Urban Fantasy Giveaway and Sale

We all love a good sale right?! Inside Evil is currently soaring in the charts as it was picked up by Pixel of Ink! Huzzah. You know, getting noticed by them is a good idea; I went from 100 US downloads a month to over 4,000 in just a week. As you may know, it’s FREE and works as a funnel to allow readers to try my work before moving onto later books in the series.

Cover - small

Amazon | Nook

I’ve now teamed up with a number of other urban fantasy authors, all who have now reduced their work to either free or 99cents! Great, right? Have a browse of the books and make sure you don’t miss the Rafflecopter Giveaway below.

CateDeanRestClaire Wiche is an ordinary woman, running her Wicca shop in an ordinary California beach town. But Claire wasn’t always ordinary, and she isn’t quite human. She hides a secret, and a past she thought she had put behind her.

A past that is about to explode into her present.

When it does, and everyone she loves is in danger, Claire must face up to her past – and become what she left behind in order to save them.

 

 

Amazon | Nook

81cLXNSKiQL._SL1500_Cade Williams was just an ordinary cop until the night a fallen angel nearly slaughtered him. Now he commands the Echo Team, a special ops squad of modern Templar knights, and the things they hunt are far darker and much more deadly than the criminals that he used to face.

When Templar bases are attacked by unknown forces, Cade and his team are called in to investigate. They discover a cabal of necromancers allied with the Adversary, the same fallen angel that murdered Cade’s wife, Gabrielle, and left Cade himself on the verge of death several years before.

In order to keep the power of an ancient relic from falling into the Adversary’s hands, the Templars must take the battle directly to the enemy and in the process they give Cade a shot at the one thing he’s been longing for since the night his wife was killed.

Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord, but Cade’s got a score of his own to settle and he’s not going to let the rules get in his way…

Amazon | Nook

NicolasWilsonKnight, the sheriff of a local magical government known as “the Gambit,” is called to recover a mutilated body, tainted with magic and dumped at a popular haunt. When the corpse is identified as a close associate of the Gambit, it threatens the safety of the community he protects, and those he cares about most. As the fragile peace amongst the city’s magic-wielding factions disintegrates, Knight must track down a cadre of murderers before his friends are picked off, one by one- with each death used to strengthen the spells cast against the Gambit.

 

 

Amazon | Nook

BruceBlakeTo some, death is the end; to others, a beginning. To Icarus Fell, it should have been a relief from a life gone seriously awry.

But death had other plans.

Icarus doesn’t believe that the man awaiting him when he wakes up in a cheap motel room is really the archangel Michael, or that God’s right hand wants him to help souls on their way to Heaven. Icarus doesn’t believe there’s a Heaven, so why should they want his help?

But the man claiming to be the archangel tempts him with an offer he can’t ignore–harvest enough souls and get back the life he wished he’d had.

It seems Icarus has nothing to lose, until he botches a harvest and the soul that went to Hell instead of Heaven comes back to make him pay by threatening to take away the life he hoped to win back.

To save the wife and son he already lost once, Icarus will have to become the man he never was. Somehow, he will have to learn to believe.

Amazon | Nook

91KNCJ8ob9L._SL1500_Long retired from her life as an assassin, Anjasa amuses herself with seducing handsome, rich men in bars and living life one night at a time.

She’s a rare woman, an elf among humans, a beauty among commoners, and she has no trouble getting the attention of those around her, but it’s only a matter of time before she attracts the wrong kind of men. When she agrees to seduce one noble’s cousin to steal his family fortune, she finds herself witness to mob violence and worse.

Yet she likes her men rough, doesn’t she?

But quickly it gets out of hand, even for her. When he forces her to fulfil his sick needs, and then blackmails her to kill his cousin, she realizes her life hangs in the balance between the affairs of murderous men.

When she reaches her breaking point, Anjasa turns to someone even worse, someone more dangerous than she could imagine, in order to make it through the night. Someone strong, mysterious and deliciously inhuman.

Amazon | Nook

ImmortalLiesTybalt Jones is not your typical creature of the night. He prefers Havana shirts to capes and his “sidekick” is a curvy faerie girl. Not a hunchback in sight. He’s been out of the vampire “scene” for years, and he’d be happy to stay out for the rest of his unlife.

But vampires connected to Tybalt are disappearing from St. Sebastian’s streets. To make matters worse, he’s on a literal deadline to clean up the city.

With a little gypsy know-how, a dab of faerie luck and a crash course in using his unusual gifts, he might just survive to restore peace.

For now.

