Title: The Sentinel’s Alliance (Silent Sea Chronicles #3) Author: Suzanne Rogerson Publisher: Independently published Genre: Fantasy Book format: Paperback
Sweet Strawberries: Description:Can new alliances save the islands of the Silent Sea from the murderers stalking their shores?
As the island of Kalaya and its people recover from civil war, a new threat surfaces. Invaders from the island of Elkena hunt the seas, butchering those who possess magic. Their scar-faced captain seeks the Fire Mage who it has been foretold will kill him and Tei and her people are in his warpath. Tei and a band of Kalayans travel to Stone Haven, the home of their new allies, planning to restore magic to the dead island. But the Stone Haven Council have abhorred magic since their people were massacred by Elkenan invaders twenty years before. Commander Farrell must persuade his people to accept magic again, but his plans expose…
Last week I did something I said to myself at the start of my indie career that I would never do, I gave away a book for free.
I’ve done a fair amount of 99p deals and sales drops, but to set it to free and then pay to advertise it didn’t make sense to me.
But being the start of a trilogy it can be good business to give away book 1 for a limited period. If people enjoy book 1, they will hopefully go on to buy and read books 2 and 3. And, all going well I’ve gained a new, avid reader for future books. Still it is a risk and can be an expensive one too.
I set book 1 to free for the full 5 days allowed in my KDP Select 3 month period. Then I set book 2 and 3 to 99p each for the 7 days allowed starting on the same day as the free 5 day promotion.
I stacked ads for each day to maximise the reach of my free book offer. This was great for achieving downloads but it has meant I’ve no idea what ads were any good. (List of ad companies further down in this post).
I did use the tactic of using the biggest hitter for my genre (Book Barbarian) in the middle of the promo period, which helped me reach no.1 in the US. See more on this below.
Downloads of The Lost Sentinel over the 5 free days 10th to 14th August = 3862
Purchases of books 2 and 3 over the 7 day KDP free days = 143
KENP – pages read through Kindle Unlimited since 10th August to date = Over 5K
Reviews and Ratings. So far I’ve received a 4 and 5 star review, and a 5 star rating. I’m hoping to see more popping over over the coming weeks. I’ve also gained a few new followers on BookBub which is always good.
Amazon 5 Stars. Captivating… ‘I’ve been reading fantasy and SF for over fifty years. I recognize a born story teller when I read one. Suzanne Rogerson held me spellbound. The author is destined to become a legend.’
Goodreads 4 star – ‘Very interesting premise… The world building was amazing. The lands of Kalaya and Tei’s powers of astral projection were so vividly described that it was beautiful to read about it. Tei’s journey and the twist in the end added to the enjoyment of the story. Liked it.’
I spend a few hundred pounds setting this up and have so far earnt back nearly half of what I laid out in advertising costs. That’s not bad, especially if it continues to help people discover my books and they keep reading them through Kindle Unlimited. Who knows maybe in time it will have broken even.
This experiment wasn’t so much about the money, but about reaching readers. I’m happy to have been able to reach 3862 new ones across the world!
The BIG BIG Benefit
The Lost Sentinel reached No.1 in three countries and in some cases held the spot for two/three consecutive days.
No. 1 best seller in US – Categories = Romantic fantasy, Woman’s fantasy fiction, Action and Adventure Fantasy, New Adult and college fantasy. At various times The Lost Sentinel held spots 2 and 3 in Epic fantasy, Sword and Sorcery and Coming of Age Fantasy.
The top sales rank it reached across all free kindle books in the US was 83 and it reached no. 4 in the top free fantasy books. That really made my day.
No. 1 best seller in UK – Categories = Low Fantasy, Fantasy Adventure Fiction, Contemporary Fantasy and Action and Adventure Fiction. It also reached no.2 in Coming of Age fantasy and Epic Fantasy, and 3 in Sword and Sorcery.
The Lost Sentinel also reached No. 4 in all free fantasy books and was no 5 in all sci-fi and fantasy free books in the UK.
No. 1 best seller in Canada – Categories = Coming of Age Fantasy. Placed 2nd in Epic and 3rd in Sword and Sorcery.
Top sales rank of all free books 29. No. 4 in top free fantasy books in Canada.
No.2 in Australia for Epic fantasy and 73 across the whole of free books in Australia.
