CRYO: A Changed World Review ARC’s available

So, as you’re probably aware, CRYO: A Changed World is coming out on April 13th!! The second instalment of the CRYO series see’s John and the other CRYO survivors stepping out into the world and trying to work out where the hell they are, and what on earth happened whilst they were asleep.

Questions will be answered for many of the CRYO candidates as they begin to explore, but as with such things, new discoveries open up only more questions. And whilst Agnes was a force from within, the gang are going to have to try and stay alive as they journey through the wilderness.

If you missed the cover and blurb reveal, here it is

A changed world 600pxIf you awoke to find that humankind had been annihilated, could you survive?

John’s dreams have crumbled. A global corporation, CRYO, kidnapped him, froze him and sent him to the future, only to fade into history as he slept. Now, John and his pod mates are in a new and strange world that’s far from anything they’ve ever known.

With a strange creature having cut their already dwindled numbers, the fight for survival has begun. There’s already discontent amongst the small group of survivors. And, as John heads out into the unknown with a small splinter group, there’s just one question; what will he find?

 

So, in anticipation for next Sunday’s release, I’m offering review ARC’s for A Changed World. The process is pretty simple; all you have to do to get your hands on a free book, is to have reviewed one of my earlier books. Yep, that simple!

Email me at geoff _ wakeling AT hotmail DOT com with the link to your prior review (it doesn’t have to be Rise of the Immortals, by the way) and I’ll send you back a free copy of A Changed World. Your review can be on Amazon, Goodreads, Kobo, B&N, Apple or even a personal blog.

Of course, these reviews should be unbiased and honest; I’m not expecting to give you a free book in return for a top rating – I just hope you enjoy the read! And, if you don’t want to review a copy but just want to enjoy it at your leisure instead, you can buy Rise of the Immortals on sale at $2.99 and sign up to the mailing list to be one of the first to get your hands on A Changed World.

Happy Saturday. :D

CRYO: A Changed World – Cover Reveal

It seems like ages ago that I began to write the follow up to CRYO: Rise of the Immortals. Now, in only a couple of weeks, it’ll be released! (That’s April 13th, by the way!) In celebration, I’m not only revealing the cover, but also offering a limited time offer on Book 1 of the series. Without further ado, here’s the cover and the blurb!

A changed world 600pxIf you awoke to find that humankind had been annihilated, could you survive?

John’s dreams have crumbled. A global corporation, CRYO, kidnapped him, froze him and sent him to the future, only to fade into history as he slept. Now, John and his pod mates are in a new and strange world that’s far from anything they’ve ever known.

With a strange creature having cut their already dwindled numbers, the fight for survival has begun. There’s already discontent amongst the small group of survivors. And, as John heads out into the unknown with a small splinter group, there’s just one question; what will he find?

 

 

I’ve already added A Changed World to Goodreads, so add it to your TBR! You can also sign up to hear as soon as it’s been published so you don’t have to wait.

SALEIn the meantime, CRYO: Rise of the Immortals, book one of the series, is also on sale! Hurrah! You’ll find the $4.99 price slashed to $2.99 so you can get in on all the action without having to spend a fiver.

 

See the links to get your reduced copy of CRYO: Rise of the Immortals now. You can also read the first chapter here.

 

 

 

 

 

AMAZON US | AMAZON UK

Competition Time

CRYO: Rise of the ImmortalsAre you an artist? Love to dabble with alien concepts and create new life? Want to win some Sci-Fi goodies AND get your artwork inside an eBook? You’ve come to the right place!

As many of you may know, CRYO: A Changed World has been completed and is undergoing edits.  This is the second book of the CRYO series, and I’m expecting it to be released at the end of the March. Then, very excitingly for me, I’m having my first ever blog tour for the book. But, back to competition time.

In A Changed World, an alien race make their first appearance and it’s time for you to get your thinking hats on. Using the information below, prepare artwork on how YOU envisage these new alien creatures. The best will be showcased here on my website, across my social media sites (G+, Pinterest etc) and the one winner will be placed within the print and digital copies of the books themselves!

PRIZES:

- One Winner will have their image featured within CRYO: A Changed World. They’ll also receive digital copies (in their preferred format) of books 1 and 2. They’ll be showcased on this blog too!

- Five runners-up will be featured on this blog and will also receive digital copies (in their preferred format) of CRYO books 1 and 2.

