SALE! Get the Empowered Ones Boxset for just 0.99p/c until October 1st

Get the first two books and special bonus companion guide of the Empowered Ones Saga for just 0.99p/c until October 1st. 
This boxset is normally priced at 6.99 so do not miss out on this special sale. 
The boxset contains –
The First Fear
The Temple of Arrival
The Empowered Ones companion book

Praise for the Empowered Ones series
‘A thrilling, action packed Fantasy adventure’ – Damien Larkin‘Fans of Sanderson will love this one’ – The Bookwrym speaks
“This was such a great book! LOVED it!!! Highly recommend!” – Amazon reviewer“Really good ideas and a fun read!” – Amazon reviewer “Amazing world building” – Amazon reviewer
“Wow I wasn’t expecting this book to be so good!” – Good Reads reviewer
The First Fear is a gripping, action packed tale” – Good Reads reviewer

“Loved how the magic worked, loved our hero, Elian, can’t wait to read more!” – Good Reads reviewer

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The power of Bookbub

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post about the writing process so I thought I’d share with you all the results of my recent Bookbub promotion and how it took Heir to the Sundered Crown to bestseller status in the Sword and Sorcery Category in four countries on Amazon.

What is Bookbub?

So what is Bookbub exactly? Well, it’s a promotion site, the promotion site for books. Landing a US featured deal is like winning the lottery and it took me 4 years of persistent trying to get my book chosen for one.

The official description is: BookBub is a book discovery service that was created to help readers find new books and authors. The company features free and discounted ebooks selected by its editorial team, as well as book recommendations, updates from authors, and articles about books.

An author needs to sign up and create an account before listing their books to their Bookbub profile. (Follow me by clicking HERE) Once that’s done you then need to add the links to the various store fronts (if wide) that your book is sold on. If you’re a Kindle Unlimited author then you will only need to add the Amazon link.

Bookbub sends out emails everyday listed books that it chose for a featured deal and depending on what type of deal your book will be put in front of millions of subscribers. I’ve written about other services before such as Fussy Librarian etc, but Bookbub beats all of those by a wide margin in terms of guaranteed return on investment.

What also makes Bookbub standout is there use of expert editorial teams to choose what books would make the best fit for that days promotion. By using data they assess what type of books are in demand and which ones have the best chance at success.

BookBub notifies its subscribers about free and deeply discounted ebook recommendations selected by its expert editorial team, from bestsellers to hidden gems.

How to get chosen

Now this is a much sought after secret and Bookbub knows this. They have several guides on their site about what gives your book the best chance of being picked but with so many authors clamouring to get a deal the chance you’ll get picked is low. As I said, it took me 4 years of trying to get one!

Heir to the Sundered Crown was first released way back in 2014 but finally achieved over 60 reviews only recently. (If you’ve read it please review it!!!) Reviews help massively in the selection process as does making your book page on the relevant book stores look professional.

During the application process I also mentioned that the book was part of a planned promotion, something that I also think helped it be chosen. My promotion was for the book to be on sale for 0.99p/c.

Cost and Results

For the promotion I got it cost me just shy of £450 or $700, very pricey and a cost that I have to admit made my palms sweat a bit, but as they say you have to spend money to make money. The promotion went out on February 19th and at the time of writing this I have covered my costs and made a nice bit of profit.

Sales wise here are the totals so far –

Amazon (All nations) – 1,258

Wide (Apple, Nook, Kobo, Google) – 406

Total – 1664

Not a bad number and sales are continuing with every passing hour. On the initial promo date the book shot to the top of several genre lists and bagged a best seller badge on Amazon in multiple countries. What was of even greater interest is that my other books began to shift units as well, even the full priced ones. Audiobooks too began to sell with the number of them being sold doubling!

Get Heir to the Sundered Crown on Audio

It won’t be for another month or two until I get the sales data for those but it’s looking good. Another benefit I’m hoping for is that sale through for the Sundered Crown Saga will continue and that readers enjoy Heir enough to buy the rest of the series and maybe try some of my other books.

I won’t know the full impact of the Bookbub deal for another week at least as some of the stores data recording is a little slow, but overall I am very happy with the results of the deal.

Have you had a Bookbub featured deal? What was your experience of it? Let me know in the comments below.

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I Visited King Arthur and Topped the Bestseller charts

It’s a busy few weeks. First, I went away for a long weekend to Somerset where we almost got snowed in and visited the tomb of King Arthur at the world-famous Glastonbury Abbey.

King Arthur and Glastonbury

Visiting the so-called final resting place of the once and future king was pretty incredible. Lying beneath a stone slab in the ruins of the Abbey surrounded by swirling snow flurries was the tomb of King Arthur, quite possibly the most famous character in myth and fantasy.

