‘Pestilence’ by Susie Kearley – Review

A well-thought-out pacey tale of the times from a promising British author…

Pestilence is an extremely well thought out story with an accurate outlook on the events that lead to the collapse of society through a pandemic. For some and in recent times that might feel a little close to home but this book carves a new and different path while acting as a social commentary. The vessel in this scenario is the emergence of a fungus which is the resultant of a warmer climate – a reaction to how we treat this planet. Every major moment that unfolds is covered by Susie Kearley who tells this story with a unique overview style that keeps the events moving and homes in on the reactive details even if things move quickly – this pace works for the genre giving it a page turning flow.

The emergence of a wonder drug ultimately leads humanity on a downward path of addiction and excessive consumption with eventual side effects that become incurable. Its humanity not learning from the past on repeat over and over again as we see the medical system downplaying this emerging threat through lack of knowledge and then being overwhelmed. There’s a theme throughout of vicious cycles where the government or even society fails to take note of a very real threat all caused by our species.

a toxic culture of unhealthy living, a reliance on pharmaceutical drugs rather than health living, destroying the planet and allowing the pathogenic fungus to thrive…”

The story is told via a wide array of characters and from the very beginning they live their way through a well imagined and ultimately important case study about our nature. We see the elite taking from the less fortunate and with force – more social themes that ring true and echo to our reality. This world we live in is fragile and our attitudes will be probably be our undoing. A threat emerges and those who survive it perhaps leave further generations doomed to live through something similar and that’s probably the most powerful message of all.

5 Stars – A rollercoaster of a read with a powerful message. Reviews left via Amazon, Goodreads and BookBub.

A message from Best Selling Indie Author Lee Hall

Above all, thank you to everyone who has ever had faith in my words. For me to be sharing this moment is both surreal and quite humbling. Those who did tune in yesterday via social media will know the news but for those who didn’t, I shall leave it here…

I’ve said before that the material things that come with writing; the sales, the reviews, the ‘success’ don’t really matter as opposed to the writing journey and that is still true to me but when the worlds largest book retailer decide that you are a best seller, then that’s a moment you cherish. This is not just a personal victory but for the wider brethren of indie authors that make up a wonderful writing community. A win for one author is a win for all.

From being 12 years old on a rainy day facing that windows 98 computer about to start this journey with nothing but starry eyed dreams to the now many wonderful people who support stories I’ve released into this world. This road has been paved by moments like this, it perhaps justifies the efforts, the hours and the work. There’s a place in the world for my stories and they can be successful, they can be best selling and they can stand on their own. And probably the most wonderful crowning moment of all of this; if I can do it, there’s no reason why you can’t. While on paper everything I have achieved over the years may appear absurd, it’s achievable by anyone willing to make the journey. How do I know that, because I did it, I achieved it!

Thank you Bookbub for the distribution and having faith in my work. Thank you readers for taking on my work and of course thank you Canada for making me a best selling author. Keep going writers and bloggers, your words are needed in this world…

‘Snag’ by Dylan Burroughs – Review

A well-paced horror that puts story first and the finer details perhaps second…

If you are looking for a slow building horror that keeps you engaged all the way through then this is the book for you. It’s ‘Predator’ meets ‘The Thing’ with a dusting of ‘Alien’ as newly released former prisoner ‘Jay’ finds himself taking a job as a logger to start again. After connecting with an old friend he heads out to the forest and mountainous surroundings where he encounters others on their own journey of working to start again. The trees and forest setting slowly closes in and then someone goes missing. That is while something stalks them, what exactly, you’ll have to read it to find out.

