Writing update 2018 & New Year Plans #amwriting #amediting

Last year (that sounds so weird) ended on a high for me. The Lost Sentinel was on Brizzlelass’ 10 top reads of 2017 and I also received a lovely email from a reader who said she really enjoyed the book.

That sent me smiling into 2018…

But 2017 has been a year of ups and downs on the writing and blogging front. I published my second book, The Lost Sentinel – Silent Sea Chronicles bk 1, I finished the draft of book 2, which I’m editing and preparing to send to beta readers asap, and I started the draft of book 3 during Nanowrimo. But I’m far behind on the publishing schedule I set myself and I’ve let my blogging slip to near non-existent.

So with this in mind I’ve done some thinking about what I want to achieve in 2018.

Writing

  1. Publish book 2 – The Sentinel’s Reign
  2. Finish the first draft of book 3 – The Sentinel’s Alliance
  3. Look at another WIP that has been waiting for an end for several years and decide if this is the book that I want to submit to agents.

Writing in general

  1. Attend some writing events / workshops
  2. Contact book reviewers
  3. Learn more about marketing and get my books in front of more readers

Blogging

  1. Tidy up the blog and create a new banner and a landing page.
  2. Blog more often with more focus on books and writing.
  3. Have more guest posts and get involved in more blog tours.

Lifestyle

  1. I plan to have a healthier diet and start walking more.
  2. Get more sleep
  3. Be more positive.

Reading

  1. I want to read more fantasy. See the list of books on my 2018 TBR list
  2. I want to post more book reviews
  3. I want to read at least 35 books in 2018

So I know I’m still asking a lot of myself in 2018, but with a more positive attitude and focus on what I want to achieve, I’m hopeful that I can do this.

Wish me luck…

Happy 2nd Birthday to Visions of Zarua my debut #standalone #epicfantasy – It’s #giveaway time!

It has been two years since I published my first book, Visions of Zarua. This time two years ago I was buzzing with fear and excitement, and still in shock that I had actually released my baby into the world.

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Now, with two books published and a third planned for next year, I feel more confidant as a self published author.

On the anniversary of Visions of Zarua’s Ebook publication, I’ve enjoyed reading through the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads to appreciate how well received it has been by the public. I thought I’d share the latest stats with you, before announcing my two giveaways…

Goodreads: Visions of Zarua has an average rating of 4.32 stars with 28 ratings and 16 reviews. It’s currently on the bookshelves of over 1520 people.

Amazon UK has 19 reviews and an average of 4.5 star rating.

Amazon US is a bit behind with 12 reviews and a 4.3 star ratings.

And now here’s the link to enter my Goodreads giveaway. It’s open worldwide, so why not have a go.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Visions of Zarua by Suzanne Rogerson

Visions of Zarua

by Suzanne Rogerson

Giveaway ends November 24, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

 

I’m also giving away an Ebook on my blog! All you have to do is comment on this post and I’ll pick a random winner on 24th November, the same day the paperback giveaway ends. If you’ve already read it, you can still comment and nominate a friend to receive an early Christmas present!

I’d love you to retweet and share this post with as many people as possible too, but it’s not a requirement for entry.

You can find out more about Visions of Zarua – A standalone epic fantasy, by following the links below (don’t forget it’s also available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited);

Amazon UK  and  Amazon US.

And if you have read Visions and would like to leave a review, I would love to read your thoughts. I’m still hoping to break the 20 review barrier by Christmas, so it would be great if you could help me out.

I’ll end with my favourite photo quote from the blog tour last year…

cathy - pyre picture quote

The KDP Countdown deal Results are in! #indie #indieauthor

Well, I’m astounded by what a little advertising can do. These aren’t the massive results others have achieved, but it is the BEST I have ever done, and the best Visions of Zarua has ever done. I’m ecstatic, and my self publishing verve has been restored!

So how did Visions of Zarua do during the 99p / 99c countdown deal?

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The deal ran 20th to 27th July 2017

Day 1 – My efforts consisted of Tweeting, blogging, Facebook, Instagram – the usual suspects.

COST = MY TIME. SALES = 0

Day 2 – BKnights

COST = $11. SALES = 3

Day 3 – My Facebook Ad: Aimed at 15-30 age group male/female in UK and US with interests in reading, fantasy etc. Total of 9 interests.

