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…

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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

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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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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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.

#Tuesdaybookblog #Bookreview Getting Book Reviews by @RayneHall #indieauthors

Getting Book Reviews by Rayne Hall

Part of the Writer’s Craft Series

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Blurb

Reviews help sell books.
When browsing online for their next read, most readers are drawn to the books with many reviews. More and more readers glance at what other readers have to say about a book before they hit the ‘buy now’ button. The more people have read and liked the book, the more they want to experience it for themselves. This is a known psychological factor called ‘social evidence’, and it plays a big role in purchasing decisions.
The more reviews your book has, the better, especially if they are genuine, personal, thoughtful and positive. Reviews can multiply your sales and catapult your book to the top of bestseller lists – but how do you get them?
Perhaps you’re a new author and can’t get those crucial early reviews to start the train rolling. Maybe you’re a seasoned author and your books have garnered reviews, but not as many as you need to break out. Or perhaps you’ve gone the corporate publishing route, and find that your publisher’s publicist isn’t getting your book the attention it needs.
This book shows you many proven strategies to get the reviews your book deserves. Instead of urging you to labour through tedious, spirit-draining procedures, I’ll reveal quick, fun, empowering tricks.
All my suggestions are legitimate and ethical. In this book you won’t find methods for manipulating, faking and cheating. Strengthen your readers’ bond with you, don’t sabotage it.
Most of the methods I suggest are free, although some incur expenses. You will definitely need to spend time. You can apply them all these techniques, or cherry-pick the ones you like now and keep the rest for another time or a different book.
At the end of most chapters, I’m sharing mistakes I made and learnt from. They all seemed a good idea at the time.
Rayne

My Review

First thoughts

Since I self-published for the first time in 2015, I’ve been trying to increase my book’s profile on Amazon by getting more reviews. This book sounded perfect to help me do that.

Summary

Each chapter in the book covers your options when trying to gain reviews. They state the method, along with pros and cons for each and lessons learnt by the author. There were chapters on things like beta readers, approaching amazon reviewers, review circles and general product review agencies.

Writing Style

The book has a friendly, easy to read style just as the previous book of Rayne Hall’s I read and reviewed recently. Why does my book not sell? 20 Simple Fixes

Issues

My only real issue was that I’d already learnt alot of this by myself the long and hard way! It would’ve been great to have a manual like this to work through, to save time and effort.

Final thoughts

I have stumbled my way throughout the process of self-publishing and the same can be said for the way I’ve tried to get reviews. I have made connections with some brilliant book bloggers and gained some wonderful reviews, but I wish I’d known about this book long before I hit publish; things like putting a personal letter at the back of the book would have been easier if addressed beforehand.

This is a quick read, and one you can go back to again and again for sound advice.

Recommend to

I think this book is most helpful to authors who are soon to publish. Of course if you have already self-published, there are still plenty of helpful tips in here for you.

Rating  4 stars

#Mondayblogs My 10 tips on running a book stall/signing #indieauthors #writingtips

I ran my first book stall at the local Christmas fair the other day. I was nervous about it during the weeks leading up to it, but I knew it was time to start putting myself out there. It felt a bit like coming out of the closet ‘My name is Suzanne Rogerson and I am an author.’

I did sell some books, which is wonderful, but most importantly it was a big step in building my confidence. For those of you who are nervous about trying it, I say go for it! Here are a few tips that might help you make a success of your own event.

My Tips

  1. I had a sign stating ‘Local Author’
  2. Display your log line big and bold to draw some interest.
  3. My posters of the book cover could be seen from a distance and were eye-catching.
  4. The boards were great for displaying everything a potential reader might want to know without having to ask.
  5. Have readers quotes on display so the browsers can see others have enjoyed your book.
  6. Have different forms of information on display. I had posters, picture quotes that I used in my blog tour, quotes from readers with star ratings and my author photo.
  7. Display the price so you don’t have the embarrassing discussion of money
  8. Be approachable, but not pushy. I was happy to talk to anyone who wanted to, but I didn’t throw myself at them.
  9. I had a sign to show where the book is available and the prices. I also mentioned it’s free to read for Kindle Unlimited readers.
  10. Don’t go over board with stock.

 

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Things I wish I’d done

  1. I would have had a sign that said please take a card.
  2. I could have walked around handing out cards – but I didn’t want to force myself on people. I don’t like that approach in the street, and it’s just not me.
  3. I didn’t mention the magical words ‘If you like it, would you consider leaving a short review.’ Some were bought as Christmas presents so that wouldn’t really have applied anyway, but it’s still a missed opportunity.

 

I haven’t made any money, but I didn’t enter into it for monetary gain. It’s all about getting my books into readers hands and getting exposure. I’ve already had some lovely feedback and that is what matters. People have been really supportive – friends and strangers alike.

My final advice to any shy writers like me, don’t let it hold you back. Go for it and see what happens!

#WWWBlogs My review of the self-publishing summit #indieauthors #selfpublishing #indiepub

On Saturday I had the pleasure of attending a self-publishing summit at Kings College London run by New Generation Publishing.

