Yearly Archives:: 2014

Wattpad: final thoughts

August 30, 2014 Publishing/marketing 3

With the publication of ‘The Plains of Kallanash’ rapidly approaching, I’ve finally taken down most of the chapters posted on Wattpad, so that I can sign up for Amazon’s exclusive program, KDP Select. I’ve left six chapters up as a sample, but I don’t expect them to get many reads.

I started posting the book on Wattpad a chapter at a time, many months ago, and then posted the remaining chapters more than a month ago. So how did it do? Some numbers:

Total reads: 2,018 (each chapter viewed counts as one read)

Votes: 344

Comments: 156

This is barely a blip in the Wattpad world, where the most popular books garner reads in the hundreds of thousands, or even millions. It’s more interesting to look at individual chapters.

Chapter 1: 450 reads

Chapter 2: 69 reads

Chapter 3: 60 reads

Chapter 4: 54 reads and so on.

So a lot of people looked at the first chapter, decided it wasn’t for them and moved on. This is very similar to potential purchasers looking at the sample on Amazon. I have no idea whether this is a typical distribution or not, but it’s not unexpected.

After the precipitous drop-off on chapter 2, numbers drifted slowly downwards through the first third of the book as readers lost interest or became distracted by newer, shinier books or real life. After that point, numbers stabilised, so virtually everyone who got to the one third point went on to finish the book. When a reader voted to say they enjoyed a chapter, I got a timed notification of that, so I could sometimes track a reader’s progress over many hours (in one case, eleven hours!). That was fascinating. But most readers didn’t vote or leave comments, they simply read, anonymously.

So how did Wattpad work out? In the early days, I participated in the forums, read and commented on other work and generally interacted with a lot of people. I followed 28 people, and acquired a similar number of followers (there’s quite a lot of tit-for-tat following amongst authors). After two or three months, my participation dropped to nothing, but the book had developed some modest momentum, and continued to attract new readers. I now have 43 followers.

Wattpad is a great place for beginning writers to stretch their wings in a friendly and supportive environment, but the lack of rigorous critique means it won’t help writers to improve. It’s also a good place for published authors to post a permafree book. It’s not great for building a fanbase of paying customers; Wattpadders like their free books. Even writers with vast numbers of fans on Wattpad have trouble translating that into sales.

For me, Wattpad was an interesting experiment. I enjoyed being part of the Wattpad community, and I found some awesome books to read (although you have to search for the good stuff). However, it was really the wrong time and wrong book to post, and if I’d known I would have to take it down to join KDP Select, I would never have started posting. I don’t regret posting there, I just wish I could have left the whole book on Wattpad and also had the freedom to sell it exclusively on Amazon. But self-publishing is about making these decisions for myself, and determining the direction of my writing career. Given the choice between selling the book on Amazon or giving it away on Wattpad, it’s really a no-brainer.


SciFi Short Story Collection Review: ‘Echoes and Memories’ by Tristan Gregory

August 28, 2014 Review 2

This is a nice mixture of science fiction short stories, varied in both length and subject matter. I have to confess, I’m more of a fantasy reader, so I got a bit bogged down in some of the sciencey bits. However, the author’s trademark smooth writing carried me along.

The first two stories, Digital Soul and Pillar, were both awesome – beautifully crafted, immersive and with that deft little twist at the end which makes a short story so satisfying. The third story, The Last Gasp of the Dragon, was short and sweet – maybe too short to make an impact (or maybe I just didn’t get it – always possible).

The fourth story, Orphaned World, was long and filled with blow-by-blow detail which lost me somewhere along the way. The tension built and built, yet the resolution felt insufficient for all that build-up. I had the feeling there was some profound idea being conveyed which my befuddled brain wasn’t grasping properly. Over my head, I suspect.

But the final story, Too Dumb To Die/The Sea Beyond the Stars, hit the spot beautifully, with a wonderful tale that asked all the difficult questions about what it actually means to be human. Or perhaps, more subtly, about the nature of humanity. Epic stuff.

For me, this collection didn’t quite reach the glorious heights of The Wandering Tale, but for those who like their speculative fiction both thought-provoking and elegantly written, this is highly recommended. Four stars.


‘The Plains of Kallanash’: ARCs available

August 17, 2014 Publishing/marketing 8

‘The Plains of Kallanash’ is getting closer to publication! I now have ARCs available, so if anyone out there would like a copy to read for review, please email me at I have both mobi and epub formats available (sorry, no print copies yet). Reviews can be posted immediately on Goodreads or your blog, and on Amazon after publication in mid-September.

