Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Is Kindle Unlimited hitting author incomes?

Is Kindle Unlimited picking authors pockets?

Kindle Unlimited sounded like it might actually help authors to reach a wider readership. For a relative small sum a month ($9.99), members can read as many Kindle books as they want. Authors like me hoped that would lead to our books that wouldn't otherwise be bought, being lent instead and us getting a payment (albeit less than what we'd get for a sale) for each loan.

Sadly, I've found Kindle Unlimited has lost me money, especially for my non-fiction title, Living Cruelty Free: Live a More Compassionate Life.

I put a lot into writing that book. More than I put into any of my fiction titles, because I had to do so much gruelling, distressing research into animal cruelty and human cruelty towards other humans that gave me nightmares. All of the research took almost a year to do and I had to decipher complicated laws that made my head spin.

I had a publisher for the book, who badly let me down and didn't send me a royalty statement in 2 whole years since the book was published, causing me so much stress trying to get the rights to my own book back. Then I self-published. I did everything myself and it cost me more money than I could afford.

Considering the work that went into Living Cruelty Free, a book readers could turn to again and again, I felt a Kindle price of £4.99 ($8.99 in the USA) was fair.

Sadly, I'm starting to notice a trend. I sell a book and it shows up in my sales on KDP. Soon after, usually within an hour, that book appears as returned and a loan shows up almost right away.

So, what's happening?

To me, its simple.

People are either 1. Buying the book by mistake, instead of borrowing it using Kindle Unlimited, and then they're returning the book and borrowing it.

Or, 2. Borrowing the book because it costs nothing.

You can't blame readers. But, you can blame Amazon for having the facility to buy and borrow a book on the same page (which i believe is confusing people) and for coming up with a scheme that takes even more money away from writers.

Borrow rates for authors on KU in 2024

When one of my book sells, I make $6.26 or £3.37 on a 70% royalty. On a loan, I make just over a dollar. So you can see how I lose out every time a buyer switches to a lender.

I'm not alone in this. Other authors are also being hit in the pocket, and many of them used to be big earners. See here

What's your experience of KU? How has it affected you? I would love to hear your experience. 

Sunday, 28 December 2014

There's somebody outside the door...introducing Don't Come For Me

Hell to Pay is based on something that's probably happened to us all.

You're alone at night, in the bathroom when you hear a noise outside the door.

And there's this tiny part of you, the primaeval part of you that thinks there's someone outside that door.



In almost every case, there will be nobody outside that door. Or, it'll be your cat/dog who's knocked down some furniture.

But, what if someone is out there?
What do they want?
Who are they?

That's how the idea for Don't Come for Me came about.

You can find out what's outside Nancy Kerr's door by reading Don't Come for Me.


Tuesday, 23 December 2014

For 2 days only, The Restless Dead is FREE on Kindle Dec 23rd Dec 24th

To celebrate the re-launch of my zombie novel as The Restless Dead with a fantastic new cover, the book s FREE today and tomorrow on Kindle.

Here's a taster -
Somebody attacked Archie and that somebody had to be a zombie because last time I checked, the dead didn’t wake up, stinking of putrefying flesh and try and bloody eat you.” 
And so begins Emma and Scott’s battle for survival against the things they dub dead bastards. Teaming up with self-proclaimed zombie expert Kenny, who works in Glasgow’s last remaining video store, macho man Mustafa from the newsagents and mystery man Doyle, they face a battle to survive the flesh eating hordes rampaging through Scotland.
Now they have just one aim – 

"If Shaun of the Dead met The Walking Dead, you'd get The Restless Dead."

The offer starts on December 23rd at midnight (Pacific Central Time), which is 8am in the UK and ends at midnight (PCT) on December 24th, which is 8am on December 25th in the UK.

Here's the links -

Please pass on the link to anyone you think may be interested. I'd really appreciate it and if you do read The Restless Dead, please leave a few words on Amazon. Thanks:)

Take care and stay safe in the zombie apocalypse.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Out now - Living Cruelty Free - Live a more Compassionate Life

Living Cruelty Free offers tips and advice on how we can be kinder to animals and each other, and live a kinder life.

It’s an essential guide for anyone who wants to become a more ethical shopper: to avoid buying the cruellest things on the planet, like fur, Foie gras, and clothes made using slave labour.