“It was quiet here. Not the pleasant kind of quiet in the forest where you can appreciate the the silence of the world. This was the oppressive, pressurised silence that bore down and made them yearn for any sound beyond their own breath and boots…”

Although the story is well paced there are just a few critiques I have that mainly relate to basic spelling errors and sometimes hard to understand abbreviated dialogue that I found myself having to read twice. Other than some over description in places Dylan Burroughs delivers a likeable creepy horror with a sense that something is watching in those trees. If that description was kept tighter this would have been perfect, perhaps something to aim for next time. The characters are three dimensional and react to the world they are in while the story progresses with a slow build that eventually culminates. These men will have to band together to fight the unknown. Our lead character Jay has a history which he looks to escape from and do good by with some old fashioned redemption. There are some good concepts here but some of the finer details just let it down a little.

3 Stars – A missed opportunity with a good concept let down by the editing…

Book Promotion Results October 2020

I’ve been promoting books again, or at least one book anyway and so here’s a breakdown of the results, methods and hopefully something a fellow author can use because we all know marketing is hard… let’s dive in…

Introduction/Aim

It’s important to start with some kind of plan or at least something to aim for when it comes to promoting books. For this promotional run, my ghost story novella ‘The Ghost Beside Me’ was going to be free for a few days before and on the day of Halloween via kindle. My aim, to get as many free downloads as possible during that time.

Although this is a great way of generating many downloads, my voice alone isn’t loud enough to tell everyone so I invested in some methods listed below.

Top tip: Promoting a Ghost story over Halloween in theory is a good idea. Some genres work better during different seasons. Another example would be my super hero comedy book which always sells better in summer months (northern hemisphere) as it makes for a beach read. Have you got a Christmas themed story coming up? December is closing in. Timing is important folks…

Strategy – how was I going to do it?

As mentioned I would firstly set the price of my book to free via Kindle Direct Publishing. If your e book is enrolled in Kindle Unlimited they allow you so many days every so often to make that book free for promotional purposes. In terms of target market, because it will be free, we were aiming for everyone – free books are more of a blanket approach in terms of targeting. There are some authors who insist they’ll never make their work available for free – you’ll probably never reach a larger scale audience if you think that way, no matter how special you think that book is…

How exactly was I going to reach as many people as possible?

  1. Book Promotion websites that offer paid advertising. Websites listed below.
  2. Via my social media following – 4k twitter followers and 500+ blog followers and 500+ Facebook page followers.

There are many paid and free book promotion sites that do a great job in reaching readers. When running a promo I would recommend using them and in my case I spread them out over the three days the book would be free. This is also a great way of knowing which sites are effective.

Top tip: When paying for anything online make sure you use a reputable payment service such as PayPal. There are also many authors like myself who will share results highlighting who are the better sites so remember to do your research.

Results

As you can see nearly 2000 people downloaded the book across 9 different Amazon territories over the 3 days. Day 2 was the most popular and we even got a number 1 chart position over in the US, so let us look at the methods I used in detail.

Methods in Detail

The following things made this promo a success:

Existing Book Reviews

Let’s face it, getting book reviews is a struggle but the one’s we get help immensely when running a promo as lot’s of traffic will be passing by your book page to see them. If there are just a few reviews that will increase the chances of that book being downloaded. In my case ‘The Ghost Beside Me’ had a healthy number of reviews in both the UK and US markets. This helped.

Book Promo Sites

The engine room of this promo was the sites I invested in to advertise and tell people about the book.

You can near enough pin point which promo sites were effective. Day 1 only got a handful of downloads.

The sites I used for day 1 were:

My Book Place ($25 Feature)

Book Reader Magazine ($10)

I would most likely not use these sites for this type of promotion again. For $35 I expect a little better… lesson learned and recorded for future use…

For Day 2 which yielded the brunt of my results I used the following sites:

Hotstuff Romance Free Friday Promotion ($15)

Book Angel (Free)

Freebookshub .co.uk ($15)

Book Bongo Book Bump ($9.99) 2 Day Promo

E Book Deals Today ($9.99) 2 Day Promo

Freebooksy Paranormal Romance Deal ($99)

From the results we can gather that the Freebooksy deal which was the most expensive and probably did the most work, but combining promo sites is a great way to spread the word. My advice, if you want maximum downloads be prepared to pay for the advertising.