‘The Plains of Kallanash’ is an epic fantasy adventure with a strong romantic element. Here’s the blurb:

Thousands of years after a magical catastrophe reshaped the world and pulled the moons out of alignment, the secret of magic has seemingly been lost. At the centre of the vast, forbidding Plains of Kallanash lies a land ruled by a secretive religion, whose people fight a never-ending war against the barbarians in the wilderness beyond the border.

Amongst the nobility, double marriages are the norm. Junior wife Mia always dreamed of attracting the attention of the dashing lead husband, but never dared to compete against her lively older sister. Hurst has spent ten frustrating years as junior husband, longing to test his skill with a sword in battle, longing for his beloved Mia to turn to him.

The mysterious death of Mia’s sister thrusts the marriage into turmoil. As Mia and Hurst struggle to adjust and find out what happened, they uncover sinister truths about the ruling religion. But the gods are unforgiving; even Mia’s innocent questions carry a terrible punishment. Hurst is prepared to risk everything to save her, even if it means taking up his sword against the barbarians, his own people, and the gods themselves.


Mystery Review: ‘Rough Edges’ by V J Chambers

August 16, 2014 Review 0

A lot of books are described as psychological thrillers, but very few genuinely merit the label. This one is everything a psychological thriller should be. The characters – all the characters – are in some way damaged, and therefore nothing is certain or reliable, and all their actions are questionable.

Here’s the plot: Sam, the narrator, specialises in writing biographies of women who’ve suffered major traumatic events in their lives: kidnappings, murderous boyfriends and the like. Trouble is, his approach inevitably leads him to become involved with the victims he’s writing about. When he has to abandon his latest book after an affair with the subject leads to the breakup of his marriage (to his previous subject!), he finds himself scratching round for a new project. Fortuitously, he is approached by Lola, a woman whose parents were murdered when she was twelve by a man who then kidnapped her and carried on killing until she managed to break free. Or that’s the official story…

Sam has to try to work out exactly what happened, and whether Lola was truly an innocent child victim, or something more sinister. But Sam has his own history lurking beneath the surface. And when the murderer breaks out of jail and sets off after Lola and Sam, life gets very complicated.

This is a fantastic story where nothing can be taken for granted. Everyone Sam talks to gives a different impression of Lola, and Lola herself is a curious mixture of tearful victim, sexual predator and manipulative bitch. The author brilliantly captures the sheer creepiness of Lola’s behaviour, yet she’s always perfectly believable. Sam is also incredibly well-drawn, and as we’re inside his head the whole time, he’s both a very sympathetic character and also seriously stupid, in a young, socially-inept male way.

The climax is the usual dramatic and violent confrontation, somewhat less contrived than is customary in this sort of book, and kept me guessing right to the end about who was manipulating whom, and where the truth lay in the morass of self-created fantasies in the heads of all the main characters. An excellent, well-written story with a nice little time jump at the end which is absolutely fitting for the character concerned – one of those ‘oh, of course’ moments.

And if that had been all, it would have been enough. But this book has an unusual degree of depth to it, with some thought-provoking elements that lift it well above the norm. One aspect is that many (perhaps all) of the damaged characters have been affected by a heavily religious home life. The author doesn’t make a big deal of this, so it almost slips by unnoticed, but it’s interesting, nevertheless. For instance, Sam’s mother: “It upset Sam that even though she was free of her controlling husband, she still was spending her time praying to a magic fairy invisible person somewhere in the sky.”

Then there’s the sex. Yes, this book has some graphic sex scenes, but they’re all integral to the plot and true to the characters. These are people who use sex as a manipulative tool, and the author also doesn’t shy away from the association between sex and violence. This is uncompromising stuff, and for anyone who would find these elements problematic, this is not the book for you. For everyone else, this is a cracking read, with some deeply thought-provoking aspects. Highly recommended. Five stars.


Another new cover

August 14, 2014 Publishing/marketing, The Fire Mages 4

When I arranged for the cover for ‘The Plains of Kallanash’ with Streetlight Graphics, there was a lead time of several months. So, thinking ahead to the release of the next book, ‘The Fire Mages’, I thought I’d better get on and book it early, so I wasn’t held up waiting for it. Inevitably, a slot came up much sooner than I expected, so, lo and behold, I have another cover to reveal.