As well as these four countries, The Lost Sentinel was also downloaded in Brazil, Germany, India, Netherlands, France, Spain, Japan, Italy and Mexico. I achieved high rankings in many of these countries too.
I’ve tried to do some research to understand the numbers but all I can find out is that there could be around 6 million ebooks available on kindle. I don’t know how many of those are free at any one time, but those are big numbers and I’m so proud to see my book reaching such heights.
Would I recommend running a free book promotion?
100% yes. But I would only do this for book 1 in a trilogy or the start of a series and I would wait until the rest of the books are available to hopefully encourage follow on sales and read throughs.
Watching the downloads come in and getting to No 1 is quite addictive, so don’t plan on doing much else whilst your promotion is running.
It’s a heady experience, which means the come down is hard. When it’s all over you’re left feeling deflated. And it is a shame to see the ranking disappear after the free promo is over. My advice is to take screenshots so you can look back and say it really did happen!
Would I change anything?
I wish I’d booked more ads for the last day of the promo period. After all the excitement midway through, the last day felt like a let down with dwindling sales. It would have been great to go out with a bang.
Ad companies I used in my free promo.
Note – I can’t say for sure where the downloads came from. I’m just providing you with a list of the ad companies I used. There are so many to choose from that you should do your research and learn from trial and error.
Day 1 – Just Kindle Books, Book Reader magazine, Pretty Hot books (119 free downloads, 8 sales)
Day 2 – FKBT, Awesome book promo, James H Mayfield VA services (551 free downloads, 15 sales)
Day 3 – Book Barbarian, BK Nights (1291 free downloads, 57 sales)
Day 4 – Book Runes, Awesome gang, eReader IQ, Book Cave (1426 free downloads, 31 sales)
Day 5 – Book Doggy (475 downloads, 24 sales)
Day 6 and 7 after the free promo ended. 8 sales.
A big thank you to Bklnk.com This is a great resource to check what categories your books are in and their rankings across Amazon in the US, UK and Canada.
Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy
I’d like to share the newest review that’s gone up for my Silent Sea Chronicles series – it’s actually the first for the box set on Amazon so I’m extra happy!
(Christopher) 5 STARS – Inspiring. A lovely story that warms the soul. Some action and battle scenes but not overly graphic so will appeal to most. There’s also a good deal of romance which, although not my thing, makes this saga a good read for all. I will deffo keep an eye out for more books to follow this and catch up on the characters and how their journey progresses.
Here’s some others…
(Norris) 5 STARS Loved it. A thoroughly enjoyable fantasy story with characters you can’t help rooting for and intriguing villains. The world building was fantastic and it was easy to lose yourself in. I can’t wait to see where this story goes. – The Lost Sentinel – Book 1.
(Teri) 4 STARS – Action and Chaos. I don’t know how I came about this story but I am glad I did. Prepare yourself for a rip roaring adventure over the seas and by ways as these stories intermix to bring you a rip roaring clean adventure. There is plenty of action and chaos as the standing Sentinel comes to the end of his reign. Finding the new sentinel will come to be emotional as the loss of life touches close to home. Taking daring actions against those that mean to do harm will keep you turning the pages for more. No the story doesn’t end here and that will give you reason to prepare for a long adventure with this new to me author. Her characters have much to lose and the battle wont be easy. New friends and old foes all come together in this wonderful fantasy story. I have not read this author before but I can’t wait to continue the adventure. – The Lost Sentinel Book 1
You can try out the series for yourself as Book 1 The Lost Sentinel is free for the next 4 days, while books 2 and 3 are on sale for only 99p each. The whole series will only set you back £1.98 if you act fast.
The sale is going well and I loved seeing The Lost Sentinel hit no 6 in the top 100 free chart for fantasy adventure. With your help I could hit no 1!
I’m having technical issues trying to share a screenshot of the top 100 list, hopefully that will resolve itself soon.
In the meantime, please share this and help The Lost Sentinel reach the top ranking in as many top 100 free charts as possible.
If you’re looking for a bargain this week, why not check out Silent Sea Chronicles? The Lost Sentinel – Book 1 in the series is free for 5 days and the rest of the trilogy is on sale at only 99p / 99c each.
All my books are enrolled in Kindle Unlimited but this is the first time I’ve ever used the 5 free days advertising option and I’m really excited to see how the experiment plays out.
I’d love to see my books climb up the rankings and you can help by downloading your free copy of The Lost Sentinel and sharing news about the sale.