It was a very informative day. There were 3 Q&A / talks with panels of industry professionals and self-published authors. I’m still processing much of the information  but I wanted to share an overview of the day and what I feel I’ve gained from it.

Start

The day didn’t start well. It was pouring with rain, and during a dash across Waterloo Bridge I got soaked twice by vindictive bus drivers. It took until lunchtime for my trousers to dry! My map got so wet I couldn’t read it, but thankfully Kings College was easy enough to find, and everything improved from there.

The talks

As I mentioned there were three scheduled talks with Q&A’s. The first talk focused on the two guest authors experiences and advice for new authors. The second was about marketing and how to sell your work. The third discussed the future of self-publishing.

I found the talk about marketing the most interesting and helpful to my current situation.

Some nuggets of advice from the talks

Look at marketing as fun and be creative.

Think local news – Create an angle for you / your book. Local interest for radio and newspaper could lead to bigger opportunities.

Say yes to any publicity.

Contact book shops – prove to them they can sell it, who will buy it, what you are doing to market it. Remember they like to buy in advance of publication.

Publicity timelines – Differ for bookshops, radio and magazines.

Think about your ideal reader – where do they shop and how can you find them.

Cover Design – think audience, create a buying impulse.

Elevator pitch – Think how you can grab someone’s attention and make them want to buy your book. Be able to talk about your book and sell it!

ISBN’s – Buy your block of 10, rather than 1 at a time. You can’t sell in a book shop with the Amazon ISBN’s and they won’t accept the createspace paperback.

Pitching sessions

The best part of the day for me was the pitch sessions with individual members of the panel.

I spoke to an agent, Kate Nash, who unfortunately doesn’t represent fantasy but provided a lot of interesting information in her talk and great advice to the other authors in the group. I asked whether she would be more likely to consider a self-published author if they had gained a following on social media. She said any decisions would be based on the book submitted.

I spoke to Ben Galley, a fantasy author and self-publishing consultant. He is about to publish his 11th book, so it was great to get my book in front of him for some advice. I asked him what I could do to get more readers to find and purchase my book.

His Tips:-

Buy your own domain name to look more professional.

Don’t lower the price.

Use a professional typesetter to make the interior of the book really stand out. This can help the search inside feature really sell your book to the browsing reader – make the experience a pleasure.

Consider a UK company for the UK printing of paperbacks. It will be cheaper and better quality than Createspace.

Join genre forums and facebook groups and get involved.

Have a newsletter.

I also spoke with the two self-published novelists, Roz Morris and Toni Jenkins, who were both lovely ladies and happy to discuss their experiences within the industry. Among other things we talked through ideas on how to get more readers, reducing my social media output to really focus on those that count, and a website called MEETUP where I could advertise to start my own local writing group.

I spoke with David Walshaw the publishing exec of New Generation Publishing. He was happy to talk me though the options of self-publishing with his company, but there was no hard sell or pressure in any way. It’s great to know there are other options and that I don’t have to do everything myself. I still need to research whether I can afford this for my next book though.

Downside to the day

For me the coffee breaks, and in particular lunch break were painfully awkward as I wasn’t comfortable mixing and chatting in large groups.

Things I wish I’d done differently

I didn’t hand out my card to anyone or swap contact details with other authors as I had hoped to have done.

I didn’t mingle enough / at all!

I didn’t have a proper pitch prepared for the pitching sessions

Value for money

At £59.99 I thought it was great value for a day of immersing myself in the world of self-publishing. The food could have been a bit more varied, but it was fresh and tasty. And there was a constant supply of drinks, although it did arrive a little later and after the soaking I received from the bus, I needed that hot drink!

Overall view

It was a very worthwhile experience. I gained some knowledge and had my book looked at by others with more knowledge of the industry. It was generally felt that I’d done a good job for a first timer! So I came away proud of my achievement and buzzing with ideas for what to do next.

If you get the chance to go to a summit in the future, I recommend you try it out for yourself.

 

Help, I’m going to a self-publishing summit! Any advice? #indieauthor

I’ve finally decided to put myself out there and attend a self-publishing summit next week. I haven’t been to any network events before and I hope this will be the start of me gaining confidence as a writer.

It’s easy enough to sit at home and think you’re a writer (I still cringe when I state that’s my occupation), but to actually physically go out into the world is a gigantic step for me. I don’t know how much I’ll get out of the day, but I’m nervously excited about the opportunity and looking forward to meeting some like-minded authors.

I have my notebook and pens ready, business cards to hand and I plan to have some book blurbs prepared to share. The trouble is I’m the world’s worst at selling myself. Whenever I hear the words ‘So what’s your book about?’ my brain freezes and my tongue disappears inside my head.

Have you been in this position? Do you have any tips for being more confidant, or advice to make the most of this networking day?

I look forward to sharing my experience with you and hopefully I’ll have lots of new ideas to put into practise for my current self published novel, and the book I hope to publish early next year.