Category Archives: Rabbit
On #InternationalCatDay, here are three of the feline heroes from Warren Peace.
There aren’t only dogs up at Bleakholt. It is home also to rabbits, pot-bellied pigs, goats, horses, donkeys and a large number of cats – we got our own Buffy and Midge there about a decade ago.It’s a fun place to wander around. Now that I know the staff, and am getting to know the different dogs, it feels a comfy place, too. “Hello Pudding!” I call merrily as I pass his pen. I’ve started to be trusted to put the dogs away safely, and fetch the ones that know me. Now all I need to do is persuade them – the staff, not the dogs – to call me ‘Wombie’ rather than ‘Mike’. Not sure I’ll manage that.
Anyway, here are the pooches that I walked today. Normally, I try to make their walks last about half an hour, the recommended time, but I’m afraid that if I really like a dog, I’ll often go beyond that. I went beyond that with TODD here, as I really enjoyed our walk. Gorgeous collie (much more handsome than my quick snap suggests), lovely movement, and really responsive. After about twenty minutes, when he’d relaxed with me, I tried doing some close control work with him. He was brilliant, walking to heel well. I might look more into TODD’s background – if he’s happy with cats I might just think about whether I want to take things further.
(Of course, we have a Scottish holiday coming up, and I was intending to wait until after that, rather than dragging a new dog on the long drive north). This Sharpei (is that right?) is SAFFRON. She shares a run with Todd, but is as nervy as he is outgoing. She was timid, nervous of even the wind in the trees. I was talking about her with one of the other walkers who said that she had slipped out of her grasp, and had run straight back to her run at Bleakholt, luckily. I did like her curly tail, though.
(I wonder whether Bleakholt would be able to put a dog up for a week for us if we were interested in Todd? Probably not, since they rarely have any space. Something else to think about, though). Anyway, here’s LITTLE KIA (cos there’s a BIG KIA at Bleakholt, too) – she hated the rain, and kept trying to out-stubborn me and return to a place with a roof. I wasn’t having that, though, and persuaded her that she had to do what I wanted. Adie, at Bleakholt, told me that she came back from a walk once covered in stinky stinky fox poo. He ran a hose at low pressure to wash her off, but as soon as the water touched her she went monkeybonkers and sprinted for cover. Wuss.
(Yeah, I’ll find out about Todd versus Cats first. If he won’t wear them, there’s no point in continuing). Right, here’s the last dog that I walked today. You met him yesterday, of course. It’s that cheekie chappie of a Staffie, PUDDING. We had a good long wander. He keeps checking that you’re still there, glancing back to make sure aliens haven’t taken over the lead or something. He had a good old bark at some grass that startled him cos he walked into it with his head down. Idiot. Trust him to lick his face just as I* took his photo.
I’ll be walking more dogs tomorrow morning, and I’ll carry on blogging about them, since these posts have been getting such a positive response. I really should post about my writing again soon, though.
In case you were away, let me just tell you that I made Warren Peace available on Kindle free of charge for three days around my birthday, the aim being to increase readership and get my name as an author more widely known. This is what happened. (Let me first say that I adore those of you who went and bought a copy of the book earlier. You are true fans and supporters and I want to have your babies).
OK, my overall impression of the free promotion? Vague disappointment mixed with delight at my Twitter family. Over the three days that the book was free I bombarded Twitter, Facebook, G+ and Goodreads with (as I thought) varied and amusing reminders. I was given sterling help in publicising the offer by many followers, which warmed my heart, and for which they have my undying thanks. Chief among these, and deserving of particular mention, is @MrsAshborosCat who never stopped working in Cuetip’s cause. I also received greatly appreciated assistance from more high profile followers, such as Nicky Campbell, Sharon Corr, Steve Baxter and Norman Lovett. These lovely people hare followed by tens of thousands – their pimping could only increase uptake significantly, surely.
Despite all of the above, however, downloads remained comparatively low. I can only conclude that the general public don’t like either rabbits or punning titles. Perhaps too everyone thought the book was a Watership Down rip-off – an easy mistake to make. I suppose I might also conclude that I design crap covers. On top of all that, I did make a few mistakes during the weekend, such as failing to ask some folk who I’m sure would have helped, and being in an unaccountably bad mood on Saturday night. Maybe my gin had gone off.
In the end I was disappointed that the take-up didn’t get close to a thousand, with roughly 900 free copies downloaded. Most of these were in the UK, with a fair wodge in the US. Four German and two Japanese stalwarts also added to the total, bless them. Don’t for a second think that I don’t love those 900 people of taste with all my heart, and clasp them metaphorically to my bosom.
A further wish of mine was that at least the book might briefly poke its nose into the Top 100 Free Downloads chart on Amazon, and it got mighty close to that, reaching a high of #104. Mind you, it did climb to Number Two in the “Action & Adventure” category, only kept off the top by a true classic – Treasure Island. There’s a joke there somewhere about the book being a number two.
So, was it worth giving away the Kindle version of Warren Peace? Hell yeah, for all these reasons:
- I did reach new readers and new followers, who are all lovely people.
- I was given immense help by my Twitter family, which warmed my heart.
- I learned a lot from my mistakes for any future event.
- Several more people reviewed the book, all of them very complimentary.
- We had a lot of fun over the three days talking about the book.
- New followers FINALLY took me over my old glass ceiling of 1900, off which number I’d been bouncing for nine months.
I have two more days of Free Promotion available before I drop the book out of KDP Select (and I will do that, so that I can make an ePub copy available) – maybe I’ll offer it as a Christmas present to those who were unconscious this time round. And the next book? I’m thinking of calling it “Sex”. That’ll sell, surely? (I’m not really going to call it that).
Thanks again to everyone who helped.
My new (but ten years in the writing) book should become available for download on Kindle sometime next week. I haven’t finally decided on a title yet either, but you can see a couple of contenders below. It’s got talking animals, but is decidedly not for little kids. Think Magnificent 7 with fur. Here’s your chance to decide what it looks like.
I’ve designed four possible covers, but can’t decide between them. Would you PLEASE help me out here by voting for your favourite or favourites in the Poll box on the right there? I’ll be eternally grateful. Do feel free to comment, too, in the box at the bottom. Here are the possibilities (click on them to see a larger version):
Based on a photograph by my good friend and estimable Twitter stalwart @scyrene, I love the rabbit’s keen eye on this one.
The background is one of my own photographs adapted rather, and the rabbit is a doodle drawn by me when I was bored of proofreading. I enjoy the rabbit gazing off into the unknown.
A bit experimental, this one, with something of a nightmarish quality. An old photo of our pet rabbit filtered to hell and back. Stark reality, scared rabbit, unnerving, oh my ears and whiskers.
Another stunning @scyrene photograph, focused on the eye with a zoomy blur elsewhere. Smaller font, smaller rabbit looking a little bit lost.