Thursday, 28 May 2015

Portrait of a servant

This is a pleasant -- indeed rather charming -- image of a Georgian servant working in the laundry of some grand house or other.  I thought it rather appropriate -- maybe one of Martha's servants working in Plas Ingli looked something like this?


The dress looks about right for the era, but maybe your average laundry maid might not have looked quite so tidy...?

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

A Rare Privilege



A lady called into the workshop the other day to ask me to sign a copy of "Martha Morgan's Little World".......... it turns out that she, and her daughter, have read all 8 of the novels of the Saga twice, and that her mother is now also getting into the series in a big way.  More to the point, a horse has now been given the name "Mount of Angels" (apparently "Angel Mountain" was already taken), and said horse has the pet name of Martha.

I like it!  I have never done any investigations into how many white rats, hamsters or pet snakes might also have been named after the mountain or after Mistress Martha......

PS.  The horse in the picture is not the horse in question.


Friday, 15 May 2015

Colourful Cilgwyn


This was taken today, just up the road.  Purely by chance, a nice patch of shadow on the summit of Carningli.  The bluebells are not as vibrant this year as last, because the dead bracken has not been flattened by winter snow.  So bracken stalks are still prominent in all the fields.  But their foxy red colour adds something to the scene......

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Martha -- hard at work


I found this in Twitter.  It's an illustration of Jane Austen hard at work on one of her novels -- but let's pretend that we are looking at a youthful Martha Morgan, scribbling away on one of her diaries.......


Thursday, 7 May 2015

Trinity Church, Bellingshausen Base, King George Island


The Russian Bellingshausen Base on Fildes Peninsula, King George Island, is the location of Trinity Church, the only permanently-staffed Eastern Orthodox church in Antarctica and the southernmost Eastern Orthodox church in the world. The church is a 15 m-high wooden structure built in traditional Russian style. It can accommodate up to 30 worshippers. The structure was built out of Siberian pine. It was assembled on high ground near the coast by the staff of Bellingshausen Station.  It can conduct weddings, and a marriage ceremony conducted here in 2007 was the first church wedding to be conducted in Antarctica.

It really is a very strange and beautiful structure -- built in an area that was totally unspoilt in 1965/66 when I was there, but which is now one of the most polluted areas in Antarctica, with no less than six functioning research bases, an airstrip capable of taking heavy transport aircraft, and junk lying about everywhere in the areas where old base installations have been abandoned......

Monday, 4 May 2015

Freebie promo and web site visits


Another thing that happened during last week's freebie promo was a great increase in traffic to my web site called www.brianjohn.co.uk.  Normally, as we can see on the graph above, there are between 20 and 50 visits per day, but over the period when I was tweeting and putting things on Facebook, there were 835 visits to the site.  That of course was then tied to 1500 free downloads, since the site was the location for the Amazon URLs used by people as their links.  Again, there is not much direct commercial relevance in web site page views, but generally this has to be a part of the grand strategy of raising awareness of the novels.....

Recent promo -- sales impact



I have been checking the figures, and over the 3 days of freebies (all 8 of the Angel Mountain novels) last week there were about 1500 free downloads of my titles and 20 copies of the novels sold.  Normally sales vary between 0 and 4 copies per day -- so the extra publicity did bring a little boost of income!  Not that I am going to make a fortune at that level of commercial activity.........

What interests me rather more is the possible impact on sales over the coming month or so.  I assume that most people will NOT have downloaded the whole series, but only one or two titles. If they like them, I hope they will come back for more and actually buy their Kindle downloads next time!  Also, it will be interesting to see if there is any word-of-mouth impact on sales, with people who like the books talking to their friends or encouraging others to try the series via social media.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Mega Triple Whammy Freebie Kindle Promo..... over and done with


Over the last 3 days I have been running this promotion as an experiment, just to see what impact it might have on sales.  I did a few tweets every day, and put things on Facebook as well, but spent no money on the promotion. (You can spend as much as you like these days, starting at around $50 for a tweeting agency to manage a campaign for you....)

None of the books is new, so I am not sure how much internal promotion Amazon does on one's behalf.  Anyway, from looking at the Kindle records and reports, it looks as if around 1600 downlaods were recorded over the three days.  That figure might go up a bit when all records are in.

It will be interesting to see whether this now has an impact on sales in the coming days and months.  First, people have to read the books they have downloaded.....