Amazon, Book Clubs, Goodreads, Indie-Authors, Kindle Books, Reviews

Book Review – Top Producer by Laura Wolfe

I wrote this review for Chic Lit Cafe

Totally engrossing, fast paced, and super suspenseful Top Producer is one of the best books I’ve read so far in 2020!    Laura Wolfe had me on the edge of my seat! 

Twenty-four year old Mara Butler has had a string of misfortune including being dumped by her boyfriend and fired in the same week.  Even her mum and dad don’t hold out high hopes for her.  She’s a young woman who’s a bit of a klutz, struggling to pay a mortgage (for an apartment she should never have got) who attracts negativity wherever she goes.  But she has a dream.  Glued to programs about real estate, she’d dreaming of becoming a big time realtor.

Lying at her interview, saying she had walked out of her last job when really she’d been fired gives her interviewer a glimpse into her personality.  Add to that shoes that don’t fit and mismatched clothes, and Jacqueline Hendersen can see two things, Mara needs money and she lies – making her perfect for the job!  Becoming Jacqueline’s personal assistant at Greystone fills Mara with hope of fulfilling her dreams.  Tipping her last twenty bucks into the homeless guy’s lap, and determined to make money to help with her sisters medical bills, Mara is all set, sleeves rolled up, notebook open, ready to fly.

The trouble with flying high is that there is a long way to fall.  Things aren’t quite how Mara expected them to be.  Some deals seem a bit shady and her boss is extremely demanding.  Add to that the constant warnings about Jacqueline, and Mara reluctantly takes off the rose-colored spectacles.  I mean just how ‘creative’ can one get when selling property while still remaining within the law?  Can the lure of earning big and having success turn a good person bad?  Maybe that person always had a little gray inside them just longing for an outlet?  The real question is, what line is Mara willing to cross?      

Laura Wolfe’s story-telling is crisp, clean and well-written.  Top Producer is indeed a novel of suspense.  It is a gripping page-turner that comes highly recommended by Chick Lit Café.

Review warning: Before you rush off and buy any book that someone reviews you should read the free sample chapters provided on Amazon, this way you can decide for yourself if this book is your cup of tea or not.  Happy reading everyone!

If you would like to know more about editorial reviews, please contact Chic Lit Cafe

Amazon, Book Clubs, Goodreads, Inspirational Story, Kindle Books

Box Set Review – Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere – based on a book by Celeste Ng

What makes a woman a mother?  Does every mother deserve to be one?  Big, big, big issues are dissected in this truly amazing story. Looking at relationships from different points of view, how daughters see their mothers. How mothers see their children.  Image is smashed apart with a sledge hammer in this thoroughly gripping series.  I can’t rate it high enough.

In a way I wish I had read the book first, because now I’ve seen the series I don’t think I can read it.  The series was just that good.  The acting was brilliant, and my husband and I were on the edge of seats throughout the whole thing – which we binged watched!  When the final credits went up Andrew said, ‘I think that’s one of the best things we’ve ever watched’ so it’s not just for women.

Stunning Kerry Washington (who plays Mia Warren) had me in tears repeatedly.  The story is so moving, and the acting so real.  When my toes start flicking up and down it’s because I’m trying to rein in the tears.  Let’s just say my feet were hardly still!

Quick synopsis:  Mia Warren and her daughter Lexi turn up in the sleepy town of Shaker Heights.  Obviously on the run from something Mia won’t sign a year’s lease, on an apartment she rents from Reese Witherspoon’s character, Elena Richardson.  Both women have daughters… and problems.  Elena is ‘Miss Adorable’ of Shaker Heights, beautifully turned out, beautiful house, beautiful children, wonderful husband, her life is just perfect!  But perfection turns out to be an image that needs smashing, because her children are struggling to be… normal.  Mia, a stunning, creative artist/photographer, has a secret that’s eating her up and stealing her joy.  Sparks fly as these two very different, strong women get to know each other.

Reese Witherspoon does a wonderful job of showing us who Elena really is.  I literally yelled at her at one stage I was so worked up… that’s great story telling.

So read the book or watch the show, but whatever you do… don’t miss out on this amazing story.

Amazon, Angels and Demons, Book Clubs, Goodreads, Indie-Authors, Kindle Books, Reviews

Book Review – The Shining by Stephen King

As part of my research for Hope in Blackshaw Moor, which is a Romance-Thriller, I decided to do a little light reading… and dived into Stephen King’s 1977 The Shining!

