Friday, 24 October 2014

Bloodgifted Anniversary Celebration

I can't believe it's been a year since Bloodgifted came out, and I'm grateful to everyone who bought a copy, and for letting me enjoy Best Seller status in Gothic Romance for a while. It was amazing seeing my book on the Top 100 on Amazon, not once but three times. That's worth celebrating! 
So, here's where the Anniversary Giveaway comes in.

I'm offering three sets of prizes - 
- 1st Prize is a $25 AMAZON Gift Card, and an amazing swag consisting of the Dantonville serpent ring, silver pendant, keyring, jewelled bookmark and wristband.
- 2nd Prize is a $10 Amazon Gift Card, silver pendant, keyring, jewelled bookmark and wristband.
- 3rd Prize is a $5 Amazon Gift Card, keyring, jewelled bookmark and wristband.

All you have to do is purchase an ecopy of BLOODGIFTED, write the receipt number in the comments box and you'll be in the running. I'll randomly select three lucky winners to receive the gift cards and swag.
This offer will last until October 31st when the winner will be announced.
Could it be YOU? There are only 8 days left until this offer expires.
So please, go out there and tell your family, friends, neighbours, book club …. and share, share, share.

Bloodgifted, Bk1 of The Dantonville Legacy Series.

Friday, 17 October 2014

The Ghoulishly Good Giveaway for Halloween.

We may not celebrate Halloween here in Australia with the gusto it receives in the United States, but it's a fun holiday where everyone consumes way too much chocolate and lollies - the "Treat" part of "Trick or Treat" - and dresses up in silly costumes. Personally, vampires are my favourite. No surprise there!
This October I'm helping my American and Canadian (and Scottish) fans to celebrate with the Ghoulishly Good Giveaway. Twelve authors (including yours truly) are giving away each an ecopy of their book, plus an individual Halloween prize. I'm giving away the first book in my Dantonville Legacy Series, Bloodgifted, and a silver heart-shaped pendant - the same one featured on the cover of Laura's Locket.

Click on the  link, scroll throughout the fantastic lineup of authors and check out the prizes. Then enter.
Have fun and good luck.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

What I've Learnt A Year After Publishing My First Book - An Indie Author's Perspective

This time last year I took the brave (and possibly barmy) step in self-publishing Bloodgifted, the first book in my gothic suspense, urban fantasy series, The Dantonville Legacy. I had turned down a publishing contract in favour of going indie. Did I make the right decision? Yes, I believe I did. But saying that, if a good offer came my way, who knows? There's great artistic freedom in being an indie author, but it's also a lot of hard work. I mean, A LOT. You do EVERYTHING - writing (that's the easy bit), publishing, promoting and marketing.
For me it's been a steep learning curve, and and this is what I've learnt:

1. As a writer I don't need to be on every social media site that exists. It only causes burnout. There are only so many hours in the day, and just as many things which demand our attention. You could easily spend all your time interacting and promoting your work on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google Plus, Pinterest, Tumblr … etc. Don't do it. It'll kill you! Choose three that work for you and stick to them. Believe me, it'll save your sanity.

2. Post updates on your website/blog either weekly or fortnightly. Again, unnecessary to do more unless you aim to become a professional blogger. Rather spend your time writing your book. That's what your fans are waiting for. Lure them in by providing snippets of your work - teaser extracts, images of your characters, timelines, genealogies or geographical location(s) of your story.

3. Don't expect to be an overnight success (but if you are, then good luck to you!). It takes time to build up a fan base as readers discover your books, hopefully fall in love with them and beg you for more. On average, most indie, and midlist, authors earn between $24 - $100 in their first quarter. I didn't reach the Amazon royalty threshold until recently. Only now, a year on, my sales are starting to increase.

4. Write, write, write and get that next book published. Ten months after releasing Bloodgifted, I published Book 2 in the series, Bloodpledge. Currently I'm 11,000 words into Book 3, Blood Vault, and hope to release it June next year. Once readers like the first book in a series, they'll want to read the rest. Give them what they want, for one book sale leads to another.

5. Create a great book cover and blurb. Do the research. Go to Amazon's Top 100 Best sellers in your genre and examine their covers. What make them outstanding? Check out their colours, fonts and images. Do they make you want to click that "Buy Now" button? If so, then make your cover more stunning than those. Better still, hire a professional cover designer. It's worth it. And do the same with the blurb. Which book descriptions have you reaching for the buy button? Deconstruct and then construct your own. Learn from the best.

 6. Book a blog tour. There are some excellent book bloggers out there who specialise in reviews only. If you send out ARCs at least two months before your release date, it'll give them plenty of time to read and leave those all-important reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I used Chic Lit PLus and Irresistible Reads, and I wouldn't hesitate to use them again.

So there it is - my first twelve months as a published author, and in that time Bloodgifted has earned 32 reviews, and today was ranked #82 in Gothic Romance on Amazon.
I'm happy :-)