Featured Author – A L Butcher

Alex is back today to answer a few more of my questions.

You’re going on a holiday. Where to? Beach to lounge, or a dig site to find historical stuff in the mud?

Well, ideally somewhere historical, although I am not sure I am up to digging up relics. I like castles and old houses so somewhere with many of those. Or somewhere wild.

If you could come back after death as an animal, what would it be and why?

A monkey. Why? Because I love them, they are clever, versatile and sociable.

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

Not really in the books, perhaps wine or brandy. In my life chocolate, cheese and tea.

What is your favourite dish and can you give me the recipe?

I love cheese so anything with cheese in it. My mum’s old recipe for crispy cakes – rice crispies, dates, syrup and chocolate.

But that’s not why you’re here, is it? So, tell us, what is the title of the book you would like to talk about, and can you give us a small taster of it?

The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles.

The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles –Book II

Who rules in this game of intrigue where magic is forbidden and elves enslaved? Journey where beliefs shatter like glass, truth is unwelcome and monsters from ancient times abound: share the romance and revenge, magic and passion, and the wages of greed in a world of darkest fantasy.

Available as an e-book in all the Amazon Stores, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Sony and the Smashwords associate stores.

Available as a paperback on Amazon, Createspace and Barnes and Noble.

For those that have become curious to the Chronicles, below is an excerpt for you to enjoy.

Dii was well aware her Keeper was wealthy, a nobleman, and thus rich and powerful. He was a man of influence but she also acutely aware where a lot of that money had come from. She had not dared take his gold, although he deserved to be robbed of it, she thought bitterly. It was simply self-preservation on her part more than any sense of morality. Desperately she hoped he would not seek her but were she thought a thief he might be more inclined to do so. So Dii had left with a few meagre possessions, such as her clothes, staff, dagger and a small bag of coins and everything else remained in her Keeper’s house. More afraid of what lay within than without she had risked her life to flee, both in physically escaping and being out alone in these lands. So far she had been lucky not to have been spotted by anyone unfriendly to her kind, and she thanked the gods for that. Not knowing the trails and roads well she had nothing to trust but her luck and her skills.

A Kept owned nothing by right; Dii knew her favours paid well and her lovers sometimes gave her coin or trinket if she had pleased them, or a grateful villager would pass on a few copper coins for the potions or herb-lore she distributed. Most of the common people had little healing knowledge beyond basic remedies passed generation to generation and many communities did not have an apothecary. People often turned a blind eye to the local “wise folk” although this was not always the case, and many a mage had found themselves in the “hospitality of the Order of Witch-Hunters” due to failure to heal someone successfully or from mere spite or fear. To be in possession of magic was illegal and in many cases meant imprisonment or even death.

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

Not really, there are reasons I chose it. Namely Archos, the main male character is the Lord of the Storm, and Dii’Athella (Dii) is the Lady of the Light. So really it refers to them and their adventures.

If you would have to change the genre in order to be able to publish it, what would it be then? i.e. would you conform your work to suit the market?

Well the genre is fantasy/ fantasy romance with a bit of erotica. I am not sure what it could be changed to, unless I removed the erotica scenes. The answer to the second question is no. I write what I choose to write.

What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?

I don’t like marketing much. I actually have no clue what the best way to go is. It seems what works for one author might not work for the next. For me, I try and do a mix of strategies – I use facebook and goodreads a lot, and I do advertise there but more than that I network. It shouldn’t be all about the books, chat about other subjects, share other posts, help other readers and writers. If you just use these to spam it will end up backfiring and you’ll annoy people. Some groups on Goodreads have book/author of the month and this can be useful. It is a good way to get reviews and to meet authors. Of course there is no guaranteeing that the readers will like the book but that is the risk you take. So far both my novels have been book of the month on the Indie Group and this month (February) I am author of the month in the Smashwords group.

Author and character interviews are useful too, they get out to blogs and readers who might otherwise not see them. They also make you think about the characters, which might lead to more ideas.

I have business cards too, although it is hard to say how effective they are. I think the key is small amounts of lots of things, keep it fresh and regular but don’t spam. Get involved with other non-book posts, discussions and network.

Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want to blab about. But please no cats, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

I used to pretend to be a squirrel. I had a talking squirrel as an imaginary friend when I was little.

I hate clowns, puppets and dolls.

I am not allowed to watch politics programmes on TV as I shout and throw things.

Hahaha, those are a few very interesting facts about you Alex. 🙂 Thanks and whenever you want to return because there’s news, give us a holler and no doubt we’ll be able to facilitate you, since you are one of those that are always ready and willing to do the same for others.

Is Crowdfunding Going To Help The Power of Three?

cover campaign

(Working title)

The Power of Three

by Lucy Pireel

The novel is written. It needs editing, a cover , and then a giant marketing campaign to get it flying off the shelves.

If you love books, like to help an indie-author realise the best polishing of a great ms, hop over to Indiegogo and peruse the campaign. Contribute what you can/want, or just share the campaign and help spread the word about it.

There’s perks and my eternal gratitude to have all for you. 🙂

Anyone who leaves a blog comment and contributes towards the campaign will get a surprise perk.