I am not a fan of horror or anything bloody or gory, so I planned to ‘skim-read’ through and just get a feel for the book opposed to a concentrated read.  Well best laid plans and all that don’t always go as imagined and I ended up reading the whole book from front to cover.

I was pleasantly surprised for the Shining book is a lot meatier than the film.  I confess to seeing the film in my early twenties before I firmly made up my mind to steer clear of horror.  The film had my pulse racing until quite frankly I felt sick.  It was one of three films that put me off horror for life.  As the film was released in 1980 I should imagine that most horror fans of today would find it laughably tame, such is the fall of our innocence.

Without the dramatic, pulsating boom of background music that allows you to prepare for the frightening stuff in a film, the book was far more enjoyable.  Firstly, not picked up in the film (obviously in an hour and a half there is only so much story you can portray) is the fact that this book’s main character actually isn’t (honey I’m home) Jack, it’s his son Danny.  Btw ‘honey I’m home’ doesn’t feature in the book.  Danny has the Shining, a seventh-sense that gives him glimmers of the future.  The story dives into depth about the relationship between Danny and his father, that alcoholic, bad-tempered man who broke his arm, yet who he idolizes and loves as any son loves his father.  Stephen King takes his time building the characters of this family, making all three of them very real, which ultimately becomes the true psychological horror of the story.  For how can a loving father turn into a man who wants to slaughter his wife and son?  Is it the ghosts that roam through Overlook Hotel or is it the hotel itself that’s haunted… or could it possibly be the horror that resides inside a person is released in the right (or should we say wrong) circumstances?  Danny sees it all happen way before it actually occurs, yet clings to the fact that he knows his father loves him and would never hurt him, right until the end, and that is impetus behind this well told story.

What I didn’t like, (remember it was written in 1977) is that thoughts are inserted mid-sentence, throwing you off balance and making you re-read to fully understand.

What I loved, the love that Danny held for his father despite everything, and the ending, which is much, much better than the film.

This book is so old that if you fancy reading it you probably know someone who has it on their bookshelf gathering dust so you could borrow a copy.  Or charity shops are bound to hold several dozen copies of it.  However, if you’re a kindle fan here is the link below to Amazon.

Review warning: Before you rush off and buy any book that someone reviews you should read the free sample chapters provided on Amazon, this way you can decide for yourself if this book is your cup of tea or not.  Happy reading everyone!

Book Clubs, Christian Fiction, Goodreads, Indie-Authors, Inspirational Story, Kindle Books, Reviews

Book Review – Eating the Forbidden Fruit by Roland Page

I wrote this review for Chick Lit Café – Check out their site for reviews & book marketing.

Sold our souls for greed – made mistakes without learning – death clears our vision (reminding us that life has a time limit).  These are some of things we encounter in Eating the Forbidden Fruit.  Although this is a piece of fiction, it reads like an autobiography, and readers of that genre will love it.  Roland Page has put together a gripping family/crime fiction that moved me to tears several times.

As I read this novel I was struck with the thought ‘what makes me qualified to review this?’ I’ve never felt that about a book before, it caused me to sit back and contemplate on what I was reading.  I am a middle-aged, white, suburban housewife from England.  This is a story about a young black man living in the US, in a world I know nothing about.  Then I saw it.  We are the same.  We live.  We bleed.  We die.  Our blood runs through our veins making our hearts beat while supplying oxygen to our brains, so that we can – think, feel, love and hope.  Whoever we are, wherever we live, we are the same.  That is how thought-provoking I found this.

This is a story about hope, and what defines a person.  Is it the choices we make?  Roland starts his life off not always making the right decisions, one day some of those choices come back to haunt him.  This book begins and ends with a court case, what happens in-between those chapters are the steps that lead up to that courtroom.  Like many things in life the pivotal catalyst of this event, is not one but many things.  We all fall from grace now and again, but it’s how we get up and move forward that defines us.  Without these struggles we might never appreciate the things we have.  This theory is highlighted in this marvelously gripping book.  Two worlds collide when Roland joins St Louis Metropolitan Police department, a shady past of drugs that’s entwined with the love and fierce loyalty of his family and friends, and his dedication to justice and doing the right thing in the force.

