WWW Wednesday 12th Sept #amreading #fantasy #thriller

I haven’t posted anything for a while as I’m trying to finish the draft of my latest book. I have however been reading and am joining in the weekly meme WWW Wednesday to share some of those reads with you. Anyone can take part, just answer the questions below and link back to Taking on a World of Words.

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

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What are you currently reading?

The Exercise of Vital Powers by Ian Gregoire. I am about 80% through this book and am really enjoying it. It feels like there is a much bigger story to tell, so I’m really looking forward to the sequel already.

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I’m also reading The Copper Gauntlet – book 2 in the Magisterium series by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. It’s a mid-grade fantasy that can hook any reader of any age. I am enjoying the second instalment almost as much as I did the first book.

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What did you recently finish reading?

Over the summer I reading Poison Study for  my book group and wow, I loved it. A totally gripping YA fantasy that I wish I’d read when I was a teen. I can’t wait for my children to read the book and I can’t wait to continue with this brilliant series. A full review of the book will follow soon.

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I’ve also finally treated myself to reading Rhyming Rings. It is the second to last of David Gemmell’s books that I haven’t read before, so I was excited and nervous to start it. Thankfully I loved it! A review of this will also follow soon.

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I am still listening to My Husband’s Wife. It is very slow going. I do want to find out what happens, but I am not compelled to finish it. I think I heard somewhere there will be a TV adaptation of it, so I will finish it to find out why it has been picked more than anything.

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What do you think you will read next?

It is Self Published Fantasy Month so I want to continue reading some indie fantasy books. I have a good selection to choose from – see my post here explaining the books I picked up during the SPFBO 2018 book sale in August and why I chose them.

One I have fancy because of the excellent cover is The Game Bird by Aidan R Walsh, so I think this will be my first pick.

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I also want to read the How to book – Writing Young Adult Fiction, written by a very successful agent Juliet Mushens. I’m hoping this will give me an insight into the differences of writing YA and Adult fantasy.

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I’ve also been lucky enough to win two books over the last two months, so these will be going up high on my TBR list.

Thanks to Dan on Dan’s Book Blog (the site seems to be down at the moment so I can’t add a link) for my copy of Arm of the Sphinx by Josiah Bancroft – a former SPFBO entrant.

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And thank you to Liz at Liz Loves Books for this wonderful signed first edition hardback book of the debut fantasy City of Lies by Sam Hawke. The book looks and sounds amazing! I think this will be a treasured book to take my time over.

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That’s about it from me today. Happy reading everyone and don’t forget to visit others taking part today.

#SPFBO promo sale finishes today 120 #fantasy books for 99p / 99c

I’ve spent a lovely weekend away visiting Cheddar Gorge and then onto the seaside with my family, but have got back just in time to remind you that many of the SPFBO promo sales end tonight. If you click on this link, you’ll see a list of over 120 fantasy books for just 99p / 99c.

The Lost Sentinel is amongst the above mentioned books, though the kindle countdown deal ends 7th August.

I’ve enjoyed looking through the list and adding to my tbr pile. Why not take a look and stock up on some summer reading and help out a few indie authors at the same time?

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#SPFBO 2018 Starts today and 120+ #fantasy authors have discounted their books to 99c / 99p! #indieauthor

This is the day 300 indie fantasy authors have been waiting for. The Self Published Fantasy Blog Off competition starts now 1st August 2018.

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To celebrate SPFBO 4 over 120 fantasy authors have discounted their books to only 99c / 99p. This is the dedicated page listing all the books in the sale. Please head over to see their wonderful book covers, teasers and links to buy. We all appreciate your support.

With fantasy sub genres of epic, romance, urban and many more there will be something to suit every taste.

And of course The Lost Sentinel is on the list under epic/high fantasy.

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Good luck to all my fellow SPFBO contestants and happy reading to everyone!

And a big thank you to Andrea Domanski for organising everything!

Here’s the link again to the dedicated fantasy book sale page. Thanks for reading,

My summer reading plan #amreading #fantasy #thriller #romance

My reading has really been slow these last few months, what with publishing my own book and all that goes with it. I’m hoping to step up the reading through the rest of the summer and what better way to achieve this than to tell the world my plan!

I’m using the format of WWW Wednesday, as I didn’t get this post finished in time to share it yesterday.

What I’m currently reading.

Jo Thomas The Olive Branch.

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I only picked this book up quickly last night to get a taste of the story. 50 pages later, I know I’m going to enjoy it. I’ve read one of Jo Thomas’s books before and loved it. Here’s the review of Late Summer in the Vineyard.

What I’m currently listening to

My Husband’s Wife

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It’s ok. Seems a bit slow, but there are intriguing titbits to keep me interested so far.

