New Covers for my Fantasy YA Series – what do you think?

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Try the first book for FREE here!

SEVEN WORLDS. SIX DEADLY CHALLENGES. ONE CURSE.

Creeping Shadow is book 1 of 5 in the thrilling fantasy series: The Rise of Isaac.

Sixteen year old Oliver Knight is forced to question everything when his mother mysteriously disappears and he’s sent to live with his peculiar and secretive grandfather. But when Oliver’s sister falls ill to a deadly curse, the truth is revealed and his life is changed forever. There are other worlds, each locked by near-impossible challenges that will push the contestants to their limits. In order to save his sister, Oliver must face his fears and take on the journey of a lifetime.

But with the past haunting his every move, a sinister enemy on the rise, and danger awaiting him at every turn, will Oliver be able to beat all the odds and rescue his sister in time?

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Eight Steps to self-publishing

6 months into self-publishing with Amazon KDP and I’ve learnt some things along the way that I think everyone going down the indie author route needs to do to start their journey.

  1. Perfect your Novel (novella/short story/ anthology etc. etc.)

This may be a no-brainer to some but I know the feeling of wanting to jump the gun and get that e-book out as fast as humanly possible! But you want to sell quality right? Or you’re not going to make lifelong fans who buy your subsequent works. So make sure you get an editor, proof-reader and bribe as many of your friends and family to read it too! If you’ve read your novel a hundred times I can guarentee you’ll still have missing words etc. because our minds have a very annoying habit of autocorrecting mistakes…

2. Get appropriate Cover Art

If you’re handy with photoshop you may be good enough to create your own cover art like I do. But if not it’s definitely worth hiring a cover artist who can make something professional for you.

Before you go off making the prettiest cover ever, have a look at covers in your genre. It may seem like a good idea to make a cover that’s different to what’s on the market but the best way is to have a cover that is similar enough to those in the same genre that anyone who comes across your book will know what to expect from it.

3. Formatting your ebook

If you’re going the Amazon route to start your book off then here’s a simple guide on the Amazon KDP website to get your ebook in shape:

If you’re going wide with your ebook then different platforms may require different formatting. To make this step easier I suggest publishing with Smashwords who will distribute your book to Kobo, Barnes and Noble, ibooks and Overdrive without all the hassle of doing it individually (yeah -I’m lazy like that but hey! If it saves time that you can spend writing then it can’t be a bad thing, right?)

Smashwords have a FREE downloadable formatting guide which you can grab here

Tip: Don’t put any links to Amazon in the ebook version that you upload to Smashwords (e.g links to other works) – ibooks will reject you and you’ll have to start the distribution process all over again – I learnt this one by experience ūüėČ

4. Give out Advanced Reader Copies

I can’t impress upon you enough to do this! Find as many people as you can to give your book to in exchange for HONEST reviews (seriously, don’t go buying people off fore reviews this is not cool AND will get your book kicked so far off of Amazon that you’ll never see the light of ebook again if they find you out!!!). You can set up a Goodreads page pre-publication so they have somewhere to post their reviews before your work goes on sale.

How do you find ARC readers I hear you ask?

Well, one way is to ask friends to read your novel and give their honest opinions (don’t ask family members because Amazon won’t allow any reviews on your book who have the same surname etc.I’m sorry it doesn’t matter if Aunt Bessy thought your novel was a modern day masterpiece! She simply can’t have her say online. Sorry Aunt B).

The most effective way is to get blogging and reach out to fans who do this sort of thing in their sleep (literally…some of these awesome bloggers are like machines devouring 10 books before their breakfast!)

Tip: don’t forget to contact your reviewers with your store links once your book is live so they can put their reviews on Amazon etc. for you!

Which leads me onto my next point…

5. Get blogging!

This is the number one way to get eyes on your work. If you haven’t already started blogging get off of this post and go sign up to wordpress or tumblr or something of the like and write a post about reading this post! Or just something to say hello to the world or readers and authors out there!