For me the underlying heartbeat of this novel, isn’t the troubled upbringing and crazy choice making, it is that having the love of a person that’s true and altruistic is stronger than the pull of the world, stronger than drugs, stronger than childhood ties and even stronger than habits.  Without love everything is meaningless.  My favorite line from the book is: Wherever Tracey laid her head was home to me.  A close second is: I wasn’t a complete asshole, just a part-time one! Roland Page bravely reveals his thoughts to us in this touching and tenderly-open story.  If you appreciate honest autobiographies, crime or family stories you are going to drink this up, enjoy the tale but then, if you’re like me, you might get to reflect on your own choices.

Amazon, Book Clubs, Epic Fantasy, Goodreads, Indie-Authors, Reviews

Book Review – On Twilight’s Wings by Ariel Paiement

Blurb

She is the key to everything.
Until a few months ago, Cat’s only worries were about her foster parents and whether she’ll be shipped off to another boarding school over the summer. Dealing with a painful past and a friendless existence were at the top of her priority list.
All of that is about to change.
Shortly after she finds out that she’ll be remaining home for the summer, the visions, headaches, and terrible pains start. Then a new guy shows up in her quiet neighborhood, and, suddenly, her visions are showing events surrounding him and other strange beings.
Nothing is as it seems.
In this new world, nothing is the way it was, and everything requires her to become more than a frightened foster kid trying to make it through the day. She’s determined to get answers, but the more she sees in her visions, the less certain she is that she wants those answers.
But answers are coming.
Like it or not.

My Review of On Twilight’s Wings (The Eclesian Chronicles Book 1)

4/5 stars

This is a well written, enjoyable YA fantasy, with strong characters and an interesting storyline.  I love stories about Angels and really enjoyed the love story between Cat and Gabe.

The reason for 4 stars instead of 5 is purely because of my past I struggle with stories of abuse and prefer more upbeat books so I can hide away from reality. There is also no ending which was disappointing, but glad to see this is book one and more will follow as I’d like to know what happens next.

Definitely a story young adult females will love.

Find out more about Ariel Paiement and check up on her reviews of other fantasy books on her wonderful blog.

Amazon, Book Clubs, Christian Fiction, Christian Fiction, Goodreads, Indie-Authors, Inspirational Story, Kindle Books, Reviews

Book Review – Marriage and Ministry by Amanda Kai

For fans of Jane Austen, Marriage & Ministry by Amanda Kai is a must read. The author excels in making her writing style feel like a natural flow-on from Austen’s beautiful book Pride & Prejudice. Did you ever wonder what married life was like for Charlotte and William? Well wonder no more. Amanda Kai has woven together a beautiful Christian story, not only reflecting on historical attitudes but on Christian values.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the moral behind this story is how do we, as Christians, see other people who may currently test our grace and mercy? This book is so well written and beautifully edited. With wonderful characters, a great story line and values to boot, I can honestly recommend this as a great book. Also, I find a lot of Christian ebook novels really over priced, and I can’t afford to buy them. I am pleased to say that this is very reasonably priced at only $3.99 – a steal for such a beautiful book. Why not encourage this author by buying her book today? I’m sure you’ll love it as I did.

Angels and Demons, Book Clubs, Christian Fiction, Goodreads, Indie-Authors, Inspirational Story, Reviews

Book Review – From Witchcraft to Christ by Doreen Irvine

Wow – what a book! I wasn’t expecting to be so emotional or brought to tears so many times as I was.  Doreen recounts her life story in this book in a very matter-of-fact way, despite having a very dramatic life she tells her story plainly and simply, in easy to read and easy to understand language.  Whereas, ‘This Present Darkness’ is an author’s artistic license to interpret the Bible’s teaching on spiritual warfare, ‘From Witchcraft to Christ’ is the real life happening of spiritual warfare within a person’s life.  Astounding, astonishing and moving beyond words.

Doreen Irvine

As a person who has never come face-to-face with the supernatural (and hasten to add that I am happy for it to stay that way) I do acknowledge the Bible as true in its entirety.  What that means is… I cannot discount the parts that I am a little afraid of and more than a little don’t really want to believe.  But the verses are there for all to read and believe.    

Ephesians 6: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Jesus himself cast out demons from people, do we believe this?  I have to say yes because I can’t break up the Bible into section and only read those verses that I feel comfortable with.  Matthew 8:28-34:  When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way.  “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”  Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”  He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. 33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.

