Tag Archives: Online Writing

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?

‘The Bloody King’ is FREE! (Everywhere except Amazon!)

The Bloody King final3last one for Marinbookworks

Hi All,

Just a quick note to let you know the my short story ‘The Bloody King’, a dark thriller set in London, is now free to download until the end of the month.

Rather amusingly, the only place it isn’t free to download is Amazon (sorry about that but I don’t want to make it perma-free as yet).

Please do help yourselves to a copy as a reward for tuning in to my ramblings for the last year or so. But please do be aware that it is very different to my other works.

I am doing this as an experiment to see whether it helps with attracting readers to my work. This is a slightly strange experiment because ‘The Bloody King’ is a thriller and my other work is fantasy or science fiction, but hey ho, it is all I have to give away at the moment 🙂

If you would like to help me with this experiment please do tweet about the free offer. I will then report back at a later date with the results!

Not sure how this will go as the market is absolutely saturated with free books at the moment, but you never know!

Here are the links to all the sites you can download from:-

‘The Bloody King’ on NOOK

‘The Bloody King’ on KOBO

‘The Bloody King’ on iTunes

All the best

Jason

Guess what? My book just won an award!

ECDA-GoldStar-Jun-2014   Ok, so, as the title of this blog says, my book ‘Empire Under Siege’ won an award today 🙂 In fact it got a gold star (I haven’t had one of those since I was at infant school!). It’s absolutely brilliant news for me as it is the first official recognition that the book has received. I have to confess at this stage though (and the eagle eyed amongst you will know already- as it’s written on the badge above) that the award is actually for the cover, rather than the writing, but you know what? It doesn’t bother me too much as I haven’t entered the book for any literary (or otherwise) prizes. I am just chuffed to bits that the excellent cover designed by the guys over at Deranged Doctor Design has received the recognition that (I think) it deserves! I have put a copy of the cover below just in case you haven’t seen it yet.The award is actually a runner up prize in the fiction category. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Joel Friedlander’s book cover competition, I would advise that you check it out (see how I put the link in there to the June competition results? Crafty, huh?). You may also want to check out the rest of his site, it’s full of great resources and advice for writers. I’ve written about the importance of good cover design before, when I had a bit of a crisis over my first publication, ‘Paradise’. Essentially, I think it is important, in the thumbnail picture led world of the Amazon store et al, to get a good cover for your work.

EMPIRE UNDER SIEGE Jason K. Lewis

EMPIRE UNDER SIEGE Jason K. Lewis

In other news, work on ‘Phoenix Rising’, book two in the ‘Adarna chronicles’ is progressing well and it has now been sent to the editor. Once it returns it should (well, provided the editor doesn’t tear it to shreds) be only a week or so before it is ready for release! If you like this blog why not hit the like button below, or follow me on twitter, or do some other digital jiggery pokery? 🙂

Goodreads giveaway for ‘Empire under siege’

EMPIRE UNDER SIEGE Jason K. Lewis

Hi All,

Just a note to let you know that there is a Goodreads giveaway on at this very moment for ‘Empire under siege’. Please feel free to enter… What the heck, tell your friends as well. I am giving away a signed copy to the lucky winner.

I’m busy working on ‘Phoenix rising’, book two in the ‘Adarna chronicles’. Still doing the structural edit and think I wrote some OK stuff to add in today (as well as taking out some not so OK stuff). Should have a cover reveal in the next few days. The guys at Deranged doctor design have blown me away (again!) and are just putting the finishing touches to it 🙂

I also appear to have written a short story in a completely different genre (kind of a crime/thriller). Just got it back from the editor (he improved it beyond my wildest dreams), who has made some very pertinent comments, and reminded me through them, that I have a lot to learn… More on that in the next couple of days as I am hoping to release it soon.

Have a good one

Jason

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’….

 

 

 

Why I no longer use Evernote for my writing (How to find your lost Evernote notes in Android)

Frustrated and confused

I had an issue the other day that frightened the hell out of me. I spend a lot of time on the train these days and when I am not on official ‘work’ business (i.e. earning a crust), I like to write on the train journeys.

