Originally posted on Ruth Nestvold – Indie Adventures: I am finally (finally!) compiling my “Starting Out as an Indie Author” series into a book, and since I started this weekend, I’ve noticed a couple of things I still need to add. Since the first part of the book revolves around the question, “Is Self-Publishing For…
It never ceases to amaze me how people (often quite intelligent people) don’t bother to read things beyond what they want to see. Where I work (won’t mention the name) I’m forever yelling things like RTFM (read the f*cking manual) as no one has bothered to read past the first line of the email telling them what is needed, and more importantly how and when. And public wise – honestly – read the bloody info!
KDP-wise – check out the forums BEFORE you ask that question that has been asked a thousand times before. I’ve said it before READ THE FAQ. PLEASE. Years ago when I ventured on the Lulu forums as a noob I got totally roasted as I asked noobie questions and certain folks there really were NOT helpful. Anyway general the KDP folks are but it becomes very tedious with newbies asking the same questions as the person 30 seconds before.
Also if you want advice – then don’t fly off the handle if you’re given it and don’t like what you’re told. There are hundreds of threads asking about why books don’t sell, why the reports are ‘lying’, why the big bad Zon are diddling hardworking authors out of their money and mostly it’s bollocks. There are a number of active forum members who are happy to offer advice, point people towards the relevant FAQ area and try and help, but bitching to them as they’ve told you your book needs more work, or you haven’t registered your bank account etc, and getting snarky is likely to piss people off and remove said advice in the future.
So why isn’t your book selling? There are millions of books available on Kindle, and thousands more are uploaded every day. Why should anyone look at, or even find your book, or mine for that matter?
Promoting and marketing is not Amazon’s job – it’s yours. And it’s hard work, it takes time, patience and a certain degree of luck. There are tons of threads asking for advice on how to go about this. What works for one person might not work for another so there is a lot of trial and error. Here are some of the tactics I use, and have used but there are plenty of others:
Author interviews. Get yourself on blogs and spotlights. There are hundreds if not thousands of blogs that will offer interviews, features and spotlights either free or at low cost. (This one for a start). Obviously there is some effort in this – you have to search around to find suitable blogs – genre related is better but some people do offer to any genre. Ask the host what their following is – what you get – especially if you are expected to pay.
https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com/ – is a great promotional site. The hosters are friendly and although the author does have to pay, it’s worth the money. At roughly $11.50 a shot it’s within the budget of newbies.
Get your own blog/website. Currently we are working on a website to companion the blog and promote my books. Generally it’s useful to have a website – especially if you have more than one book. You can pay, or try and make your own for low cost Try WordPress.com, Wix.com or squarespace.com. I think a blog of some sort is a must. For a start it allows you to network – and this is really important. Generally indie authors are a supportive lot and will reciprocate. Also a blog is a space for readers and followers to get to know you (ditto author interviews). It’s not just about the books. Some people say it takes time away from writing – well yes and no. It does take time away from stories but you are still writing, and honing skills. It makes you think about what to write, who your audience is, what is interesting, what isn’t. Of course many bloggers use their space to share research, or topics that interest them. I’m big on research and I think this also gives the reader some confidence that the author knows what they are talking about.
Facebook: It’s worth getting an author/book page on Facebook.
Here’s mine https://www.facebook.com/LightBeyondtheStorm
Recently I took a foundation diploma in social media marketing and one of the modules dealt with Facebook and ads. I haven’t used a paid ad there yet (I may next year) but there are plenty of free groups that allow promotion. Some people say FB isn’t a good platform – I disagree. I’ve bought books directly from FB promotions and I’ve made good friends, and good contacts from FB.
Twitter: I wasn’t a fan of Twitter and held off getting an account for some while. Does it help? Yes, I think so. It’s a good platform to get the word out.
Why else might the book not be selling?
