I’ve no idea why this has happened, but Amazon has cut the price of my complete Shadows trilogy. Both the ebook and paperback are currently only $4.88 (this reduction appears to only be on the US store). So if the idea of a complete trilogy of sci-fi/horror sounds appealing, grab this bargain now (click here).
Half-price books through Smashwords
Smashwords is running a massive 2022 End Of Year Sale, and all my books are included in it, at 75% off.
So check out the sale at https://smashwords.com/shelves/promos/, and pick up a ton of reading to take you into the next year. And if you want to check out my books (dark Dystopian thrillers in the Dominions series, sci-fi/horror with Shadows, or sci-fi/adventure with ShadowTech), check out my page on the Smashwords store.
A quick technical note: unlike some other ebook retailers, Smashwords don’t have a dedicated reader or app (although you can read through their website). So when you buy and download an ebook from Smashwords you download it, you can read it however and wherever you want*—side-load it to an e-reader, use an app on your phone or tablet, or read it on a laptop. It’s your book, so read it your way.
* More technical note: Smashwords books are in epub format, but Kindles won’t accept epubs directly. There are ways around this, but they involve a little more work. This article (from Dave Chesson at Kindlepreneur) gives three ways to do this.
A look back at 2021, and plans for 2022
Do I need to say that 2021 was another strange year?
My first thought, on looking back, is ‘where did the last twelve months go?’ My second is, ‘what did I do with the year?’ It’s felt very unproductive, and writing has been a struggle.
But I did get things done. I released the final three novels in my Dominions series, a short story, and a novella (which is currently only available to newsletter subscribers). True, most of the writing and editing happened in 2020, but putting five books out in 2021 isn’t too bad. And it’s an achievement to reach the end of the nine-novel arc.
I worked on a new series, too.
This had a number of false starts—ideas that didn’t feel right, even after completing first drafts of novels. But I eventually settled on a follow-on to my Shadows trilogy, and I currently have the first two books of this series nearing completion.
So this year (2022), I intend to release both those books. I also want to have the third book in that series (the working title is ShadowTech) written and in editing by the end of the year.
I also have ideas for another series (I’m not ready to give any details yet, but it’s a bit of a departure), and aim to have at least two books in this nearly finished. I’m not looking to publish this second series yet, though—that will be for 2023.
So I have quite a bit of writing (including planning and editing) scheduled for this year. I also need to work on marketing and business.
This is a constant struggle. Last year I explored Amazon ads (again), and while I did get an increase in sales, the profits didn’t justify the ad expense (although it came close for the Shadows trilogy). I did learn from it, and when I try again I’ll have a few different things in place. I also want to revisit some of the books and courses I have on marketing and advertising.
I also want to get back into writing short stories—not necessarily for publication, but as a way of developing my writing. Yes, spending an hour or so each week on short stories takes time away from novels and marketing, but it’s training. It’s important to constantly improve.
Short stories are fun. They provide an opportunity to play with different ideas, to try new things. As it takes less time to edit and polish a short story, there’s more satisfaction in having something ‘finished’. And, if the story’s any good, I can look for ways to get it into the world (website, anthologies, podcasts and so on).
Related to self-development, I intend to continue writing a post every two weeks, detailing something I’ve learnt through reading. Apart from adding fresh content to my website, this also forces me to think about what I’m reading, and encourages me to read a wider range of books.
So, a quick summary of my plans for 2022:
- Writing: I’ll have the first two books of the new ShadowTech series out, with a third close to completion. I’ll also have two books in another new series close to completion.
- Marketing/business: By the end of the year I’ll have a constant stream of money coming in from my books. I’ll have a better understanding of advertising.
- Training: I’ll write more short stories (ideally at least one a month) as a way of improving my writing. I’ll also continue to write a post every two weeks on what I’ve learnt through reading.
It’s not a particularly detailed plan, but one thing that’s been clear over the last couple of years is that plans can (and will) be disrupted. At least these few points give me something to aim for.
Shadowfall is only 99c
Shadowfall, the first book in the sci-fi/horror Shadows trilogy, is now available from all ebook stores for the bargain price of 99c (or your local equivalent), until 27 Oct.
Series starters for only 99c
One of the great things about publishing independently is having control over pricing. I’ve run promotions for books before, and have experimented with free (all my short stories and novellas in my Dominions series are still free—click here to check them out). And now, until the end of the year, I’m trying something else.
I’m offering the first novel in each of my two series for only 99c (or your local equivalent). Both books are available from all the usual ebook retailers (if you can’t find it on your favourite, contact me and I’ll see what I can sort out). So if you want to start a new series for a bargain price, take a look at these two.
The start of a dark Dystopian thriller series.
A professional killer forced to take a contract in a perfect society—and becomes his own worst enemy.
The start of a sci-fi/horror trilogy.
The company trained Brice for many things. But nothing can prepare him for what he must face when the shadows fall.
Shadows: The Complete Trilogy is now available
…and for a couple of days you can get it for only 99c (or your local equivalent).
Shadows: The Complete Trilogy
What hides in the shadows?
