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Monday, 31 March 2014

Be honest

Morning all.

 Well her we are again for another basin full of my thoughts moans and general groans. But today that's not what I am going to do. Why I hear you wail what is wrong with me? Nothing at all simply I need some assistance for a change.

I have been offered a chance to increase my sales of that book everyone is fed up hearing about. To do this i need 10 published reviews on Amazon and I have 7. Therefore I need nay require no ask for three of my good friends to write some nice words for me.

 Is it too difficult to post a 4 or 5 star review after all many of you will have read Dead Men Lie you have said as much so many times. Three further reviews will allow me to advance my sales the great comments sent to me directly evidently do not count.

 The ball as they say is now out there who will pick it up and make my day.

Thank you in advance

D

Sunday, 23 March 2014

how to hack off an obnoxious neighbour

We all have them, those people we have to live alongside but can't stand the sight or sound of well I think I found the answer as to how to hack them off big style.

First watch them renew 3 foot high fence,
Next build the worst six foot fence imaginable.
Thirdly watch as they build their own six foot fence to hide my monstrosity.
Then remove my temporary fence and enjoy their perfect fence.

Result
Neighbour annoyed and I get a nice new fence to the height I always wanted at no expense to myself, the end to a perfect Sunday.

 Small pleasures must be achieved when and wherever possible.
D

Saturday, 22 March 2014

How authors are ripped off.

Morning all.

 I am a trifle cheesed off today. While bored yesterday I discovered a site devoted to me on Google. has anyone ever googled themselves its fascinating what is written about oneself. Anyway there in all there glory were those well known books written by me all those years ago.

 Forgotten souls withdrawn by myself almost six years ago still on sale. Where these people think they are going to get editions to sell is beyond me nor for that matter can I explain the prices.
Forgotten souls was on sale for £9.99 yet now they trade for £25 -£35 do I get the royalties for these sales. More disturbing was seeing a book written for family only, its title trips of the tongue 'Mum there's a red Indian In the Garden' This was sold for £10 as well yet now this particular site has the audacity to sell a copy for wait for it £45. I hope no one pays this come to me if you want a copy I can get you a brand new copy for a quarter of that price.    

 Now i get a tax return from Amazon for tax collected in US i paid $0.36 tax despite telling them I wasn't a tax payer in the US. Why can't life be easy.

 back to the grind stone

D

Friday, 21 March 2014

message from Australia.

Hello once again

 So today I will attempt to delve a little into my inner workings as an author. I have broached this once or twice and never really satisfactorily explained why I do what I do.

"Oh you write have you been published?"

That is the first thing everyone asks. Then, when I say no I self publish, I see the blinds fall across their eyes as if I am unworthy to call myself an author. You must have experienced something similar, if not you have that joy to come. What is the difference between myself and say Mister Dickens? Truth is there isn't a lot. Many of the well known authors either began life as, or dallied with, self publishing. At one time it was the only means by which you could get yourself into print, only since the advent of the major publishing house has times changed. Perhaps that is also on the wane, with more and more publishers being swallowed up into larger conglomerates, maybe the day of the Indie Publisher is about to take over once again.
   
If that is the case then we have to do all we can to present the best work possible. Each Indie author has to swallow their pride and accept the words of advice that editors and proof readers give. Their views aren't cheap, but certainly it can be the difference between mediocrity and star quality. Dead Men Lie, lies somewhere in the middle, our budget was small, we did the best we could and rectified the errors we found as they came to light. Which might explain the following brief note I received via e-nail yesterday morning from a reader in Australia. He has given me permission to present it here in its entirety, I hope you enjoy, I did even though its not a review as such.

 Dear Mr Procter

   Some time back I purchased your book and read it with interest. Under the pseudonym of kangaranger I wrote to you in a way that perhaps you thought flippant. Fact of the matter was I didn't think you would publish my thoughts, not many authors would.

