Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Ole And Zac And The Port Of Tumbattle

There has been a flurry of activity this week. I'll start with Mmm...No1...Cookbook as I received my 20 author copies ordered from Createspace in the US. Earlier than expected and all very high quality. I also received the single copy I ordered from the UK distribution of Createspace and it is of the same high quality. This is a major plus and will probably encourage me to use the excellent Createspace even more.

Stags! continues to sell week, though not as fast as this time last week. 248 paid downloads, though as sales have declined I have dropped the price to 99p. Actually when I did this it came up as 1.02 so I dropped it to 95p and its now listed as 98p! Anyway, sales continue and I am still in 3 Amazon Bestseller lists, with a new free promotion due in June. I've had 3 new reviews as a result of this, all 5 star, and two of them had accompanying emails which was great. Royalty cheques imminent!

Ole And Zac And The Port Of Tumbattle is an interesting one. Released in 2010 using Fast-Print publishing it is a really good quality book, but there were significant overheads in producing it. I gave all of the profits to the local school charity, only fair as the produced most of the illustrations. Anyway, I was considering having it removed from the Fast-Print catalogue as I am not expecting any more sales, then along came an email from Christy Condoleo who wants to feature the tale in a Blog Talk Radio show

Its Story Time For Kids

Christy has her own fantastic website here

Eppys Creations

And this is another website connected to the show

The Book Garden

You can buy the original here

Ole And Zac And The Port Of Tumbattle on Amazon

My first thought was "Great" but my second was "How will Americans buy the book if they like what they hear?" and then I thought of Createspace. I quickly set up the basic book and hit two problems. The Createspace covers are not as inspirational as that designed (at some cost) by Fast-Print, but the one I chose should be good enough, and the US printing format is not quite the same as the UK. This means that the A4 size of the original is slightly different to the Letter size of the US one which led to a little extra formatting. Most of the blurb was already available so the set up wasn't too arduous, and within 36 hours the proof was ready to order. I was pleasantly surprised to find that although the bill is in dollars the shipping cost and expected delivery date leads me to believe that it is being printed and despatched from the UK. Should be here on Friday! Createspace did report that some of the pictures were low resolution, but they were originally drawn by children and scanned in so this was to be expected, and it gives it a more authentic feel. More news on when the show airs coming soon.

The new cover will look like this

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Stags! 200 and counting

Stags! has now reached 200 paid downloads since Tuesday - a great achievement that is keeping it in three of the Amazon bestseller lists. Had two really nice emails from people wanting a sequel - and if my knee operation goes ahead next week then I will have plenty of time to get on with this.

Really should do some promotion of Mmm...No1...Cookbook - got some guest blog spots coming up and hopefully an article in the High Peak Review.

Interest is also stirring again for Ole And Zac And The Port Of Tumbattle. I may even make the effort to do a Createspace version, though still not convinced about the Kindle edition. Ive been asked about featuring it on a Blog Talk Radio Show. Never done one of those before so should be interesting.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Stags! Fan Club

Stags! is still selling well enough to keep it in 3 bestseller lists, but it has dropped from 11 to 14 in the Books>Fiction>Humour category.

Approaching 150 paid downloads since the free promo which is good, and Ive received my second piece of fanmail.

Once again its from a female - so those smartarses who told me that women dont read books like this are wrong - I know at least 2 who have done so!

"Infidelity" will definitely be given some serious treatment this week.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Stags! by Michael Madden - Downloads For Fun

Last weekend I made Stags! free on Kindle for the full KDP Select 5 days, and that got it to number 1 in the free Kindle humour charts and number 11 in free Kindle overall. There was quite a bit of other promo stuff too, such as blogs, Goodreads, Twitter, etc, as well as Pixel Of Ink and other Kindle specific newsletters.