I don’t want to dabble in the dark, nor do I wish to come face-to-face with a demon in order to cast him out.  But, I have felt the call to prayer.  Both of these books from my ‘research’ list have touched and moved me to tears and prayer.  I am burdened with the ever-growing oppressiveness of evil seeping – seemingly without opposition, into the world that is slipping steadily into immorality, where people seem blind to notice the loss of innocence.  I know a great many Saints are praying, if they weren’t we would be lost already, to those prayerful warriors go my eternal thanks.

From Witchcraft to Christ by Doreen Irvine on Amazon.com

Angels and Demons, Book Clubs, Christian Fiction, Christian Fiction, Goodreads, Indie-Authors, Inspirational Story, Kindle Books, Reviews

Book Review – This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti

In research for my next novel I selected 10 books to read, ‘This Present Darkness’ was book no 2 on this list.

Well, wow, what can I say?  I certainly hope my next book ‘Hope in Blackshaw Moor’ turns out to be a page-turner like this book by Frank Peretti!

This is one of those books that, although it starts interesting, it starts slowly.  Then it builds and builds into a tense crescendo that explodes towards the end.  I loved the pace, the steady build had me on the end of my seat, and by the time I was two-thirds of the way through nothing was going to make me put the book down!

The characters are very real, and our main protagonists are thoroughly lovable, whereas the antagonists are easy to ‘boo’ at.

Although first published in 1986 (some 33 years ago) this book hasn’t aged.  In my opinion it is quite a classic thriller.

Taken from Eden.co.uk website:  Ashton is just a typical small town.  But when a skeptical reporter and a prayerful pastor begin to compare notes, they suddenly find themselves fighting a hideous New Age plot to subjugate the townspeople, and eventually the entire human race. This Present Darkness rivals The Screwtape Letters with its keen insight into spiritual warfare and the necessity of prayer.  It is fast-moving, riveting reading, ranking with the best thrillers on the bookshelf.  Readers have picked up more than 2.5 million copies since its publication in 1986, and, with its companion volume Piercing the Darkness, it has sparked great interest in spiritual warfare over the years.

If we only knew the reality of spiritual warfare I am sure our churches would be full.

I was captivated by the angels and demons that fight over the town and the people.  I really enjoyed the way the people (with a couple of rare exceptions) never saw the spiritual warfare going on all around them.  I was completely emotional at the end when the town’s believers rally together for prayer.  What an image!  This is well written and very biblically correct.  I can’t recommend it enough, this is simply a fantastic read.

Amazon, Book Clubs, BooksGoSocial, Born to Be, Christian Fiction, Epic Fantasy, Fairies, Goodreads, Indie-Authors, Kindle Books, Oracle's Quest, Promotion Values, the value of promoting your book

5 Days to a #1 BestSeller

I thought I might share how I recently got to be a Amazon UK BestSeller. Below is a graph showing the dates, who I used to promote, how much I was charged and how many sales I received. Hopefully, from the below you will be able to ascertain whether running consecutive promotions is something you might consider.

Promoter Cost UK     USA CA AUS Total
Weds 11th Book Raid $2.16 2 4     6
Thurs 12th Reading Deals $29.00          
& Books Go Social $39.50 1 7   1 9
Fri 13th Fussy Librarian $24.00          
& Book Cave $25.00 1 34   1 36
Sat 14th BookBub (not on in USA) $188.00 78 6 18 21 123
Sun 15th Books Go Social $39.50 7 4 3 2 16
All 5 days Amazon Ads $25.00   2     2
Total promotion cost $370.00 89 57 21 25
Total Sales 192

I reduced the price of ‘Idi & the Oracle’s Quest’ from $2.99 to $0.99 on Tues 10th Sep. On the 10th I received 3 sales and this can confidentally be accounted for by friends on FB sharing my post and also tweeting. Throughout the entire 6 days I tweeted numberous times and it is hard to know if any sales came from these tweets. I use Bitly to monitor link clicks on Twitter and in total I had 122 clicks, whether a few of these resulted in sales is hard to determine. I also can’t be 100% sure if the sales on the lines match the promoter as there would of course been a merging of promotions at certain times. This time round what was dissappointing for me where the two Amazon Ads I ran, normally these bring a much higher amount of sales.

Although I didn’t break-even during this promotion, let alone make a profit, that wasn’t the object of the exercise. The point of this campaign was exposure, to which end I am very confident to having received a measure of success.