Because of your honesty, I have followed your progress with interest, I visit your Facebook page and your Blogsite, while occasionally dropping in to view your web page. I find you both interesting and unafraid to speak your mind. Sometime I wonder what you were feeling when you right from the heart. You have obviously suffered for your work, perhaps the Gods of publishing haven't been that sympathetic towards your cause. However if karma is to be believed then you will succeed eventually I hope so.

 Now for the good bit, I downloaded your latest version of Dead Men Lie recently, why, because you said it was going to be good. I was not disappointed, there remain a few minor, and I do mean minor, issues with grammar, but I am Australian, so what right have I to speak about grammar or punctuation. Certainly you have achieved something I could never do, a book is an awesome thing to have produced. As for the story brilliant, the text is far more cohesive, the speech more realistic, the plot tighter, the characters more real. One question though, when will you reveal the identity of the Chamberlain. More importantly I loved the subtle twist right at the end, clever stuff Mr Procter to leave the reader wanting more.

I hope you do well with this book, certainly I have told all my friends about it. Continue the good work and good on yeah. Respect sir    

Yours John c/o Bennett station, Australia.
.    

 I have said it before and will reiterate, remarks such as this is the reason we put ourselves through so much grieve.

 For now I have a lot to do, preparing for various shows and feats. One word of good news, some of you will know that we are going to showing at the Battle of The nations in May. This is a re-enactment where hundreds of like minded souls present all that was great about the British fighting man (and our allies). It was announced today that Sky will be there to record it for posterity, maybe yours truly might find his name mentioned. If so remember any book sold during that weekend or ordered before will mean a £1 donation from me to the chosen charity which I believe is the local hospice. A worthy cause which you can aid by simply buying a book you see two exciting ways to enhance your well being.

 Speak soon

D

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

my daily view on life.

Good morning one and all.

 Its been too long since I last spoke to you and that is due to commitments concerning the re-launch of Dead Men Lie on June 4th. For all those who might be interested (and I hope to see a great many of you at the event) I am pleased to announce that all the differing elements begin to come together. The venue is booked, the books are printed, the posters and handouts ready. More importantly, and no doubt the ladies of Rye will swoon at the thought, but Colonel Maitland and Sir Percival will be attending along with Mistress Abigail. Look out Rye for these three to be among you drumming up support. I hope the many visitors that day will appreciate our hard work. If in the vicinity do please drop in it should be entertaining.
More importantly the wine is chilling nicely.
 
Why are we doing this? That question has been asked more than once and the simple answer is that we made mistakes with the previous additions. Oh shame on me we erred, we rushed into production and I sent the wrong copy to the printers. We are all fallible but I have lost count of the times I have been told of my errors. Which is both annoying and complimentary. Annoying because I wonder how many readers contact Publishing houses to point out their glaring mistakes. Conversely its rather gratifying that readers feel able to contact us and feel they are adding to the production process. Anyway we took the bold decision to withdraw the book from sale. While out of production we sat down and tore it apart, checked every dot and comma, every sentence and every plot line. The version, we have now is as good as we can make it. We have added a few twists, removed a lot of excess baggage and tightened the dialogue up so that Dead Men Lie reads so much better.Once we had the product, we needed to ask ourselves more searching questions, questions all Indie authors I believe should ask themselves. What do we do about advertising and promotion. That is the wall we all hit and which few manage to break through so lets look at why.

Self publishers fall into two categories. Those who write and publish for the pleasure of seeing their work in print, unfairly in my opinion commonly refereed to as vanity printers. Most will agree that, with all the good intentions in the world, few expect to sell more than a few copies, most of which go to family and friends. I do not decry or demean their efforts in any way, but they do add to the  perception readers have of anyone who self publishes. Such views are not applicable to everyone, with the uncertainty of the publishing world we see more talented and well known authors joining the ranks of the self publisher from the world of the main stream publishing. This can only be a good thing they bring a degree of credibility to those of us who continue against all odds to make a mark.

How then do we break through into the wonderful world that beckons to us from the mists of invisibility? More importantly how do we stand out from the thousands that try to advertise their work on mainstream social media sites and who are our targeted audience? Like everyone else I  went to the well known social sites to advertise my book. I enthused and waxed lyrical about its merits, the web site was looked at but who was I actually speaking to?

