Monday, 30 May 2011

Bug Goes Berserk

'Bug', my new short story on Smashwords.

Wow, I think I did a good job here. 'Bug' has been going mad at wattpad so I thought I'd try it out on Smashwords. With four and a half star reviews and a frenzy of downloads, I think I have a winner. Check it out. It has also sparked a bit of action on my other titles. 

I also posted it on Kindle but I'll wait until I see how the reviews by the grammar police go before I post a link. I am still in agony over the crappy reviews from 'Memoirs', despite a shed-load of downloads. Still waiting for my professional editor to get back to me with a quote so there hasn't been much movement on that front. 

If you are interested in the new story, here is the description as posted on  Smashwords for 'Bug'.
Imagine living with a bug that clings to the back of your skull. Only you can feel it. Is it really there? Are you insane? Join Blake on his journey in 'BUG' and decide for yourself. A weird short story by James Pollard.
Thats all for now.


Friday, 27 May 2011

Bug eats Vending Machine

Giant Kabuto Mushi somewhere in Japan

Hi Folks

This week has seen an amazing amount of downloads for 'Bug' at wattpad. It has had three times more downloads than 'Keitai Friends' and is still clocking up download after download. I'm going to get a cover page together and put it up on Smashwords soon to see if it is as popular on that forum as it is on wattpad. In the mean time, 'Memoirs of a Vending Machine' is still ticking away and seems as popular as ever, although I predict that 'Bug' will eat 'Memoirs' sometime tonight if not early tomorrow in terms of downloads.

Having said that, I must add that I loaded 'Memoirs' onto Kindle the other day and have seen several thousand downloads. It is fast and furious. The downside is that some of the readership are hyper-critical and don't seem to appreciate 'indies' much at all. I've had some really bad and picky reviews mainly with regards to grammar, punctuation and spelling. Fair enough I suppose, it is after all not too much to expect that this side of a literary download should be in order although I think that since the book is free that a little flexibility is in order. I did get the feeling that some of the reviewers were having a bit of a laugh at my  expense over a few typos and to be quite honest it was all a bit hard to read some of what they were saying. For the 101st time, I questioned my decision to start writing and upload to the public until I decided that they were all right. A reader should expect the best even from a free download. The reader is after all who I am writing for so the least I could do is make sure that this side of my writing is in order. If a reader then has an issue with my writing style then so be it. On the flip side, if I can make it easier for all the readers that DO like my writing then that can only be a good thing. So, with this harsh lesson learned,  I sent 'Memoirs' off to a professional editor yesterday and can't wait to see what I get back. I'll load it up as soon as I get it which will be very soon after I pay for it I presume. 



Friday, 20 May 2011

'Keitai' is up again

Keitai Friends, available at smashwords for free.

Hi Folks, 

It's been a busy week for downloads as 'Memoirs of a Vending Machine' continues to power on at smashwords. I haven't had as much luck yet with 'Kujira' but its early days yet. I have been promising to include the manga images that I had originally posted with Keitai Friends in Kujira. I unpublished Keitai Friends because it was a chapter of Kujira and I didn't think it was a good idea from a sales point of view to have them both available. Well... I've changed my mind. I miss not having it up and watching the download figures climb so I've re-published it, manga images and all. 

Just in case I haven't convinced you to have a read. Check out the excerpt from Keitai Friends posted below.

Keitai Friends
Josh’s mood snapped viciously and without warning. He broke away from the counter, still holding the magazine. Without thinking, he slipped the magazine into the inside pocket of his black leather jacket continuing on, at pace, through the maze of aisles, bookshelves and people, towards the exit. Steaming with anger and a serial killer expression he dodged and weaved through the last crowded walkway. A joyous sense of triumph grew in his mind as he approached the exit leading to the Hankyu station meeting area where there would be a crowd of hundreds. He could blend in with all the other foreigners, escaping with the magazine and satisfying his sense of justice.
His pace slowed as he crossed the boundary between the store and the exit. A sense of anticlimax taking hold as he realised that no-one had noticed nor cared.  He walked out into the crowd and felt insignificant, his mood slipping down through a series of gears almost to a state of depression. No longer angry, he paused at a vending machine, staring at the cans but really staring at nothing. He fished around in his right hand pocket for some change and yanked out a handful, choosing a 100 and a 10 yen coin. Feeding in the coins, a red lamp flashed and he pressed it, releasing a small brown bottle of Dekavita - an energy drink. He hoped it would snap him out of the depressive mood that had taken him over. The thud as the drink hit the dispensing tray triggered a sense of the familiar, shifting his mood closer to equilibrium. He picked up the bottle, snapped the aluminium twist top and sculled a good third of the refreshing drink.
Still facing the vending machine, wiping his mouth on his sleeve and turned slowly to face the crowd. Out of the corner of his eye he saw them coming in his direction and knew instantly that his number was up. There was no place to run in the underground world of the largest train station in Osaka. Umeda station was monitored by hundreds of cameras and he stood out as a foreigner in an homogenously Asian city. 

