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Friday, May 1, 2015

LINCOLN’S assassination: Of Pokers, and What-might-have-beens

Thomas Eckert, The Man who Broke Pokers
On Good Friday, April 14, 1865, President Lincoln went to see Laura Keene in Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre. A lone assassin, the actor John Wilkes Booth was in the theater when Lincoln arrived. The day before he had attended a rehearsal in the theater to make sure he knew what to do on his chosen night.

Just before ten that night Booth presented his calling card to the White House footman before the President’s box, and gained entry; he drew his pistol and shot Lincoln in the back of his head.

Doris Kearns Goodwin wrote Team of Rivals, describing the strong men that Lincoln surrounded himself with in his cabinet during the years of the just-ended Civil War. She describes how four men might have changed the course of history that day.

Lincoln’s bodyguard, William H. Crook, had the night off.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Published your own books? Then you must read this ….

Not that much information out there in the market place about who earns what in the world of publishing, once you move away from the traditional publishers and their stables of “safe” already-published authors.

But now there is a site that gives us real facts, in real time, about who sells and earns what in the big wide world of publishing.

This website should be bookmarked by every author and each author should complete the surveys to help the Indie community have a body of good information.

The site is AuthorEarnings and is found here. The describe themselves this way:

Welcome to AuthorEarnings, where our purpose is to gather and share information so that writers can make informed decisions. Our secondary mission is to call for change within the publishing community for better pay and fairer terms in all contracts. This is a website by authors and for authors.

Dive through their published surveys from past years, and put your name down on their email list to get future surveys (after completing the author survey as well!).

Here are a few snippets to pique your curiosity:

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Amazon 5-Star Review of The Euros: Notre Dame Point Zero

Amazon 5-Star Review of The Euros: Notre Dame Point Zero
Here is the review:


By BOBA on March 1 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Like many of Glenn Ashton's other books, this one grabs you right away and doesn't let up until the very end.
The "Euros" will satisfy anyone who is a fan of the Rainbow Six and Private para-military groups fighting off the bad guys. However, they are a bit classier and less super-human, therefore much more believable. In this case the bad guys are taken from the current headlines and set in both Notre Dame Cathedral and the sewers in Paris. The location is finely crafted and shows an obvious flair for detailed research.
This is a highly enjoyable read but don't expect to just read a bit and then put it down. That won't happen!


You can find more at my Amazon author site at:

What is my latest book - The Euros: Notre Dame Point Zero – about?

How would you rescue women and children held hostage in Notre Dame cathedral in Paris by a band of faceless, nameless and ruthless men, who have attached bombs to each hostage, and threaten to blow up the cathedral if their demands are not met?

That is the problem that The Euros face in this, the first book of the series about them.

The Euros is the name for the Euro Protection Bureau, the highly skilled, well trained super cops unit formed to protect the European Union from threats to its integrity.

With five headquarters – the Puzzle House in London, the Grooming House in Paris, the Toy House in Berlin, the Garage in Rome and the Story House in Prague - the PuzzleMaker and Headmaster, directors of the London and Paris HQs, have a limited time to find a way to make themselves invisible so that they may enter the cathedral, rescue the hostages, save the cathedral, and capture the Bad Guys.

As little children are marched to Point Zero in front of the cathedral, with flickering lights on their explosive vests, and the Headmaster is forced to go into the cathedral as a hostage, the PuzzleMaker turns to Knuckles, the leader of the Onsite Prediction Unit, to cast her knucklebones and help him anticipate the actions of the Bad Guys.

He also asks a young gypsy girl to help him, and the Gypsy takes him on a hair-raising trip through the catacombs and sewers of Paris.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Authors, what Your Readers need from You to buy Your books

There are lessons to be learned from opinions of readers in various surveys, and the 2012 survey gives some good ones for self-published authors.

