Recent Amazon Reviews

An Agent’s Demise

3.0 out of 5 stars Looking for a good book this one is it!!, October 12, 2013
By
Marshall Allen – See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Agent’s Demise (Kindle Edition)

I really had to concentrate on this book Mike had so many different alias i didn’t know who was who for awhile there. Never a boring paragraph. Very interesting characters with a real world feel to them. I’m looking forward to a continuation series.

To The Survivors

5.0 out of 5 stars Great read., October 11, 2013
By
Stephen (Texas) – See all my reviews
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This review is from: To The Survivors (Kindle Edition)

Book came up as a value deal and sounded interesting. Glad I purchased this one. Enjoyed the genre and couldn’t put it down. Lots of different storylines explored keeping it interesting at all times. I liked the extended period covered by the book without losing details in the story told.

4.0 out of 5 stars A Good read, 10 Oct 2013
By
fatmac “fatmac” (England) – See all my reviews
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This review is from: To The Survivors (Kindle Edition)

I enjoy this genre, especially for it being non zombie. It is a long read, i thought it would’v’e been better if it had been split into three books with much more detail included.
The concept is refreshing and different, however, the characters could’ve been developed over a longer period. I felt it was rushed at times, as if the author wanted to get it over with.
The opportunity is now there to move the story forward, in more detail. There is so much more to include into the story and expand on. A brave new world. It is a start.
The sort of read that could easily be made into a TV series

5.0 out of 5 stars thoroughly enjoyed, 4 Oct 2013
By
Lesley A. Hunt “Lesley” (Hampshire UK) – See all my reviews
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This review is from: To The Survivors (Kindle Edition)

I loved this book. It had a start, middle and a proper end. I don’t care if it was not written perfectly as some others have pointed out, I thought it was a great story. I was gripped from start to finish.
So many end of the world stories focus entirely on the negative this one was so different it wasn’t all about death, destruction and murder it was about moving forward from a tragedy and making a new life. With believable characters that weren’t all heroes but tried their best.
Well done to Philip G Henley I will look out for more of your books

The Persuasive Man

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read, August 26, 2013
By
Maria Miller, Author “Maria” (Ohio) – See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Persuasive Man (Kindle Edition)

THE PERSUASIVE MAN is not a story, per se, but a confession by a man who has had it all throughout life. Now that the end is near, he has to come to terms with the good and the bad, the fortune and the misfortune, the happiness and the misery. If you’re looking for a fast paced thriller, this isn’t it. This is a lot of rambling by a man who wants to get everything off his chest before it’s too late.

Reaching Out Overseas

Reaching Out Overseas from October 2013.

A frequent concern of new and existing authors/writers, including me, is how to get readers to read our books preferably having purchased a copy from any retailer.  The endless methodologies for marketing have been discussed in lots of blogs and forums.  The independent and self-pub writers are just as desperate as mainstream publishing houses but without their advertising budgets.  Of course those budgets are limited both in value and access and talking to some properly published authors the ability to access those funds is limited to an elite few.

I have previously commented that publishing houses seem to be little more than glorified marketing companies. Despite the constant streams of abuse about how poorly edited/written self-pub books are mainstream books still suffer from the usual round of problems.  David Jason biography in a Bridget Jones novel anyone?

But I digress, this is not a rant about that endless argument over quality, the cost of editing etc, this is supposed to be about one aspect – getting overseas customers.

My books have not been translated into non-English languages, they haven’t even been translated into US English, they are in what we British like to call proper English – no comments please about grammar, typos, dialects, etc – actually comment all you want.  There is a very large English (in it’s various forms) speaking/reading population, so how can I access these readers?  My various retail outlets, Amazon, Smashwords, Lulu provide the self-published author with lots of sales statistics and each time I look – it’s a habit I should break.

I can see where my books are selling or more frequently not.  I now know that Australian and New Zealand sales are included in Amazon.com, Canada  has its own site as does India.  Regardless of where the sale is registered how can I reach these readers and potential buyers? Is there something in my stories I should include much as the BBC include American actors in its dramas so that they can sell to the USA?  How do I generate more readers in these countries? Amazon.com won’t even list reviews from other sites and those other sites only show reviews from Amazon.com after the description. It shows the book as un-reviewed.

Surely, a review is a review!  A star rating is a star rating, but on all the other Amazon sites the book appears as unread, un-rated and un-reviewed regardless of it’s sales or reception elsewhere in the world.  Amazon are losing out as well, after all a sale for me, is a sale for them.

For the readers out there (ther must be some) do you look for a setting, a scene or a character from your own country that might make the story more appealing?  It doesn’t matter to me where a book is set although it might limit the scope of the story.  For a character the main concern for me would be dialogue or cultural references, but that can apply in country just as much as overseas.  Is there any point to running an advert in those countries. trying to generate sales or should I have to wait for a groundswell of US and UK reviews to attract attention?  Yes, social media can spread the word but there are lots of words being spread in a very thin layer.

