‘Pearl Fields and the Oregon Meltdown’ by Drew Faraday – Review

A unique and immersive vision of survival and life during apocalyptic times…

Pearl Fields and the Oregon Meltdown is a unique reading experience that plays out much like the transcript of a confession, life story and vision of one woman’s survival during the ‘Meltdown’. The wonderful thing is, its all three of those and more because the immersive conversational style adopted by Drew Faraday pulled me in from the very start and it isn’t one I’ve seen that frequently in fiction. Onthe surface it might appear as just ramblings but like all great books its what lies within those words that make it. Stories of childhood, love, struggle and life in apocalyptic times make up the experience that pulled me in from the start.

The ‘M’ virus and its fallout is where the majority of this story is set but we only get snippets of that from ‘Pearl’ and the focus is more on her many experiences during and then after. Its almost as if she is in the room telling you about the various trials and tribulations of her life and she’s a fun character to be around. Perhaps a little hardened by that life and her well fleshed out presence really puts you in the passenger seat of her ride. From her wealth of back stories to the various fun names she uses such as ‘Camp All She Wrote’ and even naming a suicide vest ‘Severance Package’ are just a few of humorous references peppered with a hint of darkness and there is a lot of emotion at the heart of this one.

‘I wouldn’t have gone through hell on earth on my own for nearly four years only to be pent-up in this rank jail cell pouring my heart out to a damn gizmo in hopes of not taking the long drop…’

Its part post-apocalyptic and part confessional-survival with ounces of humour and the question is, will this confession help her find acquittal? The answer is something I perhaps would have liked to have seen a little more from but that’s a minor critique at best.

Very enjoyable and original.

4 Stars – This review first premiered via Reedsy Discovery

Weekly Ramble #156

It’s good to be busy. Having deadlines and things to do keeps me motivated and keeps this machine rolling. Now my 8th book is out there I’m moving back to content creating and even a little editing for a book I plan to query next year. You can also expect a few more indie book reviews.

With the recent BookBub success not slowing down, I’ve noticed a slight dip in the ratings as so many readers are discovering my eldest title. I’m sure it will level off soon and the feedback has been pretty valuable for the most part and the lessons learned here are ones I shall take on for life. Not everyone is going to like my stuff and that’s fine, its good for the ego I suppose. The wonder of being self published is the fact I can instantly amend any potential problems with any of my works – something I am always looking to improve upon. Some of the feedback I’ve received for that has been very much appreciated.

Having a large quantity of readers come in all at once is a slight culture shock but being published means I have to accept the fate of whatever people say about my work. I love my stories, and that’s all that matters sometimes. I also love being a writer and a content creator.

Back to the grind for now.

BookBub Featured Deal Results 2022

Well, that was a ride. As the aftermath continues this is my BookBub Featured Deal results in depth and presented with a hope to help a fellow author. This post first premiered on Patreon for my most loyal of followers and if you sign up, you’ll get to access to my most exclusive content before anyone else.

I shall go through the basics and then lay out my results with a hope to explain how I got them for anyone looking to learn something about book promotion. Let us dive in!

The Who’s

Firstly, who am I? Hello, my name is Lee Hall and I’m an indie author from the UK. You’ve probably seen me Tweeting about my author endeavours and my journey of indie publishing 8 books. Over the years I’ve done my best to lay out everything I’ve learned to find some success that I consider myself happy with. My core belief is to pass on my learning to others because it connects me with so many awesome creatives. Plus helping others feels good. This has attracted quite a following over on Twitter and I currently have 35,000+ followers.

So who are BookBub? Well BookBub are the original book promotion website and advertise mostly digital books across the internet to thousands or potentially millions of readers who also review said books – this kind of thing is gold for indie authors who struggle to find readers and then readers who review. Because BB have been around for a while they have become quite effective with finding readers for books. They offer a range of advertising but this post will be covering a Featured Deal that I managed to secure with them for my 6 years young debut novel Open Evening. I have managed to secure two featured deals in previous years for another book. This Featured Deal would be a free promotion, meaning Open Evening would be free to download for two days.

Tip: Free promotions are a great way to get more eyes on your book whilst also attracting others to more books you may have.