Amazon | Nook

Don’t Forget the Rafflecopter

Due to the complexities of this website, I can’t work how to get the actual script to work on this page. Please follow the link.

There’s a $100 Amazon Gift Card up for grabs so don’t miss out!!

Halloween zombie ebook sale

Zombie Promo FB

I love a good zombie read, and with The Walking Dead back on our screens and Halloween on the way, what better time than to bag a bargain! I’m currently running a little offer, and you can get FOUR zombie ebooks for under $3.

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????1. Sometimes We Ran

First up, this novel by Stephen Drivick follows two zombie apocalypse survivors who meet randomly and form a strong bond which helps them survive. For the duration of the promo, Sometimes we ran can be bought on Amazon for just $0.99 or, in the UK, 77p.

Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk

*****

Pacifier final art 600 pixels2. Pacifier 6, The Shadows Within

Meanwhile, Pacifier 6, The Shadows Within is slashed from $2.99 to just 99p/cents. After the zombie apocalypse has happened, the human race is trying to create a new world. But with rogue zombies still on the loose and a new creature in the darkness, society is in greater danger than ever.

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

_

Alternatively, buy at Smashwords using the TP27B discount code here – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/280851

*****

78969a299167c67ab68248f7c1c4c064ddbdd502Twisted Souls cover3. The Soul Ripper, Twisted Souls (Twisted Souls series 1 AND 2)

Finally, Cege Smith has very kindly included two thirds of her Twister Souls series in the offer. With the first book FREE and the second slashed from $2.99 to just 99p/cents, you get to enjoy this fantastic new angle on the zombie genre.

_

Twisted Souls series at Smashwords

Download The Soul Ripper for FREE and use the GG95M discount code for Twisted Souls

You can also get The Soul Ripper for FREE at Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

So there you go. FOUR zombie books for less than $3, and just in time for Halloween. :D

Find me on Google+

I’ll start this off with a warning – I really don’t know what I’m doing on Google+. However, you will now find me there. I know that Google+ wasn’t well received when it first launched, but it does seem to have grown over the past few years, and continues to attract people. In addition, their ‘Communities‘ pages are awesome for connecting people. I find Goodreads extremely difficult to use as I’m normally too busy writing to be reading much. As such, actually conversing about books in a reader based community is hard. However, Google+ throws the door open and allows me to join any community I want, whether it’s a writers group or a fan forum for Mass Effect. The huge positive about this is that I can;

a) Actually get to know people by talking about the things I love without having to expend a lot of time, and

b) I can passively promote my work by giving a ‘+1‘ or commenting on posts. This can stir up interest in people, who’ll follow my link through to my profile page.

In addition to my own profile page (find me here), I’ve created a G. Wakeling community. One of my personal annoyances with having a FB fan page is that only I can post on it. Whilst readers and friends can post, any content gets shrunk into a tiny side box. It doesn’t really facilitate conversation. The Google+ communities really make the process of chatting and discussing my work, characters etc, far easier. And, one day, if I’m brave enough, I might even hold a ‘Hangout‘.

So, if you’re on Google+, add me! :)

Other News

Aside from starting out on Google+, I’m also well into the fourth instalment of Inside Evil. With only two books to go, there’s a lot to tie up in this latest novel. There’s also some new questions that have to be raised, and the cast, Susan in particular, are throwing me some curve balls.

AND, Inside Evil is now (and should stay that way) FREE on Amazon. I’ve had success in the past getting people into reading the sequel by offering IE for free, so if you want to read The Tower of Souls and Spirits of the Middlelands, then you can grab the first for free now.

Cheap ebooks and a short story contest!

Marketing your books when there’s a huge amount of competition can be hard, especially if you’re an indie. That’s why it’s a good idea to take advantage of some avenues other than Facebook, Twitter and general blog advertising. This week I’ve teamed together with some other fantasy authors to promote our books as a package. In addition, Michael Brookes (of the The Cult of Me titles) is running a short story competition over on his blog.

Cheap eBooks

It’s never a bad idea to offer stories for sale now and then, and by teaming together with other authors, you can really get that sense of camaraderie. This week, Vera Nazarian is celebrating her birthday by offering a page full of epic fantasy books for sale. You’ll find Inside Evil there, along with Vera’s own Lords of Rainbow. In addition, there are another 32 fantasy books all available from the Amazon store at a reduced price. So, if you want some new and cheap reading this week, then head over to Vera’s celebration page!

