#WWWBlogs Update and Goals for Autumn 2018 #amwriting #selfpubtips

I have been very quiet on the social media front these past few months, hoping to work hard on my draft of The Sentinel’s Alliance. That has not gone to plan but I have been doing lots of other exciting things and thought I would share them with you. Maybe you can pick up some tips for things you can be doing with your self published books.

Note – This whole situation came about because of Rebecca Howie’s post on The Backdoor to Bookstores. As you can guess it’s about getting your books into the bookshops, something I had thought impossible and didn’t bother researching. Her post has led me to;

  • Register all my books with Nielsen via a simple emailed form. This means my books can now be found on the website of most bookshops like Waterstones.
  • Ask my local Waterstones branch about stocking my books. I am waiting to hear from the relevant department.
  • Contact my local library. Again I am waiting to hear from the relevant department but the librarian was hopeful it would be accepted. If not I still have the option of donating copies for them to lend.
  • I already had a PLR account but my books weren’t on file. As I’ve now registered the books with Nielsen I can apply for my books to be added to my account. Again I am waiting for them to be processed.
  • Today I am posting a physical copy of each of my books to The British Library. Once deposited, there will always be a copy and a record of my work, though they did warn me the backlog was 3 or 4 months.

 

My next steps

  • Contact local indie books stores – I already have a list to work through.
  • Print some leaflets with LOCAL AUTHOR and hand them out around my local towns.
  • Look into book festivals for 2019 with a mind to having a book stall.
  • Look into having an audiobook produced for Visions of Zarua through ACX. I can go with the 50/50 split with a producer and pay nothing up front so there is nothing to lose. My main concern is the voice – I have 4 VP characters 3 of which are male. I think I will have to request a male narrator, though I’m not keen on men doing female voices and vs versa. Varnia is such a strong character, I would hate for her to lose that edge in an audio version.

 

Other news

I have just switched my paperback books from Createspace to KDP. It was a very simple process and took just a few minutes with the automated programme KDP have developed. Rather than try to explain it myself, I read a great post about it yesterday on Nicolas C Rossis’ blog.

 

Now onto my writing challenges for Autumn 2018

  • Finish my draft of book 3 asap, though I’m still coming to grips with the mess I made of it during Nanowrimo last year!
  • I want to try to plan the Prequel of Silent Sea Chronicles whilst writing book 3, ready to start work on it in 2019.
  • Write the draft of a new novella during Nanowrimo. I want to aim for a word count of 30-40k.
  • Enter at least 5 short story competitions. I have 5 stories edited, critiqued and ready to go and I think I have picked some good competitions to try.
  • Enter a few first chapter competitions.
  • Look for Self Pub novel competitions to enter that don’t cost loads of money
  • Work on new short story ideas for a possible anthology in 2019. I’ve already seen a couple of covers that I would love, but I can’t jump ahead that much, can I?

 

Other things I need to focus on in 2018

  • Promos for all books, including working on my AMS ads which I’ve heard is now changing anyway.
  • Contact reviewers – look for new opportunities and contact previous reviewers. It’s been a difficult summer for many reviewers so I’m hoping to reconnect with some of them during autumn/winter.
  • Write up my book reviews and post weekly. I like to do this on a Tuesday with the #tuesdaybookblog tag set up by Rosie Amber.
  • Study writing fiction for YA and decide if I want to head in that direct at some point. Some readers already class my Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy as YA so I’m interested to see why and if I should be targeting that market.
  • Finish my Goodreads reading challenge, which I am just about on target for.
  • A future goal I want to think about for 2019 is setting up an author newsletter. I know I should, but it’s one of those jobs I’ve been putting off.

 

It feels good to write down my achievements and my goals. I shall print off this list and pin it to the wall by my desk for inspiration and to keep me on track.

This list will easily take me to the end of the year. I just need to focus and stop getting distracted. I did find this post from Ari really helpful about her own September 2018 goals and working towards them each week. She shares lots of great advice and her site is well worth a visit.

Lastly, if you are looking for motivation you really should read this book – Overwhelmed Writer Rescue by Colleen Story. I reviewed it last year and it is packed with advice. I must revisit my copy.

I hope I have given you some ideas and if you have any tips to share or other routes I can follow as an indie author, please comment. I feel as though I’ve been out of the blogging loop for ages, so I’d love to reconnect with people.