COST = £6. SALES = 0

Note – I picked this age group as they had shown the most interest in previous ads. There were 1,169 people reached – 16 likes and 1 link click (to Amazon book page). 12 photo quote clicks were recorded – obviously having the photo quote took away from the amazon link click. (A few days later I invited these people to Like my facebook page.)

Day 4 – Bargain Booksy Ad

COST $40. SALES = 24!

Finally making progress, although I haven’t covered my costs. There were 21 sales in the US and 3 in the UK. 

Day 5 – Facebook Ads attempt 2

This time I ran two ads, 1 US and 1 UK. I upped the age range 16-65+ male/female. I reduced interests to 4.

I also used the Amazon book page as the direct link for the Ad, rather than have the universal link in the wording of the ad as before.

US 14 likes, only 2 link clicks (234 people reached)

UK 2 likes, 21 link clicks. (470 people reached) No idea if these resulted in sales.

COST = £8. SALES = 10 (5 UK / 5 US) – Maybe a result of Bargain Booksy and / or facebook ad?

Day 6 – Booksends

COST $35. SALES = 28

Very happy with these figures!

DAY 7 – Bookrunes.

COST = $25. SALES 9.

I was interested to give Bookrunes a shot as they advertise to UK, US, Australia and India. Even though the deal doesn’t run in all those countries, it’s still very much needed exposure.

And guess what,

Day 8 = 3 sales in Australia!

Extra: Amazon Marketing Services

I also ran an AMS ad throughout the whole KDP countdown deal. The results take a few days to finalise, but so far it looks as though it received 1847 impressions, 1 click and 1 sale. That sale cost so far $0.07. I have a profit WOOHOO! However, that’s the worst an AMS ad has ever performed for me. It was a sponsored product ad with 48 keywords, but they would not let me mention anything to do with the sale or price in the ad so that doesn’t help matters. I also still have an ad running for Visions of Zarua all the time, so the two ads will have been very similar.

The deal has ended, but I have my fingers crossed that more sales will trickle in over the next few days / weeks.

Final Thoughts

Over 8 days Visions of Zarua sold 77 copies. 17 UK 57 US and 3 AU.

I may be out of pocket but it doesn’t matter because 77 new people own my book and countless others have seen it! Even though I haven’t hit any bestseller lists, I’m still happy with the results.

In the past I’ve sold in Canada, Germany and been read in India – so I really can say that Visions of Zarua has been read Worldwide. If I hadn’t had the guts to self publish back in 2015, no one would have seen my work, and no doubt I’d be out in the real world right now trying to find a job that fits in with school hours and term times – boring!

Instead, I’m fully pumped and ready to get on with book 2 in the Silent Sea Chronicles so I can start this crazy business all over again.

P.S – Thanks to my blogging friends who gave me words of advice and encouragement when I had a wobble a few weeks back.

P.P.S – I’m still desperate to get some reviews for The Lost Sentinel (and Visions of Zarua). I want to try a repeat experiment with countdown deals for The Lost Sentinel soon, but it only has 4/5 reviews on Amazon and some ad sites require 10+ reviews. Can you help?

If you’ve read either books, please consider reviewing them on Amazon. If you would like a reviewers copy, please get in touch.

Now I’m planning a whole week without the internet – well almost. I’ll still be checking my emails, wordpress comments etc, so please add your thoughts and comments. I love to interact, that’s what makes this whole thing worth the effort.

Thanks for reading!

Visions of Zarua Amazon link

The Lost Sentinel Amazon link

#WWWBlogs Question for #indieauthors & #readers about #KDP & advertising

I’m about to set up another Kindle Countdown deal for my book Visions of Zarua. In the past I’ve run a few ads on AMS, Facebook and Goodreads but I wouldn’t say they had resulted in many sales.

I want to ask;

Readers how / where do you discover books and are you more inclined to buy a book during a deal period?

Indie Authors where have you advertised your countdown deals and have they resulted in a good sales? In fact, while we’re on the subject where do you advertise your books whether it’s a promo or not.

I have a limited budget and there are so many sites to choose from, so I’m looking for some guidance. My genre is fantasy, so I’m looking to target readers of fantasy fiction.

Please get in touch and start a discussion on the difficult subject of advertising.

Thanks for your help!

P.S. I have blogged before about my experiences with KDP and if this time turns up any good results I’ll be sure to share them with you.

