Tag Archives: writer

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?

It’s almost time for a little NanoWriMo action…

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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!

Do Amazon ‘giveaways’ increase book sales?

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As a budding indie author I have spent the best part of the last two years researching how to go about self publishing my work. Purely and simply this is because I do not have the confidence (as yet, and frankly I don’t know if I ever will), to submit to a traditional publishing house. There are a plethora of posts on the internet from interesting and informative authors, who provide a wealth of information to a horde of avid readers that desperately want to get their work published and recognised.

One of the most discussed themes for getting more sales is giving your book away. To me this seemed like the silliest concept in the world.

Give my book away! I thought. You must be bloomin’ joking! I worked my ass off on it! Not to mention the fact that it cost a fortune to get a professional cover design and editing. That’s just an insane idea!

I maintained my initial view for a few weeks. That is until the sorry reality of the Amazon marketplace struck home. The truth is that it is really difficult to sell books, particularly in a genre like science fiction or fantasy (which I tend to gravitate toward). Believe it or not, far more romances are sold (not to mention the gazillion iterations of teenage angsty vampire books that are out there) than any other fiction. Fantasy and science fiction are by no means small genres, but there is another problem. It seems that a disproportionately large number of people (myself included) think that they should have a go at writing the next ‘Lord or the Rings’ or ‘Dune’. That has lead to a marketplace that is absolutely saturated. It is also a marketplace where it is very difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. Not to mention the fact that if the Amazon algorithms don’t pick you up, your book, no matter how good, can sink to the bottom of the huge mountain of other wannabe Tolkiens.

Anyway. It’s difficult. Nuff said. To cut a long story short, I released three pieces of work (‘Paradise’, ‘Empire Under Siege’ and ‘The Bloody King’) and none of them were selling particularly well. Suddenly an Amazon giveaway seemed like a good way to go.

So, a few weeks ago, I posted a giveaway for my novelette ‘Paradise’. It is a piece of work that I am immensely proud of and it currently has ten reviews on Amazon with an average of 4.7 stars. These are real reviews from real people with no vested interest in giving me a good review at all (i.e. they are not bought on the internet or from friends and relatives etc).

There are two routes you can use to give books away on Amazon. You can reduce the price of your book to nothing on the other sales channels and then get people to write to Amazon, who should (eventually) price match the book. I used the second option, which is to enrol in the KDP select programme which gives you five days in any ninety day period when you can give your books away.

The problem I had was that I waited so long, that when I wanted to post my giveaway, my ninety days were almost up. I promptly panicked and visited a great website called authormarketingclub.com that lists a load of websites that will post your free book up to their readers (and include your free book in their newsletters). I listed ‘Paradise’, on all of the websites I could, as free from the next day. In retrospect this was a big mistake as many of the sites have submission deadlines and so did not feature ‘Paradise’ on their sites.

Over the next four days I tweeted like crazy about my free book and (probably mostly through this) managed to get about 400 downloads (although I must have driven my followers mad…). This does not compare well to the thousands that other authors claim to get, but it was better than nothing (I thought).

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The result of my massive giveaway? Was there an enormous boost in sales? Did I recoup all of the expenses generated in publishing my works? Do I now have a huge following of fans who are desperate to read my next book?

I saw a fifty percent increase in sales. Did they all result from the giveaway? Probably not (my sales were growing slowly anyway and I released the second book in the ‘Adarna chronicles’, ‘Phoenix Rising’ recently). Essentially, it was a small increase on a small number.

Finally. In answer to the question ‘Do Amazon giveaways work?’ I would have to say that, for me, the jury is still out. For this reason I am going to run another giveaway for ‘Paradise’, but this time I have done everything right. The postings have been submitted in advance. The giveaway starts on the 25th August and finishes on the 27th. Why not pick up a copy and see what you think?

I will report back on the results of the second giveaway in a few weeks. Until then, would I recommend that you try it yourself? Hmmm…

If you like this post why not ‘like’ it below or share it on twitter or something like that. You could even follow my blog (button on the top right).

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’….

 

 

 

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.