Tag Archives: book

My book ‘Paradise’ is free on Amazon right now!

PARADISE Jason K. Lewis

PARADISE Jason K. Lewis

To celebrate the upcoming release of the third book in the ‘Adarna chronicles’ I am currently offering ‘Paradise’, my science fiction novelette for FREE! Please do feel free (pardon the pun) to pop over to Amazon and pick up your copy as the offer ends on the 31st October…

The Great Bear Book three in the ‘Adarna Chronicles’, ‘The Great Bear’ has been a real trial for me (surprise, surprise, each book is harder than the last!). It differs from ‘Empire Under SIege’ and ‘Phoenix Rising’ in many respects, the biggest difference is its length (it’s as long as the other two put together). I am pleased to announce though, that it will be out on the 1st of November at the latest 🙂

 

Thanks to everyone for all of your help, support and advice over the last three months, I couldn’t have done it without you. I hope that you enjoy ‘The Great Bear’ when it is released. In the meantime, why not grab a copy of ‘Paradise’ while you wait?

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It’s almost time for a little NanoWriMo action…

pad-black-and-white

Its been a long time since I last posted and I have had a few adventures (crikey, many posts worth of stories to come…). I thought this was an opportune time to update you on my plans for November. You see I am planning to take part in a thing call NanoWriMo. Not heard of it? Well you should think about checking out their website (www.nanowrimo.org).

NanoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is essentially a competition or a ‘call to arms’ for writers. It challenges you to write 50,000 words in the month of November. It doesn’t have to be anything special (although we all hope our own contribution will be), just a first draft really.

I first heard about NanoWriMo after I’d started writing and I was actually too late to take part in it in 2012 as I didn’t get the writing bug until early 2013. Because I thought it was a cool undertaking I did my own 50,000 words in a month writing challenge and managed to punch out the first (albeit very rough) draft of the first three episodes of the Adarna Chronicles. It felt like an amazing achievement even though it took many more months to get ‘Empire Under Siege’ and ‘Phoenix Rising’ into publishable format and ‘The Great Bear’ isn’t out until the end of the month (over a year after the first draft!).

In November 2013 I had a young baby to look after and so it just happen that November (so no ‘official’ NanoWriMo).

This year i’ve decided to go for it, my project is entitled ‘Bird of Paradise’, it’s a full length novel and the follow up to my novelette ‘Paradise’ (which was actually the first thing I published). Will I make it to 50,000 words? Who knows (I have an hour a night in which to do it!) but it will be an adventure along the way.

If you ever thought about writing or if you are seeking some motivation, why not jump in and register on the NanoWriMo website? You never know, you just might discover that best seller that you always knew you had in you…

Good luck!

Book cover reveal for ‘Phoenix Rising’ book 2 in the ‘Adarna chronicles’

Phoenix Rising

PHOENIX RISING Jason K. Lewis

Hi All,

See the book cover reveal for my new novella ‘Phoenix Rising’ above. The book is the second in my epic fantasy series entitled ‘The Adarna chronicles’. It is the follow up to ‘Empire Under Siege’ which is already out.

The book follows the fates of Conlan, Wulf, Martius and the other key characters as they come to terms with the aftermath of both the Wicklander invasion and the sinister developments within the heart of the empire itself. A storm is approaching, and only the strong will survive. (I know, looks like I ‘m rehearsing for the back cover blurb already…).

Would be really grateful for your thoughts on it. What do you think? Do you think it works with the cover for ‘Empire Under Siege?‘ (Below) Do they look like part of a coherent series? Would you click on this cover over the millions of others that adorn the pages of Amazon or Nook or Kobo?

EMPIRE UNDER SIEGE Jason K. Lewis

EMPIRE UNDER SIEGE Jason K. Lewis

The book itself is out at the end of the month. Those who purchase ‘Phoenix Rising’ in the months of July and August 2014 will receive a copy of my upcoming short story ‘The hunger’, for free when it is released as a thank you. All they have to do is sign up to my newsletter using the link at the end of the book.

I hope you like the cover (I know I do!). I used the guys over at Deranged Doctor Design (the same people who did my cover for ‘Paradise’ and ‘Empire Under Siege’) and they delivered the goods as usual 🙂

If you like this post why not follow the blog? (top right) or reach out to me on Facebook or Twitter? Cheers

Help me with my book cover ‘blurb’ for ‘Empire under siege’

Adarna 1 - Empire under siege

I have been putting this off for a while, and now that the time has come I am bizarrely terrified of writing the book cover ‘blurb’ for my new novella ‘Empire under siege’. I have a cover that I am very happy with (see picture), but for some reason I have been delaying addressing the rather major issue of the blurb.