 

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Belated mid-year review #amwriting #amreading

My big news is of course that The Sentinel’s Reign – Silent Sea Chronicles Book 2 is now published.

It’s available here in ebook (99p for a few more days only), paperback and free to read on kindle unlimited.

That’s the sales bit out the way.

In other news, The Lost Sentinel (Book 1) is entered into SPFBO 2018 competition and has been given to Lynn’s Books to judge, which is funny as I had planned to contact her to review the book this year. There is also a cover competition going on right now. Of course I love my cover, but there are lots of great covers in the running from my group of 30 so it will be interesting to see which ones get put through to the next stage.

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2018 has seen some major steps forward for me – landing a publishing contract with a Czech publisher for Visions of Zarua and having a full manuscript request from a UK agent for the same book. These are milestones I’ve been dreaming of, but we’ll have to see where they lead. I’m learning that everything takes time in the publishing world and you need to have a lot of patience!

 

My 2018 goals in review.

At the beginning of the year I set myself some goals (post here). Today I am revisiting them to see how I’ve done.

Writing

Publish book 2 The Sentinel’s Reign = Achieved.

Finish first draft of book 3 The Sentinel’s Alliance = Nope, but I have planned 2/3’s in a rough draft.

Look at WIP to see if I want to send to agents = Still to do. I have a draft almost finished that I would love to edit and polish and send to agents. I am also thinking on an idea I would like to try out on Wattpad. I have no idea how to go about this so I need to research it more.

Writing in general

Attend more writing events = I’ve attended 1 this year.

Contact book reviewers = I have done very well with this so far and have a new batch of reviewers to contact very soon. If you are a blogger interested in reviewing my books please use this contact form.

Learn more about marketing and get my books in front of more readers = I entered SPFBO (self published fantasy blog off) along with 299 other entrants, which will hopefully give The Lost Sentinel some much needed exposure. If you have read The Lost Sentinel, please consider leaving a review on Amazon / Goodreads, it helps with the ranking of the book though won’t have any affect on how far the book gets in the competition, that’s down to the judge of each group. I’ve run a mildly successful kindle countdown deal for The Lost Sentinel and it will go on Netgalley for a month starting 9th July.

Blogging

Tidy up blog, create banner and landing page = The blog is better but could still do with a tidy up, and I have a cool new banner. The landing page is something I still need to look into.

Blog more and focus on books about writing = I have reviewed a few writing books.

Feature more guest posts and get involved in more blog tours = I have featured Susan Leigh Noble and Ari Mehlen, but there is always room for more.

Lifestyle

Healthier diet and walk more = I lost almost 2 stone with Slimming World in 4 months, so that was a great success at the start of the year and I have been maintaining my target weight. I bought a treadmill and used that through winter but now it’s gathering dust.

Get more sleep = No chance! The hot weather and the book release don’t add up to a good night’s sleep. Maybe one day I’ll catch up on my beauty sleep.

Be more positive = I’m trying to be positive and take things as they come. For me being proactive helps, but when nothing comes of all the hard work I’ve invested it’s difficult to keep upbeat.

Reading

Read more fantasy = Yes.

Post more book reviews = Nope, I am way behind and have given up keeping my book review page up to date.

Read at least 35 books in 2018 = I’m trying but I’m behind schedule, total to date is 16.

My reading has been very slow. Editing and promotion has taken all my spare time and I’ve even struggled to find any audio books that hold my attention. My tbr pile grows almost daily and I am not making a dent in it.

I am still reading my book group choice Senlin Ascends (a previous SPFBO contestant, now traditionally published) even though I missed the group meeting last week due to a mix up with the day on my calendar! I believe it was enjoyed by all.

I did have a list of books I wanted to read and a couple of trilogies I wanted to finish, but for now I’m just going to wait and see what books take my fancy.

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What’s to come…

I hope to feature on a few blogs over the coming weeks and see some more reviews go up for The Lost Sentinel and The Sentinel’s Reign. Then I plan to throw myself into writing and make lots of progress. Fingers crossed anyway.

Because of this I will probably take the summer holidays off from blogging to focus on writing book 3 – The Sentinel’s Alliance. It worked well last year, though hopefully I can keep my hand in with a book review or two.

 

How’s your year shaping up?

