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

 

Quest for the Sundered Crown on sale now!

It’s book 3 in the saga’s turn for the sale treatment! I hope you’ve been enjoying the other books in the series and please leave reviews on Amazon, Goodreads etc… every one helps. Get Quest for the Sundered Crown for just 0.99p/c until May 31st. – mybook.to/Qftsc

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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I’ve moved to Worcester

Hi folks, apologise for the lack of communication over the past month but me and the wife have been undergoing the very stressful experience of moving to a new house.

At the start of this year I began a new job role at a company based in Tewksbury which was over an hour drive away from where we previously lived in Bristol. That the daily commute was not only tiring but also worked out as very costly in terms of petrol costs. So, we started looking about for somewhere that was closer to my work and had a store that my wife could transfer too.

Worcester fit the bill (not to mention the cost of renting is a lot cheaper than the now massively overpriced Bristol). We now live in a nice 2-bedroom townhouse which is a huge improvement over the tiny place we’d been in before and what’s better is that for all that extra space the rent is only £40 per month extra than our old place!

We’ve had a bit of an exploration of our new home and it’s a lovely city. Plenty of history combined with all the modern amenities we could need. The surrounding countryside is also beautiful with the Malvern hills just on our doorstep. We’ve not had a chance to explore them yet but will do very soon!
Naturally the upheaval of moving to a new city has put m writing on hold for a bit and with work picking up the time I have spare is restricted. Nonetheless I have been making slow but steady progress on the Empowered Ones Book Two and am still optimistically hoping to get the first draft finished before the end of the year.

In other news, I’ve begun the search for a narrator for the audiobook version of The First Fear. I’m hoping to get that done sometime in the new year and I hope many of you will pick up a copy. Sales wise things have slowed right down after the usually good summer period so if you or anyone you know enjoys fantasy and hasn’t picked up a copy of one of my books I would appreciate it massively. You can view all my available titles below.

SPFBO contest wise it’s a bit quiet as the judge tasked with reviewing The First Fear is slowly working her way through the list. Once I know the outcome I’ll share it with you all, (hopefully she’ll enjoy it!).
If you want to discover some of the SPFBO entries click on the banner pic at the bottom of this email.

Happy reading,
Matt

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May Update – Sundered Crown Saga now wide

Hi, everyone, it’s a been a few weeks since my last post on the website so I thought I’d just post a bit of an update on what’s been occurring.

Mostly I’ve been revising and polishing The First Fear ahead of its release on June 22nd as well as working on Book 4 of the Sundered Crown Saga.

You asked I delivered…(finally)

Since the release of Heir to the Sundered Crown back in 2014, I’ve had a few of you contacting me asking when it and the other books in the series would become available on E-readers other than Amazon Kindle. Well, after much thought I decided to pull them out of Kindle Unlimited which forces them to be Amazon exclusives and have made them available to buy on Apple, Nook, Kobo and other outlets!

Here are the links –

Heir to the Sundered Crown –  https://www.books2read.com/u/boYR6V

War for the Sundered Crown – https://www.books2read.com/u/md00Gw

Quest for the Sundered Crown – https://www.books2read.com/u/m2vvrj

The First Fear

 So, my new book is coming out in June and as an incentive to get you lovely people to buy a copy you can pre-order for the special low price of just 99p/c. Once it’s out the price will rise so you’d be silly not to take advantage of this great offer.

For a preview, you can read the first five chapters by clicking – https://dl.bookfunnel.com/g83m14x1gn

Sign up to my mailing list to receive a #free copy of the Nightblade. Just click the link – https://dl.bookfunnel.com/fmx4pna31i

In Need of Assistance?

Also, I’ve started offering my services and the skills I’ve attained being an Indy author to those who need assistance with their books. If you’re in need of formatting, cover design/resizing and editing services then please check me out or Fiverr or my services website.

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Ideas, Ideas, everywhere!

So many ideas!

Hi everyone, I’ve not posted in awhile. So, this is just an update on what I’ve been up to this past month.

Well in terms of writing the novels I’m afraid to say I’ve not done anywhere near enough the amount that I would have liked in January. And that’s because I’ve been settling in at my new job as a content manager, which I think is going pretty well so far.

2017 was a rough year for a few personal reasons but I did manage to release the audiobook version of Heir to the Sundered Crown, book 3 in the saga and the trilogy boxset.

This year I’m hoping for a lot more stability in my life in regards to work and will be hoping to crack on with my current works in progress. The thing is, there is I have so many ideas at the moment that I’m struggling to focus on just one project. As it stands I’m still aiming to release The First Fear sometime in the summer, but at the moment I think that will be my only release in 2018.

Never Enough Time!

Whilst working on that title I will also be working on book 4 in the Sundered Crown Saga and will also be dabbling in a few other projects. Unconquered Book 2 remains on hold due to time constraints but I will do my darnest to focus on it fully when the opportunity arises.

For this blog, I’ll be doing some more writing relating posts, movie reviews and will be opening up some slots for any guest posts that my fellow authors would like to contribute.

So here’s to a (hopefully) productive 2018!

 

 

What I’ve Learnt About Self-Publishing – Writing is not for the faint-hearted

Being a writer is a profession that leaves you wide open to critics from all walks of life and backgrounds. You may think you’ve written the best thing ever but be assured that someone somewhere will think its terrible and will most likely relish the chance of putting the boot in.

Now I’ve received this treatment in both my working career as a copywriter and as an Indy Author. Sometimes there is just no pleasing people. A lot of the time the criticism is constructive (no-one is perfect especially me!) but sometimes, just sometimes you encounter people that simply defy all logic and reason. I’ve had people complain about a piece of content I’ve written, but not give any reason whatsoever as to why they disliked it and then I’ve had it where an article I’ve drafted is literally waved in front of my face and been told its crap. Writing is not for the faint-hearted, and it’s a bloody tough profession to succeed in.

So many Indy authors experience the annoyance of obtuse or downright nasty negative reviews on the likes of Amazon. I’ve had some that have said I’m the worst writer ever, others that they simply hated the book and that’s that.

When I was still fresh to self-publishing, each of those reviews stung, and I was personally offended by them (so much so that I even replied to a few). Now though I simply shrug my shoulders and say to myself ‘Each to their own, you cannot please everyone’. As tempting as it is, as upset as you may become, do not respond to negative reviews.

Now don’t get me wrong, don’t just ignore the comments of bad reviews, if they’re genuinely critical then take on board what they have to say. For example, I’ve had a 2-star review that outlined things that I could improve upon, and I am genuinely grateful to that person for writing it as they were correct to highlight things that could and were improved in later titles.

Some reviews, however, are just nasty for the sake of it, and it seems some people simply get a kick out of abusing indy authors. My favourite one has to be a 1-star review from a guy or gal who named themselves The Hater. This sad act of a human being trawls through Indy books on Amazon and just 1-stars them all for no good reason.

There’s a great thread on Goodreads about 1-star reviews that you can check out here

Which brings me to the fact that as an Indy writer you WILL encounter plenty of crazy individuals. I guess as writing falls into the same category of the arts this is to be expected. It draws out all manner of eccentric personalities, (hell, just check out some of the writer’s groups on Facebook for proof of that!)

At the end of the day if we want to succeed at this we all need to develop a thick skin (easier said then done). Learn from every piece of genuine criticism and ignore the bullshit (there’s a lot of that out there). We suffer through the bad times and the negativity because we are writers and it’s what we love to do. Never let the bastards grind you down, keep going, and one day you might just succeed. I’m trying to do just that.

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