Monday, June 24, 2013

Minority Report

Every little helps. So say Tesco.

And if I had their umptillions, I’d probably be able to hijack a common platitude for my massive advertising campaign too. Heck, I’d splash out on a duck-billed one.

Sadly, we can’t quite match their corporate might and it’s with feelings akin to those of a sentient and emotionally sensitive Titanic that I have to report the sales figures of Evil UnLtd books for the past 6 months (Nov 23rd 2012 to May 24th 2013) were pretty dismal.

Well, I tell a lie. They weren’t pretty at all.

This would be disappointing in any six month period. But for this particular six months it’s extra depressing. Because I’d decided to donate all royalties from the Evil series to Cancer Research UK and I’d really hoped to do some significant good. I even managed to feel a bit more comfortable with the whole promotion side of things and stepped up the campaign on social media, appealing to local newspapers and so on with greater determination and less shame than previously.

Clearly, I’m doing something wrong.

Obviously, I hate to lump anyone – least of all myself – in the same bracket as the Chancellor, but I fear I have fallen as far short of my targets as George Osborne. And that’s not a happy comparison. To be honest, I’d rather be a sentient Titanic and routinely strike icebergs. (The latter experience could be mitigated considerably by having Kate Winslet on board.)

When I first launched Evil UnLtd, I was resistant to self-publication. But in terms of my ability to spread the word about my books I’d based my calculations on the numbers of Facebook friends, Twitter followers and other internet contacts in my email address book. But as everyone knows – and I learned – it’s not quanity that counts so much as quality. Out of 400+ Facebook friends, for example, about 30 would usually respond in the positive to Event invitations and the like. (A special breed of ‘friend’ will consistently respond in the negative and then follow up shortly after with an Event or promotion of their own.) Many online reviewers are charging prohibitive fees for reviews. And in the real world, magazines and bookstores generally seem to interpret self-pubbed as something to be snubbed. It’s an uphill struggle with the mountain of titles out there only getting bigger.

Etc. Etc.


It’s not on the barriers and obstacles I wish to focus. No, because with every cloud there’s a silver lining and in this case it’s golden.

Because although they are in the minority, I am blessed with a truly brilliant core of friends who have shone like stars. Sharing links, tweets, status updates, lending guest spots on blogs and generally doing all they can. A number of them on a constant, unfailing basis that never ceased to impress and hearten. So when I say, ‘every little helps’, in their case it’s no platitude.

They know who they are. And in Evil UnLtd Vol 3, I’ve included the names of everyone who’s helped over those six months in the credits. There are, I'm happy to say, some individuals out there who are guaranteed my support for their projects.

It’s the least I can do until we can start giving them their own stars in sidewalks outside Chinese theatres. A heartfelt thank you to you all.

Meanwhile, there’s no ignoring the diminutive figure that we’ve managed to raise. Totting up royalties from all ebook sales on Amazon and Smashwords for the six months plus a rare paperback sale, we have amassed £40.06 for Cancer Research UK. While most marketing would like us all to aspire to smaller figures, I had hoped for more. So I will apply a spot of financial airbrushing to round that up to £50.

To paraphrase Douglas Adams, you might think that’s big, but that’s peanuts to cancer.
But I have to hope that every little does indeed help.

Of course, no sooner had our six month campaign concluded than another hero of mine was lost to cancer.

It’s no coincidence. The fact is, we’re losing them all the time.

So, in case you hadn’t heard, I decided then and there to extend the 100% donation for another year. So that’s 100% royalties from all Evil Unltd books (in all formats) going to Cancer Research UK until May 24th 2014.

You can find links to the various ways you can get your hands, virtual or otherwise, on the paperbacks and/or ebooks by visiting the official Evil website:

So please treat yourself to a copy of Vols 1, 2 and/or 3. According to reliable sources, as the tabloids say, they are a) funny and b) you don’t even have to be an SF reader to enjoy them. Alternatively they could make for a wicked gift for someone. But they’re not much use as a doorstop unless you go for the paperback version. And even then you’d probably have to get three and glue them together in a solid block.

I can’t say for sure. I’m not much for DIY. I’m still a Learner at this self-publishing lark. So slap an L plate on me and I’ll have to do some rethinking on how to go about promoting books more effectively. Any and all suggestions welcome.

Please help spread the word and share the link on Facebook, Twitter, blog, email – wherever you can.

Help make Evil do some Good.

And thank you, again, to all those who have helped so far. It means a great deal.


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