Confirmatory reviews – Last Mayor is on the right track!

MJG Last Mayor, Writing 2 Comments

A month ago I received this review of the Last Mayor box set books 1-9 on Amazon US: Started off like a snowball down a mountain. By book 4 it slowed to a pebble rolling down a rocky slope. Well defined characters, interesting premise but some points go against all common sense. But still a good read. But cant bring my self to give a five. Oddly, I found this to be incredibly reassuring. This person had read an earlier version, where I’d edited books 1-3 but hadn’t yet touched books 4-6. So – what I’d done was working! The …

Massive edits to the Last Mayor 6: The Laws

MJG Last Mayor, Writing, Zombie Ocean 2 Comments

In the last couple of weeks I have been editing The Laws, Last Mayor book 6, and am almost at the final word count. It started off at 107,000 words. That’s a decent length book, bigger than an ‘average’ novel length of 80,000. It has great reviews on all vendors, basically a solid five stars. It may even be crazy to edit it at all – since something about it is working. And yet… I have now cut it down to 55,000 words. That’s basically chopping it in half. Here’s what I cut, and why: 13,000 words of Drake’s backstory. …

Adding Bookbub ads – Writing Update 2019 Week 43

MJG Weekly Writing Update, Writing Leave a Comment

The stellar performance of my Last Mayor box set books 1-9 continues unabated. This remains something I am surprised by, don’t fully understand, and have no idea how long it will go on for – therefore I am enjoying it very much while it lasts! It is selling some 70 copies a day, with around 20,000 page reads. That’s around $100 gross a day. Of course I am paying around 40% for the privilege. On days when AMS spends my ad budget it does better. Likewise with FB ads – though somehow the FB ads have been cutting themselves out …

Sell the sizzle not the steak in book blurbs – Writing Update 2019 Week 42

MJG Story Craft, Weekly Writing Update, Writing Leave a Comment

When I launched the Soul Jacker box set last week, I also took a hard look at the blurb I was using for Soul Jacker book 1. This blurb was only a few months old. It’s a book I’ve re-blurbed multiple times. But somehow, this time around I could see how little of the ‘sizzle’ was coming through. It was all steak. Descriptive. Interesting. Not exciting. David Gluckman Case Study Maybe it was doing a mentoring session with David Gluckman, inventor of Bailey’s Irish Cream, a few weeks back that helped me see this. In advance of our session I …

The astounding binge power of book box sets – Writing Update 2019 Week 41

MJG Weekly Writing Update, Writing Leave a Comment

Some hard talk to start – and one possible reason I stopped the Weekly Writing Updates 24 weeks (half a year!) ago: My big Soul Jacker relaunch failed. No point beating around the bush. It hurt at the time – like any setback. I’d spent a lot of time rewriting this trilogy which I first wrote in 2014/15 – paid for developmental editing, got new covers, labored for the 5th year on the blurb. I got amazing testimonials from top authors in the game (Michael Marshall Smith!, Pat Mills!) built a hell of a promo stack around a Bookbub New …

Chris Wren 3, Last Mayor Rewrites & Mentoring – Writing Update 2019 week 39 & 40

MJG Weekly Writing Update, Writing Leave a Comment

Hoo boy. It has been 24 weeks since I last updated this writing blog! What have I been doing? Wrote book 3 of the Chris Wren thrillers, Reparation. Substantially rewrote and released book 4 of the Last Mayor series, The Loss. Just now (an hour ago) got done rewriting book 5 of the Last Mayor series, The List. Mentored another writer on marketing 1-1. Spoke to a writer’s group on marketing. Released books 1-3 of the Chris Wren thrillers. Ramped up Facebook and Amazon ad spend such that I’m now making around $40 profit a day. Put all the Last …

Writing Update 2019 week 15 & 16

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Hardly anything has happened with my writing in the last 2 weeks – it’s all been focused on getting Soul Breaker (Soul Jacker book 2) ready to go out the door, then Soul Killer to follow it. Now Soul Breaker is out, Soul Jacker is up to full price at $2.99, and I am still tallying up sales… Otherwise, as I finish up the third pass on Soul Killer, I’m also looking ahead to my new incarnation as a thriller writer. I’m reading thrillers and studying their covers and blurbs to get a better idea how to market what I …

Writing Update 2019 week 13 & 14

MJG Marketing, Soul Jacker, Weekly Writing Update Leave a Comment

It’s been an overwhelming week with the launch of Soul Jacker. I’ve sold more books faster than ever before, got influencer testimonials like never before, and heard back from readers like never before. Yesterday I hit 1,000 sales 2 major influencer plus 2 medium influencer testimonials Reports from all readers that they couldn’t put the book down SALES I looked back at my track record to get some sense of perspective here – The Saint’s Rise, which was my next most successful launch and itself also a relaunch of an earlier title, sold 800 books in the first 4 weeks. …

Soul Jacker is out!

MJG Soul Jacker, Writing Leave a Comment

After a year of rewriting Soul Jacker is finally out, and on sale for just $0.99 in launch week, so pick it up now! I’m far too excited about this launch. Hard to sleep. Jittery. I should stop drinking coffee as I’m already wired enough! With 2 stellar testimonials from giants in the field, it’s drawing more attention than I’ve ever had before. $0.99 Amazon USA £0.99 Amazon UK REVIEWS “Superb – a Fantastic Voyage into the soul. Grist has produced a taut, clever cyberthriller that messes with your mind. Blending hard science, metaphysics and high-octane action, SoulJacker had me …

Soul Jacker review from Michael Marshall Smith!

MJG Marketing, Soul Jacker, Writing Leave a Comment

This is immense news for my author career, as well as being an amazing personal accomplishment that I probably was distantly dreaming of 20-odd years back, when actually writing and publishing novels seemed very far away. I gulped down Michael Marshall Smith’s novels back then: Only Forward, Spares and One of Us. I loved them. Re-reading them recently, I’ve come to realize how much his work has influenced my own writing. Soul Jacker definitely owes a debt to Only Forward. There are certainly similarities – in tone at times, in world, in the concept of hacking into a mind/dreams. So …