Social Media

For Day 3 I simply relied on the two day promos alongside a blog post on here and utilizing Shameless Self Promo Saturday over on Twitter. On Day 2 and 3 I also put up a post on the Facebook Page. All of these posts included this book banner.

Top Tip: Get yourself a decent book banner to share your works on. I made this myself via Pixlr but you can get a freelancer to put one together over on Fiverr for a decent price and half the time. Book Promo Banners are an essential visual. Visuals result in sales. The same also goes for a professional looking cover. People do judge books by them…

This is all combined with the fact Day 3 was also Halloween. Here’s what my Twitter post looked like:

Top Tip: When it comes to Twitter, hashtags and getting people to engage are key. You can see on this tweet above I encouraged others to drop links while also providing incentive to Retweet and follow back – incentives and having something to offer are a must for successful engagement.

Factors for Success

So how exactly did I get the results I got?

Firstly I had a plan and an aim – to get as many free downloads.

The book had some existing reviews which helped passers by notice it.

I invested money in advertising.

I implemented and used my social media following with a post that included hashtags and incentive to engage,

It was the right time for a Ghost story promo – Halloween

Book Banners helped for the visual factor along with a professional cover.

Results Further

Since the promo ‘Ghost’ has already received two new reviews which is a huge result but the results for a good promotional run will last a while after with page reads being tracked via KDP and possibly further sales. Overall for a stand alone short read that has only been out 10 months at the time of promo, I’ very happy with the results. This was my last promo of the year and a good one to finish things with.

My advice for anyone looking to promo their own work is to consider the factors for success listed above and of course combine that with your own expectation as there are so many other factors that help sell books – genre, what’s happening in the news etc. This takes time and patience, if you have those things, you’ll be okay.

If you promote your books a handful of times a year there’s no doubt your readership will eventually grow. Investment is the most important thing and not giving up. Thank you for reading, there is a stack of more useful information for authoring and blogging over on the resources page. That is until next year when the self help book arrives. Peace out!

Darke Blood is FREE today only!

Maximum book promotion activated! Okay, some y’all might be getting tired of me making another book available for free, but I promise you this is probably it for a while… and to paraphrase Thanos, this is a necessary sacrifice…

Darke Blood is Free to download today and for the final time this year. So if you like mystery thrillers with spooky small town vibes full of shadows and the unknown then this this the book for you! Halloween is coming after all! And books are a safe past time that involve not breathing on anyone…

This promotion is serving as a parallel opportunity to hopefully generate some interest in the sequel Darke Awakening which is currently available on pre order, some of you have already reserved a copy and have been amazing supporters. I look at the numbers of pre orders and sigh less now, so thank you but wait there’s more. The rest of the books available in the Order of the Following Series are currently discounted – this is also a limited time offer and quite soon they shall all resume their normal still very affordable prices…

Scroll down for a brief blurb of Darke Blood and the links…

DB Blurb

Blake Malone is a stranger in an even stranger town and has come to sleepy Darke Heath for a new start, that is until his past becomes a mysterious blur and then he meets a creature of the night called Caitlyn Turner. Together they lift the lid on the Heath’s shadowy vampiric secret and look to fight the forces of witchcraft and darkness. With a cast of multiple likeable characters and a story full of twists, turns and revelations Darke Blood is a must read thrill ride of mystery.

Links for ‘DB’

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Canada

Amazon AUS

Amazon India

Everyone else put this into your regional Amazon: B072LPNX3P

Let me know if you grab a copy or if you grab any of the books in the series, remember to leave a review. Thanks for reading, peace out, rock and roll man! Have a great weekend! I’m not at work for once, there will be snacks…

Hall of Information Investigation: Being paid to leave 5 Star Book Reviews on Amazon

This post is designed to inform and help those in the online world of authoring and reading. It is an investigative exploration more than anything. While the subject matter might be subjective, this isn’t the place to be throwing differing opinions around, it is here to be spotlighted.

