#Win this bundle of #FANTASY books


This is a quick hijack of The Write Stuff for the fantasy readers amongst us…

How would you like to win this fabulous bundle of fantasy books? Oh, and it includes one of mine (The Prince’s Man).

You can enter the competition HERE, and also find free stuff from the authors of these books and more.

Competition runs until April 14th, but why hang around, go, enter now!

Lovely people, please share this competition using the buttons below, or any other way you care to use – the more entries the better!

#FREE gift – SPRITE NIGHT – a Caledonian Sprite short story #UrbanFantasy #ScottishHighlands

As a late Christmas (or early New Year) present, please help yourself to a FREE copy of my Caledonian Sprite short story, SPRITE NIGHT.

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If you have yet to meet sassy Cassie, the Scottish water sprite with a passion for the environment (not to mention the odd hunky Highlander), now is your chance.

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This 8000 word story is a stand alone read, though it follows on from events in the full length novel DESPRITE MEASURES, described by one reviewer as ‘a unique eco-urban fantasy’.

So if you love the Scottish Highlands (yes, Marcia, men in kilts!), the environment, strong characters and a bit of magic, then bag a copy while it’s FREE this week.

Here’s a little taster…

The inn was typical of its type; old, creaky and in need of renovation, but warm with hospitality and a reputation for excellent food and choice of single malts. One of the more frustrating aspects of my human body is that consuming food or alcohol is a futile exercise; I can eat, but solid food needs disposing of—let’s not go there—and alcohol, whilst I can take pleasure in the taste, has no effect on my metabolism.

Companionship though—that I can, and do, enjoy.

I pushed open the swing doors to the lounge and glanced around. Most of the crowd were locals I’d come to know over the past few weeks, but a rather delectable-looking stranger sat in the snug beside the chimney. My body perked up with interest.

Right now, my DNA stores were high, and gathering more would be an indulgence, but this guy had the makings of a pleasing dalliance, with or without extra benefits. His shaggy brown hair melded into a luxuriant beard, above which shone a pair of the brightest blue eyes I’d seen in a long while. He was dressed in a heavy woollen sweater with a thick, quilted jacket and thermal beanie discarded beside him on the bench.

Never one to stand on ceremony, I sauntered across the room and put a hand on the chair facing him. A pleasant waft of pine aftershave tickled my nose, evoking images of wide open spaces and forest, meeting my approval. He nodded in response to my raised eyebrow, and I pulled the chair out, dragging it across the bare wooden floorboards with a squeal.

He winced. “Dear God, lass, d’ye like to torture your men even before ye’ve been introduced?”

Blurb

When Scottish water sprite, Cassie, joins an anti-fracking protest, she doesn’t expect to find herself at odds with a druid. But with time running out for the local environment she can’t afford to be distracted by the handsome hunk of a Highlander.

Intent on sabotage, Cassie is unprepared to be caught in the cross-fire of a magical battle. Can she avert catastrophe? Or will she become the very agency of an ecological disaster?

Download from Amazon,  or leave me a message below if you’d like a different format and I’ll send it to you directly.

Release day – THE PRINCE’S SON #EpicFantasy #sale

Yay! THE PRINCE’S SON is out there in the wide world!

Or on the internet, at least…

I would be very grateful if you lovely people would share my news

Today is release day for THE PRINCE’S SON, book #2 in The Five Kingdoms series, though as you’ve probably gathered if you’ve been here a while, I can’t abide cliff hanger endings, so once again this volume contains a complete story along with continuing threads of the series arc.

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Think ‘Lord of the Rings’ with a ‘Game of Thrones’ edge

She sought a husband, but found a destiny

Nessa Haddo has been raised to pursue what every young noblewoman needs: a suitable husband. Unfortunately for her, as a younger twin, her prospects are limited. Things start to look up when she lays eyes on the handsome foreign envoy sent to escort her sister to an arranged marriage, but her romantic fantasies quickly entangle her in events beyond her darkest nightmares.