Okay – back? All signed up? Good!

You can pay to have a domain without the added /wordpress or /tumblr etc. So my website is simply: http://www.carolingpeckham.com

I think the wordpress one was in the region of 15.99 per year when I signed up. I thought it was worth it personally but it’s not necessary. It could be something you want to do further down the line when people start googling your name ūüėČ

6. Click Publish!

If you’re publishing with Amazon KDP you’ll need to have an Amazon account. You can create one with them here otherwise just sign in with your existing one. You’ll need to go through a series of steps where you enter your bank details so you can get paid and you’ll also have to give tax information. When that’s all done you can ‘create a new title’.

Tip: Pick your keywords carefully. Think about what categories your work fits into and try to choose keywords that will help you rank well in those categories. Amazon have a whole page of information on this here including links to keywords and what categories they will assign you to.

If you’re not publishing with Amazon then the same rules apply for Smashwords. You can choose up to ten keywords but they won’t give you any advice on which ones rank you where. The best thing to do here is to use Amazon’s keywords as a guide seeing as they probably know what they’re talking about when it comes to what buyers search for.

7. Write your next book

Not what you were expecting? Well, I promise you that promoting the hell out of your first book is a fairly futile exercise. You may get lucky and strike big with your first work but this is not the way it works for 99% of us!

If you’re book isn’t part of a series then, as an indie author, I suggest you reconsider…

The best way to get noticed is to get more work out there. Consistency is key! If you can release a new piece of work every 2 – 3 months you will increase the amount of eyes on your name simply by having several books dotted around the ebook stores. Also, your budding fanbase will get used to you bringing out new books regularly and so you will stay in the back of their mind for longer.

8. Promote, promote, promote!

This bit is hard and long and neverending and I can’t say I’ve figured out the best ways for sure myself (I’m fairly certain it’s a combination of many tactics + a little trial and error + a dash of luck).

Once you’ve got 2 or 3 pieces of work floating around in the ebook world it’s time to get promoting. There are a thousand different ways that other authors swear by but this is my tactic…

Permafree with book 1 – BOOM my downloads skyrocketed when I went free with the first book in my series and now I’m reaping the rewards of followup sales on my subsequent books.

This isn’t as simple as going free then sitting back and looking smug with a cigar, you need to work at keeping your free book ranking in the top 100 of your best category. This is done by placing ads with promotion sites for free books (to name a few I like:¬† ebookhounds, booksbutterfly, sweetfreebooks, readcheaply and the mother of all ebook promos which I haven’t yet managed to score…Bookbub)

Some people swear by Facebook advertising or Goodreads ads but I’ve had little to no success with these personally (perhaps it’s a genre thing? I write fantasy btw)

Good luck guys!

 

 

 

 

 

Turning Tide (The Rise of Isaac, Book 3)

Turning Tide Coverr

Book three of The Rise of Isaac is now available!!

Desperately fleeing the icy world of Glacio, Oliver Knight races into the sweltering heat of Brinatin. With May in dire trouble, two of his companions mysteriously missing, and the insurmountable task of reaching a mage who hasn’t been seen for nearly ten years, Oliver has to rise above his fears and battle on.
In this heart-pounding sequel to Bleeding Snow, the time has come to face the past but can Oliver handle the truth he’s faced with? With more than just his own life at stake, he must act fast to outwit his enemies, take on a formidable challenge, and fight tooth and nail to save those he loves…

Click here to buy for just $3.59

 

Not started the series? No problem!

Grab the first book for FREE hereimg_0702

OR

Purchase Books 1 – 3 in a brand new boxset for just $5.99 here

ROI BOXET BOOKS 1-3 FINAL

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Mass Super Sale 93 Authors going FREE!

Mark your calenders! Cancel all appointments! And tell the world!!!!!

On the 2nd and 3rd of April 93 Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors (including myself!) are going free for a mass promotion!