It’s crap. Of course ‘crap’ is a relative term but generally I mean it’s badly formatted, badly written and well, bad. We’ve probably all seen them: those books in which the English language and grammar are distinctly lacking and plot is absence, or scraped from the internet. Now every author thinks their book is great, but honestly it’s worth making sure it’s well written, formatted properly and (preferably) edited. Do you have a decent cover? A decent synopsis?
KDP don’t have a quality check – that’s your job as well, at least in part. Formatting guidelines can be found here: https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A12NQC9HQPI9CA
I find formatting for Kindle a lot easier than the other formats but with a decent knowledge of MSword it’s not that tricky. If you don’t have a good grasp of it you may be better to hire a formatter. (That might be a service on offer from us next year) or search the interweb for sites.
It’s worth remembering it takes time to build a following. Very few indie authors release a book and it’s a best seller in a week. It can take years.
There’s a particular poster on the KDP forum who tells newbies to write what sells. If you’re like me you can’t simply sit down and say ‘ah romance is hot this week – I’ll write a romance novel’. Well I can but no one would want to read it. Besides what is popular changes. Tastes change.
It annoys me – substandard ‘popular’ trash uploaded quickly with no care for the reader. There’s a reason indies have a bad rep. Grr.
What I’m rambling about is basically – it takes time, patience and work to sell books. The writing is easy (sort of). Do the best you can with the resources you can spare.
KDP Support Contact https://kdp.amazon.com/contact-us
An author friend mentioned https://www.bundlerabbit.com/ to me.
Basically it’s a site where an author can upload his or her book and ‘curators’ can bundle books together to sell as a package. Each author gets a share of 70% royalty and the reader gets five, ten or so books to read for a bargain price.
So if the individual book is 1.99 and there are 5 at that price that’s 9.95 but the bundle might be on sale for, say, 7.50. The authors get 5.25 split between them. That may be a sale they wouldn’t have got for the stand alone.
Currently I’m only putting short books in – to see how it goes. It’s a wee bit fiddly, and obviously one has to register and have a paypal account (for royalties).
Readers can look at bundles they want – and either pay what they want or the set price – then the books are downloaded to their Kindle. They can opt to donate some of the price to charity
Copyright stays with the individual authors and they can be sold elsewhere. (Unless you’re in KDP Select – but that’s another case.
Some of you may have heard of Kindle Scout, I have but not in much detail. Today I welcome Erin McGowan, who has her book Mage Awakening in the programme and she’s here to talk about the process.
Over to you Erin.
The Kindle Scout program benefits Kindle publishing, authors, and readers. An author submits an unpublished book to the Scout program for thirty days of public viewing, during that time the author can promote the book any way he or she chooses. Readers can save the book for later or nominate it if they are interested in that book based on the cover, title, blurb, summary, and sample of the book. The sample is around 5,000 words, and usually shows the reader around three or four chapters. There is also an author bio, and the author can choose to answer some questions, mainly about reading, writing, and their book.
Kindle Scout shows the author daily stats on page views and how many hours a day the book was on the Hot and Trending list, but not how many nominations the book has. Those reports are updated once a day around 5:30 in the morning. At the end of the thirty day campaign the Kindle Scout team has up to fifteen days to decide if they will award a five year contract to the author for that book. If the book is picked up by Kindle the author receives a $1,500 advance, and has the promotional power of Kindle backing that book. A lot of authors hear back from Kindle after 48 hours, but there are some instances where the wait is longer.
Personally, I have found the people at Kindle Scout to be very nice, professional, and accommodating. The campaign requires more promotion than I was expecting, and I think that I would have been in a better position if I were a more established author, but this has been a great learning opportunity and has given me a chance to reach more potential readers.
My book, “The Mage: Awakening” is about a thirteen-year-old girl who discovers her magical powers when she is four. Her disastrous home life turns unbearable, and she uses her talent for channeling emotions right before she runs away from home. A fully trained mage tracker, Cadence, feels her use that talent and tracks her down. He informs her that she is a mage and can go to school to learn more magic and develop more facets of her magical talent. Her new school is in the in Faerie realm, and Katrina quickly makes friends with other mage students and Fae students, alike. Katrina has a lot on her plate, juggling her old family, a new family, friends, school, and a new romance, when accidents start happening to the Fae students. People start questioning whether the accidents are all that accidental, or if someone has an agenda to make the Fae pay.
