New Covers for the Sundered Crown Saga

Hi all, I’m delighted to reveal the new covers for the Sundered Crown Saga!

For a long time I’ve not been happy with the book covers for the Sundered Crown Saga. They looked a bit boring and didn’t convey the action and adventure that lay within. 

So, back in August I went on the search for a new cover artist who could breathe new life into the books ahead of the release of book 4 in November. (If you’ve not pre-ordered Voyage for the Sundered Crown go and do it!) 

The artist I discovered is a very talented chap from Vietnam who has an incredible back catalogue of work and has been a joy to work with. Below you can see the various stages of the process, the final cover for Book 1 and the other new covers in the series. 

The paperback editions will have the new covers too! Do you like them? Let me know!

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Pre-order Voyage for the Sundered Crown

Big news! Book 4 in the Sundered Crown Saga is now available to pre-order and for the first time I’ll be launching a book on all major retailers.

Here’s the blurb (Likely to change closer to release) and you can read a sneak peek here.

The Kingdom of Delfinnia has fallen, but hope remains.

Sent on a daring voyage to seek out allies from across the sea the wizard, Luxon Edioz and his companions rediscover the continent of Tulin. A land that is full of dangers, magic, and adventure.

There they will find new allies, new wonders, and new enemies. As Danon’s conquest draws closer to completion, Luxon must use all of his wits and powers to unite the peoples of Tulin and convince them to help him save his homeland. 

It will be a voyage that will test him to his limits and one that will decide the fate of all.  

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The First Fear on Sale Now!

The Summer Sale continues! The First Fear is on sale for just 0.99p/c – mybook.to/FirstFear

For centuries the Supreme has reigned with an iron fist. The people are slaves to her whim and at the mercy of her followers who revere her as their goddess. Using a supernatural ability, known as the ‘Power’ she is able to channel emotions and convert them into superhuman abilities.

Some Resist.

Not all live their lives in servitude. A few rare people also possess the Power and try to fight. These Empowered Ones are hunted mercilessly by the Supreme and her servants, for she knows the threat they pose to her will. None has dared to challenge her outright. That is until now.

Elian, a young boy living at the edge of the Imperium discovers he too possesses the Power with devastating consequences for both himself and the girl he loves. On the run, they encounter a ragtag band of resistance fighters called the Liberators. Among their ranks are others with the gift and their leader Vavius who believes that the key to overthrowing the Supreme lies in the ruins of the ravaged lands of the once mighty Kingdom of Aeranyth.

Pursued and hunted for their gifts by the sinister First Fear and the Hollowed, the world’s fate rests in the hands of the Empowered Ones.

The Audiobooks of The Temple of Arrival and Quest for the Sundered Crown coming soon!

Hi everyone I hope you’re doing well in these weird times. Hopefully this news will give you something to look forward to. Both The Temple of Arrival and Quest for the Sundered Crown are almost ready for release in audiobook format!

Listen to some sneak peeks via the videos below.

The Temple of Arrival

Quest for the Sundered Crown

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A Guide to Nano Wrimo 2019

It’s that time of the year again when writers from across the globe decide whether to embark on one of their toughest challenges- yep, the annual Novel Writing Month Contest (NanoWrimo) is here!

I’ve entered NanoWrimo four time since I began this crazy journey of writing books and have only succeeded just the once. In case you don’t know what it is Nano challenges you to write a complete 50,000 story in just 1 month. To some this word count is easy but to others (like me) it is one of the most gruelling challenges out there. To offer some guidance I’ve put together some top tips that should help see you through to the finish line.

Write whenever you can

If like me you have to do a real job (boo! – I joke…) that takes up the bulk of your day you need to take every opportunity you can get to put those words down on the page. To hit the target you have to write at least 1,667 words per day (Around 2-3 hours of work). If your commute into work is a long one do some on the bus or train, do it in your lunch breaks and if you work a 9-5 job make sure you write in the evenings. This is easier said than done of course as funnily enough life often gets in the way. If you have children, pets and other commitments then… good luck!

Accept that the 50,000 words are going to suck

The whole point of Nano is to prove to yourself that when pushed you can hit the word count of 50k within the space of 30 days. I know a few Indy authors that can do this with their eyes closed and you’ll likely see in the Nano forums that some entrants will smash this number within a matter of days. Don’t feel disheartened. Instead get your words down and accept the fact they won’t be great. Getting the words down is the true challenge and if you like what you’ve done then spend the next few months refining them. It’s likely that you’ll end up cutting a fair amount and rewriting whole parts but for now focus only on hammering that keyboard or scribbling that pen.

Do not edit!

If you’re a stickler for perfection then Nano is not for you. Many writers fall into the trap of editing as they go. Don’t! If you do that you will never reach the end goal of 50k words. Editing, of course, is one of the most important if not the most important parts of the whole writing process but for Nano resist the urge to edit as you go.

Check the forums for support

There are many support groups on the NanoWrimo website that provide a wealth of support. One forum I’ve used in the past is the regional forum where you can make contact with other entrants in your area and work together to build your regions word count. Seeing which region will top the word count leaderboards adds an extra element of competitiveness and motivation.

