#WWWblogs – My 2nd KDP Select update on Ads, Giveaways & a review request #indie

I had some great responses to my post a few weeks ago about my experience 1 month into Kindle Select. See original post here. There were many people who were struggling with it like me, and others who had advice to make the experience work better for you.

Here’s a quick update of my findings:

  • Stick with KDP Select – Most people believe KDP is the best place to sell your indie books as Kindle is the highest retailer of ebooks.
  • You still have to do ALL the marketing yourself – I had been naïve enough to think that once you went with Select, they would promote your book to all their unlimited subscribers.
  • Reviews – Once you hit a certain amount of reviews, Amazon does start to help you with promotion. This is one I’ll be looking out for with interest once I hit that magical number, whatever it is!
  • Countdown Deals – You can run them in the UK & US at the same time, but not if you put in different starts dates as I did. You NEED to promote Countdown deals yourself. Pay to advertise your sale on the many different book ad sites out there. I haven’t used any paid ad sites myself, but will be looking into this option. Any one have any recommendations?
  • 5 Free book days per enrolment period – Best to do when you have more than one book published. Others have reported success with lots of downloads on their free days, and if it can help get those sought after reviews, all the better. I may hold off setting up my free days until my next book comes out though. Don’t forget to advertise.
  • Free Copies to reviewers – This one was a real issue for me, but I have since heard back from Amazon who stated a free copy of a physical product is permitted if the author states they welcome positive and negative feedback, and the reviewer states a free copy was received in exchange for an honest review.
  • Other ad options – There are other marketing options to try with KDP Select – I’ve set up several ad campaigns.

Sponsored products – You only pay when someone clicks on your ad, which is shown on the Amazon website when your selected key words are searched for. I’ve had this running a while and according to them I’ve had over 3k impressions but only 3 clicks. So far this hasn’t resulted in sales, but maybe the people who have seen the book cover a few times will get intrigued enough to click on it and find out more.

Product Display – This is where your book will appear on people’s kindles and Amazon.com when they search certain genres. I held off with this as you have to set a minimum budget of $100, but they only start billing you when people start clicking on your ad. Mine only went live today so I don’t know if it will help with sales.

And finally the big news, I’ve just set up my first ever Amazon.com Giveaway. Anyone in the US can enter for a chance to win my paperback. I’ve set it that they have to follow me on Amazon.com so we’ll see if anyone is interested and if this will help me get more coverage in the US.

If you’re in the US and want a chance to win a paperback copy, please check out the link here.

A note of caution for those wanting to set up an amazon giveaway – as per the set up rules the details cannot be changed once submitted. I misunderstood what the Welcome message was, I assumed it was once someone had clicked to enter. But it appears with the ad so would be much better suited as the blurb or tag line of the book. Now I have to plug my giveaway, the whole time feeling like a fool for getting something else wrong. (This indie author learning curve is a steep one, and never seems to end!)

UPDATED 4.40pm 20th Sept 16. I don’t understand the Amazon giveaway. It closed after less than an hour and a winner has been picked after only 57 entrants. I set it up to be 1 winner in 100. The upside is now I can redo it without my mistake on the Welcome message, not allow everyone to share the giveaway, set it up to have a higher amount of entrants. The downside is, I have to pay for another giveaway already, I thought this one would last a week! 

Now over to you – Have I inspired you to try Kindle Select, or put you off trying it altogether? Have you any findings to share or tips on improving sales whether through KDP Select or other means? Maybe you’ve made some mistakes you’d like to share. I’d love to hear your views.


Finally my cheeky request.

I’m looking to reach that magic number of reviews on Amazon, I’ve read that it could be 20. I have 14 great reviews so far, and I’m really hoping to reach 20 reviews by the end of the year. I’ve been researching book reviewers and will be contacting some over the next few days, but I thought I’d also put the request out to you guys. If any of you are book reviewers and are interested in reading Visions of Zarua, please get in touch in the comments or via my ‘contact me’ page.

I’m also willing to take part in Q&A sessions and author interviews if anyone would like to feature an indie author on their blog.