Anyway, I expected that once it was not free it would drop down the charts to around 200k which was where it was before the promo. I am delighted to say that in the 3 days since I have exceeded 100 paid downloads and am in 3 Amazon bestseller lists. I am hoping for a bit of a snowball effect, as the more downloads you get the more Amazon pushes you. Seeing your name in the "People who bought this also bought..." is really exciting!

This morning, I received an email from a reader saying how much she enjoyed Stags! and will there be a sequel? So, in a small way at the moment, the free promo reallly does work, and it doesnt matter if your network of friends and social media contacts are all writers - their circles and their friends circles will almost certainly include some readers! Its all about exposure. Many thanks to everyone who helped to get this far.

Stags! on Kindle

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Mmm...No1...Cookbook - UK Paperback

Some great news came through yesterday, Createspace have now made their titles available for UK distribution. This means that Stags! and Mmm...No1...Cookbook are now available in paperback on Amazon.co.uk.

Stags! in paperback in the UK

Mmm...No1...Cookbook in paperback in the UK

Stags! is already available, but the Createspace edition is a superior quality to the one through Fastprint. I never really intended to make Mmm...No1...Cookbook available in paperback but as I did not have to put any effort in its a real bonus.

The Createspace move could signal a killer blow for Print On Demand publishers such as Fastprint, as I'm sure they won't have the muscle of Createspace, and having published two books through Createspace already I will certainly use them again, not only because of the superior quality, but also because of the significantly lower initial outlay.

I may even become a prolific author in the next few months!

Incidentally, Stags! is no longer free on Kindle, but the benefits of the campaign are showing as it is currently in 3 bestseller lists on Amazon.

#29 in Books>Fiction>Humour
#54 in Kindle Store>Books>Humour
#59 in Books>Humour>Fiction

It has also gone up in these categories today, which may be to do with the vagaries of the Amazon ranking system than any increase in sales.

Still, its ahead of such notables as Oscar Wilde (I bet he'll be upset), Sophie Kinsella, Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, and, of course, PG Wodehouse.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Tumbattle - To Kindle Or Not To Kindle?

This Kindle stuff is great fun, but should I make Ole And Zac And The Port Of Tumbattle available on Kindle? Its essentially a picture book, but the story did come first. I should also look at Kindle Fire. Can I release a text only version and a full version for Fire?

Ole And Zac And The Port Of Tumbattle

Stags! Last Day Free

Stags! returned to the coveted number 1 spot in Free Kindle Humour (UK) last night, and remains there right now. Not expecting it to last as the legendary Terry Ravenscroft has made his Stairlift To Heaven free today and tomorrow. Its a great read and you should check it out (after Stags! of course).

Back to Mmm...No1...Cookbook, and it looks like June 10th will be the big cookfest (weather permitting). Got to measure the capacity of the big paella pan compared to the little one - Sally reckons its at least a factor of 10!

Keep checking back here for updates and venue information.

Last day for Stags! free on Kindle - and its back at number 1! Stags! free on Kindle

And here's the link to the Terry Ravenscroft classic:-

Stairlift To Heaven free on Kindle

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Stags! by Michael Madden - Still Up There

Didn't get much chance to push Stags! yesterday as was playing cricket - but it has managed to stay near the top, currently residing at number 2 in Free Kindle humour and number 18 in Free Kindle overall. Its free all day today and tomorrow so if you've not got your copy yet you still have time.

Its been an interesting exercise and one that has taught me a lot about what does and does not work, the value of a good network, and not to be afraid to push it.

Looking at getting serious about the sequel to Stags! (working title "Infidelity"), but so many other things on the go at the moment!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Stags! - Officially a UK Bestseller

At around 1 o clock this morning Stags! finally dragged its sorry ass to the top of the charts. I thought it was going to get stuck at number 2 but no. It took the final leap - and 9 hours later it is still there. Number 1 in Free Kindle Humour (UK).

Say what you like about the book, but it has reached a status that many others aspire too, and quite frankly I am very excited about it!

Learning how to play the market and the rankings is as much a part of being a self published author as writing the book in the first place.

