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. 😀

Anne Rice on writing

I just thought I’d share this wonderful YouTube piece with Anne Rice about writing and self publishing.

‘Be brave, reach for the fire from heaven. And, nobody can tell you that you can’t do that. And, really, realise your dreams.’ – Anne Rice

Inside Evil; The Tower of Souls

It’s official, the sequel to Inside Evil that I’m currently writing will be called The Tower of Souls. You may think that, as an author, I ought to have known the title before I started writing. However, many authors actually finish entire novels before the title pops into their mind. In a similar way that characters grow into themselves as the pages are written, so too does the overall story arc, and often the title. And now, 20,000 words in, The Tower of Souls has ruminated in my mind for long enough to set down its official anchor.

What can we expect from The Tower of Souls? Well, to be completely honest, I’m not even sure yet. When I was in the throes of writing Inside Evil, a lot happened which I’d never envisaged. I have set milestones that I work towards, but the storytelling in between is left largely to my fingers and the characters themselves. Do I know where Tower of Souls will finish? Yes. Do I know what is going to happen along the way? Not entirely.

I can tell you that our favourite characters, Roberta, Sam, Susan, Martha and Karl will all be back, with Sam moving to the forefront a little and having his own Point of View (POV). As Roberta explores the dangerous world of Gathin, she’s going to discover the true horrors that shadows Ridgewood, and she may come to realise that her part in this story is not a mere accident. Meanwhile, with Roberta presumed dead by her friends who have been left behind, life goes on. However, shaking off the experience that was suffered in the final days before Inside Evil’s conclusion isn’t easy and, Sam in particular, will struggle to adapt.

Several further reviews have come in for Inside Evil, making me know that taking a breath and hitting that ‘publish‘ button was the right thing to do. Now, even I am excited by the story unfolding on the screen before me. Over the coming weeks I’m also going to post a little competition for one reader to have a very specific character placed within Gathin, allowing a creative fan to have their concept immortalised in an eBook form. But for now, and with a tentative release date of September, I need to get back to tap, tap, tapping away.

May’s increasing sales

May’s been a great month for me. Today, not to blow my own trumpet ‘too’ loudly, it’s my birthday. I’m 31 on the 31st of May…if only I could get 31 sales today too. 😉 Talking of sales, May has, by far, been my best month and I’ve noted a 233% increase in my books rocketing off the shelves. OK, ‘rocketing‘ may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I’ve increased from THREE sales last month, to 10 sales this month. See, I’ve had so many sales that it’s now not grammatically correct to spell out the number!

I know that hitting the lowest possible double digit figure for monthly sales may seem a ridiculous thing to be celebrating, but I’m moving in the right direction and that’s a good thing. I’ve had a unsolicited five star review on, I’ve had an email from a reader asking if I’m writing another book, and I’ve been getting great feedback from a couple of reviewers. I’ve had Inside Evil proofed from tip to toe so as to remove as many errors as possible (there were quite a few, I’ll admit it). And, let’s not forget, I had a new cover created.

When you’re first starting out in the publishing world, it’s little things that thrill you. Any sale is very exciting, a positive review makes your jaw hit the floor, and moving into a Top 100 list offers so much excitement that it’s almost impossible to stop screaming and dancing around the house (yes, I did this). I could never understand the rankings. I was listed as at some stupid seven millionth and something in the Kindle store, yet I didn’t appear in any other category lists. I wanted to know exactly how awfully low I was for specific genres. Then, I sold a few books and suddenly I was #87 in Horror and #93 in Occult in the listings. I didn’t stay there for very long mind you, but I don’t really care. I, me, Geoff Wakeling was, for the briefest moment, in a top 100 list. Awesome.

With May almost over, I’m already looking forward to June. This lovely summer month should see me feature on a few website reviews. In addition, my LibraryThing promotion finishes on June 5th. I’ll then be sending out 50 copies of Inside Evil to readers for reviews, so I hope that a few more positives may come back from the promotion. Ultimately, I hope this will lead to more sales as news of the book is spread across the web.

In the meantime I’m cracking on with the second book of the Inside Evil series. I’m almost ready to reveal the name, I just need to ponder it a little more before it’s set in stone. I’m also readying for a tiny weeny competition, the winner of which will have their idea featured in Book Two. Details to come.

For now, I must go and celebrate my day with another cup of tea, maybe some cake, and definitely some more writing. 🙂

MYO – a new publishing resource

There are a number of ways for indie writers to publish, including utilising Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes and Noble’s own self publishing kit, PubIt. Another small but growing resource is Make Your Offer (MYO) which offers a sales space to sell and barter for Ebooks.

The premise is quite good. Setting a price point on a book can be quite hard, especially if you only have a small number of titles out and can’t readily create a loss leader to encourage sales on other works. MYO allows the option for users to bid on your book, offering people the chance to read your sample and then make an offer on what they’ll pay for the title. You can specify a minimum approved bid and set the system to auto accept. Or, you can opt out of the bidding system and sell at a set price.