The biggest success, of course, comes from the BookBub sales in the UK which took me to #1 and awarded me the Best Seller badge, which I can assure you I was over the moon about and opened the champagne to celebrate!

With a book only earning $0.34 per sale you can see I only received back a 5th of output. However, besides the books sales I received 6 audio sales, at a far better rate of return, and had many downloads with KDP Select, some days hitting over 3500 pages read, which in turn generates a fair income.

The last thing that upped my return were sales on my other books in the series, both book 2 and 3 sold 8 copies each at full price of $2.99.

Do I think the promotion was successful, and would I do it again – yes and in a heartbeat. It’s only been a couple of days since the promotion stopped and I’ve already had a review, just can’t beat that.

Amazon, Book Clubs, Fairies, Goodreads, Indie-Authors, Kindle Books, Reviews

Book Review – In For A Spell by Sharon Clare

Magical, enchanting, romantic, heartwarming… just a few words to describe this lovely book. Ever since I was little I have loved fairy tales. The magic, the mystery, the happy-ever-after. In For A Spell is definitely an adult (quite adult in one particular section!) fairy tale – and I loved it!

Finn, the interfering Elf, reminded me so much of Rumpelstiltskin it just made me smile every time he turned up on a page. This book is, however, much more than a fairy tale. For a start it’s a time-travelling romance, and a really good one at that. Maisie Armstrong is a wonderful character. I loved reading about the virtues that we nowadays would consider ‘old-fashioned.’ And who wouldn’t want to travel back in time to a place where honour was held in high regard? Especially if there was a tall, handsome, complicated laird Thane McKendrick waiting to sweeep you off your feet? This story is told really well, it flows smoothly and held my attention on every page. The theme takes you on a debate as to what really defines love and it’s importance in society in general, rather than just in your own life. Quite thought provoking. If you’re an adult, who like me, still loves a bit of magic, then this is a book you should read.

Sharon Clare has written other books and I really look forward to reading them. She is also an artist and offers book cover designs for authors. Sharon’s web page

Amazon, Book Clubs, Christian Fiction, Goodreads, Indie-Authors, Inspirational Story, Kindle Books

Faith in Abertillery ~ The Blurb

Not only do I hate writing blurbs, but I’m awful at it. I don’t think I’d even want to buy a book after reading a blurb I’d written.

So what do you do when you can’t stand doing something? Well you get someone else to do it for you of course! And that’s exactly what I did for Faith in Abertillery. I can’t afford to get all my books done professionally, in fact out of six releases I’ve only paid for 3 blurbs. Time will tell whether it’s is beneficial and actually does help sales.

The below blurb was created for me by Best Page Forward

Hoping to launch the book in the beginning of August 2019, watch this space for updates.

Amazon, Book Clubs, BooksGoSocial, Epic Fantasy, Goodreads, Indie-Authors, Reviews, World Building

Book Review – The Crimson Deathbringer by Sean Robins

Do you think the Akakies will visit us soon? I do love a good joke.

Well wow, you would not believe that this was Sean Robins first book! At the end when I read his short bio and discovered he’s a teacher, that made sense – because the book, especially for a first novel, is beautifully edited, easy to read and well-structured.

If you’re a SciFi fan then you’re going to love this big book. It’s meaty (long and detailed) bringing all the characters to life, making you like and care for them. They’re real people, in hopefully, not so real circumstances. Normally long books lose me, but not so this one. Each chapter kept bringing everything to life, definitely could see it as a mini TV series. Loved the alien humour – who’d of guessed that four legs and antenna could host a joke prankster? 
I really enjoyed that you saw the ‘bad guys’ (aliens) through their own eyes so you could see each aspect of the story as it came together. Well I could go on and on, because as you can see, I thoroughly enjoyed this story – highly recommend. ps also loved the GOT references, nice touch 🙂

Amazon, Book Clubs, BooksGoSocial, Christian Fiction, Goodreads, Indie-Authors, Inspirational Story, Kindle Books, Promotion Values, the value of promoting your book

Free tools for creating media posts

I just found a new tool – absolutely free, for creating 3D images of your book covers. Love it, love it, love it. So easy to use, unlimited use and great PNG transparent images for using on ads. Want to try it out? Here it is 🙂 https://diybookcovers.com/3Dmockups

The other tool I use, to upload my pics and create ads, is Canva. Also free to use, although they have reduced the amount of stuff you can do for free it is still an amazing free tool. https://www.canva.com

This little ad just took me five minutes to create using the above two links. Why not give it a go?