Am I entering this year?

Yes, I am. I’m working away on my current project: The Temple of Arrival and Nano will be a huge motivator to get down as many words as possible. With the book currently at 50k already with probably more than that to go, NanoWrimo will be the perfect thing to push me on and help me finish the first draft.

Are you taking part this year? Do you have any tips that you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments or via social media.

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Get the First Fear for just 0.99p/c until June 8th

The Supreme rules the world.

For centuries the Supreme has reigned with an iron fist. The people are slaves to her whim and at the mercy of her followers who revere her as their goddess. Using a supernatural ability, known as the ‘Power’ she is able to channel emotions and convert them into superhuman abilities. Some Resist.Not all live their lives in servitude.

A few rare people also possess the Power and try to fight. These Empowered Ones are hunted mercilessly by the Supreme and her servants, for she knows the threat they pose to her will. None has dared to challenge her outright. That is until now, Elian, a young boy living at the edge of the Imperium discovers he too possesses the Power with devastating consequences for both himself and the girl he loves.

On the run, they encounter a ragtag band of resistance fighters called the Liberators. Among their ranks are others with the gift and their leader Vavius who believes that the key to overthrowing the Supreme lies in the ruins of the ravaged lands of the once mighty Kingdom of Aeranyth.

Pursued and hunted for their gifts by the sinister First Fear and the Hollowed, the world’s fate rests in the hands of the Empowered Ones.

Get your copy here

 

War for the Sundered Crown for just 0.99p/c

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Marketing Tips for Indie Authors – Making a Mailing List

Marketing is quite possibly the toughest aspect of being an indie author. How do you get your books in front of readers? How do you stand out from the crowd? In this series of blogs, I’ll be focusing on marketing and some of the tricks I’ve learnt over the years to generate some sales.

Part 1 –Mailing lists

Making a mailing list has so far been the most effective way for me to sell books and whilst I’m no master at it I thought I’d share what I know.

The first thing you need to do is not worry too much if your book is nowhere near ready. When it comes to marketing it doesn’t hurt to try and get yourself out there early. Also, if you have a huge back catalogue of books it’s not too late to start building a list from scratch.

Who to choose?

There are numerous email marketing services out there and each offers you different functionality and features. To start with I’d choose either Mailchimp or Mailerlite. Both provide the ability to easily create email templates as well as have plenty of options for integrations (more on that later). As a newbie to list building, I recommend Mailchimp (simply because that’s the one I have the most experience with).

Joining Mailchimp is incredibly easy and it takes you through step by step on how to get started. Another benefit of MC is that it provides automation functions which will come in handy down the road.

I, however, am using email Octopus as once your list grows to a certain size Mailchimp and Mailerlite can get a bit pricey. With MC, for example, a list of over 2,500 was costing over £30 a month to maintain and the price goes up as your list grows. With email Octopus, it costs me £20 and I won’t have to upgrade again until I have 10,000 subscribers.

Growing a list

Once you’ve chosen your provider the next challenge is to start growing your list. If you have a website you can easily create a modal popup that will hopefully encourage your site visitors to subscribe.

Sharing the link to your subscription page via social media can also work but what you need is something to encourage people to sign up. In my case, I give away a copy of my novella The Nightblade to those who subscribe. Giving away a short story or piece of artwork can be a great hook.

There are also services such as InstaFreebie (now Prolific works), Book Funnel and the newer Story Origin that all help build list numbers. This is where integration comes in. Each of those services can be linked to your mailing list and automatically new subscribers that come in through that route. InstaFreebie and Book Funnel require a fee but as yet Story Origin remains a free service. The only downside to that service is that it is slightly limiting when it comes to what mailing list services can be integrated.

As I use Book Funnel, I’ll talk about how I’ve used it to grow my list from a few dozen to almost 3,000 subscribers in less than 6 months.

Book Funnel allows users to create and join promotions. All you have to do is set up a book giveaway click on a promo that you like the look of, fill in the form and join it. The success on the promotion comes down to the members of the promo sharing it to their social channels and mailing lists. Sometimes one promotion can generate hundreds of new subscribers.

What to put in your emails?

If you’re working on a book keep your subscribers informed with updates on its progress, the challenges you’ve faced and perhaps some excerpts to whet their appetite. It’s also a great opportunity to work with and help other authors as you can share other authors works in your list and in exchange, they’ll do the same. There are several social media groups dedicated to finding swaps for example.

Write about you as a person. Let your readers learn more about you and let them know you’re human. Other things you can include is news on the latest giveaways, discounts, reviews or character bios and maps.

I’m sure there are more experienced authors out there who have mastered the mailing list if so, I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below with your top tips and please subscribe to my mailing list via – https://emailoctopus.com/lists/56af726d-5645-11e9-8622-02cfe9e979c6/forms/subscribe

In the next post I’ll be taking a look at some of the promotion services that are available and which ones are worth the cost.

Books header

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