*NOTE* All entrants will keep the copyright to their images, but provide me with an attribution license to distribute artwork untouched. This includes sharing on social media websites and within the book itself. The winning entry will have a link to artists website from the digital copy (for print, the web URL will be provided).

Submission Details and Closing Date

The closing date is Friday March 28th. Please submit artwork with a subject line of “CRYO CONTEST” to geoff_wakeling(at)hotmail(dot)com. In addition to submitting your art, please let me have details of your website so I can link at G+, Pinterest posts etc to your portfolio’s!

Artwork Details

Now the fun bit! I’ve included as many details below as I can think of. Ask questions in the comments section if you need! And please, spread the word.

Physiology
 
-          Amphibian-like
-         Large eyes
-         No ears – just folds. Lacking hair – again, think amphibian.
-         Between 4/5 feet tall.
-         Three fingered, three toed.
-         A range of skin colours, from mottled brown and grey, to teal and silver. The colour of reflect their caste.
 
Clothing
 
-          Natural coloured tunics.
-         Their skin is breathable and has to be kept damp. As such, when outside their cities/vehicles etc they wear biosuits. These keep the moisture in. The suits are transparent but can be flicked to a dense opaque texture with the push of a button. However, they’ll often wear a body suit without the head component, slathering their face with a muddy moisturiser instead.
-         They use growing plants as adornments. Plants, fungi, lichen, flowers have roots embedded under the skin. These tiny pieces of flora then grow across the skin. Creatures are described as having swathes of silvery lichen up their neck, a cluster of bright flowers over their brow, or perhaps, fungi growing over their heads.
-         In addition to plants, they’ll use feathers and beads to decorate themselves.
-         Adult males wear funny flat-cap type hats, whilst the larger and taller females utilise long conical headdresses with adornments to make them appear even taller.
 
Environment
 
-          the creatures live in vast underground and cavernous cities.
-          These are kept moist, well lit and filled with plants; an artificial oasis.
-          Some architecture is on the surface, but covered with a transparent layer like their biosuits.

NaNoWriMo; When inspiration finally comes to fruition

I haven’t updated the blog in a while and that’s been because every available word at my disposal has been thrust into this year’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month for those of you who don’t know). And, for the first time it looks like I’m going to complete the challenge; 50,000 words in a month. I reached 40,000 yesterday so thought I’d take a brief gulp of air and push my head up to see what’s happening.

Many years ago as I was walking passed a building site, inspiration struck me. The first year accommodation for my university were four concrete and skyline-domineering tower blocks. They really were an eyesore, but I had many good memories. When the site was sold to developers, I assumed they’d simply blow the towers up; you know, Vegas style. As I walked by on this particular day, an extremely long crane with a unyielding set of metal jaws rose into the air instead, and it began to dismantle the towers from the top downwards. The image immediately sparked something in my head; it was like a great creature reaching into the air and causing destruction with ironic grace. At that time I was writing Inside Evil, and there was no way I could fit in these beasts. And so, CRYO took its first footsteps of life.

Like all things, the CRYO tale took on a life of it’s own; so much so that these beasts almost didn’t appear at all. John and Kath, my main characters in the first novel, took over my head and led the story where they wanted it to go. But finally, as I hit 30,000 words in the sequel, years of thinking finally came into alignment and the huge crane de-constructing my former home finally wormed its way into the pages of my book.

This year, NaNoWriMo has been a complete God send. It’s fitted in seamlessly with my writing schedule, and I intend to have about 60,000 words written by the end of the month; that’s two-thirds of CRYO – A Changed World complete. It’s been extremely interesting writing this sequel and taking John, Anne, Amity and co into the great world beyond the CRYO station. They’ve discovered – actually, they still are discovering – a lot of new things and are leading me in great circles around my story milestones.  There’s also the battle of a language barrier between my CRYO survivors and a new race to contend with ….it’s a difficult line to write a new language without it becoming absurd, whilst trying to put enough in to show the difficulties my characters face.

Whilst I was aiming to get this sequel out towards the end of February, it’s looking like it might come early…and that’s something I’m extremely pleased to hear!

Time-travelling via cryonics

I’ve always been a huge fan of science fiction so naturally, when it came to writing, my mind was already inspired by the books I’d read and the movies I’d seen. One thing that fascinated me was cryonics; that is, the process of freezing someone and reviving them down the line. With current technology, though almost 300 people have actually been cryonically frozen, there’s no means to revive people. Even if they was, the damage done to their bodies is probably irreparable until some considerable leaps forward in bioengineering or nanomedicine are made.

