Monday 31 October 2022

TikTok boosts book sales

Here's how well the books, mostly colouring books, have been doing on Amazon this month. Hardly the millions you make from crime fiction (and, yes, I've nearly finished the second draft of that first book), but a pleasant little sideline. 

And, slightly in the shadow of the Eurovision book that continues to be my best seller, we see the Doctors Who colouring book, which has managed 6 sales this month, all in the last week, thanks I'm sure to my TikTok video about Power Of The Doctor, which has been viewed 86,000 in a week.

I think Eurovision volume 2's sales might start to pick up, now that I've lowered its price from £6.99 to the same £6.50 as its companion book. Let's see. Meanwhile, October's figures look like this:

It's a year since I started the colouring book experiment, and it's not been a waste of time by any means. Added to these sales, are my taking at comic festivals. This past weekend at Nottingham Comic Con I took around £200 in book sales. And, stupidly, failed to make a note of how many I sold of each title. Though I can say that the biggest sellers were my graphic novels Findlay Macbeth, Prince Of Denmark Street, and Midsummer Nights Dream Team which each sold about a dozen copies each (in contrast to their popularity on Amazon). 

Update: I've ended the month on 65 sales, since writing this post, with Oct 31st having a record breaking 11 sales in one day!

My sales on Etsy don't quite compare. In October I sold 3 each of the two Eurovision books. This year to date that's 36 Eurovisions, 12 Eurovision vol 2s, 2 Bowies, 1 MNDT, 2 each of MNDT & PODS, and one Punk.

Now, on with that damn crime novel!

Friday 28 October 2022

Lewewewewende - comics by kids

Half term saw a few visits to libraries with my classes. These comics were made with kids in Caerphilly, Basingstoke and North Watford.

St Martins College in Caerphilly was essentially the end of my week long trip to the North and the Lakes. I got back from Windermere on Sunday night and was back in a school in South Wales the next morning. After which my seven day stint of classes and comics-flogging ended.

Basingstoke & Deane council arranged a novel venue for these classes, in Dicetower Gaming Cafe. Basically a pub with board games, the morning session went smoothly, but the afternoon session had to compete with a few distractions, including nerdy board games and bleeping nudge gambler machines. All good fun. The Lewewewende title was a result of a kid scribbling something totally illegibile, and me having a guess at what it might be. That often leads to the most popular choice. But, the title, was undoubtedly the result of a child's inability to spell the word Butt.

North Watford Library organised two smashing sellout groups, continuing the legend that I am popular in Hertfordshire's Libraries, where they've been having me in regularly for at least the last decade. 

The celebrities these six groups chose to star in my demonstrations strip were Elvis Presley, Ryan Reynolds, Cardi B, Dezzy (due to a hilarious misunderstanding everyone, including me, thought he was naming an obscure Irish act no-one else had heard of, so it got voted for. Turns out the kid's name was Desi, he'd been suggesting himself), George Washington, and Dwayne The Rock Johnson (this year's most popular name, I think).

Monday 24 October 2022

Power Of The Doctor review

Ooh ooh did you see the telly last night? They put on a bit of fan fiction! It was called Power Of The Doctor and it was like Doctor Who but (and this is why the BBC is so great) they'd let a normal person write it. You know, not a proper trained writer or any of that nonsense.

So it had all the stuff off of Doctor Who, I mean bits like you'd seen in actual episodes before (like the Tardis having "Bad Wolf" or "hahaha" written all over it and being turned into a Paradox machine or summat) and old companions coming back (like in School Reunion) and there being two boxes that the Doctor gets trapped in one of by The Master (like when Bernard Cribbins done him in that time) and it being called Something "Of The Doctor" like Steven Moffat did three too many times. But instead of everything have a "point" like when that Russell Davies done it, or being "clever" like when it was Moffat, this time the things just happened, one after the other, without any sort of "satisfying reason" getting in the way.

The best thing was it had all old people in it. See that's the problem with your mainstream elite Doctor Who, written by professionals and all, they'd never include a handful of actors who used to be in the programme 40 years ago without bothering to explain who any of them were, or give them any interesting dialogue. But that's the joy of Fan Fiction. You can just put the old people in, and all the viewers who were kids 40 years ago will get on Facebook the next day and rave about how good it was.