This is a growing community with currently less than 100 books available and a small number of members. But, everything has to start off small. The developers of MYO are constantly striving to make improvements which could see MYO continue to grow exponentially in the future. You can’t expect huge sales here, but you can expect a book community ready to make purchases and offer feedback.

I’m interested in how this website will work out, and for a first time novelist like me, who’s work got lost in the black hole of Amazon’s Kindle rankings almost immediately, the ability to have Inside Evil remaining visible for an extended period of time is welcomed. I’ll report back on how sales go, but any new way of selling and promoting Ebooks is surely of great use to the indie community.

Self Publishing – Providing the Crucial Bait

Today I was told that I had Anne Rice Syndrome. This is a very nice way of telling me that I’m doing something wrong. Anne Rice, the award winning author behind titles such as Interview with a Vampire and The Witching Hour is known for her long descriptive passages, causing readers to skip portions of the book. This is all very well for a well known author who’s work spreads by word of mouth and who doesn’t necessarily need that first paragraph hook. For me, however, changes need to be made to grip the reader immediately, rather than first setting the scene.

I’ve known that the first few pages of Inside Evil go to set the scene rather than jumping into the story. I’m no Tolkien, so I don’t spend 100 pages describing what Bilbo had for dinner, but the first 3/4 pages do set the scene of the craggy landscape where Ridgewood is set. If I were a well known author with lots of five star reviews, then yes, people would probably pick up, buy and read. However, i’m not, so a lack of instant appeal may cause readers to pass me by.

Ebooks, I feel, have a lot to do with this. As does Amazon’s Look Inside feature. Traditionally, if you bought a book, then you’d sit and read and indulge in descriptions. Certainly, I love that sort of written passage. However, with readers zapping through Amazon’s Look Inside feature and making decisions within paragraphs and pages, that instant grab factor has become vital.

So, what does it mean for me? My well meaning critique applauded my writing but suggested a first chapter rework so that readers are grabbed straight away. I’m considering it. I had hoped that the quality of writing would prevail and readers would become drawn into my described world. Perhaps i was wrong. I may attempt a rework, and then compare purchases to see if that first line hook is crucial in the long run. I will update on my findings!

A New Page

Self-publishing is hard work and it’s very easy to get immediately disheartened when your novel is not a breakout success and you don’t sell 1,000 copies every day. The more I read on forums, the more I realise that many authors trying to break into the market have long periods without sales. This is especially true if you only have a single novel and no ready-made user base to sell to. Combine that with no reviews or ratings, and your novel is floating, adrift from it’s readers. Some selling on Amazon call it the ‘beige wall of shame’, and you’ll know exactly what I mean if you’ve become a sales junkie and keep hitting that refresh button in your Amazon bookshelf tab.

In attempt to try and dispel some of the myths surrounding self publishing sales, I’ve created a new sales tab which will show you exactly how many sales I’m making on various platforms. OK, this may be seriously embarrassing for me, especially if my sales continue at their current level – NIL. But, it’ll be a nice guide for myself and hopefully other newbies to look at. It is with hope that one day I can look back upon this and see that the whole self publishing business was worthwhile. There’s a fun and refreshing thread over at Kindle Boards where many authors not selling 10,000 a month can celebrate their two sales a week. Always makes nice reading when the paranoid gremlins start taking hold.

On a side note, whilst sales just haven’t really occurred, I’m not yet too bothered. From what I’m reading, March can be a quiet month and many newer writers on Amazon are seeing lagging sales too. Combine that with the fact that Inside Evil is still ‘pending review’ on Smashwords, and I truly haven’t got enough exposure to be selling books yet. Onwards and upwards, and lets hope that my sales data doesn’t continue to be horrendously low.

Free ISBN’s back at Smashwords

Let’s face it, I came into self publishing with a blindfold on. I really didn’t know what to expect, and the question of getting an ISBN hadn’t even crossed my mind. Then, questions emerged…did I need an ISBN for an ebook? Were they even available? Wasn’t it only printed books that required ISBN’s? What was even the point of having one?

I looked on Amazon – no ISBN needed there, just your unique ASIN code which can be used on Goodreads in place of an ISBN. Result. I looked on Smashwords – ISBN needed for Sony, Apple and Kobo. Oh dear.

However, getting an ISBN is not as scary as it sounds, at all. There’s no lengthy paperwork to fill out and, even better, there’s no cost at all. That’s if you use Smashwords. Whilst you may opt to buy an ISBN, Smashwords regularly gets in a new batch of ISBN’s for you to utilise. Simply head to your ISBN Manager, click the ‘Actions’ tab to go to the purchase page and choose the ‘Free ISBN’ option. Click accept and hey presto, ISBN assigned. There’s no legal bearing over assigning a free ISBN from Smashwords and you’ll retain the rights to you work.

They’ve just got in a fresh batch of 50,000, so head there and assign your ISBN now so that you can start shipping ebooks to Apple, Kobo and Sony pronto.