There are also tips on how to go free range, become vegetarian, or just reduce your meat intake, and to make sure the cosmetics you buy are not tested on animals.

When I became a vegetarian 28 years ago, I wish this information had been available to me.

The book's available at 

The book has a companion blog.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Why should you read Hell To Pay?

Why should you read Hell To Pay?

1. In real life women don't usually get revenge on their attackers, Nancy Kerr does.
2. If you like strong women, you'll like Nancy Kerr.
3. There's a handsome strapping sidekick called Tommy McIntyre.

Hell to Pay is now available on Amazon. 

You can read an extract from Hell To Pay on the excellent Wattpad site by clicking here.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Is it time to say goodbye to your publisher?

Sometimes it's time to say goodbye
As I write this, I'm scared, very scared. After a thoroughly demoralising time with one of my publishers that made me ill, I decided to get the rights to my two books with them back. Moving from having a publisher to doing everything yourself and self-publishing, is very scary indeed.

Now I'm responsible for everything from cover design to editing and the thing that scares me most is getting it wrong. But, my publisher's actions left me with no choice. 

You see, I had high hopes for these books. They were the first two in a series I'd created called Die Hard for Girls. They were my babies, lovingly crafted. I'd already written the third.

Judging by the readers reports by the publisher, they shared my enthusiasm. Sadly, that didn't translate into any real effort on their part. In fact, the publisher started to charge for services that they shouldn't have. Things like converting your book into an eBook and even, at one point, putting it into print. 

I won't go into all that. It's a long and boring story - hey, even I'm bored with it. But, what I will say is that I spent hours and hours trying to get my book the marketing they promised me and getting basic things like categories fixed and my author name spelled correctly.

Example - Throwaways, my crime thriller about Glasgow sex workers being kidnapped, was listed as true life and erotica. My, was my mum surprised about that:)

Now, it's down to me to do things right. It's daunting, but invigorating at the same time. Having two covers designed was particularly exciting. 

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Dead Bastards by Jennifer Lee Thomson (An extract)

Dead Bastards (An Extract)

We couldn’t handle Archie staring back at us with accusing eyes, and he stank, so I covered him up with a duvet. A pink one with polka dots, which is the only spare one we have.
Scott spotted what he called the girly duvet and screwed up his face. “He’s my mate. We need to show him some respect.”

I’m irritated his pal has bled all over the new rug, yet I’m the one getting all the aggro for using a pink duvet.

Instead of coming up with an alternative to cover up his friend, Scott stood there with a stern expression on his face and shook his head. “It’s just no right.” Then his eyes grew wide and staring as he gawped at the duvet. “I think it moved.”

I snorted and shook my head. “How can it have moved? He’s deid. His stomach’s on our carpet.”

Just because Scott didn’t consider the duvet manly enough for his pal, didn’t give him the right to try to freak me out. But I looked down anyway.

At first, I didn’t see any movement, but I carried on watching. Then Archie’s feet started moving, making a tapping motion as if dancing in time to music. Before I’d seen it for myself, I thought that what happened to all those others on TV was not the same as what happened to Archie, because making that connection would open a whole Pandora’s Box of trouble.

Denial is after all a way of shielding myself from the truth. But eventually realisation dawns, especially when Archie started doing a tap dance on my living room floor. “Fuck, he’s no deid.”

While he’s doing this I realised there’s one last thing we can do for him: cave in his head.
Scott gives me his teacher-doesn’t-approve stare. “Wish you wouldn’t swear, Emma. It makes you ugly.”

As if my swearing was our biggest problem right now.

I wanted to give him an earful for chastising me like I was one of his pupils, but I’m too busy watching as dead Archie takes a hacking breath and tries to get up.

I don’t say anything. I couldn’t breathe. I simply held out my finger and pointed as if auditioning for the National Lottery’s It Could Be You ad. But this was one lottery I sure as hell didn’t want to win.

Archie flung the duvet asunder. His ash-grey face was set in a grimace that reminded me of a Mayan death mask. He looked like hell, which was no surprise considering his innards were spread out all over our carpet. But it’s his eyes that were the real giveaway that Archie wasn’t Archie anymore. He had the bluest eyes I’d ever seen, but now those eyes were gone, replaced by dead orbs, as black as coal. They lacked that spark of humanity and self-awareness, whatever it is that makes us human.

