Monday, 29 September 2014

Goodreads Giveaway: Dark Winter, Crescent Moon (Dark Winter #2)

Enter...or else...

I have one copy to give away. Check to see if your country is listed. And make sure you have read Book One, The Wicca Circle. You need it before reading this one! Dark Winter: The Wicca Circle - Buy on Amazon here>
If you enter, leave a (hopefully!!!) positive review for The Wicca Circle, you will be entered into a draw to win a crescent moon pendant.

If you leave a review for Dark Winter Crescent Moon, you will be entered into a draw for a $25 Amazon gift voucher.

If you don't enter, I am not responsible for what happens. You'll be referred to Dana, above. Just sayin.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Dark Winter by John    Hennessy

Dark Winter

by John Hennessy

Giveaway ends November 21, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Monday, 1 September 2014

Book Review #24: Createspace and Kindle Self-Publishing Masterclass by Rick Smith

In the minefield of books, it is difficult, if not near-impossible to select a book you will be happy with. Sure, you can go by the reviews, but ultimately, you go with your gut (unless you have bags of time and money) and with Amazon's Look Inside feature, or the sample you can send to your Kindle, you can get a good feel for a book without actually buying it.

If you are an author, at whatever stage you find yourself, at best, this book will certainly help you sell more books and at the very worst,  you will have learned something about the dark arts. I'm not talking about witchcraft - I am talking about Marketing.

This book is the perfect guide to assist authors who want to publish on Createspace. It's amazing what assumptions people make - the typographer for one of my books said 'Oh all you have to do is send me your Createspace template'...I had no idea what she was on about. That was more than two years ago now (scary) and I can say I do know more about Createspace and what it does.

There are no assumptions that I could find in this book, just clear, concise facts and it is a truly excellent step by step guide to help with publishing on Amazon, which is the easy part. The dark art of Marketing, however, is covered extremely well here and even though I majored in the discipline, that was years ago before the age of social media. The basics of marketing and sales have not changed since the dawn of time. There is a market and there are sellers that operate within that market.

All one has to do, is provide supply for the demand. What demand though? How can you create demand for your book? My other half has a way of putting it, whenever I go into overdrive about one of my favourite books:-

"Whichever book you have, you will still want a new one, a new story, a new adventure. People always want something new."

That's true, and I feel she is right on this. I may love Lord of the Rings, but people will always want the new Lord of the Rings, the new Hunger Games, the new Harry Potter. Dare I say....the new Dark Winter book?

This book helps someone like me....who admits to not being very good at promoting or marketing himself. That's not because I lack confidence - it's more about that I don't want to be a nag, and I believe that if people want to read my books, then they will. I just needed a push to say 'hey, read my book' once in a while, whilst hopefully being supportive to others.

Rick Smith has organised the thoughts we often have, turning them into meaningful actions, and you'll find yourself doing it.

I am trialling a few things from this book:-
  • Doing the Createspace edition first, not the Kindle version
  • Joining relevant groups without being a PITB (pain in the butt)
  • Taking myself seriously as a writer and involving people I know in the process

The last point is very relevant for me. My first non-fiction book came out in 2011, and it was a full two years before I had a meaningful non-fiction book to push out. Two years! Now I do believe in quality over quantity, but we can write more faster than we do. It's shameful when you think about the time we waste.

I have the Kindle version of this book, but I am inclined to purchase the paperback as there is information that may get by you on the e-book. The print edition would force to write your little darlings. Yes, the words nag at you, but unless you park yourself in that chair and disconnect the internet - the words will not get done. Once they are done, you will need a constant reminder to push the book out.

Things I loved:-

"People frequently fail at new things they attempt simply because they do not have a system to follow."
True. Give yourself a system, and follow it, follow it. Follow. IT. (That's enough of the CAPS fury!)

"99c/99p is the new free." 
Yep. 'Free books' don't have a value attached and I am not certain they create run-on sales. My first non-fiction book sold just fine without a free book promotion. That doesn't mean I haven't done one; I have, just in my view they do not work. Rick is right - 99c does at least give you a bump up in the early weeks when you are trying to get traction.

"Even in the lower reaches of the top 10k, you'll be moving anything up to 500 units a month."
Doesn't that motivate you to get there too?

Finally, I have to say thanks to my good friend and fellow author Elizabeth for recommending this book. You see, friends, recommendations are so important. We need them. So get reading, get reviewing, and get productive making the best book you can. Give the readers a professional, awesome book that they will happily recommend too!