Saint Justice audio is out! & SPS Live – 2020 Writing Week 10

Mike Grist Weekly Writing Update, Writing Leave a Comment

The most major event this week was the approval and release for sale of the Saint Justice audiobook via Audible and Amazon. It hardly feels real yet that this is out in the world – nevertheless – it is!

Saint Justice audiobook release

Saint Justice in audio

Here’s a sample:

Get it here for $23.97 or £18.29 (weird prices, I know):

Audible US

Audible UK

I’ve sent a few free codes out to trusted reviewers – if you think you’d be able to write a review on Audible – please do get in touch and I’ll send you a free code too 🙂

In other audio news, Nick is halfway through narrating Wren book 3 Reparation, and I’m just staying ahead of him in editing. There aren’t any major new changes – it’s the usual thing: a bit less violent, a bit more sympathy for Wren.

SPS Live 2020

The second biggest event this week was the Self-Publishing Show Live 2020 – the first Indie author conference I’ve been to. They’ve been holding these for years now – primarily run by 20booksto50k in Las Vegas and a few other locations.

Of course there was also London Book Fair, which for the first time since I became aware of it some 4 years back, I actually took a day off work to attend. Then it was canceled by coronavirus, but happily the SPS event went ahead.

It was held 9am to 4pm on Monday at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in the South Bank Center, right next to the Big Eye. I arrived at 8, rolled in and found a member of our London Indie Authors group right away – Brad Borkan.

Brad has written a business lessons/Antarctica book – we chatted for a few minutes, then went to get a great seat in the auditorium. I took this pic:

This is just half of the hall. To the left there’s a whole other half, capacity 1000. It was mostly full – some people dropped out for the virus I think.

Thus began the networking. I chatted to a thriller author named Tim Heath, then some horror/apocalypse guys came and I chatted to them, then Leena came and we caught up, then Clare Lydon appeared at the back and I went to her, then I saw Dan Parsons and waved but he was busy, then it was 9am and the show started.

It was a fantastic start. A big animated intro video that got the crowd super jazzed and cheering. Mark Dawson and James Blatch came out and got things off to a start, and then…

Then the show began. There were seven sessions and I won’t recap them in detail – the first was an interview with LJ Ross focusing on her success, the second was Joanna Penn giving a round-up of the tremendous number of ways authors can make money from multiple streams of income. It was an exhaustive summary.

Then there was a break for networking – I hooked up Jon-Jon from the LIA and chatted a bit, then we lined up and had a quick chat with Joanna Penn! We didn’t cover much really – invited her to speak to our tiny group, knowing she wouldn’t come – still it was good fun. Met another thriller author from maybe Sweden, the next sessions.

Session 3 was a panel with 4 ladies, all making $50-100K a year. More inspiration. Then was a mind-blowing session with 4 of the ‘New Publishers’. These are small presses who focus on publishing ‘Indie’ authors primarily online, with much better royalty splits than trad publishers. One guy, Michael Anderle who is also an author and started 20booksto50k, said he’s publishig 300 books this year.

Wow. Others were doing a similar thing. Crazy.

Then lunch! This was a bit of a farce – we were a big group and went in one place and almost sat down, then to another and did sit down, then split up and Brad and I went to buy sandwiches in Marks and Spencers. We rushed back to the venue, managed to scarf down our food, then it was session 5! The folks who went for a pizza missed much of this session, I think.

Session 5 was a discussion with two bigselling non-fiction authors – a guitar guy and a self-help guy. The self-help guy let slip some useful Amazon ad management nuggets – primarily that he stops a keyword if it gets ten clicks but no sales. I decided to do that too. Session 6 was supposed to be Amazon but they bailed due to the virus and instead the guy from Reedsy presented about some tools that everybody already knew about.

Another break, a bit more chit-chat, then it was the final session, Mark Dawson. I was looking forward to this, then got a bit down when it became clear he was only going to deliver a session he’d already delivered before. However, it ended up extremely entertaining and really great fun, so it was good.

4pm, and we headed out for some dinner in a big posse. I saw Dan Parsons and we had a proper catchup, then he joined us. I met some new people, we ate at Wetherspoons near the Tower Millennium Pier by the Tower of London, then we got on the Princess Paddleboat and the party really began.

It was like getting on the Titanic. I got split up from Jon-Jon in the wait on the pier and ended up chatting to a husband-wife pair who’d been to MArk Dawson’s retreat that weekend. She’d been trad-pubbed and now they had big plans to go indie. In the queue I hooked up with Dan again and we found a table wiht some ladies.

A guy who works with MD to make his book trailers came over and we chatted a bit, then I saw Clare was right next to us with her group of lady co-authors and friends, and we caught up some. Then I chatted to a lady, some guys, then as if by a miracle Mark Dawson himself passed right by!

I grabbed him and chatted for a couple of minutes – said I thought the whole entrepreneurial endeavor he’d put together was inspirational, then asked him his suggestion what to do with my thrillers. He basically nodded along to my plan to box-set, release book 4, and then try an ad push. We got a selfie:

It’s such a terrible photo! I guess my iphone 5 is not up to low light conditions. Someone else posted this photo on Facebook:
That’s my face on the right!

Before seeing MD I was staerting to flag, honestly. I can do a certain amount of networking before I get drained. But after chatting to MD I was totally buzzing. I can imagine the power a cult leader might have!

I chatted next to Steven who came along and his g/f, two self-help gurus and a bunch of randoms, until the boat was pulling in, the band were playing the last few tunes and I felt the irresistible urge to dance!

I got some of Clare’s ladyfriends up on the dancefloor and shook it together. Jon-Jon came along and we waltzed then emoted to Angels, and then that was it!

Phew. Exhausting, fantastic and utterly inspiring. I am super pumped now to make it as a full-time author. Gotta get these audios done, get book 4, then 5, then more.

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