Each morning I have grown more disillusioned, each morning my in boxes are filled, not with orders or comments from readers, but with endless postings about cakes or cats, games and ghoulies. Personally I have a passing interested in all four but when I get upwards of 250 such messages the only thing to do is quickly scan for anything interesting and then delete. Therefore I have to conclude that all my so called friends are doing exactly the same thing.

Lets be fair, we have all spent hours, days, weeks and months slaving to hone our work as such we want it read. Which is why we flock to the same sites, I won't mention names here but we all know who I allude to. We join this group and that, we display our work and await the responses. Few though read our postings after the initial few weeks so we attempt to increase our circles of friend. We go for the same people, authors, we all think they are the people to give us what we desire but  authors haven't the time to actually read anything apart from the first initial brief examination. I stand as guilty as the rest, authors, no matter how genuine they at first appear, are motivated by one thing only self promotion and sales. Therefore I have to ask am I engaging in the right sort of people?

If as assumed many are leaving these sites in droves, we must develop other areas where we can advertise and sell our work. We must develop a different approach to find those willing to buy our books. But where and what can be done. We the self-publisher, by design, do not have access to the resources of the major publishing houses. We have to struggle for every sale. Therefore we have to be adaptable but we have to firstly make sure the product is as good as we can make it. Despite the professional publishers making horrendous mistakes, they are rarely criticised. Errors abound while some of the stories are far from enjoyable yet obtain cult status simply because they are published by proper companies. I am no literary giant, but I know what I like, some of the so called best sellers are too be fair less than appealing

Secondly I think we need to be more flexible in how we find readers. Where are they and how do we connect to them. Most do not reside online, the majority of readers are middle aged to elderly, I have discovered that a lot do not and will not use the internet if they can avoid it. Yes Amazon is the preferred choice to buy books and is a formidable tool but there has to be other choices available to those who would still like to buy a 'proper book'. There we the self-publisher run into another brick wall bookshops are reluctant if not down right blinkered in stocking our work and I can see their point. A self Published book is difficult to sell at a reasonable price, add too that equation the risks involved and a thousand and one other reasons and an Indie is unlikely to find a main stream book shop willing to take a chance.

Therefore we have to be bold and go into the world and peddle our books whenever and wherever we can. That isn't something many of us are willing or able to do. Family commitments and cost all eat into our valuable writing time or so we say. But why do we have this narrow view of our life? We chose to put our work out there to be read by not only reviewers, and other authors, but by the general public. So as the old saying goes in the mountain won't come to Mohammad than Mohammad must go to the mountain.

This year I am facing my public, I will do whatever is required to get my work into the readers hands. The reason being I believe in my book, my readers, apparently like what I have done and if others read it they will think the same way. Once again I implore other Indie authors not to dwell among those who flatter but do little, reach out and find your own audience. I will keep you informed as to how this year goes after what is the worst that can happen someone tells you to your face your work is rubbish. If they do smile, thank them, and move on. For another potential buyer approaches as they walk away.

 I make one last appeal. If anyone would like an author to attend a school feat, a village fair, a summer or spring fair or even a dog show contact me and if I can fit it in I will.

Here are my links
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-Men-Lie-David-Procter-ebook/dp/B007SECH7A/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1395151701&sr=1-1&keywords=dead+men+lie

WEB SITE http://www.davidtprocterbooks.co.uk/?alt_id=NFHXF-M1A86-1V2&ts=1394173080995

Thanks for reading and if you feel the same way don't just sit and wring your hands join me in doing something about it. E-mail me at davidtprocter@mail.com to whinge to moan or to join with me in bringing good quality Indie books to the reading public.

Until another day Dave 

Today's offering

Morning all

I hope you enjoyed my daily rant that I posted yesterday. Like all self publishers frustration boils over occasionally, and with no one else to vent that anger on we have to use the internet to express ourselves.

Therefore here comes today's offering.

