Saturday, 2 April 2016

The Patient Killer: One Month to Go!

On May 4th The Patient Killer will be unleashed upon the Kindle Store. We promised you a bargain, and we’re going to deliver. For the duration of the preorder period PLUS the first week we’ll put TPK up for just 99p/ 99c.

You’ll also be able to read it for free if you’ve got Kindle Unlimited.

Still not enough? We’ll go one better. We’re going to do discounts on the entire DCI Morton series during May. For 5 days we’ll be putting Cleaver Square free for the very first time (and we don’t intend to repeat the offer again until 2017 so grab it while you can).

And if you’ve been on the fence about trying Ten Guilty Men then you’ll be pleased to know we’ll be putting that up for 99p/99c for a week too.

To know exactly when the discounts go live follow us on twitter or facebook. For an email reminder when The Patient Killer goes live join our New Release mailing list by signing up here (and then hitting the Confirm Subscription button when you get the welcome email).

Inevitably people ask us why we do this. Four books, a third of a million words, 1400 print pages, all for less than two dollars total. It’s insane, isn’t it?

The answer is simple: we believe in the books, and we believe in readers. We don’t make much per copy, but we do have a lot of readers and we rely on the total volume to make up for low pricing. We’d rather sell 10,000 copies for $1 each than 500 copies for $10.

Free does not devalue literature. Free empowers readers. It means you can try us without risk. You can stop reading if you don’t like the book, and not lose a penny. We only earn our coin when you like the books enough to want more of them.

We get paid when you want us to get paid.

Before the launch we’ve got some final proofreading to do, and our lovely typesetter Colleen is set to spend a week or so carefully placing each and every word for the print version. Print isn’t a big market for us. We get thousands of eBook downloads per print sale, so it’s taken a while to get to a volume that justifies spending properly on putting together beautiful print editions.

If you like the new look of the print version The Patient Killer, please send one of us an email. If enough of you approve of the new and improved print layouts then we’ll go back and re-issue Dead on Demand, Cleaver Square, and Ten Guilty Men to match.

We have one final thing to cover in today’s blog post: Advance Reader Copies. We’re very liberal with review copies (as eBooks only cost us the time to send you an email). The ARC version of The Patient Killer will be sent out on/around April 23rd. If you want a copy you need to add yourself to the ARC list (here) by the 22nd.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

March Update: 5 weeks 'til The Patient Killer

Pre-blog post warning: Any day now we'll be permanently moving over to We'll put copies of blog posts up here at for a while, but eventually we'll cease blogging at this address.

We’ve been busy behind the scenes for the last few months. The Spanish version of Dead on Demand went live in February ($2.99 at all good book stores; sorry we can’t go free on translation).

The new website is underway. We still have a fair bit of content left to write which has taken a backseat to writing actual books.

The fourth Morton book is in the copy-editing stage. Over the next 5 weeks it’ll go through several more rounds of editing, and then we’ll stick it on Amazon circa May the 4th (which happens to be our 4 year anniversary as authors, yay).

As ever we’re going to try and be as fair as we can on the price. We can’t do free, and 99c is just not economical as a long term price (the 35c author/publisher share per copy isn’t enough to pay our costs, keep the tax man happy, and still have enough to live on) so we’ll go for a compromise: we’ll put it up at 99c/99p for one week to give you guys a chance to bag it for a discount, and then it’ll revert to a business-as-usual price of £1.99/ $2.99 (which is still cheaper than most of the competition). As ever it’ll be free for those with Kindle Unlimited subscriptions too.

Coming to an Amazon store near you May 4th 2016.
We'll add the store links here as they go live. Check back in a few weeks (or join our mailing list to get an email notification).

Without further ado, our much-stolen-from-our-last-launch Launch FAQ from The Patient Killer:

When will I be charged?
Amazon charge on release - so expect a charge to be made on or around May 4th

How will it be delivered?
Amazon will whisper-sync it to your kindle the first time you connect after release.

How much is it?
The normal price will be £1.99 or regional equivalent.

What order should I read the DCI Morton novels in?
Any. The stories are all stand-alone so you can pick which one you like, but the chronological order is as follows:
1. Dead on Demand
2. Cleaver Square
3. Ten Guilty Men
4. The Patient Killer

Can I have a free copy?
Yes - if you're willing to give us an honest review in return. Send us an email if you'd like a review copy. These will be available up to May the 3rd. After it’s live on Amazon we’ll be exclusive to Amazon for a while (and that includes giving away copies as well as selling them).

