Al's Place

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March 2014

Chronicles in the bin


Official notice of death. I am killing Mark Johnson this month. Nobody wanted the e-books, so they are in the crap heap. Before anybody says, it’s only a book leave it out, it won’t do any harm. I am sick of the sight of my former award winner. I spent months promoting it for no reward, not ONE sale in two years.

If you think that is bad, this will tickle you. Several months ago, I was in a book blog and I couldn’t even give the book away FREE. If anybody wants a copy let me know and if you email me, I’ll send you a copy.

What an end for Mark, Rachel, Phil and P A Canella 😦


Runaway successes.

With two e-books as runaway success stories, you would think I should be happy but I feel discontented and empty with these runaway successes. Why?

The runaway success on Amazon is Holding Richmond, and on Draft2Digital the runaway success is Forgestriker.
Holding Richmond coverForgestriker Pic 3
The reasons for my feelings of discontent amid success are that despite these successes, none of the glory has passed onto other e-books. Over 60% of my sales are shared by these two books. Very few other sales have come on Amazon, and only a smattering on D2D.
Another reason I feel discontented is that I think I shall be promoting an award winning e-book in the coming months — which nobody wants to buy — as “A Sailors’ Love” looks set to emulate the success of “Chronicles of Mark Johnson” and win a seal of excellence from Why do I think ASL will not sell? A recent survey in the USA showed readers prefer short reads and this is borne out by my runaway successes. From October 2012 — when I received the award — until the middle of 2013 I promoted Chronicles every week, I promoted the book so much I became sick of the sight of my creation. My favourite story now made me sick, and the same fate I see ahead for ASL. I spent over a year writing it, there were people who said “Tell me when it comes out, and I’ll buy a copy.” I must have been crazy to believe them, after all the times I had heard it in the past three years, but these were people I called friends. The book has been on sale for almost thee months and the only copy sold is the one I paid my editor to buy, so the group could evaluate the story.
Runaway successes don’t always bring happiness, they help promote themselves at the expense of other works.

Although Forgestriker is eight sales behind Holding Richmond you have to take into account HR has been on Amazon over two years, and Forge has only been on D2D less than two months. In anyone’s books 17 in 7 weeks trumps 24 in over 2 years.

Forgestriker to end.

Yes, you read that correct. I am going to end my best selling series, well the FORGESTRIKER series wasn’t my best seller, but FORGESTRIKER the e-book was my top seller.

The reason for my decision is nobody is interested in the series.
Sons of Baal Book Cover Forgestriker Pic 3

Return of the Lost, book 3 in the Forgestriker series
Return of the Lost, book 3 in the Forgestriker series

Terrors of D2

I enjoyed writing the stories and had a long way to go with the idea, but again, a lack of interest killed the idea. At this rate I’ll end up writing cheap porn to scrounge a dime 😦

A friendly contest

My editor, Julia, and I are having a friendly contest the contest is to see whose book gets the most views on LinkedIN. The books in the contest are my erotic love story “A Sailor’s Love” and our late friend’s memoirs of his life in Yugoslavia in WW2.
A Sailor's Love

This is my link

This is Julia’s link

At the moment I trail by 40 but she had a day’s head start 🙂


Did we see them

Today I started the SEQUEL which is my third best selling book on Amazon. I started the SEQUEL late in 2011, when Did we see him? was running a head to head race with Nerja for my second best seller. A race it was destined to lose, as it stopped selling and Nerja continues to sell.

As I previously mentioned in my journal entry “Did we see him?” Things have happened in recent months which caused me to question my sanity. After returning from an expedition, the aftermath I find hard to come to terms with. I witnessed things no person should be allowed to witness. To give you some ideas, we were sent by an organisation called “The Glove” to try and find out what information Sir Percy Fawcett obtained on his last trip up the Amazon.
What we thought we saw is unimaginable. The sights and sounds of those days will forever haunt me. Things which are neither man nor animal, beings who lived in neither the living world, nor did they appear to be dead. These poor creatures worshipped a white man, who might be Fawcett. As we left, at Fawcett’s bequest, we witnessed the true horrors of this life as he was beaten close to death before being eaten by ants, while the tribe devoured a person’s body. The poor soul remained alive as they tore him apart, the screams of agony, helping their enjoyment.
The horror of holding my best friend Tommy Curridge in my arms, as he faded away with a spear in his chest. All the time praying we would get out of this hell; yet fearing we too were doomed to a life as tormented souls.
After a narrow escape from death and a not too pleasant boat trip back to Britain. I had to take leave if my friends to try and find a way to get the images out of my mind. I have yet to find a way, other than staying awake as long as I can. Some days later, I had reason to venture to the club I frequented and it was then, things began to go awry. I arrived at the Bell club, in Belgravia, London, and after telling my story to my good friends Anthony Harkley, Christopher Jackman and Harrison Merrill, I went out to partake of some air and a pipe to calm my shattered nerves. I only went out of the club a few minutes, during which time a strange fog appeared. On my return I found I could not open the doors and had to be admitted by a fellow member. Up on entering I was informed I may hold the answer to a mystery.
“What mystery could my return solve?” I pondered as I climbed the stairs of my old club, so changed I hardly knew it.
The mystery stemmed from a locked door, to which nobody in the club had been able to open. As I looked at the lock, I fumbled in my coat pocket and found my old room key; this key did open the locks to my astonishment. I found myself standing in front of a swirling energy mass focused to a series of bulbs. On my bedside table lay an envelope marked “Did we see them?” Beside it was a note I wrote, my hand clearly legible despite the obvious shaky writing. The note said, “If you are reading this, you passed through a temporal energy mass and the mist you were in has transported you, ten years into the future, signed Charles Q.”
Even though being an adventurer and having an enquiring mind and after years of seeing strange lands, I found this hard to believe. Yet, here I stand as evidence in my own equation; my keys had opened a door locked for ten years. In part, therefore at least some my theory was true. Which parts I had yet to find?