Compared to his last mission, ex-spy Rustam Chalice’s new assignment sounds simple: wrangle an unwieldy bridal caravan across a mountain range populated by bandits, trolls, werecats, and worse, try to cajole a traumatized princess out of her self-imposed isolation, and arrive on time for the politically sensitive wedding. What could possibly go wrong?

Meanwhile, Lady Risada—the woman who haunts Rustam’s dreams—is struggling to adjust to a normal life. All her carefully honed assassin’s instincts scream warnings of foul play, yet she can find nothing obviously amiss.

And deep in the halls of a mountain clan, an old enemy plucks his victims’ strings with expert malice.

* * * * * *

I’ve shared a few excerpts in the run up to this day, and here is one more short snippet from Chapter 1

Excerpt

Nessa flung the doors open and hurried into the pleasantly appointed sitting room. Enya appeared scant moments later through the connecting door from the servants’ quarters.

Nessa pounced. “Enya, who is the delectable young man with the scar?”

The maid’s pretty round face lit with an impish smile. “That, my lady, is Rustam Chalice.”

“No!” A shiver of excitement ran up Nessa’s spine. “The Rustam Chalice? Really?”

“Yes indeed, my lady.”

Enya bobbed her head in emphasis and several blonde curls slipped from beneath her cap. She reached up, trying to stuff them back in, and Nessa stepped over to help her. The young noblewoman sighed in envy of her maid’s crowning glory. Not that she begrudged the girl her doll-like prettiness or her mop of golden curls, but as ever Nessa wished she had been born with something more striking than her straight brown hair and hazel eyes. While her irises had unusual streaks of light and dark colouring—the only visible difference between her and Julin—people had to inspect them closely to notice.

And surely it would take something special to get a second glance from the infamous Rustam Chalice.

Even Julin appeared mildly interested and asked: “Did he come by that mark in the fire? How sad; he must have been very handsome before.”

So Julin had noticed, but she was wrong—the scar made him all the more attractive. Nessa dragged her attention back to Enya.

“… already had it when he was captured. The way I heard it, it was punishment from the goddess for being vain, although some say it was for daring to use magic.”

Nessa pursed her lips. In her opinion anyone who looked that good had a right to be vain. And as to the other, she found it hard to believe the power responsible for saving their kingdom from the vile pretender might be abhorred by the goddess.

Magic! Ugh.” Julin shuddered. Nessa opened her mouth to point out where they might be now if Rustam Chalice hadn’t used magic when something else struck her.

“But how come he’s here? I thought using magic got him exiled, with his life forfeit if he entered Tyr-en ever again.”

“He’s here under diplomatic protection,” explained Enya, who had obviously quizzed the other servants. “He’s a special envoy for the Kishtanian king.”

“Oh!” exclaimed Nessa as a thrilling notion struck her. “Do you suppose he’ll be travelling back to Kishtan with us?”

* * * * * *

Now for the important bit!

You can buy THE PRINCE’S SON for the next few days at the special introductory price of $2.99/£2.44 at the following stores – just click on your choice of store and it will take you to the appropriate site.

AMAZON          B&N(Nook)       iTunes(Apple)       Kobo           Goodreads

So grab your copy before the price rises, and join Rusty and friends on another high stakes adventure.

For those of you who still like to read a ‘real‘ book, the PAPERBACK (a chunky doorstop of a book) will be out in a couple of weeks time, just in time to be a Christmas present, even if it is to yourself…

And just in case you haven’t yet read volume 1, THE PRINCE’S MAN, and you want to start at the beginning (a very good place to start…) it’s currently on sale at $0.99/£0.99, so what are you waiting for?

Amazon                 B&N                   iTunes            Kobo              Scribd

****PLEASE SHARE****

Thank you!

