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Book Clubs, BooksGoSocial, Indie-Authors, the value of promoting your book

Should we go to writers conferences?

dreamstime_xs_19535386 Question Mark

Until this weekend I wasn’t sure about writers conferences, plus I have discovered I am a terribly indecisive procrastinator!  I’m not sure, I’m going, I’ve paid, I’ve canceled, I’ve repaid… seriously, I must have driven the organizers crazy.  (Sorry Tanja!)

Before today if you had asked me about a conference I would have answered you with umm’s, maybe’s, and depends.  Today, however, I can with confidence say… yes go!

I’m not looking for agents and publishers and I am a very happy indie-author, or as I found out this weekend, an authorpreneur, really like the sound of that.

So where did I go that made me swing like a pendulum, that firmly left me on scales that sunk on the ‘go-for-it’ side?  The answer is, The Dublin Writers Conference run by,

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Did I learn a bucket full of information from the speakers, well probably as I am so far along the line of being an authorpreneur, (sorry just really fell in love with the word) maybe not.  People just starting off on their writing career would certainly have learned massive amounts of useful information though, and to others like them I say, go go go and go quickly, learn how to do it properly and don’t make the mistakes I made.  If I had attended a conference like this before I self-published I would have saved myself thousands of pounds… and I’m not kidding.

However, before established indie-authors are put off, I have to rush on and say – there is much more to these conferences than the guest speakers.  I met loads, and I mean loads, of lovely people and swapped business cards with numerous attendees.  The indie-world of book publishing is blessed with a multitude of authors, artists, and like-minded people, who simply LOVE to help other people, now in what other business can you say that?

I learned tons from my chats with other authors, really invaluable information, and happy to say I was able to offer a couple of people bits of information they didn’t know.

Besides the great atmosphere and the constant exchange between people, we ended Saturday evening with an Irish Ditty session that I shall never forget.  Oh, and Michael Neff, should you ever happen upon this post, I am still singing your ditty about authors (to the tune of ‘Would you like to swing on a star’) and I promise never to start a book with a scene in a car or someone waking up from a dream!!!

For me, the icing on the top, was being able to pitch to Ken Atchity an American producer, in what day-to-day walk of life can you ever get to do that?

The cost, €149. Money for value? One hundred percent. Go again? Oh, I hope so.

 

 

 

Book Clubs, BooksGoSocial, Christian Fiction, Inspirational Story, Manchester, Mombasa, World War 2

Grace in Mombasa ~ update

I’m happy to say, that I am now just about at the halfway mark of this beautiful story.

Inspired by true events ~ A book in two halves

The first half of Grace’s life is in England between 1912 – 1953.  The book picks up when Grace is 27 and WW2 has just begun.  Living in Newton Le Willows in England (half way between Liverpool & Manchester) Grace still lives with Richard, her father who is the local vicar.  Her Fiancee has joined up, and Eleanor, a land-army lady from London has moved in with them.

Land Army Lady

The story is portrayed through Grace’s eyes and we experience a tiny bit of what it was like here in the North West during the war.  Writing about the Manchester Blitz of 1940 was quite emotional after all the research I did about it.

manchester blitz

The book is going slower than I would have liked, but I just can’t skimp on the research, it is vital to make this story as authentic as I possibly can.

Still, I am longing to start the second half of her life which is lived in Mombasa, Kenya.

This story is fictional but totally inspired by Moira Smith, a lady I met in Mombasa, who briefly told me a small part of her life.

I am very happy to announce that I will be giving 50% of all my proceeds (from the sale of this book) to Barnabas Outreach Mombasa, so that in some way, the good works that Moira did may continue in her name.

I’m praying that Grace in Mombasa will bless them abundantly.

I’ll keep you updated on the process, if wishes came true it would be finished in time for Christmas.

Barnabus

Amazon, Book Clubs, BooksGoSocial, Born to Be, Christian Fiction, Epic Fantasy, Fairies, Fantasy, Goodreads, Indie-Authors, Reviews

The Innkeeper’s Son ~ K C Herbel

As a Christian, I love it when I find a book full of morals.  One of my all-time favorites is the Narnia series by C S Lewis.  Clive Staples Lewis (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day.