*NOTE* If you have found this post through a search engine and you want to know how to get your lost ‘Evernote’ note back, please feel free to skip my ramblings and go to the end of the post, where hopefully the solution awaits you 🙂

In a previous post I have outlined my writing tools and I thought it was important to provide an update. You see the other day on the train I decided I wanted a break from writing and editing the ‘Adarna chronicles’. To be fair I was getting a little tired of the first novella ‘Empire under siege’ (for those who have read previous posts, the project used to be called ‘Hope’, but I realised that the name meant nothing to anyone…. Now I know some of you will think ‘What the hell, if Hugh Howey can sell a book called ‘Wool’ then why not have an abstract name that has little meaning until you have read the book?’ But I just wasn’t convinced, so the name has changed).

Anyway, back to the point. I was a little tired of ‘Empire under siege’ and when this happens I tend to work on a short story (which is how my first published work ‘Paradise’ came in to existence) to get over the writer’s block. I have a long list of short story synopses that I hold as ‘Evernote’ ‘notes’, and I will continue to use Evernote for this purpose. The mistake I made was to use ‘Evernote’ as a cut down word processor.

You see I started writing a short story called ‘The hunger’ on the train in Evernote as it seemed easier than trying to use a word processor on my Android tablet. I’ve done this before with great success.

On the day I hit a seam of inspiration that enabled me to polish off the first draft of the story (5,000 words or so) on the journey to London and back. I was ecstatic. Rarely have I been able to finish something in a day, and although there are many rewrites ahead for the story before it goes to the editor, I have to say that I was very, very pleased with it (which, to be fair, probably means it is the worst thing I have ever written!).

I finished the story just as the train got in to my home station and I didn’t have time to sync ‘Evernote’ to the cloud, so I closed my Android tablet and went home, secure in the knowledge that the work would be preserved (I had pressed ‘save’ quite a few times) until I got home and could sync to the cloud and transfer the story to ‘Scrivener’ (which is my writing platform of choice).

Sadly, when I got home and opened Evernote on my iMac, only the first half of the story was there. I didn’t panic, going instead to the Android tablet and checking the ‘note’ on it (surely, I thought, it must still be on the tablet?). Sadly, only half of the story was on the tablet too.

Any writer, I think, will sympathise with my plight. I had been hit by a moment of inspiration and hurled words onto the page in a frenzy. There was no way that I could recapture the lost words. I knew the story, sure, but it would never be the same (plus it would be a pain in the arse to write it all down again). I was utterly, completely, dejected.

I scoured the internet for a solution (after moping around for an hour or so), but couldn’t find anything. To make matters worse, the Evernote website help section was about as much use as a chocolate fireguard.

After much head scratching (and cursing), I reasoned that because I had pressed ‘save’ in Evernote the file must be on my Android somewhere. It turns out, thankfully, that I was right.

Here’s what I did:-

1) I opened up my Android tablet and went to the file manager app.

2) In the file manager app (there are many available, all you need is something that will let you browse the files on your Android) I located the ‘Android’ folder (if you have an SD card or similar inserted you will have to search this too).

3) Within the ‘Android’ folder I opened ‘data’ and scrolled down until I found a folder called ‘com.evernote’ and within this a folder called ‘files’

4) Within files I opened a folder called ‘unsaved notes’ (be aware that the structure of the file system in Evernote is such that you may have folders with these names on any storage device connected to your Android and they may have different content. So make sure you look through them all). It did strike me as a little bizarre that my saved files would be in a folder called ‘unsaved notes’ but I found them, so who really cares?

5) I found some ‘.enml’ files that had a date and time stamp that coincided with my train journey.

6) I emailed one of the .enml files (the latest) to my iMac.

7) I tried to open the .enml file. It opened but was mostly nonsense.

8) I did a search on the internet and found out that if you rename a .enml file to .html then it can be opened. So I did this and then opened the .html file in my browser.

9) Hey presto! My entire story popped up in my browser. I copied and pasted it into ‘Scrivener’ and the job was done! I slept soundly that night.

So that, dear reader, is why I will never write anything (other than notes) in Evernote again. I have to state that  there is a function on their website that allows you to ask for support. I did send them a request for help but by the time they got back to me I had solved the problem myself.  I should also note (pardon the pun…) that Evernote is an extremely handy and powerful tool if used correctly and I will continue to use it in the future for many other things.

So, that’s the end of a rather different blog post for me. I hope that someone out there finds it useful at some stage. At the very least, I hope that it will help others avoid the mistakes that I made.

If you like this post why not ‘like’ it below? If you want to you can follow my blog on the link at the top right too.

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!).

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