Today I welcome Dylan Callens to the Library of Erana where he chats about some of the challenges facing the new author.
What to Do Next
I’ve finished my first book. I have one month to prepare before its release while my editor diligently works away at what I hope are my last few grammatical and punctuation errors. That leaves me one month to navigate through the insane world of social media, to build some kind of audience before its launch date. Where do I even start?
I have several ideas; I’m not green when it comes to web design or working on social media platforms. I’ve promoting things online before with varying degrees of success. I even purchased a book to help me with online marketing. Alas, I am only one person trying to build a website, tweet interesting tweets, post amusing Facebook content, network on Goodreads, and create articles for other blogs.
Shit, I think to myself. Should I create a book trailer? Should it be shot using live action? I know how to shoot and edit good video, so maybe I should. Then I calculate the amount of time it will take me before I would be happy with such a project. Ten hours, minimum, for a one minute trailer, I figure. That is ten hours where I am not actively networking. With only four weeks until launch, how will I fit that into my already congested schedule?
My attention turns to setting up accounts for distribution. The usual suspects: Amazon, Kobo, and iBooks. I’m leery about iBooks but I’m not sure why. Then I notice Amazon’s button for KDP Select. Some research is required. On the surface, if sounds like a great plan, except for the part where I can’t sell my ebooks on any other platform. More reading. Some have success, some do not. I can’t decide. I shelf the idea for the time being. I still have a few weeks, I’ll figure it out later.
And then there’s advertising. Where do I advertise? What is my budget? I have a little money squirreled away for that but I’m not convinced that it’ll be enough. I figure that I will be throwing money into a pit. Yet, I need to get my name out there. I read a great post about advertising on Amazon that suggests it is a profitable endeavor. Does that mean I have to enroll in KDP Select to use it? And what about Goodreads? That seems like an ideal place. But those ads look so cheap.
My head is swirling with ideas. There is no clear path. I sit up, take a deep breath and try to clear my head. There is only one thing I can do, I figure. Put my fingers to the keyboard and start on something. Anything. I will keep writing. Timelines aren’t that important right now anyway. As long as I keep pushing forward, I will be fine. As long as I can contain the fear of failure, I will persevere. When I’m overwhelmed by the magnitude of work that is ahead of me, I will have to re-center myself on the idea that as long as I am working, I am doing the right thing. Making mistakes will only delay success, not stop it.
Dylan Callens is a high school teacher in Sudbury, Ontario. He is the author of, Operation Cosmic Teapot, which will be available on Amazon on December 11, 2015
An interesting post on balance in fantasy.
It’s tempting to make your mage a siege-engine of shock and awe, but it can also break your world.
I’ve come across this a lot. An author has spent hundreds of pages building a coherent world that feels lived-in and real. This is nothing to sniff at; creating a sense of verisimilitude in a place inhabited by goblins, elves and demons ain’t easy. But good writers do it all the time. It’s a strange and impressive alchemy that makes the fantastic believable and the outlandish relatable.
But then, the good guys get attacked. Some terrible foe emerges, ripping up the earth, raising devils, pummeling the lines of soldiery with blocks of ice, thunderbolts and gouts of molten lead. And the mage sighs, grits his teeth in concentration and WHAM!
When the smoke clears, all the bad guys are dead, and the mage is… well, he’s a bit tired and grouchy…
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Name: Jacob Foxx
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
How do YOU define fantasy/science fiction/heroism? I define science fiction as human experiences with the fantastic, where the fantastic has its roots in natural and physical laws. Something in our existing body of knowledge about the world provides the basis or explains the spectacular or fantastic thing in the story. To me, it doesn’t matter whether it is hard science, soft science, the future, the past, or an alternate reality, if it has roots in human knowledge, it is science fiction. Some things have a combination of science and fantasy, such as zombie and superhero stories. Both sit on the boundary of the genres. For those, you have to look at each on a case-by-case basis.
