Pomegranates And Olive

For those of you not in the know I have finally released my follow-up novel Pomegranates and Olive. Curious? I know you are, so here’s the paperback cover:

I’m not going to bang on about how wonderful Pomegranates and Olive is, even though it is, in fact here are a few of the early reviews:

Not too shabby, eh?

Anyway, like I said I’m not going to bang on about Pomegranates and Olive but instead I want to talk about purchasing your book from Amazon Turkey and why it’s goddamn bollocks!

I’ve actually sold a few books already on Amazon Turkey which is really exciting because it is Turkey after all, but after I had a very, VERY, disappointed reader write to me recently about a book that she had purchased from Amazon Turkey I decided to get in and have a look at what is really going on there.

I can purchase a copy of Pomegranates and Olive from Amazon Turkey. I will cost me 125.89TL plus 90TL in shipping fee. That equates to approximately AUD$35.00. For your average Turk (or yabanci living and working in Turkey) that’s a LOT of money. But here’s the real kicker, if you purchase Pomegranates and Olive from Amazon Turkey it comes unbound. Yes! No binding, random paper. I’m picturing that scene in Love Actually where gorgeous Colin Firth loses his unbound manuscript in the lake and his housekeeper / love of his life dives in (or more correctly falls in) to save what he can. Okay, I’ve gotten a little off track right here but the fact is that the slightest breeze will rip that sucker out of your hands and send it every which way (and probably when you’re getting to the juicy bits).

So what does the average yabanci living in Turkey desperately trying to get their hands on Pomegranates and Olive (the hilarious follow-up from Salep and Ginger which a bunch of 5-star reviews already, in case you didn’t know)? Well, if you don’t have a Kindle or an Amazon account in either AU, US, UK or CA I have ordered a bunch of paperbacks be sent to me here in Turkey. I will only charge what they cost me (plus postage) so that may make this a little more attractive. When they arrive I will calculate the total and let you guys know.

If you do have an Amazon account you can order directly and they will post it here. And remember there is no tax payable on books so why not go a little wild and buy Pomegranates and Olive AND Salep and Ginger.

For those of you interested, the link for Pomegranates are below:

Go on, you know you want to.

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Cover Of The Month

I know I have been totally AWOL recently but there’s good reason. I have been hunkered down throughout this current world crisis completing book number 2 “Pomegranates And Olive”.

I’ve now started the editing process and hope to have the first edit done in the next few weeks.

But I’m now asking if you could send a little love my way.

They say not to judge a book by its cover but I need you to do just that. If you liked the cover of my book, Salep and Ginger, please vote for it for the Cover of the Month contest on AllAuthor.com – link right here:

https://allauthor.com/cover-of-the-month/8130/

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Janey! Vicious! Circle!

Disclaimer: Yes, I am a whinger. Yes, I tend to bitch first and apologise later. These statements are made by me and are, to the best of my knowledge, absolutely true!

If you had asked me two months ago just how hard it would be to get book sales, I would have said “Nah! It’ll be a piece of cake”.


Yeah. I’m clearly an idiot. I had no clue just how much work was involved. I whacked Salep And Ginger up on Amazon and sat back waiting on the money to roll in. It turns out I was wrong. Really, really wrong.

FYI getting sales is harder than being hit with a bucket of dried concrete.

Firstly, you need a great book. Now I think Salep And Ginger is freaking excellent, so that’s one tick in my favour.

Then you need customers to buy it. They’re a little harder to come by. It seems it all comes down to reviews… and lots of them… which is where I’ve come a little unstuck.

We all know that most people choose their books based on recommendations so leaving a review on Amazon is helping boost the book in Amazon’s magical algorithm. A book needs 25 reviews before it gets included in Amazon’s “Also Brought” and “You Might Like” lists and it takes approximately 70 reviews before the book really becomes visible to potential readers.

But leaving a review isn’t simple.

Amazon has this totally extreme requirement for adding a review. To do a review, you need to have spent a minimum of US$50 on the Amazon site.

Now I don’t want to sound like a Negative Nelly, but for those of us outside of the US, that’s kind of difficult to do. Yes, there is Amazon in the UK and Australia as well (where most of my sales originated); still, they too have the requirement of a minimum purchase (and Amazon really isn’t a thing, especially Down Under). Which sucks! So, despite the surprising number of sales over the past two months, it hasn’t equated to many reviews.

So for those of you who have purchased the book can you please try to leave a review. If you can’t can you please head over to my brand new Facebook page Jane Gundogan Author and leave a review there. Maybe pop by GoodReads as well. Loved it or hated it, every review helps.

And for those of you who have yet to purchase Salep And Ginger? Get cracking! Christmas is coming, and this book will make a great little stocking stuffer for those of you who love Istanbul and Turkey.

Oh, and to my Amazonian master. I serve no other God and am forever your humble servant. I swear!

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What Happens Next?

It’s been a little over a week since I released my debut novel, Salep and Ginger. HAVE YOU READ IT YET? If so, I’d love to hear from you! If not, get at it!

Once the nausea subsided I was able to take in everything that was happening – it was all terribly exciting! Again I had to learn that it is a process, sales can take time, but of course I was rather impatient with all the waiting. Between you and me, I’ll admit that I kept refreshing my “reports” until IT happened.  I had actually sold a book. Someone had paid real money to purchase it. I was now officially a published author!