Can I interview you on my website?
Yes (please). Send us an email.

What if I don't like it?
You'll have a full seven days from release to return it for a full refund, no questions asked. Just use the 'Return' option within Manage My Kindle.

Will The Patient Killer be included in Kindle Unlimited?
Yes. For at least the first 90 days, you'll be able to read for free if you've got a Kindle Unlimited subscription.

I've read The Patient Killer When's the next one out?
Missing Persons is currently scheduled for around January 2017. Watch this space.

Who made the cover?
Nadica Boshkovska. She's excellent. I highly recommend her.

Can I get a signed paperback?
Send us an email, and we'll see what we can do. We’re going digital first with this one, so it might be a few months before a paperback is available.

Do you offer alternative versions for the visually impaired?
We can supply a digital braille copy on demand (just email us). We’ll also try and get an audio version available when it’s feasible to do so (only Dead on Demand is available in audio in present; send us an email if you want a copy of that).

When will translations be available?
We don’t have any translations for The Patient Killer planned yet.

Subsidiary rights?
As of this blog post all subsidiary rights to The Patient Killer are available. Send us an email to enquire.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

New Website Incoming

In about a month’s time we’ll be moving to a new website. A rebrand has been long overdue because the 90days moniker only ever applied to Dead on Demand (and, in retrospect, it shows). Writing fast was something we wanted to do just to prove we could. In the 23 days it took to write, edit and publish Dead on Demand we showed that two idiots can write a novel.

What we didn’t prove was that we could write our best work in that same timeframe. Like many novices we made a lot of mistakes that would have been blindingly obvious to a more experienced author. We had too many characters for a stand-alone. We had names which were too similar such that the good cop and the bad cop were easily muddled. We relied on shock value too much.

We’re still proud of having written Dead on Demand. It’s been surprisingly well received with a 4* average worldwide after over a thousand reviews across all venues. And many thousands of you have gone on to try the (much better) sequels Cleaver Square and Ten Guilty Men.

In a few shorts months we’ll be coming up on 4 years since Dead on Demand, and we’ll be publishing the 4th book in the series, The Patient Killer, with a killer early-bird special price by way of a thank you to those that have stuck with us. The Patient Killer will launch at 99p/ 99c for the first week, AND we’ll have free ARC copies available before publication.

Before then we’re moving to which will allow us to shed the 90daysnovel moniker (with this site remaining up as a redirect), add some shiny branded graphics, and focus on balancing the content between stuff for readers and random blog posts. We’re also aiming to get blogging more regularly again this year, and we’d love to get a ‘Resources for Writers’ section of the website going (so if you’ve got requests, leave a comment).

Thank you again for sticking by us. We don’t deserve it, but we’re grateful nonetheless.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Paid Up

Authors complain about money. A lot. Most of them think they’re underpaid which may well be true.

But I’ve never once seen an author say ‘I’m being paid too much’. Actually I have never heard anyone say they're being paid too much.

So let’s change that. I’m being paid too much.

This month Cleaver Square will hit 20,000 sales on Amazon Kindle in total. We’ve been charging £1.99/ $2.99 for the book for most of that time (and when we didn’t it was via short term Kindle Countdown Deals). When you add in paperbacks, translations, etc, it’s earned something like £20,000 for us - which is pretty good for a book written in our spare time. And we'll continue to earn on it for a long time - because copyright lasts until 70 years after we're gone.

So I’m going to cut our prices. Again. We’re going to go right down to the wire and put Cleaver Square down to 99c/ 99p. That’s the lowest price that Amazon allow us to set.

We’ll go with the lowest price possible in every other region too. Whether you’re in Canada or Australia, Ireland or France, India or China, we’ll price at the lowest possible price that we can.

And Dead on Demand will remain free.

Finally, for those who have already got Cleaver Square, we’ll do two things:
  1. We’ll cut Ten Guilty Men to 99p/99c for a week when book 4 launches.
  2. We’ll launch book 4 at a preorder special price of 99p.
Yep. Our next full length brand new DCI Morton novel which we’re due to publish in Q1 of 2016 will be available to preorder for 99p/ 99c (and then go up to £1.99/ $2.99 after that - still cheaper than virtually everyone else).

