Five books ordered for Goodreads Giveaway!

The books are ordered, all five of them, ready for the giveaway and ready for me to sign. I’m still coming to terms with scribbling in books (I was always taught that defacing a book was hugely immoral), but I suppose that scrawling one’s John Hancock doesn’t really count. Then again, my ‘actual’ signature really can’t be counted as anything other than an irregular, scribbled mess.

Not so for my ‘author’ signature though – you know, the one you put in books – because I have been practicing on several scraps of paper to get something different than what I might scribble in a chequebook. Not that I expect anyone to forge said signature if I do include it in the leaves of my own book, but I’m sure that I once read somewhere that having an ‘artist’s’ signature is the thing to do.

What with my free trial of Amazon Prime, the books should all arrive via courier tomorrow; though I have experienced a certain amount of guilt as a result. It seems a tall task to print five copies of my novel, pack them up and then drive them over to their delivery destination in what is effectively 24 hours. I’m fairly certain that I’m not yet making enough sales for The Future King: Logres to be on the ‘print-and-stock-it-just-in-case’ list, so they’re probably being run off the printing press as we speak. With the novelty of being a published author still relatively new, I must admit that I am looking forward to handling so many copies of my ‘brain-baby’ at once.

In other news, I’m awaiting the moment when it’s appropriate to start spreading the word about my signed copy Giveaway on Goodreads (this will be a fairly labour-intensive task, I assure you), and have been struggling through writing the opening of book two (well, technically Volume One: Book Two, as Logres will be published as two instalments). It’s proving a challenge to get right. I think I’m going to have to accept that after all the polishing I did in the editing process of Book One, I can’t expect the prose for Book Two to be immediately as ‘perfect’. It seems I’m going to have to force myself to take my own advice, which is along the lines of, write and don’t stop. No looking back, no thinking it could be better, you can do all that later in your months of editing (which will inevitably take months) – just go for it, ignore that niggling in your head that it’s not quite there yet – ignore, ignore, ignore – until you get your groove back, get back into the flow of things, finish the story – only then can you go back and rewrite the whole not-quite-good-enough book (thrice, probably).

That said, it is natural to want to get the first few scenes absolutely right from the beginning so that you’re setting off at the right tone and pace. It’s exciting to be starting from scratch (despite the blank-page syndrome!), but writer’s block is still trying to unsettle me, and to top it all off a recent move means that I no longer have my old writing desk (everything is now done on the edge of a very cluttered dining room table).

But don’t despair, if you have read Logres: Book One and are looking for an indication of when Book Two will be on the proverbial shelves: the answer is soon, hopefully either the end of 2016 or near the start of 2017. To avoid the risk of getting myself into a George R. R. Martin-book 6-type scenario, I’m not going to promise too much too soon; but do keep checking back for progress, which I assure you I will undoubtedly post (probably in the form of word-count updates) as regularly as it’s worth.

In the meantime keep sharing The Future King: Logres, Volume One: Book One with anyone you feel might enjoy it, rate and review it on Amazon and Goodreads, enter my free signed copy giveaway on the 1st of Feb, and have a good, creatively embellished week. I will probably be sat at this dining table writing, then rewriting, and tapping out notes for The Future King: Logres, Volume One: Book Two.

Free Giveaway! 5 signed copies!

The first snow of the year has fallen, my 27th birthday has passed, and the weekend is nearly over. Oh, how Mondays seem 5 to 7 of the normal week! The reviews are starting to arrive for The Future King: Logres on the various hosting websites (mostly positive), and they’re highlighting (quite naturally) just how subjective this whole reading business really is. With various other commitments dominating my schedule, I feel I’ve failed to really get a good chunk taken out of the task of writing book two, but am comforting myself with the knowledge that much of my creative process involves a short waiting period, one in which I wait for a particular scene or chapter to bubble away in my head until it feels ‘done’.

With the excitement of my ebook giveaway over, now comes the lull in which sales and shares drop slightly. Both will pick up again, I’m sure, but I’m not one for sitting and waiting if I feel I can be doing something constructive (mind-scene-bubbling counts as constructive too, by the way, just not immediately productive). Presently I’ve been wasting my time running about Middle Earth as a Warg warg11 warg11 (I know, I know), but today I’ve also prepared my next trick: a free hard-copy giveaway (signed, five to be exact) of The Future King: Logres, on Goodreads.

This won’t be open for entry until the 1st of February (I had to list it at least seven days in advance for some reason), but once the giveaway is available all you have to do is click ‘enter giveaway‘. I’ve even put a handy Widget in the sidebar for your convenience, so there’s no excuse for you not to enter. All you need to do is supply your address to Goodreads if you win, and then I’ll post you a nice crisp copy of The Future King: Logres, personally signed by me, the author.