You’ll be able to get all the links right here on my blog as well as my Facebook and Twitter!

So spread the word and make sure to check in on either the 2nd or 3rd of April so you don’t miss out on this amazing chance to get your hands on a load of FREE and amazing¬† books!

 

 

 

 

Creeping Shadow FREE on Amazon – A YA Fantasy amzn.to/1R5VXOd

Click here to get your copy of Creeping Shadow for FREE today

 

The Rise of Isaac Series

Book One: Creeping Shadow (4.6 star average on Amazon)

imageA man waits in Vale, a world void of humanity.
A mother vanishes, her disappearance concealed by the police.
A girl collapses, black magic invading her blood.
And a boy linked to them all must fight to save his family.

Earth is just one of seven worlds. Gateways divide the realms and those who pass through must earn keys, participating in challenges that will separate the fearful from the brave, the weak from the strong, and the witless from the cunning.

Sixteen year old Oliver Knight knows nothing of the other worlds or his family’s dark past. But when his adopted sister succumbs to a deadly curse the truth is revealed and he is plunged into an unknown land in a desperate bid to save her. However, a sinister enemy is on the rise and the danger they face at every turn throws those around them under suspicion. In order to survive, Oliver must figure out who to trust, who to believe and, ultimately, who to fear…

Click here to buy on Amazon.com

Click here to buy on Amazon.co.uk

Cover Reveal for Falling Fire (Parts 1 & 2)

Coming soon…

Falling Fire: Part One and Two (The Rise of Isaac Series Short Story)

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In the world of Aleva mages are revered. The most powerful and beautiful live as A-class celebrities. But due to their dwindling population they must be paired into arranged marriages to produce magical children.

On the night of Quinn Thorn’s sixteenth birthday she is forced to accept the hand of the most famous mage in the seven worlds: her closest friend and heartthrob, Rogan Ganderfield.

Having never so much as kissed behind closed doors, they are expected to live together as they start their new lives at university. But without ever having the chance to choose each other, they soon come up with a risky idea to explore their true feelings. Striking an illegal deal between them, Quinn and Rogan long to discover what their hearts truly desire by both allowing a single kiss outside of their engagement. But with the ever-watching eyes of the public and confusing feelings growing between them, their plan soon gets out of control as jealousy, rebellion and lust cloud their judgement…

Want to be the first to get your hands on Falling Fire Part 1 and 2 for FREE?? 

Sign up to become an Advanced Reader here!

Falling Fire will be winging its way to you next week before anyone else has a chance to look at it!

The only thing I ask in return is for you to post a review on Amazon! This can be as little as a few words, a star rating, or as long as you like – it’s up to you and is quick and easy to do! I give you all the links so you don’t even have to lift a finger!

The only time I’ll email you is when I’m releasing a new book so you get your hands on it before anyone else does for FREEEEEE! And hey, as I’m feeling generous I’ll throw in the first two novels of The Rise of Isaac Series to the first subscribers! You can check out book 1 here and book 2 here to see if their your cup of tea.

 

Thanks for reading !

~ Caroline

 

 

 

 

 

10 Reasons To Never Give Up Writing

1. It makes you HAPPY!

If you began writing because you love reading and have a desire to write stories then it no doubt brings¬†a hell of a lot of happiness into your life! You should always write for yourself first and foremost. If you get to a stage where you can make money off of your writing then that’s amazing! But it should be seen as an added bonus not a given. Continue to write because of all the times your characters have made you laugh out loud, cry with sadness or simply forget the world for a while…

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2. It soothes the SOUL

Writing is a healthy hobby that is the ultimate stress reliever. Writing a story or simply writing your thoughts down will relieve any worry or anxiety currently on your mind. You may find yourself writing hundreds¬†or thousands of words and when you finally pause for breath you may find you’ve forgotten what you were fretting about to begin with!