Short Story Contest

Meanwhile, Michael Brookes has unveiled a new short story contest with a winning prize of a £50 Amazon gift card. To enter, all you have to do is write a short story using the picture on his blog for inspiration. The winner gets £50, and the runners up in 2nd and 3rd get £20 and £10 respectively.

If you’re a budding writer and want some new money for books, then this is a great opportunity to take advantage of. It’s also a nice little expose for current writers because if you win there’s yet another chance to get your name and some of your work published in yet another place on the web. More places equals more exposure, which is rarely a bad thing! If short stories are your thing, then head on over and check out all the details.

Putting together a blog tour – Michael Brookes (Guest Post)

One of the great things about being an indie author is that you have absolute control over every stage of the publishing process. One of the downsides is that you have to do everything yourself. Marketing a new book release is a difficult job, especially without the budget being with a publisher brings.

Don’t worry; this isn’t an article about how unfair the world is for Indies. For starters I don’t think that is true. E-books have brought about a democratisation for publishing; this is a huge opportunity for writers such as myself. But we have a duty to take the opportunity seriously. This means not only writing a good story, but making sure the book we sell is of the same quality as the books published by the publishers.

As an indie author I have a limited budget. That budget was better spent making sure that the book was of a quality worth publishing. So I invested in having the book edited, leaving me with a small fund for promotion. I looked into various options for promotion; one popular method is to take the book on a blog tour. My investigations discovered that this can also be an expensive option.

But it doesn’t need to be.

One of the other great aspects to being an indie author is the other authors. They are a friendly bunch and after releasing my first novel I quickly discovered how helpful they are as well. It occurred to me that I wouldn’t need to pay to put together a blog tour, I could organise it myself.

I participate in various online communities, two in particular helped me with the task. The Kindle Users Forum and Goodreads are both excellent places to connect with readers and other writers. So these are where I started. I asked if anyone wanted to take part in the blog tour.

I’ve also been conducting guest author interviews on my blog for some time, so this provided another avenue I pursued.

The response on all fronts was incredible. The book was due to come out in February. I estimated it would take a month to arrange the tour so I planned the dates for March. As it turned out I filled all the dates well before then.

The tricky part wasn’t finding blogs to take part, but making sure I had enough content to provide something different. For most of the blogs this was determined by their regular content. So reviewers received review copies. Some asked for interviews and others wanted a guest post like this one.

It’s taken quite a bit of time, and as yet I won’t know what effect it will have on sales, but I’ve met some wonderful and discovered some excellent blogs. So I’d like to thank everyone who has helped to make the tour happen. And I hope everyone enjoys the new book as well.

*****

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Brookes is an Executive Producer with a leading UK games developer. Working in games and writing are two of his life passions and considers himself fortunate to be able to indulge them both. He lives in the east of England, enjoying starry skies in the flattest part of the country. When not working or writing he can sometimes be found sleeping. Which is good as that is where many good ideas come from.

 ‘Conversations in the Abyss’ is the sequel to the 5 star rated supernatural thriller ‘The Cult of Me’

ConversationsStealing Lazarus’s miracle gifted him immortality. Combined with his natural ability of invading and controlling people’s minds this made him one of the most dangerous people on Earth.

But the miracle came with a price. His punishment was to be imprisoned within the walls of an ancient monastery and tormented by an invisible fire that burned his body perpetually. To escape the pain he retreated deep into his own mind.

There he discovers the truth of the universe and that only he can stop the coming Apocalypse.

Buy now from Amazon:

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BCP08JU/

US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BCP08JU/

 

Indie Scene – a new magazine for short stories, indie fiction and readers of independently published books

cover_issue_1_smallIt’s hard enough getting your name out as an author, let alone if you choose to go down the route of becoming an indie author. There’s A LOT of us out there, and whilst we compete for shelf space, we rarely spare a thought for readers. As much as we’re trying to promote our books, readers are desperately trying to sift through the self-published masses and find great reads that really grab their attention. This is why Indie Scene has launched; a new place for readers to find free short stories, interesting articles and some of the best indie books around.

You might think this magazine is just another chance for us indie authors to be seen, and, in many ways, it is. But the real emphasis here has been put on readers, and giving our fans something back. There are articles on writers and the craft of telling a story, but there are also six free short stories in the debut edition. In addition, there’s an article on the many ways to read Kindle ebooks even if you don’t have a Kindle yourself, a selection of new releases and all manner of other goodies for people to enjoy.

Indie Scene is completely free to download as a PDF (or read in your browser if you choose), so feel free to take a look. If you love the magazine, then let us know, give us your feedback. We’d love to keep creating a publication that has a reader focus and offers something new to the community, so download, have a read and if you like it, tell us!