One of the fantastic things about writing science fiction is that you can take a current technology and jump forward in time with it, letting your mind go wild about where a new technological breakthrough might lead. The use of cryonics has found popularity in mainstream entertainment, but I always found the process of actually ‘waking up’ a little too, well, ordinary. After all, this is a process where people are literally frozen into stasis. Why is it then, that when it’s often shown in movies, people just wake from ‘hyper-sleep’ a little too easily?

There are many cases where cryonics is used; Alien, Avatar and Star Wars immediately spring to mind. At least Han Solo woke with a bit of temporary blindness. It’s been used in television too, with Star Trek, Dr Who, Lost in Space, even the Golden Girls, all featuring the process. It’s something that continues to fascinate people. It’s also a process that allows time to pass without individuals have to age at all. Though, of course, that brings all sorts of time issues into play too; stay asleep long enough – whilst you go off on a mining expedition, for example – and you wind up being younger than your grandchild.

CRYO200pxWhen it came to writing CRYO; Rise of the Immortals, I was very aware that I didn’t want waking from cryonic sleep to be easy. Far from it. I wanted it to be incredibly painful and disorientating. I wanted to put people in a position where they thought twice about travelling to the future by having their bodily fluid drained and their cells frozen. Matters are made even worse when there’s a complete lack of personnel to help my characters acclimatise themselves. But that gives the story drive, provides yet another hurdle for my protagonist, John, to overcome.

Everyone’s take on cryonics is a little different, and all too often, the process is simply used as a means to get characters from A to B. And, yes, I’m guilty of that too; my 50 CRYO candidates go into the cryonics program to do exactly that, move from one period of time to another. But sometimes it’s these tiny details that can be embellished to create entirely new stories. My inspirational moment of ‘what if waking up from hyper-sleep wasn’t easy?’ has spawned an entire series. And I’ll make it no secret that I drew inspiration from my favourite shows, movies and books.

Cryonics is so often overlooked as a vital time-travelling method. It’s not instant, apart for those who are frozen, but it is time travel depending on how you view it. And, I’m sure, as the years go on and further technological advances are made, cryonics, like everything else, will evolve in the way it’s portrayed.

New CRYO cover and blurb

One of the things you often hear when publishing is that it’s crucial to get THREE things right; cover, blurb and sample. It sounds pretty obvious, but it can be hard to know what people are looking for. A cover has to make readers stop in their tracks, the blurb has to cause interest and the sample has to  result in people having that ‘I HAVE TO BUY THIS BOOK’ moment. It’s well reported that even if one of these factors is lacking, sales can flat-line. H. M. Ward is a famous example for this. Initially, her books (Damaged, Scandalous etc) were selling, but not amazingly. She then changed the cover art, tightened up the blurb and BAM – New York Bestseller list. So…you can see how important it is.

CRYO200pxWith this in mind, I’ve decided to change up the CRYO cover. I love the Rise of the Immortals artwork, and the novel is my favourite – because I love the SciFi genre – but for some reason, it’s just not attracting readers. The few reviews I’ve received are extremely favourable (as you’ll see from the above link), and I’m about to embark on writing the sequel. With that in mind, I thought it was time for a change. In addition, I gave the sample a once over and changed a couple of bad style choices that had been overlooked.

So, the new blurb goes like this:

Would you accept a one-way ticket to the future?

Earth is dying, but John Carlody has the chance to escape. He wins the most anticipated lotto ever;  the opportunity to become part of CRYO, be one of fifty people to enjoy the latest cryonics technology and journey forward half a century.

However, a dream come true could be a making of a nightmare. CRYO isn’t what it pretends to be and John is about to discover their secrets. But will he be too late?
Since changing the blurb and cover I’ve sold a grand total of….drum roll….two books. BUT, that’s more than I had been shifting. When I say it’s not attracting readers, I mean it. So, we’ll see what happens with the new details. It’s not all about the novel….in some ways, the packaging it more important than what’s inside. It’s great to have a exciting book and all, but if no ones reading it, what’s the point?
Like the new cover & blurb? Prefer the old one? Let me know…for us little indie’s these details are vital!