The How’s

There’s a lot of talk about the coveted Featured Deal that BookBub offer. Those who haven’t secured one tend to sceptically sway towards the whole ‘is it really worthwhile’ argument and then there’s those who have secured one who call it the ‘Holy Grail’ of book promotions and as a now three time Featured Deal securer, I can say the results I’ve got were life changing but how did I manage to secure even one Featured deal?

Do you need 50+ reviews? Are there any awards or accolades that will help? Will being ‘wide’ give me a better chance? Will BB even take a chance on my unknown self published title?

They are all great and valid questions but from experience, I’ve only really had one major thing that got me three featured deals – the basic anatomy which consists of:

Professional Cover;

Unique or stand-out title;

Enticing Blurb;

Edited (to some extent) Manuscript;

Optional: A decent social media presence.

If your book has these four things then you have a chance at securing a BookBub Featured deal. Anything else, may or may not help but I wouldn’t really know because I’m certain my books were chosen mainly based upon this stuff. Let’s look at that in a practical sense.

The Teleporter has been featured twice and as you can see at a glance it has that basic anatomy. Back when it got chosen for the second time in 2021 it had less than 20 reviews and it was only available via Amazon much like it is today. So the reason I have come to this conclusion is because the basic anatomy is all that I had in my arsenal for a long time. Later on and today my social media presence mainly on Twitter helps things, if BookBub do look at your socials, and they are mainly pleasant or if you conduct yourself well then you’ll probably increase your chances.

A final major factor outside of the anatomy and social media presence is to get yourself a BookBub profile and start using it. The sign up process works much like Goodreads and it is basically a simpler version. Get the ball rolling with it and that will certainly help.

Above all, the best way to secure a BookBub featured deal is to keep applying for one again and again, until they tell you to stop for a month. Then after a month, apply again. Eventually, and like many things in this author world, good things come to those who keep going.

Timing

Most comedians, performers and even chefs will tell you the key to good things in their field is timing and securing a BookBub Featured deal at the right time will give your book the best chance of success. This Featured Deal would happen on the 20th of September 2022 – just days after the last book in my Order of the Following series would launch which brings me to a rather big tip:

Rather big tip: If you have a completed series, or a series of books, a BookBub featured deal will put eyes on all books in that series if one of them is featured. If you discount those books in that series, they will sell.

As for me, Open Evening is the first book in that Order of the Following Series meaning as this deal was happening, my timing was couldn’t have been better, for once. Sometimes, just sometimes things align.

Now let us look at the results and the results of any good book promotion can be measured in a number of ways, from units sold, to chart positions but to me, if results are still happening a long time after the promo, then that promo was a big success.

The Results

On the 20th of September 2022 my debut book Open Evening was free and featured by BookBub with the rest of the books in the Order of the Following Series discounted to 99 cents or equivalent. Here are the results:

Day 1 of the free promo, OE was downloaded over 8,000 times with another 1,500 on the next day! With the small promo I ran earlier in the month combined with the Featured deal this pushed the total free downloads to 9,895 across 13 different territories. A fantastic result!

Now let us look at paid sales driven by this promotion.

Every book in the Order of the Following Series sold very well and Darke Apocalypse which was released just days before became my best ever release!

New Records Alert: Total paid sales for the month of September 2022 are the highest I’ve ever seen with 500+ and my paid sales for a single day was also the best ever with 270.

Over 10,000 orders for a single month is huge!

KENP Page Reads so far:

The majority of page reads come in for Open Evening with other books in the Order of the Following Series finding reads also as they are all on Kindle Unlimited.

Chart Movement

So selling hundreds of books across the world is kind of hard to keep track of in terms of chart movement so here’s the basic breakdown of the progress Open Evening made. The higher chart position, the more chance of newer eyes will see your product.

Further Results

Considering this post is just a week or so after the featured deal, the results are still happening. With a flurry of reviews and sales continuing for days. And that is the true mark of a good book promotion, results over time.

Just before the deal ran, Open Evening hit 50 Amazon ratings near enough on the 6th anniversary of its release and that proves my philosophy:

It is never too late for a book to find success, time is your friend. Keep going.

Thank you for reading. And for those considering some book promotion, a BookBub featured deal may be a good choice for you. Some genres are relatively affordable and for this featured deal I paid less than $300. The results are kind of a forever thing and that kind of stuff can’t be bought.