I’ll leave you with the Amazon link here if you want to find out what the book is all about. Obviously its free if you’re a Kindle Unlimited customer (Amazon suggested I tell reviewers that!).

Thanks for reading.

#Audiobook #bookreview – Look Behind You by Sibel Hodge #thriller

Look Behind You – Sibel Hodge

Narrated by – Susan Duerden



Chloe Benson wakes up kidnapped and bound in an underground tomb with no memory of how she got there.

She manages to escape but no one believes her story—not the police, not the doctors, and especially not her husband, Liam.

When she suspects Liam is lying to her, Chloe is forced to retrace her past, following in her own footsteps to find the truth and stay alive. But who is following Chloe?

Look behind you. You never know who’s out there.


My Audio Review

I really loved this book. It reminded me of Before I go to sleep by S J Watson, which I also loved. Chloe is in a similar situation, she can’t remember the last 7 weeks of her life and doesn’t know who to trust or what to believe.

The story gripped me and I couldn’t stop listening. I loved the mystery surrounding the memory loss and how Chloe had to retrace her steps leading up to what happened.

The only problem I found was the narrator. In the beginning I found her style too much. It was all very desperate sounding, but it did fit the situation perfectly. I would be desperate if I woke, tied up in a pitch black room with no memory! Her male voices all sounded samey, but I got used to that and it didn’t detract from the story.

There was one issue that bugged me from the start. Chloe was tied up and broke free, there would surely have been rope marks around her wrists and ankles to prove her story, but everyone insisted on thinking she made it up.

Overall, I loved it and give it 5 stars.

#Audiobook #bookreview – No Longer Safe by A. J. Haines #thriller

No Longer Safe by A.J.Haines

Narrated by Emma Powell



She was your best friend. Now she’s your deadliest enemy – and there’s nowhere to run…

When Alice receives an invitation from Karen, her charismatic University friend, to stay in a remote cottage in Scotland, she can’t wait to rekindle their lost friendship. But two more former students arrive – never friends of Alice’s – and as the atmosphere chills, Karen isn’t the warm-hearted soulmate Alice remembers. Barely is the reunion underway before someone is dead and the fragile gathering is pushed to breaking point.

As the snow cuts them off from civilisation and accusations fly, Alice finds herself a pawn, sinking deeper into a deadly game she can’t escape.

NO LONGER SAFE is a chilling Psychological Thriller that delivers a delicious sting in the

My review

The book moves along at a slow pace, but I wasn’t bored at any point. The backstory is slowly revealed and as you get to know the four reunited friends, you start to understand that no one is quite as they seem. The story becomes more dramatic and events drag Alice along a path that she will have trouble coming back from.

Your suspicions are raised more during the short chapters from Karen’s perspective.  You’re left in no doubt that Alice is being deceived. But it takes a good part of the book to understand just what Karen has planned.

Did I guess the ending? Definitely not. What a shocker!

I’ve already pre-ordered the authors next book which is due out in October.

A recommended read for those who enjoy thrillers at a slightly slower pace, but it still has a dramatic end.

4 star read / listen!

#Audiobook #bookreview – Try not to breathe by Holly Seddon #thriller #suspense

Try Not To Breathe by Holly Seddon

Audio book


Alex is sinking. Slowly but surely, she’s cut herself off from everything but her one true love – drink. Until she’s forced to write a piece about a coma ward, where she meets Amy.

Amy is lost. When she was fifteen, she was attacked and left for dead in a park. Her attacker was never found. Since then, she has drifted in a lonely, timeless place. She’s as good as dead, but not even her doctors are sure how much she understands.

Alex and Amy grew up in the same suburbs, played the same music, flirted with the same boys. And as Alex begins to investigate the attack, she opens the door to the same danger that has left Amy in a coma…

My review

I really enjoyed this thriller of a book. The format reminded me very much of Girl on a Train, which I have also recently listened to. Each chapter switches between Alex, Jacob/Jake and Amy’s view-point. There are occasional chapters from other VP’s (Jacob’s mum) but it’s these three that are the main focus.