It started with a routine mission, but when faulty tech and a worsening storm force Brice and the rest of the crew to abandon their craft, they have no idea they’ll become the prey for a group of blood-hungry beasts.
And this is only the start of their problems. These creatures have a terrible secret, one the company will do anything to keep in the dark—even if it means the deaths of Brice and his colleagues.
This set contains the complete trilogy of Shadowfall, Shadowsiege and Shadowstrike, horror-infused science fiction where the stakes grow as the nightmare deepens.
Shadowfall only 99c
Shadowfall, the first book in my sci-fi/horror Shadows trilogy, is only 99c (or your local equivalent) from all ebook stores, until August 6th.
For the same period, I’ve also dropped the paperback price as low as I can.
Click here to get Shadowfall now.
Shadowfall free on Kobo
Shadowfall (Shadows Book One) is free, but only on Kobo, and only until Sunday 28th.
Click here for more details.
Why readers are so important (5-star review for Shadowfall)
Writing is something that, for me, has grown from an activity I’d do a couple of evenings a week to something that happens every day. I’m working harder and harder at all aspects of the process—planning stories, writing first drafts, and running through different rounds of edits—as well as spending more time on marketing and other ‘business’ activities.
So why is writing important to me? There’s no single reason. A large part of it is pure enjoyment, from the excitement of developing a cool story idea through the fun of writing itself and onto the rewarding work in moulding those initial words into something I can feel proud of. Then there’s the possibility of earning money from these stories—we all need money to live, and there’s nothing wrong in seeking some kind of financial recompense for all the time, effort and money I’ve put into producing these books.
Then there’s the opportunity to entertain, to take readers on a journey, to help them escape from their daily lives for a few hours. This is more nebulous than the other reasons, but is no less important. Maybe it’s the most important reason for writing. After all, story-telling is communication, and each story only truly comes to life when it reaches across to another person.
It’s harder to quantify this reason, though. I can judge my own enjoyment in the process, and I can look at my bank balance to judge the financial rewards (or otherwise). But the effect my stories have on others—how do I judge that?
This comes down to communication. I’ve received a few e-mails and comments from readers, as well as a few reviews. I received one review for Shadowfall recently that I thought I’d share here.
Wow. That is all I can say about this book. It kept me on my toes waiting to find out what came next. I was left wanting more and I am very eager to read anything written by this writer. This book had everything I like in the fantasy genre. It was well-written with a lot of character and world building. I would definitely recommend this book.
Every time I read that review, I feel warm inside. It’s so positive, and it tells me that (for this reader, at least) I succeeded in many things I set out to achieve in Shadowfall. This review tells me it’s a page-turner, and that my work in creating a believable world, populated by relatable characters, succeeded.
Yes, the review came through BookSprout (a service that aims to match readers with books in order to provide reviews), but there was no pressure on the reader to leave a positive review. As I’ve said many times before, I’d far rather receive an honest critical review than an insincerely positive one.
Shadowfall‘s slowly getting more reviews and ratings, and many of them are positive. I know the book isn’t for everyone, so I’ll receive negative comments at some point. And that’s fine—I know there will always be areas of development in my writing and story-telling. I know, too, that every reader is different, and one reader’s drudgery is another’s page-turner.
But I hope I never stop feeling so good when I receive a review like the one above. I never want to become complacent. I want to always remember that the stories I write are not only for myself (and hopefully for my bank balance). I need to remember that stories are never complete until they are consumed by a reader. Only then can they truly live.
I feel honoured and grateful that what I create can give others enjoyment. And I thank any reader who takes the time and effort to leave a review. Without readers, there is no need for writers. Without readers, stories never emerge from the depths.
Without readers, there are no books.
[As a quick post-script, what do you think of the animated cover above? Many thanks to Deranged Doctor Designs for this—one of the best cover design companies around.]
An offer for Kobo readers
I’ve got a lot of time for Kobo—not only are they a serious competitor to Amazon/Kindle in many places, but they are also incredibly focused on books and writers. They run a great deal of promotions, and their latest gives readers 40% off certain books.
I’m mentioning this because they’ve accepted two of my books for inclusion in this offer, Shadowfall and the Dominions Box Set. The offer runs until the 24th February, and to get the 40% discount simply use the promo code FEBSALE at checkout.
Shadowfall (Shadows Book One)
The company enhanced Brice. They promised him action and adventure. But he’s stuck on a malfunctioning craft, with a crew who treat him like a child. He’s miles from home, in the worst storm of the season, and night is falling.
And in the shadows the creatures wait, their hunger growing.
The company prepared Brice for many things, but nothing can prepare him for what he must face when the shadows fall.
Dominions Box Set
When Rodin, professional assassin, is forced to take a contract in the perfect society of the Dome, he expects enemies. But he doesn’t expect to start questioning his own motivations, or the deadly threats from a past he no longer remembers.
Dive into the dark Dystopian world of Dominions with this collection of three novels and one novella, and begin to uncover the secrets buried beneath the glass.
Don’t forget, use the promo code FEBSALE on Kobo to get 40% off—that’s almost half price.
And to check out more books in the sale, click on the following links for specific Kobo stores: UK, US, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Germany