Something clicked in that brain of his. He stared at us like a starving dog eyeing someone's dinner. His mouth dropped open and rancid black sludge spilled out. Then he howled.
I thought I was going to puke.

He grabbed for my arm, his blackened teeth as sharp as knives snapping at me. I managed to sidestep his reach.

A scream shrieked out of my throat before I could stop it.


The thing about being confronted by zombies is that we all think we’ll know what to do. We’ve all seen the movies, watched the TV shows. To kill a zombie you need to splatter the brains all over the shop with a gun. But the reality is different for those of us living in Scotland where we don’t have guns in our wardrobes or locked in a box, because we don’t keep guns, period. That makes killing the zombies damn difficult.

My boyfriend is useless as a handyman, so there’s no toolkit in our third floor tenement flat. We have no hammers, chisels, or drills to destroy the brain of the zombie who used to be my boyfriend’s best pal.

Okay, this so-called pal drives me mental, like the time he got Scott, who’s not a big drinker, steamboats one night and dragged him along to a lap dancing bar where he ended up slipping crisp twenties into Monique or Cindi’s g-string. (I know this because he kindly recorded footage on Scott’s mobile phone.) I’m still pissed about that, but I don’t hate him to the extent that I want to cave his head in. 

So when the thing that used to be Archie, struggles to its feet and lumbers towards us, arms outstretched, as if pretending to be rent-a-ghost, I snatch the first thing I can get my mitts on, an iron I’d forgotten to turn off, and I scud him across the head with it.

There’s an almighty hiss as it scorches his flesh, accompanied by the smell of burnt barbecue. The iron trundles onto the floor where it lies, scorching the carpet. I can’t believe what I’ve just done, and my hand goes limp.

Archie’s makes a throaty noise and lurches towards me. That's when Scott gets busy, bludgeoning his best mate over the head with an ugly, heavy lamp his parents had bought us as a housewarming present.

Globs of sticky brain matter splatter the wall as though someone dumped mince in a blender without the lid on and switched it to turbo, but Scott still keeps whacking dead Archie, because dead Archie keeps coming at me.

My back's to the wall. Will he not die, again?

The Restless Dead is available on Kindle and in Paperback 

Monday, 22 September 2014

David Cameron gets eaten by zombies - The Restless Dead now out in paperback

By popular demand, zombie novel The Restless Dead is now out in paperback with an alternative ending and some bonus material. And a brand new cover.

You can check it out at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

Thanks so much to everyone who has already bought the book as an ebook and who asked me to bring out a paperback version.

Let's defeat the zombie hordes together:)

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

A sneak peek from Don't Come For Me

You're in the bathroom late at night when you hear a noise coming from outside the door, and there's this tiny part of you, the product of centuries of genetic programming designed to make you fight or flee, that thinks there's someone inside your house. 
Somebody waiting for you outside that door.
Panic sucks the air out of your lungs.
Your dread of what's outside that door places an icy hand on your shoulder.
All kinds of scary thoughts are going through your mind. Different permutations of what's outside the door.
Has someone broken in and they're going through your stuff?
Is someone there determined to do you harm as they have in the past?
There's this tiny voice inside your head telling you not to be so silly. You're imagining things. After what happened before that's understandable, but you can't let fear rule your life. Be the boss of you.
When you open that door, you'll feel ridiculous when you see that nobody's there.
There is no bogeyman waiting.
You open the bathroom door, confidently to prove you don't care; that you've mastered your irrational fear. Not tentatively like you want to, so you can turn on your heels and slam the door shut. Just an inch so you can get a peek at what's out there.
In a few seconds, you're going to be laughing about this. To feel a fool.
With your heart beating in your ears, the door swings open and right away, you see that you were right to be worried.
Both chairs are upturned in the living room and the TVs been pulled out of its brackets. Your boyfriend's nowhere to be seen.
You go into the kitchen and there's a knife on the floor and a pool of blood. You're trying to take all this in as your heart thumps against your breastbone on stereo.
That's when the police turn up, threatening to break down the door if you don't open up.
Surveying the scene you know that they're gonna think you killed him...
My name is Nancy Kerr and I'm not a murderer. Since my parents were murdered I've come close a few times, but I've never done the deed.
I did tattoo the world RAPIST across the stomach of one of my parents' killers. But to me that was justified, righteous revenge because when I walked in on those monsters who’d killed my parents, they raped me and left me bleeding to death on the kitchen floor of my childhood home. What happened caused me to have a breakdown and I ended up in a psychiatric hospital where I was in the land of the zombies for fourteen months. I have no memory of most of what happened there.
But, hey, that's another story.
Accused of my boyfriend Tommy's murder, I need to prove my innocence. It won't be easy. Confronted by the same scene as the police, I would think I was guilty too. And, Tommy's still missing, presumed dead and murdered by me.
The clock's ticking. 


