Weekly Ramble #161

The final month of 2022 is here and I’ve still got a stack of things to do. In all truth, I’m always busy and I kind of function that way. This year has thrown me an abundance of curveballs and also some really awesome unexpected moments. After all that has happened I’m happy with the outcome.

Finding peace in any endeavour is a hard thing to do sometimes and reflection of self is a huge part of that. Knowing that there is plenty left to do this year alone will keep me going all the way until the close of what has been a hugely significant time. There are still so many cool things I intend to achieve sooner or later and so as always I’ll keep going. Through the good, bad or indifferent consistency is the key.

You can expect a plethora of content this month on here and Patreon. Stay tuned.

Weekly Ramble #160

Crossing $1000 in book royalties for the first time in a calendar year is a special and pinnacle moment for me. I’ve never been one to chase the money in my writing or content creating but as someone who aspires to do this some day as a primary occupation, it gives me hope. It also gives me a wonderful sense of value.

Running this deal like a functioning business might have once been a distant dream just a few years back but now, it might be a possibility eventually. This year in particular I have done my best to try and run book promotion advertising with a view of making the money back in sales. For the most part I have succeeded and although there are so many other ways to invest or measure success in this journey, getting a positive monetary outcome tells me that I might be on the right path.

Of course like all moments of success I have shared on social media, I have tried to share them with tact and inclusion because quite simply, if I can achieve these things then so can others. For all the things that social media is at the moment, sharing good moments and including others will always have an awesome outcome. People will always be drawn to moments of hope and I guess this is mine.

All I have ever done is kept working and kept going, now the rewards are starting to get bigger so I guess there is one thing I have to do and that is carry on.

Weekly Ramble #159

Consistency. No matter the trends or events happening, Consistency will always rule. And the results might not always be instant or even obvious but those who do keep going will find them.

I don’t consider my writing or work to have any level of finesse but I work hard and I keep going to make that writing my very best. It isn’t really up to me to say whether or not it is any good and perhaps that’s the real beauty and thrill of being a creative in the social media arena. Readers decide and interpret things in their own ways.

For all the things my journey has represented this year, enduring is the word I’ll use to describe it. Through the strange but mostly wonderful social media interactions to the huge numbers of reviews, sales, follows and even royalties. Things have endured, I have endured and I am still standing after whatever forces, good or bad were thrown my way.

The future is a concept I look to with excitement and possibility but I also know the time is actually now. Every day is an opportunity to shape our future and make it a good one.

I am one with the journey and the journey is one with me.

‘The Watchmaker: A clock can talk’ by Ellen Khodakivska – Review

An enchanting tale of life, destiny and time…

Ellen Khodakivska tells a unique and enchanting story that follows five generations of watch makers who reside in Campobasso Italy. Their lives much like all of ours is ruled by time and how we manage it – there are a lot of fantastic messages and even some great symbolism throughout that really captures the concept of time. Even though there are many wonderful characters, it feels as if time is a character itself in this wonderful story.

Written with a style that reads like a sophisticated fairy tale, there’s a certain charm this book contains throughout as we meet the different generations of the ‘Donelli’ family and follow their lives. From heart warming moments to some that are sombre or even tragic, all of it is defined by the power of time and as watchmakers, they all follow the footsteps of their previous generation but that is after being told that there may be darkness if certain chains are broken.

On the fringes and always watching are the ‘Gift’ and the ‘Curse’ who are seemingly playing a game against one another and the pawns are those who have the initials ‘DD’. Told with heart and plenty of emotion this original tale has something for everyone and how you see time, may differ from others but the wise message within is universal.

‘Time always shares its wisdom with you if you are a good listener; Time can become your merciless enemy if you neglect it; Time can be your best friend if you manage it smartly; If you respect time, it respects you back…’

5 Stars

Exclusive Excerpt: ‘Soul of Light and Thunder’ by Arianne Nicks

Fellow author Arianne Nicks shares an exclusive promotional excerpt of her novel ‘Soul of Light and Thunder’

I should have done as I was told, but I was curious and kept my eyes open.