I suppose it would be too optimistic to hope for Stags! to reach number 1 in Free Kindle overall. 13 places would be a massive climb in that list, but its free all weekend so Ive not given up hope completely.

Planning to give away 100 signed postcards/flyers from the book's promotional material (its a bit hard signing a Kindle) as a gesture of thanks to everyone who downloaded it.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Stags! by Michael Madden - Almost A Bestseller

Stags! has another 3 free days on Kindle, and it has reached some heady heights. In the US it is at number 53 in Free Kindle Humor, and around 2,900 in Free Kindle Overall. In the UK it has done fantastically well, reaching number 16 in Free Kindle Overall and number 2 in Free Kindle Humour. Another push over the weekend and it could well hit the number 1 spot!

Ive also discovered that theres a free Kindle app for iphone and ipad, so I am going to plug that over the weekend.

Might have more time on my hands as its pouring down again, and the prospects of cricket are slim.

Preparing for a cookfest on June 10th when my huge paella pan will make its debut, using the famous paella recipe from Mmm...No1...Cookbook. Might be a bit tricky scaling up the ingredients but should be a lot of fun.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Stags! Free on Kindle

Well its been an interesting day. Stags! has been free on Kindle for the first of 5 days today, and the rankings are in. In the US store it has been a quiet start - but they are several hours behind! As I write it is number 2,444 in the free Kindle store, and number 71 in free Kindle humour (or should I say humor). In the UK it has been somewhat more spectacular, reaching number 65 in the free Kindle store and number 7 in free Kindle humour. Hoping to stay in the top 100 UK humour over the full five days which would be an achievement. Lets hope the exposure generates plenty of reviews and follow up sales.

Meanwhile, the press release for Mmm...No1...Cookbook has received plenty of hits, though no sign of sales yet!

Wrote the first few pages of "The Day The Animals Went To School" today, aiming to complete 28 pages so it qualifies to be made up into a 32 page picture book.

Mmm...No1...Cookbook - Press Release

Just created my first press release for Mmm...No1...Cookbook. I generally use WIDEPR for this. Its easy to use and its free, and Ive had reasonable results from it in the past. I know there are lots of other Press Release companies out there - anyone got any other suggestions?

Mmm...No1...Cookbook Press Release

Stags! is available free on Kindle from today until 21st May. Unfortunately the Amazon ranking has disappeared this morning - not sure why. Maybe something to do with the price change.

Stags! Free on Kindle

Finally, for now, the wonderful read of the month May edition is now available here:-

Wonderful Read Of The Month

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Mmm...No1...Cookbook - Stags!

Been neglecting Mmm...No1...Cookbook this week to concentrate on 5 days on Amazon where Stags! will be free on Kindle. Expecting some good "sales" but ultimately that does not bring in revenue, however once it is NOT free if there have been enough downloads Amazon may well decide to "recommend" your book, obviously generating more sales.

Stags! on Amazon (UK)

Stags! on Amazon (US)

Mmm...No1...Cookbook (UK)

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Mmm...No1...Cookbook And Nigella

The initial sales have levelled off now, but for a moment I was up and down with Nigella Express. At one point yesterday Mmm...No1...Cookbook was at 34 in Kindle Food & Drink, above such greats as Nigella, Raymond Blanc, Madhur Jaffrey, Clarissa Dickson-Wright, etc. Unfortunately the initial euphoria has eased off and I am down at around 30k in Kindle books.

I will try to generate some impetus over the next week or so, then I have some book blogs to appear in.

Been out at cricket today watch Ole play (and win) for High Peak district, and diligently avoiding the football. Neglected my blog and FB ad Twitter feeds - might have another go tonight.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Mmm...No1...Cookbook - Heading For Top 50?