 

Last plug for The Sentinel’s Reign – don’t forget to pick it up for 99p as I will be putting the price up at the end of the week. And add it to your Goodreads shelf.

publicity ebook and paperback

Only 2 days to go! The Sentinel’s Reign out 29th June 2018 http://mybook.to/sentinelreign

On 29th June, The Sentinel’s Reign will be released into the world and I hope you will all help me celebrate the second book in the Silent Sea Chronicles.

publicity ebook and paperback

I made the decision not to run a proper blog tour this time around. Last year it exhausted me and took the shine off the publication of The Lost Sentinel.

I do have a few guest posts, interviews and mini excerpts lined up over the coming weeks and hopefully a few reviews will be going up very soon as well. I hope to write an update post each day with links to the bloggers who’ve agreed to help promote my new release.

And here they are;

Rainne over at Rainne’s Ramblings has posted an exclusive look at the prologue of The Sentinel’s Reign.

And Ari Meghlen interviewed me on her blog today. It’s always fun answering questions about my writing journey. Please check out both these lovely ladies blogs.

That’s about it for today’s update.

I would love to get a few more pre-orders in and see The Sentinel’s Reign hit the kindle charts hard on release day, will you help me? You can pick it up at the bargain price of 99p, just follow the link here.

Thank you for your support.

 

 

#Tuesdaybookblog The Sentinel’s Reign Pre-order now and call of help #indieauthor #fantasy

The Sentinel’s Reign is due out on 29th June 2018, but you can pre-order your copy here. It is book 2 in the heroic fantasy series Silent Sea Chronicles.

The Sentinel's Reign ebook complete

At present I don’t have plans to run a blog tour, but I would love as many bloggers as possible to post about The Sentinel’s Reign before, during and after its release. Please get in touch and I can send you the promotional bits beforehand.

I am also looking to send out ARC copies if anyone would like to review Book 2 in the series (books should be read in order, but please get in touch to discuss).

My last request for help is that I am tweaking the blurb, so I would love your help to make this really appealing to new readers.

Blurb

The new Sentinel’s reign is doomed to failure unless Tei can prevent the Kalayan people from plunging into war.

With the new Sentinel initiated and the magic restored on Kalaya, the future is thriving for Tei and the exiles. But Rathnor’s plans for war soon escalate and thwart any chance of a peaceful life.

Brogan’s position on the Assembly becomes tenuous as rumours circulate that he is an exile spy.

Farrell is recovering from an attempt on his life and is more determined than ever for his people to build a home on Stone Haven. But the council have their sights set on Kalaya and Farrell struggles to steer them away from the temptation of war.

As trouble festers within and outside forces gather against them, can the exiles keep their hold on the magic, or will this spell the end of Kalaya and its people?

The Sentinel’s Reign is a heroic fantasy. If you like character-driven adventures then you will love The Sentinel’s Reign.

This is the second book in the Silent Sea Chronicles and should be read in order.

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Thank you for your help. I will be running a belated paperback and e-book giveaway for Book 1 – The Lost Sentinel in the next few days so keep an eye out for news of that.

 

#Indiemarch Day 1: Photo of your book babies #indieauthor #indie

Thanks to Rebecca, on Rebeccahowiebooks  for coming up with this #indiemarch tag idea for the month of march.

Here’s my offering for day 1

 

 

You can join in on your blog or on Instagram. Here’s the list of the daily prompts.

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Copy your link onto Rebecca’s post here.

Come on, let’s ignore the snow and support our fellow indie authors.

Monthly writing & reading update #amwriting #amreading

It’s taking me time to get back into blogging, so I apologise for the infrequency of my posts. Plus January was a very busy, and interesting, month for me…

I’ve finished the second book in Silent Sea Chronicles – The Sentinel’s Reign and have passed it to my first wave of beta readers for their feedback. Once received, I’ll be making the changes and passing to the next stage of beta readers. Then it’s the final edit / proof read and hopefully I will be ready to publish before The Lost Sentinel’s 1st anniversary in June.person-girl-human-joy-615334

It’s been a quiet reading month with only two books completed. And so much for my decision to focus purely on fantasy, the second book I read was woman’s fiction, which totally absorbed me.

51kJyA8cmhL._AC_US218_[1]See my review here

51ZeMGa4VoL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_    ( Review to follow next week. )

I’m currently reading…

 

A Gathering of Shadows Final

And I plan to read my own books next; The Lost Sentinel and then The Sentinel’s Reign. Reading them back to back will ensure they feel like a series and hopefully fill me with inspiration to complete book three – The Sentinel’s Alliance.