‘The Fire Mages’ is set in a different part of the same world, and is more town-based, so I wanted a more built-up feel to the cover. However, the designer, Glendon Haddix, has kept the turbulent sky, fonts and layout to give a very ‘series’ feel to the two covers, even though they’re both stand-alone books. And he’s taken the ‘fire mage’ aspect to produce a very striking image which captures both the fantasy and romance elements. I think he’s done a great job.

Here are the two covers side by side for comparison:


Writing process blog hop

August 2, 2014 Current writings, Writing musings 10

I don’t normally do these things, where you get mentioned on someone’s blog and you are asked to pay it forward by mentioning several other blogs. It always seems a bit like those chain letters, or a blog version of pyramid selling.

But recently this blog hop came to H. Anthe Davis’s rather splendid blog, wherein she describes in astonishing detail all aspects of her created world, as seen in her ‘War of Memory’ series. And you know what? This particular blog hop is rather fun. The only requirement is to talk about your own writing process, and mention three other writers you admire. What could be easier? Who doesn’t like talking about themselves?

So here goes.

1. What am I currently working on?

I have four books on the go at the moment, at different stages.

1) ‘The Plains of Kallanash’: epic fantasy with a strong romance element, set in a society ruled by multiple marriages. My two main characters are the junior wife and husband in one such marriage when the lead wife dies under mysterious circumstances. I’ve just finished the post-beta edits, and it’s currently with my proofreader. Cover art is done, blurb is polished, and all being well I shall be sending out ARCs very soon and self-publishing in September. I’m getting slightly excited about it (SQUEEEE!!!!!!) and already planning a proper launch party, with champagne and a cake and me ceremonially clicking the ‘Publish’ button. Fun or what?

2) ‘The Fire Mages’: epic fantasy with a strong romantic element, and more of a traditional coming-of-age, girl with powers affair. Might even be YA (who’d a thunk it? Me writing YA – whatever next). Finished and ready to post chapters on Scribophile for critiquing.

3) ‘The Mages of Bennamore’: a direct follow-on to #2 in time, but with an entirely different cast of characters. Features a 40-year-old woman with a secret past (is there a character anywhere who doesn’t have a secret past? Sigh…) who gets involved with said mages. Just finished the first draft – yay!

4) New project, tentatively called ‘The Mines of Asharim’ (although my random it’ll-do-for-now titles do tend to become permanent). A woman running away from [something or other] volunteers to work in the mysterious mines in the Sky Mountains. Just getting going, but it looks like being fun. Magic! Sex! Exciting stuff happening (probably)!

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

This question might be easier to answer if I knew what genre it actually is. I define it as epic fantasy with romance, but it’s not epic in the sense of vast armies fighting the evil dark lord, or the rise and fall of empires, nor is it romance in the conventional sense of two people who meet, fall in love, are beset by obstacles but end up together. It’s definitely fantasy, though – a world unlike ours, with magic, although not overrun with monsters or zombies or vampires or anything of the sort.

As to how that differs from anything else – dunno. Every writer’s work is unique, so there’s that, but I’m not stretching the boundaries of speculative fiction or anything, or making profound points about the human condition. I don’t think there’s anything I do that’s never been done before. But undoubtedly my characters are as unique as any set of people, and their particular problems are unique, and I like to think I can produce an absorbing story, even if it’s not revolutionary.

There is one thing that’s slightly different about it. Some fantasy worlds are post-apocalyptic, having returned to some pseudo-medieval lifestyle after a high-tech, possibly modern type of era. Some fantasy worlds have had a magical apocalypse – a mage war or some other devastating magic-induced disaster. Well, my world has had both. There were in the distant past multiple advanced civilisations which rose and fell and rose again in a different format. There was also a period when very powerful mages existed, who got a bit above themselves and accidentally reshaped the planet and changed the orbits of the moons. All of those are gone, now, but not necessarily forgotten. The advanced civilisations left records of their techniques, and the mages left a number of ways for later societies to continue to use magic without getting dangerously powerful. These two factors underlie all my stories.

3. Why do I write what I write?

Because I had these sodding characters in my head and they wouldn’t leave me alone until I wrote their story down, that’s why. I suppose it’s fantasy because that’s what I mostly read. I love the open-endedness of it, that frisson of excitement that absolutely anything can happen. There’s nothing sadder than predictable fantasy.