What I recently finished reading

Senlin Ascends Josiah Bancroft

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I’m not sure what to say about this book. I didn’t love it and felt it was slow in places. I found the tower concept very hard to picture and it was hard to really connect with Senlin. However, towards the end I did find myself not wanting to stop reading, so I’ll be interested to see what happens in book 2. I’ve heard the pace picks up, fingers crossed.

What I plan to read next

Anthony Ryan’s Collected Non-fiction

I think this is a newsletter subscriber offer and I can’t wait to read his non-fiction articles.

David Gemmell – Rhyming Rings

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I have been saving this book since my birthday last year as it’s one of the only books I haven’t read by my all time favourite author.

Poison Study

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This is my book group choice for August and a book I have been interested in reading for a while.

 

Knowing from experience how hard it is to get reviews, I want to read a couple of Indie books and support my fellow authors. So I intend to read;

The Exercise of Vital Powers – Ian Gregoire

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Not Like Anyone Else – Jennifer Leigh

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I still have a couple of trilogies I want to finish by the end of this year

Queen of Fire – Anthony Ryan

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Magic Borne – Crown of Stones – C. L Schneider

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There are 350+ on my goodreads TBR shelf so I have plenty of other great books to choose from. Plus my kids are always recommending books and I know I should get stuck into Robin Hobb’s latest trilogy. If I do, I won’t be doing anything else for a while!

I hope to do another post in Autumn, I wonder how many books I’ll have read by then and how many of the above will be finished!

Do you have any reading plans for the summer?

#Mondayblogs Why Createspace is still king! My paperback experience #Indieauthor #indie

I couple of months ago I asked for some advice on whether to publish the paperback of my newest book via Createspace or try out Amazon KDP. I got some great advice and many people were happy to have changed over to KDP. Here’s the link to my original post.

I deliberated for some time, but decided to stick with Createspace as I knew the process and it was getting close to the book release date. I didn’t want any last minute problems messing everything up.

Using Createspace was as simple as ever and I had soon uploaded the doc and cover files, checked on screen for errors and ordered my proof copy. The only gripe I have is the shipping costs. As usual, I left myself no time to mess about before the release date on 29th June 2018, so I had to use their priorty shipping. Over $20 later, I had my proof and read it through for typos and formatting errors. Once I was happy with it, it was just a matter of agreeing the proof and then it went live in a few hours! I quickly ordered a UK copy (free shipping as I’m a prime member) and double checked those last minute changes were ok before making the big announcement to the world that it was for sale.

At the same time I did a test print with Lulu. It was cheaper as the postage was a lot less, but I felt the cover colours were inferior to Createspace and they did not support the font used for my chapter headers (reverting it automatically to times new roman). The overall quality of the book was better than I’d seen in the past. The quality of the paper was good and it felt more sturdy than the test copy I received from them last year for The Lost Sentinel. I weighed it all up and ordered 3 books from Lulu to keep as stock or give as gifts. Great, or so I thought until the books arrived a week later. There were 3 different books from 3 different authors in the package! I assumed somehow Lulu had sent me someone else’s order until I looked inside the book cover. It was The Sentinel’s Reign!

I got straight onto Lulu who replied 2 days later (standard response time) they wanted photos to prove what had happened. I sent them over and they agreed to redo the order free of charge with express shipping. A week later and I’m still waiting for the order to be fulfilled, let alone delivered to me. All in all, I’m not too impressed with Lulu.

Whilst waiting for the Lulu mess to be sorted last week, I ordered 10 books from Createspace as I really wanted to have some stock for the people who prefer to buy direct from me rather than online. I paid for the expedited shipping method, which they estimated would be about 2 weeks. They arrived within 5 days! And they are all perfect, though this picture doesn’t do them justice.

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I still want to trial the KDP paperback, but I’ve had such good service from Createspace and the covers are so tactile and beautiful I think I’ll stick with them for a bit longer.

One last note on why I’m sticking with Createspace –  the US paperback copies feel so much nicer than the UK paperbacks. I like that silicone feel they have, while I know others prefer the matt feel of the UK version. It is a small detail, but enough to convince me to stay where I am and pay that little bit extra for postage.

What are your thoughts or experiences with Createspace, KDP and Lulu?

Help – Should I use Createspace or KDP for my paperback? #indieauthors #writers

In the next day or so I will be setting up the paperback version of my new book, The Sentinel’s Reign. It will be the third book I’ve published since 2015.

The first two paperback went through Createspace, which I have found easy and straightforward but being in the UK I would prefer to be able to get a local proof copy and not wait on shipping time and have to pay so much for postage etc. It will also be cheaper to buy my own stock without having to add on overseas postage.

I’ve heard good and bad about the KDP print books and I’m reluctant to take the plunge now. Is it worth it? Should I go for it and switch the other two books over too?

