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! 🙂

Spirits of the Middlelands (Inside Evil 3) Cover, News and Teasers

Spirits of the Middlelands (1)As many of you know I’m extremely busy getting involved with the Ridgewood gang again. I seem to have left this bunch behind for far too long, and I’ve loved getting back into the thick of it with Roberta, Susan and the other cast members. Today I hit 40,000 words for Book 3 of this five book saga, so I’m just over halfway through and there’s some interesting developments occurring. You may all be wondering about the child at the end of The Tower of Souls….well, she’s a very important piece of the puzzle! There’s also some old faces appearing (Galdur and Vronny), as well as the story of the Ammokra and Gathin progressing nicely.

I’m aiming at an end of March launch for this Spirits of the Middlelands, so if you want to be the first to know when it’s released, then feel free to sign up to the newsletter.

Here’s a couple of dialogue teasers:

“Don’t bring them through here, Barry! Down the hall!”

“Like I would,” Barry replied with a grin, though he cast his hand towards the pristine carpet and watched as Martha’s eyes bulged when the wet trout tails dripped perilously close to her furnishings. 

“I need to know about the Middlelands.”

“It’s 4.30 in the morning,” Galdur groaned, his face still scrunched up, his hands tiredly wiping his eyes.

“I know, I’m sorry, I couldn’t sleep and I just thought you might be up,” Susan apologised as realistically as possible. She’d known quite well that she could be waking him, but Susan was becoming tired of waiting for answers to magically appear out of the air.

“I’m up now,” Galdur groaned again, reaching out of view and pulling a vest over his head. “Are you still guarding the portal?”

“I was a lot of fun in college, I’ll have you know,” Roberta replied as she allowed her guard to slide slightly and enjoyed a sip of wine. “It wasn’t until my little sister ran off with a sailor that I found responsibility.”

“He was incredibly handsome. I just couldn’t say no.”

“Not saying no is the story of your life,” Roberta smiled as she rolled her eyes in Sam’s direction.

I think those few quotes have a few interesting titbits to mull over for you! In more book news, I’m also in the process of making Inside Evil FREE in the lead up to the launch. It’s already listed for FREE on Kobo and I’m waiting for the price match to trickle across to Amazon.

Now, I better go and continue writing!

Writing circles are important for goal achieving and encouragement

There’s nothing like setting a deadline to get your work done, right? Writing is hard, and once the initial few chapters have been completed, finding the stamina to keep going can often become a nightmare. There are chores to do, work to go to, real lives to lead.  So, we set ourselves goals and targets to work towards. There’s NaNoWriMo, forum threads to add to every day to say ‘hey guys, I got 1K done today‘, and it does help. There’s nothing quite like a public announcement to put the pressure on. But, if you really want to keep going, you need perseverance and the help of friends.

Once you’ve published a book or two, the pressure starts to mount even more. With two books of my Inside Evil series out, there’s a rising need to write the third. I want Spirit of the Middlelands out in March. It’ll mean I’ve published five books in a year, and it’ll ensure that fans of the series actually get a new read fairly quickly.  But I’m a procrastinator, it takes a while for me to sit down and open that .doc file. Not anymore, however, because I’ve found New Year, New Book.

nynbThis fantastic little community of writers, some of whom I know already and some who are becoming new friends, encourage each other along with tweets, emails and a visual little stats counter. As I said, there’s nothing like a public challenge to throw down the gauntlet, but all too often NaNoWriMo and those forum threads can become just as impersonal as if you were simply looking at a goal Post-it above your laptop. With New Year, New Book, each time we write, we check in with Twitter hashtags and our little stats bar zips towards our goal. I’m three days into February and I’ve already written 6.5K. It’s going great guns!

Writing can be an extremely lonely experience, and though I’m quite happy being a hermit for most of the time, a few encouraging tweets and the joy of applauding for others is quite welcome in my day. If you want to find out more about New Year, New Book head over to the page and see if you want to get involved. I’m writing more now than I ever have done.

Pacifier 6 is released!

Pacifier final art 600 pixelsIt’s February 1st, and I met my goal; Pacifier 6 has been published! There was a slight glitch on Amazon, so I spent the night worrying, but when I awoke, there it was, shining out at my from the browser!

If you’d like to pick up a copy of Pacifier 6, it’s just $2.99 and available at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Smashwords (soon to come to iBooks, B&N and Kobo). I had a blast writing the story, so I hope you enjoy it!

If you’d like to read the first chapter to get a taster, then pop over to my website page which has the cover, blurb and entire first chapter excerpt – Sheila’s Escape – to enjoy.