For the purpose of this investigation, no parties other than myself will be directly named. Let us explore the concept of being paid to leave 5 stars review on Amazon…

Introduction

The world of Amazon reviews is huge business these days. For authors; probably the greatest struggle to get in all of publishing. Nobody has ever complained of having too many reviews and every author I know has faced this at some point as their greatest lament in writing. Don’t get me started on the lower star reviews either…

Authors are always looking for more ways to get those reviews – many seem to think this is the only way to sell books and there are several high end book promo sites that only showcase books with a higher amount of reviews. Authors sometimes shout to the high hills about how important reviews are, especially indie authors and most of the time it goes unheard so there’s a general feel of frustration around the subject. It’s a huge never going away need that can unfortunately be exploited. Exploiting the desperation of a person isn’t a new tactic, it’s basically what sales can be defined by.

Here we have a product, and our marketing team are going to tell you how you need it. You will then feel you can’t live without it and then you’ll buy it…’ – Businesses everywhere, all the time.

Getting book reviews is a constant itch that can only be temporarily scratched. There are several thousands of folks out there who see this as an opportunity to make a fast buck. There are even those who will use readers to carry out the hard work and siphon huge amounts of money in the process all the while working around Amazon who take this very seriously. This is probably why I have written this post, not to controversy grab for reads, not to name and shame but to inform and hopefully get the message across that authors are being exploited for reviews (which aren’t the be all and end all), but what exactly am I trying to inform you about?

Being approached to write 5 star reviews…

I’d never been approached as a reader to leave 5 star reviews on Amazon until the other day an ‘account’ slid straight into my DM’s . For the sake of this post let us call this account ‘Reputable Readers’ and what exactly did ‘RR‘ say in said DM?

(Paraphrased and wording changed)

‘Hey, wanna review books for (undisclosed amount of money)?’

(Three/four paragraphs of waffle about what services they provide for authors and books)

‘There’s a certain expectation that you should leave a 5 star review. We’ll pay you (undisclosed amount of money) per 5 star review’

‘We’ll also pay to buy the books you review just so they are verified purchases via a well known online payment thing. You stay classy!

‘Representative from Reputable Readers’

What’s the big deal about this?

From the paraphrased message and trust me, this is everything relevant they said, you can see they wanted me to just leave 5 star reviews for books they recommend. It’s what they haven’t mentioned that serves as red flag numero uno. There is no mention of leaving an honest review or even reading the work that I would have to buy. They are pretty up front about it but in a clever way and clever is probably what this whole deal seems on the surface.

This whole ‘service’ looks to be instigated via Twitter messages and under the radar. ‘RR’ will approach an author desperate for reviews > author likes the concept and agrees, then pays undisclosed amount of money (probably a lot) > ‘RR’ approaches a willing reviewer offering part of that undisclosed amount of money > Reviewer does all the work, leaves review, verified purchase.

‘RR’ have no real interaction on Amazon and they basically serve as an expensive middle man that rakes in the cash and gives a little to the reviewer who has left the review on their own account. All which operates undetected. A cash incentive will always persuade someone to say yes while they also persuade the author with 5 stars. This whole deed is seemingly invisible to Amazon who are huge on fake reviews but through this process it’s very difficult to prove.

If I were to try and report ‘RR’ I couldn’t due to lack of real proof, they are just a middle man and that probably only leaves me with one choice, to report the author who really isn’t the bad guy here. They just want their work to be liked and in this ever growing world of the internet it’s tempting to google ‘buy 5 star reviews’ because there are so many who are offering this service.

This whole concept is clever and perhaps an immorally genius attempt at making money and that’s why I wrote this post to serve as a warning to authors and readers. I’m not a fan of anyone being exploited and on this world wide web, it’s everywhere and authors are being exploited here. They could also get themselves in trouble if Amazon found out.

