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‘Success for Quitters’ by Jodie Crook

I’m very proud of my fellow writer and friend, Jodie Crook, who has recently made available her short story GIRL RED. The  story was entered into a writing competition which I organised in Gibraltar a few years ago. Girl Red was chosen as the clear winner by Ruth Dugdall, an award-winning author of psychological thriller novels, and one of the judges of the competition. If you aren’t aware of Jodie’s work, she has also just recently published her new ebook Success for Quitters: 5 Mindset methods for Success (Hello CEO Book 1) available on Amazon. I have reviewed the e-book and give it a definite thumbs up.  I am also personally touched that Jodie mentioned me in her acknowledgements.
To discover more about Jodie and to feast your eyes on her excellent short story, visit her website. Well done Jodie, keep us all informed of your great work and I wish you many positive blessings and a successful writing career.

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Girl Forgotten – New Giveaway for UK and USA Readers

A new paperback giveaway for my latest novel Girl Forgotten will run for the month of July.  Simply click on the link below to add your name and mailing address at Goodreads for a chance to win!

Well done to Eugene from Minsk who won the last giveaway which had around 2,000 entries. Thanks to everyone for their continued support and interest.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Girl Forgotten by Carla Acheson

Girl Forgotten

by Carla Acheson

Giveaway ends July 25, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

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Exciting News and ‘Hello Waterstones’

I have so much to say to my friends and readers, but I’ve been so busy of late, please forgive me. It’s been a crazy month, but in a good way. Emotions have been high and low, and like anyone else I am affected by praise or otherwise. Let it not be said that life is dull.

I want to share this. I recently sat back to think that I can’t quite believe that I’ve spent nearly ten years wading  in the interesting fish pond that is called the writing world. At first, I swam cluelessly, and then with an increasingly hungry desire to push myself into deeper challenges.  Along the way I’ve met sharks and I’ve met angelfish. And of course I’ve learnt a great deal from both species.

But….. no matter how many books a writer does or doesn’t sell; no matter whether reviews are glorious or vilifying, no matter whether creativity flows, or is a well that has run dry – the sustaining thing is that a writer will always remember the way a story feels to an appreciative reader. And that is why we do it. (At least that’s why I do it). So we try our very best to reach out and to grab hold of your heart.

Now for the promo bit:

Girl Forgotten has been re-published. Please check it out. Buy it. Review it, or download it from Amazon. I will appreciate every bit of support on this venture.

Girl Forgotten at Waterstones

Girl Forgotten on Amazon Kindle

The three current titles have been re-published under the imprint Charlotte Greene and will be made available to an expanded distribution channel. All three titles will be available in the publisher’s autumn catalogue.

I want to sincerely thank John Morris of Charlotte Greene Publishing, for all his effort, attentive help and support, and of course, having faith in my work (as well as putting up with me!)

I leave you with love and this thought..

 

(C) Values.com
(C) Values.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Goodbye to KDP with New Publisher Contract

I have been so busy these last few days I’ve barely had a moment to blog, so now I’m ready to grab a moment to sit, take a deep breath, and update you on my latest shenanigans.

Well, it’s been an exciting week. Shortly after my interesting excursion to the “Amazon Academy” event, I was given the chance to join a publishing team by the name of Charlotte Greene. After some discussion it looks like a good opportunity for my books which thus far are distributed by Amazon and benefitting from their KDP select agreements. Currently, I am in the middle of looking at the contractual terms of this new proposal which includes having my current three title’s re-published and in the publisher’s catalogue by the  Autumn.

As I understand it, ( and I doubt this is an instant procedure) but the doors open to my books being made available in Waterstones, B&N, Blackwells to name a few.  Basically, the physical world book shackles and restrictions are off! On the flip side of this deal, I will have to opt out of the Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Edition Normalised Pages Read (KENP) deal that I currently have, and are contributing to my monthly Amazon income.

But alas, I’m all for the excitement of new ventures and as we know when one door shuts, another opens. My books will still be available on Amazon and I will still benefit from those sales whilst the novels are re-published as second editions under the new publisher’s imprint.

Watch this space. I hope to come up for air soon again after the next marathon sprint of paperwork.