 A group I joined offered an exchange of reviews. You know the thing, read my book and review it and I will reciprocate in kind. All good fun and a veritable influx of hopefully good reviews to have posted on Amazon.

Don't fall into the trap, I soon discovered it was for published lovies, to basically slap each other on the back declaring their unending love of all things intellectual while I, as the lone selfie, was to be the sacrificial lamb.

I read some of their work, and while obviously well written and researched every one left me cold for story content. They took so long in getting going I was bored come chapter four or five but I persevered and gave my reviews and guess what Dead Men Lie received not a one.  While they all stated grandly that they had downloaded copies none have, so far as I have seen, bothered reading it while one pompously said she was so busy it was impossible for them to do a full edit for at least a year.

What an insult. Dead Men Lie has been edited, perhaps not to industry standard but there again there were some glaring errors in spelling in their book but did I say as much, nope, yet they, in their pompousness, think I and my team are to be ridiculed.

They have the luxury none of us Indies possess, they have either a well known name, or a selection of books to sell via their time with publishers. We on the other hand, the individual, have to struggle each and every day to get our name known. None of these authors have to stand in a field touting their wares, To watch as hundreds of people pass by and savouring the few book sales we get. These guardians of the literary world have the luxury of time to write, while we, the Indie, spend most of our time looking for outlets, interacting on social sites, attempting to get media attention. My readers are the benchmark of my success, not people who sit in judgement of me after skim reading our books.

Skim reading? I hear you ask. Of course they do, that is how your books are reviewed, you didn't think these people can actually read four books a week and eat and sleep and do everything else we mere mortals have to do. I can't be certain but I would guess they read the first few chapters, skip to the middle section, and perhaps read the end, then check the other reviews your books have received then they cobble something together. Of course if I am wrong than I apologise unreservedly, there are most likely some very dedicated reviewers out there who read each and every word. My complaint is directed at those who can churn their reviews out almost machine like.

 Of course, this sounds like a dissatisfied author throwing his toys out of his pram. That isn't how I wanted it to be perceived, I would simply like some honesty, if you don't want to review my work tell me and I will save my time reviewing work, by people who want it. If Dead Men Lie doesn't appeal to you fine, I can't please everyone, but at least attempt to read it then cast your vote.

 I may not have the most reviews on Amazon but real readers do speak out in favour of the work and that I will continue to cherish. I, unlike others, post both good and bad comments on my website, that way I feel readers get a balanced view of my work. I tried to assist a fellow author once and since then I have barely heard from him, you see honesty isn't what we want is it. Instead of accepting well intentioned advice we all want to hear how good our work is. Well perhaps we should all begin to be honest and say what we think but we won't will we because we all desire those good reviews

Back to the grindstone and you know where I am if you would like to throw some brickbats my way.

Speak soon D



Thursday, 6 March 2014

another favourable review.

Hi friends

 I received this e-mail via my web site this morning and get the feeling that this is a general take on reviewing. I may be wrong but if it is it explains why most reviews come from recognised reviewers or authors.

 Mr Procter,

    I have never before written to an author, nor have i ever felt inclined to write a review or felt the urge to post anything on a book site or indeed on a web site of any sort. I find the thought of doing so far too intimidating and frankly confusing. I can manage e-mails and thankfully found your web site simple to understand.

  I write after seeing the review you posted by ChristophFischerBooks and felt compelled to join with him in expressing my profound admiration of your writing skills. Dead Men Lie left me spell bound by your descriptive powers in both character and place setting. To anyone who hasn't read your book they are sadly lacking in the enjoyment your story brings.  I will be telling all those i know to purchase a copy of this book forthwith. Congratulations and Thank you for creating something that holds the attention, is entertaining and isn't full of sex and violence.

 Yours appreciatively

Mrs Joyce Bigg (aged well over 50) England    

 What can I say but thank you Mrs Bigg, I have your e-mail address and will let you know when the next installment of this story comes available. It would seem our fan base grows despite the negativity shown by some.