‘THE LOST SENTINEL contains plenty of action, intrigue, and challenges throughout, making this a thrilling fantasy adventure… it whisked me away to someplace magical, alluring, and dangerous.’
‘…this story bowled me over, it was an absolutely outstanding epic fantasy and the kind of writing fantasy authors should be aspiring to.’
‘What an epic journey this trilogy has been…There are some terrific battle scenes, with massive shocks, and mouth dropping moments that I just hadn’t seen coming, all delivered with Rogerson perfection.’
Tei has magic in a world where people like her are persecuted and forced into exile. Whilst fleeing their home, her father is attacked and his deathbed confession reveals a dangerous secret that will change her life forever.
Tei’s homeland, the magical island of Kalaya, is dying and without a Sentinel to restore the magic, it’s only a matter of time before all life is wiped out.
She must join the exiles in the search for the lost Sentinel, but they are not the only ones after the missing guardian. Sinister Masked Riders are on their trail and time is running out.
Tei must risk everything she loves to save Kalaya, but is she ready to make that sacrifice?
If you’d like to keep up to date with news about my books, join my newsletter.
As my publishing plans for 2020 have been pushed back, I decided to show some love to my fantasy box set trilogy – Silent Sea Chronicles, in particular book 1 The Lost Sentinel. The tour runs from 6th to 12th September.
All the details can be found on the Storytellers on Tour website where you can sign up to take part. Here’s the link The Lost Sentinel blog tour.
As it’s the third birthday of The Lost Sentinel, I’ve decided to offer someone a free paperback. This worldwide offer is open until 20th June 2020.
To enter you can follow my blog, comment on and share this post, you can also share and follow me across any of the social media platforms below for extra entries into the draw. I’ll pick a winner over the weekend.
The magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with its Sentinel.
The Assembly controls Kalaya. Originally set up to govern, they now persecute those with magic and exile them to the Turrak Mountains.
Tei, a tailor’s daughter, has always hidden her magic but when her father’s old friend visits and warns them to flee to the mountains she must leave her old life behind. On the journey, an attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He entrusts her into the care of the exiles and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession. Struggling with self doubt, Tei joins the exiles search for the new Sentinel who is the only person capable of restoring the fading magic. But mysterious Masked Riders are hunting the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out.
Against mounting odds it will take friendship, heartache and sacrifice for the exiles to succeed in their quest, but is Tei willing to risk everything to save the island magic?
Follow Tei’s journey through the magical land of Kalaya and the Astral Plane in The Lost Sentinel – Book 1 in the Silent Sea Chronicles.
I recently spent a wonderful few days in Prague enjoying the sights, the food and the drink. But the real highlights of the trip was seeing my translated book – Zarua Ztracene Mesto (Visions of Zarua) in the bookstores and visiting my publisher, Albatros Media. I signed some books for competition prizes while I was there and found out the story behind how they discovered my book too!
The holiday to Prague was months in planning and ran into its fair share of problems. I was supposed to go with my daughter and husband, but we didn’t have anyone to leave the puppy with so I transferred the flights to my parents and they came with me instead. We had various issues doing the transfer and I experienced a lot of frustration trying to get hold of the airline on the phone, but I finally got everything sorted a few days before we were due to fly.
The morning of the flight didn’t get off to a good start either when my alarm didn’t go off! My phone had decided to switch off and I woke up at 4.25am with only 5 minutes to get dressed and brush my teeth before the taxi arrived. We got to the airport on time, but my phone refused to switch back on and was heating up. It’s a closed unit so I had not option of removing the battery and I feared it wouldn’t be allowed on the plane. Thankfully a lovely man at the Dixon store showed me how to get it to switch on and it started to cool down almost instantly. The phone had hardly any charge left, but the pressure was off and I could finally relax and enjoy the start of my holiday. So much stress and it was still only 6.30am!
We arrived at our grand hotel and spent four days exploring the sights, having first got to grips with the transport system, which I must say is cheap and very simple to use once you understand it. The weather was beautiful and warm on the first day and we only needed a cardigan as we started our first adventure into Prague.
The remaining days the temperature dropped and we needed coats, scarves and gloves! We decided to take a bus tour through Prague, which included a walking tour of Prague Castle, a traditional lunch and a boat trip under Charles Bridge. The guide was very knowledgeable and we had a lot of fun despite the cold.