If the big publishers want to ask £11.99 for a preorder then let’s prove that we can do it for less than 10% of that and still turn a profit. Readers do not have to be gouged for authors to earn a fair wage. And if £2.98 for three books is still too much you can borrow it for free with Kindle Unlimited or pirate a copy. Nobody should miss out on killer fiction because of the price.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015


As an author you have to be a one man mariachi band pretty much 24/7. It’s like running a very small scale start up. You design the product. You project manage. You do graphical work. You market. You answer the phones and emails. You deal with money in, money out. You organize freelancers.

But really you just want to write.

When I heard about I had to give it a try.  

RockingDesigners is a new service from Adrijus at RockingBookCovers. You’ve probably read some of the authors he’s designed covers for which include bestsellers like Russell Blake, Jude Hardin and many more.

That quality usually comes at a hefty price (and it should!) but this new offering isn’t about book covers or fully-fledged websites. Instead, he’s offering authors the chance to buy graphics for everything from bookmarks to facebook covers, twitter headers as part of a subscription service.

It’s a win win. The cheapest package is $50 per month for ten items (per month) which puts it in the same ballpark as Fiverr in terms of cost, but you get brand name quality instead.

I signed up for that plan last week, and I’ve had four designs through so far; two twitter headers (one for my 99c promo for Cleaver Square, one for Dead on Demand) and a twitter-optimised banner for each book (which also looks good on facebook).

Here's what we've had so far:

Top to bottom that's banner, twitter header (for last week), twitter header for today, banner for our permafree. For each of these I got two concepts to choose from, and Adrijus has very kindly remade the 99c banner for use post-promo by swapping out the 'On Sale Today' text for a tagline. He also sent over the 3D book mockups he used to create these graphics, so if you include the multiple options, the updated text and the 3D mockups I've had 11 graphics designed for the ridiculously low price of $20 (four out of my ten designs for the month).

That's insanely good value. I can't hire an amateur in a third world country for that sort of pricing, but for pocket money pricing I've had one of the best graphics designers in Ireland on call to design stuff as and when I've needed it.

The click through on these has been super high. I've split tested graphics on facebook plenty of times, and the numbers don't lie. Good design makes a huge difference - and it looks awesome. Seriously go look at the twitter headers in-situ ( For $5 (or less!) a pop.

At that price, I can't afford not to.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Cleaver Square Promo: August 31st 'til September 6th

To celebrate the launch of Ten Guilty Men, we’re offering you the opportunity to pick up Cleaver Square at a discount.

From today until the 6th of September, Cleaver Square will be on a Kindle Countdown deal.
Still free.
In the UK, the price will drop from £1.99 to £0.99 for the whole period, while in the USA it’ll drop to 99c before climbing back to $2.99.

After that our pricing will still be cheap –“Three for three quid (and 98 pence)”.

That’s Dead on Demand for free, Cleaver Square for £1.99 and Ten Guilty Men for £1.99 (launch special). Total cost for the three: £3.98.

That’s days of reading (nearly a quarter of a million words, over a thousand print pages) for the price of a pint of beer (not that we’re knocking the beer).

Launch price £1.99
Usually £1.99 but 99p from August 31st 'til September 6th.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Ten Guilty Men Launch Marketing Plan

Back in 2012 Dan and I launched Dead on Demand free for 5 days, and every step of the way we told you what we were booking in terms of adverts, when and how much it cost.

We then shared the results.

At the time we were aiming for 10,000 downloads.
We managed 55,500. Happy days.

This time around, we’re going for a triple whammy of deals:
  • Dead on Demand for free.
  • Cleaver Square on Countdown for a week
  • Ten Guilty Men for £1.99/ $2.99 (launch price).
This makes the whole DCI Morton series incredibly good value – and no part works, no samples pretending to be books, no hooking you in then jacking up the price. What we’re aiming for is everyday good value, and a risk free sample so you can try before you buy.

I want you to keep us to that. If you ever think we’re being unfair, tell us. Let us know if we’re not delivering the value you deserve, and we’ll see what we can do. We got asked about Kindle Unlimited a while back – and we’ve delivered. Front and backlist, books new and old, are all free for subscribers. If you’ve got Kindle Unlimited (or take out a free 30 day trial) then you don’t have to pay a penny to read our books legally.

