#Mondayblogs KDP select, updates, reviews & competition news

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, so I thought it was the perfect time for a little update.

Review News

Firstly, Visions of Zarua had two reviews within hours of each other over the weekend! I’m suffering with a cold at the moment and these reviews were the perfect pick me up. See them on the Goodreads book page and Amazon UK.

One reviewer even said Paddren was one of her top five favourite characters of the year. That is amazing to hear and really makes me smile, thank you Karen.O.

Visions of Zarua has received some wonderful feedback over the last year with 17 reviews on amazon UK and 15 on goodreads. These reviews have been my inspiration to keep writing and I never tire of re-reading them.

New Competition

A UK only Goodreads competition will be running over the Christmas period. 22nd Dec to 1st Jan 2017.

I’m also about to set up a Rafflecopter giveaway, something I’ve not done before but we’ll see how that works out.

Next Book News

My first two beta readers reviews are in. The consensus is that The Lost Sentinel is almost ready to publish! There’s still a few tweaks and mistakes to rectify, but it’s pretty much complete. Then it’ll just need a professional edit and book cover.

Book 2 is written but awaiting the insertion of many, many scenes. I hope to start planning book 3 soon with a view to writing the draft during Nano next November. Scary to think of Nov 2017, but it’s good to have a plan.

One of my beta readers is really pushing me to approach agents before I self publish The Lost Sentinel. She thinks it’s a much stronger book than Visions of Zarua and the fact its book 1 of a trilogy might make it a better prospect for agents and publishers to consider. What do you think of switching directions?

I’ll be researching my options over the next few months. It’s exciting, but I’ve enjoyed self-publishing and I’m not sure I want to hand over control to others. There’s also the rejections to face again. Am I ready for that?

Reading challenge

I beat my 25 book target on Goodreads, which I’m really pleased about. There’s still time to get another book or two in and I’m hoping to post a review tomorrow of A Wedding in Cornwall by Laura Briggs.

There are plenty of book tags around that I’d like to have a go at, and maybe I’ll try to select my favourite book of 2016. It’s harder this year as I’ve read more books than I’m used too. 2015 my fav book was Ink and Bone’ by Rachel Caine.

KDP Select / Countdown deals & Amazon Ads

Well the exclusive publishing is not going well and Kindle Unlimited KENP has gone down to zero pages for the last two months. At the back end of October this was looking like an exciting new way of reaching readers, now I don’t know. I’m stuck with it until Feb 2017, after that it will be decision time.

The second Countdown deal didn’t go to plan. It worked in the UK and US, but seemed to start at different times. The Amazon Ads I’d scheduled didn’t work properly and the book price didn’t increase on the second day for some reason. This isn’t really an issue, but it just made my blog/tweets about it harder – I didn’t want to mention price in case it suddenly hopped up to 1.99. I made a few sales, but nothing to worry the bestseller lists!

I spent more on Ads with Facebook, Amazon and Goodreads than I made in sales. Still, it’s all exposure for the book.

Call for help

If you have Kindle Unlimited, don’t forget Visions of Zarua is free to read in the UK here and the US here.

I would really appreciate it of someone who has the facility would read a couple of pages and let me know when, just so I can check the pages read are being registered.

Also, I had this crazy idea that I’d like to hit 20 reviews on Amazon before the end of the year. If you have read Visions, would you consider posting a short review? It really does make my day to read them.

I’m sure I’ll post again soon, but if not before the big day…

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

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12 thoughts on “#Mondayblogs KDP select, updates, reviews & competition news

  1. Congratz on everything!
    I would agree it would be nice to approach agents, I really liked Visions and I want to see and imagine seeing authors like you with agents, publishers and in bookstores.
    That being said, however, from the advice you mentioned, having a trilogy planned is not always a good thing. With agents and trad publishing, things can go weird ways and sometimes having more than 1 book planned right away is seen as a bad sign. Like, lets say you get some great deal, but the book simply does not sell and the same publisher does not want to take book 2. Stuff like this.
    Just make sure when soliciting agents to feel synergy with them, and find ones that will not only work for your and their best interest, but the books as well! In short, my point is, agents are hit and miss, don’t think there is only one, they are all different and ask different things – its about finding a match!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So much happening! I loved Visions of Zarua. I am currently manically working through my review pile and I think it will be one of the books I publish reviews for next week, obviously I will post to goodreads and Amazon aswell 😀

    Have a great Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I need your link to your book on your blog post lol otherwise I have to hunt it down. I will though but it’s a good idea to link to it from your blog post which makes it easier for people like me to add it to my library since I have KU.

