Live Chat With J Carson Black

A quick round-up today, then it’s back to getting Let’s Get Digital: How To (And Why You Should) Self-Publish ready for upload. If I get it up on Sunday or Monday, it should be live on Wednesday or Thursday. As soon as it goes live on Amazon, the free PDF version will go live, right here.

If you want to read a copy a few days ahead of anyone else, I have 10 0 left to give away. All I ask in return is that you read it quickly and try and post a review on Amazon on release day (or as soon as possible after).

If you are interested, please leave a note in the comments (or email me at david dot gaughran at gmail dot com). The first 10 were snapped up quickly yesterday, so don’t hang around!


J Carson Black has an amazing story. I’ve been following her sales figures on Kindle Boards each month, watching them grow with awe (and a teeny tiny bit of envy). She has sold almost 200,000 books this year (and not at 99c either).

She is one of the 33 writers who have kindly contributed their self-publishing journey to Let’s Get Digital and I am excited about showing that to you next week. But before then, you have a chance to pick her brains.

As part of the Summer Book Club (click the link for more info), she will be taking part in a live chat on Facebook today. It kicks off at 4:30pm Eastern (that’s 1:30pm Pacific or 9:30pm GMT). If it’s anything like the last two weeks where we got Cheryl Shireman and Mark Edwards to spill their secrets, it will be very enlightening.

If you miss the chat, it will stay up on the Facebook page afterwards, and you can read the whole thing. For some more background on J Carson Black, check out this guest post on Mark Williams’ excellent blog, and this post on Declan Conner’s blog.


Speaking of Declan Conner, he is a fellow short story writer who is trying something very interesting that I wanted to highlight. I have spoken with him a lot about the thorny problem of US/UK English, and how some American readers think a story written in UK English is full of typos.

My solution has been to write everything in US English, as UK English speakers are a little more forgiving of that kind of thing, and have a lot of exposure anyway to US spellings.

Declan Conner has tried something else. He is packaging all his short stories with both UK and US versions, and letting the reader choose.

But he hasn’t stopped there. For his latest short story release, as you will see from this press release, he has included the German version. I think a lot of writers will be watching very closely to see if this attracts any German sales (most of us get nothing at all).

For those considering something similar, blog regular Josephine Wade has an interesting post on the pitfalls of getting translations done.


On the topic of pitfalls, Nathan Bransford ran into some opposition when he ran a promo post on his own blog for his own book. Some negative Twitter reaction caused him to pull the post briefly, but I was glad to see he put it back up and stood his ground.

If you don’t know Nathan Bransford, he is an immensely helpful (and courteous) agent-turned-writer. He has given so much of his time to the writing community, and provides a hugely popular forum for writers (with no advertising), funded out of his own pocket.

The one time he posts asking people to consider purchasing his book to help defray the costs of running his blog/forum, he gets grief. Voice your support here.


I had a very popular post this week on the process I go through with my cover designer. Another blog regular, Joan Reeves, has an exhaustive series of posts on cover design which I highly recommend. To complete the circle, author Isabella Amaris has documented her attempts to do her own covers here.


Finally, I would like to say thank you to Matt Ellis who posted a long and thoughtful review of If You Go Into The Woods. He also poised some interesting questions about finding the right balance between marketing and writing, and I recommend you check it out.

David Gaughran

Born in Ireland, he now lives in a little fishing village in Portugal, although this hasn’t increased the time he spends outside. He writes fiction under another name, has helped thousands of authors build a readership, and has created marketing campaigns for some of the biggest self-publishers on the planet. Friend to all dogs.