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Meanwhile I’m trying to get the start of the second instalment right. It picks off right where it left off, in the middle of the action, and I’m aiming to ensure that Volume II is much faster-paced than Volume I with much higher stakes. I’m excited about continuing to develop my characters, who are essentially still growing into their ultimate roles, and am particularly excited about unravelling some of the key twists (some my entirely own, and some slightly more inspired by the Arthurian legends).

Mostly as I await more feedback about how people are finding The Future King: Logres (trying not to page-stalk my own stats too much), I’m just hoping that people are actually enjoying reading it more than anything else. Naturally, I’ve been taking note of any feedback and have been creating a bulleted list. Do I agree with what the reviewer has said? Are other readers saying the same thing? Yes? No? Partly? I’m sure a seasoned author will tell me to avoid reading your own reviews, or to perhaps avoid worrying too much about them, and though the book you write should firstly be written for yourself – if you enjoy it, that’s the main thing – it’s also meant to be enjoyed by others and interpreted, and perhaps someone might give you a point for improvement that (when you think about it), might make a little bit of sense.

Or not. You may disagree entirely. Such is the nature of taste. It is, quite naturally, entirely subjective.

 

Got to No.5 in Arthurian – and a tip or two!

So it’s over! My five day giveaway has come to an end, and downloading has gone quite well. Well enough for The Future King: Logres to shift up a spot and make it to number five in the free Arthurian charts on Amazon (see below)! Now that it’s no longer available for free, it’s been removed from the charts temporarily, and will probably be slotted back in much lower down until the paid sales start to trickle in.

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Giving away your work for free isn’t something that is instinctive, and given the amount of work and time that goes into producing a self-published book it is compelling to have readers actually buy your book, especially after launch. You’ve got to earn back all those hours spent working for nothing but the love of your craft somehow. However, the reality is that a reader is more likely to give less for the work of a complete unknown than someone with an established track record, so despite any reservations I had it suddenly seemed instinctive to take the plunge and give my ebook away for free.

The whole five day thing worked out well (Amazon allows you to supply your ebook for free for a maximum of 5 days out of every 90 days), as it gave me time to build up momentum and get word around. Despite my modest social media following I managed to top 260 downloads, which quite honestly is many more than I was expecting.

If you’re in the same boat as me and you’re considering promoting your book (particularly if you’re about to or have just released it), then I would definitely recommend offering it for free for a short period. Obviously I’ve yet to see what number of reviews my giveaway will ultimately produce, but the more people who read an unknown book (and hopefully like it) the better – it should result in increased circulation and future sales.

If you are considering a free giveaway with zero budget I suggest the following:

  • Prepare some eye-catching graphics that you can present across all your social media channels, a new one each day with a similar look and feel – sort of an e-flyer.
  • If you have WordPress or a Facebook page, spend an afternoon preparing all your promo material and schedule your posts in advance – they’ll appear when you want them to and will give you more time on the day itself for actual book promotion.
  • Ask your friends and family to reblog/share your posts to their friend networks – the more eyes that see your free ebook giveaway the better.
  • Make use of the Goodreads website (or equivalent). I’ve only recently joined Goodreads myself, but there are thousands of members on there who are all looking for their next read – and they all appreciate a free book! Spend time posting in forums to build up your contacts, but more specifically look for groups that have specific threads where you’re encouraged to post news of your new book or free giveaway – I did this and it really helped circulate my ebook and gave me a boost on downloads.
  • If you are on Goodreads you can create an event on your author page (good idea to set one up – just add your self-published book to the site, then declare that you are the author through your regular account – Goodreads will merge your account with your author account for you) and invite your friends. Send out as many invitations as you can, because the people you invite can also invite others to attend the event, maximising exposure.
  • Don’t let things rest for too long. If you’re running your promo for multiple days, advertise, share and keep posting on every single one of those days. Don’t have a day off. Eventually your deal will get noticed by people outside of your regular friend sphere, and someone might be kind enough to share it.
  • Make your offer very clear with exact start and end times, along with instructions on how use the offer. I found that a lot of people were having problems with the Amazon extensions. I was supplying a UK link, which meant that US or French customers couldn’t get the book for free because they were trying to make a purchase through the UK link. In the end I linked to those regions as well and detailed how to find the book when using a different Amazon site (you just change the site extension to your relevant region – e.g. .fr or .com).