The fact that the monks of Glastonbury claimed King Arthur is buried there just shows how savvy they were in the 12th century. The popularity of Geoffrey of Monmouth‘s fanciful and imaginative 12th-century Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain) was the perfect opportunity for the at the time cash-strapped abbey to attract tourists and their gold.

In 1191, the monks claimed to have discovered a grave with an oak coffin holding the remains of a man who had been severely wounded in the head. Buried beside him was a woman with golden hair. Conveniently a lead cross bearing the inscription, “Here lies the famous King Arthur with Guinevere his second wife, in the Isle of Avalon.”

Monmouth’s account provided many of the elements of the story, from Arthur’s conception at Tintagel to his last battle against Mordred at Camlann and final rest in Avalon, and featured his father Uther Pendragon, his wife Guinevere, his sword Excalibur and the wizard, Merlin. Later writers added further characters and many variations on Geoffrey’s tale, depicting Arthur as a great warrior defending Britain from human and supernatural enemies, with related themes of the Holy Grail and the Knights of the Round Table. Claiming the Abbey was Arthur’s resting place was so popular in fact that King Edward 1 and his wife were in attendance when they moved the bones of Arthur and his queen.

Even back then people loved a great story.

Also, on my hols we visited Sherbornne Abbey in Dorset. Stunning windows offset by an incredible roof were perfect inspiration for fantasy world building.

Ruling the Sci-Fi charts!

On March 20th I had an international Bookbub promotion for Terran Defenders: Genesis. Now, getting any type of Bookbub promo is like getting gold dust, so I was very lucky to have received one. It cost me £160, but boy was it worth it.

In less than six hours of the promotion going out the book had soared to the top of the sci-fi charts on both Amazon and Kobo. It achieved top seller status in the UK, Australia and Canada which is an amazing feat seeing as how the book is 8 years old now!

I’m not 100% certain, but I think I was helped in getting a promotion by taking the book out of Amazon exclusivity (it hasn’t been doing anything on Kindle for about a year!) and put it wide. Now, I’ve said before that I would put the Sundered Crown Saga wide at some point, but at the moment it’s not going to be possible to put the entire series wide until the exclusivity with KDP runs out in May. Book 1 is free of KDP exclusivity so I may put Heir to the Sundered Crown on all formats.

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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What I’ve learnt about self-publishing – Book Promotion is Changing

Often when indy authors are asked; ‘What is the thing you need the most help with?’ the answer is most often ‘marketing’. And it’s because of this answer that there are now hundreds of different services offering to promote your books.

Since publishing Heir to the Sundered Crown back in 2014 I’ve experimented with a wide variety of these services. Sites such as Booksends, Fussy Librarian etc are basically businesses that have large mailing lists that they send daily deals to their subscribers. An author pays them for a spot on one of their mailing lists (often sent out on a specific day) and these prices can vary from as little as a single Dollar to hundreds of Dollars.

Bookbub

The holy grail of these sites, however, must be Bookbub. With a mailing list of hundreds of thousands from across the world, landing a promotion with this site is incredibly difficult due to the sheer number of authors applying for promotions. This fact alone tells you just how highly regarded Bookbub is to many Indy authors.

Personally, I’ve only ever managed to get a UK Bookbub promotion and that was a good few years ago now, the results of which were by far the best I’ve ever had in comparison to other promoters. Now don’t go thinking Bookbub will propel your book to the top of the sales charts, the book still has to be good enough for people to want to buy it which means having a professional looking book cover and quality writing.

The market is changing

As I mentioned in my previous post I’m part of a small group of authors called Firebound Books. We regularly compare our promotional data and the main thing that we’ve all discovered is that the market is changing. Whereas a few years ago a promotion on the smaller sites would guarantee a decent amount of sales and a boost to the sales rankings. Today, the payoff from the same sites is a lot smaller for paid titles. Even 99p/c sales result in very few sales and often fail to cover the initial cost of the promotions. As I’ve discussed before (read here) it now seems that the only way to guarantee large numbers of downloads is to give your books away for free.

The main cause of this seems to be that the majority of the promotion sites are massively oversubscribed with authors. Some of their mailing lists have gone from advertising just three books per day to ten and if your book is put at the bottom of the list then you’ll likely see a poor return for the investment.

To overcome this decline in returns we must do things differently. The market is now swamped with books and only by improving the quality of indy books can we hope to continue to make a dent in the market. Good book covers and most importantly well-written books are key. Unfortunately, Indy authors are often given a bad name because of the countless poor-quality books produced. We need to up our game if we are to remain competitive in this ever-changing marketplace.

For a list of book promotion sites look here.

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