Fantasy is simply human experiences with the fantastic, where the fantastic is not rooted in natural or physical laws. It can be rooted in religious belief, mythology, spiritualism, or anything supernatural. There’s no need for an explanation of the fantastic, it simply exists. At the boundary are objects that might be real but are unproven or dismissed by mainstream science as fantasy. The writer might believe the object of their story is real. If the writer attempts to create a scientific explanation, no matter how improbable, it probably fits better in science fiction. If the author doesn’t make an attempt at a scientific explanation, I’d say its fantasy.
I use the word “root” as in foundation. The fantastic object or event must have its foundation in natural or physical laws, not its parts or some tangential relationship. A fictional dragon might obey the laws of aerodynamics or possess biological qualities similar to an actual reptile, but the creature itself is fantasy.
How pervasive do you think fantasy/sci-fi is in our society today? Why do you think this is? Science fiction is extremely pervasive thanks to the increasing role of new technology in daily life, as well as advances in CGI and other special effects in movies. There are also an increasing number of people that work in the technology sector as opposed to factory floors or farms. Creativity and critical thinking are more highly valued in the new economy. From a societal standpoint, science fiction is a positive force because it encourages curiosity and open-mindedness. Most of all, science fiction makes us think about the future, whether just a few years or generations ahead. We could all do a little more long-term thinking.
Fantasy is enjoying a renaissance thanks to CGI. The biggest fantasy franchises are all classics from the 20th and 19th centuries that adapted to the big screen and television. A few decades ago this was largely impossible. Special effects just weren’t advanced enough for an epic like The Lord of the Rings. Modern filmmaking technology has given new life to fantasy stories, even ones as old as Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
I think fantasy is also growing rapidly due to increasing diversity of beliefs in the West. I’m not old enough to comment on society prior to the 1990s but my general impression is that older generations had a mild disdain towards the supernatural, pagan myths and fables. It was weird, and weird was shunned. There was a preference towards realism and relatable heroes of the day. Christianity was also the dominant source of allegorical tales and fables, which didn’t leave much room for others. American society has since grown much more diverse in thought and far more open to the fantastic. We live in fantastic times after all.
Fantasy and science fiction used to be seen as very male-oriented, do you think this is still the case. Do you have any experience of this? Science fiction is still male-oriented but not as extensive as before. Sadly, my favorite genre has been the slowest to adopt gender parity. Most science fiction authors are probably men, or at the very least an overwhelming majority of the bestselling authors. The gender breakdown among the readers is probably just as lopsided. Clearly science fiction is failing to appeal to half the audience. There are probably a few causes but it is something I hope changes very soon.
The imbalance has led to some other unfortunate trends in the literature itself. Many science fiction novels are somewhat misogynistic with male-dominated casts. Often there are only one or two female characters that aren’t portrayed in a positive or flattering light. They fulfil the limited role of the love interest. Many embody the adolescent male fantasy: doe-eyed nymphomaniac desperate for the affections of the hero. Such stories don’t appeal to female readers. As a result science fiction has yet to reach its full potential.
I am not as familiar with the fantasy genre but my impression is that it is far less male-oriented than science fiction. If anything, it has reached gender parity. There are plenty of female main characters that are quite compelling. A large number of fantasy authors are women, and probably a majority of fantasy readers. Some antiquated stereotypes remain but they are fading fast.
How important are ‘facts’ in fantasy/science fiction – does something need to be plausible to be believable? In fantasy, consistency is more important than plausibility. As long as a fantasy world has its own “facts” and adheres to them throughout the story, it works. Obviously, they don’t have to correspond with any real-world facts. Plausibility is rarely a factor. However, world-building is just as important to fantasy as it is to science fiction. The more fantastic the world, the greater thought needs to go into how everything fits together. Problems arise when the fantasy facts don’t seem to fit the world or don’t seem to give rise to the world the author created. If the world breaks down, the story breaks down.