Now for the self-flagellation. Salep and Ginger is not as polished as it should’ve been. It needed to go back to my editor one final time but I had delayed and amended so many times that it kind of became “now or never”. If I didn’t hit that publish button, I probably never would. So I know there were a few indentation issues and strange blocks of bold font throughout (and I still can’t work out how to correct it). I also found a few typo’s post-publishing. I nearly cried (and threw up again) because that meant I had to go back into the editing program and let me tell you I did NOT want to do that. The process of “creating” the book made me more than a little certifiable. I’m certain that the good people at Kindle thought I had lost the plot a few times over those last few days before publication.

But then I woke up on Monday to find that Salep and Ginger was ranked #2 in “Hot New Releases” in Erotic Romance and it got to #14 in that same category on Amazon UK’s site. Now that is exciting (and all without any reviews!).

And then I got my first actual review from a paying customer – and they left 5 stars! Woo hoo! Leaving a review is so important to boost the book (and my self-confidence) so if you are one of those who have read Salep and Ginger please take a moment to leave an honest review (if you can).

So what does happen next? Right now I’m going to go back to my regular (or somewhat irregular) programmed viewing aka an occasional blog post and get cracking on my next novel, tentatively named “Kiz Kalesi”.

Again I want to give each and every one of you a big shout out, I couldn’t have done any of this without you guys believing in me.

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So This Just Happened

Janey In Mersin was created by me when I first moved to Turkey. It became my only friend in a sometimes dark, desolate world, my safe place to go where I could hide from all the bok and my private diary left carelessly open for the world to see.

It also helped me make friends, journal my experiences, and gave you guys a glimpse of just how ridiculous life could be here with The Turk and his crazy family. But more importantly, blogging allowed me to take that first step to fulfil my childhood ambition of becoming a published author. 

As a child, I had lofty ambitions indeed. I had just finished reading “Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret” and I decided that I would surely become the next Judy Blume. I mean when it all comes down to brass tacks has there ever been a better piece of prose than, “We must, we must, we must increase our bust”?

By the time I finished school I had quickly realised I didn’t need to repeat that particular mantra over and over as my boobs were already a double D, so I discarded my dream of becoming an author and got on with my real life.

And then one morning as I sat on my terrace overlooking the Village, I wrote a couple of paragraphs about a girl who had fallen in love. I knew something about that at least, well, I did at the time anyway. That girl became Ginger Knox. She and I became firm friends (and occasionally mortal enemies) over the next year or so while I drafted and revised, discarded and re-visited Ginger’s story, time and time again.

Finally! I had written something that wasn’t completely heinous, but where do I go from here?

Full of moxie I emailed off my synopsis and first draft to publishers and waited to be inundated with offers. Now I’d like to think that I was mature enough to handle rejection but, as it turned out, I’m not. Instead, I morphed into a whiny-assed child when Harlequin rejected my manuscript, and I threatened to burn the world down when Mills and Boon passed on my literary masterpiece. “To hell with them all!” It was a battle cry shrieked from my rooftop in the Village all the while smearing blue paint down my face and brandishing my bottle of wine like a sword! They were trying to destroy my dream!

I decided it must be rubbish so I shelved it for a while.

After a little soul-searching I asked for beta-readers to give me some honest feedback. And I got it in spades! From the positive: “I needed a ciggie after that” and “When I wasn’t laughing at Ginger’s inner monologue and snappy comebacks, I was in desperate need of a lie down after all the naughty bits”, to the negative: “I feel there is an overuse of profanity that could cast a negative light on the story”, and even the down-right strange: “I will pray for you.”

All that feedback helped me shape Ginger’s story (and between you and me that last comment made me realise that I might be on the right track!).

I began to look at other publishing options. Self-publishing seemed the most realistic way for me to move forward. I had seen other well-known authors who utilised self-publishing and went on to see their novel become a huge success.

And so let’s fast forward to today. I’m excited and terrified and more than a little bit nauseous, but I’ve finally done it. I’ve published my slightly funny, definitely not autobiographical (this question gets asked a lot!), sexy, swoony, heartfelt romance. Rated R for raunchy, Salep and Ginger is probably not suited to those who don’t like being spanked or for those under the age of 18 years (full disclosure: there is no spanking in this book). It’s mostly the story of a girl standing in front of a boy… wait, no, that’s not right… maybe you guys should just read it for yourselves. 

Anyway, tell your friends, tell your neighbours, tell everyone you know (within reason, of course) to grab a copy of Salep and Ginger, available now from Amazon, either on Kindle or paperback from your usual Amazon e-store. Every sale will help support my wine habit and enable me to continue to live in the luxury (cough, cough) of which I have become accustomed. 

To those who do take the plunge teşekkür ederim (thank you)! If you loved it, please leave a review and hit up those stars on Amazon. I would appreciate it… and there’s a bottle of rakı on its way to you (there’s not really a bottle of rakı on its way to you. Sorry.).

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Loving this blog? Please help me build my audience and share with like-minded people who, like me, know that confidence is half the battle won and also love Turkey. You can also subscribe or like me on Facebook for all updates.