I quickly became sucked in by the story and found myself snatching every moment I could to listen to another chapter. I found the characters believable and really wanted Alex to get justice for Amy.

The narration was great.

This book lives up to the hype around it and left me guessing (wrongly) at Amy’s attacker most of the way through. I certainly wasn’t expecting the big reveal at the end, and I’m usually good at working out the clues before that point.

I recommend Try not to Breathe to those who enjoy a great thriller / suspense novel. I can’t wait to read more of Holly Seddon’s work.

My rating 4 stars.

book cover holly seddon

#Bookreview – The Wedding Proposal Sue Moorcroft #Romance

The Wedding Proposal by Sue Moorcroft.

Genre: Romance



Elle Jamieson is a private person, in relationships as well as at work – and for good reason. But then she’s made redundant and with no ties to hold her, Elle heads off to sunny Malta.

Lucas Rose hates secrets – he prides himself on his ability to lay his cards on the table and he expects nothing less in return. He’s furious when his summer working as a divemaster is interrupted by the arrival of Elle, his ex, all thanks to his Uncle Simon’s misguided attempts at matchmaking.

Forced to live in close proximity, it’s hard to ignore what they had shared before Lucas’s wedding proposal scared Elle away. But then a phone call from England allows Lucas a rare glimpse of the true Elle. Can he deal with Elle’s closely guarded past when it finally comes to light?

My Review – in brief

I was first attracted to this book because of the location. I’m very interested in Malta and have just returned from a holiday there – my first trip abroad in over 15 years. I originally read this book hoping it would help me get excited about the country as I was very nervous about flying.

I’m happy to say that not only did this book do the country and friendly people justice, it really gave a feel for the island and the culture as well as the heat. There were lots of little details that added to the reading experience and brought Malta alive for me.

The characters were believable and the conflict between them was plausible. I really enjoyed this story and will definitely read more of Sue Moorcroft’s work.

I recommend to those who enjoy romance with a touch of steaminess, and that’s not just the Maltese temperature!

4 out of 5 stars.


August 2016 is Write An Amazon Review Month! By @TerryTyler4 #AugustReviews

On Monday 25th July, book blogger Rosie Amber wrote this post encouraging readers and writers alike to post a short review on Amazon for any book they’ve read and enjoyed ~ following this up, Terry Tyler is starting this initiative along with other writer-bloggers including Rosie, Cathy from Between The Lines, Barb Taub, Shelley Wilson and Alison Williams.

The idea is that, from August 1st, everyone who reads this uses their Amazon account to post just one review on one book that they’ve read (but feel free to carry on if you get in the swing!). You don’t even have to have read it recently, it can be any book you’ve read, any time. The book does not have to have been purchased from Amazon, though if it is you get the ‘Verified Purchase’ tag on it; however, if you download all your books via Kindle Unlimited, as many do these days, they don’t show the VP tag, anyway.

Remember, this isn’t the Times Literary Supplement, it’s Amazon, where ordinary people go to choose their next £1.99 Kindle book. No one expects you to write a thousand word, in-depth critique; I don’t know about you, but I’m more likely to read one short paragraph or a couple of lines saying what an average reader thought of a book, than a long-winded essay about the pros and cons of the various literary techniques used. Yes, those are welcome too (!), but no more so than a few words saying “I loved this book, I was up reading it until 3am”, or “I loved Jim and Vivien and the dialogue was so realistic”, or whatever!

Why should you write a review?

They help book buyers make decisions. Don’t you read the reviews on Trip Advisor before deciding on a hotel, or any site from which you might buy an item for practical use? Book reviews are no different.

If the book is by a self-published author, or published by an independent press, the writers have to do all their promotion and marketing themselves ~ reviews from the reading public is their one free helping hand.

The amount of reviews on Amazon helps a book’s visibility (allegedly). If you love a writer’s work and want others to do so, too, this is the best possible way of making this happen.

It’s your good deed for the day, and will only take five minutes!