Amazon, Book Clubs, BooksGoSocial, Christian Fiction, Goodreads, Indie-Authors, Inspirational Story, Kindle Books

Coming soon…

Amazon, Book Clubs, BooksGoSocial, Christian Fiction, Christian Fiction, Goodreads, Indie-Authors, Inspirational Story, Kindle Books, Manchester, Mombasa, Promotion Values, Reviews, World War 2

Sale alert – Grace in Mombasa

Hi everyone From today until 21st May ’19, Grace in Mombasa ebook is discounted from $4.99 to $0.99! Why not watch the 2 min video clip below to see if this is a book you might be interested in?

Amazon, Book Clubs, Goodreads, Indie-Authors, Kindle Books, Promotion Values, the value of promoting your book

Let’s get our books noticed… and make some money!

Amazon kdp select and Advertising

books

Some people don’t rate Amazon, a friend of mine has stopped buying from them due to their tax evasion policies… however, let’s face it, Amazon is a book lover’s paradise and they are, after all, the world’s number 1 book seller.  So as indie authors we really are losing out if we don’t use them as at least one of the places we sell our books.

dreams 2

The author’s dream is normally multi layered but I suspect, like me, that the biggest part of that dream is that readers would enjoy our stories.

Some people only dream of holding their book in their hands and having that reality come true it therefore doesn’t matter that they only sold 50 copies – probably all to family, friends and work colleagues, but that’s OK because for them their dream is complete.

There are a plethora of reasons why people sit down day after day and slave over producing a book, but honestly we’re fooling ourselves if we don’t acknowledge that we hope to sell lots of books and make an income from doing so.

So here’s why I recommend putting your books on Amazon, putting them into kdp select (so that people can read them through kindle unlimited), and why advertising is so important.

Visibility

man-peering-closely-into-computer-screen

I might be the only crazy author around… although I doubt it, but when my first book went on Amazon I scrolled through 400 pages of sword and sorcery books trying to find my book.  Needless to say I never found it.  Now if I couldn’t find my book when I was looking for it how was anyone looking for a book in that genre going to find it?

The average person will scroll through the first 10 pages of a certain genre trying to find a book, if they haven’t found it then they either give up or try searching through a different category.  Our aim then as indie authors is to get our books onto the first 10 pages of our category/genre.  This is hard if the only thing you do is put your book up for sale, because you are waiting to sell approx 75 within a day to get your book into the top 100 of your category, but hold on, once there you need to maintain 45-75 sales a day to stay within those top numbers.  Now I wish that was happening to us author-preneurs but unfortunately unless your famous we have to work to get our books there.

As it turns out making our book visible on Amazon isn’t that hard after all, hallelujah I hear your cry.  To make our books visible we need to do only two things.

  1. Enroll in KDP Select
  2. Create an Ad Campaign
  • Enrolling in kdp means that two things can happen, the first and the most important is that people who have bought into Amazon Unlimited can read your book for free – hey hey you cry, we’re supposed to be talking about making money – trust me, we are.  Remember the fact from the last post?  If your average monthly earnings are around $500 then at least $200 of that will be from KENP which basically is the number of pages that have been read through kindle unlimited.  This is a great income, but there is something else to consider, and that is your ranking.  The higher your ranking the further up the scale your book travels.  Let me give you two examples from my books.

a) One of my books was ranked 1,298,428, I had 1 sale and my ranking instantly ascended to 120,148.                                                                                                                              b) Another one of my books was ranked 1,108,847, I had one person rent it on kindle unlimited and my ranking instantly ascended to 161,020.                                                            So, the thing to take from this is as far as ranking goes – and we need to get as high as we can, then it is almost as valuable to have someone obtain a copy through kindle unlimited as it is through purchasing a copy.

  • Create an Ad Campaign, honestly unless your famous or have thousands of friends willing to support you this is the only way you are going to obtain sales.  I have attended seminars and read and researched the ways people can sell books.  The biggest ‘seller’ seems to be having a mahoosive mailing list.  If that’s what you want then go for it, good luck to you.  But it’s not for me.  I am hoping in time that as I bring out more books people who enjoyed them would be likely to buy another one from me, but I am patiently waiting for that list to build up organically, I don’t think having thousands of people on an email list just for the sake of it is the way to go, but I am fully aware this is just my opinion and you must make your own.

ads

There is a reason that advertising has been around for years and is not going anywhere.  The most common way to learn about a product is through seeing an advert.  Obviously, some adverts like the one above (although funny) just should not happen, however, on the whole advertising serves a purpose and if we stick within acceptable boundaries there is no reason why anyone would think our book adverts are derogatory.

