Tauranga Writers held an extra event on Sunday 17 September 2017, 10am at The Raft Café boardroom for visiting American novelist Mark H Wandrey. 

Mark was accompanied by his wife, Joy, between them they formed a dynamic speaking pair. The two hours with them and a dozen of our members felt like two minutes – such was the rapidity of the information the visitors shared.

Not only did Mark tell us his journey toward success in being a best-seller on Amazon but also stressed the importance of knowing how Amazon operates in order to achieve this. For example, creating an author profile and linking it to Facebook are what readers want, and they like to follow themes and watch for consistency. 

In other words, know what attracts but also what keeps readers coming back for more. Keep your implied promises.

Fans don’t like being betrayed.”

Vital to success is planting the key words when uploading a book to Amazon (metadata tags) and including sub-categories. Being part of Kindle Unlimited means the writer is exclusive to Amazon but is paid per page and for a subscriber paying $9.99 a month (who has unlimited access) that contributes to a pie of $18m per month to be distributed to its authors.

In Mark’s case, he has found 100,000 word novels are his ‘sweet-spot.’ Going into partnership with Chris Kennedy, an experience and successful writer, has also worked well for him. Even though Mark has worked full-time in another job, he still maintains publishing a new book every three weeks is easily achievable. 

Sunday Focus held on 17 September, 2pm with Angie Belcher was fun, starting with practising Victorian parlour games to see if they would suit A Colonial at Home, the final jubilee event of the year, We played with ‘guess who I am’ with notes on our foreheads, charades, freeze forms of scenes, and read an act that portrayed life as it was in Victorian times. 

Value also came by sitting around cream buns and a hot drink to brainstorm what other options could easily be created. Angie went away to collate all ideas, including room set-up, ambience, etc. We will hear more from her as we near December.