The Next Big Thing

Writing can be a struggle sometimes but there’s always that dream that keeps us going.

The Next Big Thing

I’m sat here in a coffee shop
Like a J.K Rowling thing.
My book’s going to be the
Next big hit
But I’m not quite certain when.

You’ll be taken by my hero
Quite an amazing chap.
Or he could be a girl
I’m not quite sure
I’ve not cracked that bit yet.

It’s bound to make me millions
All I need’s a plot
Half an idea what to write about
Then it’s certain to take off.

I’ve not quite got it started
I don’t know where to begin
But if I ever write this book of mine.
It’s gonna be the next big thing.

 

The great Margaret’s Story Twitter experiment.

Drip feeding Margaret’s Story on Twitter was intended to promote the paperback and kindle versions available on Amazon. In those terms it can’t be counted a huge success. If anything it has affected kindle sales and reads on kindle unlimited for the worse. Hopefully some out there will have their curiosity sufficiently piqued or decide they love it enough to buy the paperback but buying an unfamiliar author you’ve not heard of can be a hard sell.

Releasing the story first on Wattpad was a good call and won me early adapters who left enthusiastic, not to say glowing reviews, but equally there were a lot of fans who had already read the book and Wattpadders, often young and hard up, are not big spenders.

So have three times daily posts on Twitter been a failure? The short answer is I don’t really know. I am steadily increasing my Twitter following which will be a boon when I release my next book but is anyone out there following the story? If you are please comment here and let me know.

I tweet daily looking for readers but it’s noticeable some days how many of the ‘followers’ are looking to sell an indie author services rather than sample his or her wares.  So if you are out there, if you are reading, let me know what you think. Meanwhile here’s a poem just for you.

Silent Reader

Why, hello silent reader
I didn’t see you there.
I’m glad that you dropped by here
To take a little peek.

I assume that you’ve passed on now?
Or perhaps you’re hiding still?
You’re not quite sure of what you’ve found
Or if it’s what you seek.

It’s nice that you dropped by here
Though you don’t say a lot.
You’re hiding in the corner
But your visit means a lot.

Every word’s for you friend
Though I don’t know your face
Shame you never stay more.
You’re welcome in this place.

 

All Fall Down

Another school shooting in Florida. More young people have lost their lives for Americans’ right to bear arms. I’ve wheeled this poem out before but sadly nothing ever changes. It’s hard for outsiders to understand. I guess the thinking goes like this.

All Fall Down.

The answer to all the killing
Is more good men with guns
The goodies will shoot the baddies
The baddies will all fall down.

The baddies might get some goodies
But they’ll die in a very good cause
The noble cause of the right to bear arms
Bang, bang they all fall down.

Here’s to the Wild West shoot out
The good guys in white hats
Sad about Vegas n’ Sandy Hill
We’ll mow those baddies down.

You have to have some violence
In order to keep the peace
Here’s to the ring of gunfire
And the ones who all fell down.

 

 

Smitten – A poem for my valentine

It happened when our eyes first met
Not sure I understand it yet
Your face once seen I can’t forget
Been bitten.

I loved you before I knew your name
How could I know you’d feel the same?
This thing’s too real it’s not a game.
So sudden.

This thing we have can not be fought
I’m in your net I’m truly caught
You fill my every waking thought
I’m smitten.

You simply touch me and I melt
The strangest thing I ever felt;
I can’t believe the hand love dealt
Unbidden.

Poor Prince Harry – thoughts on Windsor’s Royal Wedding

Poor Prince Harry, it’s no joke
Women plan weddings, ignore us blokes.
They went and picked cup final day
Hard on a chap, what can I say?

Always a risk to marry in May
But early wedding should be ok.
It’ll be over conveniently
You can catch the match it’s on TV.

You could have gone, had real good seats
Presented the trophy, met the teams
But Meghan’s from the USA
Won’t understand it’s a special day.

Serialisation: a way to get readers hooked?

Margaret’s Story started life on Wattpad where it appeared as a serial. It was updated daily and each part would end with a hook designed to lure the reader on and pull them into the story.

‘Would things get better? We’ll have to see.
Stay with me and my history.’

It’s generally accepted that poetry is difficult to sell. Given the competing media and our shortened attention spans I don’t completely understand why.  Bite sized posts are the order of the day, so you’d think short concise pieces, well expressed would be popular.

The truth is that to an extent they can be as social media stars like the Instagram Poet Rupi Kaur have proved. Her self published work Milk and Honey, promoted on social media, was picked up by publisher and has become a best seller but is there a market for something longer?

I’m convinced that serialisation is an excellent and underused resource for building an audience. My first experiment on Wattpad was Summer of Sixty Six an account in verse of England’s World Cup win and the frustrations and delights of experiencing it from, of all places, Germany.  It was popular with those who read it but failed perhaps to find it’s target audience.

Margaret’s Story, now available as a paperback or for kindle from Amazon, was I think more successful and certainly more ambitious. Summer of Sixty Six was free verse whereas Margaret’s Story is Sixty pages of rhymed couplets.

Dickens famously delivered all of his novels in serial form. I can’t help speculating how he would have taken to social media. I think he’d have had to adapt his style a bit. There’s no space for meandering description however gifted a writer you are.

I’d love you to buy my book  but if you want to sample first the first few chapters are still on Wattpad, it’s available, if you are signed up,  on Kindle Unlimited where you can read for free but still earn me a few pennies. Or, if you are interested in the serialisation on social media idea, follow me on Twitter where I’m sharing drip sized bits three times a day.

Hopefully, you are gripped by the content and will want to follow. Watch this space for the next gripping instalmen

What is a verse biography?

Simply put a verse biography is a biography written in verse. If you google you’ll find more complicated ‘explanations’ but that’s basically what it is.

The academics writing about verse biography compare it to the verse novel or talk about how writing in verse impacts on the truth, or as they would put it the verisimilitude, of a biography written this way.

These were arguments that passed me by. I’d determined to finally produce Margaret’s Story, had experimented with longer form verse on Wattpad and in a moment of realisation determined this was the way I wanted to go.

More erudite Poets, I’m thinking of John Betjeman and Summoned by Bells, might frame theirs in blank verse but, inspired by Wendy Cope’s Teacher’s Tale, I determined, perhaps rashly, it would be in rhymed couplets.

The risk was obviously that I’d trivialise the story but, in point of fact,  I found I could ‘cut to the chase’, eliminate waffle and keep up the pace of the narrative.

At the same time I hoped the difficult parts of story could be light enough to be entertaining. Despite the challenges of her life my mother was irrepressibly cheerful and would have approved.

The result, as I now appreciate, is a form, the verse biography, that is unfamiliar to many and so difficult to categorise or promote. Nevertheless those who’ve gone with it seemed really to appreciate it. Just hoping more readers will give it a go.