‘Dead of Winter’ by Antoinette McCormick – Review

‘It comes in the night…’

Antoinette McCormick delivers an atmospheric and descriptive story of ‘Amara’ who is on a quest to solve her twin sister’s murder and the circumstances that have seemingly followed her since childhood. Just what exactly is this mysterious force stalking her? It seems to have always been there and the mystery keeps the reading experience intriguing.

As the events unfold, reader’s are left guessing with a writing style that can best be described as textbook horror where not too much is given away whilst leaving readers wanting to know more. In near enough every chapter something unexpected unfolds keeping everything on edge with a certain urgency. To find out what exactly happened ‘Amara’ must explore memories of her sister through a unique procedure giving the story a sci-fi futuristic edge. The ending although satisfying to me will definitely be the course of some division but like all good stories, they always are. For anyone looking for an atmospheric and thrilling tale with mystery, this is the one for you!

5 Stars

Weekly Ramble #147

I’m gradually moving towards preparation for my 8th book release.

‘Darke Apocalypse’ should arrive in September or early October and represents the end of a series that has held my indie career together. Whilst my focus these days is more on content outside of books, I promised myself and the handful of readers who have read this series that I would release this one next.

The truth is, the content I now produce is a product of demand from my followers but sometimes when it comes to writing and creativity, I have to follow my own demand or wants. There is always work to be done when it comes to content, social media, blogging and everything else I do but to me, books are my home. That is also without mentioning the abundance of curveballs life seems to throw me at any given time, I guess that’s just life and it is always something I have found a way to manage. Time is precious and I have learned that spending it on myself is important, especially for my own mental health.

Although this book is the 5th in a series that not a lot of people have read, I am so damn proud of how much it has carried me and what it has given me in terms of learning experiences. To have a backlist of 8 books puts me in a wonderful position and so like I have said before, watch this space kind reader because I am sure you’ll be hearing much more quite soon!

‘A Still Life’ by Elliott Wink – Review

Short and intriguing, an original sci-fi tale perfect for reading in one sitting…

I read this intriguing sci-fi novelette in just one sitting and very much enjoyed the concept. Narrator and receptionist android ‘Addie’ has worked in a hotel for many years and its a place that has seemingly passed by from near enough all human contact, in fact, there hasn’t been a guest for a long time. Is the place closed or is there something else sinister at play here?

Whilst the guests may have left years ago, the hotel staff of two continue their tasks even if it appears they have been forgotten although we are never really given any finer details and this is just one of concepts that feeds the readers imagination. We see snippets of ‘Addie’s’ past and how her near human make-up has provided an almost existential conundrum that results in questioning her very own existence. Perhaps all she wants to be is human and have a purpose, this story does a fantastic job of exploring what its like to be alone whilst not fully understanding who you are. Very enjoyable.

5 Stars

Book Promotion Results – May 2022

The results are in for my latest book promotion efforts and loyal Rock Star Patrons got to see it before anyone else but now its available for all. Let us dive in!

The Plan

Its good to lay down a plan and my plan was simple this time around; to celebrate the one year anniversary of Consistent Creative Content being released by running a weekend price reduction promotion with a little paid advertising. Using a few different advertisers over a few days I even had the grand vision of the book reaching #1 and Best Seller status on Amazon. There were a few other promotional things planned for the weekend and run up to it also.

I’ve been eyeing up this anniversary for a little while now and so I booked my advertising at the end of April – some advertisers tend to get booked up so planning in advance always helps with that.

The Price Promotion would be $0.99 and run from Friday the 20th to Sunday the 22nd with the usual price being $3.99 – a considerable drop so I was hopeful for this one. A few days or a weekend is more than enough to run a price promotion, I tend to only run them in short bursts to create some urgency, plus after day 2 or 3 I run out of the energy required to keep tweeting about the same thing.

Advertisers

For the Friday I used Robin Reads and their $0.99 Non-Fiction Feature that cost $65

For the Saturday I used E Reader News Today ($55) and Bargain Booksy ($35)

(Give these sites a Google if you want to find out more)

These advertisers I have used previously and generally bring good results. As you can see they have a cost which is something that you need to be prepared to do if you want serious results.

The wonderful thing is I paid for this advertising with the royalties I’ve earned so far this year from book sales.

For many years, I’ve run these promotions at a loss but there have been other returns in the form of Amazon chart movement, reviews, further sales, social media follows and new readers. Plus this isn’t my day job, so there is no pressure to earn actual money.

Other Promotional Things

To tie in with the anniversary I put together a reflective blog post about the first year of Consistent Creative Content and I also released a special presentation of yours truly narrating some of the book which was made free to listen.

These other promotional things tend to help just a little and the more platforms you are active on, the better chance you have of reaching just a few extra potential readers. So in theory, the more you do, the better chance of reach.

My initial plan was to keep things discreet on Twitter until the Saturday because the platform tends to figure out that I would be trying to sell things and therefore the algorithms would kick in or start kicking me and reduce my visibility – I can’t say Twitter does this 100% but I have a feeling something happens beneath the curtain when anyone gets a little too advertisey. On this weekend in particular, it was looking like I’d be reaching the 30,000 follower milestone on Twitter.