Now it’s back to work for me, I have Inside Evil book three to write! 🙂

Cover Reveal for zombie novella, Pacifier 6

As many of you may know, I’ve been working on a new zombie novella for the past couple of months. Well, the manuscript is completed and ready to go, and now the artwork’s here. I’m absolutely thrilled with it, and once again, Keith Draws has done an amazing job! If you’d like to keep abreast with the latest book news, feel free to signup to the newsletter and get books news and publication dates direct to your inbox (infrequently, I promise).

But, for now….I give you Pacifier 6 The Shadows Within

Pacifier final art 600 pixels

The apocalypse has come and gone. A disease, an infection, that blackened the Earth with horror. Then came Pacifier 6; a drug to calm the evil, to dampen the cravings for flesh and bone. Now you go to the store and pick out a zombie as if you were buying a new pet. 

But what happens when you realise that familiar faces still have feelings? 

Karl’s pulling himself back together, attempting to cope with the losses that life has dealt him. Amidst the horror of the past few months, he begins to realise that death isn’t necessarily the end; it can be the start of something new, something that has never been seen before. With everyone around him battling to keep society intact, Karl manages to see beyond the ravaged faces of those he once knew. There’s a new creature in the darkness, a consciousness that most have overlooked, and it’s waiting to reveal itself.

Pacifier 6 – The Shadows Within will launch on Friday 1st February – That’s just TWO days. The novella will cost $2.99 as an ebook, and if you want a little reminder as soon as it’s available, free feel to signup to the newsletter. If you can’t wait, and NEED to read some now, then the first chapter has already been posted to enjoy – HERE.

Thanks for stopping by,

A bloodied and zombified Geoff 😀

Finding my way back to the inner pantser

In the writing industry, there are two common types of authors; the planners and the pantsers. If you haven’t heard of the latter term, it applies to writers to let the story emerge without really thinking about it. Whilst some individuals prefer to meticulously plan every chapter, draw up character sheets and have a detailed concept before they even start to write, pantsers normally have a few important story milestones to reach, a character or two at most and then just write. J. K Rowling is a famous planner of her novels, creating spreadsheets to easily guide her writing. I, however, am a complete pantser. I’ve never been able to plan a book in my life, and the idea of sitting down and writing out a chapter by chapter summary before I’ve even started makes me shudder. I actually don’t think I could even do it because many of my ideas spark from creative thought as I’m in the process of writing my fantasy novels.

Writing a series = Pantser freak out

However, herein lies the problem. Writing a standalone novel isn’t too tough if you just have to sit down and let the words flow. You can tighten up aspects of your book when you’re doing the edit. But, when you’re writing a series, all manner of complications begin to arise.

Spirits of the Middlelands is now progressing nicely, and I’m about one third of the way through (Hooray). Inside Evil was pretty easy to write, The Tower of Souls practically fell out of my mind and onto the page, and Spirits of the Middlelands? Gosh – it’s been causing me problems. I’m not sure whether it’s because I took time out to write CRYO and Pacifier 6, or whether I’m trying to wind so many strands of information together that it’s blowing my brain, but getting the flow has been hard.

So many threads

Spirits of the Middlelands is the third novel in a five book series, and whilst being the middle segment, there’s a lot to factor in. There are questions that need to be resolved from The Tower of Souls, for example. How did the Queen of the North Realms survive? Why was the girl able to cross over? Will the portal in the basement now be a doorway between worlds? These are all questions that need to be answered.

Then there is the lore around the Ammokra itself. What is it? Where did it start? Can it be stopped?

Then there are the individual story elements of each novel which need to tie together so you get the ‘Aha’ moments. Characters need to be progressed; Martha needs to be developed as a Gatekeeper, Roberta needs to prepare herself for life in hiding, Karl just needs to find an actual role in life.

Time to breathe

I’ve spoken about the threads as they’ve really begun to become problematic. How on earth can I write freely when there are so many elements that I’ve got to try and include? It’s for that reason that I’ve suffered major writer’s block for a couple of weeks. I like sitting down and watching Martha and Susan drink gin, or Roberta and Sam solving problems. I don’t want to feel as if I’m pulling teeth to get them to say or do anything.

Luckily, I’ve realised that the planning needs to step back, that I can go through the intricacies of the story in editing. That’s the time to add the little nuances and important features that will wind the entire series together. For now, I’m sitting back and let the characters do their own thing again, and truth be told, it’s working. Martha’s acting odder than ever, Roberta’s becoming more feisty and even Karl’s created an entire storyline that was never planned. This is the way I like it.

So what’s the entire point of this post? Basically, it’s to say; Don’t force it. I was trying far too hard to MAKE the story work instead of it letting it CREATE itself. Don’t stress on the first draft…just run with your thoughts and sort out the details later. You’d think I’d have known this by now…obviously not.

Are you a planner or a pantser? Let me know in the comments!

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.