Friday 13th Vampire Book Sale

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It’s Friday 13th! Stay safe indoors with your latest vampire fix this weekend…

I’ve teamed up with some of the BEST paranormal romance authors out there to bring you a HUGE book sale (July 13th -15th) !

Click here to grab all of these books for FREE or 0.99 now!

WOLF GAMES UPDATE

If you’re getting excited about the upcoming Wolf Games series, featuring Jameson and Cass, then you don’t have long to wait! Wolf Games is going through the final stages of editing and will soon be released! I’m hoping to have it out before the end of July so keep an eye out for my release warning email soon!

ALSO

I’ve been busy filming a brand new WEB SERIES! Two episodes are already live on YouTube, answering questions I’ve been asked by my fans. Episode 1 talks about why I chose to write about vampires and werewolves and Episode 2 discusses how I get my inspiration and ideas for both characters and storylines.

Click here to watch Episode 1 

Click here to watch Episode 2

And if you have any question you’d like me to answer in upcoming episodes, feel free to ask!

An author abroad – follow me across the world!

2016 has been an eventful year for me. Last Christmas I made the decision that I wanted my life to change…though I had no idea quite how I wanted that to happen…

Skip f13061919_10153438940167026_2323675717420956155_norward five months and a helluva a lot of umming and ahhing – I took a trip to Costa Rica to take a break and think about what I wanted next from life (not a bad place to do it, sitting on a Caribbean beach with a cocktail in hand!)

It wasn’t until two days before I came home, laying in a hammock beneath a swaying palm tree (slightly concerned about the coconuts which had been plummeting like missiles from the sky the previous day) and I had an epiphany. I didn’t want to go home.

 

Now I should mention I am by no means what you would call ‘misfortunate’ in the life I was leading back in the UK. But I had, for the past year or so, been looking for something more.13041449_10153438923462026_3936022307660066299_o

And I wasn’t sure just what that was until I lay under the Costa Rican sun in a hammock. Of course, life isn’t a holiday. I couldn’t stay abroad and I inevitably got on my British Airways flight home – but with a renewed sense of purpose. Because I had decided to make the move abroad- something I would scarcely have even considered the previous year but which suddenly made so much sense.

 

The year ticked by, I returned to my job, became an auntie to a beautiful baby girl and continued to write my fantasy series in the meantime. But the desire never went away. So I booked a ticket back to Costa Rica, enrolled in a TEFL course on the stunning pacific coast and in 20 days time I will be jetting back across the world to embark on a new adventure.

I’ll still be writing, the final instalment of The Rise of Isaac is well underway but I’ll also be focusing on blogging about my experiences as I risk it all and take a metaphorical leap of faith. I feel the weight of that risk very much at the moment- giving up my comfortable life, my steady income, my  gorgeous flat – but sometimes in life you’ve just got to risk it all for that gut feeling.

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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 😉

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 😉

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Have A Muse?

The idea of muses comes from Greek mythology. I think it’s a fascinating idea and I often call my cat my muse hehe though I don’t actually believe in it! But it got me wanting to know a bit more about the notion so here’s a little info…

The Muses are the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne [Memory]. Zeus came to Mnemosyne on nine consecutive nights and the nine daughters were the result of those nine unions. Mnemosyne gave birth to the nine girls near the topmost peaks of Mount Olympos (Olympus). All nine girls are of one mind … they are free spirited and have their hearts set upon song … they sing of the laws of the Immortals and the goodly ways of a life. Their homes and bright dancing places are on Mount Olympos but they may appear to anyone as long as the performer is paying tribute to the immortal gods with their art.

According to the poet Hesiod, the Muses frequent Mount Helikon (Helicon) in Boeotia and an area around Mount Olympos known as Pieria. They arise by night and shrouded in mist, walk the hills and bathe in springs. By calling upon and receiving the blessings of the Muses, a poet or dancer or musician can transcend the normal bounds of talent and rise to unimagined levels of creative insight.

The nine Muses are listed by name in the poem Theogony but the specific attributes of each goddess were added by later poets:
Erato [Lovely], Love Poems

Euterpe [Delightful], Flute Playing

Kalliope (Calliope) [the Beautiful-Voiced], Epic Poetry

Kleio (Cleio) [Celebrate], History

Melpomene [Songstress], Tragedy

Ourania (Urania) [Heavenly One], Astrology

Polymnia (Polyhymnia) [Many Hymns], Sacred Music

Terpsichore [Dance-Enjoying], Dance

Thaleia [Blooming One], Comedy


So how about you? Do you have a muse? And if not what do you wish your muse could be?
All information on muses in this post was sourced from http://mythagora.com/bios/muses.html

A True Quote

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Everyone sees the world differently and I think it’s so important to be understanding of other people’s opinions. Even if someone completely disagrees on, say, your favourite book it’s hard not be annoyed when it’s something you are passionate about. But, as Cinderella says:
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Everyone is looking for different things in books and even two people who love the same book may love it for completely different reasons! But if we all loved and hated the same things equally the world would be a very boring place indeed…

Happy Halloween!! Here’s to Goosebumps and R.L Stine…

Firstly, I just wanted to say that the cover photo for this post is possibly one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen haha!

But moving swiftly on…

In honour of the scariest day of the year I thought I’d talk about Goosebumps and the new movie (starring Jack Black) that will be out early next year…

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I LOVED Goosebumps as a kid. I used to have all the books which I read repeatedly so the spines were completely destroyed!

I also watched the TV show after school and to this day I can still remember the opening credits vividly!

R.L Stine is an inspiration to anyone who writes children’s books. He had a way of making his stories the perfect amount of frightening which brought this fascination to the reader who just had to read the next story and the next and the next.

The main character in the movie (played by Jack Black) is R.L Stine which I think is fantastic! The premise is that the scary creatures from his books start appearing in his own life and he has to face the demons he has created! It looks brilliant and I think Jack Black is the perfect choice to make this film a mixture of fun and frightening.

So here’s my question to you…which Goosebumps book scared you most?

For me it was this one…

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To this day dummies still freak me out!

Have a spoooooooky day!

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child…Anyone else super excited?!!

J.K Rowling has written a stage show! And I am sooooo excited about this!

Here’s the description from the website:

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne will receive its world premiere in London’s West End at the Palace Theatre in the summer of 2016.

Featuring a cast of over 30, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. Written by Jack Thorne and directed by Olivier and Tony award winner John Tiffany, the play brings together some of the most exciting talent working in the theatre today.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be directed by John Tiffany with movement by Steven Hoggett, set designs by Christine Jones, costumes by Katrina Lindsay, music by Imogen Heap, lighting by Neil Austin, sound by Gareth Fry, special effects by Jeremy Chernick, illusions by Jamie Harrison and musical supervision by Martin Lowe.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Colin Callender‘s Playground Entertainment and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions.

Casting hasn’t yet been announced but come on who isn’t hoping they’ve brought back Daniel Radcliff? I mean, I would be running to the theatre to queue for it literally now – and yeah it’s not even gonna be out until Summer 2016 so that’s how long I’d camp outside for it…..

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The world Premiere is 30th July 2016 but preview tickets are going on sale from 30th October so if you want a ticket you better sign up now for priority booking!! I’m certainly going to!

A Quote for You

  
Sometimes it’s very hard not to doubt yourself and your work but, although it may be hard to put doubt aside entirely, you mustn’t let it hold you back! If you love your writing then the chances are that of the 6 billion+ people in the world some of them are bound to love it too!

Never let doubt hold you back!