Another Round At The Crow Bar #32 August 2019

Hello friends and fans!

Welcome to my 32nd newsletter!

In Brief:

What an interesting month has been July! Wow! I’ve been very busy with work and also with the dreaded marketing. What’s new? Well, I’ve submitted titles to two ‘traditional’ publishing houses here in South Africa (which I might hear back from in anything between another 5 weeks to 4 months – or never). My ad on Facebook for “Malice!” (a collection of horror short fiction) attracted another bit of hate mail in the meantime, and on the bright side, I’ve also had a wonderful review for “The Time Saving Agency” from Lee Hall, who gave it 4 stars – and a special mention in his follow-up article “9 Reasons why you should read Indie Books!

I have to say, July was a hectic, busy month on the tail-end of a three months long rather disheartening lack-luster performance in terms of sales – but then, we writers don’t write for sales, do we? No – we write for the love of it, we write because we must!  We publish and market to get sales 😉

Fortunately, since I’ve made a host of new free promotional items available on Lulu and Smashwords, interest towards the end of July  – as I type this – has definitely and suddenly started to look up, and I feel encouraged!

Thank you to all my readers, both existing and new, for your interest, your friendliness, and your support!

New Releases

July was a busy month for me! During the last month, I’ve released 12 items.  I know, I know, it sounds like a lot – only, it isn’t all new titles, it’s largely pre-existing titles that I had taken down and revamped before putting them back up again! In the case of Pearls Before Swine, that’s the book of quotes I’d released last year under a different title (“Christina Engela’s Book of Candid Quotes”), which I thought was too clunky!

The Pitfalls Of South African Self-publishing” is a new title however, a non-fiction one that I finally managed to finish recently. “Keep The Lights On” was previously available as “Don’t Get Left In The Dark”, and it’s a guide to building your own home UPS. I think the new title and cover work better, and I’ve also updated the content.

Ramalama-Side Up” is a free, downloadable, printable book of coloring images and puzzles that previously used to number around 50 images. The new improved version now contains a whole 70+ black and white illustrations for coloring-in, based on Galaxii, Quantum and Panic! series stories and characters.

Three of my short stories that were previously available as free downloads on my website (“Death By Vampire“, “The Thirteenth Ship” and “Wiggle Room“) are now back, having been given the same make-over treatment as the rest of my books!

Under completely new promotional items, you will now find the following:

There are two new free promotional items that inform readers of the Galaxii and Quantum Series about various aspects of those particular series – “The Galaxii Guide To The Terran Space Fleet“, and “The Quantum Guide To Deanna“.

Mercury Rising” is also a free promotional item, giving readers a preview of the Panic! series, and includes the first part of “Static“. Other new free promotional items include: “Broken Promises” (which is set just two decades after the Big Nuke and on the eve of the Gimp War, when Earth faced the horde of invading Ruminarii – and about a century before “Blachart“, book 1 in the Galaxii Series) and “Going Quantum“, which is a preview and introduction to the Quantum Series, featuring one of the main characters, former CIA agent Cindy-Mei Winter. The last night of Mei’s journey to Deanna aboard the S.S. Duval, contains over 3000 words of completely new, original material! Even if you’ve read “Black Sunrise” before, this is a not-to-be-missed glimpse into the character of Cindy-Mei!

You’ll see them all below – just click on the covers to find out more about the individual titles, or to purchase or download any you fancy!

Currently Available Titles:

I currently have 21 unique titles available in 4 series (not including the 9 free promotional items).

Alternately, you can view Christina’s books at Smashwords, Lulu or Payhip.

The Galaxii Series

(Click on the cover images to view product pages for each title.)

The Quantum Series

(Click on the cover images to view product pages for each title.)

Panic! Horror In Space

Space Sucks!

(Click on the cover images to view product pages for each title.)


(Click on the cover images to view product pages for each title.)


Edited by Christina Engela



(Click on the cover images to view product pages for each title.)

FREE Promotional Items:


(Click on the cover images to open free samples.)

On A Personal Note

If you may recall, last year I told you I was leaving Amazon on account of their heavy-handedness in dealing with authors – specifically wrt to costs and royalty percentages. Well, nearly a year later, I’m sad to announce that I’m being essentially forced to return to Amazon – and the reason is no mystery at all: it’s for sales. What it all comes down to is, the sad and undeniable fact that Amazon has monopolized the self-publishing market to the point where, if you don’t sell via Amazon, you just don’t sell.

It’s no picnic being an indie author, having to do all your own marketing, and having to rely on your self-publishing service provider alone to provide a market is simply untenable. From what I can tell, these service providers get far more business through their distribution channels anyway, than they do from selling solely from their own websites… In fact, my sales everywhere took a sharp dive after I stopped distributing to Amazon… and stayed there… so here’s hoping for some improvement in the near future!

  • Fan Mail, Reviews & Honorable Mentions

I found the following items to display here in this months issue:

  1. Review of “The Time Saving Agency” by Lee Hall (July 05, 2019)
  2. 9 Reasons why you should read Indie Books! (July 23, 2019)

I display my Fan Mail, Reviews & Compliments with pride, gratitude and humility. You are always welcome to have a look.

  • Hate Mail & Horrible Mentions
  1. July 03, 2019 This one came from another illiterate local holy roller, posted in reply to my Facebook advert for “Malice!” LMAO!

I’m rather proud of my hate mail, and you can review it here – but be forewarned, don’t do it while eating or drinking or you might choke while laughing!

  • Interviews
  1. Interview with Christina Engela (Smashwords, my latest interview, July 2019)

All my interviews are linked to from this page. If you would like to do an interview with me about my work, please do get in touch!

CHRISTINA WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! A few nice words go a long way! Please leave your REVIEWS wherever you see Christina’s books – or just send her an email via the Contact form!

In Closing

Well, that’s all for this time, folks! 🙂

I’ve got more marketing to do! Perhaps, if I’m lucky, I’ll still get around to some writing as well!

Thanks again for all your support, friendship and interaction! Until next time, keep reading!

Cheers! 🙂

If you would like to know more about Christina Engela and her writing, please feel free to browse her website.

If you’d like to send Christina Engela a question about her life as a writer or transactivist, please send an email to or use the Contact form.

Show your appreciation for Christina’s work!

All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2019.


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