Mmm...No1...Cookbook available on Kindle here (only £1.26)

What a pleasant surprise this morning. Mmm...No1...Cookbook has not only managed to stay in the top 100 overnight - its also moved up to number 54. Zoomed ahead of Heston Blumenthal's biography! With YOUR help I could get into the top 50! XXX

Also received nice email from Kris Wampler, author of Love Train
Love Train by Kris Wampler on Amazon

Hopefully doing an author interview on his blog in the near future. Kris Wampler's blog

Friday, 11 May 2012

Mmm...No1...Cookbook - Ratings War!

Its been a rollercoaster day on Amazon.co.uk - with Mmm...No1...Cookbook ebook coming in just behind Gordon Ramsey at number 100. It dropped out of the 100 for a while, but now it is back at 71, ahead of Madhur Jaffrey and Raymond Blanc - with Ramsey nowhere to be seen! That translates to 15,183 overall in Kindle store, which to be honest reflects more on the vagaries of the Amazon ranking system rather than a huge volume of sales. Still, its nice to be up there, and Ive printed the pages off for posterity!

The Everyday Halogen Oven Cookbook
Sarah Flower
4.4 out of 5 stars (136)
Available for download now

Michael Madden, Sally Madden
5.0 out of 5 stars (1)
Available for download now

Relish: My Life on a Plate
Prue Leith
4.6 out of 5 stars (7)
Available for download now

My Kitchen Table: 100 Essential Curries
Madhur Jaffrey
4.1 out of 5 stars (9)
Available for download now

Thai Cookery Secrets
Kris Dhillon
4.1 out of 5 stars (7)
Available for download now

Curry Easy
Madhur Jaffrey
4.6 out of 5 stars (48)
Available for download now

My Kitchen Table: 100 Recipes for Entertaining
Raymond Blanc
4.0 out of 5 stars (7)
Available for download now

What to Eat: Food that's good for your health, pocket and plate
Joanna Blythman
4.4 out of 5 stars (16)
Available for download now

The Low Carb Revolution: Why the Secret to Losing Weight is to Fall Back in Love With Yourself!
John McLean
5.0 out of 5 stars (1)
Available for download now

21 Low Carb Breakfast Recipes For Accelerated Weight Loss (21 Low Carb Recipes For Accelerated Weight Loss)
Nita Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars (1)
Available for download now

The Intolerant Gourmet: Delicious Allergy-friendly Home Cooking for Everyone
Pippa Kendrick
4.8 out of 5 stars (38)
Available for download now

Mmm...No1...Cookbook - Now Available On Kindle

Mmm...No1...Cookbook is now available on Kindle in the UK

Mmm...No1...Cookbook available on Kindle (UK)

And in the US

Mmm...No1...Cookbook available on Kindle (US)

It is also available on all other Amazon Kindle sites.

Its a shame the sales stats cant be combined.

Incidentally - another silly mistake on the Creatspace site - I password enabled my eStore so no one could get to it without my password! Easily rectified, and now on sale in paperback here:-

Mmm...No1...Cookbook on Createspace

Woohoo - Mmm...No1...Cookbook now also available on Amazon.com Mmm...No1...Cookbook on Amazon

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Mmm...No1...Cookbook - Now on sale!

Finally managed to get the job done! Mmm...No1...Cookbook is now available from the Createspace store:-


The Amazon version will take a few days longer. Hoping to get round to tackling the Kindle edition later tonight.

As any of you self published authors will know - now the hard work begins! Now where's that marketing plan????

Unfortunately that will have to wait. Its my daughter and son-in-laws first wedding anniversary on Saturday and Ive promised to make them three different versions of Rocky Road Bars, as well as a huge pot of Garlic Chilli Chicken.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Mmm...No1...Cookbook - When Is A Kindle Not A Kindle?

Well the answer to that one is "When its a paperback!" I submitted my "final" version to Createspace yesterday and when reading the proofs today I noticed that there were no page numbers. The reason was simple - I had submitted the Kindle manuscript rather than the paperback one. Fortunately I had not ordered printed proofs and the mistake was easily rectified. This self publishing business is not as glamorous as its made out to be (ha!), or as my wife would say, "its not all rock and roll"!