#ExcerptWeek – THE PRINCE’S SON by Deborah Jay #EpicFantasy

For excerpt week, I’ve decided to share a final sneak peek at book #2 in The Five Kingdoms series before I release it early November – yay!

And here, for the first time anywhere, is the beautiful cover…

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Here’s the blurb:

Nessa Haddo has been raised to seek what every well-bred young lady desires: a suitable husband. Unfortunately, as a younger twin in a land where superstition deems her cursed, that dream seems unattainable. When she sets her sights on the handsome foreign envoy sent to escort her sister to an arranged marriage, Nessa’s romantic fantasies entangle her in events beyond her darkest nightmares.

Compared to his last escapade, ex-spy Rustam Chalice’s commission sounds simple: wrangle an unwieldy bridal caravan across a mountain range populated by bandits, trolls, werecats and worse, try to cajole a traumatized princess out of her self-imposed isolation, and arrive on time for the politically sensitive wedding.

Meanwhile, Rustam’s former covert partner, Lady Risada, finally has what she needs, though not what – or who – she wants. Struggling to adjust to life outside the game, all her carefully honed assassin’s instincts are screaming warnings of foul play, yet she can find nothing obviously amiss.

And deep in the halls of a mountain clan, an old enemy plucks his victim’s strings with expert malice.

Now for the excerpt:

(To put this into context, Risada is heavily pregnant at the time of this incident. Oh, and it’s UK spelling.)

Small tapping sounds drew Risada’s attention back to the stairwell. About two thirds of the way up, the crouched figure was driving something into the wall. Without fully straightening, he moved across to the spindle opposite and wrapped something around it before tugging it taught.

“You promised no one would get hurt!” Bel protested. “If they trip over that they might break their necks!”

“That, my sweet Bel, is the idea.”

Risada’s maid took a step back, and although she faced away from the corner where her employer hid, her horrified comprehension radiated from her stiffened back all the way down to her shaking knees.

“And now, dear Bel, it’s time for your reward.”

Bel turned and fled, straight towards the entrance beside Risada’s hiding place. Risada caught the glint of steel in the assassin’s hand and barely stopping to think, thrust out a foot and tripped the running girl. A hefty dagger whistled through the space where Bel’s torso had been a moment before. Bel squealed and scrabbled along the ground, stumbling to her feet as she vanished around the corner.

Risada peeked around the shoulder of the statue shielding her, and her eyes met those of the man on the stair. He shrugged. “Oh well, this wasn’t how it was supposed to happen, but I suppose it will do as well.”

Lowering her estimation of her opponent’s professionalism for wasting time on speech, Risada slipped her small dagger from its concealed sheath beneath her breast, and assessed the situation. Screaming for help would do nothing. As Bel had stated earlier, the guards were all outside at this time of night, and the bedrooms were towards the back of the house, so too far away for anyone to hear. Bel had vanished, but whether she would raise the alarm was doubtful; she would probably think only of herself. Risada’s sole weapon was her small dagger, and she was hardly in peak physical shape for this sort of work.

On the other hand, as she watched the cocky son-of-a-whore swaggering down the staircase towards her, she realised she still possessed an element of surprise. He clearly had no idea she, like him, was a trained assassin.

“Please,” she added a small quaver to her entreaty. “You don’t have to do this.” Continue reading