I must get back to writing now so speak soon

D    

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Latest review





5.0 out of 5 stars
 Enjoyable, gripping read 4 Mar 2014
By ChristophFischerBooks TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
"Dead Men Lie" by David Procter is a well researched, historically accurate and impressive novel set in Boston and England in the late 1700s. It is a thriller, a mystery novel, a romance and historical fiction and a rich and rewarding read.
The books starts with a dramatic scene, the description of a gruesome hanging in Boston in 1969 as perceived by the lawyer of the hanged man. There is more to the case than meets the eye and this has a profound effect on the lawyer.
The story then moves on to Stormouth in England and the Wood family. Abigail, whose husband is missing and declared dead, the reading of the will, the priest and the dubious Benjamin Turnbottle, a 'friend'.
The plot is cleverly woven and told with a confident voice and with lots of surprises. The characters are diverse and colourful and their stories are intriguing and reflect English society of the times with all its flaws and some of its joy.
Pre-revolutionary America and Georgian England are a well chosen setting for the story.
Enjoyable, educational and gripping.
Comment | 


This is why we writers do what we do. We display our wares and hope that one day a review like this will pop up and be noticed.  The review is a well known and prolific reviewer that doesn't detract from what he says about our book if anything it speaks volumes for our dedication. If Dead Men Lie had been badly written or poorly researched he would have said so in no uncertain terms. So please read and digest Dead Men Lie is a great book, perhaps it is time you added it to your library??????? 

Sunday, 2 March 2014

the article

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/mar/02/bestseller-novel-to-bust-author-life

 read this everyone and see what i have been saying for so long

Cheers D

An eternal question

Good morning one and all

   Yet again I have been remiss in contributing here, fact is I have been stuck in a maelstrom of events, some of which sucked me in then spat me out but more of that later.

 Dead Men Lie, my book, did you know I had written a book Oh that's good glad the word has got out, continues to  become known around the world. the web site continues to grow despite a mega blip last month. Hard lesson learnt there, best not to trust all that you read about bright shiny new sites. Cost me money and time to end up back where I was. Only good point was the elimination of the glitch which had affected the old site, so perhaps some good did come from my time away.

I also joined a group in which a small group were supposed to review each others books. A noble sentiment which if it had delivered might have proofed effective. I felt, a week into the group that it was a group dedicated to self acclamation and that selfies weren't to be tolerated but hay who hasn't been decried for our efforts I know I have.

I also read a piece which decries the act of giving away free copies of books. At last I am no longer the lone voice in the wilderness. The article explains that , as i have been saying for some time, free copies belittles the work we as authors spend in writing our work. if we continue down this route how much longer will it be before the only books read are free ones and then when the industry has collapsed and we have nowhere to go to earn a modest living who will be the winners and looser's? Us no one else.  Unfortunately I appear to have lost the link but if it reappears I will post it so you can all read it as well it was fascinating.

My last point this morning is one of my own stupidity. I like so many others am trying to sell my book. Dead men Lie has a following it has been read and has received some good reviews. But I am attracted to so many sites on Google + Amazon and others where authors congregate. Suddenly I have realised that I don't care what other authors think of my book. I am not worried if some well meaning academic tells me that a comma is in the wrong place or that the inference is wrong when one character speaks to another. What I want is real readers to speak to me and to buy the book. Authors will not drive my book sales only readers will do that. Authors are far too concerned about their own reviews to give honest comments about books, readers will. Which is why over the course of this week I will be drastically reducing the amount of sites I use and culling some of the friends I have those who never respond or comment. What I would like is for your my true friends and readers to spread the word among your own friends that I and Dead Men Lie are different to so many others, we want your opinions even bad ones.          

There you are a new day has dawned and here is an open invitation to anyone able to get to Rye in east Sussex on June the 4th dead men Lie is having a launch party between 2 pm and 6 pm at the town hall. Drop in if you can and share a glass of wine with me and see just what Dead Men Lie is all about.  This will most likely become my platform for future promotion so share it and tell your friends about me. I may sometimes be controversial but I will also be honest. After all I have but one book, at the moment, to promote