So, basically, this post is a cry for help. ‘Empire under siege’ is a fantasy set in the ‘Adarnan empire’. The empire itself has many similarities to the Roman empire. There are legions and an emperor and even a senate of sorts. But for every similarity there is a notable difference.

The book itself is an action/ political intrigue/ war story and it is the first in a series that will follow the world-changing events that kick off in this book with a barbarian nation invading the empire. The book itself has been written to appeal to fans of authors like David Gemmell, George R.R. Martin and Stephen Donaldson (if you haven’t read any of these authors, you really should check them out) and whilst I can’t pretend to have a tenth of the skill of any of them I should also make it clear that I have deliberately avoided referencing their style or stories. ‘Empire under siege’ and the ‘Adarna chronicles’ that it forms part of are not cheap imitations of other works (oh dear, that does sound a little pompous!), but are stand alone tales set in a completely new and different world.

Anyway, I am rambling as usual. Back to the point. Please see my attempt at some back cover ‘blurb’ below. Be mean, be harsh, criticise the heck out of it. Please do all of these things, because I want it to end up being as good as possible. Thanks in advance for your help, I really appreciate it 🙂

Back cover ‘blurb’ for ‘Empire under siege’

The Empire of Adarna has stood for a thousand years. A beacon of civilisation shining out to the world. Its glory is undimmed, but of late there are rumours…

A horde of savage warriors has invaded and overrun the south, destroying a legion with ease. Now, the very heartlands of the empire are under threat.

The emperor is young, new to his power and enamoured of it.

Republic… There are whispers in the bars and taverns of the capital and the name that is whispered is always the same… Martius.

General Felix Martius has been charged with ending the threat from the horde, but the emperor’s orders have come late and there has been little time to gather an army. The legions are outnumbered ten to one.

Conlan Danson, a young officer in the Third legion, will stand on the front line, unaware that his actions may influence the fate of humanity.

Empire under siege is the first book in the Adarna chronicles, set in a world of epic grandeur and political intrigue it follows the fate of the Empire through the eyes of the men who could ultimately save it, or doom it to destruction.

What do you think? (personally I think it is a bit cringe worthy!). The lesson I learned today? It’s really difficult to write some ‘blurb’….

 

 

 

Book cover reveal for ‘Empire under siege’

Adarna 1 - Empire under siege

Hi there,

Just a brief blog today, but a very important one for me. See the book cover reveal for my new novella ‘Empire under siege’ above. The book is the first in a series entitled ‘Adarna chronicles’ (the project used to be called ‘Hope’ but I didn’t think it was catchy enough. Just a little too abstract…).

Would be really grateful for your thoughts on it. What do you think?

The book itself is out in the next week on Amazon. Those who purchase ‘Empire under siege’ in the month of June 2014 will receive a copy of my upcoming short story ‘The hunger’ for free when it is released as a thank you. All they have to do is sign up to my newsletter using the link at the end of ‘Empire under siege’.

I hope you like the cover, I am truly chuffed to bits with it. I used the guys over at Deranged Doctor Design (the same people who did my cover for ‘Paradise’) and they delivered the goods as usual 🙂

Extract from ‘Empire under siege’

sw_Editing_N10_20130809_230442Hi All,

Please see below an extract from volume one of my ‘Adarna’ fantasy series ‘Empire under siege’, which should be out before the end of the month (well, volume 1, that is). ‘Hope’ is pretty much meant to be a ‘sword and sandal’ epic fantasy. Would really welcome your thoughts (trembles in fear of negative feedback…). Is it engaging enough? (not to mention well enough written?). Please bear in mind that this is still in draft format, it has not, as yet, been professionally edited….

Extract from ‘Empire under siege’ (The Adarna series, volume 1):-

“There is no hope!” the shout carried on the wind, ragged, high pitched and broken.

Conlan glanced toward the noise, his concentration interrupted. He saw the world in perfect focus – a world filled with madness, blood and death. There is no hope. Conlan’s stomach churned as thoughts of death and defeat overtook him. A shadow, a jarring crunch, and his vision blurred, vertigo and darkness overwhelming him, enfolding him in a velvet embrace.

Hearing returned first, clashing iron, the cracking thump of clubs on shields, the rhythmic chant of the legion; fight, fight for the Empire! Screams, jagged and terrible… grunting and groaning intermingled with the choking gasps of the dying.

Conlan envisaged the scene as he lay in darkness – men, shields locked on the front line to hold back the horde, short swords stabbing and hacking rhythmically, perfectly drilled, the finest soldiers in the world. It seemed a distant and terrifying dream.

“Conlan!” someone shouted.