Now that the free ebook promotion is over, I’m going to take a short break to a) apply to jobs, and b) continue with my other projects. Book promotion will have to be ongoing, but part of it is now a waiting game to see how those 260+ readers will take to TFK Logres and what sort of reviews they will leave (assuming everyone reads it!). I am hoping of course that they will love it enough to share it, but time will tell, so in the meantime I shall keep my head down and perhaps get back into writing book 2 instead.

Now to end with some more promotion as per my own advice. Though the 5 day deal has ended subscribers of Kindle Unlimited can still pick up TFK Logres for free, whilst it is now also listed at its regular price of £3.99. Still a steal for a 517 page book, no?

LAST CHANCE – FREE EBOOK!

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DAY FIVE, the final day of the free ebook deal is here! Today is your last chance to get The Future King: Logres on ebook for completely free. Take advantage of this offer before it ends by sharing it with anyone who might be interested in reading Logres, the first instalment in The Future King series. To claim your free ebook just click here. This deal is only available until Midnight Pacific Time tonight, so this is your last chance to spread the word about this giveaway! You can read this ebook without a Kindle, just download the Kindle reader from Amazon. Reviews and ratings through Amazon or Goodreads are still welcomed and definitely encouraged. Thank you to everyone who has already taken part in this deal for your interest and support. Have a great 2016, happy reading and enjoy your new ebook!

Britain, 2052. In a world of war, disease and hunger the UK stands alone as a beacon of prosperity under an all-powerful ruling party. Life at new school Logres seems promising for fifteen-year-old Gwenhwyfar, and quickly she falls for the school’s handsome catch, Arthur. When Arthur’s rival, Lancelot, returns after a suspension, her heart is soon divided. Realising that behind the UK’s prosperity lies unspeakable cruelty, Gwenhwyfar sets off on a path to dismantle everything the government stands for. Suspenseful, raw and awash in a dystopian setting, The Future King: Logres is a story of identity and discovery against this backdrop, the second coming of the Arthurian legends.

Day four – TFK FREE ebook!

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The deal is nearly over! Day four of five where The Future King: Logres is available for free on ebook. Yep! A whole book for free! So if you’re hankering for a new read, feel like embarking upon a whole new series to be, then click here and enjoy. This deal is available through Amazon until tomorrow, so last chance to tell your friends and relations and share the goodness of this giveaway! You can even read this ebook without a Kindle, just download the Kindle reader from Amazon. Reviews and ratings through Amazon or Goodreads are of course welcome and encouraged. Happy reading and enjoy your week!

Britain, 2052. In a world of war, disease and hunger the UK stands alone as a beacon of prosperity under an all-powerful ruling party. Life at new school Logres seems promising for fifteen-year-old Gwenhwyfar, and quickly she falls for the school’s handsome catch, Arthur. When Arthur’s rival, Lancelot, returns after a suspension, her heart is soon divided. Realising that behind the UK’s prosperity lies unspeakable cruelty, Gwenhwyfar sets off on a path to dismantle everything the government stands for. Suspenseful, raw and awash in a dystopian setting, The Future King: Logres is a story of identity and discovery against this backdrop, the second coming of the Arthurian legends.

Day three – TFK FREE ebook!

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Day three of my five-day book giveaway is here! Once again The Future King: Logres is available free on ebook. Free! So if you’re searching for a new read for 2016, are a YA fantasy and dystopian fan or are keen on the Arthurian legends, then click here. This deal is available through Amazon until the 6th of January, so tell everyone and share the goodness of this giveaway! Reviews and ratings through Amazon or Goodreads are welcomed, so click on the link, find somewhere to relax, have a read of The Future King: Logres and share your thoughts!

Britain, 2052. In a world of war, disease and hunger the UK stands alone as a beacon of prosperity under an all-powerful ruling party. Life at new school Logres seems promising for fifteen-year-old Gwenhwyfar, and quickly she falls for the school’s handsome catch, Arthur. When Arthur’s rival, Lancelot, returns after a suspension, her heart is soon divided. Realising that behind the UK’s prosperity lies unspeakable cruelty, Gwenhwyfar sets off on a path to dismantle everything the government stands for. Suspenseful, raw and awash in a dystopian setting, The Future King: Logres is a story of identity and discovery against this backdrop, the second coming of the Arthurian legends.

Day two – TFK FREE ebook!

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Good morning! Today is day two of my five day deal, where you can get The Future King: Logres for free on ebook! That’s right, free. Just click here. This deal is available through Amazon until the 6th of January, so keep sharing and get everyone you know to take advantage of this giveaway. Reviews and ratings through Amazon or Goodreads would of course be most welcome, but most of all just enjoy the book, happy holidays, and have a very happy new year!