In the 2012 survey of readers of historical fiction, the finding was this:
In the 2012 historical fiction survey, 562 people listed favourite reading oriented websites, blogs and social media sites. The winners in connecting readers with books share three attributes:
  • thoughtful, trustworthy information about books,
  • opportunities for dialogue and an exchange of ideas, and
  • a community of like-minded readers.
If you write historical fiction, this finding from the 2012 survey should give you some hope, if you are a beginning self-published author:

Elsewhere in the survey, participants said that they choose books based on time period (27.2%) and on genre (30.3%). Only 18.3% choose based on author while the remaining 24.2% choose at random. Based on these percentages, it’s not surprising that historical fiction readers seek help to find stories from the time periods and genres they favour.

Authors: What do these Survey results mean for you?


A Writer of History blog post has links to the latest survey of readers of historical fiction, as well as a summary of results of the latest 2013 survey, at this site.
Here are some of the 2013 results as summarized by the blog – ask yourself what impact the results might have on your writing and publishing efforts (audience, likes and dislikes, price expectations etc):
A few highlights from prior surveys:
  1. HISTORICAL FICTION IS MAINSTREAM: Less than 2% of participants said they rarely or never read historical fiction.
  2. GENDER MAKES A DIFFERENCE: Women and men differ significantly in their reading habits and preferences and their views of historical fiction.
  3. AGE MAKES A DIFFERENCE: Those under 30 have different preferences for genre and time period and have different patterns of consumption and acquisition.
  4. SOCIAL MEDIA IS HAVING AN IMPACT ON READING: Social media and online sites play an increasingly significant role for those choosing, purchasing, and talking about fiction.
  5. BOOK BLOGS ARE VERY POPULAR: 1,473 participants listed one, two or three favourite blogs.
  6. GEOGRAPHY: Responses to questions such as the use of online tools for recommendations and purchasing and preferred setting for historical fiction varied by geography.
  7. PRICING: Sadly, readers are pushing for low prices. For example, 60% want e-books at $5.99 or less and 66% want paperbacks at $10.99 or less.
  8. ONLINE BOOK CLUBS ARE GAINING POPULARITY: 21% belong to online clubs while 15% belong to clubs meeting in a physical location
  9. VOLUME OF BOOKS READ MAKES A DIFFERENCE: for example, high volume readers have different expectations for book reviews, a higher interest in tracking their books, and higher usage of online tools and social media to augment their reading experience.
A Writer of History has many posts on survey results and insights and you can find summary reports and other popular articles here.
FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION follow A WRITER OF HISTORY
Have fun!




Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Your 50-Step Checklist for Publishing your Kindle eBook

Your 50-Step Checklist for Publishing your Kindle eBook

You’ve finished typing your manuscript and now you face publishing it as an eBook on Kindle. How do you go about it?

If you’ve published your book as a print on demand through Amazon’s CreateSpace, they offer to use your document and cover to publish it on Kindle for you. Take them up on this offer, but check the file they send to you very carefully. I found a few mistakes in my copy and junked it before starting on my own to publish the eBook version of Small Steps to Bigger Book Sales.

The Kindle instructions for publishing your eBook with them are very clear, and easy to follow.

My 50-steps checklist will help you work your way through Kindle’s instructions. Glance at the 5-steps before you start, because it will give you an overall idea of what lies ahead.
Here are the steps:
  1. Create account - First, create your account with Amazon / Kindle. Go to the Kindle site in paragraph 3 to get there.
  2. Click here for the general Kindle site. You can also sign in by clicking at the top where it says new customer.
  3. Or you can click here for the Kindle sign in site.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Authors: A simple and effective marketing plan for your books

Welcome to my latest book, written for authors who wish to better market their books, and for all those who use social media in some form or another.

Based on proven marketing methods, Small Steps to Bigger Book Sales is for every author with books to sell, or anyone who wishes to improve dramatically their participation in social networks.