Now if you are like me and you’re on a budget you might say ‘this isn’t for me’ but hold on, before you go let me tell you that if Amazon Ad Campaigns are run correctly you should be making money and therefore getting all your advertising costs back.  I think I should also mention here, I am an indie author and I am in no way connected to Amazon as in I am not an employee etc and there is no financial gain from Amazon to me for mentioning them.  I am doing this blog solely because I wish to help and encourage other indie authors.

My next blog will contain step-by-step guide to setting up an advert on Amazon that will hopefully make you money.  (Just realized I made this post too long to include the guide.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazon, Book Clubs, Christian Fiction, Goodreads, Indie-Authors, Inspirational Story, Kindle Books, Manchester, Mombasa

Why are Christian books so expensive?

I love a good book with a good story, and if that book happens to promote Christian morals and standards then I am doubly-happy.  It is therefore, rather distressing that so many good books by Christian authors are priced out of my price-range.

Who is it that set a kindle book at $8 – $15?  Seriously, you can buy paperbacks for that amount of money in the UK.  Other genres don’t have their books priced so high – does this mean that Christians are greedy and money grabbing, or just good business men and women?  Bestselling authors set their prices really high, bleeding their readers dry because they know they will buy regardless of price.  So, does that mean that every Christian author thinks they are a bestselling author?

What on earth is going on?

I can’t set my book at that price; I want as many people as possible to be able to read it, so currently mine is set at $3.99 probably going to $4.99 next year, which I think is a reasonable price for an e-book.  And, 50% of my commission is being donated to Barnabas.

Please let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below, would love to hear what other people think about it.

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Grace in Mombasa – two endorsements

I’m so excited to say that I will probably have the kindle of Grace in Mombasa up by Friday 23rd November – a whole week early!

Grace in Mombasa 1 (1)

I’d like to share with you the two endorsements that I have had for the book.

Tracy Traynor’s writing transports you from World War 1 and 2 England to the courts of heaven, via Mombasa. With characters which pop off the page and straight into your heart, this is a book you will remember for a long time.  Wendy H Jones, author and member/webmaster of Association of Christian Writers.

The story of Grace captures the experience of many others who, though quite ordinary by themselves, find that the love of God propels them towards quite extraordinary endeavours.  Tracy is the author of Grace’s story but the inspiration was Moira Smith and the author of her story was none other than God himself, described in the Bible as the ‘author and finisher of our faith’.  I commend Tracy’s book Grace in Mombasa to you in the hope that, inspired by the story of Grace and Moira, you will become hungry for a story of your own and that you will turn to the great author of all our lives.  He already has a story prepared for you”  Sean McIntyre, missionary with Barnabas and now minister to the Assembly of God Church in Colchester.

author of our faith 2

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Only 3 weeks to go…

I'm not rubbish

When you’ve spent most of your life… and you’re 57 so that’s a pretty long time… thinking that you’re stupid and rubbish and an idiot, it can be hard to change.  I do believe I’ve come a long way to getting over low self-esteem but then in times like this, that old nagging voice “you’re an idiot” returns to throw me into chaos.

What is causing this sudden panic attack that I might not have changed after all?  The release of my new book. Aha, you may say, really? that all?  Unfortunately, yes.  I have poured myself into my latest book ‘Grace in Mombasa’ and the fear of rejection is making me ill.  I have to wonder why I put myself through it.  Writing the story itself was quite fun and even relaxing, but then editing started and demanded sweat and tears from me in an effort to get it to a level that people could enjoy it.  Then all the expense comes, professional editing for someone with dyslexia like me is crucial and must be paid for.  Then there is advertising and promoting to be done.  I’m sure my friends must be sick of hearing about my books.

And now when I am waiting for the first reviews to come in, there is nothing left but feeling sick.  Maybe I should give writing up and leave it to the more hardy people out there.

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I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed that people will enjoy Grace’s story, and until release date of the 1st Dec ’18 I am just trying to keep myself as busy as a bee and trying my hardest to switch off the anxious button!

Good news, getting an article in the local newspaper about the story – also keeping my fingers crossed to have a feature on Christian Premier Radio.