Off we go, then! A few more pointers:

If you need any help with writing your review, do click on Rosie’s post, above.

A review can be as short as one word. The shortest one I have is just two 🙂

You don’t have to put your name to the review, as your Amazon ‘handle’ can be anything you like.

No writer expects all their reviews to be 5* and say the book is the best thing ever written; there is a star rating guide on Rosie’s post.

Would you like to tell the Twittersphere about your review? If so, tweet the link to it with the hashtag #AugustReviews ~ and thank you! I will do one blog post a week featuring these links: The #AugustReviews Hall of Fame (thank you, Barb!).

If you have a blog and would like to spread the word about #AugustReviews, please feel free to copy and paste this blog post, provide the link to it, re-blog it, or whatever ~ many thanks, and I hope you will join in to make this idea a success 🙂

#Review Bill Bailey – #Limboland #Comedy show at #GLive

I’m a long time fan of Bill Bailey. My husband and I used to roll in from the pub and watch his late night comedy show on TV. I’ve always loved his mix of music and comedy, so when I saw the tickets go on sale for the brilliant venue at GLive – Guildford, I couldn’t resist.

2016-07-07 20.01.30

Bill was on top form.

He started with some Brexit jokes to warm us up. His style of comedy is so clever, I love the fact he doesn’t swear (even though I like a bit of swearing in comic standup). He gets the message across without the need of bad language, my mum would definitely approve. Plus the kids can enjoy it (we have all his DVD’s), even if a lot of the jokes go over their heads.

His observations on life are spot on in a weird, nuts way.

His musical ability is amazing. Guitar, keyboards, drums, whistle, bells – I think this guy can play anything. I love his songs and bought his CD as a memento of the evening.

My favourite track is this beautiful piece – Pot Plant Elegy. It’s instrumental and I could imagine writing a dramatic, emotional scene whilst listening to it. The only problem is that its too short!

Highlights – the audience made a song with him and there were some very funny heckles.

Final thoughts – Great show, great music. All round fun entertainment. I could have stayed all night!

If your looking for a great night out, I whole-heartedly recommend Bill Bailey.


#Tuesdaybookblog #Audio #Bookreview The House on Cold Hill – Peter James #Suspense

The House on Cold Hill by Peter James

Audiobook Length 9 hours

Genre Suspense

Narrated by Nicholas Boulton


Moving from the heart of Brighton and Hove to the Sussex countryside is a big undertaking for Ollie and Caro Harcourt and their twelve-year-old daughter Jade. But when they view Cold Hill House – a huge, dilapidated Georgian mansion – Ollie is filled with excitement. Despite the financial strain of the move, he has dreamed of living in the country since he was a child, and he sees Cold Hill House as a paradise for his animal-loving daughter, the perfect base for his web-design business and a terrific long-term investment. Caro is less certain, and Jade is grumpy about being separated from her friends.

Within days of moving in, it becomes apparent that the Harcourt family aren’t the only residents of the house. A friend of Jade’s is the first to see the spectral woman, standing behind her as the girls talk on FaceTime. Then there are more sightings, as well as increasingly disturbing occurrences in the house. As the haunting becomes more malevolent and the house itself begins to turn on the Harcourts, the terrified family discover Cold Hill House’s dark history, and the horrible truth of what it could mean for them . . .


My review

I loved Peter James’ suspense thrillers as a teenager and was delighted to see this book featured on a recent blog post by Shani Struthers along with an interview with the great man himself, Peter James. I’d been looking for a book to listen to on audio and thought, why not. My only concern was that I might be more of a wimp now than my teenage self was.

Apart from the rather gruesome start, the book wasn’t too terrifying. It had the right amount of tension and confusion to keep me hooked.

I listened to this book over the course of 2 days. I couldn’t stop myself, and I think I would have been the same if I had been reading the book. The short chapters make for a suspenseful read/listen.

My only faults with the book were that I didn’t feel particularly close to any of the characters and I guessed the end too soon. But that didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the book.