Inside Evil’s available – FREE

After reading a gargantuan number of blogs about marketing, advertising and general other book selling ideas, I’d realised a few months ago that it was probably best to make Inside Evil free at some point. I’m not in Amazon’s KDP Select so I have no way of taking advantage of free days. However, taking point from the lovely Lindsay Buroker, I thought that I’d make Inside Evil free when Spirits of the Middlelands was published at the end of March…thereby encouraging people to try out the series without having to make a financial commitment.

Cover - smallSo, a few weeks ago I ran a tester, reducing my Kobo price to zero. Any sales? Fat chance. Kobo really is a non-starter for me, but the fact that I had a free book there and got not downloads demoralised me – A LOT. I decided that if I was going to give this a proper crack, then I’d have to take a stab at price-matching on Amazon. There’s no clear deadline for this to occur…it’s down to the Amazon gods.

Yesterday morning I logged into Amazon and found, to my absolute shock, there were 89 price-matched downloads. 89 people saw my book and wanted to try it out. WOW. Then figures started to climb, and climb, and climb. As of this minute, I’m #1 in free horror/occult and #330 in the overall Amazon free store. I’ve had 900 downloads (I’ve just checked – exactly 900) and I’ve sold 4 of my other books. Wow. WOW. This is on NO promotion as I didn’t have a clue when Amazon would price-match…it’s just spiralled.

I’m keeping track of my statistics and will write a more in-depth piece after a few days have run their course and things have settled down a bit. Unfortunately, at this juncture, only Amazon.com has the free listing as I didn’t know that I had to price-match across channels. I’m also not sure whether this will be a perma-free or a month’s promotion before the release of book three. But, for someone who has been selling only tens of books per month, and was seriously wondering whether people were even interested in trying out my work, this has been a huge motivator. I KNOW that there are a lot of freebie grabbers out there, and that lots of people won’t even read it, but the fact that over 900 people (I just checked again) have downloaded it, AND book two, The Tower of Souls, has started selling is a GOOD boost.

photo

Anyway, if you want to try Inside Evil out for FREE, head to Amazon. I’ll report back soon with more results.

Using multi-channels to sell your ebooks

Anyone who’s read this blog for any length of time will know that I’m a keen advocate of the multi-channel approach when it comes to selling books as an indie author. Had I come into the publishing industry a few months earlier, say around December 2011, then Amazon’s Select program may have well stirred enough interest to get me to sign up. As it is, I published Inside Evil in March 2012, and after reading several reports that the advantages of Select were already waning, decided against becoming exclusive. It seemed pretty obvious to me; I didn’t want to put all of my eggs in one basket.

Select continues to draw a large number of people in, and I’m sure that they’re doing very well out of it. However, distributing with Smashwords and Kobo Writing Life has never been easier. I hear a lot of people saying that they have issues with Smashwords, but in all honesty, I can hand on heart say that I’ve had no problems. I’ve gone through their Meatgrinder without ending up with a completely ruined eBook file, I’ve got into their Premium catalogue with no worries, and I’ve been distributed fairly fast. B&N does take a while to get going, but I don’t necessarily think that this is Smashwords’ fault because CRYO landed in the iBookstore just days after being distributed.

Why use the multichannel approach?

- Readers

Readers want flexibility, and whilst the Kindle is still a huge eReader, an increasing number of people have other devices. I read everything on my iPhone and I have fans of my work who read on the Nook and Sony devices. Had I started on Select, none of these readers would have got to sample my work whilst the exclusivity contract was in place. And, though I’ve thought about putting subsequent work into Select, it ultimately means that any readerbase I’ve already gathered would be penalised for not choosing Amazon as their number one ebook provider.

- Maximum Exposure

There’s no denying it; Amazon is a huge marketplace and has millions of readers awaiting your novel. But this can have its downsides too. It will take more sales to get into Amazon’s Top 100 lists than it might on Apple or Kobo, and you’ll fall out of those lists more quickly too. Being on Amazon alone also stymies the places you can promote, and you’ll be stuck to advertising methods that only point directly back to Amazon. In addition, the Select contract means that you can provide excerpts of no more than 10% (i.e. the sample that Amazon offers) and links must direct back to them. However, by choosing to use a multi-channel approach, the world and all the eReaders really are your oyster.