 

Indie Interview: Suzanne Rogerson

Yesterday Rebeccahowiebooks kindly featured my Indie Interview as part of The Lost Sentinel’s blog tour. Thanks for having me again, Rebecca.

REBECCA HOWIE BOOKS

A long, long time ago (last year) I started this Indie Interview series, and one of the first authors I talked to was Suzanne Rogerson, the then author of Visions of Zarua, a standalone epic fantasy novel.

Suzanne’s been spending the past year promoting her book, so when I heard she was publishing a new novel, I was pleased when I was asked to be a stop on The Lost Sentinel blog tour.

You can check out the other blogs Suzanne will be visiting this month below.

Hi, Suzanne. Welcome back to Read A Lot.

Thank you, it’s great to be here again.

Q: Tell us a bit about your new book, The Lost Sentinel.

The magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with its Sentinel. With the Kalayan people turning their back on magic, can Tei help the exiles find their new Sentinel before it’s too…

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Day 6 The Lost Sentinel’s blog tour – #writers 12 Questions to ask yourself before writing a series #amwriting

On day 6 of the blog tour I’m featured over on Sacha Black’s blog, sharing my insight on writing a standalone novel vs a series. I’ve devised 12 questions all writers can ask themselves before embarking on the task.

Please head over and let me know what you think.

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The Lost Sentinel blog tour will continue later with a book review from Another World Book Blog. See you then.

Indie Focus: Interview With Self-Published Author Suzanne Rogerson

It’s day 4 of the blog tour for The Lost Sentinel and I’m really pleased to share this indepth interview over on Another World Book Blog. Please come over and join us.

Another World


BACK FOR THE SECOND OF THREE VISITS

SUZANNE ROGERSON PROVES SHE’S MADE OF HIGH FANTASY HEROINE MATERIAL BY AGREEING TO BE INTERROGATED ON ANOTHER WORLD

ImageThe Interrogation Room here at Another World has remained unoccupied for far too long. Today, for your viewing pleasure, this oversight will finally be rectified as I have secured my latest victim interviewee.

To mark the imminent publication of her new novel The Lost Sentinel, Book One of the Silent Sea Chronicles, I have brought in indie author Suzanne Rogerson to face twenty probing questions to gain some insight into her new book, herself, as an author, and (of course) to examine his geek credentials.

Enjoy the interview, and be sure to keep an eye out for the review of Suzanne’s book this coming Friday.

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Tip for #indieauthors Check your Royalty payments! #selfpub #indiepub

This is just a warning to other self published authors who might not be aware of the 30% tax withholding that’s applied to Non-US citizens royalty payments. This affects Amazon, Createspace etc. Maybe you’re a new self published author, or hoping to self publish in the near future. If so, read on and learn from my mistake…

When I checked my royalty payment due from Amazon US book sales and KENP pages read, I realised there was a 30% tax withholding fee. At first I thought it was a mistake, then I thought why the hell hadn’t I noticed it before? They don’t hide the fact from you, I just hadn’t paid any attention to that column until now. Looking down the list, each month I’ve been deducted 30% on my US royalties (haven’t told the husband yet!).

So I’ve spent the morning trying to find out what went wrong when I did the tax interview on Amazon back in 2015 and how I can rectify the issue. I’ve googled, checked forums and blog posts, cursed and pulled out my hair.

Finally, I re-did the tax interview on Amazon and Createspace and added my non-US tax reference. Now its showing as 0.0% tax withholding. It’s a huge relief and turned out to be a very simple solution. If only I thought to do it when I registered as self employed last year.

So this is a word of caution, although maybe I’m the only one silly enough not to check their royalty reports properly. I also want to ask a question of those more clued up than me on the whole royalty payment and tax process. Is there any chance Amazon will kindly refund me the 30% underpayments which started in June last year?

Does anyone know how to go about requesting that refund, or have you any experience of trying to get your money back?

If not, it’s back to google and the forums for me.

Want to create an Amazon short link for your book and author central page? #writingtips

I’m trying something new today, something that’s been on my to do list for over a year! I’ve decided today is the day to set up universal links for my book and author page on amazon. I’m running a kindle countdown deal right now, so I was stressing about getting the right book links into my tweets. So I googled it.

It was so easy, I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to work this out. Here are my links if you want to check them out.

