Saint Justice rework 2023

Mike Grist Editing, Story Craft, Writing Leave a Comment

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I sometimes go back to earlier, already-published works and rework them. Reworking the early Wren books to be more in line with the genre and reader expectation was what led to my sales breakthrough in 2021. I’ve talked about all the things I changed several times here, here, here and probably other places too. In summary, I: I did lots more things too, including new covers, titles and blurbs, not all of which I remember. All these changes transformed the uptake of book 1 as well as the readthrough to book 2. …

New Wren series blurb & analysis!!

Mike Grist Marketing, Writing Leave a Comment

On Amazon as authors we’re afforded a series page for our books – for years I’ve been sending my FB ad clicks to the series page for Wren, and on that page I had a series blurb that was identical to the blurb for book 1 – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07TFBG5XD ‘They stole his truck. Big mistake yadda yadda…’ In the earliest days of March 2021, this new blurb combined with new covers, new opening chapters and altered body text, led people to one-click buy the whole series (then about 4 books long). That led to a lovely influx of sudden cash, as …

Realism in the Chris Wren books

Mike Grist Marketing, Writing Leave a Comment

Anyone who reads this blog knows I take on board reader feedback and use it to improve my writing. I have no qualms about changing books that have already been published, and have written about this plenty before – I changed the Wren series in many ways both small and large: taking out political elements, removing swearing, reducing the graphic horror, removing the time spent in the heads of creepy people, speeding up slow sections and adding more descriptive parts at times. I’ve done all that. The Wren books started to sell because I did it – but for a …

2023 Writing Plans!!

Mike Grist Marketing, Writing Leave a Comment

The last two years have been transformational in my author career. For the first time I actually made decent money from my books – after learning some important lessons about writing to market and giving the audience more of what they want. Both years I comfortably earned ‘replacement’ money – enough to trade out my job and go full time as an author. I held back, since my job’s pretty good about allowing me time to write anyway, and because I expected it was better to save and get some runway. Boy, am I glad I did. In this last …

Alt covers for Saint Justice

Mike Grist Marketing, Writing 5 Comments

I’ve been reading and analyzing a lot of thrillers recently – mostly Michael Connelly but also Jeffery Deaver, and that includes looking at their covers. Here’s a few: Granted, this selection is limited, but reasonably representative. Let’s compare to the Saint Justice cover: Let’s break down a quick analysis by area. Author name & Title – The other books all have the author name first, mostly at the top and above the title, taking up approx a quarter to a third of the cover. They largely seem to use the same font for the title. Saint Justice by contrast has …

Don’t Write from the Heart

Mike Grist Marketing, Writing 1 Comment

‘Write from the heart.’ This may be one of the most misguided pieces of advice out there for authors. It’s everywhere, and I believe it’s wrong. Let me qualify that – it’s wrong to do it more than once, if what you’re looking to do is sell books (unless that first time is an epic success, which it won’t be). Writing from the heart is a lottery ticket with incredibly long odds. There is a near-infinitesimal chance that a book born from the virgin writer’s heart is going to sell. It’s like walking into a university and saying your first …

2021 Writing Review, 2022 Plans

Mike Grist Writing, Yearly Writing Update Leave a Comment

It’s been a huge year in my writing career, ever since March when the Wren thrillers took off in a way I could only dream of. I set out into 2021 with a few clear goals: Write 2 Wren thrillers and 1 book in a new series Make replacement money from my writing Get all the Wren books into audiobook format I hit almost all 3 of those. I got the 2 Wren thrillers done and launched, I made replacement money, and I got 4 audiobooks made. Let’s get into it: 2 Wren thrillers As the year began, I was …

Master Your Genre mostly done – Writing Wk 27-30 2021

Mike Grist Weekly Writing Update, Writing Leave a Comment

This month has been spent writing my first non-fiction writing guidebook, and it’s been a great experience filled with contemplation and new learning. I’ve also had Saint Justice on Prime Reading and in a Kindle 99c deal. Thirdly, I joined a group of fellow writers and had a great back and forth with some real good ideas. Fourthly, I made a little headway on Wren book 7. Sixthly, I rejoined ALLi to try and take advantage of their agent hookup. Let’s get into it. Master Your Genre Here’s what I wrote a month ago, last time I wrote a post: …

Wren 6 launch, non-fiction project – Writing Wk25/6 2021

Mike Grist Weekly Writing Update, Writing Leave a Comment

These past 2 weeks Wren 6 launched, and I turned my attention to finally writing my non-fiction book on how I got the Wren books selling. Wren 6 launch The launch of Enemy of the People has been the best I’ve yet had, with nearly 500 pre-orders lining up over the last 6 months. I didn’t do anything else special to promote it, just keep on pushing the whole series at a usual daily ad spend. On that note, Amazon has book 1 in Prime Reading for 3 months and as a Kindle Monthly Deal at 99c in the US, …