Julia Hughes - writing thrilling adventures - time after time after time.
One of my favourite fictional characters has to be Bentley Livingston Cramer, the larger than life media mogul who is the master puppeteer in the Paul Mallory Adventures.
Reading a review copy of "Julie Do You Love Me?" the penny finally dropped; majestic, cigar smoking and impervious to rules, with his finger on the pulse of current events worldwide, and an uncanny insight into human nature, Bentley is Churchillian in his ability to use his employees as pawns on a giant chessboard.
Like the grand old Duke of Marlborough, Bentley shows no remorse in placing his employees in mortal danger, the ends always justify his means.
Mr Cramer's media empire consists of just one newspaper, which is subscribed to by only a handful of people. Those subscribers though are multi millionaires who pay handsomely for the privilege of having insider information on world changing events almost before they happen. Consequently, added to the allure of power, Bentley is exquisitely rich.
Along with Rafael Nadal, I'd love to go on a dinner date with Bentley – though let's face it the chances of that happening with either one are slim, if not impossible. After all, they're both spoken for! But that doesn't stop me following my favourite men by avidly reading about their exploits.
If you haven't yet made Bentley's acquaintance, you can catch up with creator Stephen Spencer and his thrilling Paul Mallory novels, staring Bentley Livingstone Cramer here, at Stephen's site.
What more could anyone ask for? These figures are phenomenal by anyone's standards, let alone an independently published book with what has politely been described as 'A Home Grown Cover' and a zero advertising budget.
I suppose what everyone wants to know is, how I managed to achieve these figures. Well, I asked for a little help from friends, and the indie community responded very generously. I also had insider help. Sean Campbell heard about my promotion, and urged me to read a copy of "Can't Sell, Won't Sell".
This self help manual originally started life as a series of blog entries – Sean and younger brother Dan charted their progress as first time indie authors and self publishers, with an extra challenge; to produce a best seller within ninety days. They succeeded spectacularly: Dead on Demand hit the ground running and has already attracted a slew of four and five star reviews praising the novel's originality and intricate plot. Figuring I'd pick up one or two helpful hints and had nothing to lose, I did as Sean suggested, there's nothing I enjoy more than picking successful authors' brains. I've seen lots of "You too can be the next John Locke/Amanda Hocking style books around, but never been tempted to buy. One look at the sample chapters was enough. The drum banging trumpet blowing tactics weren't for me. As I began reading "Can't Sell Won't Sell", I relaxed. There are no hard sell tactics. Just good solid advice from authors who have successfully done what they set out to do.
Personally, I would have kept this knowledge to myself. I'm nice, but not that nice. Luckily Sean and Dan are much better people than I, and they want to share with the indie community. Since without reading about their experiences, and how they got to the top A Ripple in Time would now be back amongst the 250,000 ranked ebooks where it usually languishes, I do owe the brothers an awfully big debt, hence I'm helping spread the word. So now you know how I did it. With a lot of help from my friends, and simple down to earth advice, not on how to sell, but how to make potential readers aware that A Ripple in Time existed. Now almost 17,000 readers have A Ripple in Time on their kindle.
Sean and Dan are offering a valuable service to the indie community, and because I took their advice, my promo succeeded beyond most indie authors' wildest dreams. I've been lucky enough to make some really good friends in the indie community, they know me well enough to know I'm not prone to exaggerating, or boasting for that matter. But for those who don't know me that well, here's a screen shot of this month's reports from Amazon for the USA. (I'm not panicking about the returns, presumably these are from folk who thought the promotion was still running.)
Screen shot includes a previous promo conducted prior to reading Can't Sell, Won't Sell.
What more could anyone ask for? If even a tenth of people who've downloaded my book read and enjoy, and make a connection, the circle is complete.
Can't Sell, Won't Sell is available FREE on the first day of every month. But if you want to get ahead of the competition, you can download now for £4.58, around seven dollars in the States.
90 Days Novel Blog
With Kindle select 'contract' coming to a close, and the launch of the paperback edition, A Ripple in Time has been set free one last time.*
Free promotions are a great opportunity to get ebooks downloaded onto kindles, and hopefully, even pick up one or two reviews. And of course readers get an opportunity to sample new authors, maybe even new genres.
