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Binary Dust and New Year Resolutions by Robert Craven

Writing.ie | Magazine | Crime | Historical Fiction | Interviews

By Robert Craven

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I have a friend who’s an accomplished musician. He’s passionate, talented, but hasn’t uploaded any piece, or performed his songs live. His music is sitting in a folder on his computer, gathering binary dust.

Which led me to my own novel, Hollow Point, sitting in a folder on my desk top. January 20th is the date when all the New Year resolutions fall by the wayside and, eschewing diets, gym membership, smoking, drinking resolutions, mine was simply to get Hollow Point released.

I’m fortunate to have three other novels published – Get Lenin, Zinnman and, A finger of night. They’re a series of novels featuring a James Bond-style female: WW2 Allied Agent, Eva Molenaar.

They are all now produced through AmazonKDP and Kobo platforms as e-books. I have spent a decade going through small presses with varying degrees of success, so decided to go indie and take control of my own material. From Black Friday 2016, through to Christmas and New Year, I worked Twitter, FB and Instagram almost every day, promoting the books.

What really began to get the books off the bottom of the Amazon pile was ‘The twelve days of Eva’ tweeting on the last ten days before Christmas Day. I would tweet either an historical fact, or something about each of the principal characters and, from the retweets, all three got onto the rankings.

e.g., #TwelvedaysofEva – Eva is based on the actress Ava Gardner.

robert-cravenI had a modest groundswell; watching the calendar drawing to the end of January, I decided to release Hollow Point.

During the final weeks of January, I began to flag it. Using the Canva app (www.canva.com), I designed the cover – three primary colours – red, black and white, and three fonts of varying weights and styles. On Twitter, I used graphic design/design hashtags, and working off the momentum of the other three books decided on the 20th of January to upload Hollow Point to AmazonKDP and Kobo.

I set Hollow Point straight away at €0.99 / £0.99 / $1.24. I think free books are discarded if they’re not liked but, if seen at a modest price, the reader will barrel on through as they think they have a bargain in the first place.

Then I dropped the price of Get Lenin, Zinmann, and, A finger of night to the same pricing.

AmazonKDP and Kobo released Hollow Point on  January 23rd and it ranked straight away – for perspective, these amounted to two sales – but it was an almost immediate ‘spike’ on the worldwide and UK sites.

I’m lucky that I have a small back-catalogue to push the new book but, even if you have your first novel or work of poetry ready to go, a plan is critical. Of course, plans never quite stay on track but you should never leave your work sitting around in a drawer or on a hard drive. Create a plan, think about how you are going to let the world see your work, and work hard to launch it.

Use your social media for generating a groundswell, be entertaining, be mindful of your friends that may become your readers and concentrate on a build a month ahead before you launch.

And get it out there. It won’t set the world on fire, but it will let the world see your light leaping out of the bushel – where it belongs.

© Robert Craven 2017.

About Hollow Point:

Urus Martan; a desolate mountain situated in the far reaches of The Third Reich has a secret
A secret tasked to Eva Molenaar, Nicklaus Brandt, Henry Chainbridge and Peter de Witte to investigate by Churchill’s shady right hand man Brendan Bracken.
From Buenos Aires to London, Paris and Marseilles Eva’s adventure leads her directly to a renegade British nobleman in league with Martin Bormann, who is funding the secret of Urus Martan.
A secret capable of wiping out a city, a city like Moscow or Tehran where the fate of Nazi Germany will be decided by Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill.
Now that Stalingrad has fallen.
Eva’s quest will exact a heavy price, not only on her, but on the team who face impossible odds…

Pick up a copy online here.

About the author

I started writing in my teens, short stories, poems, song ideas as I was playing bass in various bands around the city. A part-time course in journalism led to ten years working in publishing; from there I decided I’d love to write. I had a short story published in 1991 in FTL magazine titled The Chase.

I grew up loving the books by Alastair Maclean, Gerald Seymour, Fredrick Forsyth, Jack Higgins and Robert Harris and my books are my contribution to the genre.

Check out my Amazon author page here for full details of my books, Hollow PointGet Lenin, Zinnman, and A Finger of Night.

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