In science fiction, plausibility is important but not essential. I used to think scientific plausibility was essential but often times a story is better served by playing a little loose with the science. Inaccuracies tend to drive hardcore fans nuts but I’ve become more tolerant of them as long as they aren’t blatant nonsense. My general rule is the closer a fact is to the central conflict in the story, the more plausible or grounded it has to be. Science fiction world-building also needs the same consistency as fantasy. Whatever new technologies or facts exist in the author’s universe, they need to have to fit within the overall setting. In other words, it has to be very clear how we got there. Here, science fiction has a smaller margin of error than fantasy.
How has science fiction changed from the days of Mary Shelley and Jules Verne? It is getting much harder to impress audiences these days. Mary Shelley and Jules Verne had almost no competition. Today, science fiction is a crowded genre. Theoretical technologies are now the norm, thanks to the maturation of the genre and advances in real-world technology. Shelley and Verne also used fantastic technologies to make social commentary. Sadly, fewer and fewer science fiction writers do this today. There seems to be a reluctance to challenge readers intellectually or to stimulate critical thinking on controversial issues. It may have to do with the reluctance to betray one’s own beliefs for fear of alienating readers. Shelley and Verne didn’t have mainstream ideas and certainly weren’t afraid to present unconventional perspectives.
Shelley and Verne also wrote about technologies that were truly out there. H.G. Wells was another that sought to see farther into the future than anyone had previously. Contemporary writers tend to utilize established sci-fi technologies already familiar to readers. There is also a strong preference towards familiar character archetypes and stories. Most movies are sequels or reboots of 20th century classics, or are adapted from old comic book heroes. This might be a temporary nostalgic phase, but as a whole, science fiction has lost some of its creative edge recently.
What science fiction/fantasy has influenced you most? What would you say the most influential writers/film-makers? Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek has had the largest impact on me. It brought a positive and hopeful vision of the future but also presented the serious challenges we will face as well. Knowledge and critical thinking were essential to the success of Star Trek missions. In most conventional fiction, the protagonist triumphed through feats of physical prowess or tactical genius. Star Trek was about problem-solving and creativity. It much better resembled the major challenges of the real world. Most of all, Star Trek was about progress. It wasn’t about making the best of an imperfect world but finding ways to make it better. There were futuristic technologies of course but there were also new political, social, and cultural advances in Roddenberry’s future, many of which are those we aspire to today.
The ideals of Roddenberry were embodied in Captain Jean-Luc Picard. He was part commander, part statesman, part explorer, part scientist, and part philosopher. He is the ideal Starfleet citizen and a portrait of everything we could be in the future. The principles of the Federation, such as the Prime Directive were also impressive given that they applied to situations we have yet to face and probably won’t for centuries.
From a literary standpoint, Frank Herbert’s Dune is the best sci-fi novel I’ve ever read. The planet of Arrakis came alive in a way no other fictional world has for me. H.G. Wells and George Orwell have also been very influential. In terms of influencing the genre as a whole, I think the big three probably have had the greatest impact on science fiction: Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and Arthur C. Clarke. More recent influences are Orson Scott Card, Michael Crichton, and William Gibson.
James Cameron is probably the most influential science fiction filmmaker of our time. Aliens, The Abyss, Terminator 2, and Avatar are classics that everyone should see. George Lucas, of course, inhabits a special place in science fiction.
In 2015 I am welcoming a number of guests to my blog, where they discuss all manner of topics. I am sure my regular followers have seen the Fantasy and Literary Heroes in Society posts, which will be a continuing feature but today I am pleased to welcome Jacquelynn Luben who talks about the challenges of writing in multiple genres, her work in a small publishing house, research and the challenges faced by many authors. Over to you Jacquelynn…
Crossing Categories in Writing
Over the years, I’ve written both fiction and non-fiction, short and long. That is to say, I’ve written two non-fiction books and two novels (and am in the process of writing the third) and I’ve also written many short stories and published quite a few articles.