Image result for c s lewisImage result for the lion the witch and the wardrobe

I love that Clive went through changes in his life, which include losing his Christian faith and then finding it again later in life. A true prodigal son story.  He wrote quite a few books but I think the world’s favorite must be The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe.

I adore when a story has hidden beliefs and principles for life behind the writing.  My own series Born to Be, is exactly that.  I was once told that my story was too innocent to get anywhere, says a lot about the world we live in doesn’t it?

I was, therefore, over the moon to read The Innkeeper’s Son by K C Herbal, and discover a beautifully written, traditional fantasy packed with caring and sensitive characters.  Woven together in a magical story of dragons and fairies and magic.  I loved it and highly recommend it.  Very pleased to find there is already four in the series and I look forward to reading the rest.

Amazon, Angels and Demons, Book Clubs, BooksGoSocial, Goodreads, Kindle Books, Reviews, World Building

Ruin’s Lot by ID Johnson

Over time, many authors have painted a different image of angels and demons.  I loved the film Michael with John Travolta drinking, smoking and smelling of cookies… ingenious.  Also, really enjoyed Constantine with Keanu Reeves, which was intriguing and spellbinding.  And City of Angels with Nicolas Cage, which was lovely and moving.  These are just to name a few, there is a plethora out there.

So with so many books and films to choose from, do we really need another?

Well, I’m happy to say that yes, there is still more space for unique and interesting stories.  That’s what I found Ruin’s Lot by ID Johnson to be.

The story is well written and flows, making it an easy page-turner.  I won’t say too much about the story itself as I don’t want to ruin it (sorry no pun intended) for you.

Born to Be

Audiobook now available.

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Come on in and discover the world of Talia…

Very happy to announce that book 1 is now available on audiobook.  Have a listen to Steve, I think he’s done a great job!

I’m looking forward to the next two already.

Click here to buy

 

leave a review

Amazon, Born to Be, Epic Fantasy, Fairies, Fantasy, Goodreads, Indie-Authors, OnlinBookClub, Oracle's Quest, Promotion Values, Reviews, the value of promoting your book

Are book promotions value for money?

My experience with OnlineBookClub.org online-book-club-org

I decided to pay to advertise my book with Onlinebookclub.org.

I paid $598.00 for their Book of the Day deal.

In the days running up, I began watching the rankings of other books that were the ‘book of the day’.  I was quite excited to see a few of them rise quite high in their category sections. For example: ‘The Buried Secrets of Peonies’ by Mernegar Dorgoly rose to #7 in kindle short stories, and, ‘A second, less Capable, Head’ by James Hanna rose to #14 in kindle anthologies.

I was quite excited then and anticipated a number of sales that would also help my rankings.

I was to be hugely disappointed when I only sold 14 books.  My books normally sell for $2.99 and for this deal I’d reduced the book to $0.99 to encourage sales.  Total income $4.90, a loss of $593.10.

If like me, you’re an indie-author who works a full time ‘day’ job and writes like crazy in-between life’s normal activities, you will understand how crushing this was for me.  That, on top of the fact that, I received some rather stringent criticism almost had me jacking it all in and calling it a day…

I do feel I’m like a typical sensitive-author, I think I should nickname myself Sea-Saw-Tracy, because I am constantly up and down.  Harsh remarks though cut deep, this book is after all ‘my baby’ and I have been working on it for 25 years.  I confess I haven’t yet managed to grow a thick skin.

It took my youngest (always positive) son, Daniel, to put things in perspective.  I received 170 comments, of which nearly all of them were positive and encouraging.  Lots of people said they added the book to their ‘want to read’ list.  Time will tell if they actually read it.  If you want, please feel free to check out the comments below.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiscountBookOfTheDay/

So maybe young adult fantasy isn’t a genre that’s really popular?  Or maybe my book just isn’t up to scratch?  Perhaps if you have a romance, thriller or short stories, then you’ll do loads better than I did.

Will I be booking another deal?  Definitely not.

Should you book a deal?  I think it depends on a few things: Is your book in a popular genre? Do you have a gripping first three chapters? Does your book cover jump up and grab people’s attention? Do you have an intriguing blurb? …and most importantly, do you have $598.00 to spare?  If the answer to all these questions is yes, then go for it, because obviously some books do really well on these deals.

