Inspired by feedback from readers…

This blog article is inspired by the feedback emails I receive from readers who have read my books and are eagerly waiting for Rogue to come out:

Dear Reader,

I appreciate your enthusiasm and understand your eager anticipation of the new novel in the Amsterdam Assassin Series. I’d love to be able to write more new stories to entertain my readers, but to do so, I really need your help.

I would be able to write more books in a shorter time, if I didn’t have to spend so much time getting my books noticed. And I can’t do it by myself.

I’m a self-published author, which means that after I finished writing, editing and polishing my manuscript to make the work ready for publication, I cannot devote myself to writing the next novel, but I have to become my own publisher. I have to commission a new cover, format the books and get them published on the retail sites.

That’s no hardship for me, but what bites me is that nobody promotes my books for me. And tooting my own horn feels awkward. I love the stories I write, but if I try to communicate my love for my work to other people, even if I just try to tell them I wrote a book that’s worthy of their attention, I run the risk of sounding arrogant and conceited.

Besides, all authors think they write great books (or they wouldn’t be writing them), so my opinion of my books means less than nothing.

What I need is fans like you to help me gain more exposure for the Amsterdam Assassin Series. If my fans champion my books, I can devote myself to writing new stories.

If you want to help, this is what you can do:

  • Write reviews for the books and post them on Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, Facebook, GoodReads, your blog, twitter, any social media platform you can think of.
  • Recommend the Amsterdam Assassin Series to other readers. Personal recommendations carry great weight. If you’re enthusiastic, you can inspire other people to follow your example. Tell people that they can receive a free copy of Reprobate in return for a review.
  • Give me feedback on how to improve my promotion by telling me how you found me/the books and what you were looking for. Send me comments on what you like or dislike about the books, so I know how my work is received.
  • Follow my blog for the latest news. Like me on Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, and Amazon.
  • Sign up for an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of ROGUE, so you can read the new book before it is published and write a review that can be posted on retailer sites and social media in the first week of publication, so Rogue will be propelled higher into the rankings.

I’ve been writing for twenty years and I’m not going to stop just because my sales number in the 15-20 books per month, but the less time I have to spend marketing my work, the more time I have to write new stories.

So if you’re eager for my next book, help shoulder my workload and donate some of your time promoting the books you love.

I’m grateful for your support, your feedback makes my day!

Cordially,

Martyn V. Halm

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On Writing Tools, Revisited.

Revisiting On Writing Tools:

As I wrote in my previous article On Writing Tools, I use an iPad2 with an Adonit Writer Plus keyboard for the main bulk of my writing.

I wrote:
“With the advent of the iPad3, the iPad2 was dumped on the market, so I got myself an iPad2 with an Adonit Writer keyboard/iPad case combo. Although the keyboard is quite a bit smaller than a regular keyboard, the portability is incredible – weighing next to nothing, the iPad/Adonit joins my Kindle in the laptop compartment of the backpack I take everywhere. With its battery-life of ten working hours, the iPad is much better at working wireless than most laptops. I installed Apple Pages for iPad and transferred all works in progress to the iCloud and I’m a happy person.”
However, I stopped using Pages and started using Scrivener for Mac, using a MacBook Pro at home, and exporting scenes I’m working on to SimpleNote, so I can work them on my iPad.
Of course, there are some minor issues – SimpeNote is a simple note program, so it has no bold, italics or underlined function, nor does it do well with ellipsis or em-dashes. However, I found that working on the iPad, has two major advantages:

  1. the iPad has a substantially longer battery life, and doesn’t take long to start up.
  2. the iPad SimpleNote app features no distractions, so you’re not tempted to fiddle with formatting or editing, because you will do that later on the MacBook when you have the power of Scrivener to accommodate your needs.

Although I hope that Scrivener will release a version for iOS soon, I’m quite pleased with the Scrivener/SimpleNote functionality.

 

Addendum:

I shifted from proofreading on my old Kindle to proofreading epubs on my iPad. The touch screen makes highlighting much easier, the full-sized bluetooth keyboard makes notes easier and the list of highlights and notes is easier to delete by swiping the note in the list to the left.

On my Kindle, I could delete highlights/notes by pressing ‘delete’ on the small keyboard. If you have a newer Kindle without the keyboard, that might not work. On the other hand, if you just leave the list and upload a new version, you can easily delete the old version and take the editing list with it.

 

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