In the next moment, I wished I had listened. Kane was looking straight through me, frowning. His gorgeous smile disappeared, and his grip was stronger and steadier. His countenance was almost scary. Around us, huge white light circles were growing and spinning faster and faster. I got dizzy and felt like I was the one reeling. I knew what was happening—relocation spell. How did I not think of that? The dizziness got my mind all foggy, and I lost track of my surroundings. I was seeing multiple faces of Kane, all of them unclear and glimmering. Mercifully, in a few seconds, the circles disappeared. When I got my senses and balance back, I saw the landscape changed. The darkness of the night was gone, and so was the dense forest in Chicago and the shadow of my house.

A slow, warm wind ruffled my long hair from behind my shoulders. It brought a fresh, flowery smell, like a dewy garden in the early morning. Maybe because it was an early morning here, with a hidden, shy sun. We were surrounded by the most splendid and majestic trees I have ever seen in my life. Absolutely huge and thick trunks, with bright yellow leaves forming immense, round crowns, almost competing with the sun. I felt my mouth opening in awe of them. If I had to put an image to the word magic, this would be it. Ironic, wasn’t it?

“Ginkgo trees,” Kane said, smiling. His frown was gone, and he was himself again.

I unwrapped my arms from around him. He let me go but grabbed my hand.

“We’re here,” he added.

“We’re…where?”

“We’re in Japan. Come, my father is waiting for us.”

Oh, there. Yes, that’s where we were going. My thoughts were functioning again, so I could think about what happened. I didn’t know they could relocate with another person, especially with a commoner. It appeared to have taken more focus and more time to cast this on two people; I remembered the other ones disappearing almost instantly. That, or Kane tried to take it easy on me so I didn’t pass out. Still, the reeling sensation was more intense than I was prepared for.

This is an exclusive excerpt of ‘Soul of Light and Thunder’ by Arianne Nicks. You can find more information here.

Weekly Ramble #158

This journey can change from magic to tragic in the space of a week. The truth is, right now I’m a work in progress and I might always be.

Figuring out my own limits and how it runs parallel to my mental well-being is something many of us struggle with, that includes me. From the anxiety caused by a bad day to just the worrying and overthinking of life things, the mind of a creative can go to some wonderful places but it can also go to dark places too. But that’s okay, we’re only human and the tendency to spiral towards the shadows relies heavily on the day to day happenings in this world. Above everything, talking about his stuff is important.

Times are seemingly tough for many right now and they have been for a while – some stuff we just cannot control but we can limit our exposure to some things. I’m doing my best to take regular breaks from certain aspects of social media and I’m fortunate to have a support system out in the ‘real’ world of people I can call family and friends. In times of mental struggle, I’ll draw from their energy to pull me through and I’ll do anything to get through dark thoughts and times.

As a writer, creative and someone who is present on social media, I’m no stranger to them, but like many on here, together we are stronger than that darkness. Simply talking about it might be enough to cast some light into the depths.

Thank You for the Awards

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who recently voted for me in the Feed My Reads Awards 2022.

Its an honour to be named both Star of the Book Community 2022 and Biggest Indie Supporter of the Year.

To be supported, mentioned and thought of in such a wonderful way for my efforts in the Writing Community and of course the Indie Book Community is both humbling and special. As a fan of stories and reading that passion eventually urged me at quite a young age to consider pursuing the dream of becoming a writer myself.

On this journey, which has given me a lot of experiences I’ve come to realise I am in the fantastic company of many talented and kind people who make all of this worth it. I’m a firm believer in supporting others to make our industry better and simply because I enjoy reading. Those who do release their words into this world deserve every single ounce of support they can get because it takes a monumental level of bravery to share any type of creativity.

Writers supporting writers is a world that I very much appreciate living in.

Thank you to the awesome Feed My Reads blog for putting together the awards and for the amazing effort. To everyone else who was nominated and those who also won awards – thank you also.

You can watch the full awards ceremony here.

Awesome Recommended Indie Reads #10

The road to reviewing indie books continues and so here are some of my recent reads, all of which I recommend!