Book Signing A Menu of Death

Banner signing

Get your paperback from the source, signed and personalised

Lucy Pireel (author)

Sihona Raf Robbins (cover model)

and

Lee Turnbull (photographer)

will be at

Costa Coffee

image-4

Unit 5 on Kingsteignton Retail Park

Greenhill Road TQ12 3SB

November 26th

from 9.30 until 15.00

73e1b-3d-mofd

A collection of stories centered around vengeance, obsession, cravings, life and death.

***

Underneath the veneer of humanity lies darkness

These eight deadly tales explore hidden desires.

Tales in which some do what it takes to obtain what they want,

while others are led by events.

Wishes gone wrong, unhealthy obsessions, and cravings to sate.

A Menu of Death will take you on a blood-curdling journey that you may not survive.

***

Whether it be a woman in need of rescue, a man who hungers for his wife, a demon lost, or wishes come true, all characters want something. Badly.

Only … You can’t always get what you want, but you might just get what you need.

 (The Rolling Stones)

***

Pick one item of the Menu or devour the entire buffet

Make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew

Read, but not with greed for

Death awaits, ready to come and collect its due

Buy your copy from the source and have it personalised!

How to Not Alienate the Potential Reader

I see a lot of tweets when I’m at it. Yeah, I know I’m way tooooo often on facetweet while I should be writing, but I’m an addict. Erm, I mean, I have to for marketing reasons. What? You say I never market my work? Ha! But there you are wrong. Or right really, since I never, or hardly ever tweet the kind of tweets most indie authors seem to favour, i.e. “Buy my Book!” or “I have had a great review! You should buy my Book too!”

This is what I think those tweets are.

Boring

I am talking as the reader I am too now. Because don’t forget for a moment I might be an author who needs to market her books, I am a reader too. A reader who needs to be enticed to at least look at you, the author, and the book you are trying to sell me. Let me tell you here and now, sending me direct messages telling me to take a look at your book on Amazon do not work. They put me off because I get those by the hundreds each day and they get deleted upon impact in my inbox. I am not the only reader who does this, and if you’re not careful you will find yourself in the naughty corner for this behaviour, i.e. your messages will fall on dry ground and you’ll have ruined your chances I’ll ever look at your books because you have annoyed me once too often.

This is what I’ll be doing.

bert ernie

Same goes for those who only send out tweets along the line of “Buy me Book!” Tweet about something that catches my eye, something that makes me wonder, surprise me, make me think, make me laugh, make me think. Do not bore me, because if you cannot be creative in your tweets, how can you think I will expect you to be creative in your writing? Offer me more of you, of your ideas, of what makes you tick.

You ask me what should you do then? Well, I’m not the marketing guru to ask. What I can offer you is my view as a reader. We want to get to know the author, the author draws us to his book. Give us your attention, your time. Show us we matter, and not just our money which buys your book. Remember it is the person holding the wallet who buys your book, but only if you can entice us too. You might think browbeating us into submission by bombarding us with your book might work, but it doesn’t. Really, it doesn’t. At least not with me and not with a lot of readers I know.

How I feel when the next “buy my Book” message drops in inbox.

Scully blahblah

So, what do you think you can do different? Authors I challenge you, give me your best. Show me you can do better, entice me to buy your book, but not by bombarding me with pleas to look at the buy site of your book.

Tell, me what do you think you can do different?

Guest Blogger Day

MARKETING

by John Holt

So, after months, if not years, of toil and trouble, your epic is at long last completed, and is ready to be released on the world. You have had the good fortune to find a publisher prepared to bring it into print for you, or you have gone down the Self Published route. Either way it is there, for sale. Pretty soon you will realise that writing the book was perhaps the easiest part of the process. Even getting published wasn’t that difficult, especially if you do it yourself. With Lulu.com; Createspace; Kindle Direct Publishing; and several other outlets on the Internet, publishing is easy, and at no cost.

Now comes the difficult part, selling your book. Nobody is going to buy because they’ve never heard of it. So you have now got to publicise, promote, and publicise, and promote and … until you make a nuisance of yourself. And then you have to publicise and promote some more.

I can’t remember the exact figures but I was once told that every month 20000 new books hit the shelves (virtual or otherwise). That is some competition.

OK, so what do you do to publicise your opus, especially if funds are tight and you can’t really afford a half page spread in the Times. Well there are some things you can do. Firstly let your local library know, give them a copy. They might be prepared to arrange an event in the library. I had one a year or so ago. It wasn’t the event of the century, but I sold about twenty books, and handed out some leaflets, and book markers. Tell your local newspaper, they might be prepared to publish something about you. I mentioned earlier about leaflets and book markers. Well apart from them I have business cards relating to my books, I have sticky labels that I place on every letter that I send out. This is all effective advertising that costs nothing. And one other thing. If you have more than one book. Make sure that details of all of your books are included in the last few pages of ALL of your books.

Whatever you do I wish you every success.

John.

Epidemic wraparound

My latest book “Epidemic” is available on all Amazon market places