Limiting Risk

Placing all your work in one place is risky. What happens if Amazon suddenly decides to stop promoting indie authors? They make a deal with the Big Six and, almost overnight, all those top ranking indie books disappear way down the lists because of changed algorithms? This is not a good thing, and it’s made worse if your work is only available on Amazon. Of course, creating a newsletter is the best option if you want to reach readers regardless of where they are and whatever happens to the market. However, by having your work in as many places as possible,  you can limit the risk of a big hit due to one market changing or closing.

I love Amazon, and they do make it very easy for us indie authors to sell our books. But I also love the multi-channel approach, and I’d be severely stunted if my readers suddenly couldn’t download on iBooks or the Nook.  CRYO: Rise of the Immortals has now made it to Apple, just days after it was uploaded to Smashwords, and you can find it for both US and UK versions. Having it in multiple places has helped its launch and got the book off to a good start. As for your advertising, which do you prefer? Amazon Select or multi-channelling?

How to create promotional postcards for books

Christmas is coming up and I’m, well, rather under-prepared. It seems like an age ago since I read that interview with Amanda Hocking about self publishing books on Amazon, even though it was only back in February. Since then, life has changed considerably. But this is my first Christmas, and I’ve no idea what sort of promotion I should be doing.

Other than writing the article about creating Christmas book hampers, the only other idea I had was to create some actual physical promotional tools. I went to a family christening back in July, and lots of people asked about the books. I told them, chatted about Inside Evil, said ‘oh, you can find them on Amazon,’ but I had nothing to give. This Christmas I decided to go one step further and create some postcards that I could hand out.

photo (17)If you haven’t got much time for promotion, or have little money for buying adverts, then these postcards are perfect. I’ve created them with a view to giving them to friends, family and acquaintances rather than leaving them in stacks at book fairs, but they could be used in that circumstance too. I created and ordered them from Vista Print very easily and, more importantly, they were very affordable – just £30 for 50 postcards. That price also included an online proof that I won’t have to pay next time I order. Plus, I went for two weeks shipping to get them in time for Christmas, and hey presto, they were here within 10 days.

Why did I go for postcards?

There are a vast variety of options to choose from in customisable merchandise, and I nearly got sucked into creating mouse-mats, pens and even keyrings with the Inside Evil cover on. BEWARE, they do try and lure you into spending – you can’t really blame them.

My main reasoning behind postcards rather than bookmarks is that the Inside Evil is largely in an ebook form. Yes, you can buy paperbacks, but I’m promoting the ebooks more than anything. Someone who uses a bookmark on a regular occurrence may well be more likely to read traditional books than fire up their kindle. And, if they do fire up their Kindle, my bookmark isn’t going to be anywhere in sight to remind them to buy.

Secondly, I like that you can fit more onto a postcard. Rather than reaching out to strangers, I’m reaching out to people I already know are interested in my books. Therefore, I want to provide them with a few more details and incentives to buy.

I’m very happy with the overall look of the cards, and the price. I’ll be giving them out this Christmas, so I’ll let you know whether they help remind people of my work and bump up sales as a result.

Promoting your book on Goodreads with listopia

I’ve not had a huge amount of success on Goodreads. I don’t like the interface, I find the forums troublesome and I really don’t read enough to be actively participating in book discussions. Mostly, I find that you have to use passive promotion on Goodreads; that is, instead of going around saying ‘Here’s my book‘, ‘Read my book‘, ‘Look at my book‘, you have to participate in forums about other subjects and let users find your work by themselves. Of course, a few plugs here and there in the appropriate forum threads never hurt, but overall, Goodreads is a place for readers to discover books, not have them thrust upon them.

A new area of passive promotion which I hadn’t even realised was available until last week is the listopia option. This Goodreads area is a place where people can add their favourite books to current lists, or start their own lists to organise great reads into easily found categories. It also offers an ideal place for you to add your book, utilising lists that you book falls into to spread your novel across as many pages as possible and, therefore, in front of as many eyes as possible.

Listopia is easy to find, and easy to add your book to. One word of warning, it’s probably best not to start adding your books to the ‘Best books Ever written‘ or ‘Best Indie Books‘ categories. In fact, it’s probably best to stay clear of any ‘BEST’ lists because this is for the readers to decide upon, not you. However, you can add your book to any other list that is appropriate. For example, I’ve put Inside Evil into ‘British Fantasy Authors‘, ‘Fantasy Books Set in Two Worlds‘, and ‘Science Fiction & Fantasy Titles for 2012!’ I’m not making assumptions by adding my book to these categories, I’m just telling readers what they can expect to find.

Whether or not this process will help Inside Evil get added to many more shelves I have to find out. But, placing it in as many places as possible surely can’t help gain more exposure.