I would love to share some more pictures but I will save them for another post. I’ll end by saying that Prague is a great place to spend a few days exploring on foot or jumping on and off the many trams that run through the city. There are beautiful buildings everywhere you look, and don’t forget to look up or you’ll miss some great architecture. The eagle-eyed might also spot a few of these cute little guys in the River Vltava (Coypu).
Until next time…
Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy
This year has been busy in various ways and I have not read as much as I would’ve liked. My Goodreads challenge was 35 books and so far I have only read 29. I thought making a list for the rest of the year would help me get back on track.
So here goes.
Currently reading – Magic Study by Maria V Snyder. As with the first book I find the writing totally addictive and if I read nothing else but these books this year I would be happy.
ARC – Not Like Everyone Else by Jennifer Leigh. This is a YA thriller I’ve been interested in since following Jenn’s blog and I am going to read this before 2018 ends.
Self Published Fantasy Blog Off books – I bought lots of SPFBO books in the last SPFBO sale which I have yet to read. Here’s my post about the bargains I picked up. Now there is another sale 15th to 19th November so I will be getting even more books to add to my TBR list which already has 400 books! I really hope to read at least another one off this list and perhaps I may even share a surprise review from my husband who is currently reading one of SPFBO books – surprise because he has no idea I’ve mentioned this!
My Xmas Read – For the last three years I have read the latest Great Library book by Rachel Caine. This year I will be reading Smoke and Iron – book 4. My son started the series a few weeks ago and has already started the 4th book. I had planned to give it to myself as a Christmas present, but he begged to read it first!
Audio book – Still listening to Gilded Cage by Vic James which has been enjoyable so far. I like the voice of the narrator and she has brought the story to life for me. It does seem a bit slow, but I’m happy to stick at it.
Book Group Read – Sweet Dreams by Tricia Sullivan
This one sounds intriguing!
Books I’ve Won – I have been lucky enough to win two books recently and I can’t wait to read them. City of Lies by Sam Hawke and Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce. I would love to read and review these before the end of 2018.
So these books will take me to my Goodreads target of 35 books, but life and writing does have a habit of getting in the way. Fingers crossed I find some uninterrupted reading time!
Poison Study is a brilliant, compelling read. Here’s the blurb…
Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison…
About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.
And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.
As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…
This was my book groups choice and I am so, so happy they chose it!
It is such a compelling book. I took it on holiday and I just couldn’t stop reading it. The beauty of reading an old paperback copy is that you can take it everywhere with you and sneak in a few pages when no one is looking! I had some very late nights with this book as well, and it’s one of those that if you had the next book handy, there’s no way you could resist picking it up and diving straight into the next adventure. I have now brought the next two books – Magic Study and Fire Study and I’m itching to find the time to read them. I have another holiday coming up so I might have to sneak them in the suitcase.
Why I loved this YA Fantasy.
In one word – Yelena. She is a brilliant character to follow and I liked her instantly. The first person viewpoint helps you build a bond with her and her story. At the start she is in prison for a murder that she never denies committing, but you have no idea of the details surrounding it. That’s just a small part of the intrigue that keeps you reading. On the day of her planned execution she is given the chance to escape death by becoming the Commander’s food taster. Of course she accepts but quickly realises this isn’t to be an easy life. Her master, Valek, turns out to be a harsh and sometime cruel master – but he really grows on you. Both Valek and Yelena are my favourite characters and I can’t wait to see what happens in book 2.
I loved the little details in this book, in particular the lessons on poison tasting. I’m informed this is all well researched and that really comes across. I would have liked more focus on this aspect in the plot, just because I love herbs, potions and assassins, but it was still a highly addictive read. Every chapter forced you to read the next. It is a masterclass for authors on how to craft a pager-turner.
There are some darker elements to the story that as adults you will pick up on, but I hope younger YA readers just take what’s on the page and not think too deeply about what’s happened. I am looking forward to my (nearly) 14-year-old son reading these books and I think in a couple of years my daughter will love them too. It is certainly a book I wish I had discovered in my teens, and I don’t say that about many books.
Highly recommended – 5 very big fat stars from me!
Have you read it?
Here’s the Goodreads link if my review has enticed you to find out more. With almost 120K ratings, 10k reviews and an overall star rating of 4.15, you can see this books has been loved by many people!