In terms of success, one of my non-fiction books was commissioned and published by a mainstream publisher, while the other was self-published, and of course, my articles were published in print magazines.
My novels, on the other hand, are published by a small publishing house, in which I am a director, with two others – so quite a small concern – which makes it more difficult to achieve the same sort of success as with a mainstream publisher. However, on-line sales through Amazon have provided me with a very satisfactory income during the last three years, and this specifically applies to my fiction work.
I have never been a professional writer, and have never had to rely on writing for an income. So from this point of view, I am happy with the way my writing has progressed. It means I write what I feel like writing and when I feel like it, and am not normally boxed into a corner where I have to produce something to a deadline.
In the past, my non-fiction writing has been praised for its clarity, and perhaps I should have concentrated on that. However, the truth of the matter is that I do not really like researching a subject. My first non-fiction book (The Fruit of the Tree) was written from the heart, as it dealt with the death of my baby daughter through cot death. Having written articles on the subject, I wanted to put the event into context, and so described a period of five years of my married life, including the births of my other children. No research was needed. At the time when I wrote it, it was all there in my memory.
I have spoken to writers who say that they love the research more than the writing. This does not apply to me. The writing is the part which is enjoyable; I like using words – as any writer should – and I like editing what I have written, moving words, sentences and paragraphs around. (Computers have made that aspect of writing so much easier.) My articles therefore, have, on the whole, been based on my personal experience, the most recent having been published in a ‘nostalgia’ magazine, and have therefore not required much in the way of research.
It was as a result of writing my first book – which in the end, I published myself – that I was commissioned to write a self-help book on the subject of cot death, and for this I had to use my head and try to be somewhat more objective about the subject. I did, of course, have to research the topic, and I interviewed a number of people, taking notes and using, at that time, a tape recorder, before going to the computer to transcribe the interviews. I tried to make them wide ranging, including as my interviewees, bereaved parents, doctors and a midwife, a funeral director, and representatives of the charity which gave support to bereaved parents. The parents, too, were diverse and included, for example, those who had had more children and those who chose not to, and religious and non-religious people.
My motivation for writing fiction is really quite different, the common factors being my enjoyment of writing, and my interest in the structure of any piece of work. I am a sucker for stories. If I turn on the radio or TV, half way through a play, I will probably get hooked and want to know what happened. So constructing a story and living in the world of that story is a different kind of escapism. Fiction comes in for criticism from my engineer husband, because it’s ‘not true’, but I believe that there is sometimes more truth in fiction than in factual stuff. In my opinion, whenever fiction writers describe events, they are remembering something that occurred in their own lives, or that they have heard about. The truth is in the emotion that was experienced, even if the fictional characters do not exist. So a piece of fiction is a tapestry of true or half remembered events or events that could happen. Even in fantasy and science fiction, (which I generally don’t write) good writers usually represent their characters with normal human emotions.
I think that writers have to recognise today that it is very difficult to make a living from writing unless you produce a best-seller. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities to get work read and even paid for, particularly in the field of ebooks. My novel, Tainted Tree, is the piece of work that has provided me with an income recently and is the most read of my current work. Initially on the Amazon discussion pages, I promoted it a great deal, though this can bring Amazon’s wrath upon your head, so after a reprimand, I made sure that I was more cautious in this respect.
I made sure that I made good use of the categories on the book’s Kindle page, and was fortunate in that another writer who had created a ‘Listomania’ of genealogical novels, added it to his list. If you are the writer of ‘literary fiction’, your book may not be too specific, but as I don’t come into that category, and prefer plot based books, it is probably easier to categorise them. Having said that, I don’t believe that any book fits into one category. Tainted Tree is a genealogical romance with a bit of mystery and history in the package. My current novel in progress is a crime thriller, which also has a romantic thread.