The Results

As you can see, day 1 brought in the most sales. There were even a few full priced sales the day before over in the US which gave Consistent Creative Content a great start.

Day 2 saw 23 sales and then things slowed down on the Sunday to just 3 sales.

For the time CCC was discounted it sold over 60 copies!

Chart Movement:

By the time Friday evening rolled around CCC shot all the way up to #2 in the US Amazon Charts under the Writing Skill Reference Chart. Usually its in the 1000’s which is an incredible result and will help with visibility.

Pro Tip: If you are looking for more visibility and perhaps even thinking of applying for a BookBub Featured deal, getting your book higher up the charts just before applying will help.

Cheeky ad of my Tweet Coaching Sessions

Social Media:

Because of the surprising chart position over in the US by Friday evening, I decided to take the plunge into tweeting. I got a little excited and hoped that maybe CCC would reach best seller…

Now the book never got to #1 which would have been awesome but perhaps another achievement for another day. I did spend the weekend tweeting quite a lot about CCC which effectively killed my engagement and visibility for the time. Even with a following as large as mine being sales focused constantly will reduce my reach or that’s how it seems anyway. Here’s an insight into that:

Friday Organic Twitter Impressions: 42,000+ (less book plug stuff)

Sunday Organic Twitter Impressions: 16,00+ (more book plug stuff)

This is also another reason why just a few days for a promo is enough.

Final Thought

I’m happy with this one year anniversary promo. CCC is becoming my most successful book but that success takes some time and time is a book’s best friend. Perhaps in a few years time the results will be even better!

Thanks for reading.

Quite soon I’ll be recording a new Twitter Coaching Sessions which is a celebratory glance at how I reached 30,000 Twitter followers and it will be free for all to listen!

Reaching 30,000 Twitter Followers

Everyday I am on twitter. And over some years I’ve learned a lot about the platform as well as a lot about myself. Reaching 30,000 followers wasn’t a solo effort because like most social media platforms, success is mainly defined by those you interact with and others ultimately decide your success. In this post I am going to reflect on how I got to that number.

There was a time not too long ago where my tweets seemingly fell upon deaf ears. And back in April of 2020 my Twitter was nothing like it is now but then things started to gradually change. During a time of uncertainty I was granted probably the greatest gift you can give a writer; time. And looking back, I spent it figuring out the best possible way to turn my Twitter into something much more than it was. And to me, much like writing, Twitter is a journey of self discovery.

With 3,000 or so followers at that time and not a lot of engagement I dove in to the platform. Using some stuff I’d already realised about the platform’s potential and with some consistency, things began to change. It took time, it took effort and it took a boat load of constant trial and error. Everyone’s Twitter is different but the application of trial and error is something everyone can do pretty much everyday, even just for a few minutes.

From figuring out what time the majority of my following is online to see my tweets to simply learning that replying to those who reply to you is incredibly beneficial for visibility amongst so many vital lessons. The time I spent self-learning about this strange but wonderful conversation driven app started to churn out results. From book sales to blog views, from followers to friendships and even important contacts who would help me with BETA reading or even editing of future works.

I was talking and people from all over the world started listening whilst that following was gradually growing. By the end of 2020 I reached 5,000 followers and year later it was 20,000. All of this was driven by spending time and figuring out the value of being conversational. That’s all this is at the end of the day and for someone who finds dialogue a natural habitat – lets face it, most writers do. I eventually turned my Twitter into something truly worth having in my life.

Books were selling every 10 days in 2020 and today its near enough every few days which is also driven by mainly Twitter. My presence and persistence has paid off in so many ways, from building friendships to even having a purpose to those sales.

All of what I figured out gave me the best chance for others to ultimately decide my success, and if I could sum up everything I have done for people to decide my success on the platform it would simply be this:

For all the things you want to be on social media, just be kind. Kindness sticks out these days and good people will remember you for it.

To those who do follow me on Twitter, now over 30,000 of you, thank you. I’ll be recording a special celebration Twitter coaching session this week which will be free to listen to.

Below you’ll find some of my better resources for Twitter success.

Twitter Coaching Sessions – Pt 1 and 2 are Free to listen to. Sign up to listen to the rest.

Building an Algorithm of Trust – for better results on Twitter

Tips for Better Twitter Engagement

Nine Years on Twitter – What I’ve learned

Weekly Ramble #146

Just a few years back the concept of reaching 30,000 Twitter followers is something I would have laughed out loud at. Not anymore. And this journey has known zeros often but not today because I’ve reached that once impossible seeming milestone on the platform.

Of course and above all, this has not been a solo effort or journey. Much like all of my successes, they have been governed by others. And the help of others is what has pushed me to go further and dream bigger. I am nothing without the fantastic support of you and the now 30,000 followers who give me reason to keep going. This creative journey has been hard and every now and then it does bite me on the rear end but, the rewards are huge and this is a defining turning point.