Oddly, I’ve never been sucked into the whole must-write-a-trilogy quicksand. My books are long, sure, but not that long, and each one has a clear end without any need for a sequel. I have ideas for follow-on books, but they tend to be different characters and different settings, with just a connecting thread or two, not really sequels. But the fun part about writing multiple books in the same world is that little things from one book creep into another one. So the strange glass balls in Kallanash turn out to have a bigger role in ‘The Mages of Bennamore’. Familiar characters turn up from time to time. They’re still stand-alone books, but with little easter eggs for regular readers.

4. How does my writing process work?

Other authors on this blog hop have described their wonderful and quite complicated methods. Mine is very simple. I have an idea, then I start writing and… erm, that’s it. Somehow it works. I tend to hit a sticky patch near the end when I have to pull all the various strands of the story together into a rousing finale, and my brain goes into melt-down, and that’s when I write lists and time-lines and so on. But otherwise, it all stays in my head, unfurling in front of me as I go along.

Once written, a book sits unopened for a long time – several months. I try to write something else while it’s brewing. Then it gets dusted off, I read it right through, polish the first chapters and get them critiqued. I’ve found Scribophile is invaluable for spotting things I’m quite impervious to – adverb abuse, tedious info-dumps, passive voice, having three successive scenes in the same dull room, ‘committee meeting’ discussions and so on. They’re not so good with plot and character development, because of the nature of chapter-by-chapter critiquing. So I only post a few chapters for critique, then send the book off to beta readers, do some final revisions and after that my proofreader takes over to sort out my creative use of ellipses. And the process does seem to get easier each time.

5.  Fangirl about three (OK, four) other writers

Ooh, this is the fun part. I get to tell you about some of my favourite writers. Sorry, I couldn’t keep it to three (I had enough trouble with four; there are a bunch more I’d love to mention). These are supposed to be bloggers that you pester to write their own writing process blog tour, but I hate being pushy, so I’m just going to tell you about a few people whose writing I love, OK? In addition to H. Anthe Davis, mentioned above.

Lexi Revellion: Lexi was one of the first self-published authors I came across when I started filling up my Kindle with new-to-me names, and also one of my first wow-this-is-good successes. She’s unusual in that every book is different – not just the plot style but even the genre, so you never know quite what you’re going to get. Mystery romance, followed by a sci-fi thriller, followed by post-apocalypse… you get the picture. And always a lovely romance. The other constants are believable characters, tight plotting and a wonderfully British spin on things, complete with dry British humour. If I had to choose, I’d probably say ‘Ice Diaries’ was my favourite (but it’s a close call).

Andrea K Host: Andrea has the distinction of being the first self-published author to whom I gave a five star review. Her fantasies are invariably quirky, thought-provoking and intelligent, with genuinely strong female characters (not kick-ass superwomen, just normal women showing their inner strength) and often in a world where gender equality and groupings other than one man, one woman are the norm. If you held a gun to my head and forced me to pick a favourite book, it would probably be ‘The Champion of the Rose’, because I just adore the idea of a magically evil rose bush, but for pure, unadulterated pleasure, even better than chocolate, I’d recommend the Touchstone trilogy.

Tristan Gregory: I reviewed Tristan’s full-length fantasy novel, ‘Twixt Heaven and Earth’, some time ago, an unusual and intelligent look at a human war where angels and demons also get involved. However, my favourite writing of his, and a good starting point, is his linked series of novellas, collectively known as ‘The Wandering Tale’, independent stories where a minor character in one becomes the main character in the next. These are beautifully crafted, emotionally engaging works which are pretty well word perfect. Start with ‘The Swordsman of Carn Nebeth’.

Intisar Khanani: Intisar was one of those serendipitous finds. I came across ‘Thorn’ somewhere, somehow, started reading the sample and just couldn’t stop. It’s a delightful retelling of the goose girl fairy story, with terrific characters, some great world-building that never overwhelms the story and a magnificent ending. There are a couple of shorter works to enjoy, too, full of wonderful writing and lots of unpredictable twists.

For a longer list of some of my best reads of 2013, check here.