CRYO; Rise of the Immortals at Barnes & Noble

cryofor kindle-revMorning all, just a little book update today to let you know that CRYO: Rise of the Immortals has finally landed at B&N. It can be a little frustrating waiting for B&N to pick up Smashwords distributions, especially when other places, such as iBooks, pick new works up so quickly. However, it’s finally available – HERE.

CRYO is one of my real book loves, and John Carlody is very like me in many ways. He dreams of going to the future and finding his place in the world, but when given that golden opportunity, he finds himself second guessing and wondering if he’s making the right choice.

John’s life is ordinary. Whilst skyscrapers soar towards the heavens, leaving a dying Earth far below, John has little to enthuse him about the modern world. He’s the black sheep of the family, the recluse, the one who never did anything worthwhile. That is, until John wins an elusive ticket to the CRYO program. Within seconds, his life explodes in a flash of cameras, notoriety and intrigue.

The chance to sleep for a few decades and wake in a new world, a place where life might be better, is all that John can hope for. But, is CRYO everything it says it is? Is the promise of a prosperous future unfounded? Only time will tell, as John becomes one of 50 new immortal souls to ride out the journey of time….

If you’ve had your appetite wetted, then you can download the sample at B&N. CRYO, is also available at Amazon, Kobo and iBooks, and there’s a couple of reviews over at Amazon.co.uk.

Happy Hump Day! :)

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?

CRYO: The Rise of the Immortals has arrived

cryofor kindle-revI’m over the moon to announce that CRYO: Rise of the Immortals has finally arrived. I got the final revisions this morning, spent a couple of hours making corrections and going through the manuscript one final time, before uploading to Amazon. As ever, Amazon were pretty swift off the mark, and CRYO: The Rise of the Immortals is already available to purchase.

This is a novel that has taken a LONG time to write, and there have been a lot of revisions along the way. Scrapping characters, changing existing ones, creating new ones. Throwing whole storylines away in favour of an alternate route…it’s certainly been an interesting ride.

If you’d like to know more, the the CRYO page now has the full first chapter, or alternatively you can download the sample from Amazon itself. Whilst CRYO is available at Smashwords, it’s still going through for Kobo, and could take some time for B&N because I have to wait for Smashwords to send the manuscript through.

Writing Challenges for 2013

Well, 2012 was quite a year wasn’t it?! This time last year I read an interview in the Telegraph about Amanda Hocking and thought, ‘I could do that‘. This time last year I had NO idea what a journey this self publishing process would take me on. This time last year I had a couple of unfinished manuscripts hiding away on my computer.

Inside Evil was published on March 12th, 2012 and since then it’s been a roller-coaster ride. I’ve got better at writing, become more accomplished at marketing and feel that my inner writer is finally coming out. And, in 2013, there’s some important goals to complete!

cryofor kindle-600px

 

 

CRYO; Rise of the Immortals

I was originally looking at a December launch, but, well….you may have noticed that December’s come and gone without a book. That’s because CRYO was an old manuscript that has been polished…hence more editing than normal is required. My editor is 54% of the way through, so I do expect this new science fiction saga to be released by the end of the month.

 

 

 

Inside Evil – Spirits of the Middlelands

If anyone follows my Twitter feed or Facebook page, then they’ll know that the third instalment of the Inside Evil saga has already begun. I’m SO glad to get back to Roberta, Susan, Martha and the rest of the gang to find out what’s been going on. Spirits of the Middlelands jumps forward by six months, so gone is the winter and here is the summer sun. I don’t always know what’s going to happen, so I’m excited by the new twists and conclusions that keep jumping into my mind. I’m aiming for two months of writing and editing, so would expect this third book to launch in March/April.

Pacifier Six

I can now reveal that the title for my zombie novella is ‘Pacifier Six – The Shadows Within‘ .  This was a book that I had not been intending to write at all, but it popped into my brain during NaNoWriMo. If you haven’t read the first unedited chapter, you can do so here. It’s only a novella, circa 30K, and it can be read as a stand-alone story. However, if people show interest and the novella does well, then I may well write further stories. The editing is finished on Pacifier Six, and I’m only waiting on the artwork. This means that this novella should be published in late January or early February.

In addition to publishing these three stories, I’d like to have the fourth Inside Evil book published by the end of the year so that the five book saga can complete in 2014. Depending on the reception for CRYO, I’ll also be looking to have completed the second book in this series! I have a lot to do!!

What are you planning for 2013?