Authors paying for 5 star reviews is wrong, being paid to give 5 stars without reading a book is wrong and more importantly Amazon don’t like it, they will shut your shit down if they find out, trust me!

Disrepute

There are several different types of review services that pop up online all the time many of which provide readers with books and authors with honest reviews – it’s all about execution.

I’m a reviewer for Reedsy Discovery who are a growing social platform for readers and writers and I have even been tipped by an author after leaving an honest review for their work . I suppose that’s what this whole deal is about. Paying for 5 star reviews puts other readers who spent time reading into disrepute, it also preys on the desperation of some authors who just want reviews: this is especially prone in beginner authors who no doubt ‘RR’ will target. It’s also lying and misleading potential future readers. You could argue, this is just business, and I want folks to read my stuff, they don’t need to know what goes on in the kitchen. You could argue that, but not here, shove that opinion.

Methods of honesty

Straight up, reviews don’t actually matter that much. And yeah that’s coming from an author who checks to see if he has any new ones multiple times a day. They literally serve as a gate keeping method for some promo sites and not much else. Of course they mean a bunch more to the small time creator but eventually that small time creator won’t need just reviews to sell books because readers would have invested in them as the person first. If I were you, I wouldn’t focus on trying to get reviews but to get people reading your stuff through promotion. Check out the resources section for that…

Concluding thoughts…

The best we can do about subjects like this post is to talk about them and spread awareness, especially to those who are vulnerable to a scam – let’s face it, we all are. Writers and bloggers as a collective are stronger together.

I’ve kept the ‘service provider’ nameless in this post to firstly avoid any retaliation – trust me this happens a lot with these posts and because ‘RR’ will be here today and probably gone tomorrow for another one to pop up. How they change tactics is up to us to find out and report to the community which I care for.

Thanks for reading and of course your thoughts are welcome in the comments – keep the opinions light…

Book 6 – ‘Darke Awakening’ – Pre-order launch/Full Cover Reveal

“Between chaos and the unknown, you’ll find a perfect storm…”

Well what a year it’s been, through the struggle and uncertainty all the way to the apocalyptic vibes 2020 has seemingly spat our way and still I’m standing exactly where I wanted to stand when this year began (only now I’m washing my hands every two seconds and wearing a mask)!

Some of you would have seen over the weekend my lack of ability to contain my excitement pride in being able to share my latest book cover. Darke Awakening is not just my 6th book but a personal journey and a symbol of how important carrying on has been this year. It’s also been mighty rewarding as many different folks have connected or continue to connect with this here blog. Through all of my endeavours in 2020 the book has been a beacon of hope that has carried me to here and hopefully beyond because now it’s up to my readers and you, kind follower.

Those who have supported me from the beginning, those who have captured and seen my vision over the years and quite frankly for me, that is who this book is for. It won’t be selling thousands of copies on release but the people that matter to me will be buying it. The individuals I have convinced one at a time to believe in my work and those who have made a believer out of me, that is who this is for. And for one very important demographic of folks who only exist in words…

What you’re probably here for…

Well I’ve done the introductory preamble bit and laid it on as thick but smooth as possible. Let’s take a look at the cover of Darke Awakening in full, front and reverse:

It’s darker compared to the first one and murkier because there’s a theme of uncertainty. Just what is in the deep woods? What everyone thought they knew will get blown wide open. Plus it snows quite a bit later on in the book. There’s some new faces and even some unexpected arrivals all of which looks to tell a story of darkness and awakening.

A huge shout out to Design for Writers who put together this fantastic cover!

Darke Awakening carries on straight from Darke Blood but then later begins to cross over with both Open Evening and Cemetery House. You kinda need to read all three books in the series that precede it to appreciate the whole thing – hence why 15 people max will buy it. The good thing is I’ve got ya, all three of those books in the Order of the Following Series are currently discounted to 99 cents. One of which will be free this weekend but I’m not here to sell those….

The sales part….