    Sorry to hear your FB and Amazon ads haven’t generated any income as of yet. If you have any questions, if I can help you, I will. I’ve been doing well with my FB ads (knock on wood) and just started with Amazon ads a few days ago. Spent $7 so far with $0.00 sold but have no idea if that has contributed to my KU reads. Probably not a good idea for me to run both FB and Amazon together for the same book but I’m waiting for another book to change its cover before I start advertising that as well.

    Congratulations on your reviews and being close to getting Visions done. I can’t say much about approaching agents since once you submit it, it’s a long wait sometimes to hear from anyone and all that time your book will be sitting in limbo. And I’m also all for self-publishing than trad publishing, being a self-publisher myself. If you’re on Facebook, I highly recommend joining the 20Booksto50K group which has a lot of sci-fi fantasy authors – and very successful ones at that although they are the most helpful ones I’ve ever come across. Even though I write romance, they are probably the most supportive group I’ve ever seen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, thanks for commenting. I’ve added the book link for US and UK – thanks for the pointer.

      I’m really not sure what to do about the searching for an agent, but I think I will contact those I’ve always wanted to work with and see what response I get.

      With regards to Amazon Ads – I’ve sold 8 books through them so far, but spent $50 (5 books through Product display ads, 3 on sponsored products). The return is not great, but I’ve reached 8 new readers in the US which is brilliant! What I don’t understand about these ads is that so many people click on the book (227 so far) and only 8 have bought it.

      The facebook ads (1 in UK & 1 in US) reached around 700 views with a few likes but no one bought the book this way during the countdown deal period.
      I’ll check out that group you mentioned as well, thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Before I forget, I downloaded Visions last night through KU and I hope it registered all the pages read.

        One of the things I noticed about your book page on Amazon US is that it doesn’t tell much in the title alone. You can have Visions of Zarua on the title but on the subtitle, you can include “A Standalone Epic Fantasy Novel” which can help with visibility.

        Your blurb also needs to be spiffed up a bit, complete with bold letters in some places so they stand out. I’ve applied how I normally write blurbs and this is just a suggestion so hope you don’t mind it:

        Two wizards, 350 years apart, must save the realm of Paltria from an ancient darkness that haunts it.

        When his master dies under mysterious circumstances, apprentice wizard Paddren is determined to find his killer after the Royal Order of Wizards refuses to investigate. Aided by his childhood friend, the skilled tracker Varnia, and her lover Leyoch, they encounter assassins, secret sects and creatures conjured by blood magic.

        Through it all, Paddren is haunted by visions of Zarua, a city on the brink of annihilation, and a connection with a wizard from centuries ago who holds the key to its horrors.

        Can Paddren decipher his visions in time to save his beloved Paltria from the dark menace of Zarua’s past?

        I have to look up which places work best to advertise your next Countdown deal. I usually use BKnights and also for fantasy, I’m not sure, but Robin Reads might be a good bet as well. There are a few more and I’ll look them up if you want, but I always will stack my ads if I have the budget. And if funds are tight, then I always have Facebook and Twitter.

        Since your book is in KU, another place for exposure is Instafreebie. They have a free plan right now where you can offer the teaser or 10% which Amazon shows readers and people download it. Just make sure to have the link at the end of the last chapter that they can click to go directly to your Kindle book page. You can also use Instafreebie to build your mailing list and that feature is $20/month although they have 1 month free right now to try it out. But definitely just offer the sample without having to go against KU guidelines and I guarantee that you’ll get additional exposure for your book. Let me know if you need any help and I’ll be happy to help you out. I used Instafreebie for my last release by offering the first 4 – 5 chapters and it definitely got me sales because it hooked readers right away and they had to buy it to continue 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Liz. Thanks for helping with the KU pages, I can see that one or two people have definitely been reading it which is reassuring.
        I’ll look into all your suggestions re: ads and the blurb, and instafreebie which i’d ignored as I hadn’t considered the fact the book’s free with KU.
        Lots to get my head around.
        Thank you so much for offering your time and advice.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Suzanne… just a few words of advice. Try pushing the book more on social media (widen your reach on Twitter, etc) – that’s the way to get KU units: people have to know it’s there to download it. I get many thousands a month so this isn’t just general ‘use social media more’ advice, it does work!

    As for agents, I read in the Guardian the other day that nowadays, traditional publishing (the Big Five, for which you do need an agent) is centred on sure things. By which I mean writers who have good connections, are already well known, have already published and shown a good readership (like with an indie publisher, or self pub), or have something that could be the next big thing. With small publishers (independents), you can often submit directly (ie, without the agent taking a cut!). Or just stay as you are. I agree with you; the freedom is all.

    Well done re your reviews, and your dedication, and I do hope you get the results you’re looking for next year. xx

    Liked by 2 people

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