RIGHT NOW – FREE FOR CHRISTMAS

On AMAZON Books

MAKING OUR CHRISTMAS PRESENT: A MERRY JOURNEY

Free to download the eBook for a limited time

If you download it and enjoy it, please support me and please do drop a review!

Free Christmas eBook

Many, many thanks!

Alan

Alan Camrose

THERE IS SUCH A THING AS A FREE LAUNCH

MAKING OUR CHRISTMAS PRESENT: A Merry Journey is now completely LIVE and LAUNCHED on AMAZON Books in paperback and hardback!

There is a FREE DOWNLOAD OFFER of my eBook – FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT. Don’t miss out!

Kindle Edition – FREE FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT – for a limited period

Hardcover – £ 24.99

Paperback – £9.95

Why do mince pies no longer look like coffins?
How do you navigate yesteryear’s family games without a fire extinguisher?
Why did Father Christmas trade in his wagon for a sleigh when he first came to town?
Why should you complain if you don’t receive at least one gold ball from the Big Man?
And how do the best Christmas songs jingle our bells?

A perfect festive stocking filler or present, this delightful book is illustrated with glorious pictures, and can be shared with your family and friends for years to come.

Title Fight!

Working out what couda been a Christmas contender…

I wanted to share with you some of my thought process about finding the title for my new release Christmas book for a chilled out festive season.

It has gone through various incarnations before it goes live on 4 November 2021 – in hardback, paperback and eBook. On Amazon.

First up, it was going to be part of a series that I will be publishing in the New Year about how beds tuck into our popular culture. My Christmas book was going to be the first in the series, called Two Turtle Duvets.

The Christmas project evolved into a stand-alone book on how the Christmas traditions that we have come to know and love have evolved. Nothing too serious, nothing too heavy, but a playful look at our Xmas season.

That demanded soemthing else on the title front, something catchy. I thought I had found it:

Checking it Twice: A List of our Christmas Present

Quite pleasing, I thought, but a bit too “list-y”, not least because of the cunning use of the word “list” in the sub-title… It didn’t last long enough to make it to the spell-checker. I didn’t want a laundry list; I wanted a walk, a search, a romp (no!), a promenade (too formal), a meander (too waffly…)…

A Journey.

I wanted to play with the double meaning of “Christmas Present”, and arrived at:

What makes our Christmas Present – on some sort of journey. Like the Three Wise Men but with a lap-top.

First make it sharper and snappier: Making our Christmas Present. With a better sub-title, then.

First thing that came to mind was A Brief History. That made it sound like an academic treatise, not a journey. So, getting closer, I decided on A Jolly Journey, but that sounded like a booze cruise.

I chose A Merry Journey, because who doesn’t want Christmas time to be a merry way of looking at the festive season?

And here it is:

Making our Christmas Present gives you an idea of discovering Christmas as it now is, with a merry journey to get you there.

There. I’m done, from Two Turtle Duvets to the final version, in the St Nick of time for Christmas…

I hope you like it!

Best wishes,

Alan

Alan Camrose

REVEALING THINGS ABOUT MY COVER REVEAL

Why do mince pies no longer look like coffins?
How do you navigate yesteryear’s family games without a fire extinguisher?
Why did Father Christmas trade in his wagon for a sleigh when he first came to town?
Why should you complain if you don’t receive at least one gold ball from the Big Man?
And how do the best Christmas songs jingle our bells?


All these questions that I wanted to answer about Christmas, packaged up in a glossy cover for my new book, Making our Christmas Present: A Merry Journey.

The answers and a lot more will be revealed from 4 November 2021.

This will be a FREE download, which I hope you will enjoy, and I would ask you please please please to take a few moments to post a review. It’s the lifeblood of authors like me, and I would appreciate it very much.

But enough of that!

I wanted to give you here a quick insight into my author thought processes around the book.

I wanted a snappy, Christmassy cover with instant appeal. I don’t know whether I managed that but this is how I got to where I am now.

The book looks at centuries of Christmas, and where the traditional bits came from that individually and together serve up most people’s vision of Christmas. It’s not a history epic or a social commentary or a heavyweight study. The heaviest it gets is fretting over Santa’s belt size…

So I needed light.

I started by thinking about Christmas. There is of course more than one major defining point:

But I fastened onto Santa and how he became the figure we know today – instantly recognisable for the cover, at least today’s version.

I thought about him using an evolutionary cover, something like this, with overlapping pictures merged together:

St Nicholas
Holly King
Santa 2021

Too complicated.

Too serious.

So, Plan B was initiated. A Christmas Kiss – otherwise known as A Christmas Keep It Simple, Stupid

Christmas trees. We all think of brightly-lit and decorated trees at Christmas time…

So why not go for a more sophisticated dark background, and a blurry tree.

Thanks to Kelly Sikkema, Unsplash for the pic

Much better. I like this but it’s a bit tooo sophisticated for a book that’s supposed to be merry while Santa is “Checking it Twice”. That had been the original title. This pic was too serious, looking like it was dressed up for cocktails…

Third time lucky, then.

I went for Christmas trees again, but not just any old Christmas trees. Toy ones, with the addition of a Santa hat on one of them.

I think (hope) that hits the more amusing, whimsical vibe that I’m after, which fits in with my writing style.

And here it is, in all its glory with the new title, the one that will be published on 4 November: on Amazon Books:

Ta – dAAAA!