Writing progress report: third book finished

July 27, 2014 Current writings, The Fire Mages, The Mages of Bennamore, The Plains of Kallanash, Writing musings 4

So another one bites the dust. Today I typed ‘The End’ on ‘The Mages of Bennamore’, the third epic fantasy set in the Brightmoon world. Because I like statistics, here are some numbers for the three books for comparison:

Book 1: ‘The Plains of Kallanash’

Elapsed writing time: 1 year

Total days of writing: 190

Total words: 220,000

Average words per writing day: 1,100

Chapters: 58

Book 2: ‘The Fire Mages’

Elapsed writing time: 5 months

Total days of writing: 90

Total words: 151,000

Average words per writing day: 1,700

Chapters: 44

Book 3: ‘The Mages of Bennamore’

Elapsed writing time: 7 months

Total days of writing: 119

Total words: 157,000

Average words per writing day: 1,300

Chapters: 44

This third book is much the same size as the second, but it took 7 months overall instead of 5 months, largely because I was also working on revising ‘The Plains of Kallanash’. There’s no doubt that it’s easier and more productive (for me, anyway) to work exclusively on one book at a time, especially for first draft work. For the last two or three weeks, since Kallanash went off to the proofreader, I’ve been working flat out on finishing this one off, with the result that I’ve had a much higher daily word count, and it’s been easier to keep track of the various strands of the plot in my head. I love getting immersed in a story like that, although I’m not sure it’s good for me: I go to bed only when I’m cross-eyed with tiredness, lie awake anyway, thinking about plot options, wake up early and start again. This writing lark would be much easier if I didn’t have so many other things to do during the day, like boring real world stuff. Who needs meals anyway? Or clean clothes? Dust, what dust?

This one will be left to brew for a while – several months at least. So what’s next? Well, a rest from writing first of all (and try to reduce the size of the ironing pile). Then ‘The Fire Mages’ is going off to Scribophile to be torn to shreds by my eagle-eyed crit-buddies. Its cover art is already scheduled. And Kallanash will be back from the proofreader soon for final tidy-up editing and formatting ready for ARCs in August and publication (eek!) in September.

For the next new work, I’m thinking of resuscitating something that predates all the three completed works, but was abandoned when I started Kallanash. I already have 120,000 words (over 30 chapters) of it, but (huge but) it needs a lot of work to bring it into line with the others in the Brightmoon world. Firstly, there are world-building aspects that are no longer canonical, so many details of the background have to be changed. All the names have to be revised (I used modern names, which just doesn’t work). Plus my writing style has changed considerably. Or, to put it another way, I was a terrible writer back then. So a lot of work. But I love the story, the premise and the characters, so I want to do it eventually.

But for today, I’m just going to relax and enjoy getting to the end of another book. A very satisfying moment.


First books and second books

July 25, 2014 The Fire Mages, The Plains of Kallanash, Writing musings 4

Writing a book is no different from any other craft: it takes practice. Nobody is able to paint or to make model aeroplanes or to write phone apps or drive a car straight out of the box. Well, growing potatoes, maybe; stick them in the ground, then dig them up three months later and enjoy delicious new potatoes with butter and a sprig of mint. Yummy. But I digress. Everyone needs to learn and hone their skills, and (except for potatoes) that takes practice. A lot of practice. For driving a car, they say it takes one lesson for every year of your life. For writing, the received wisdom is that it takes a million words.

So the first effort is always a bit wonky. It’s like those clay models kids bring home from school – they’re always a bit lop-sided. ‘The Plains of Kallanash’ is my first, wonky effort. I’m aware of some of the problems: a long, long opening phase revolving round the marriage with an abrupt switch to an adventure phase; and a heroine that everyone (including me) wants to slap at some point.

My biggest mistake was in choosing to tell the story through the views of two main characters with alternating chapters. This was incredibly restrictive. I couldn’t simply yank a dull Mia chapter because it would leave me with two consecutive Hurst chapters. Some chapters got stupidly long because I couldn’t switch point of view (the other character wasn’t there), but I couldn’t start a new chapter either. Sometimes it meant that chapter breaks came in odd places because I was jumping to the other character. And sometimes when the characters were pursuing separate story threads, the two plotlines got out of sync. So I wouldn’t do that again.

As these issues began to dawn on me, I realised I had two choices: either rewrite the whole thing from scratch or… No, forget it. It took me a year to write the first time, there was no way I was going to start again. So it was going to have to do. I’ve had the first third of it critiqued on Scribophile, which was unbelievably helpful, I’ve had some terrific beta readers and I’ve done quite a bit of editing. In particular, I’ve made some deep cuts to the final third or so, to tighten things up, and some of my writing issues (like over-long sentences and forgetting to show what the characters are feeling and – sometimes – too much info-dumping, all the usual beginner problems) I’ve been able to improve (I hope).