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3) It fulfils a need to EXPRESS YOURSELF

Everyone has something to say in life¬†and writing is a way to explore your emotions, philosophies, morals and questions about the world. And you never know who’s life you might change with your words. Even if just one single person is effected in a positive way by your writing then what more can you ask for?

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4) It gives you a TIME OUT

We all need a little break from our every day lives and writing is the perfect way to do that. You can go on adventures, explore your deepest thoughts and feelings or maybe even¬†write an epic romance that makes you sigh contentedly. If you think about it, you’re lucky to be able to create your own little mental holiday and the possibilities are endless!

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5) It makes you INTERESTING

Writers are elusive creatures with imaginations that boggle the minds of others. How many times have you been asked “Wow, how did you come up with that?”

You’ve probably had many, many people asking about your writing and what project you’re currently working on etc. You may even have fans amongst friends, family and strangers. How many other people do you know who can say that? Not many, I’d bet!

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6) It makes you PROUD

You should be head-spinningly, chest-puffingly proud to take a writing project from start to finish. You have pain-stakingly written, re-written and edited your writing to perfection all because you love it. This is a serious accomplishment! So go an toot your own horn! Go on! Toot it!

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7) It opens up a world of PEOPLE

Writers are often eager to help each other out. Blogging, Facebook groups, Twitter, Book Clubs, Writer’s Events all connects you to people with a common interest. Even if you find just one or two people who love to read your work, discuss ideas with you, or swap advice then that’s one or two great people who wouldn’t have been in your life before writing. You never know who you might stumble across online!

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8) It forces you out of your COMFORT ZONE

This may be due to attempting challenges like NANWRIMO or trying out new¬†genres that you haven’t tried before! Writing has an endless amount of opportunity in it. From nail-bitingly submitting your work to an agent to taking the self-publishing route challenge these are brave choices that push you out of your comfort zone and only ever serve to make you and your writing stronger.

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9) It teaches you to deal with REJECTION

Despite what you might think, rejection is not a bad thing in writing. The sooner you learn that 100% of people are never going to all love your work, the better. Rejection stings like a female dog but my god does it make you grow as a writer! So take that rejection on the chin and say to yourself -so what!? And you’ll find that further rejection becomes easier to deal with and so allows you to grow as a writer and become confident in your work through your own love of it and the other people that love it too!

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10) It develops you as a HUMAN BEING

Your writing will change as you will change throughout your life but it will always be a source of comfort, learning and growth. Writing allows you to reflect and look at yourself with a magnifying glass as well as look out at the world and try to capture it in words. And whether you may not always know what you’re trying to say, one day you might pick up that old novel you wrote ten years ago and realise just how far you’ve come.

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Bleeding Snow (The Rise of Isaac, Book 2) ARCs! – For YA Fantasy Lovers

Hello!

Bleeding Snow is now ready for review!

If you’ve read Book 1, Creeping Shadow, or if you’d like to start the series then email me at caroline_peckham@hotmail.co.uk to get your free copy of Book 2 in exchange for an honest review!

Check out Creeping Shadow on Amazon here to see reviews, ratings and more: http://goo.gl/S44d0w

Here’s the cover and blurb for Bleeding Snow:

 
Oliver Knight continues his journey through the seven worlds in this thrilling sequel to Creeping Shadow. A brutal land of snow and ice awaits him beyond the Gateway as well as a powerful Queen and her ferocious armed guard. Dealing with the recent revelations about his family and the impending threat of the curse, Oliver must find a way to fight on. With everything at stake, he must risk it all once more as he is faced with a perilous task, a bloodthirsty enemy and a furious race against time to get to Brinatin…

A Sneaky Quote From Bleeding Snow

I’m working my butt off to get Bleeding Snow (The Rise of Isaac, Book Two) ready for release! It’s in the final stages of editing and I plan to have it out by the end of the month!

(If you haven’t read the first book, Creeping Shadow, you can check it out here on Amazon ūüėÜ)

In the meantime….here’s a little quote to wet your appetite…