NORTHMAN is launched! I have no idea where it has been launched to, but it’s now been sucked into the black hole that is Amazon. Soon, I will have to find it again and turn it into a paper book. I know. Paper. I still love it.

It’s taken a long time to get here. Northman was started in 1995, but remained unfinished until this year. It had a lot of interest in ’95; I gained a top London agent for it and it went to Hodder or Arrow and they liked it. But I didn’t finish it and their interest waned.

Now, I know you’ll be agog at this confession. How could I miss such an opportunity?  And how could I use a word like ‘agog’?

There is a simple answer. I was too busy. Oh and I’ve always liked the word ‘agog’ because it reminds me of Gog and Magog, two of my uncles – or rather my nicknames for them.

1995 was a year during which I can’t remember having a single day off. I was so busy I could see myself arriving where I had been a few seconds ago. Einstein has a lot to answer for. I must have made a dozen commercials, the same number of promos and a short film about a psychotic telephone called ‘Inanimate Objects’.

Commercial work as a writer and director paid the bills and allowed me to feed my kids. Despite the promptings of my agent, the publishers were not supplying upfront money. My commercial clients were falling over themselves to give me money. My wife and children starving? No contest.

In 2010, I had doubts about finishing and publishing NORTHMAN. I wondered if people would find it old hat. But as I read it and reacquainted myself with characters I had genuinely grown to either love or despise, I realised it wasn’t old hat. It was new hat, but using a familiar cloth and a new Mad Hatter.

If I look back with an honest eye it was okay in 1995 but in 2012 it’s so much better because I’m so much older. I’m proud of it. Surprisingly, the feeling is similar to the times when my two sons left home to build their lives.

I made a choice then and even if my novel grinds along in the darker nether regions of Amazon, it was the right choice.

I wish you well in all your choices.

So, to cut a short story shorter, here’s NORTHMAN.




About J.D.Hughes

Writer of supernatural thrillers, NORTHMAN & AND SOON THE SONG on Amazon and three short stories: BOMBER, ISSUE 49 and THE 500 on Amazon and Smashwords. New novel to be published mid 2018, but on current performance might be posthumously...
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26 Responses to UP, UP AND AWAY!

  1. suzzeq says:

    Reblogged this on suzzeq's Blog and commented:
    Add your thoughts here… (optional)


  2. suzzeq says:

    I just purchased it! Looking forward to reading it. 😊


  3. K. S. Bowers says:

    Love the cover! Very nice, J. 🙂


  4. J.D.Hughes says:

    Cheers, K. Designed by my son, although I sourced the Thor amulet. I love your ‘Demon Chronicles’ and ‘Apple Moonshine’ covers, too. Too much colour means less impact, I think.


  5. Lisa says:

    Downloaded Northman. Reading Northman. Enjoying Northman! NO sleep for me tonight!


  6. J.D.Hughes says:

    You always bring a smile to my face, Lisa 🙂


  7. Fantastic, JD! Very exciting, and your sense of detail is inspiring and takes the reader visually into the darkness. So well done I found myself compelled to actually buy the book!!! lol


    • J.D.Hughes says:

      Thanks for your comments and even more thanks for buying the book! Please let me know how you get on with it 🙂


      • G McDonald says:

        Kudos, lad!

        Other than being compelled to do my husbandly duties (not all of which are odious) and making ever more feeble attempts at writing successfully, I have spent the last few pleasant evenings engrossed in your triumphant novel! Best seller written all over it, JD (of course that made reading some of the passages difficult).

        I’d love to have a moment of your time when available so that I may pick your brain (it certainly appears ripe with marketing acumen and more).�

        Any information and wisdom is worthy of its hire (though I am but a poor pensioner in search of a source of income from my own ramblings) I would consider your consultation, wisdom and direction most valuable (if the cost is reasonable). As an old TV talk show maven used to say: “Can we talk?”

        How are your numbers? I know it’s early but do you have a feel for initial sales? How did you arrive at your cost? It seemed so very low considering the scale of your work yet, … I see that many are actually “giving” copies away as a means of puffing up their early #’s and are then subsequently retailing at anything from .99C to $4.99�($1.99 to $3.99 appear to have the greater concentration of prices).

