Kilarney, Ireland and the inspiration I found there…

Today, I am flying back home following a long weekend to Kilarney, Ireland for a friends wedding. It has been a fantastic weekend of merriment with friends, and the Irish have been nothing but welcoming and warm. They sure now how to party! I’m still recovering! 

Whilst I’ve been here my husband and I took the opportunity to take a look around Kilarney National park, home to Muckcross Abbey and surrounding lakes. 

I have to say, I was completely blown away by the beauty, grandeur and spriritual feel of the Abbey. I felt something as soon as I walked in there. I’m not religious, I don’t believe in God, but I do believe that a person’s soul can leave a mark on this world long after it’s physical body has departed. I really got a sense of lives long since passed the moment I walked into the building. It gives me chills now thinking about it. 

You know when you walk into a place and it just feels different, like your being watched. Well I got that feeling in spades. I suppose it could have been the other tourists (lol) but you get what I mean. The Abbey has history and some of it pretty gruesome. If walls could talk and all…But I didn’t feel scared at all, far from it in fact. I got that buzz other writers might recognise. The one where your fingers are itching to to jot down ideas… I stepped through the arched doorway and all of a sudden I had a million ideas buzzing around my head, and well, when I entered the central courtyard which held the beautiful, old, twisted Yew tree at its heart I almost jumped up and down in joy! This place had to appear in a future novel. It was perfect! 

Anyhow, I needed to tell you how blinking amazing it was. Below are some photos…. maybe they’ll spark an idea in you too? 

It’s competition time…

I’ve almost finished my Mellissa and Bertram novella, set forty years before The Soul Guide and in light of this (and because I need a bit of help) I have set up a competition to win a signed paperback copy of The Soul Guide on my Facebook author page here

To enter, head on over to my facebook page, like me (please) and follow the rules listed in the pinned post. To give you a bit of background I have been going around in circles trying to think up a suitable title for this novella. For some reason completely unknown to me, I suck at this. Words are supposed to be my thing right? Clearly thinking up a catchy title isn’t!

Anyway, to try and help me out, and to gain some interaction with readers (I hope) I have set up this competition. I posted this competition on the 21st April and so far no-one has entered (I’m not actually sure whether to laugh or cry) but of course it’s early days and perhaps there’s a ton of people thinking up stuff and just waiting to post. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway 😉

This could, of course, go horribly wrong and no-one will enter and I will look like a first class wally! If it fails then I haven’t really lost anything, except perhaps my pride. But, its worth a shot. I’m doing all I can to engage readers and I hope this will work towards that. So anyways, the rules of the competition are as follows:
1. Only ONE entry per person, so make sure it’s a good one!
2. If you haven’t already you must like this page to enter.
3. The title MUST have three words, this is to keep it in style with book one and the rest of the series.
4. You can’t copyright a title so once I’ve chosen there’s no coming back with any claim to rights etc. I will, however, mention your name in my acknowledgement page (and of course thank you profusely)
5. You must post your competition entry in the comment below this thread. No other comments in the thread please other than competition entry titles.
6. Feel free to share
7. The competition will close on the 14th May 2017
8. The winner will be notified by the 19th May 2017
9. If there are not enough entries or none of the entries are suitable I reserve right to close the competition without choosing any of the titles. I will however, randomly select one of the entries to receive a signed paperback anyway.
10. This is NOT open to family and friends of the author. Sorry peeps just to keep things fair and transparent
11. By entering this competition you are agreeing to all of the above

To help you out, below is a short synopsis of the prequel. This is set forty years before The Soul Guide and both Bertram and Mellissa are in their early twenties. You would be at a distinct advantage if you’ve already read The Soul Guide, but it is not a requirement to enter this competition.

Synopsis
After the reading of his grandfathers will, a grief stricken Bertram finds himself moving into the decrepit Clayhill Manor as per his grandfathers request.

Shortly after his arrival, red-headed beauty, Mellissa, whirls into his life and changes his world forever. After their first touch their connection is sealed and it is revealed that she is The Soul Guide, and Bertram the Caretaker.
A tentative friendship is formed as they both come to terms with their new roles. When a door suddenly appears in the grounds of Clayhill some weeks later, their peaceful life is upended once again. Mellissa, troubled by her past and Bertram’s growing feelings for her, leaves through the door seeking answers. Left alone, Bertram struggle’s with his unrequited love for Mellissa. Apart they are weak, together they are stronger and the Mephisto are always watching.