Those who have been watching closely will know right now Darke Awakening is currently available for Pre order! Yes you can go right now and pre order the damn thing! This is of course only for the E version, Amazon aren’t brave enough to trust indies with paperback pre order things. I’ve said pre order a lot.

If you click on the rather shiny banner I put together below, it will take you to the Amazon US page.

Folks in the UK can click here.

Everyone else, just copy and paste this into your regional Amazon:

B08HX1B49G

Final fun part…

This cool little comparison feature might be one of the only good things to come out of the new WordPress editor. As you can see all of the wonder and brightness of stars is gone as we go further into the dark – they both are really cool covers!

Closing statement/ a thank you

As always my efforts on here are made better by you. Thanks for reading and thanks for the constant support. You guys gives me hope and belief. To those who have already pre ordered the book, you are amazing, and to everyone, help an author out and go grab a pre order, let me know if you do grab a copy and let me know what you think of the cover!

Rock and roll man. Peace out!

Book Promotion Results – July 2020

The results are in! Let’s take a look at my most recent book promotion efforts and analyse what went well and what didn’t. Here we go…

Sell Tickets

This has no relevance to my results, it’s just colourful…

Slight Preamble…

Seeing as this year kind of took a dive in March, some will even argue it ended there. I decided to take what was happening in my stride and carry on. Carrying on might be the single best decision I have made in all of my blogging, writing and general being online endeavours. Trust me, and it was really tough to begin with. The numbers for this blog, my sales and overall results were dwindling for a little while until I dug deep, thought of a few new ways to continue producing content and kablamo, things are looking good, in fact they are real good, I’m talking best ever numbers kind of good.

I do truly feel for the many folks out there who have been stopped in their tracks from what’s currently going on (we don’t dignify these times with a name) but for me and without realizing this whole deal has kind of fallen into my hands with an opportunity that I have seized. For anyone struggling right now who is able to produce some kind of content, I would highly advise you do so, this world has changed and probably won’t be going back to ‘normality’ possibly for a while. More people seem to read my blog these days than my books, which is cool but we’re here to talk about my books…

The planning…

Seeing as I have five of them (books not kids, I hope…), I have content that is readily available right now for people to access. This year I have stuck to my guns in trying to do all I can to promote Darke Blood, the series it’s a part of and the sequel which drops next month. Having that wider back list gives me the options to change things around and promote another work, that work being The Teleporter – a stand alone, novella length comedy book about super heroes with a political edge – it’s current, relevant and relatable. Seeing as Marvel is mainstream these days having a super hero tale is quite handy – and trust me people grab this book when they see it probably more than any others (of mine).

So I decided I wanted to get 2 things out of promoting the Teleporter this time around:

(this is important in book promotion, you need to decide what you want to get out of it, then you can manage expectations/disappointment levels after…)

1.First and foremost I wanted as many people to grab it while it was free for one day.

2. I wanted actual paid sales after the promo date to drive the books chart position upwards and get some new eyes on the product It will be discounted to 99 cents and this wasn’t just a ploy to turn a profit, what’s a profit in writing?

The booking

So this would involve fighting the promotion battle on 2 fronts but with mainly the same process – book promo sites.

For those who don’t know book promotion sites offer advertisement for a fee, some are free. They have access to big mailing lists and distribution methods to get your work seen. Considering this isn’t my first rodeo, I have compiled a list of trust worthy, reputable sites who can help. Using a bunch of different sites at the same time is quite a useful method.

For this promotion I would split the promo sites between advertising on the one free day and the next few days where it was discounted.

The Teleporter would be free to download on Wednesday 22nd of July and then discounted for 3 days after at 99 cents. 