Visions universal book page

Suzanne’s author page

How to do it yourself:

1. Go to booklinker

2. Paste in the URL of your book

3. Hit the button create universal link.

4. You need to give it a short name and save it.

5. Register the link as yours.

It all happened so quickly, I think I’ve covered every step. I don’t think you can go wrong anyway.

Now when you sign in to Booklink and look at Your Book Links, it shows all the clicks in each country.

I’m assuming the links work. I’ve tested and they seem ok for the UK, but maybe one or two of you bloggers can test it out for me and see if you are taken to your correct country. Let me know in the comments if you have time. Thank you!

By the way, here’s the site that led me to this amazingly simple discovery – Kindlepreneur. There looks like lots of articles to help the self published author here, so I will definitely be returning to browse this site.

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Now it’s time to update my blog and email signature with these quick links – if I could only remember how to do it. Time for another google search. I’m on a roll this morning!

 

#Mondayblogs KDP select, updates, reviews & competition news

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, so I thought it was the perfect time for a little update.

Review News

Firstly, Visions of Zarua had two reviews within hours of each other over the weekend! I’m suffering with a cold at the moment and these reviews were the perfect pick me up. See them on the Goodreads book page and Amazon UK.

One reviewer even said Paddren was one of her top five favourite characters of the year. That is amazing to hear and really makes me smile, thank you Karen.O.

Visions of Zarua has received some wonderful feedback over the last year with 17 reviews on amazon UK and 15 on goodreads. These reviews have been my inspiration to keep writing and I never tire of re-reading them.

New Competition

A UK only Goodreads competition will be running over the Christmas period. 22nd Dec to 1st Jan 2017.

I’m also about to set up a Rafflecopter giveaway, something I’ve not done before but we’ll see how that works out.

Next Book News

My first two beta readers reviews are in. The consensus is that The Lost Sentinel is almost ready to publish! There’s still a few tweaks and mistakes to rectify, but it’s pretty much complete. Then it’ll just need a professional edit and book cover.

Book 2 is written but awaiting the insertion of many, many scenes. I hope to start planning book 3 soon with a view to writing the draft during Nano next November. Scary to think of Nov 2017, but it’s good to have a plan.

One of my beta readers is really pushing me to approach agents before I self publish The Lost Sentinel. She thinks it’s a much stronger book than Visions of Zarua and the fact its book 1 of a trilogy might make it a better prospect for agents and publishers to consider. What do you think of switching directions?

I’ll be researching my options over the next few months. It’s exciting, but I’ve enjoyed self-publishing and I’m not sure I want to hand over control to others. There’s also the rejections to face again. Am I ready for that?

Reading challenge

I beat my 25 book target on Goodreads, which I’m really pleased about. There’s still time to get another book or two in and I’m hoping to post a review tomorrow of A Wedding in Cornwall by Laura Briggs.

There are plenty of book tags around that I’d like to have a go at, and maybe I’ll try to select my favourite book of 2016. It’s harder this year as I’ve read more books than I’m used too. 2015 my fav book was Ink and Bone’ by Rachel Caine.

KDP Select / Countdown deals & Amazon Ads

Well the exclusive publishing is not going well and Kindle Unlimited KENP has gone down to zero pages for the last two months. At the back end of October this was looking like an exciting new way of reaching readers, now I don’t know. I’m stuck with it until Feb 2017, after that it will be decision time.

The second Countdown deal didn’t go to plan. It worked in the UK and US, but seemed to start at different times. The Amazon Ads I’d scheduled didn’t work properly and the book price didn’t increase on the second day for some reason. This isn’t really an issue, but it just made my blog/tweets about it harder – I didn’t want to mention price in case it suddenly hopped up to 1.99. I made a few sales, but nothing to worry the bestseller lists!

I spent more on Ads with Facebook, Amazon and Goodreads than I made in sales. Still, it’s all exposure for the book.

Call for help

If you have Kindle Unlimited, don’t forget Visions of Zarua is free to read in the UK here and the US here.

I would really appreciate it of someone who has the facility would read a couple of pages and let me know when, just so I can check the pages read are being registered.

Also, I had this crazy idea that I’d like to hit 20 reviews on Amazon before the end of the year. If you have read Visions, would you consider posting a short review? It really does make my day to read them.

I’m sure I’ll post again soon, but if not before the big day…

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!