There is usually a lot of friendly competition amongst indies over who is going to attract the most number of new readers, but always always lots of support from fellow authors, book bloggers and the indie publishing community in general. This time around though, A Ripple in Time has exceeded all expectations, and the extra string to my bow has been woven from gold.
And because I'm a good member of the indie community, and always play nice, I'm letting you all into my secret –
Sean and Dan Campbell, aka the 90 day novel guys wrote and published a best seller Dead on Demand in – well – under 90 days. Throughout this ambitious project, the brothers Campbell recorded their progress and experiences on their blog, generously sharing their successful marketing methods with other indie authors. Inevitably, demand grew for said blog entries to be published as an ebook, and "Can't Sell, Won't Sell" has proven to be just as well received as the brothers' debut novel.
As mentioned before, I'm a good member of the indie community, and quickly volunteered to skim through a preview copy of 'Can't Sell, Won't Sell.' Some might say I had an ulterior motive in mind. Me, I couldn't possibly comment. But the proof is there in the puddin' –
A Ripple in Time has climbed higher into the freebie charts than ever before and has achieved the giddy heights of the top sixty free downloads. That's the good news for me. The really good news for other indie authors is that 'Can't Sell, Won't Sell' is free on the first day of every month. And it just gets better:
If you can't possibly wait till then, 'Can't Sell, Won't Sell' is on offer at the reduced price of 99 cents, or 77p in the UK, (regular price $6.99) but hurry, this offer will be gone by Midnight Thursday 21st June.
Special promotions on both eBooks expire midnight Thursday 21st June. Dead on Demand by Sean & Dan Campbell is available from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk
A Ripple in Time is preceded by A Raucous Time, and followed by An Explosive Time - which is still in select, and hope you'll join me again for an extra special 'going out with a bang' free promotion on that last title. Watch this space for more details.
*for the foreseeable future.
Just in time for Father's Day! Sworn to secrecy last week by Steven Katriel, I've been in agony trying not to blurt out the launch date for his brilliant debut novel: The Portrait of Alatiel Salazar. Visitors flocked in droves to read my review - you no longer have to take my word that this deserves to be compared with the great gothic classics - you can download a copy right now! Click here for Amazon.co.uk and here for Amazon.com. Wait - I haven't revelaed the price: A teeny tiny 77p. Grab your copy now, and be in at the start - I'm certain Steven's soon going to have a massive following, and deservedly so. Here is a man who is passionate about this craft, this devotion is apparent in every page.
The paperback version of A Ripple in Time also launches today, and to celebrate, the ebook version can be downloaded FREE to Dad's new kindle! Happy Father's Day, whether you're just starting out in this starring role, or whether you're experienced enough to expect the unexpected from your kids, and know to sit back and enjoy the ride. If you'd like to be in with a chance of winning one of three paperback copies, tweet @Tinksaid, or leave a comment.
In my opinion free promotions are a marvellous opportunity for unknown writers to get their stories where they should be: Onto readers' kindles. I've been outstandingly lucky, and had a tremendous take-up every time one of the Celtic Cousins' Adventures has gone free. One or two people have even been kind enough to comment publicly if they've enjoyed the stories.
But now that the Celtic Cousins have landed in the physical world, for distribution purposes the ebook editions have been withdrawn from Amazon's KDP programme. However, there are a few promotional days left on each ebook and I intend to make full use of them all.
So, for the last time, A Raucous Time will be free to download from Amazon, until midnight 4th June (this bank holiday Monday). A free promotion on A Ripple in Time will follow within the next three weeks. An Explosive Time will become free in July and August. If you enjoy action and adventure stories with a hint of mystic, give the Celtic Cousins a whirl, it won't cost you a penny or a dime. The thrills are on me, help yourself – and if you could click the 'like' button on the product description page, that'd be really appreciated.
Wren Prenderson; "A Ripple in Time" best hero.
"The Griffin Cryer" best Urban Fantasy. Thank you to the hard working judges and everyone who voted at the eFestival of Words, organised by Julie Dawson, of Bards & Sages.
A Raucous Time, A Ripple in Time, and The Griffin Cryer. Thank you to Julie and her hard working panel of judges and reviewers.
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