Tag Archives: ebook

Tracking eBook Sales With Authorgraph

paring down my libraryIf you look off to the right of this blog, you’ll see a drop-down menu from Authorgraph, a service that lets authors sign digital books. I joined up after reading about it a couple months ago, but have been — shall we say — underwhelmed by the number of readers who want to take advantage of the service. As they say on Shark Tank, I’m not sure this is a problem that needed a solution. Whether this is because people are still being educated on what a “digital author signature” looks like or because my readers just aren’t interested, who knows, but I’ve definitely given some thought to taking the plug-in off my page in order to open up some valuable sidebar real estate.

The other day, though, I got an interesting email from the service. It let me know how my books were faring on the Amazon sales ranking lists. One had gone up by several thousand places, another had fallen – and since I haven’t seen other places where this tracking-over-time has taken place, I thought it was interesting that this has now been added to the service.

Amazon Sales Ranking is calculated every hour or so and can fluctuate wildly. Since most self-published books don’t sell over 200 copies within their lifetime (I’m happy to say all but a couple of mine have exceeded that level) selling just a few copies a day is enough to drive a book up by thousands of “ranks,” and checking in on a sporadic basis doesn’t guarantee an accurate picture.

So while its primary use – as a tool for connecting with readers – still hasn’t proven itself to me, Authorgraph’s ability to provide authors with ebook tracking data has definitely become a significant reason for creating and maintaining an account with the service.

Now for Kindle! Mousewings: a post-apocalyptic urban fairy tale

“If you were three mice in a cage, one of you would be the weakest mouse. When the other two mice got hungry enough they would eat the weakest mouse. Eat it until its tumors were lying exposed on its back, or till someone from the lab came in and gave it a shot. Put it out of its misery. We’d do it for a mouse…”

It’s the end of the world. A disease decimates the population. A cancer-researcher’s home is invaded by two escapees from a housing project, making their way to the coast. A giant bird-turned-man haunts her memories. Mice turn cannibal under pressure; are human beings any different?

Over the last two years, I’ve uploaded my produced plays to Amazon. First POST, then Playing it Cool, then Stuck Up A Tree.

Now it’s time for Mousewings.

Bird behind Rin

Rob Flett and Catriona Grozier in Mousewings.

Mousewings was produced in Edinburgh during the 2007 Fringe – my last Fringe in Scotland (for the time being). Written in response to a call for work from the Bedlam theater, a venue run by Edinburgh University, it was also the first play I wrote for a specific commission. As part of the Traverse Young Writer’s Group, I received an email letting me know about the opportunity, and a short while later was sat opposite the venue manager and publicity manager in a pub near Edinburgh Uni, describing two possible plays they might be interested in staging. When I finished, the venue manager nodded and asked, “Which one are you more interested in writing?”


Alastair Gillies and Rachel O’Conner in Mousewings.

Thus began production work on Mousewings. I contacted Emma Taylor, the director I’d worked with on Stuck Up A Tree, and asked if she’d be interested in working on this one. We held a casting call and found our Bird, Sylvie, Rin and Kyle, and the adventure began in earnest. I reached out to graphic design companies, and Definitely Red created a creepy, haunting graphic for our posters, postcards and program. Rehearsals were held in the Edinburgh Playhouse’s event space, discussions of the play’s relationship to pop culture introduced me to The Walking Dead (the graphic novels) for the first time, and I got to watch Emma and the cast bring this eerie twilight horror tale to life. It was nothing short of thrilling. The play hit its mark, earning reviews that proved it from a number of publications during the Fringe.

After many months and a few false starts, I’m thrilled to announce that Mousewings is now available on Amazon, exclusively for Kindle.

I hope you enjoy the play.

Buy or borrow Mousewings on Amazon.

DraftCover2 copy

Hot Mess/Earth Day 2013 Giveaway – Join My Mailing List To Win!

In advance of Earth Day 2013, I’ve put together a prize package including a copy of the anthology I published last year, Hot Mess: speculative fiction about climate change. The book features work by me, RJ Astruc, Miranda Doerfler, Sare Liz Gordy and Eric Sipple.

In addition, the prize package will include two ADDITIONAL books about environmentalism, climate change and the planet: Global Warming Survival Handbook and Generation Green (images below) – and maybe some other goodies!

cover of global warming book LiveEarth generation-green











How do you enter? It’s easy: just subscribe to my mailing list by clicking here. (I will not share or sell your email address, and you can unsubscribe at  any time.)

If you’re already subscribed by the time this entry is posted, you’ll get *two* chances to win.

The winner will be drawn on Earth Day 2013 (April 22nd*), from among mailing list subscribers, and I’ll get in touch after that as far as sending your prize. 🙂

Don’t miss out – subscribe today!


*Date corrected.

Giveaway, you say? STUCK UP A TREE, for free!


The original cast of "Stuck Up A Tree," from top (clockwise): Ceri Mills, Andreas Vaehi, Cameron Mowat, Hazel Darwin-Edwards and Scott Hoatson.

The original cast of “Stuck Up A Tree,” from top (clockwise): Ceri Mill, Andreas Vaehi, Cameron Mowat, Hazel Darwin-Edwards and Scott Hoatson.

If you’re on my mailing list, you should have gotten an email yesterday around 5pm, giving you the heads-up ahead of time for my Spring Giveaway over on Amazon. If not:

From now until Thursday, my play STUCK UP A TREE, currently available exclusively on Amazon Kindle, is free to download.

If you’re going to be around kids over the spring holidays, reading this play aloud with them is a great way to spend time together without going nuts from over-the-top cartoons and video games.

Not convinced yet? Check out some of what’s been said about the play:

Then download and enjoy!

STUCK UP A TREE will be free until Thursday, April 4th, (2013, EST, Earth, Sol, The Milky Way, The Universe…) so if you and your kids want to spread the word, please send it on to anyone you think might get a kick out of a whimsical children’s play!

Related Posts:
Plays of Place: Edinburgh Fringe Plays

(Note: Next month, in honor of Earth Day, there will be a list-subscribers-only giveaway based around my short story anthology Hot Mess: speculative fiction about climate change (which is not a children’s book but has some great reviews over on Amazon), with awesome prizes for the winner – so be sure to subscribe now so as not to miss anything.)

7:06am: Photo caption now corrected.

Things Are Hotting Up – On Climate Change, Speculative Fiction, and Short Story Anthology HOT MESS.


Carlos Porto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My first summer in New York City was hot. Not “better put on flip flops and a tank top” hot. 105 in the shade hot. Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, and having just spent four years living in Scotland, I remember calling my mom as I walked home from work one day. She could probably hear the sweat in my voice. “What was I thinking?” I asked her. She had no answer.

Most of the year, NYC is a climactically pleasant place to be.  But every summer I’ve been there, without fail, has included one or two miserable days – at the least. And every winter has been a little bit less extreme. In 2011, those miserable summer days came in mid-July, and with them an idea for an anthology of short stories that could examine the idea of climate change and its impact on the way people live in and relate to their world.

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