For some further reading and plenty of author marketing advice to help a fellow author or social media creative, my Patreon is the premier place for posts like this and they will be published there before anywhere else. Sign up now for less than the price of a coffee a month to access plenty of cool things.

‘The Mermaid From My Nightmare’ by Kristina Gallo – Review

A thrilling and twisting tale with so much beneath the surface…

Kristina Gallo delivers a thrilling and twisting tale where there is so much more than meets the eye. With mystery, murder and infidelity ‘Dijana’ finds herself enthralled and surrounded by it as she travels to Brazil for a family visit.

There’s a sense of danger that lurks beneath the surface of a cleverly plotted pacey novel where pages turn quickly but the story stays with you long after. The magnitude of characters is something I enjoyed as they were well fleshed out and fit perfectly with the narrative. Like many of Gallo’s books there’s danger, a little steam and plenty of imagination. Of course I’d love to say more but I shall let the reader find out for themselves.

5 Stars

Weekly Ramble #155

The past week has been a ride. To see my debut book get downloaded several thousand times in 24 hours has been a rollercoaster of emotion. As a proprietor of one’s and two’s in terms of sales, these numbers aren’t exactly a daily occurrence.

Its going to take a while to come down and this result has kind of been everything I have ever wanted on this path and it is even more special because it is my debut book. It might not be my best work, and yes it is of a certain age but to see my book get an opportunity to be thrown in front of just a slice of mainstream readers is awesome.

Of course the reviews will contrast from glowing to obsessively obtuse and weird – I’ve been there before and to see my book after all these years get such numbers is fantastic. In the middle of all that was a hugely successful launch of my 8th book which has outsold every one of my previous releases. Sometimes this whole deal can be awesome.

And now I can retreat back into content creating and even editing of a book that I am going to hopefully query next year. You can expect the results of that recent promotion soon.

‘SurReality’ by Matt Doyle – Review

‘Everything that happens in SurReality is entirely real’

Clever and unique, ‘SurReality’ is a combination of speculative and addictive fiction that I read in just a couple of sittings.

This short read shares the same title as the smash reality TV show it is about focusing on the paranormal and urban legends. After experiencing a sharp rise to fame with online viewers after their 2015 Christmas special turns gruesome, the story follows the fallout and subsequent reaction through the mode of transcripts, blog posts and news articles giving it a unique but modern Dracula-esque touch.

With one host missing and a lot of chatter online, this is modern look at how a TV show tries to live off the ‘reality’ of certain events whilst capturing the imagination in a unique way. Sometimes shorter reads are all you need to pique our interest and imagination, ‘SurReality’ is a perfect example of that. Great cover also!

5 Stars

The Story Wars YouTube Channel has Launched!

The greatest writers from around the world are gathering virtually in front of live audiences to tell true stories from their real lives

And now you can watch/listen to these stories as Story Wars now has a on official YouTube Channel.

Check it out via the link here where you can listen to me talking about my disaster story and you can also listen to the first winning story by Roni Keller.

Click Subscribe for more updates and for information on how to participate in Story Wars, check out the site here.

Blurb Reveal: Darke Apocalypse

A purge is coming to Darke Heath and the assembled Order of the Following heroes must fight to survive their final chapter. 

After the awakening of a force unparalleled to anything seen before they will face their biggest and deadliest challenge yet. Forces that were once opposed must align whilst the origins of the Order and legendary founder Hudson’s story is revealed along with the revelations, twists and turns that follow the epic conclusion to the series. 

The darkness stretches way beyond anyone could ever comprehend and not everyone will survive as Blake Malone stands at the forefront of what lies beyond the true darkness. 

Darke Apocalypse arrives this month!

Social Media & Book Marketing (Emag 17th Ed)

Hello kind blog followers. I’d like to share with you a very recent appearance I made in an interview via the awesome Scribble’s Worth Book Reviews blog…

For those interested in creative ways to market yourself on social media this is the one for you!

Scribble's Worth Book Reviews

Get your Free E-mag copy now

Book marketing is one of the, if not THE biggest challenge authors of indie books face in their daily lives, and social media is still a great tool to make cheap book marketing, yet many don’t know how to use it. SO! We invited some of the authors we noticed that are using social media to their advantage in creative ways, such as Lee Hall, Tyler Wittkofsky from Tea with Coffee Media, Ashleigh Bonner and the incredible Ryan Cipriani !

Do get your Free E-mag copy now

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