Like I'm doing. I mean, obviously every line of dialogue was hopelessly on the nose; every cameo appearance makes that 50th anniversary DVD extra about the 5-and-a-half Doctors look like Shakespeare; and Fridge Logic had you going "sorry, he cloned a broken half-Cyberman including his smashed up suit? Huh?" and "where's that Rogue Dalek come from?" and "they've hidden guns and parachutes and someone's old costume under the floorboards of that one room in UNIT in expectation of this very moment?" every 2 or 3 minutes.

But as Cargo Cult fan fiction amateur first-draft attempts at doing something that was like Doctor Who but 'a bit off', this was the best one he's done since all those Christmas episodes with Daleks which were so good they didn't even show them at Christmas.

I'd love to find out what someone under the age of 50 thought of it. But sadly I'm on Facebook, so I may never know.

If you loved Dimensions In Time, you'll love Power Of The Doctor!

My Books and where to get them:

Findlay Macbeth - Amazon  - Etsy 
Prince Of Denmark Street - Amazon - Etsy 
Midsummer Nights Dream Team  - Amazon Etsy 
Shakespeare Omnibus Collection (all 3 books) - tbc
Tales From The Bible - Amazon -  Etsy (signed)

Eurovision Colouring Vol 1 Amazon -  Lulu £10.94 - Etsy £6.99
Eurovision Colouring Vol 2 - Amazon £15.32 - Lulu £10.72 - Etsy £6.99
Eurovision Colouring Best Of British - Amazon
Doctor Who Colouring - Amazon £11.84 - Lulu £9.98 - Etsy £6.99
Punk Colouring - Amazon £15.61 - Lulu £10.98 - Etsy £6.99
70s Pop Star Colouring - Amazon £10.98 - Lulu £10.98 - Etsy £6.99
60s Pop Star Colouring - Amazon £12.69 - Lulu £10.98 - Etsy £6.99

Sunday 16 October 2022

OMG Stop Dying Peppa Pig - more comics by kids

 This week culminated in the Lakes Comic Festival, and saw me line up a very successful four-day run of schools. Of course a rudimentary glance at the map of the north of England might have led me to arrange them in a slightly better order, but that would have been a bit too much for me. So it was that my trajectory went Nelson in Lancs to York to Manchester to Leeds to Bowness On Windermere, which if you draw a line between the points makes it look like I'm trying to scribble the place out.

Marsden Heights is in Nelson in Lancashire and their year 9s gave me the excuse for one of my favourite front covers in a while. The second title continues a bizarre "dad went to get milk" meme that has now appeared on at least four covers this term. No, me neither.

St Georges Primary in York's year 6 continued the meme nonsense with this Shrek title, then the year 4s did themselves justice with a bottom themed title.

Old Trafford Community Academy came up with a couple of nifty titles, though they did sadly set off a chain of Peppa Pig titles which, when they start, are hard to stop.

Allerton High in Leeds kept the Peppa Pig theme going, for good or ill, and I must admit they're fun end results.

The celebrities these eight groups chose to appear in my demonstration strip were Cristiano Ronaldo (three times), Zendaya, Jeff Bezos, Billie Eilish, Barack Obama, and Michael Jackson.

Saturday 8 October 2022

Dad Where Is The Milk Of Sins? - comics by kids

For the first time since August, I have a clutch of comics produce by kids in my Comic Art Masterclasses. September is often a quiet month for classes, this was particularly so.

Port Talbot Library was a fun pair of classes, with kids shipped over from nearby primary schools. They came up with some novel, if surprisingly long, titles.

It was, amazingly, the first time I'd ever been into Leicester Central Library, given how long I lived there and how often I go back. That's not strictly true. I went into the old library, and indeed that was where I first showed up when I arrived in town on Thursday morning. But the Central Library has since moved (about a dozen years ago) to the old Municipal Library, and that was where I did my classes. That's an interesting story Kev, tell us more of those. They came up with not only my favourite titles ofthe week, but also the most original suggestion of celebrity for the demo strip (you'll see them shown on the cover as "star guest EB White".

Cowes Enterprise College on the Isle Of Wight was a day of class organised by the IOW Literary Festival, with whom I was delighted to be working, after some years away. I'd like to do more there in the future if my schedule would allow. Year 9 and 10, sadly, didn't come up with the most inspiring titles, but the classes were fun.

The celebrities these six groups chose to appear in my demonstrations strip were Millie Bobby Brown, Drake, EB White (author of Charlotte's Webb and Stuart Little, who we were all surprised to find was male and American), Tom Holland, and Ryan Reynolds (twice, selected by both Isle Of Wight classes).

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