Here are the sites I used for the 22nd Free Promo:

E Reader News Today – (humor promotion) Cost $40 

Bookrunes – Free Promotion – Cost $40

Indie Book of the Day – Cost Free

Book Goodies – Cost $9

Bookwerm – Cost $5

Book of the Day Dot Org – Free

ebook booster – Cost $20 – placements on up to 15 other sites

Sites I used to promote The Teleporter at 99 cents discount (23rd and 24th) 

Armadillo Ebooks – Cost $25 – both dates

Prettyhot – (Featured listing) – Cost $25 – 23rd only

Discount book man – Cost $10 – 24th only 

Bookbongo – (bookblast) – Cost $20 – 23rd and 24th 

Bookdoggy – Free

The Preparation

So the promo sites were booked and now I needed to prepare my other promo methods. In the past I had explored the option of book banners – a poster that just doesn’t show the cover but acts as a kind of billboard. Seeing as Fiverr offers this kind of thing I got one put together for the Teleporter.

The Teleporter promo banner

Generally people tend to click on the link more when they see something other than just a book cover. And it didn’t cost much, there are loads of different merchants on Fiverr who do this sort of thing at a very reasonable price.

This time around I would focus more on the days after the free promotion and kept my tweeting and general social media lips sealed until then.

On the discounted days I tweeted to my 3000+ followers and put up a post on my Facebook page to 500 followers and I even put together a blog post on here for my 500 plus following.

The Results…

So how did it go? How much do I hate myself this time? I can honestly say it went rather okay to good, so not that much self hate…

Here are the results for the Free downloads on the 22nd with slight overlap on the 23rd

teleporter free download results 20202

downloads

Overall this was the best ever day for The Telporter in terms of free downloads and the 3rd best of all time in all free promos I have done. Not bad at all.

I didn’t track the chart position that much on the Free day but it was #5 in one of it’s charts. Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein was #1 at the time… I very much enjoy it when my book is in the same picture as something so highly regarded! Darke Blood did once go above a Dean Koontz book – my only claim to fame thus far…mary shelly

 

And now let’s look at the results for the days after the Free promo when it went to 99 cents…

teleporter discount results

On the day after the free promo, 20 good folks downloaded the Teleporter while it was discounted. The next day we had 1 download and then on the third and final day we had 4. Someone else downloaded it at full price a few days after that also.

I didn’t properly track chart positions but it did climb higher than usual but got nowhere near single digit positions.

20 downloads in one day for any of my books is a win and this year’s best day of sales and my 2nd best day of all time. The 1st being last July with the same book but boosted by a Bookbub featured deal.

I can probably expect a few new reviews soon.

What went well?

The whole thing went well in my eyes but here are the factors that helped.

1.July, something about this month in the past two years has been really good for book promotion and this blog in general. July 2019 holds the record for most blog views ever and in 2nd place is July 2020 – beach read season I reckon…

stoner on a rollercoaster

2. The day after the Free promotion a fellow blogger and friend of the Hall of Information, Stoner on a Roller Coaster re blogged my post about the promo – this helped massively so thank you! Many more good folks shared and retweeted things on Twitter – so thanks for that also!

3. The Teleporter is an established book and my 2nd most reviewed on Goodreads. It also has a good bunch of international reviews on Amazon. This helps big time.

4. I have a back list. Books sell easier when the author has more than one. People grab a book with hopes they like it and then will explore other titles if they do.

5. Fellow authors looking to give back – those whom I have connected with over the years and especially those who have books I reviewed sometimes feel inclined to return that favor, having one of my books available for free pushes that a little further – not that I expect anyone to buy my book in return for anything but it is very much appreciated.

6. The current state of affairs in this world: People need content, people are getting into reading more, e books are safe and are a low risk form of entertainment. Hence the opportunity arises.

 

Anything to improve? 

Book promotion is led mainly by the following and voice of an author. If that voice is louder, more people hear. I’m always trying to improve that volume (following) and of course there are few things that could have gone better.

I did try to get a bookbub featured deal but to no success this time. Maybe I could have explored Facebook advertising but I didn’t bother this time around.