My books have in common one thing. I have read and reread them over and over again and made changes to numerous drafts. Even if I break the rules, I regard grammar and spelling as of great importance, and, with the help of my fellow directors at our shared publishing house and other writers at my writing circle, I try, to the best of my ability, to sift out all errors. I also try my hardest to make sure that loose ends are tied up and that there are no errors of continuity. I am not a professional writer, but I try to be professional.
I can’t believe it will be 2015 in a few hours, where has the year gone?! So what has 2014 brought? Words! Knowledge! Friendship!
It’s too many years for me to confess to since I left university but my thirst for knowledge hasn’t abated. As some of my followers know I love history, especially ancient history. The course https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/hadrians-wall Hadrian’s Wall – Life on the Roman Frontier was fascinating. Well presented and interesting this was a good look at life in Roman Britain, and the challenges facing both occupiers and occupied. There may well be a story from this era…. watch this space.
Next year – January I am hoping to complete another course about Roman Architecture and archeology, and later on the Coursera course about Science Fiction and Fantasy.
I’d planned for Book III of the Chronicles to be out by year end, but for one reason or another this hasn’t occurred. It is, however, done in draft so should appear in the springtime. I’ve not been idle, this year has been a year of short stories, planning and promotion.
My books this year:
Nine Heroes: Tales of Heroic Fantasy. This includes a Tale of Erana not featured anywhere else. Coel is the reluctant hero of this tale of slavery and revenge. Look out for Coel again in 2015
Kiss and Tales – the Romantic Collection (with the Indie Collaboration).
Summer Shorts (with the Indie Collaboration) – this includes some poetry about the British Summer Time, and a short story about the Kitchen Imps.
Spectacular Tales (with the Indie Collaboration) – (free) featuring some poetry and a fairy tale retelling.
Tales from Darker Places (with the Indie Collaboration) (free) – featuring some poetry, a dark and twisted story about Jack the Ripper, and a dark tale about a lonely vampire.
Bellator – I have to say I haven’t had that much fun for ages. It was such a joy to be co-writing with Diana Wicker again. Perhaps these characters might appear again. This charity anthology is raising money for wounded service personnel, a cause close to my heart. Books for heroes and stories about heroes – what a marvellous combination.
Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends – a collection of tales set in Erana featuring errant gods, magic, myth and mayhem – Also in Audio. On the subject of Audio I started running Audio Book Narrator interviews, which were fascinating. For me a whole new world was revealed – a book read aloud is a treasure indeed, it brings forth emotions of joy from memories of parental and grandparental story telling, sitting down at school and being read to, and reading aloud to friends. Story telling is as old as the hills, and is central to our culture.
Wyrd Worlds II – this free anthology features another tale of the Kitchen Imps, plus a short fantasy tale of the god-keeper of a small bluish-green world.
Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse – new release. A short story of myth and magic set in the world of Erana.
Blog-wise there have been:
18 character interviews with everyone from William Shakespeare, a horse, a dog, several aliens, a few witches and wizards, a couple of demi gods, a vampire and even Satan himself.
42 author interviews covering fantasy, science fiction, suspense, paranormal, children’s fiction, crime and historical.
3 narrator interviews, including Chris Morris.
6 editor interviews.
5 cover designer interviews.
5 reader interviews.
2 reviewer interviews.
Several blog tours stopped by, plus there’s been advice about audio books, Thunderclap, book reviews, course reviews, giveaways, new releases and much more. It has been a busy year!
So what will 2015 bring?
The Stolen Tower – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles Book III will appear in the spring.
Plus there will be more short stories, including more from the Kitchen Imps, Coel and the Thiefmaster, and more Tales of Erana. Book IV of the Chronicles is in planning, and I dare say more short stories will spring from that. A murder mystery, plus perhaps some more grimdark.
There may also be an erotica collection, co-written with a friend.
Wow I am busy already and the year hasn’t even started!
There will be several guest posts discussing the influence of fantasy on our culture, plus, of course many more interviews. The first of these is scheduled Jan 2nd 2015 from Joe Bonadonna. If you are interested in participating in an interview, a guest post or blog tour stop-off please contact using the form below or on the Contact Details page.