More playful, less creaking with history, not so blingy…

I hope you’ve found this insight into this part of my creative process interesting

More to come on other stuff soon, and you’ll get it first on my blog…

Cheers!

Alan

Alan Camrose

Thanks to Mitya Ivanov, Unsplash

A bunch of Camroses

You are seeing this before anyone else.

Coming Soon!

My third and fourth books, one a darkly humorous fantasy novel, one a non-fiction book, will soon be available.

What are they about?

BUILDING MEMORIES

My fantasy novel is called Building Memories.

It’s the first in a series about the coming of age of a young woman PI in South London where she needs to cope with her dangerous heritage and survive in two worlds at the same time.

DIVAN INSPIRATION

My non-fiction book is a series devoted to looking through the bedroom keyhole at different aspects of our lives.

Part One is Counting Sheep.

Part Two is beds and sleeping as featured in the movies: The Good, the Bed and the Snuggly.

I am excited to publish these books and hope you’ll join me on their journey.

REQUEST FOR REVIEWS

I’d love everyone reading this to be part of the launch process. I’m hoping that, if you’re reading this, you enjoy my writing style in my blog, or in my earlier books.


If so, and you’d like to read more in the same vein, then please become part of my launch team and make a Verified Purchase of a pre-launch copy (in form) of whichever book (preferably both!) you’d like to read. I will make sure you have time to read it before the official launch.

I will make the price the lowest price I can post it – 0.99.

A Verified Purchase review of the book on Amazon on the Launch Date would be amazing and very much appreciated.

Further details will follow about how you can participate.

Just leave a Comment below confirming you’d like to be part of my team.


Thanks very much, and I hope you will be part of the team.

More details next week.

Cheers,

Alan

Alan Camrose

Down the Kindle Hole

Welcome to my Blog


You are very welcome to my Random Place, and thanks for stopping by.

This time, unravelling one of the mysteries of the Amazon self-publishing algorithm…


I am embarking on publishing my third book and it has made me re-evaluate some of the processes and activities involved.

Selling books on Amazon is a conundrum. On the face of it, practically, it seems so easy.

And yet…

Once you’re happy with the text of your new book and worked through the mysteries of trim size and blurb composition, there’s the sacred task of trying to ensure that your epic can actually be seen by people. Yes, I’m talking about the Dreaded Amazon Algorithm. Not right now the dark arts of “independent” reviews and how they affect sales. More about where you pigeon-hole your work in the labyrinth of department categories and sub-categories to be sniffed out by eager and thirsty readers.

Yes, those links that can put the catastrophe into categories.

On the face of it there are two categories for a book to fall into, chosen from a limited list of single words. My first novel was a mix of fantasy, humour, crime, and adventure, so was impossible to pin down in two categories for a “better consumer experience”.

I’m all for a better consumer experience, it’s what we harried authors strive for. Short-cuts don’t cut it.

Then I discovered that Amazon has a rabbit up its sleeve. A big rabbit.

Extra categories and sub-categories.

If you ask them nicely.

I asked them nicely and they confirmed that an author can place a book in a total of up to ten categories and sub-categories combined. That means that you can be a bit more granular about who might be interested in seeing your work and more likely to see it in the blizzard of zillions of offerings in the massive bucket catch-all categories. Why that is not publicised at the start and baked into the initial set-up process is beyond me, but if you’re not aware of it at the moment, then it’s worth spending time delving into the area while you get ready to publish.

Am I shooting myself in the rabbit’s foot by divulging what is to be fair a not-secret, just not universally known?

Absolutely not. What helps you helps me, as far as I can see…Greater precision gives greater confidence to all authors and readers alike.

More granular means less cross consumers who don’t want to dive into the giant Fantasy Bucket when they are after a Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > LITERATURE & FICTION > HUMOUR & SATIRE >
BRITISH
book.

Check it out for your next project. In all honesty, I’m not sure what difference it really makes, but for your British Humour and Satire book, it’s better it’s visible there among the smaller thimble of titles than the giant LITERATURE & FICTION swimming pool, right?

For an e-book (the principle is similar for paperbacks):

  • At https://www.amazon.com/, there’s a Search bar.
  • Click on that.
  • Change “All” to show the “Kindle Store” Department.
  • Click on the changed Search icon.
  • Click on “Kindle eBooks” under “Kindle Store.” That is on the left side of the webpage.
  • Now you should be able to see a list of categories under “Kindle eBooks”
  • Click on a category. It will reveal the subcategories. Figure out where your book sits and follow the categories path down the rabbit hole until you can’t choose any more sub-categories on that path – the BRITISH in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > LITERATURE & FICTION > HUMOUR & SATIRE > BRITISH If your book’s set in Minnesota and isn’t funny, now’s the time to go back up the chain…
  • Make sure you pick up ten paths. (Amazon counts the two you choose in your initial set-up.)
  • The format is important when you ask Amazon to update your paths. It took me a few emails of jolly back and forth to alight upon an agreed place for that better consumer experience…
    • Use the following format: “Kindle Store > Kindle > eBooks > CATEGORY > SUBCATEGORY.”
  • Slightly bizarrely, but presumably due to any spelling or cultural differences, the categories need to be set for each individual jurisdiction where you are selling on the Kindle Marketplace or market for paperbacks.
  • Be patient, Amazon allows itself up to 72 hours to reflect your choices, but experience shows that they are thankfully much quicker.

Hope that’s helpful.

Happy categorising!

Cheers,

Alan

Alan Camrose