All in all this promo run went rather well. I have on final book promo run planned before the release of Darke Awakening in late September. Stay tuned and thanks for reading! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discounted Book Alert – The Teleporter

Super hero comedy novella ‘The Teleporter’ is currently discounted to less than a dollar for a very limited time. In fact it’s the only time this year I shall be promoting the tale of boozy undertones and social media justice! For all those who have downloaded, read and reviewed I salute you. For everyone else in the blogging and writing community, today I am in need of YOU.

I’m not interested in the minimal royalties but I am interested in climbing the charts and getting some new eyes on the book, something which all of you can help with. The strength of this community is it’s people so let’s prove that!

Click on the book below for the Amazon International link, other links are below that..

Amazon UK: 

Amazon Canada

Amazon AUS: 

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Let’s talk about… Star Ratings

Book reviews. What do they really mean? Unlike most products out there, books aren’t reviewed for whether or not they function properly, books are reviewed through the opinion of a reader which is entirely different…

The word ‘subjective’ gets thrown around a lot in the literary world, Agents will cling to it when rejecting a query and many other reviewers will use it as an excuse to give good or even bad reviews of stories.

Above the sacred book review is an often overlooked factor of governance, the Star Rating which is the subject for discussion because on at least 3 platforms I know of in the book reviewing world, it differs..

Goodreads

Is Goodreads Free?

Goodreads (the Facebook of the Book world) takes their stance on the star rating system as follows…

More on caveats | lucinda sans

Now I’m pretty satisfied with most of their definitions and let’s face it, the only thing available to review on Goodreads is books so it’s pretty specifically set for them, that is until it comes down to the 2 star and below. To me 2 stars is less than OK for a book…

The truth is, I’ve never rated a book below 3 stars on any platform mainly due to the fact I just haven’t found a read like that yet; I am quite picky and know whether or not I am going to enjoy a book, so I see the star rating as a score out of 5 and anything below three isn’t a pass… (this is just my opinion folks)

Amazon

More Amazon delivery restrictions are coming | TechRadar

Amazon, arguably the most important place for authors to get reviews as it is where their work is sold exclusively from, like me. There appears to be a little difference between their rating and Goodreads, now Amazon have done the Amazon thing and I can’t find anywhere reputable throughout the Google that tells us straight up what each star in their rating system means. This could be because they don’t know, they don’t want us to know or maybe it’s a combo of both. So let us look to the 2 star review as an example:

beam me up

This ‘review’ is taken from my super hero comedy novella ‘The Teleporter’ and as you can see it’s not only a negative review but a DNF review also which is hardly in line with the Goodreads 2 star review of ‘It was OK’.

When comparing probably the two most important book reviewing platforms they contradict one another and that is without another major factor; personal preference which is what Mr Beam me up decided to do with his/her review because even if you put out guidelines, whether or not they will be followed is another thing and this reviewer didn’t then hop on over to Goodreads.

Reedsy Discovery

reedsy

You can expect my very first Reedsy Discovery review tomorrow and it’s a good one trust me! Now their rating system is strict compared to others. They feel that you don’t need to give every book a 5 star rating and of course save that for the truly exceptional reads.

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As you can see from their emoji heavy rating system that it agrees with me in principle. Anything below 3 is a ‘not for me’ but this also makes things tricky going upwards because of their stance of 5 star reviews, one has to find a truly exceptional book to use that rating.

Personal Preference

I don’ think there is one true way to rate a book using the above platforms and their own star rating systems. They differ too much, even without us realising. A four star review from Goodreads could mean something entirely different on Amazon because of the personal preference of a reader or because the guidelines aren’t particularly clear.

Personally I might have been way to generous in the past but arguably the books I’ve read had an effect on me and motivated me to rate them the way I did. The journey these authors have taken me on has led to what I thought of them and I pride myself on the support I give. The 5 star rating I give might not be for a truly exceptional once in a lifetime story but for the effort they put in to write something, to do research or even help me escape this world for just a while.

Authors view reviews as gold dust or even currency these days and it’s big business trust me. If it wasn’t for reviewing books, this very blog would be a ghost town.

What do you think of the star rating system for books?