I’m reaching out to those indie authors who have made the switch to ask what you think. Was it easy? Would you recommend it?

Or perhaps, like me, you’re unsure or you’ve decided to stick with Createspace. I would love to know what other indie authors are doing about their print books and if you have any advice to share. I’m sure many people are having the same doubts and we can help each other.

#IndieMarch Day 4: Share your favourite Indie book cover #indieauthor

It’s day 4 of Rebecca Howie’s #Indiemarch tag. Today the prompt is share your favourite Indie author book cover. For me this is an easy one. I’ve loved the Crown of Stone’s books by C. L. Schneider ever since I spotted this cover. It is brilliant.

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The book is excellent. So is book 2 for cover and content!

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I can’t wait to read book 3 this year and finish the trilogy.

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Don’t forget to join Rebecca Howie‘s #IndieMarch tag. See the prompts below. You can take part on your blog or Instagram.

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#indiemarch Day 3: Share some #indie reads #indieauthor

Well I made it back from a full-on day of talks in London. Now I have just enough time to share some indie authors on my TBR list before I settle down with a glass of wine and catch up on The Voice.

These next books are by indie authors that I have had the pleasure of reading.

Reviews of the above books can be found on my blog (apart from Fantasy Map Making which I have yet to write a review for).

Please check out these great indie authors. And don’t forget to follow the #indiemarch tag with Rebecca Howie.

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#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.

10 Tips for re-reading your novel after publication #indieauthor #amediting

A few weeks ago I re-read The Lost Sentinel (Book One in the Silent Sea Chronicles). I loved the experience of reading my own book in paperback, and I had the brilliant idea to use post-it notes to highlight things as I went along. These may have been facts I wanted to check in book 2, reminders for planning book 3 and the prequel, spelling or grammar niggles, places where the Astral Plane was mentioned etc.

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I loved the blue post-its matching the cover, but I soon discovered the disadvantages of this method. I didn’t write on every note exactly what I was supposed to be checking. Going through it afterwards, not all the highlights made sense and I couldn’t find any problems with the text. Having suffered this problem, I thought it would be a good idea to share my top tips…

10 TIPS FOR RE-READING YOUR WORK AFTER PUBLICATION

  1. First decide why you are re-reading and what you want to get out of the experience.
  2. Don’t be scared! If, like me, your book has been read and reviewed you have those reviews to fall back on. Perhaps they have flagged up issues you need to address, or maybe you can just read them as a confidence boost.
  3. You have to let go when you re-read. So you’re suddenly not happy with the placement of a comma, or you think a sentence could be rewritten a little better. Ask yourself is it really that big a deal? I’m never satisfied with my writing, so I decided that I had to overlook some of the little niggles or I’d end up rewriting the whole thing! I did make a couple of changes, but this wasn’t an exercise in making The Lost Sentinel better, I wanted to read the sequel straight after to ensure the books worked as a series. (Thankfully they do.)
  4. Have a notebook handy to jot down any facts that need to be checked, or issues to work through.
  5. Post-it notes are great as they allow you to mark a section you have an issue with and let you get on with reading without breaking the flow. BUT make a note of the point you’re highlighting! It saves time later on.
  6. Colour coding the post-its is a quick and easy shortcut. I went back and did this afterwards. I used different colours to represent book 2, 3 and the prequel. A different colour for the scenes that featured the Astral Plane, and finally any changes that needed working through were transcribed into my notebook to work through later.
  7. Be prepared to love and hate your own writing. I had ups and downs re-reading The Lost Sentinel. When I was feeling down, I looked back over those reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. It’s always good to be reminded that others have enjoyed the book and loved your characters.
  8. Don’t forget to celebrate your achievement. Publishing a book is amazing. Enjoy holding it, reading it and savour the whole experience.
  9. Once the re-read is done you have to decide what changes are really necessary. Then you’ll need to update the e-book and paperback files before re-submitting them to your chosen platforms, in my case Amazon and Createspace.
  10. Finally, double-check everything you’ve changed is correct once it has been published. It’s worth taking your time and making sure the book is the best you can make it. Then hopefully future re-reads won’t result in more changes.

 

I will probably go through the above process when I’ve finished writing book 3, and for any future books in the Silent Sea Chronicles. Hopefully next time around it will go more smoothly. And I hope you can take something helpful from this as well.

Have you any tips to share when re-reading your published work?

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Silent Sea Chronicles is a heroic fantasy series set on the magical island of Kalaya.

Book 1 – The Lost Sentinel is available now at Amazon.

Book 2 – The Sentinel’s Reign will soon be sent off to my second wave of Beta readers. And then after a final edit and proof read, I will hopefully be ready to publish by May. Closer to the date I will have a cover reveal – I can’t wait to share the amazing cover with you.

Thanks for reading. I hope you will continue you follow my journey as an indie author.