I recommend The House on Cold Hill to any ghost / horror / suspense readers out there, even if you are a bit of a coward like me!

I rate it 4 stars.

#Tuesdaybookblog #Bookreview Thief’s Magic – Trudi Canavan #Fantasy

Title – Thief’s Magic Book One of Millennium’s Rule

Author – Trudi Canavan

Genre – Fantasy

Length – 553

I featured this as my Fridaybookshare a couple of weeks ago.

thief's magicBlurb

Sometimes magic lies within…

When the young student Tyen unearths an ancient book, it opens the door to a realm of mystery and danger. For it holds a clue to a disaster facing the world.

Elsewhere, in a land ruled by priests, Rielle has been taught that to use magic is to steal from the Angels. Yet she has a talent for it, and desperate times may force her to risk the Angels’s wrath.

But not everything is as Tyen and Rielle have been raised to believe. Not the nature of magic – and not even the people they trust.

First Thoughts

I loved the start of this book, a young wizard archaeologist discovering an ancient book that was forged from a living person. I couldn’t wait to read on.


Tyen – young wizard trying to do the right thing but caught up in events and used as a scapegoat. He is forced to flee everything he knows. Because of this, I felt he was too trusting of others he met along his journey.

Riselle – she is fated to be married off with little say. When she takes matters into her own hands, well more stumbles along into situations, she makes her plight worse. There was a lot of self reflection on her part, but in all I preferred reading her story and wanted things to turn out better for her.


At first I was annoyed that we had followed one character for so long and then switched to a new VP. But I was instantly drawn into Riselle’s world and had the same annoyance when the story switched from her back to Tyen.


I really enjoyed the first half of the book, but the rest didn’t live up to the start. It was not the book I was hoping it would be. It’s hard to say why without spoilers.

Final thoughts

I can’t help feeling disappointed by this book. At the start I had such high hopes for a fast, actioned packed read, which is was in the beginning. Somewhere around 300 pages, I can’t pinpoint a particular place, my attention fizzled out and it was a struggle to finish the rest of the book. I think part of that rests with the problem that I came to dislike reading Tyen’s scenes – I couldn’t picture the magic flying carts, nor the magic battles he was involved in. The magic of his world is well thought out, but for me lacking something… I’m not sure that I want to carry on with the rest of this series.

Recommend to

I believe fans of Trudi Canavan will like this book.

Rate 3 out of 5 stars.

#Audio #Bookreview The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins #thriller

This is my second attempt at audio books and I’m happy to say that I did enjoy this experience a lot more. Now the book is finished I find myself missing the times I would put it on whilst cooking the dinner, loading the dishwasher etc.

Title – The Girl on the Train

Author – Paula Hawkins

Book Type – Audio

Genre – Psychological thriller

Length – 11 hours

Narrated by Clare Corbett, India Fisher, Louise Brealey.



Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.
Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.
Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

First Thoughts

At first it felt to me as if the story was told in diary form and I wasn’t sure I would get into it. However, I soon found the first person narrative compelled me to keep listening.


The three narrators voices were well suited to the characters and brought them to life. I soon began to understand that each of the characters were unreliable. They’ve all done things that make they hard to like, yet I still found myself enjoying the story and wanting to unravel the mess these women had gotten into.


It is told in first person from the three different characters points of view. It also switches back in time to a year before this book starts – but the timeline and character VP are always explained at the start of each new section so you don’t feel lost at any point. Switching VP’s made for a compelling read / listen.

Final Thoughts

I had not listened to the hype around this book, nor did I know what it was about when I started listening to it. I did guess the outcome quite early on, but there were plenty of red herrings to keep me wondering if I had made the right guess. I was glad to be proved right and I didn’t feel cheated by the conclusion.

I really miss listening to the story – I think I have the audio book bug!

Recommend to those who enjoy psychological thrillers.

My rating – 4 stars


What do you think of the book and all the hype?

Are you looking forward to the film coming out later this year? I am. I think Emily Blunt will make the perfect Rachel Watson. I don’t know why it had to be relocated to America though.