Friday, 30 March 2012

Guest Blog: David at Kindle Promo

Why Kindle Promo?
The hard work was complete. My book; The Stratford Fiasco was written. I had it critiqued by two different professionals along the way. I had the final version back from the editor I had employed. I had designed my own cover.  I had decided to go it alone and self publish. Finally I was holding the first hard copy of the real book. Fantasic!
What next – who on the earth was going to buy it? How would they know it existed? Sure I could tap up all my friends – that worked and I sold about 200 copies – now what?
I was sceptical about the social media sides of things, so I went to my local Waterstones and they agreed to stock it. I called up the local newspapers and got my photo in the local press. I called up a couple of the national newspapers to place an ad. Well the £4,000 fee put me off. Making a pound a book meant selling 4,000 copies to break even. Not likely!
I had a website for the book, so turned to twitter. I decided to open two twitter accounts, one as myself and one promoting indie authors in general. I figured if I was willing to tweet for others, they in turn would tweet for me and collectively we could reach a wider audience.
It kind of took off to a far greater extent than I imagined. My twitter account @kindle_promo has become inundated with tweets for me to retweet. I also have a couple of generous friends with twitter accounts that would also retweet my tweets and so the following grew. Due to the retweeting it is not uncommon for the tweets to go to over 100,000 twitterers. Now that would be expensive on ebay so not bad for free!
February 14th I started a Facebook page. Within a month it had over 200 likes and people regularly posting there. This would be OK if it would also attract readers. So to measure this I decided to start a website. was launched March 14th.
The initial idea was to have a place where other authors could place their books for free and try to spread the word about the site. 
In two weeks I have been contacted by a large amount of people with varying requests that I am now considering and many also want me to list their books. I am trying my best to list as many as possible and in a couple of months I will meet with some true web design gurus to see how I can make the site more user friendly and work on the SEO. So far it is all my own work and I am by no means any kind of web design expert – far from it.
I set up google ads on the site, hoping for some click through revenue and became an amazon affiliate. The goal was to try to cover the costs of setting up and running the site. I am not sure this will ever happen unless it really takes off or people all of a sudden go ‘click mad’! But I will stick with it until I come up with a better idea. With Amazon affiliates the site gets 5% of books sold. Seeming as most kindle books are a pound or so, you can do the math. 5% of a pound, several times, doesn’t add up to a fortune!
The traffic has been steadily growing which is encouraging.
The current challenge is to come up with a strategy and direction to take the site in, now I have proved the initial phase was what I would consider a success. I am working on plans of how I want it to look in the future and what content it will contain.
So stop by the site and feel free to contact me with any ideas, comments, critiques, requests or complaints!
Many thanks

A special thank you to David for being the very first to guest blog on my site! If you'd like to guest blog please contact me by email:
Thank you, J-M

Thursday, 29 March 2012

The Art of Plotting

Every good novel needs a structure. A solid building has foundations, without which it would collapse. The modern novel needs foundations to support the story in just the same way.  In my humble experience setting the foundations makes life so much easier. Trial and error and countless rejection letters have paved my way to where I stand today; on the beginning of knowledge.
Plotting is just one of the foundation tasks I find necessary to complete - in some detail - before even starting to write the story.  So, how do you plot? There are thousands of books available dedicated to the art of writing, building characters, plotlines, structure, themes...
Plotting in my world can be as simple or as complex as I choose to make it.  I tend to think of the plotline in an arc shape. Every plotline has its ups and downs, its climax and its resolution. Personally, I have eight points on my arc, and I ensure that the story twists and turns effectively around every point.
To begin, I list the points of the arc, then I toy with the order of the story's critical points until they fit nicely into the most dramatic sequence possible.
Once the main plotline is configured into an order of revelation I do the same with all sub-plots, ensuring that they weave into the main plotline in the right places.
I've never tried ths method myself but some people have yellow post-it notes and they move them around on a table until they're happy with the order.  I do much the same but on the laptop screen with cut and paste. If you struggle to plot out your story then try this method and see if it helps.
Next time - characters and how to create reality within fiction.
Jayne-Marie Barker

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Guest Blog at Kindle Promo
The lovely people at Kindle Promo invited me to guest blog on their site. Link attached to the entry posted today about Virtual Marketing - The EBook.  Please feel free to read, share and forward link to friends and family.
Jayne-Marie Barker

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

New Listing for 'Beneath The Daisies'
Many thanks to the site owners for listing 'Beneath The Daisies' on their website!

Brand New Website - Hurray!

Just so excited to tell you all that my website is now live - hurray!!!

Please do browse the site. There is, of course, a link back to this blog site on the LINKS page.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Teaser...'Distant Shadows'

Just a little teaser for you... opening paragraph from 'Distant Shadows' due out in paperback this summer:

The bullet hit instantly.  Lewis felt the vibrations rocket his core into a state of shock.  As he witnessed the killing, his disbelief meshing into a knot of immediate fear, he thought this is it; this is how I’m going to die.....


I can't tell you too much because it'll give the secrets away...! If you have any fabulous illusions I'd be grateful to learn about them. I'm keen to weave a little magic into fiction in the not-too-distant future.... all ideas welcome.

Today I am working on improving my technical skills, setting up this blog spot for one, and trying to link it to my twitter and facebook accounts - so far I'm not convinced I've managed it!  But...tomorrow, I'll be back to working on my ideas for an exciting new series. Watch this space...

Bye for now, Jayne-Marie

So much to do...!

There are so many platforms online for authors today. Whilst this is great it can feel like a bit of a minefield to newcomers! Having established a Facebook page and a twitter account, I am now tackling the world of blogging. When I typed blogging into the search engine so many entries came up I didn't know where to begin. I do hope this first post is finding its way out there and hopefully I'll grasp the idea of blogging quickly. Bear with me!

Hello to you all, let me introduce myself properly. I'm an author of mystery novels. My first novel was published last year. 'Beneath The Daisies' is a double time frame murder mystery set in a fictional Suffolk town. 'Beneath The Daisies' is available in paperback via Amazon ( and .com) and Kindle version. It is also available as paperback at Waterstones and WH Smiths. The second in the series, 'Distant Shadows' is due for release this summer in paperback edition. My publisher and I will work hard to achieve the Kindle version as soon as possible. I have just submitted the third book of the series to the publisher so fingers crossed they like it!

You can fnd me on Facebook twitter @JayneMarieBarke, at and author page author page

Any tips on what people want to read on blogs - please do tell me!
See you soon