        I look forward (I actually do) to getting better acquainted with you, Do good things always!� � G. William McDonald, CDS, CCCS American Coin Guild


      • J.D.Hughes says:

        Hello Garland! You certainly brought a smile to my face with your first paragraph – I could put up with ‘best seller’ written all over it… if it was. Thank you for your comments and glad that you are enjoying it 🙂

        If you have any questions, ask away. In my life many people have helped me without recompense and whatever knowledge I have is yours for the same price. Although I should warn you that my knowledge of marketing is pathetic and my brain has shrunk to the size of a walnut over the last few weeks.

        It’s too early to quantify sales of NORTHMAN. In a few weeks I’ll have a better view and I’ll let you know. Costing was simply the result of looking at what price other eBooks in the same category were selling for and averaging it out. When the paperback comes out I’ll do the same exercise. Many writers seem to alter book prices on a weekly basis, but I don’t think this is fair to the reader, so I won’t be doing it.

        As for free books, well, Amazon has KDP Select in which an author keeps a book exclusively with Amazon for 90 days and in return Amazon allows the author to give a book away free for 5 days of that 90. There are pros and cons to this idea. The greatest pro is that many people will download a free eBook and this pushes a book up the rankings. The theory is that when the promotion ends and the book is in the top 100 it has increased visibility, so readers will then pay for it. I’ve talked to many authors and it has worked for some and not for others, so I’m not entirely convinced. One friend had 10,000 downloads over a two day period and when the free promo was finished went down to 5 paid a week. Another had 7,000 and is getting downloads of 200 a week paid, which is very respectable.

        Ultimately, I think the books that sell are the books people want to read. If my book is not interesting then no amount of promotion will make it more palatable. Sadly, many books that are pretty good fail to get a readership when marketing is not attended to. So, we have to market, no matter that selling is unnatural for most authors, who simply want to write (me included!).

        I hope that has helped 🙂



  8. Lene says:

    I could sear I left a blithering email with congratulations? OK, here we go again: CONGRATULATIONS!! SO excited! Got my copy already and looking forward to diving into it. After which I suspect I won’t be heard from again for a while, so I’m saving it until no longer quite so slammed.

    How does it feel to have your baby out there?


    • J.D.Hughes says:

      Cheers, Lene – thanks for getting a copy and for your congrats! It’s a bit scary now the little devil has escaped, but people are being very kind and I’m hoping that everyone will enjoy it – or at least a majority.

      How come you’re slammed? It’s not even Thanksgiving yet 😀


      • Lene says:

        Getting The Book ready for my copy editor in the past few weeks was rather intense and my other stuff was neglected. And being Canadian means we did Thanksgiving a month ago, so no long weekend (might take Friday off, though). So… catch-up, then finishing book and there’s Christmas and… I need sleep. 😉


      • J.D.Hughes says:

        Should have done the hard miles now, Lene. Oh no wait.. there’s the second edit… then the third… then… and you always notice a misplaced comma or a left in ‘the’ when there should be no ‘the’. Let me know when you publish and also if you managed to get any sleep:)


  9. Congratulations!! It must be so exciting! I’m having a kindle issue at the moment but will definitely be downloading it as soon as I get my kindle downloading again 😀 x


    • J.D.Hughes says:

      Thank you, Sorcha (see, I remembered!). It’s exciting all right, maybe a bit too exciting for an old bloke 🙂 But I see you have just done 50k words in three weeks so you should find that pretty exciting, too!


  10. Emma Calin says:

    Hi JD – just checking in to your blog after we met on Goodreads. Congratulations on your book launch. Good luck with the marketing, it is as you say in your previous post, a major drain on time and mental resources… but totally necessary. Let me know if you need any RT’s etc on Twitter or shares on FB – glad to help. Emma x


    • J.D.Hughes says:

      Good to see you here, Emma. Thank you for your offer of RTs – I need all the help I can get! The marketing is a chore, though, but, as you say necessary, when faced with the big publishers and their big budgets. I’ve downloaded ‘Sub Prime’ so it’s now on my TBR list, but it’s a long list. Like the vid, too!


  11. Athina says:

    I know someone said it before but I like the cover. It triggers my imagination. Especially since it is supernatural thriller.
    I wish you the best.


  12. Hooray! Checked it out, and discovered it was free today! So I grabbed a copy, and I’ll put out a tweet about it. Well done! Climbing the free charts, to… :0)


    • J.D.Hughes says:

      Cheers, Tony and thanks for downloading the book! I’d love to hear your opinion. The book’s currently drifting down through the free charts – best was 13th in Horror (UK) and 20th in the US. But, all in all the KDP Select promo was worthwhile. Finishes today at 12. How’s your writing coming on?


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