 

 

 

Born to Be

Book Review – Author Alexi Ferreira

Wow, I am so enjoying the Elementals MC series and I just had to stop and blog about it!

The cover may slightly giveaway the fact that these books are about drop-dead gorgeous hunks. Oh yes, girls, these are fab escapism books that are hot, hot, hot.

I find these books easy to read with a quick, keep you interested pace.  I would say a perfect holiday read.

I gave the books 4/5 stars because there are some minor editing issues, but really they don’t distract from the story.  Well worth a read.

 

Amazon, Born to Be, Epic Fantasy, Goodreads, Indie-Authors, Reviews

AMAZON – INDIE-AUTHOR HATER?

We are sensitive people us indie-authors.  I know I for one, practically fall apart when Amazon ‘hit me’ with another veto, whether removing reviews I received or those I have given.

We're watching you!

I do feel that Amazon has taken an underlying – almost sub-conscience, decision to get rid of us, well the ones not selling thousands of books a month of course. Woe betide that they should lose someone who makes them money.  Profit is their goal after all.

And therein lies the problem.  Although let’s be honest, we would like to make some money, actually, our inner-drive is usually to share our stories with people.  The joy I receive when someone leaves me a positive review is, in fact, a far greater reward than the pennies I earnt from the book sale.  Because positive reviews make me so happy I always want to reach out to people who left them and add them to my friend’s list, I actually invite people in the back of my books to come and find me on facebook so that I can build a relationship with the readers of my books.  Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t correspond with me and ask me about it, they just see that I have become friends with someone who left a review, and bam, they take away the review and 5 others for good merit.  Gosh but Amazon has made me cry on numerous occasions.

We are highly emotive, creative people, and Amazon is a money-making machine.  I wouldn’t say they hate us indie-authors, but I would say they’d like to get rid of quite a few of us.  We have infiltrated the world of books and if book publishers are not careful we will one day rule the world of publishing, from behind our computers in the comfort of our homes, an army of like-minded, self-driven, revolutionary writers.

Having lost several lovely reviews from people on Amazon, I have to say in hindsight, that I wish I had read Amazon’s T&C’s before blindly clicking ‘accept’.  Their policy clearly states that ‘friends’ are not allowed to leave reviews.  My distress comes when they removed reviews from people I have never met, who in fact were not friends, but that I foolishly clicked ‘Add friend’ to on Goodreads after they left me a review – big mistake.

Amazon owns Goodreads, what a dreadful thing that is.  I always thought Goodreads was an independent place where people who loved books could leave their thoughts and share with other like-minded people, all totally nothing to do with profit and suchlike.  I was, therefore, most upset to discover that the money-making machine that is Amazon actually own this previously unbiased platform.  So be warned, DO NOT ADD PEOPLE AS FRIENDS JUST BECAUSE THEY LEFT YOU A REVIEW, or like me, you risk the chance of losing reviews that you have worked long and hard to receive.

REMEMBER – AMAZON ARE WATCHING YOU!

 

Epic Fantasy, Fantasy, Goodreads, World Building

Book Review: Dreams, Destinies & Denials. Book 1 in the Dragon Echo series

I loved this book. About a third of the way through it I realized the writer had created a beautiful tapestry, and that he was telling the story like a Grand Maestro conducting the flow of life through his intricate characters. I fell in love with Charity and Straken and watched in gripped fascination the undertakings of the other people in the story.steve grinnel


 This book is gutsy and deep in its revelations of the main characters raw personas. It is also extremely erotic.
A must read and highly recommended.
 51xlEHyablL     Extremely clever high fantasy at it’s best!
This is intricate and beautifully woven together.
The characters are built in depth and multi-layered.
I love the reintroduction of my favorite characters from book 1 and can see now how their lives are all inter-linked.
Fab read, highly recommend. Get book 2
Born to Be

Book Review: What does it mean to be a black sheep? by Kristina Gallo

This book appealed to me straight away, due to its aspirations to help people.

Blacksheep, outcast, dunce, unwanted, loner and weirdo.  Name tags that hurt and prevent us from growing into strong, beautiful people.  I called myself dunce for a long time, nearly 40 years, actually.  It is liberating to come out from underneath the labels that either we put on ourselves, or others heap on us.