#ExcerptWeek – Gateway to Magic by Annabelle Franklin @Anabel1Franklin

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Children’s Fantasy writer, Annabelle Franklin, is our guest today. Welcome to #ExcerptWeek, Annabelle. The floor is yours!

~~~

GATEWAY TO MAGIC: The story of a gaming fanatic trapped in Fairyland where technology is banned by law!

Steven Topcliff hates Fairyland – there are no video games, no chicken nuggets and no one tells the truth. He has to deal with spiteful cousin Tracy, who goads him into activating the interdimensional gateway, Nigel the Nuisance, an out-of-control shapeshifter who insists on being his best mate, and the diva-like Fairy Queen who embroils him in some mysterious game of her own. His only chance of escape is to use magic to forge a gateway back to Earth.

There’s no controlling this dimension with a console – Steven must use his own ingenuity to survive and get himself home. But can he believe in himself enough to do it?

Excerpt

Close up, the stone looked more like solidified fungus than rock, and the red plastic button seemed out of place on top of it. The whole thing had a feeling of wrongness, as if it didn’t belong there. The smell in the clearing had got much worse; it really was a dogs’ toilet.

Steven crouched down so he could read the words on the front of the stone:

DO NOT PRESS THIS BUTTON

‘There, we’ve looked,’ he said. ‘It’s just an ordinary stone with a plastic button on it.’

Tracy rolled her eyes. ‘Do ordinary stones usually have plastic buttons on them?’

‘They do if they’re bits of scenery left over from a TV show.’

Tracy crouched next to him. ‘Press it, then.’

‘What?’

‘Press the button and see what happens.’

Steven didn’t move. He felt hot, tired and sick; all his senses were telling him to run for his life, but his feet seemed to be glued to the ground.

‘There’s no need to be scared,’ Tracy went on. ‘If it’s just a bit of old scenery, like you say, nothing will happen, will it?’

That word again. ‘You’re the one who’s scared,’ he said. ‘Otherwise you’d press it yourself. You’re scared to press it, because it tells you not to.’

‘There’s no point me pressing it. You can only go to Fairyland once, and I’ve been already.’ She stood up and brushed leaf mould off her hands. ‘Anyway, it only tells you not to press it so you will.’

‘What?’ He turned his head to look at her. ‘That doesn’t make sense.’

‘Yes it does. It’s like those signs that tell you not to walk on the grass – you just want to do it all the more.’

She had a point.

‘I wish I could go back,’ she sighed. ‘Fairyland is awesome! It’s not the girly sort of place you read about in the kiddy books; it’s so wonderful and exciting, I can’t even describe it.’

‘You can’t describe it because you haven’t been there.’

Tracy crouched down next to him again. ‘Just think, Steven,’ she said softly. ‘If you went there, you wouldn’t be around when the holidays are over. You wouldn’t have to go to that horrid big school you’re so scared of.’

Steven felt like she’d punched him in the stomach. ‘How did you – ’ he began, then caught himself. ‘I’m not scared of going to Comp!’

‘Oh yes you are,’ the soft voice went on. ‘There’s so much to be scared of, isn’t there? Strict teachers and harsh punishments. Being late for lessons because you can’t find your way around all those corridors. Tonnes of homework. And worst of all, the bullies. Big boys and girls, flushing your head down the toilet in break and waiting for you outside the gates after school. Kids with knives – ’

‘Shut up,’ hissed Steven. ‘You don’t know what you’re talking about.’

Tracy just kept smiling smugly, and at that moment Steven hated her more than he’d ever hated anyone in his life. He didn’t want to think about Comp; with the whole summer stretching before him, he’d managed to put it out of his mind, and that was where he wanted it to stay.

But Tracy had other ideas. ‘Let’s face it, you won’t stand a chance. You’re exactly the sort of boy that bullies love to pick on.’ She put on a mocking baby-voice. ‘A mummy’s boy who never goes out of the house, who’s too scared to press an itty-bitty little red button.’Steven felt like he was going to explode. He wanted to punch Tracy on the nose; but he wasn’t the sort of boy who hit girls, so he punched the stone instead.

Right on the red button.

