Join my ARC Team!

You may be wondering what an ARC team is. Well, ARC stands for Advanced Review Copy and it’s a tactic that many authors use to get reviews of their books and help with new book launches. This is one area that I’ve failed in, but I hope to remedy this today with this email.

If you’re interested in receiving advanced review copies of my books in exchange for posting an honest review on Amazon and other retailers send me an email at matthewolney9@gmail.com or if you’d like to be a BETA reader let me know.

What do you get?
You get a copy of my latest books ahead of everyone else! Ideally, a week in advance to give you time to read it and create a review.

If you are interested I’ll add you to a new mailing list which I will use to send you the books and keep you up to date with the latest ARC team news.

I’m always in need of reviews for my other books too so just let me know if you’d like copies (reviews must be written for them in exchange).

My next planned releases are – 
Voyage for the Sundered Crown
The Supreme

What do you have to do?
Get a brand new book for FREE, read it, write a review and post it to Amazon, Goodreads and other retailers the day of the official book launch. Easy!

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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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The Sundered Crown Saga Now on Google Play

The first two books of the Sundered Crown Saga, Heir and War are now live on the Google Play store!

Google Play Store

For a long time, I had kept the Saga solely on Amazon Kindle to take advantage of Kindle Unlimited. At the time I had spoken with many authors who said that it was KU that brought in the bulk of their income and for a time I did receive a fair amount from it.

Then, Amazon changed and began to focus on making authors pay for advertising in order to get their books in front of readers.

Prior to this organic reach had been great and then as they sought even more money and introduced ads that organic reach dried up overnight and so did the KU reads.

The difficulties of marketing

Marketing an indie book has never been harder nor been so expensive. The flooding of the market also hasn’t helped and authors themselves have a lot to be blamed for when it comes to the lack of profitability available these days.

Kindle Unlimited Exclusivity is over

The KU model may appear a good thing for authors but when you look at it closer the income from KU is a pittance.

Prior to its introduction an eBook could easily sell for 4.99 or more and in large numbers. Now, however, thanks to KU many readers now get titles for free via subscription with the author often receiving pennies for every book read.

Going Wide

Going wide and taking my books away from Amazon exclusivity is a big risk and challenge but it’s one I’m prepared to take (at least for a few months). I’ve opted to put Heir and War on Google Play just as an experiment for now and if they begin to sell well, I will put the rest of the saga books on there.

Get Heir to the Sundered Crown on Google Play here

Get War for the Sundered Crown on Google Play here

For other retailers click here

What’s your preferred eBook retailer? Let me know in the comments below.

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The First Fear for just 0.99p/c

With Book 2 in the Empowered Ones out tomorrow there’s no better time to get stuck into the series!

To celebrate the launch of The Temple of Arrival, book 1 in the series The First Fear is available to purchase for just 0.99p/c until April 4th, and is FREE via Kindle Unlimited. Now is the perfect time to dive into the Empowered Ones Series. Get your copy today! (Also available in audio format.)

The Empowered Ones

Get your copy today HERE

The Indie Authors guide

Want to publish that novel you’ve spent days, months or years of life sweating and crying over?

Want to get it to market without falling victim to the vast array of scammers out there? Want to navigate the minefield that can be the author community and do it without breaking the bank?

Well, with this quick guide you can!

Indie Author M.S. Olney takes you through the steps needed to get your book on the market without going bankrupt in the process!

He’s been writing books for a decade and he’s experienced pretty much all the BS an Indie author will experience.

From one Indie author to another, let’s get your book out there!  mybook.to/Authorsguide

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Vote for The First Fear in the 2020 Reader’s Choice Awards

The First Fear has been nominated for the 2020 Readers Choice Awards contest by TCK Publishing in the fantasy category! – Please vote for it at https://www.tckpublishing.com/2020-readers-choice-voting-page/?fbclid=IwAR2GcDXnE7SiTZjQvpx52G9xdop4KxI5ezV1bImE8E583qsIS7313Am4a6g

How to Vote

  • You may have to disable pop-up blockers to vote depending on your web browser. The pop-up notification when you vote is necessary so that bots and spammers cannot vote.
  • If you are clicking on a book to vote but nothing is happening, scroll down the page and click “Change Vote” (it’s right above the “Share on Facebook” button)
  • You can vote one time for ONLY ONE BOOK per category.
  • Just click the arrows on the left and right side of the voting form to navigate between categories.
  • Click on the BOOK TITLE of your favorite book to cast your vote and then you’re set to view your results.
  • To change vote, just click on the “CHANGE VOTE” option on the lower left corner of the voting form (just above the Facebook sharing option) and then click on the title of the book you want to change your vote into
  • Only one vote per IP address will be accepted. Offices and schools usually only have one IP address, so it would be best to vote from home to avoid losing votes.
  • The awards committee will check the legitimacy of each vote before announcing the winners.

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March 2020 Update

Hi all,

As I sit here looking out the window, I once again see the rain lashing down and the trees blowing wildly in the wind. This winter has felt like forever, but fortunately there are signs that Spring is rapidly approaching.

The daffodils my wife planted last year are quickly beginning to burst into life and soon our patch of garden will be thriving with wildflowers. Hopefully the summer will be a nice hot one in the UK. After all this rain we need it.

Mark it in your diaries!

Last month was a practically busy month and March promises much of the same. On the 31st, The Temple of Arrival will be launched and made available to buy via Amazon (pre-order your copy here). From the feedback from my Beta readers they’re loving it, so I hope you all will too!

Sadly, the narrator of audible version of The First Fear was unable to do The Temple of Arrival, but fortunately another narrator has stepped in and will be working away on it over the next few weeks. Hopefully the audio book version will be released close to the eBook and paperback versions.

