (and also publishing on Inkitt), and this is what’s currently out there:

And in terms of what’s still “to write”, I am near coMandestroy_Book_Covermplete (88%) on a final edit for the blog, but I do then intend to do a full bonnet up edit of the prose before publishing.  Something I’ve been pulled up on in reviews is over-engineering the text (a problem I think that I agree with) and I want to make sure I weed that out of Mandestroy before it goes live.  And beyond that, I need to get final ebooks formatted, and then get it set up on KDP and some other platform for the rest of the market (probably Smashwords).

That sounds like quite a lot to do.  I better get on with it!

Fear’s Union

So.  What have I been doing?  Well, on the Writing Mandestroy calendar log of activities, this is the latest view of activity:


As you can see, in June most of my time was spent on ‘online’ presence, and this is what makes me think that I neglected Mandestroy a bit.  There’s also less hours committed in total, but that’s not surprising since it’s also been a month for holidays and stag dos.

But what is all that red time?  Well mostly I have been getting down and dirty on Goodreads, and in particular entering the murky space of swapping book reviews.  The stats above don’t even include reading time (which was substantial) but it is actually a great experience, and one that I really enjoyed.  So to summarise, these are the books that I’ve been reading / reviewing in June:

That’s a lot of reading!  This also means that I have stalled in my reading of Robin Hobb’s ‘The Magic Ship’, but I hope to pick that up later this month too.  Though I also have another book lined up: the Assiduous Quest of Tobias Hopkins.  Crikey.

So – what has this reaped?  Well, so far I have five reviews in return for my reviewing efforts, with 4 out of five liking the book and 1 out of five not so much.  It’s a very strange sensation getting reviews and feedback, and if I get a chance this month I will blog about my experiences.  But as I’ve already worked out, this is going to be a very busy month anyway, so that may have to wait!  Maybe better until I’ve got a more credible population (I’m a statistician by trade!) of data.

What else has been going on?

Given that this month was hardly planned, what did I actually manage to achieve?  Well, let’s find out:

So that’s not a bad effort all considered.  Only two fails on my ‘schedule’, and the great thing about self-publishing is that the schedule is mine and mine alone.   So who cares (comments welcome).

What’s happening this month?

With all that behind me, what do I have to do this month?  Well as I’ve already suggested, quite a lot.  Here’s the run-down:

  • Finish final review of Mandestroy ; done!
  • Blog the rest of Mandestroy and publish on Inkitt; done!
  • Bonnet-up review of the prose (the final polish)done!
  • Format Mandestroy for ebook distributiondone!
  • Setup a Smashwords accountdone!
  • Publish Mandestroy on Amazon and othersdone!
  • Publish Fear’s Union to Smashwords – fail;
  • Book review blogs (see above)done!
  • Reading the Assiduous Quest of Tobias Hopkinsdone!
  • Finish reading Ship of Magicdone!
  • Blog on my reviewing experiences (subject to time!) – fail;
  • Beagle continues his journey and finally reaches Mallisdone!

Phew.  And on that note, over and out!

In the meantime, if you would like to be kept abreast of what’s going on in the world of James Hockley, then please consider signing up for the monthly newsletter (see below).

And please get in contact if you have any questions.  Thanks for reading!

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