Annabelle Franklin lives on South Wales’s stunning and magical South Gower coast, sharing her chalet home with two rescued sighthounds. As well as two children’s novels, Gateway to Magic and The Slapstyx, she has written a short story Mercy Dog which appears in Unforgotten (Accent Press), an award-winning anthology themed around WW1. Another short story Haunted by the Future will feature in Dark Gathering, a horror anthology due for publication later in 2016.

Annabelle loves humour, hates housework and believes magic should be on the school curriculum. She is currently working on a series of supernatural stories for children.

Where to Buy

Gateway to Magic on Amazon http://myBook.to/Gateway2Magic
Smashwords http://bit.ly/1j3wjfw
Apple http://apple.co/1Q3NrjX
Kobo http://bit.ly/1UW13fe
Nook http://bit.ly/1K6IkNE

Connect with Annabelle:

Blog http://annabellefranklinauthor.wordpress.com/about
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Annabelle-Franklin-Author/1474449249481609
Twitter https://twitter.com/Anabel1Franklin
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6904737.Annabelle_Franklin
Email ankhana2000@yahoo.com

 

 

#SALE #0.99c – THE PRINCE’S MAN by Deborah Jay #fantasy

ON SALE – PLEASE SHARE

In celebration of the imminent release of Book 2 in THE FIVE KINGDOMS series, Book #1, THE PRINCE’S MAN is on sale for 0.99c until Tuesday.

If you haven’t yet read it, now is your chance, and if you know any fantasy fans, please share.

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Think James Bond meets Lord of the Rings – a sweeping tale of spies and deadly politics, inter-species mistrust and magic phobia, with an underlying thread of romance.

Rustam Chalice, dance tutor, gigolo and spy, loves his life, so when the kingdom he serves is threatened from within, he leaps into action. Only trouble is, the spy master teams him up with an untouchable, beautiful aristocratic assassin who despises him.

Plunged into a desperate journey over the mountains, the mismatched pair struggle to survive deadly wildlife, the machinations of a spiteful god – and each other.

They must also keep alive a sickly elf they need as a political pawn. But when the elf reveals that Rustam has magic of his own, he is forced to question his identity, his sanity and worst, his loyalty to his prince.

For in Tyr-en, all magic users are put to death

Excerpt

“Remove your hand, Chalice,” Risada hissed, “unless you want to lose it.” Continue reading

#SALE #$0.99 this week – DESPRITE MEASURES, a Caledonian Sprite novel by Deborah Jay #UrbanFantasy

Following a fabulous Excerpt Week (thanks Marcia), I have my urban fantasy DESPRITE MEASURES on sale for one week at $0.99/£0.99 (US & UK only, sorry folks) starting NOW, in case anyone would care to dip their toe into my fantastical world of elementals and magical happenings.

You can read the excerpt I shared  here and you can find the book on Amazon here

Please share!

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#ExcerptWeek – THE PRINCE’S SON by Deborah Jay

Marcia, your wish is my command…..

Here is another excerpt from the book I am currently editing – THE PRINCE’S SON, sequel to THE PRINCE’S MAN.

* * * * * *

Bay Iberian

When Rustam gave a small whistle, the bay stallion ghosted out of the early morning shadows.

Rustam ran a hand along the stallion’s muscular crest, his fingers sliding through the cascade of black mane to the warm sleekness of the silky hair beneath. “I really hate to do this, boy, but you’ll have to stay behind this time.”

A pair of huge, dark eyes regarded Rustam with reproach before Fleetfoot shook his head vigorously, long strands of mane whipping from side to side to slap Rustam sharply across the face. “Ouch! I’m sorry, really I am, but even you can’t climb a goat trail; I need you here, to keep the others safe. They can’t look after themselves the way you can.”

Fleetfoot heaved a large sigh and rubbed his forehead against Rustam’s shoulder. Leaning into the equine embrace, Rustam caught sight of one of the grooms rolling his eyes to the sky. Crazy, that’s what they thought he was. He smiled privately and kept his silence. It wasn’t their fault they couldn’t see the tiny bit of magic flowing between him and the magnificent animal. When the lads talked to their charges they communicated with tone of voice and a few easy words, achieving a level of trust and affection any human might gain with a horse. But for Rustam’s entire life it had been so much more than that. The ease with which, even as a child, he’d been able to catch the naughtiest ponies; the calmness he’d instilled in the wild black mare no one else could handle, and the way that over the years of their service together Nightstalker had always sensed where he was, and when she was needed.