All postage will be paid by moi.

GOOD LUCK folks! I look forward to seeing what you come up with ☺️

 

Not quite a You Tuber, but…

The last couple days I’ve been pondering ways to get The Soul Guide out there in the consciousness of the general public. There are so many outlets both paid and unpaid, but I wanted to try something different. At least different to what I’ve done already. I am a big lover of Instagram (connect to my page here) though I always thought it was a better promotional tool for artists rather than writers. My husband, by the way, is an amazing artist and has his own Instagram page here. He paints portraits and is pretty blinking amazing at it, but I digress.

Anyhow, I suddenly had an epiphany. There really aren’t any independent books stores near me where I can do a book reading and so, I thought, why not use the one minute you get in Instagram to read an excerpt of The Soul Guide? Apart from getting trolled what did I have to lose? I’m old enough now to take any critism on the chin, and rather than just pictures I hope that this would connect me more to my readers.

So, I’ve just uploaded a little video of me reading an excerpt of The Soul Guide. Despite my weird sounding voice (why does it always sound so bizarre when you hear your own voice back?) and unprofessional video, I’m glad I did it.

My aim is to get my book out there… and I’m hoping that this will be a fun way of doing it.  Who knows maybe I can make it a regular occurance. Let’s see.

Until next time folks!

April Promotions #3

What have I learnt in March?

Well, in terms of sales, March was a pretty quiet month for The Soul Guide. I had some buys, about 40 and a couple thousand Kindle unlimited (KU) page reads but in comparison to February it was a bit of a disappointment considering the ‘paid for’ advertising I did. Don’t get me wrong, at this early stage it isn’t about making money, its about getting my book read. That is the most important thing to me right now.

Just to give you an idea of royalty payments, out of a 99p e-book sale I get about 35p! That’s it, so this really isn’t a money spinner (although I am forever hopeful that one day it might be). In addition, every page read in KU amounts to approx 0.05p so ALOT of pages need to be read via KU for it to be profitable. I’ve had approx 5,500 page reads since The Soul Guide was released on the 18th Feb, which equates to about £22.00! But it’s better than nothing, and if I didn’t put my book in Kindle Select then this would have been a big fat zero! So, I’m not complaining.

Given the nose dive that was March, I resolved to up my marketing and promotion without having to pay as much. I joined a fair few closed facebook groups for authors, one being 20Booksto50k (this is an AMAZING indie-author group full of fantastic advise – if you are an author I urge you to join) as well as some genre specific groups in SciFi and Fantasy. It is here that I found some super promotions to join. I’ve listed them all below and the links to the relevant pages for those of you who are readers and want to get some free / discounted reads:

APRIL PROMOTIONS

Just click on the highlighted link and it will take you to the relevant page:

The Prolific Reader – An Instafreebie repository

Prolific reader instagram 2

There are well over 400 free e-books / excerpts available to download via The Prolific Reader, which is an Instafreebie repository. So far this has been the most successful promotion for me to date. I have had approx 250 people sign up for my newsletter in March alone via The Prolific Reader. Really pleased with the results.

Kindle Unlimited promo via SFF Book Bonanza April.

ku-promo4.SFF

This Kindle Unlimited promo was organised by Dean Wilson, another successful SciFi/Fantasy author. I am told that there aren’t many KU promo’s around so I was pleased to get in on this one. This month I have seen a real spike in KU page reads. I have had more KU page reads from 1st April to date, than I did in the whole month of March so I am super chuffed with this!

Epic Worlds Instafreebie Giveaway.

This was set up by another author Brian Ference. This promo is another one that links with Instafreebie, so you click on a book hosted in Brian’s website and it connects you to that free book or excerpt on Instafreebie. This doesn’t officially start until April 19th and will last through to May 19th so I will feed back with the results of this in my next Promotions blog. There’s a great selection of SciFi/Fantasy novels / excerpts from 80+ authors to download FREE! Worth a look for sure.

