#56 The day before the launch

M J Dees

facebook page OUT NOW

As it is the day before the launch I have already prepared images, like the one above to go on my Facebook page. All the advertising on Facebook and Amazon is set up and ready to go. Book promotions have been booked and emails scheduled.

Tomorrow I will email my mailing list advising them that the book is live and available at its special launch price of 99c (or equivalent). Hopefully, my Advance Reading Team will leave some reviews and the Facebook, Amazon ads and book promotions will start running.

Over the last few days, I have been trying to ensure that the book is available in as many locations as possible. I have loaded it up to Amazon directly using Kindle Direct Publishing for the e-book and CreateSpace for the print version. I have used Draft2Digital to sell the book via Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble (Nook), Scribd, 24Symbols…

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#57 Launch Day

M J Dees

Anniversaries_full-wrap_draft01_on fire

So it’s launch day and I’ve already bought my own copies, copies for friends and the copies for the launch competition which I’ll tell you about in a moment.

The book is live on many stores including  Amazon.co.uk on Amazon.com

If you decide to buy a copy then please leave me a review as this will help me reach more readers.

I’ll be hosting a live Q&A session on Facebook Live tomorrow, Monday 22nd at 5pm GMT, 12noon EST and 9am PST. Send any questions you might like me to answer via email at mj@mjdees.comvia Twitter, or leave a comment on my Facebook page.

I am also giving away five free signed copies of the print version of the book.

To win one of these fantastic prizes, all you have to do is to email me at mj@mjdees.comwith the first word of the ‘1976’ chapter. The first…

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#58 Clicking the refresh button

M J Dees

com 192 21 jan

Since the book launched, I’ve been clicking refresh icons every five minutes to see whether I’ve sold another copy. Because my book is sold in many outlets across five or six platforms that means clicking on a lot of refresh icons. To monitor sales there are amazon.com, amazon.co.uk (I haven’t even bothered to check the other Amazon sites). This is just to check the book’s Amazon ranking because to view the actual sales I need to monitor the Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace sites.

In addition to Amazon there are four other sites I need to check to monitor sales to other outlets. The first of these is the Direct2digital which distributes my books to Apple iBooks, Kobo, Nook (Barnes & Noble), 24Symbols, Scribd, Playster, Overdrive plus others. Publish Drive distributes to Google Play plus others. Smashwords adds a few more outlets. Streetlib a couple of others.

As well as checking sales…

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#59 Posting book extracts to the blog

M J Dees

2018-01-11 11.33.33

Here is an excerpt from the first chapter of the book for you:

It is a sunny day in Hull, but this is doing very little to lift the spirits of Ronald.  He is miffed at missing the first home game of the season between Hull City and Oxford United because his wife, Joyce, has chosen this exact moment to go into labour and he is required to look after their first born, Lisa.  He waits near the telephone to find out whether the sodding thing is a boy or a girl.

Joyce couldn’t have waited until Sunday before her waters broke, or even have the decency to deliver during the depressing opening away loss to Charlton.  Bob and Bill were both going, and Ronald had detected amusement in Bob’s voice when he’d phoned him to explain as soon as the ambulance had left that morning.

“Oh that’s a…

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#60 Getting the first print copies through the post

M J Dees


It’s about a week and a half since the launch and my print copies have already arrived so I take everything back that I said about the Brazilian postal service.

It also means that I have five copies to sign and give away as prizes. To win a copy all you need to do is send me an email to mj@mjdees.com with the first word of the ‘1976’ chapter. The first five correct entries I recieve will each get a signed copy of the book. The competition closes on Sunday 4th February 2018.

Since the launch adverts have been running on Facebook, Amazon and Bookbub. The Facebook ads have finished and the Bookbub ads will probably end in the next week or so, at which point I am considering removing the book from all sales outlets except Amazon and enrolling the book in the Kindle Unlimited programme for 90 days.

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#61 Switching to Kindle Unlimited

M J Dees


Now it’s been two weeks since the launch of The Astonishing Anniversaries of James and David. The majority of sales, as with Living with Saci, have been through Amazon with some sales through iBooks, Nook, Kobo and Google. A similar breakdown to the overall share of the e-book market shown in the diagram above.

I have been wondering what effect it might have if I signed a book over exclusively to Amazon via the KDP Select programme, making the book available for free to Kindle Unlimited members.

I’ve made the jump and so Jim and Dave will be exclusive to Amazon until the end of May and I have had to remove them from all other platforms for this period.

I was going to set up some new Facebook ads to attract more sign ups to my mailing list by giving away Living with Saci but Facebook inexplicably suspended my…

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#62 Trying to get reviews and messing with pricing

M J Dees


One of the things that gets a the Amazon algorithm moving is plenty reviews. Unfortunately with the launch of #jimanddave I didn’t have many reviews and one of those was a one star which destroyed my average.

This week I’ve been trying to set this right. I emailed my mailing list asking for reviews and joined a Facebook group in which authors read and review books (not in bilateral agreements, that would be against Amazon policy).

I have already read and reviewed Flowers in December and I am currently reading another book which I hope to review soon. In return I hope that other authors will read and review my book.

I’ve also been messing around with the pricing of Living with Saci. I had set the price to free in the hope of increasing its readership but I have returned its price to $2.99 (or equivalent ) as and…

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#63 Still trying to get reviews

Good writing tips

M J Dees


Reviews are the most powerful tools in my arsenal when it comes to getting attention for my books. Much as I’d like to, I don’t have the financial muscle of a large publisher. I can’t take out take out full page ads in the newspaper or put posters on the subway.

(Not yet anyway),

But I do have something much more powerful and effective than that, and it’s something those publishers would kill to get their hands on.

A committed and loyal bunch of readers.

Honest reviews of my books help bring them to the attention of other readers.

If you’ve enjoyed my book I would be very grateful if you could spend just five minutes leaving a review (it can be as short as you like).

Thank you very much.

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#45 Preparing a book for launch

M J Dees

living with saci pre launch ad

I’m now about 5,000 words behind schedule on the word count for my fourth novel because I have been a bit consumed with preparing the launch of the first.

The first thing I did was load the manuscript up to draft2digital.com to be formatted for ebook versions and to create a PDF which I could use to load up to createspace.com to create the paperback version.

Having done this, I could tell my cover designer how many pages the book was going to be so that she could create the artwork for the cover at exactly the correct proportions.

Having gone through it twice more with Grammarly, I uploaded the manuscript to Kindle Direct Publishing but found I had problems with margins. In an attempt to solve this, I uploaded the manuscript to createspace.com instead but the same error messages appeared. I concluded that the errors weren’t really going to affect…

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