It wasn’t until they journeyed into Shiva that Rustam understood it to be an attribute of his elven blood; he was a Horsemaster in more than mere words. Now, with a Shivan bred steed, that link was even closer.

“You know they think I’m soft in the head for talking to you, don’t you?” Fleetfoot snorted; horsey laughter if ever Rustam had heard it. He slapped the hard-muscled red shoulder. “It’s not funny!” He shook his head, drawing the dark thread of his thoughts back together. “No, nothing about this is funny.”

He stared into the liquid depths of eyes turned wary. “I need you to keep this lot safe, hear me? I don’t know how long we’ll be gone, or if you’ll be secure here. Watch over them, for me, yes?”

Fleetfoot snorted again, head nodding up and down. Rustam draped an arm over the stallion’s withers and bent forward to bury his face in the abundant mane. With his eyes shut, he inhaled the glorious scent of horse, and felt his muscles relax. He was leaving the caravan with the best possible guard he could arrange, in the absence of a small army.

* * * * * *

For those of you who have read THE PRINCE’S MANrsz_pm-ebook_flat_2 never fear, Nightstalker is only absent on maternity leave 😉

CIMG2427And here I am with another hobbit hole 😉

Deborah Jay writes fast-paced fantasy adventures featuring quirky characters and multi-layered plots – just what she likes to read.

Living mostly on the UK South coast, she has already invested in her ultimate retirement plan – a farmhouse in the majestic, mystery-filled Scottish Highlands where she retreats to write when she can find time. Her taste for the good things in life is kept in check by the expense of keeping too many dressage horses, and her complete inability to cook.

Jay’s debut novel, epic fantasy THE PRINCE’S MAN, won a UK Arts Board award, and was an Amazon Hot 100 New Release. Second in the series, THE PRINCE’S SON is due out this summer.

Her Urban fantasy, DESPRITE MEASURES, is the opening novel of the projected five book CALEDONIAN SPRITE SERIES, and the stand alone short story SPRITE NIGHT is also now available.

In 2014 she published the multi-author SFF anthology, THE WORLD AND THE STARS, which features her SF short story PERFECT FIT.

She is also the author of several non-fiction equestrian titles published in her professional name of Debby Lush.

Find out more about Deborah at http://deborahjayauthor.com/ or follow Deborah on twitter, facebook, Pinterest  and Goodreads.

#ExcerptWeek & #giveaway – DESPRITE MEASURES, #UrbanFantasy by Deborah Jay

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DESPRITE MEASURES – a Caledonian Sprite Novel

Genre: Urban Fantasy

DESPRITE MEASURES (yes, you read that right) is the tale of a Scottish water sprite who’s quiet life is jeopardised by a magician intent on using her natural powers to fuel his dangerous experiments in energy production.

A reviewer recently described it as ‘an eco-urban fantasy’ which sums it up pretty well.

Excerpt

The drive into town seemed to take forever.

In truth, it took no longer than any other time, but I was impatient. I’d chosen the Audi Quattro this time—no point making things easy for Liam—and I was frustrated that I could not use all the power the sleek little beauty offered me. Every driver who delayed me by even a fraction of a second had me fuming at the wheel. By the time I turned into the club’s paved driveway, I was as near boiling point as it is prudent for a sprite to reach. A discreet parking attendant, whom I suspected doubled as a bouncer, pointed me to an empty bay, and then directed me to the head of the stairs leading down to the basement club. Not wanting to arrive looking flustered, I paused to gather myself.

Hair still caught in pony tail band. Check. Dress neckline showing equal expanse of skin either side of cleavage. Check. Hem straight and not quite riding high enough to show that I hadn’t wasted mass on fashioning underwear. Check.