As well as editing I’ve been working on Book 4 in the Sundered Crown Saga and it’s progressing well. I also created a guide for aspiring Indie authors and released it via Amazon.

I hope you’re all doing well and happy reading!

Matt

 

I’m done with Hollywood Destroying Male Characters

Ok, rant time. As you may recall I wrote a review of Star Wars the Last Jedi when it came out and the biggest complaint I had with that movie was the way it took a big steaming dump on the character of Luke Skywalker. At first, I thought it was just down to shitty writing, but then I saw to my absolute horror that it was down to ‘wokeness’.

Destroying Male Characters is not equality

They destroyed a character beloved by millions and most importantly me all in the name of feminism. There are many that deny this or just tell those of us angered by it to shut up. No. I will no longer be silent in the face of this blatant male-bashing, this blatant sexism.

They whine that there have always been male heroes, well, I argue back that there have been female leads and heroes for decades, they’re nothing new! The major difference from then to now, however, is that the male characters were treated with some respect as well. Oh, and the characters themselves had to earn their title of badass, not just have everything be handed to them on a plate just because they were women.

In Star Wars case, the cancerous Kathleen Kennedy took George Lucas’s creation and destroyed it with apparent glee. She replaced Luke with a non-entity female in the form of Rey and made her better than a man in every way. The funny thing is, only utter morons bought it. The rest of us who have been forced to watch the destruction of not just entertainment, but I’d argue western culture and masculinity in general in silence can see this bullshit for what it really is. The media seem to be on the side of wokeness too, which only alienates people further. Just look at the disparity of the media critics scores compared to the general public on Rotten Tomatoes for The Last Jedi.

Just look at female characters such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She was put through harsh training, saw people she loved die or injured and struggled to become the hero that she became. Now let’s look at Rey from Star Wars. From the first moment we meet her, she is great at everything she touches, from flying, to engineering, to sword fighting. The lazy writing of the movies brushes this aside as ‘she’s strong in the Force’. Bullshit. Luke was strong in the Force, but he got his ass kicked, he suffered, he earns his power.

What sort of lesson are they teaching to girls? That men are stupid and aren’t needed, that girls get everything handed to them on a plate without having to earn it? It’s terrible values and doesn’t promote equality at all.

John Conner

So now I come to why I’ve finally lost it with Hollywood.

Terminator: Dark Fate at first looked promising and then I watched the first ten minutes. I don’t care if this spoils that trash movie for you, but here it is. JOHN CONNER DIES. The whole point of the first two movies, the saviour of humanity, the man who unites humanity in its darkest hour is murdered right at the start making the first two movies completely and utterly pointless. The decision to do this is not just hugely disrespectful of the franchise, but to the millions of fans who love these movies.

Since when did movie makers decide to piss off the people that pay to see movies? Are they deliberately trying to destroy cultural icons? It’s certainly starting to feel that way.

What’s worse is the way the movie treats men in general (an ever-common theme recently). Men are shown to be disposable, that they can’t be special in any way, that men are pointless. The movie does this by side-lining Arnold Schwarzenegger to basically a comedy sidekick role and making some tiny girl (who we’re supposed to believe will become some bad-ass military leader) the new John Conner and hero. It’s an insult to our intelligence that they expect us to just accept this shit and still spend our hard-earned cash on such tripe.

In my writing, I make men and women equal. Both sexes have strengths and weaknesses, which is why the heroes of both genders in my stories always work together. Unity of male and female makes a powerful combination. When one is dismissed or placed in a box; such as women are ditsy or weak, or men are stupid and savage, a story just becomes a chore.

I’ve seen it happening more and more in the fantasy genre as ‘wokeness’ seeps into it. It stifles creativity, it causes division and it makes for often shit storytelling.

Terminator: Dark Fate has tanked at the box office and I for one am glad. Perhaps studios and publishers will now wake up and realise that people don’t want this crap forced upon us. Make decent storylines, not ones with blatant agendas and biased messages.

I long for the day when men can be men in our culture again and not be attacked for it. Sure, we can be jerks and some of us are vile, but I’d argue that describes women just as aptly. Both sides have negatives as well as positives.  I just want to go back to when writing for movies was just that and not some agenda. I want men and women alike to be treated with respect, not one side constantly denigrating the other.

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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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The Bard of the Isles Magazine Launches September 1st!

So, you may have seen the new logo up on the website’s banner and you may be wondering what it’s all about, well, dear reader let me tell you!

For the past few months a bunch of us on the British and Irish Writing Community Facebook page have come together to create something brand new and what we hope will give you the reader some insight onto the best writing talent in the UK.

Writing can be a lonely business. The British & Irish Writing Community offers support and inspiration to ensure we are not alone, there are others just like us, struggling to find the right words and summon the ideas that elude us.

It’s a great community and if you’re interested in learning more about it or perhaps joining visit here.

The group is very inclusive (as in, if you’re a Brit living overseas etc you’re more than welcome to join in the fun. We also welcome any non-Brits living in the UK as well as those with close ties to the Indy author community. Everyone is welcome!

It’s a great group to meet fellow authors and share tips and keep each other going, especially with the Motivational Mondays. By creating this network, we hope to help spread the word of our works and help readers find some excellent reads in the process.

What’s Bard of the Isles?

The Bard of the Isles is a new online magazine designed to showcase the talent of the best Indy authors (and maybe a few traditionally published ones) in the British Isles.

The first edition is being launched September 1st so check it out! The mag includes –

  • Writer’s Wisdom – articles by authors based on their own experiences
  • Links to writer’s social media and their websites so you can find out more about them
  • The magazine promotes the members of the community in different ways, by: Showcasing their stories and promoting their work with offers and interviews

​​Oh, and there’s a new exclusive short story set in my Sundered Crown Universe to boot!

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