Kristina’s book addresses people who find themselves on the outside, not part of the in-crowd.  She shows examples and gives extremely helpful, and thoughtful advice.  Her desire to help other people shines through on every page.

This is a short novella/advice book, and is, therefore, a quick and easy read.  However, English is not Kristina’s first language so please be lenient with the grammar.

Looking for inspiration to move forward in your life?  Then give this book a quick read, you won’t regret it.

Born to Be

Author Introduction

via Author Introduction

Born to Be

Book Review: Treatments that Sell.

I seem to be reading such a lot at the moment, I thought I would start putting my reviews on here.

So here we go… first one.  Treatments that Sell by Ken Atchity & Chi-Li Wong

This is is a very thorough book, guiding you through the heartache of trying to write a treatment that will simply jump up and grab the reader.

Wanting to pitch to Hollywood myself, and in preparation for my meeting with Ken Atchity this coming June, I purchased two of Ken’s books.  This one, plus How to Pitch to Hollywood.  Both books are good, but this one is definitely the most helpful.

Step by step guidance on what to do, and probably more importantly, what not to do, this book is invaluable.  Maybe, slightly more geared to scriptwriters (if you are a scriptwriter I highly recommend this book), still extremely helpful to us budding authors.

One thing I didn’t know was about submitting your book to the copyright office at the Library of Congress, this is definitely now on my to-do-soon list.

Besides helpful tips like that, the book gives a real, refreshing, definitely honest view on getting your book made into a movie.  Unfortunately, Ken, I don’t hob-nob with millionaires nor rub shoulders with high flyers in Hollywood, so the only thing left for me is to a) wish for loads of luck, and b) work damn hard and hope that one day I am in the right place at the right time for my dream to come true.

Whenever I get down at all the hard work, I keep in mind my most favorite dream of all time.  That is walking down the red-carpet in New York, with my husband and my four sons, to attend the premiere of Idi & the Oracle’s Quest.  It is this dream that drives me forward, keeps me working hard… and makes me purchase books like Treatments that sell.

To all you budding indie-authors with the same dream, I advise you get the book asap!

 

Born to Be

Now on Kindle www.amazon.co.uk or www.amazon.com

Now available to buy in paperback or on Kindle.  Idi & The Oracle’s Quest is a curl up on the sofa book whilst you get caught up in the magic.

A bewitching tale spun around the transformation of an orphan boy to a preeminent magician.

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Oracle's Quest

It’s a no limits fantasy

Idi

I look at Idi, the main character in my story ‘Oracle’s Quest’ and I smile.  He is on a journey: he thinks by finding out who his parents were that he will discover who he is.  Abandoned as a baby and having no name he was nicknamed Idiot which over the years gets shortened to Idi.  This description heaped on him by the villagers will remain ingrained in his spirit for many years.  Only when he is able to shake off this mantra that has been put on him will he begin to discover the person he can be.  Idi’s magic will at the end know no limits; and depending on whether he can keep his spirit pure will determine whether he will use the power to create or destroy.

Word’s are containers of power, we use them to build up “oh well done!” or we use them to deflate “you’re so clumsy”.  As Idi begins to realise the power of words and starts to release the ancient magic within him he will start to mould Talia (the Kingdom that hosts this story) and the changes will affect everyone.

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Marcus, the wise old Magician, will try his hardest to change Idi’s negative self perception and will encourage him to choose a better way of thinking.

 

 

The Limitations of Magic

“Oracle’s Quest” Copyright © 2012 by Tracy Traynor All rights reserved

Transparent_File_of_TN_logoHi there

Thank you for stumbling across my Blog and let me warmly invite you to the wonderful world of Talia!

Idi & The Oracle’s Quest is book 1 of the “Born To Be” Trilogy, Idi & The Talisman of Talia is book 2 and Idi & The Sirocco Witch is book 3.

I am creating a world of no limits, no boundaries and definitely no restrictions on Magic.  I want to open the doors of my spirit and say “soar”.  I am so excited about the people who are coming to life as the words flow across the page because unlike you and me, they don’t know there is an end to the things they can accomplish.

Did you like the characters, do you think something is missing, have I not explained something well enough … let me know what you think and I will forever be in your debt ~ I might not have a pot of gold to share with you but I always have a pot of coffee on the go! 🙂

Tracy

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