He opened his eyes, squinting into the bright afternoon sun until a silhouetted figure blocked the light.

“Conlan, you have to get up.”

Conlan struggled to stand as hands grasped his arms, dragging him up in grips of iron. His legs wobbled unsteadily as the world snapped into focus.

“Conlan, look at me.” It was Jonas, his shield brother, blue eyes earnest and bright. “Can you speak?”

“What happened?” His voice did not sound like his own, the words caught painfully in his throat, tongue rasping in a parchment dry mouth.

“You dropped your guard, one of the bastards caught you hard, thought you were dead.”

“But…?” dizziness threatened to overwhelm Conlan, crashing in waves against his consciousness.

Jonas grunted. “He overbalanced. Lucus gutted him, then fat Tev took his throat out.”

Conlan looked towards the front. The battle line was five deep, spread too thin to contain the horde – already starting to bulge inward. The fate of the Empire stood on a knife edge.

 

And there you have it, short and sweet. It isn’t all action, but there is a lot going on. If you liked this post (or if you want to know when ‘Empire under siege’ is released), why not follow my blog? Or like me on Facebook? Or maybe even follow on Twitter or Goodreads? (Blimey, that’s a lot of social media choices!) There’s a link to all of them on the right….

Alternatively you could sign up for the ‘Adarna series’ specific newsletter here.

The thing about book covers

PARADISE  Jason K. Lewis

So, I have learned a lot in the last year. When I look back and think how little I knew about self publishing when I started down the road in March 2013, it is astonishing how much has changed. I have to admit that I am still a relative newbie though and as such can make mistakes (No! I hear you cry, surely not?).

I published my first novelette ‘Paradise’ just over two weeks ago now, having spent what felt like an age getting everything right (I think). I edited, re-edited and then sent it off to a professional editor and then edited it again myself before deciding it was ready for release. I then did something very, very dumb. I decided that a book cover concept that I had been working on, which was really rather quirky (check it out for yourself here) was suitable for use when the book was released.

I pressed the publish button and congratulated myself on a job well done. I got really lucky on the first day when a reviewer purchased it and gave it a great review (check it out here). I was stupidly happy. Someone else bought the book the same day. Then…. nothing. I decided to take action and forwarded the book to a couple of reviewers. One agreed to review it and posted another great review (check it out here), again I was delighted and then…. nothing.

I know that it’s hard work to sell books as a self published author, so I took a few days off my ‘Paradise’ project and returned to the other, much larger work, I am writing called ‘Hope’ (working title).

I revisited the Amazon web page for ‘Paradise’ at the weekend and realised something for the first time. The cover I designed looks amateur in the extreme (in fact it could be described as more than a little bit naff). Could this be what is putting people off buying the book? I thought. Whilst it is only one factor amongst many (discoverability being another very important one), I decided as a point of pride (deeply embarrassed that I had been unable to make an objective assessment of the cover) that I would have to do something about it.

There followed a mad search of the internet as I looked for a design solution. There are many companies offering off the shelf book covers that you just add your own title to, but I wanted something unique and special.

I had seen the new book by author Lindsay Buroker, ‘Balanced on a blade’s edge‘ and absolutely loved the cover. I searched using the ‘look inside’ feature and couldn’t find details of the cover designer. On a whim, I Googled it and stumbled upon a discussion board that mentioned a company known as Deranged doctor design (DDD). In retrospect this was like striking oil on the first drill. I had no idea if they could be trusted, but I did love the cover for Lindsay Buroker’s book so I thought I would take a risk.

DDD have a system where, if they accept a commission (and they don’t accept them all), they send design concepts without charging you up front. They only charge you when you have approved a design. In my case it took them a couple of days to give me a concept that I was absolutely delighted with (see the cover above, what do you think?). I would highly recommend them for their professionalism and patience (not to mention their artistic skills). I have to state here that I have no financial interest in their company, I’ve never even met them.

I have now uploaded the new cover to Amazon, but sadly (and I hadn’t realised this) it takes them a few days to change the book cover in the Amazon store.

So for the next few days my old, crappy, cover will remain. I cannot wait, however, to see the new cover go up, for (I think) my pride will be restored.

What I hadn’t realised initially is that people really do judge a book by its cover. Whether it makes a difference to sales or not is another matter, but really, honestly, I don’t care. I have something I think I can be proud of (you may have noticed I have festooned my blog with banners and images of the new cover!)

The moral of this story? Get a good cover! (and don’t, ever, ever, think you’re a designer, because the odds are you aren’t!).

If you liked this post why not follow my blog? Or like me on Facebook? Or maybe even follow on Twitter or Goodreads? (Blimey, that’s a lot of social media choices!) There’s a link to all of them on the right….