BTW: The spoiler I mentioned in one of my previous posts over at Barnes and Noble  seems to have had an effect on sales. As I mentioned, it was riding high with four stars for a few weeks until a spoiler came along and gave it one star. That dragged it down to a three and sales have slowed. If anyone reading this blog is hooked up to Barnes and Noble's Nook Books, how 'bout a decent rating and a nice comment? I'll let you have the book for free if you do.

Oh and BTW again, My new weird short story 'Bug' is doing pretty well over at wattpad. If you go there you'll also find Keitai Friends posted although you won't find the images. 'Bug' comes up as 'The Bug' 'cause wattpad wouldn't let me post it as 'Bug'. As you might have already guessed, I prefer 'Bug'. If you have a read, how about a comment or a vote or something. Again, if you do this, I'll let you have it for free.



Friday, 13 May 2011

Weird Short Story

Kabuto Mushi (Japanese Rhinoceros Beetle)

Hi folks, this is the unlikely inspiration for my latest short story, " BUG" on Wattpad. (around 3000 words)  The story is about a guy who is or is going insane. A bit of a weird story, it doesn't fit my preferred genre to date of 'Urban Asian Adventure'.  It's not about Japan, the bug just happens to be Japanese.

The Kabuto Mushi is one of the most commonly kept bugs in Japan and is reproduced as children's toys including robots and features in children's literature, manga and anime. If you want to know more go to wikipedia or just check out this video on You Tube . If you don't like bugs, don't click but for the sake of the new story, try and imagine what it would feel like to have an extra large one permanently clinging to the back of your head.

BTW: Memoirs of a Vending Machine is still going gang busters. Thanks to all who have had a read and to those who will.

BTBTW: Don't forget to checkout my excerpt from Kujira at indiebooklist on the 14th of May.



Monday, 9 May 2011

I wish I had time to write

Josh thinks he has nothing to worry about... Keitai Friends - a chapter of Kujira

I still can't help posting these images from Keitai Friends. I have unpublished this story at the moment as it is a chapter of Kujira but I may resurrect it soon as I have had a few positive comments from friends. "Memoirs of a Vending Machine" continues to power on, downloads exceeding all my expectations. I attended a workshop by an author by the name of John Harmon. He has published several times and is quite well known in the Thriller genre for 'Called to Account', 'Dangerous Assets', 'Money for Nothing' and 'The Bottom Line'. You can  view his web page if you click on his name. He has a background in journalism but now does a lot of work as a ghost writer and also conducts workshops on writing. It was good to get some tips from John as he really has the ability to explain in detail the how and what to do of writing without adopting the point of view of some kind of literary deity. I quite liked the guy! We did some great practical work on character development and plotting. I came out of the workshop ready to begin my next novel and couldn't sleep that night as I couldn't shut down my creative brain. Unfortunately, with study commitments, a full time job and a family I have had to put things on hold but watch out for the next novel, paying particular attention to the exciting Arc of the Plot. (when I actually get around to putting it together.) You know all jokes aside, it is pretty good to have this meta - language that enables you to talk about what the hell you are doing with your novel. It gives you focus and helps you put together something that is much better for the reader - who is after all the one you are trying to engage.

BTW: I had a spoiler post a damning review of Memoirs of a Vending Machine, dragging down the rating and  making me question my commitment to writing for at least the 100th time. Well... since then, my sales have improved exponentially so bring it on spoiler... make my day...

BTBTW: I am working on a short story at the moment and have tried it out on Wattpad. I've had quite few reads and will provide a link when I have finished it.

Ja mata ne