This may sound a trivial mistake, but I bet lots of other authors have done the same thing! Or perhaps even worse. Feel free to share your bloopers so that we can all avoid the same.

Currently sat with my leg up on a hot water bottle nursing potential torn cartilage, a cricket injury from last Saturday. I'm sure this isn't a healthy position for using a laptop, but what's a writer to do?

Anyway, cover of Mmm...No1...Cookbook is now available.

That's my paella on the cover!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Mmm...No1...Cookbook - Loyd Grossman!

Good job I checked! I make reference in Mmm...No1...Cookbook to Loyd Grossman's tomato and basil sauce (you will have to read it to find out why!), and thought that I should check whether there are one or two esses in his surname. Turned out that I was right, there are two, but there is only one L in his first name (Loyd not Lloyd)!

Manuscript has now been changed and it has been resubmitted for review. This really should be the last one and it should be approved by tomorrow.

Met an old friend Matt King last night and will hopefully be able to help him with his dissertation on self publishing. My apologies if thats not exactly right Matt, I guess I had not had enough fish finger butties to soak up that amount of Peroni!

Now working on my next High Peak Review article and a guest blog spot on Amelia Curzon's blog http://ameliacurzonblogger.wordpress.com/

Monday, 7 May 2012

Mmm...No1...Cookbook - Maybe today!

Its been a rather hectic weekend with cricket practice Friday evening, cricket match Saturday and junior cricket match Sunday. Hopefully today I will get to complete the proof reading of Mmm...No1...Cookbook. Sustained significant injury on Saturday so am sat with my leg up nursing swollen knee (hopefully its just a tweak of the ligaments but cant really tell yet).

Ole is cooking at school tomorrow, and his finished dish will be marked as part of his overall food technology assessment. He has chosen chilli chicken as his recipe - one of the 50 in Mmm...No1...Cookbook!

Stags! freebie on Kindle starts next week so need to start promoting that too!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

A diversion - The Day The Animals Went To School

Another children's book for a rainy day. Got quite a few verses done already, but my own particular favourite is..,.

The Cheetah, of course, had every intention
Of cheating, and so ended up in detention

More coming, and then I will be looking for illustrators again.

Incidentally, my daughter thinks that she should be in my profile picture. What do you think?

She's not happy with that pic - lets get the public to decide....

Michael Anthony Madden's books on Goodreads
reviews: 1
ratings: 2 (avg rating 5.00)

Ole And Zac And The Port Of TumbattleOle And Zac And The Port Of Tumbattle
reviews: 1
ratings: 1 (avg rating 5.00)

Mmm...No1...Cookbook - Proofs Have Arrived!

Well, Createspace have come up trumps again. The proofs for Mmm...No1...Cookbook arrived today, and they are impressive. Its amazing that Createspace can produce something of this quality delivered to the UK just 4 days after I completed the submission. If only they distributed in the UK!

Anyway, not found any errors yet so may well be able to approve them tomorrow. I will then get them on the Createspace eStore where I will be able to download the cover for the Kindle edition (that has already been approved).

Still not uploaded the video of the making of the cover dish, paella, to Youtube, must try to get that done this weekend.

Before the launch I am genuinely interested, what have you cooked in the last 7 days?

On a completely different subject, good luck to Jenni Pinches as she competes in the European Gymnastic Championships in Brussels this weekend.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Mmm...No1...Cookbook - Proofs

The Createspace proofs should arrive tomorrow, then there's the laborious process of actually checking everything. Off to Salford University Live Projects EXPO today, which has given me an idea for next year's EXPO. Mmm...Student...Cookbook. Get them to do all of the hard work!

Still making loads of new friends through Book Blogs and Goodreads. Sorry I've not been able to put any more reviews on Goodreads yet. May get chance at the weekend.