From war torn Newton Le Willows - to historical Mombasa

 

 

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Grace in Mombasa – release date 01/12/18

 

Release Date Sat 1st December 2018

I am happy to say, that Grace in Mombasa is now with a professional editor being polished.

The release date on Amazon will be Sat 1st December 2018.

I’m so excited and can’t wait for people to read it and find out what they think.

53 days to go….

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Review – Antiques and Alibis, by Wendy H. Jones

I have to begin by saying I think the book cover is great!  If you want a picture to draw you into a story, this one certainly does.  Its atmospheric black and white picture of a moonlit street simply shouts mystery and intrigue, a very good start for a detective novel!

As the blurb tells you, Cass Claymore is a red-headed, motorbike riding, ex-ballerina who inherits her uncle’s detective agency.  That alone was enough to tickle my interest buds and make me buy the book.

And I wasn’t disappointed.  From the get-go this tongue-in-cheek detective novel had me turning pages.

I really enjoyed the ‘lightness’ not taking itself too seriously, tone of the author.  The editing style also helped keep things crisp and easy to read and I found this very easy on the eye and relaxing to read.

The story is well paced and has good structure.  I instantly liked Cass Claymore and enjoyed the world-building that was created around her.  But I simply fell in love with the dwarf Quill (as apparently all the women around him do).  He’s a marvellous character, laid back, smooth talking and totally knows how to wind up Cass, just loved the conversations between the two, and have to say I do hope the author is planning a book two because I want to see more of them.

The only, very slight, downside for me was the ending.  It felt rushed, unlike the rest of the book which moves along at a lovely steady pace.  One minute something is left on Cass’s doorstep and the next minute (it felt) it was all round-up and over.  Who did leave the clue on the doorstep and why did they?  That’s too much of an unknown to leave me completely satisfied with the ending of the book.

That said, I totally enjoyed this book and found myself smiling in every chapter, and I would most definitely recommend you read it for yourself if you like murder-mysteries.

To conclude: A great, tongue-in-cheek, light-hearted mystery.  Highly recommend.

 

 

 

 

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Reviews by kids, for kids.

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Love my latest review, which is by Autumn aged 14.  Nearly all my reviews are by adults and I was really happy to receive this one through the website Reviews by kids, for kids.

Idi & The Oracle’s Quest by T N Traynor
ISBN 9781496043931
Reviewed by Autumn (age 14) for Reader Views Kids (7/18)

If you like mysterious rendezvous, witches, castles, demons, dragons and a quest to save the world then “Idi & The Oracle’s Quest,” book one in the Born to Be series, by T N Traynor, is a story you definitely should read.
A spell of forbidden love is cast, only to leave a princess grieving over her love after he is killed, and she is banished from her kingdom for the child she is carrying. Little does she know that the elements or earth witches have taken a solemn vow to protect her and her unborn child from an evil wizard by the name of Norvora. If he gets control of the child, he will unleash unimaginable horrors from the depths of Astaroth.
A plan is made by the fairies to intercept Princess Cassandra and her unborn child before Norvora can reach them. Their journey takes them through a forbidden forest to reach the mountains to a town called Tamarind.
A great and kind wizard named Marcus is called upon by the oracle Oleanna to find a boy named Idi who will become the greatest wizard of all time. Idi is an orphaned boy who has been pick on his entire life and felt like he would never amount to anything, until Marcus finds him and asks that he accompanies him on an important quest to save the kingdoms. Together they will set out on a journey to find the child who is meant to be king.

I really enjoyed reading “Idi & The Oracle’s Quest.” The story line was fast paced with hint of suspense. I liked how the author combined characters such as wizards, elemental witches, dwarfs and a dragon in a not-so-fairy-tale-like setting. The chase through the forest kept you on the edge of your seat, not knowing if Cassandra and the fairies would make it to safety before the evil wizard Norvora and his henchmen caught up with them. Every chapter had a twist in the story that was exciting and unexpected. My favorite character would be Idi. He felt like no one cared for him, but he would not give up on others and was always there for them.
“Idi & The Oracle’s Quest”, book one of the Born to Be series, by T N Traynor is a magical story that will leave you wanting more. I would recommend this story for 9th graders and up, and I look forward to the next book in the “Born to Be series.”

Link below to view the review on their website.

http://readerviewskids.com/reviewtraynoridiandtheoraclesquest

 

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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.

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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.

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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.