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

HarperCollins Australia submissions - but only on a Wednesday

HarperCollins Australia are accepting submissions from all over the world and not just Australia - but only on a Wednesday.

Check out their site for details. 

There's no email address.

You need to upload your work to an online that appears - yeah, you guessed it, on a Wednesday.

They want to see - 

a synopsis of your work (it doesn't tell you until you upload, but it has to be 300 words or less) 
the first 50 pages or first three chapters of your manuscript
a short note about yourself

Happy writing and good luck. 

And, remember, follow the guidelines, folks. Don't make it easy for them to say "NO."

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

What do I write about? - Story Cues

In the first of a regular series, I'll help to answer the question - What do I write about?

A great way to come up with a story idea is to -

Take a familiar item and give it a twist. 

1. Your character gets a text message on their mobile - "We've got your son."

2. The washing machine is making a rattling sound. There's nothing in the drum, but when the back panel is taken off there's a bloody knife hidden inside.

3. You come out of the supermarket to find a strange woman in your car. She's holding a gun and insists she knows you.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Free Zombie story - Pick Your Brain

What would happen once the zombie apocalypse was over and people (and zombies) were forced to justify their actions?

This is a picture from UK zombie drama In The Flesh.

That's the scenario I took and then ran with it for my short story Pick Your Brain.

It's free for your enjoyment over at the wonderful Pulp Metal Magazine.

Feel free to have a read and comment. I'd love to know what you think.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

What kind of writer are you? I'm a scattergun.

I'm half way through writing a novel and when I tell people how I'm writing it they think I'm crazy.

For starters, I don't sit and plan every chapter. Instead, I start with an idea. This can be the premise of the book i.e. woman is accused of murdering her boyfriend who she knows isn't even dead.

Then I just run with it, using the scattergun method of writing.

In other words, I write whatever I'm driven to write. This can be a scene from any part of the book.

Sometimes I have the ending before I have the second chapter.

The upside of this method, is two fold -
1. that I never get bored, so I don't think the reader will either
2. my writing is crispier and fresher because I'm not forcing my writing

Of course, there's a major downside -
eventually I will get to the point where I have to write a certain part; to connect up the dots. Writing those bits can be hard, but then writing is hard. You've got to bleed onto the paper.

The scattergun method might not be to everybody's taste, but it works for me. And you've got to stick with whatever works for you, because there are so many methods that don't work.

If I had a penny for every time someone said "I'm going to write a novel" who didn't, I'd be a millionaire.

So, what kind of writer are you? 

Monday, 10 February 2014

Now for something completely different...meet the love angel

Over the years, I've dabbled in so many different genres. My latest is in paranormal romance. I've written it under the of name Jennifer Sweetdance.

The Love Bureau is out in time for Valentine's Day. Here's the blurb -

What if your love life was a mess and the angel who was dispatched to find you true love was more messed up than you? This love angel's in for some love lessons of her own.
Meet Abigail, the Love Bureau angel who cannot fly.
She’s on a mission to save MandySue’s love life from cheaters and womanizers.
Problem is, back home in heaven, Abigail’s angelic husband is no saint either.
Dreams of flight and true love forge a bond between these two women that will move heaven and earth.

You can get The Love Bureau today from Amazon

DI Duncan Waddell - Detective in a Coma Book 2

Who was Peg Entwistle the Hollywood sign (jump) girl?

I'd heard the story of the actress who's said to have jumped from the H of the Hollywood sign to her death. But until I watch...