 

 

 

 

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Amazon Academy Helping Independent Authors

 

 

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An event to help authors discover and/or improve their careers in the book publishing world was held yesterday at the International Conference Centre in Edinburgh. The first half of the morning was applied to the projection of KDP images on to a screen for the benefit for those who may not be familiar with the process involved. A very surprising,  but delicious, complimentary buffet lunch followed, including the chance to network. The second half of the morning included a panel of KDP authors offering advice and tips on how to make a success of their self-published books.

Tips included the many ways  an author could promote their newly published book that can tend to initially sink into a deep well. Amazon’s KDP platform has in place a certain number of promotional tools at the author’s disposal, however some authors found that this was not really enough. The problem many authors find is the one of being ‘seen’ and ‘found’ amongst a huge database of books.

One of the reasons for this is that the e-book market has become heavily saturated. I stress that  Amazon is primarily a ‘retail store’ not a ‘publisher,’ where the latter works to provide individually targeted marketing to its authors. Having said that, once a book has proved it’s metal in the marketplace Amazon begin to advertise it more often to readers that have read and enjoyed books within a similar genre.

My novel “The Last Gift” picked up tremendously in sales once it had received enough five star reviews for Amazon to deem it good enough to promote further.  How that algorithm works exactly – who knows! But Prime readers can now, for instance,  see my novel suggested to them via their kindle applications and Amazon’s own email marketing directives. A consistently poorly reviewed book would not (of course) be in Amazon’s interest to try and promote. Why would they? So the onus is down to us. Quality work needs to be produced for others to have faith in it.

I personally think it is fair that authors promote their titles via the various (and many) channels available today. Marketing/advertising, blogging, social media posts etc are all easily tapped into.  KDP charge no set up fee for an author to be able to use their tools to upload and sell books and they also offer two options within their percentage royalty scheme. The newly introduced KENP is another good way for an author to amalgamate additional earnings. I see the spike on my KENP graph can be as little as two pages to a 1000 read pages in one day. It is a random figure but you can earn a nominal amount for every SINGLE PAGE that is read on a reader’s kindle application if your book is purchased by a reader through the Kindle Library Lending Scheme. The amount is then paid back as royalty payments.

With regard to success and the build-up of sales, if your book sells well you will see a “boost” in rank, though you will receive MANY more sales than reviews. Statistics vary but a few online sources that I have found quote that less than 1% of purchasers actually leave a review of the product. So you may need to sell 1000 copies of your kindle book to see just 10 reviews. Sadly, getting feedback is extremely hard for authors that are self-published or otherwise. (Readers please take note) but it is essentially this which helps your book along, as well as your overall drive and determination.

As mentioned at the event too –  books are being  churned out for just  99 pence, even more books in the thousands are available for free,  It is not an investment in money we are asking from the reader today, we are asking the reader to make  an investment in TIME. A reader would never be able to read as many books that are available on the market now in an entire lifetime. Even if they read 1 book per DAY! Therefore readers have the liberty to be extremely picky and fussy with their choices.

Unless authors are published by major publishing houses independent authors need to build up a following of readers that are loyal to their work. This takes time, effort, practice, trials that go beyond the pain of physical torture (hell, it feels like it sometimes) to eventually cashing in from your days and months of hard work. As little as twenty years ago having an option to write/publish/sell without any main publisher involvement, or a huge investment, was completely unheard of. For the majority of independent authors it takes a long time, and many more will quit at the running post, but  for some very lucky, driven and smart authors – real success is out there.

My view is that KDP is a good and trustworthy independent publishing platform, but you must be prepared to establish your own personal goals and these must be realistic and reasonable. Don’t jump into bad choices and always look to improve your craft. No book is perfect. No author is perfect – but no-one can stop you improving if you want to.  As an indie author you make decisions for yourself, being the editor, cover designer, marketing manager, accountant and advertising expert in all things. Research your market! Know your target audience and only hire vetted and reputable services to help.

Lastly, whatever your personal choice is, do not skimp out on quality. If you get it wrong, don’t quit. Try again. This is the biggest mistake an indie author often makes from the outset. Quality shines, and quality work takes time.

Amazon Academy in association with https://www.enterprisenation.com/

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Photo Source ((c) Amazon Academy)