THE LOST SENTINEL COMPLETE (1)  cover reveal

What are your views of adding your own books to your Goodreads bookshelf and marking them as currently reading etc?

As to my other new years resolutions, I’ve joined Slimming World and have bought a treadmill, both of which have seen me well on the way to achieving my goal of getting healthier in 2018.

I have also been toying with the idea of approaching agents, after some unexpected and amazing developments that I hope to share with you all very soon. With agents in mind, I’m hoping to attend The Getting Published Day 2018 workshop taking place in London in March. It feels like the right time in my writing journey to take this step. Depending how this goes, will determine whether I stick to my publishing schedule for The Sentinel’s Reign.

Look out for more posts from me next week; book review of The Cornish House by Liz Fenwick, a guest post and excerpt of Susan Leigh Noble’s new book – Blood Bond, and perhaps an update on my very exciting news…

Have a great Sunday!

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

I’ve just purchased my #wordpress blog domain! #indieauthor news

That’s another item ticked off the To Do List!

It may not seem like much to some, but I’ve finally signed up for my WordPress blog domain.

My website is now officially suzannerogersonfantasyauthor.com.

It’s another small step on my writing and blogging journey, and I just wanted to share the news.

I haven’t looked into all the benefits yet, but I hope readers with have a smoother look around my site without any ads popping up. I’ve also got more space to download photos; followers of my blog will know I love taking pictures and the free memory was getting dangerously full.

Next on the list may be setting up the dreaded email subscriber list!

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Have your brought your domain name? Have you found any added benefits?

Or have you any items on your To Do List that you keep putting off?

The Lost Sentinel – 1 month after publication & 1 day left Goodreads giveaway

Well it’s a month today since my second fantasy novel was published, so I thought why not have a recap.

Firstly, the Goodreads worldwide giveaway to win a paperback copy ends tomorrow, so check out the link if you want to be in with a chance of winning. Over 1,150 people have already entered so I’m really pleased with these numbers.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Lost Sentinel by Suzanne Rogerson

The Lost Sentinel

by Suzanne Rogerson

Giveaway ends July 17, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Unfortunately, The Lost Sentinel seems to have become lost in the sea of books, and neither the blog tour nor the local book event has done much to improve its exposure. I’m trying not to lose hope, but I am beginning to regret the decision to self publish – why didn’t I at least try a few agents first! I made a list, had everything in place (letter / synopsis), why didn’t I go for it?

At least Visions of Zarua is still being read on Kindle Unlimited and there is a link to the new book at the end, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed people will want to download The Lost Sentinel as well.

I would love to get more reviews on Amazon for both books, especially when Amazon takes down reviews for no apparent reason and then reinstates them a few weeks later. I’m talking about poor Susan on Booksfromdusktilldawn – she’s a dedicated and genuine book reviewer who had all her reviews removed – I hope they have resolved this for her now. I know the UK ones are back up at least.

I have a couple of promo ideas in the pipeline; kindle countdown deals, an Amazon US giveaway, and hopefully a feature in a local publication. After that I’m planning to take a step back and recharge my blogging battery whilst I focus on finishing book 2. There are only so many setbacks an author can take, and I don’t want to lose my love of writing.

If you are a reviewer who would like to review either The Lost Sentinel or Visions of Zarua, click on the covers to be taken to the Amazon page to find out more. Please get in touch via the comments or via my contact me form on the blog.

Thanks for your time, and have a great Sunday everyone!

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The Lost Sentinel Blog Tour Line up #fantasy #wwwblogs

small blog tour header

With just over a week to go before the publication of The Lost Sentinel, I have almost finalised my blog tour schedule. So far 17 wonderful bloggers have agreed to post reviews, host interviews, feature me as a guest blogger and share excerpts – see the list below for details.

new blog tour scheduleI’d love your help in sharing these posts on social media. And if you want to get involved, let me know. I want The Lost Sentinel to make an impact on its publication day and beyond!

If you would like a free copy in exchange for an honest review which you agree to post on Amazon or Goodreads or your book blog, please get in touch.

You can of course pre-order the book now on Amazon for only 99p. It will also be available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited from 16th June 2017.

pre order image 2017

Thank you in advance to all the book bloggers and reviewers who have already agreed to help. Publication day wouldn’t be the same without you!