Where Am I? Readers, Progress, and Free Books

The Amber Rooms

This morn­ing, I received an email begin­ning:

Well, it’s 2.00 in the morn­ing and I’ve just fin­ished your book.

The email made me laugh out loud, and I reflec­ted that it’s con­sid­er­ably easi­er to write these days in the know­ledge that people might want to read the final product.

This cor­res­pond­ent raised an issue. Am I still retired from writ­ing? I thought I’d update this blog with the answer. As usu­al, I’ll try to avoid obfus­ca­tion.

I worked with my agent on an updated ver­sion of Déjà Vu over the sum­mer. (With her per­mis­sion, I used this text to revise to the ebook, so it’s effect­ively a new edi­tion.) She then sent the book to vari­ous pub­lish­ers. As is now becom­ing typ­ic­al, I had pos­it­ive com­ments from all of them, but no bites. There’s a small chance that one might come back to us at this point, but I’m not hold­ing my breath.

Tracking my sales is becom­ing dif­fi­cult because some income is through Amazon’s lend­ing pro­gramme (US-only). As a rough guide, I’ve sold about 16,000 books through the Kindle, and about the same num­ber again (I think) has gone in free pro­mo­tions.

I’m still writ­ing. My goal is to fin­ish a final draft of The Amber Rooms but the end of October and pass this to my agent. She’s prom­ised to edit it through­out November (though I’ve just real­ised that I haven’t men­tioned the length of the length, which is about double Déjà Vu), and I’d like to release it for Xmas. The pic­ture at the head of this post is the latest ver­sion. What do you think?

I heard a stat­ist­ic a couple of years back that aca­dem­ics top the UK chart for unpaid over­time. Whether or not that’s still true, my writ­ing is very squeezed at the moment. It’s get­ting harder to sit down at a com­puter after a day’s work. I’m pretty con­fid­ent I can fin­ish off The Amber Rooms by then, but there’s a chance it might fin­ish me first.

Under the aus­pice of Thirst eDitions, a writerly con­glom­er­a­tion and child of Matt F Curran’s brain, I’ve just pub­lished a short book that exam­ines some of the philo­soph­ic­al issues that arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence research­ers need to address. It’s writ­ten for under­gradu­ate psy­cho­lo­gists but the lay read­er should enjoy it. If you’re intrigued about the extent to which Saskia Brandt is human, knock your­self out with Down to the Wire: A Short Introduction to Artificial Intelligence.

Finally, I’ve made Déjà Vu, Flashback, and Proper Job free for the next five days. There’s no scheme behind this decision oth­er than the nat­ur­al cycle of the Kindle pro­mo­tions mech­an­ism for self-pub­lished authors; essen­tially, you have five days of free offer for every ninety, and I’m still in the busi­ness of get­ting my books read. I’m plan­ning to make them free again at Christmas, partly to coin­cide with the launch of the Amber Rooms, and partly because it’s Christmas and I want to bring down everyone’s mood with tales of my heroine trapped in time.