But how? And what advice would I give to anyone looking to grow on social media as a creative? Just be open and do your best to build conversational bridges. My agenda has never really been to make money – I suppose that’s what has driven me to try and find something else and I have, conversation, support and consistency, they are just three of the many elements that make up the factors of my Twitter success. If you can offer something, someone out there will probably be motivated to take it. That and the sheer will to never ever give in, no matter what adversities I’ve faced internally and externally. Rewards come to those who work and keep going.

There is a hell of a lot more to come from me and you can expect a lot more content based on my Twitter experiences soon. For now, be sure to check out my Twitter Coaching Sessions here.

Thank you for the support!

Special Narration Presentation of Consistent Creative Content

‘Destiny can fall into our hands during the most unexpected of moments…’

In celebration of a year since Consistent Creative Content was released I have recorded a special narration presentation which is free to listen to. For this weekend, the book is also discounted in digital format with quite a substantial price reduction.

To everyone who has supported me and this book in the past year and of course beyond, thank you.

You can find this exclusive narration special here.

A Second Helping -An Excerpt

Hello friends, introducing an excerpt of ‘A Second Helping’ by fellow author and blogger Megan Hinde

cch217

Tips

Debbie

From the first time I saw her I knew I had to taste those soft, cherry lips. I watched as she slid the lip gloss wand over her lower lip, how it glistened in the summer sun. She rubbed her lips together, giving a kiss to the air.

We were attending summer session at the University. It was a hot, dry summer, and Debbie was fond of wearing white denim shorts with purple flowers printed on them. She wore them rolled up exposing her slender upper thigh, how I longed to touch her smooth, tanned skin. To run my fingers through her long wavy dirty blonde hair, that she kept pulled back in a loose braid. She gathered her things and headed towards class. I followed her, mesmerized by her swaying hips and the click clack of her sandals against the pavement. My obsession now had a purpose…

View original post 885 more words

A year in the life of a Guidebook

Time. Our closest ally and perhaps most fickle of masters. Any creative will know that you need it for near enough everything and when it comes to books, time really is a friend.

This weekend will see the one year anniversary of Consistent Creative Content being released. The guide book that could and in that time has become the most successful first year for any of my releases. An ambition to create an honest guide for indie/self published authors and bloggers like me slowly burned inside over some years. I could go as far back as 2017 and recall sharing my book promotion results across social media to a positive response – and that is the basics in which this is all built upon. If something is well received, do more of it.

By the time 2020 rolled around, there came a realisation that perhaps some of the things I have learned could benefit others who are in different stages of their creative journey. What if I just wrote a guide that laid out everything I have done to publish books, promote them and of course everything I have learned as a blogger on social media? The concept above everything is a snapshot at providing some reassurance that fellow creatives are on a path to something representing improvement.

Being open and honest about my results, both good and bad has catapulted me to a following and success I’d never imagine. That might be what I am known for now and you’ll be surprised how being open and honest wins the day online these days and CCC represents that and much more. This book was the first project I’d written for others whereas everything else on my shelf was mainly just for me. At release, my Twitter following hit 10,000 and now a year later it is about to hit 30,000 which hopefully proves the methods in the guide book that I use daily actually work.

Initially the release was digital only and this was only because at the time my sales were mainly digital. Of course the pre-order run was kind of a revelation as it managed at least one order for every day of the run which was rather incredible. But after an outcry from readers, the paperback version arrived in December 2021 and then came the deluge of paperback sales – the lesson here is simple, if you don’t allow yourself to have the availability in the first place then nobody will buy what you are selling.

Through the challenges being a social media indie author represents, this book has succeeded in reaching some of those who could benefit from it. The reviews speak for themselves and are in a number that I’ve never seen in year one of a release. At the very core of Consistent Creative Content is a very important message and that is to be proud of your journey and achievements no matter the size or significance. You can find success you are happy with in both blogging and self/indie publishing as well as social media.

This generation of social media creatives is breaking barriers and carving their own path to success which is possible for anyone as long as you dedicate yourself and of course take the time.

You can expect some celebratory things this weekend including an exclusive narration of Consistent Creative Content over on my Patreon – this will be free to listen to. There will be a few other things too.

To all of those who have supported my guide book, thank you.

Further Reading:

Pre-order and Release Guide

First Pages of Consistent Creative Content

Twitter Coaching Sessions

‘Sentinel: Galaxii Book 4’ by Christina Engela – Review

Immersive and enjoyable space-sci fi

Christina Engela returns with her immersive and enjoyable brand of space sci-fi in the latest instalment of the Galaxii series.

Captain ‘Sonia La Belle’ is tasked with an uphill struggle of bringing the starship I.S.S. Munray back up to better standards. With mostly disorganised personnel and the ways of a former disgraced captain leaving the ship in disarray, not to mention an old flame on the crew, this new skipper has her work cut out and then come the space pirates.

In the wake of these ‘Corsairs’ being a near enough wiped out, two particular outlaws find themselves in possession of a dooms day-esque technology that threatens not just ‘La Belle’s’ reputation but much more. A pirate resurgence begins along with a matter-of-time chase that ensues with drama and deception at the forefront of a great story delivered by way of Engela’s best writing to date. For anyone looking to for some fun space sci-fi immersion then ‘Sentinel’ is the book for you!

5 Stars – thank you to the author for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review!