When I set out on this journey to be a writer I had some goals, which to me where precious. Mainly because I had lived with these hopes since childhood and hoped to fulfil at least some of them.The main goal was to see a book of mine on a shelf in a book store.books

Time has changed how we do things and the e-book revolution means on line libraries have become the home of books. I still hold hopes that one day I will see this dream to a reality, as my book “A Sailor’s Love” might be published by which is a small publishers run by my friend Jan Hawke in Launceston, Devon, England. The book at the moment is being evaluated for the opportunity to receive the same award “Chronicles of Mark Johnson” did two years ago seal ASL is also involved in a friendly challenge between my editor Julia and I. We decided to pit my book against that of our late friend and founder of, Jasha Levi. Jasha’s book will be helped by Julia’s prose, while my book will have the assistance of my Circus caller approach of being dramatic

After a lifetime’s dream slowly drifted into oblivion as life’s demands took over. I had the misfortune to tear my left tendon three year ago, this injury left me disabled, and finally presented me with the chance to try and write.
One of my goals was to try and get a book in the Warhammer library, along with writers like Graham McNeil, Dan Abnett and James Swallow, when I asked for information, I was told the firm don’t do print almanacs, but they do on line versions. “Okay,” I thought, “I can live with that idea.” and from there I found the story of a chapter of soldiers called “Sons of Baal” who had no official uniform or history, this became my story of the same title Sons of Baal Book Cover At this point things changed, I realised the futility of my wish to get in the Black Library catalogue 18_05 I wrote the story as the starting of the popular “Forgestriker” series. Years later, I realised I would not have been able to write for the Warhammer books, their characters and weapons have known abilities which leave little or no room for my writing to expand.

I downsized from what I would have liked, to what I think is achievable in order to achieve some goals and thereby keep myself moving forward with my work. Rather than think I was trying to reach an impossible goal, as each new target is reached I raise the bar a little. For now, the bar is set at another two 10 sale months, and another $10 month.A Sailor's Love

Great tidings of good news

The sale today of 3 e-books helped me achieve two more personal goals.
The first month with 15 sales.
The first $10 month.

More importantly, the continuing sales show an interest in my work sold at Barnes and Noble, which never happened at Amazon. In the last seven weeks I have made more at B&N than all last year on Amazon, and the month is only half over.
Sales for this month average one a day so far — it would be folly to expect this to continue — put into comparison with Amazon, where many months I was fortunate to see one sale, you can see why my move to Draft2Digital has improved my writing.

Hear ye, hear ye

A Sailor's Love

The drama of Wagner’s “Flying Dutchman” combined with the deep rooted honesty of Britten’s “Peter Grimes” and Charlotte Bronte’s romantic “Wuthering Heights.” These fine elements of the art of writing form the basis for the story of two people — a lovelorn girl and a stranded sailor — whose paths crossed one stormy night, in a story of passionate romance and mystic charms.

What price for recognition?

A Sailor's Love

Among the many great writers of our time, some have been diagnosed, or suspected as being bipolar because of violent mood swings. For a time, friends thought I was bipolar too. But having viewed the symptoms on a website, I can say I am not, I only have half of the symptoms, and I feel most of us have some of the effects.

My mood swings are caused by the joy of a sale of an e-book. After years of reading about NY Times best sellers, book deals, film deals and mass sales, what at first lead me on in hope became a daily torment to a writer struggling to sell a few e-books a month. I know I will never get a deal, or a best seller, but I don’t need it shoved down my throat every time I go on line.

If you think my decision to stop blogging at the end of the month is a a sudden impulse — you couldn’t be more wrong — I have considered the option for almost eighteen months now, it wasn’t an “IF,” it was a “WHEN.”

I am sorry if my blogs are not exciting, my life consists of very little action, as I am disabled and on low income. I get up, write, eat, watch some dvds, write, eat, write, chat to a friend on Skype, then do some more writing and go to bed.

My last book “A Sailor’s Love” took over a year to write, and for what price?
I enjoyed writing the story and could have gone on longer, but with the prospect of few sales, I decided to curtail the ending. I will continue writing so keep a check on this page If you are wondering why I said last, rather than latest, that is because unless the books sells a few copies I won’t be devoting much time to another major project. After the failure of my award winning “Chronicles of Mark Johnson,” I feel it is time to do the short stories which people buy. To give you some idea of the time I spent on my books, this month is the first time in almost three years, when I haven’t been working on a major work. I don’t know if I want to go on this path again. There is a debate in writing circles, is it better to write short stories for a quick gratification and some much needed cash, or write a bigger tome, and hope it pays off?

From my PoV, it is better to write short stories. I may not get much but I get something for my time, and that is what is was about for me, I enjoy telling stories and your thanks was buying a book. All I ever wanted was a few dollars as thanks for the time I spent.

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