Your 20 Tasks:
 You will be guided to do 20 Tasks, over 9 months, as part of your very own Small Steps Plan to market your books. 
You will start with the first 10 tasks over 3 months and the next 10 over the next 6 months. Then you will review and revise your next Small Steps Plan to cover the next 12 months.
 Your Book Promotion Plan:
 Your easily-prepared book promotion plan will set out methodical, small steps every week to market your books where they stand the best chance of being bought by readers. 
 What you will learn:
 You will learn how to:
  1. create your Team of advisors to help you every step of the way;
  2. define your Target Readers, so that you can persuade them to buy your books;
  3. find and use many of top social network forums, where readers and writers mix, so that you can build your Clan, or team of supporters;
  4. get reviews of your books;
  5. use other social networks tools easily and effectively; and do all this at your own speed and in the free time you have.
 Easy to use:

It is very easy for you to start and to carry out your promotion plan, with most of the heavy lifting done for you.

How to start: 

Your whole marketing plan is already prepared for you. Chapter 25 has a detailed template for your own Small Steps Plan, of 200 small steps in 20 tasks. All you have to do is add the target starting dates for your many small steps on your road to success. You can easily make any tweaks to it that you and your Team want to.

How to make it work: 

The easy way for you and your Team to carry out your plan is also provided. Chapter 26 has a very detailed 120-item Weekly Engagement Checklist. Each week you simply do those things that need to be done that week, confident that the Checklist will keep you on course.




Thursday, February 5, 2015

Plan to go to Paris for a vacation or a visit? Then take this with you

Right in the heart of Paris is the Notre Dame cathedral, which celebrated its 850th birthday a little while ago. If you plan to visit Paris, then you should download my book from Amazon (a printed copy) or Kindle (an ebook with some photographs).

The book has details about the cathedral which you won’t easily find gathered together elsewhere. During my research for my thriller, The Euros: Notre Dame Point Zero, I came across some surprising information about what lies buried beneath the huge cathedral.

Naturally, I incorporated a lot of this into the novel. My ebook version (available from Kindle), has photographs of scenes that are used in the thriller.

There you will find a map showing the mysterious Triangle Churches which play such an important role in the book: these are three old churches, two long lost but one still partly prepared.

You will also learn some interesting facts about the mysterious Archbishops’ tomb, a crypt beneath the choir stalls inside the cathedral, that was excavated by King Louis XIX in 1711. You will find out how the coffins are the archbishops are arranged, so that any new archbishop being buried there is welcomed by his predecessor; you will also find out about their red hats, still inside the crypt.

And, of course, there are two other underground crypts that play a part in the story: the archeological crypt discovered beneath the parvis (the empty land in front of the cathedral) when it was excavated in 1965 to build an underground garage; and the ancient and massive burial crypt that ran from the three front doors almost the full length of the huge building.

What is my latest book - The Euros: Notre Dame Point Zero – about?

How would you rescue women and children held hostage in Notre Dame cathedral in Paris by a band of faceless, nameless and ruthless men, who have attached bombs to each hostage, and threaten to blow up the cathedral if their demands are not met?

That is the problem that The Euros face in this, the first book of the series about them.

The Euros is the name for the Euro Protection Bureau, the highly skilled, well trained super cops unit formed to protect the European Union from threats to its integrity.

With five headquarters – the Puzzle House in London, the Grooming House in Paris, the Toy House in Berlin, the Garage in Rome and the Story House in Prague - the PuzzleMaker and Headmaster, directors of the London and Paris HQs, have a limited time to find a way to make themselves invisible so that they may enter the cathedral, rescue the hostages, save the cathedral, and capture the Bad Guys.

As little children are marched to Point Zero in front of the cathedral, with flickering lights on their explosive vests, and the Headmaster is forced to go into the cathedral as a hostage, the PuzzleMaker turns to Knuckles, the leader of the Onsite Prediction Unit, to cast her knucklebones and help him anticipate the actions of the Bad Guys. 

He also asks a young gypsy girl to help him, and the Gypsy takes him on a hair-raising trip through the catacombs and sewers of Paris.

You can find my ebook and Amazon print on demand book on sale here.

The Euros makes a very good gift for someone about to visit Paris, whether for the very first time, or during a stopover there.


Some more of my random posts for you:

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