So onto the marketing plan. We don’t like spending oodles on adverts. Realistically a big spend will result in big sales – but it won’t necessarily result in a positive return on investment, and someone has to pay for advertising (either by cutting our already-slim profits, or by increasing the price), which means sensible investment is the order of the day: we need to get back more in sales than we put in.

This isn’t long term brand building. It isn’t throwing money at the wall and hoping it sticks. In a market with razor thin margins, that sort of thing would be reckless. Our brand building comes from our books. If you enjoy them and think the price is fair, then you’ll come back.

We hope.

So far readers have returned. Most of those we’ve spoken to have said Cleaver Square is vastly better than Dead on Demand (we think so too), but Ten Guilty Men is at least as good if not better.

I’m hoping for a strong launch. We’ve had a fairly good preorder run, especially in the UK, but we think once we’ve got a sample up, reviews flowing in, and the instant gratification via kindle, that Ten Guilty Men should do reasonably well.

Here’s how we’re going to do it:

Firstly, we’re promoting Dead on Demand at the end of August and the start of September. Free books are easier to sell to people who haven’t heard of you. That hasn’t changed since last time. The big risk is that we might suffer some list fatigue as Dead on Demand has been downloaded so many times, and we’ve used all the major advertising venues before.

Secondly, we’re going to 99c/99p for Cleaver Square for one week from August 31st til September 6th. That’s all of next week. That means new readers can have two full length novels for under a dollar.

Third, we’re promoting Ten Guilty Men. It’s hard to advertise new eBooks, but we’ve got a few adverts booked. By the time we get to the TGM adverts, we should have some early reviews up (both as a result of preorders and because we’ve been sending free review copies to anyone that would take one!).

So without further ado, our draft advertising schedule. We’ll be adding more to this as we go, so come back and check it out in a week or two. If you want to see how successful this run is, feel free to track our book rankings.

Aug 25th:
Flurries of Words (Dead on Demand)

August 28th:
BKnights free book promotion (Dead on Demand)
Kathleen Ball Blog Feature (Dead on Demand)

August 29th:
KUForum Ad Day 1 (Cleaver Square)

Aug 30th:
Kindle Nation Daily free eBook highlighter (Dead on Demand)
KUForum Ad Day 2 (Cleaver Square)
BookButterfly (Dead on Demand)
Mailshot goes out to my mailing list: combining New Release notification with Countdown announcement plus a reminder that DoD is free (Dead on Demand, Cleaver Square, Ten Guilty Men)
KUForum announcement post

Aug 31st:
BargainBooksy (Cleaver Square)
DigitalBookSpot/BKnights (Cleaver Square)
KUForum Ad Day 3 (Cleaver Square)
GenrePulse (Cleaver Square)
Kboards 'Bargain Book Promo' (Cleaver Square)
Kboards announcement post (Cleaver Square)

September 1st:
Flurries of Words (Cleaver Square)
KUForum Ad Day 4 (Cleaver Square)
FKbooksandTips (Dead on Demand)
Booksends (Cleaver Square)
Pixel of Ink (Cleaver Square)
eReaderIQ (Cleaver Square)
eReaderNewsToday (Cleaver Square)
Amazon 'Share With Followers' email blast (appear to go out in batches over time)

September 2nd:
Fussy Librarian (Cleaver Square)
KUForum Banner Day 5 (Cleaver Square) (Dead on Demand)
BookButterfly (Cleaver Square) (Ten Guilty Men)

September 3rd:
KUForum Ad Day 6 (Cleaver Square)

September 4th:
KUForum Ad Day  7 (Cleaver Square)
BookBub (Dead on Demand; UK, USA, Canada, India) (Dead on Demand, Cleaver Square, Ten Guilty Men)

NB - The Spanish version of Cleaver Square goes free on the 4th for 5 days.

September 5th:
Flurries of Words (Ten Guilty Men)
KUForum Ad ends (Cleaver Square)

September 6th:
FKBooksandTips Deal of the Day (Cleaver Square)
FKBooksandTips New Release (Ten Guilty Men)

September 12th:
Robin Reads (Ten Guilty Men)

September 13th:
Kindle Nation Daily Book of the Day (Ten Guilty Men)
BookGorilla (Ten Guilty Men)