If not now, when? - some thoughts on my 10th release - MALIGN INTENT

If not now, when?

To borrow Shane Horgan’s comment on the Ireland v NZ All-blacks quarter final
match in the Rugby World Cup 23 (and with a nod to Primo Levi), If not now, when? Is
the constant thought of an indie author.

MALIGN INTENT is my tenth novel and the follow up to A Kind of Drowning, a
second crime thriller featuring Garda Inspector P. J. Crowe.

MALIGN INTENT will be released on Amazon KDP on January 27th 2024. It has taken two years to write. The first draft was so bad I jettisoned three-quarters of the MS and focussed on three ‘inciting
incidents’ in the plot to build up the novel from scratch. These three core elements resulted in two full rewrites and now at nine drafts later, I think I have a book good enough to release.

I have arrived at ‘Now…’

Without an agent or a publisher and their financial bag of tricks, the first thing I have to consider is ‘Getting the message out’ to an already overcrowded marketplace; worse now than two years ago with the advent of AI. So how to drop the pebble in the pond to create a ripple?

I always start at the basics,

The first step for me was to draft a synopsis with my contact details (email, phone and website) and create an email shot and title the subject field as A Press Release. I was careful with this one, avoiding ‘info@’ addresses and only to the people I know who had read my books before. After 17 years of writing, I do have a solid group of connections. I made sure the cover was in the body of the email pitch too, sounds obvious; but I learned from my fourth novel titled HOLLOW POINT that on Amazon, that title alone generated over 100 different items on the platform.

So we’re at the stage where the MS for MALIGN INTENT is uploaded, the cover generated and the countdown timer is set. I’ll have up to 24hrs to upload the polished / revised version before the release date. Another step along the way to ‘NOW’.

Advance Reader Copy (old fashioned term: Galley Proofs)
The next thing is ordering ARC’s - Amazon only allows 5 of these hard copy proofs, so I’ve ordered two and approached an independent reader / reviewer to look at one, while the other copy gets a forensic edit from cover to cover. I’ll have multi highlighters and the MS hard copy beside me and the laptop open. The remaining three, I’ll hold on for back up.

Next step:
A teaser chapter
I keep a blog on ABCTales.com and I added the mail shot text to my blog page
and created a ‘teaser chapter’ (see link below)


Which was awarded a ‘Cherry’ by the editors.This generated a higher readership and
resulted in a spurt of visits to my website. I’m pleased too that it got that award as the
standard of writing on this platform is very, very good.

Social Media
Is at everyone’s personal discretion. I use META (because it is a GenX readership I pitch to), Instagram, LinkedIn and Mastadon. I deactivated my X/Twitter account as Musk brought a whole level of toxicity to the platform and it's easy to get mired in the mindless noise. As for TikTok, the jury is still out on it, mainly because it's not my age demographic and in the USA, most if not all, of the red states have banned it. (as of late 2023)
And the US Congress is likely to block it outright. So that’s half my marketplace
affected in one stroke (or vote).
As for my own experience, I can only tell you that a planned four-week blitz on
X/Twitter for A KInd of Drowning, released in May 2021 (useful tip: I always tweeted
at 5am - midnight stateside, early afternoon, Australia & NZ)
resulted in three paperback
sales. By week 4, retweets and comments were dead.

FB/META resulted in better - 10 paperback and 2 hardback sales. These then led to a spike in June / July of Kindle sales which petered out by the end of August 2021.
LinkedIn, resulted in 5 paperback sales and I think as a marketing platform has its

I have had sporadic sales since. I have all my books on the KOBO platform too and
AKoD has done a little bit better.
There are numerous advertising options on Social Media. My own experiences are that
unless you have very deep pockets you will get little or no return on an investment
under 100 Euros. Same for Google Ads. But every author has different experiences, so that’s purely a private opinion.

If not now… when?
I am now at NOW and WHEN link below:

Paperback & Hradback go live 01.27.24 - look foirward to yor thoughts






This is very useful. Thanks Robert.