But eventually there comes a point where you have to let it go, send it on its way into the world, wonky or not, and move on.

But the second book – that should be better, shouldn’t it? I should have learned from the mistakes of the first book and produced something much more polished and professional right from the start. I started my second book, ‘The Fire Mages’, as soon as I’d finished Kallanash, and it took me only seven months to finish it (although it’s quite a bit shorter, too). I left it alone while I edited Kallanash, but I recently dug it out and reread it from start to finish. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed it and it seemed to work very well, even in first draft form. There were a few logic errors, but I was able to fix those quite easily.

A couple of weeks ago I gave it to my First Reader (my daughter) to read, and she enjoyed it too. ‘Not that I didn’t enjoy Kallanash,’ she said, ‘but I was really into this one.’ It helps, I think, that ‘The Fire Mages’ is a much more conventional fantasy – a teenage girl discovering her powers, with magic and adventure right from the start and (thank goodness!) a heroine with a bit of backbone, if a little self-centred. OK, very self-centred. But she’s a teenager, that’s normal.

I think there are two reasons why this one works better. Firstly, the experience of writing Kallanash has taught me something about the craft of writing. The very act of writing helps to improve the output; practice makes – well, not perfect, but certainly better at a technical level (sentence structure and so on). And secondly, writing – and completing – a large-scale effort like a novel has made me far more aware of story techniques and structure, not just while I write, but also while reading. I’m constantly on the lookout for tricks and clever stratagems in books, and that helps me structure my own work. I’m still a pantser, root and branch, but I’m gradually becoming more aware of the way different elements of the story work, like the need for tension, and seeding hooks here and there to keep the pot boiling. My stories aren’t planned, but they’re not just great amorphous clouds of stuff, either.

So I think the second book is better than the first – as it should be. But the proof of the pudding and all that… I’ll shortly be starting to post chapters on Scribophile for critique, and it will be interesting to see what my crit-buddies over there make of it.

Now the third book – that’s another matter. I’ve been writing that while also revising and polishing Kallanash, and it’s been hard to hop from one to the other, and very disruptive. I suspect this one is going to be much more uneven than the others and need more revision. And a 40-year-old heroine? How’s that going to work? Sometimes I wish I could stick to a formula and produce those nice long series, all with the same characters, that so many authors have. But these characters pop up in my head and they sit there knocking on the inside of my skull until I get them out of there and tell their story.

And truly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.


On Wattpad and KDP Select

July 19, 2014 Publishing/marketing 7

Now that I’m getting closer to publishing ‘The Plains of Kallanash’ in September, I’ve been starting to think about marketing (for want of a better term). Which online retailers to sell through, pricing and all that jazz. And how to build up some awareness of the book beyond the three regular readers of this blog (hi folks! {waves}).

I had already devised a plan to post ‘The Plains of Kallanash’, chapter by chapter, on Wattpad, a process that would take many months. I’ve now uploaded more than half the book, and somewhere around the two-thirds point would fall the actual date of publication to Amazon. The idea was to make Wattpad readers aware of the book itself while uploading the final chapters, and even if that didn’t translate into sales, it might generate a review or two.

But then I started looking into Amazon’s programs in more detail, in particular, the KDP Select program, which offers an author certain benefits in exchange for exclusivity. I’m not too bothered about making the book available on iTunes or Kobo, at least, not at the moment – I’m all for keeping it simple, while I’m learning how this self-publishing lark works. So KDP Select is a no-brainer, surely?

Well, no. Read more »


A year on Amazon: how many reviews?

July 9, 2014 Publishing/marketing 2

A year ago, for reasons not relevant here, I decided to record every Kindle ebook uploaded to Amazon for a full month. For the sake of my sanity, I restricted it to epic fantasy. I recorded 390 ebooks uploaded over the month of April 2013, excluding foreign language ones.

A year on, it occurred to me that it might be interesting to see what had happened to those 390 books. So during April 2014, I looked each one up on Amazon, and noted the number of reviews. These are total numbers; I didn’t attempt to track numbers of 5*, 4* and so on. I noted rankings, too, but these are just a snapshot in time, whereas reviews are cumulative. Read more »