‘The Perfect Athlete’ by Olivier Doleuze

The Perfect overview and resource for the fit and healthy conscious…

Full Review

‘SurReality’ by Matt Doyle

‘Everything that happens in SurReality is entirely real’

Full Review

‘The Mermaid From My Nightmare’ by Kristina Gallo

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

Full Review

‘Pearl Fields and the Oregon Meltdown’ by Drew Faraday

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

Full Review

‘The Liar, The Bitch and The Warmonger’ by Morton R Leader

A family affair with darker edges

Full Review

And so that wraps up another edition of Awesome Recommended Indie Reads. Keep reading and keep reviewing!

Feed My Reads Awards Nominations 2022

I’m proud to announce that I’ve been nominated by writing and reading community blogging outfit Feed My Reads for two awards!

This is both unexpected a humbling to be given any recognition for my efforts and so firstly I must thank Feed My Reads and anyone else who put me forward for these nominations. I tend to always be busy with something writing, reading or blogging based and that is without mentioning the social media rat race to contend with so knowing that my efforts have been noticed is fantastic and means a lot.

Above everything this kind gesture is proof that I am reaching the right people in the reading and writing community online and that is a dream come true.

To be thought of in such a way alongside some fantastic nominees is something I shall cherish for a long time.

The two awards I have been nominated for are:

Star of the Book Community 2022

Biggest Indie Supporter of the Year

Of course your vote and support would be appreciated.

You can vote for either by clicking here and you’ll find more information about all of the awards and nominations.

Thank you to Feed My Reads for the nominations!

Five Ways to Get more Book Reviews

Let’s face it. Finding reviews for our books is hard. The struggle is something that unites many of us who have published works out there and I’m semi obsessed with finding solutions to sometimes difficult things so here are five ways to get more book reviews.

This post first featured over on Patreon where the real party is happening. Sign up to see articles like this first as well as a huge array of other cool resources.

Selling in Quantity

This may sound obvious to some but the more units you sell, the higher chance someone will read and then review. Now there are many inputs to this concept but quantity really is the key to finding more reviews. Just how do you move books in huge quantities?

From my own experience running a free promo or a price reduction will certainly help. My best influx of reviews have come from big-time free promos where digital downloads were in the thousands.

Mentioning your work regularly across social media will also help. I do anything and everything (within reason) on my social media platforms to regularly sell books through presence and the occasional mention and if you really want to sell books, then you’ll eventually figure out a way.

Running my most recent numbers has pointed towards a review for every 100 sales I get. So maybe quantity is the key…

High End Advertising

This brings us nicely to finding some help to tell the world about your book. Paid advertising is pretty easy to find these days online but the very cream of the crop in advertising should lead you to readers who review. Premiere book promotion sites like BookBub boast to have readers who review and so this is a great place to target readers.

Having successfully clinched three BookBub Featured deals over the years, these were the very best value in terms of sales and then reviews. You can find my list of book promotion sites here.

Shouting About it

If there is one thing I can guarantee, it is every week without fail that I mention on Twitter how important reviews are for authors. Important because they help us in so many ways from finding new readers to potentially shaping our future work. The more we shout about it, the more many readers will realise and I will happily admit before being published, reviewing books wasn’t at the top of my priority so reminding readers will help the greater good.

Approach Book Bloggers

There are plenty of bookish bloggers out there looking for their next read and much like me I quite enjoy being approached by authors looking for reviews. If you offer a free digital copy in exchange for a an honest review and as long as your approach them nicely, someone will eventually say yes.

Consider joining a Review Platform

As a tenured book blogger I have my own profile over on Reedsy Discovery which is an awesome review platform that does its best to place books into the hands of reviewers from indie or self published authors. Some of these platforms have a joining fee but they will also put in the effort to pair your book with the best possible reviewer candidate.

And so that’s five ways to get more book reviews. If you have any other methods then do please drop a comment below. Thanks for reading and for more awesome resources, check out my PatreonI‘m giving away digital copies of my paranormal romance this month to all new sign ups.

Further Reading:

How I landed my 3rd BookBub Featured Deal

A guide to selling books on social media

Books not selling? A troubleshooter guide