Ready to go, I stepped one well-shod foot onto the first step down. And froze. Involuntarily, my body ceased to function. My mind blanked and a chill of fear iced my veins. I gazed numbly at the slender, dark figure lurking at the base of the stairs until he glanced away, freeing me, permitting life to return to the lifeless.

My paralysed brain shot back to working order. Recognition of the figure chilled me all over. Vampire.

Not something you see every day in downtown Inverness, but I’d encountered enough of them in the distant past to know one when I saw one. And to know the horror of being trapped by their gaze, unable to move or even to think.

This one, darkly handsome and with more than a passing resemblance to a youthful Bryan Ferry with his ever-present hint of a sneer, glanced at me again but without interest. Vampires prefer their blood more full bodied than the pseudo-stuff that runs through my counterfeit veins.

Somewhat troubled at finding his sort here, I was, however, still determined to continue with my evening’s plans. I descended, brushing past the cold figure in his immaculate Armani suit. A body-wracking shiver ran down my spine, even though I knew I was in no danger from him.

I wondered what he was doing here. Perhaps it was simply a good place for him to get a carry-out meal.

Find it on Amazon

FREE to Amazon Prime members and on Kindle Unlimited

hobbit hole Author Deborah Jay, seen here posing with her own hobbit hole, can be found at:

http://deborahjayauthor.com/

https://twitter.com/DeborahJay2

https://www.facebook.com/DeborahJay

http://www.pinterest.com/debbylush/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172608.Deborah_Jay

Amazon author page: http://viewAuthor.at/DeborahJay

For your chance to WIN an ebook copy of DESPRITE MEASURES, or one of 5 ecopies of the short story SPRITE NIGHT you can enter the contest today or tomorrow:

 a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

What makes a book a bestseller?

teasersquare600After two years of pounding the keyboard and putting out indie fiction, I finally hit what I consider a bestseller. Half Wolf had 6,000 combined sales and borrows during its first three months of life, and the sequel seems to be enjoying even better reviews (and, hopefully, sales).

While my figures still don’t hold a candle to those of some authors, I thought it would be worth mentioning what I did differently in case you want to follow suit. Here’s a quick rundown in what went into my bestseller.

  1. Studied the genre harder. I read widely and often and write what I love to read. That said, I noticed repeated criticisms of my Wolf Rampant series surrounding lack of sex and action scenes. At first, I turned up my nose and said, “Hmmph! That’s what makes me an indie author — I can write what I want!” But then I decided to give it a whirl. And I have to admit I feel like the resulting book was more powerful for the inclusions (even though those component are still below average on a modern chart).
  2. Paid for an amazing cover. I have basic photoshop skills and thought I could make my own covers…and I did manage to make passable ones. Then I upgraded to hiring a cover artist…and was amazed at the difference in sales. Rebecca Frank is, unfortunately, now booked months in advance and no longer accepting new clients. However, I highly recommend shopping around and paying for a top-notch cover to match your top-notch book, hitting all of the same genre buttons to signal exactly what’s inside.
  3. Workshopped my blurb to death. Seriously, I think about ten people helped me make approximately 100 revisions on my blurb. Even before that, I studied the blurbs of the bestsellers in my genre, noting word count and other factors. Overall, I spent nearly a week on the project! But the result is tight and humming with life and it sells books.
  4. Launched with forethought. A lot more goes into a sticky launch than just telling your fans and waiting for the sales to roll in. If you haven’t read it, I recommend Chris Fox’s Launch to Market as a primer. I used a spreadsheet and every bit of social capital I’d built up in recent months on my launch and it was very much worth it.

I hope that gives you some ideas for pushing your next book into the stratosphere! And, if you’re curious, Half Wolf will be free Saturday and Lone Wolf Dawn is already marked down to 99 cents for launch week. Feel free to lurk and see whether my second launch does as well as the first.