Britain, 2052. In a world of war, disease and hunger the UK stands alone as a beacon of prosperity under an all-powerful ruling party. Life at new school Logres seems promising for fifteen-year-old Gwenhwyfar, and quickly she falls for the school’s handsome catch, Arthur. When Arthur’s rival, Lancelot, returns after a suspension, her heart is soon divided. Realising that behind the UK’s prosperity lies unspeakable cruelty, Gwenhwyfar sets off on a path to dismantle everything the government stands for. Suspenseful, raw and awash in a dystopian setting, The Future King: Logres is a story of identity and discovery against this backdrop, the second coming of the Arthurian legends.

Day one – TFK FREE ebook!

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Hello and good morning! Today is a very special day, because today is the first day that The Future King: Logres is available free, to everyone. That’s right! Are you looking for a new read to start the new year? Then look no further! Just click here to get your free ebook. This deal is available through Amazon until the 6th of January, so share share share and get everyone you know to take advantage of this giveaway. Reviews and ratings through Amazon or Goodreads would of course be most welcome, but most of all just enjoy the book, happy holidays, and have a very happy new year!

Britain, 2052. In a world of war, disease and hunger the UK stands alone as a beacon of prosperity under an all-powerful ruling party. Life at new school Logres seems promising for fifteen-year-old Gwenhwyfar, and quickly she falls for the school’s handsome catch, Arthur. When Arthur’s rival, Lancelot, returns after a suspension, her heart is soon divided. Realising that behind the UK’s prosperity lies unspeakable cruelty, Gwenhwyfar sets off on a path to dismantle everything the government stands for. Suspenseful, raw and awash in a dystopian setting, The Future King: Logres is a story of identity and discovery against this backdrop, the second coming of the Arthurian legends.

FREE ebook giveaway!

To mark the release of The Future King: Logres on Kindle, I am running a promotion for a FREE ebook giveaway.

This promotion is available to everyone and is live for 5 days, running from Saturday the 2nd of January 2016 (Midnight Pacific Time) to Wednesday the 6th of January 2016 (Midnight Pacific Time).

To find the promotion click here during the times and dates specified. If you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber then you can pick up your copy already!

Do share this giveaway with everyone and anyone you think might be interested, and please leave a review for The Future King: Logres on Amazon or Goodreads once you’ve read your free copy!

I hope you enjoy The Future King: Logres, the first book in the Future King series. The page for the promotion can be found on Goodreads, so RSPV if you’re a Goodreads member!

Thank you for your support and have a Happy New Year!

10 things I have learned whilst exporting to Kindle

  1. There are many more file types than I thought. .rtf, .htm, .epub… but it’s .mobi that you want. According to Amazon, .mobi is the one.
  2. Making your book available on Kindle isn’t as straightforward as it seems. A quick conversion of your .pdf, and then you’re done? So. I. thought.
  3. Actually, the above requires a) removing all formatting from your original Word document that you exported for print, b) keeping any formatting as simple as possible, c) exporting your Word document as a .htm/.html file, d) running said .htm file through a converter, e) downloading Amazon’s Kindle previewer, f) downloading Amazon’s Kindle reader because the previwer doesn’t preview well, g) realising that your document hasn’t exported quite as you would like and, h) running through all the former to try and suss out where you went wrong.
  4. Oh, and on top of that you’ll read all sorts of blogs and tips about what you shouldn’t do (i.e., forcing a certain font type on your text), but do them anyway, because firstly you don’t know how not to do it, and secondly ‘Normal style’ completely undermines any alternative fonts you have made use of in your book (who doesn’t like Garamond, anyway?).
  5. At several moments, in desperation, you will break from your formatting to look into companies and services which promise to do all the hard work for you.
  6. You will bemoan, ‘but I just want it to look like a book!’. Specifically your book, which you just spent months perfecting in print.
  7. It comes to your attention at some point that perhaps you should have sorted out your Kindle file first, before your book launch, but then you remember that Createspace and Amazon told you that it would be easy.
  8. Perhaps this is easy, you then think, as you export your book for the third time wondering why your TOC (that you made in Word, as you were told), still isn’t working. Why? Why?
  9. After downloading independent software to export your book to .mobi for you, you realise that it is the conversion itself that has broken your TOC, and that you could have just edited your .htm document in Dreamweaver in the first place to fix all the links and the formatting issues instead.
  10. You find random things in the block of your book text (like a hyphen between two paragraphs) and then think, God, has that always been there…? then don’t want to look to double check just in case it is (you’ll do it later, or forget, or a reader will find it for you).