SFF 99c Promotion 10-16 April

sff-apr-99c10-16April

Another fantastic promotion set up by Dean Wilson. There are 30 + books / box sets available to download for just 99c (mine being one of them) during this week only. Be sure to grab a bargain! In terms of generating e-book sales, this has gained me a few sales and there are still two days left, so hopefully some more will occur over the weekend!

Multi Indie Author Sale Event.

multi indie author promo 1

This fabulous event takes place on the 19th & 20th April, and has been set up by author Samantha A Cole. There are over 110 authors participating whose books are either on special offer for $0.99 or FREE to download on these two days only! If you click on the link during those days you will find a whole host of books from different genres.

In addition, there will be a

FACEBOOK EVENT  – https://www.facebook.com/events/1347821225278586 Join us for two days of author takeovers, contests, and all around fun!  

RAFFLECOPTER – Want to earn chances to win the grand prize of an Amazon Gift Card valued at $100, then check out our Rafflecopter link. There are hundreds of ways for you to earn a chance to win and find new authors at the same time! http://gvwy.io/q8lpu6l

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

In addition to the above promotions, I was also featured on Mercedes Fox website. Read my author interview here. I thoroughly enjoyed this interview. It’s a fantastic way to get to know other authors and for potential readers to get to know me!

All in all, I think I have done the best I can to get The Soul Guide out there in front of more readers I otherwise wouldn’t have if I hadn’t taken part in these promotions. There is still work involved, I have to make sure that I remember to post on my social media accounts as well as include in my newsletter and here on my blog. But, you get back what you put in and at spending no more than $5 this month on advertising and already seeing results I cannot complain!

This is clearly the way to go! On that note, I’ve already joined up to some promo’s in May too, so look out for these next month 🙂

 

Until next time folks!!

 

 

 

GOODREADS GIVEAWAY…

Hello all! If you hadn’t already figured out, this week my blog post is about Goodreads Giveaway’s. During my journey as a self-published author I’ve read that doing a Goodreads Giveaway is a sure fire way of getting your book noticed by the voracious Goodreads members. I am aware that just because people enter the competition it won’t necessarily mean an uptake in sales, but it certainly helps to get my book out in the consciousness of the general public and with over 25 million members that has to be worth it right?!

So, of course, as soon as the paperback was ready for The Soul Guide I decided to do my own giveaway! What have I got to lose?

At the moment only paperbacks can be entered into a Giveaway (I understand an e-book giveaway is in BETA testing currently, although their appears to be a cost for this service). As the author, I am responsible for setting up the giveaway, deciding how many books to give out and which countries to include. For this giveaway I decided to just include US and UK as this is where the most of my e-book sales have happened, and I just wanted to test the waters because it’s my first giveaway. Dependent on how successful (or not) this giveaway will be I will review it for the next time. 

So, from 6th April until the 6th May 2017, members of the US and UK can enter for a chance to WIN a signed copy of The Soul Guide. If you are reading this on a desktop then look to the sidebar —————————> and you can click on the giveaway link to enter.

If you’re reading on a phone then that might not be visible so follow click ***HERE*** to enter.  

In actual fact, when I first heard that this was an option on Goodreads I was pretty surprised. I had no idea that the Goodreads Giveaway’s existed and I’ve been a member for some time. Granted, I wasn’t the most engaged member (I tend to use it to read other people’s reviews for books I’m considering reading) so that may account for my lack of knowledge. However, I hope to rectify that now.

To be honest, finding out about these hidden gems has only really happened since becoming a self-published author. I’ve found out tremendous amounts and when I gear myself up for my next release I think I will be in a much better position in getting the launch right (I hope, fingers crossed and all that). 

For now, whilst I’m still writing book two of the series, and the prequel I will keep plugging The Soul Guide as best I can. Imminently, I’m going to start a ‘small successes’ page (find it on the top of the site- once I figure out how to do it) where I can log my successes so far. I kinda pinched this idea from a closed Facebook Group I’m a member of where we all post our ‘small successes’ but I think it would be great to record my own here, even if it is only me that reads them! ;0)

Also, whilst I’m on the subject of Goodreads Giveaways there are a load of other books available and I think it only fair to provide the link to theirs too. I’m all for supporting other authors…. so click ***HERE*** to go to the main giveaway page. 

Of course, if you’re not successful in winning this competition, then The Soul Guide is still available to download! 😉

To those of you who enter……. GOODLUCK!