Do I have an answer? No. I include scenes and settings in locations that fit the story that I want to write. My third book, The Persuasive Man, has multiple international locations and extended scenes in Honk Kong, Dubai, and  Caribbean locations along with New York and for non-English France and  Shanghai. It’s not a travelogue but a tale of dodgy business.  My other books vary, the first, An Agent’s Demise, has several international locations, whereas my second To The Survivors barely has any.  Excluding free downloads my second is the best seller worldwide.  Why is that, it is very UK focused in its story?  Perhaps that is what attracts it to other English speaking parts of the world.

The whole conundrum of what attracts readers continues to baffle me and the tens of thousands of new writers out there. Overseas sales just adds to the bafflement.

Related articles

The Rejection Letter

Following a GoodReads discussion forum about the relative merits of Professional published writers, Indie Published writers and Self Published writers I dropped in the following Rejection Letter from a leading publishing house to a Mr Bill Shakespeare.

Dear Bill,

We are sorry to tell you that you proposed work of Romeo and Juliet is not acceptable in its current format. Significant changes are required to the plot such as the removal of the under-age sex, violence and suicide. This is not the type of work we can currently carry. As you know we already have similar writers such as Robert Marlow on our books and we would not wish to impact his potential sales.

Writing in verse is of course challenging to many readers, however, clever it may appear to you, it will significantly limit your potential sales. Your poetry is simplistic and lacks rhythm and we have no interest in your collection of so called sonnets.  As for your proposed plot outline for A Midsummer’s Night Dream, we are not a fantasy publisher but we doubt very much whether such a story with a lead character of a donkey would appeal to anyone!  Please don’t trouble us again

Yours etc.

Hope that made you smile now it’s time to

<<START RANT

Now I appreciate that I am be a little harsh on major publishing houses but… why not.  They like the music and movie/film industry still haven’t woken up to the new technology driven world.  The best live news is now provided by mobile phone footage.  Music is prepared and published in home studios and the methods of distribution have changed dramatically.  The production of books, certainly in electronic format is a significant departure from the previous business model.  This does not mean that traditional publishing houses, music producers or movie studios cannot continue to exist, but in recent years they seem to act as no more than marketing companies rather that a sign of a quality gatekeeper.  Other better commentators have written about this and the snobbish way many publishing houses behave. I refer you to this excellent blog as an example.

My point is, and I do have a point,  Publishers need to wake up and smell the roses/coffee.  Employing interns to write reviews for their authors, bribing media reviewers via social book launches, gala nights access to advance copies is just that a bribe and could be considered a giant fraud perpetuated on the actual buying public.  Who should I trust?  A reviewer to attended a drinks and canapés book launch ,got a free copy, maybe stayed in a nice hotel who then writes gushingly about a book, or the avid reader who paid for a book with hard earned cash.  Should I believe a book labelled as The No: One Bestseller when it has only just launched to hundreds of immediate online reviews, or the slow burning self published book with mixed reviews that hasn’t had a single advert.  If Bill was writing today how would he publish his plays and sonnets?  How would Charlie Dickens?  Would he be serialised in a newspaper or on a blog that he created for himself.  Would they be allowed onto a TV Show to promote their latest ghost written work or would they be stuck hoping that someone selects their latest kindle offering potentially as a freebie in the hope that someone may download it, read it and even review it or tell their friends about this little gem they have discovered.

I hope, and let’s face it I am in business of the latter, that my few readers read my book, whilst secretly hoping some major publisher will give me a call offering that publishing deal or that movie screenplay.  With9,000 competitors each month, I know I have more chance of winning my prize on the lottery! So instead I’ll try and write some more self published fiction, I’ll try and promote my book by this and other social media, maybe even a self produced advert, although they hardly seem worth the effort.  I live to see reviews good or bad because it means someone has at least taken the time to read my offerings.

What I am not going to do is submit my books for some publishing house to decide whether they are good enough to market, notice I said market not publish because lets face it.  They don’t give xxxx about the quality of the work.  They just want it to sell at their over inflated prices.  STOP RANT>>

OK, back to the day job and even some writing, I have a story that Bill has asked me to review about incest and murder in Denmark, I’m just going to check with Bill whether with this plot outline a publisher will touch it.  What was it called Bill?  Hamlet or something, you’ll have to change the title I think they have it trade marked for a cigar, no I don’t care that you’ve spent years writing it, you cannot have that scene talking to a skull it’s just not realistic.  Could you stick a car chase in in the opening scene, TV won’t touch it otherwise….