Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Confessions of a Failed Author #10

Want the good news or the bad news? by Nick van der Leek

The good news is I'm not going to be begging anyone to buy my (well actually 'our') latest Oscar trial ebook, firstly because a bunch of someone's already have bought it (propelling it to #8 on the UK bestseller charts)...

...and secondly because Transcendence contains some very personal stuff that...on second thoughts, I think I'd rather nobody read.  So what I'm saying is yes it's for sale but I'd prefer it if nobody bought it.  If you want to make sure you don't buy Transcendence, whatever you do DO NOT follow this link.  Thanks.

The bad news is...people who do and don't read my magazine articles may not be surprised to learn that I've been writing novels crap since high school, and I'm still going strong. And since failed authors who keep at it don't have that much of a social life (or any kind of life) I've managed to accumulate a fair amount of writing crap.  As I said, it's pretty bad news.

Which is why right now I am ranked #38,393 on Amazon.  In other words, fucking nowhere.  On the plus side, since publishing my first ebook on 6 June I've still only had 3 non-sales days to date (nuts, ne?), which is probably down to some rich tannie in Clocolan who feels sorry for me, and is buying one five a day so I'll be able to buy milk and bread groceries from Woolworths each month. Hey, aunty Stienie or whoever it is buying my books in the name of charity and not because it's any good - I appreciate it ;-)

Now, I have another confession to make.  One of the reason I suck as a writer is...well...I read a lot of self help books.  I mean, how to get published. Failed authors like me spend at least as much time reading about how to write as they do writing. Don't they? And since I've copped out of the proper way of writing books, since I'm too fucking lazy to make a real effort; which is to spend years writing and then several more years trying to get the attention of publishers, I've started pursuing something new:

studying up on ebooks.  

In other words, how to buck the system.  Hence I came upon this excellent Huffington Post article.

10 Steps to Ebook Success

It's all good, but what struck me was point #4:

4. Have more than one ebook already writtenAmanda Hocking, Stephen Leather, John Locke and many of the first wave of self-published eBook millionaires all had a number of titles ready to go at the same time. More ebooks means more chances to sell, and more chances for a reader who likes one of your titles to seek out the rest, thereby multiplying your revenues. "Having five books available at the same time is probably the best thing I did," said Locke in The Mail On Sunday

In fellow ebook novelist Joe Konrath's case, in January of this year he posted on his blog that he'd banked a cool $100,000 in Amazon sales for that month alone -- but this was from a total of FIFTEEN ebooks. Writing three or more ebooks before you even think about publishing is a mammoth task, which requires ninja-like patience, perseverance and planning. Most self-publishers are too eager to get their stuff out there, and so they publish too fast and without any strategy. Better to carefully plan your sequence of titles, and to take the time to write well.

Since I like that number [15] referenced in the article, I thought I might as well add 7 more fiction books to the 6 Oscar Trial ebooks already selling on Amazon (plus two more in the series on the way - once again collaborating with Lisa Wilson) and that way I can sort've get the same magic number.  Since I realise I'm a vrot writer, I reckon I ought to make $100 000  somewhere in the ballpark of R1000.00 a month - well, just as long as that Clocolan auntie keeps bankrolling me at 5 2 ebooks per day.  [R15 profit per book X 2 books x 30 days...= R1000]

I realise most people out there want to not buy my books, so in that spirit I've released this work of fact sort've-fiction. This is Book #7 and it's already available on Amazon; it's something I believe I wrote in 2009. Hey, WTF I write a shitload, don't expect me to remember exactly what I wrote when, kay?   

I have 4 more finished fiction works waiting in the wings but I want to wait a leetle longer just to see how well HOLIDAY does, and see how well it's received in the first reviews.  On debut (basically within a day of putting it up) three idiots actually spent good money on it.

Right now I am actually converting BLOODLINE - the 25 year unpublished epic that I promise I will NEVER finish - for the ebook crowd, which is to say I'm shortening the chapters and trying to trim it down from 175 000 words to 150 000.  If I'm in a foul mood I may just surgically remove another 50 000 just to be brutal. Hey, leave me alone, I'm a writer and I'm into self harm okay, it's my thing.

Meanwhile, what do you think of these covers?

 This should actually read 'the uninspiring satire' of a man's journey into SA's mad media world.

 Yeah, I get that this is the sun and not the moon, but hey, I'm a failed author, I'm supposed to make simple mistakes like that...
Awwwwwwwwwwwww.........And Last but not least...
Bloodline.  Been working on this series for a good long while. Bloodline, a series of 7 books,  is already available for

You know, now that I think about it, I've spent so much time on this Amazon lark I seem to have copped out of magazine journalism too - well, not quite.  I did just sent through a 2000 word article last night...which is being processed for publication  And ironically, or is it, not ironically, it's an article about print vs digital publishing. Ie paper books vs ebooks.

Okay well I guess that about wraps it up for this installment. If you feel like torturing yourself with diarrhea-inducing bad writing, and an argument can be made that there's even a touch of cradle snatching going on here, then go ahead, read HOLIDAY.  Or Bloodline. But don't say I didn't warn you.

Icy Idylls

Great White Heron

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Find out more here.

Transcendence by Nick van der Leek and Lisa Wilson - what's it about?

Has Oscar Transcended justice? This is the question at the heart of this narrative.

The problem is stated in the initial chapters courtesy of retired high court Judge Chris Greenland. A two hour interview with the Judge is analysed here and used as a jumping off point.

On September 12 Greenland tweeted: "I join the whole world in lamenting this travesty of justice. The Court failed Reeva." We lament because it is yet another failure of the courts.

But what about Reeva? And if justice is not to be found when the world is watching - as it has with the biggest story in modern media history - where do we find it? How do we find transcendence not in the afterlife, but now, and not just for Reeva, how do we achieve Transcendence - on a daily basis - ourselves?

As in the previous narratives, South African photojournalist Nick van der Leek takes the reader on a deeply personal journey - a physical, mental and spiritual journey - in search of justice, in search of answers and in search of Transcendence.

Juror13, who for the first time writes under her real name - Lisa Wilson - provides painstaking analysis, insights and personal perspectives from California.

Together van der Leek and Wilson weave an intricate story which may catch the reader off guard for its sheer power and ability to transport. This is the 6th book in the Series.

Order yours here.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Leftovers Episode 6 #WHATISTRANSCENDENCE

Transcendence audio background

Note: the following are audio clips from whatsapp communication between myself and Lisa Wilson during the course of researching, preparation and writing of TRANSCENDENCE.

As such the audio is unrehearsed, unedited and basically raw.

It does provide a genuine glimpse into the behind-the-scenes reasoning that went into the writing of the TRANSCENDENCE narrative.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

What is Transcendence? This is Transcendence...

Transcendence is Mysterious
A Temporary Ecstacy
A Brief Glimpse
A Brief Unflowering
A Brief Resumption
An Unblocking
Of Flow
A brief Opening to the sun
To the full light of the Brilliant sun
And then...
As though the Flowering never was...
And all there Was...
Was a primordial Swamp bathed in gloom and darkness
And Shadow...
And yet a Flower...
A lily waits somewhere in the Dark,
for its Chance to open...