One of the best things about using Beta Readers is that you get some straight talking and honest reviews from them which help immensely in fixing some of the holes you may, inadvertently, have left in your story. They will also tell you whether or not the story is interesting and held their interest. The key thing in selecting Beta Readers is to get a wide spread of folk, some of whom would not usually read the genre the story follows. So, when I set out to find a group willing to read and give me feedback on Harry Heron; Into the Unkown, I approached a number of friends I knew did not normally read fiction, or did not read science fiction.
It's been an exciting week, and a bit of a rollercoaster ride. Harry Heron; Into the Unknown is on sale on Amazon Kindle. Released on St Patrick's day, it is, I'm delighted to say, already selling steadily.After a lot of soul searching, the publisher and I decided to go with Kindle exclusively, though it does have both Lightning Source and Create Space paperback versions.
After quite a haul the second book in the Harry Heron series is to be released on Kindle on March 17th, appropriately on St Patrick's Day. Harry Heron; Into the Unknown picks up the story of Harry, Ferghal and Danny where Harry Heron; Midshipman's Journey left off. Now the trio face an enormous challenge. They must learn almost everything from scratch, and adjust to a new age, new social conventions and a new type of ship, service and fleet. And they must do it all while being hunted by unscrupulous humans in the midst of a new type of war. In Harry's own words - they must either learn and adapt, or forever be condemned to being curiosities to be studied and examined at the mercy of others.
Here we are at the beginning of March, and getting ever closer to the publication of Harry Heron; Into The Unknown now in the final editing and proof reading processes. It has been with eight Beta Readers for the last couple of weeks, and we now have all their comments, all overwhelmingly positive. Some suggestions for clearer relationships, expansion or removal of descriptions or dialogue have been received and considered, and now we are in the final stages of publication.
One deadline has come and gone, and at least I met it. Just. Harry Heron; Into the Unknown is another step closer to publication, now it must go through another edit, then to Beta Readers, and once their comments and criticisms have been addressed, it will be ready to go. Kura Carpenter has produced the cover design, and that process can be finalised once we have the final page count. It's been a busy month one way or another, first with rewrites and new scene writing, second with a few 'non-writing' projects and dealing with the day to day things at home. Sometimes the day just runs out of hours before I run out of jobs, but at least it's all positive.
Now that 2015 is gone, I find myself in 2016 with several projects and one New Year resolution. The resolution is a simple one. Make sure I blog regularly! The projects are coming along nicely, largely because they have some deadlines, and the whizzing sound of their approach is keeping me on my toes! The first of these is the total revision -- perhaps rewrite -- of Out of Time. It is now in the final stages of preparation for publication and I have to admit that it is vastly different to my original.
The days seem to scream past at the moment, with frantic efforts to keep up my writing, and do some marketting as well. It is therefore a very pleasant surprise to get a good review from a site that specialises in naval fiction. Historical Naval Fiction has just posted a review of Harry Heron; Midshipman's Journey which is very flattering indeed.
It is nice to see your book getting promoted on various websites. I follow New Book Journal, a site where authors and publishers can announce new books, has now listed Limehouse Boys. As the site enjoys a very high 'traffic' rate, this serves a great purpose for those listed there as the 'hit' rate increases when you are listed on a high traffic site.
Working with my editor, Janet Angelo of IndieGo Publishing, has been quite an experience, especially on my latest book. Her experience of the publishing industry has been invaluable in shaping both the book and the writing. An author often stands so close to the story that you literally can't see the gaps and the inconsistencies even after multiple overhauls.
My latest, Limehouse Boys, will be available from the 31st July. It can already be pre-ordered on Kindle from Amazon, and will soon be available in paperback as well from all the usual outlets. As I've remarked in previous posts leading up to this, it has been a fascinating journey. The research into the life of the working men and women of the 1830s in London,