My books now in paperback + a plea for help!

Yes, I have some rather exciting news! All of my books are now available in paperback! How awesome is that?
Look!
WP_000667

WP_000658

They are, of course, available from Amazon and hopefully by the time this post goes out, Amazon will have finished linking the paperback editions to the Kindle editions and making it look all professional and stuff! But for now you can find the ‘real, actual book’ versions here:
Kismetology: UK || US
Creepy Christmas: UK || US
Afterlife Academy: UK || US
Not Pretty Enough: UK || US
North Pole Reform School is ready but not out until November 6th!

The second part of this post is a little plea for help.
On Wednesday (until Sunday) Afterlife Academy is going on a free promotion. The Kindle version will be free to download for five whole days, to coincide with Halloween and the start of NaNoWriMo (the first draft was written for NaNo a few years ago!) Last time I did this was with Kismetology in April, and it was very successful, reaching #7 in the overall UK chart, in no small part thanks to you lovely people who read this and share my ramblings! So, on Wednesday, when the book is actually free, I will be, um, everywhere, talking about it and plugging it. If you have a chance and could mention it on Twitter, FB, or otherwise, or RT any of my promo posts, that would be fantastic! I promise I’ll attempt not to bore you all to death! Also, if you’ve ever fancied reading it but not bought it yet, this is a good time to get it for free, and if you have read and enjoyed it and know someone else who might like it, please feel free to send them to Amazon between Wednesday and Sunday! UK Here and US Here!
Thank you all so much!

The third part of this post is a plug. My friend Ashley has just started up her own blog touring company, so if any of you are authors who need a blog tour, promo blitz, or cover reveal with very reasonable prices, or if you’re a blogger who fancies hosting some tours, check out Paranormal Sisters Touring! I’m slightly involved in it too by designing custom banners for the tours!

Kismetology is free for the next four days!

My very first novel, Kismetology, released all the way back in September when this all began, is finally going on a free promotion!
It’s had some great reviews and a wonderful response in the months since it’s release, and I should apologise to everyone who has previously bought it for full price!

From today (April 18th) until Sunday (April 21st) the book will be completely free to download from Amazon!

LOOK!
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
It’s free in all countries, so you’ll be able to grab it from your local Amazon too!

About the book:
Kismetology Cover

Finding the perfect man isn’t easy. Especially when it’s for your mother…

Mothers. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them, can’t live three doors down the road without them interfering in every aspect of your life.

Mackenzie Atkinson’s mother has meddled in her love life once too often and something has to be done. Mackenzie decides to turn the tables and find love for her lonely mother.
Her lonely and very fussy mother.
Surely finding an older gentleman looking for love won’t be that hard, right?
Wrong.
If you’ve ever thought that boys grow up, here’s the problem: They don’t. Ever.
And Mackenzie is about to learn that the hard way.

Faced with a useless boyfriend, dressed up dogs, men who wear welly boots on dates, men who shouldn’t be allowed out in public, and men who make reptiles seem like attractive company – will she ever find the perfect man for her neurotic mother?

-
Remember it’s only free until Sunday so be sure to get your copy quick, and please feel free to share with any friends you think might enjoy it too!

My first experience with Amazon KDP Select and free promo days…

Having recently enrolled a book – Creepy Christmas – in Amazon’s KDP Select program for the first time and ran my first free promotion for a few days last week, I thought I would write a bit about my experience.

I think the promo went very well. Much better than I expected anyway! My numbers were not huge, nothing compared to what some better-known authors would pull in on a free promo day of their own, but as I had never done KDP Select before, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. (I’m sure most of you already know this, but in case anyone doesn’t – when you sign up to Select, your book has to be available exclusively on Amazon for a period of three months, and in that three month period they allow you to offer your book for free for up to five days.)

I don’t think I went into the promo best prepared. For a start, I used my free promo days in conjunction with the book’s release day, which meant that the book had no reviews (it does have a couple now – thank you, lovely people!) I was advised against doing it, and friends suggested I wait until people had bought it and left reviews, and then run the free promo. Obviously good reviews help buyers decide whether to download the book or not, and also increase your chances of getting picked up by the free Kindle book promotional websites (who mention your free book to thousands of their followers) and almost all of which require your book to have a high rating before they will consider promoting you.
I didn’t want to wait, mainly because I felt it would be unfair to expect my friends, family, and other readers to buy the book only for it to be free a couple of weeks later. It’s only 77p anyway, so not a huge amount of money, but it just felt wrong to ask people to buy it, knowing it would soon be free.

Another thing I’ve heard about Select is that it is much better suited to authors who have a series of books out – you use the promo days to give away the first book in a series, hoping that customers will come back and buy the other books from that series.
I can safely say that not only is Creepy Christmas not part of a series, but I don’t have any other books out in the same genre. In fact, I only have one other book out, and it is most definitely not children’s fiction!

So, overall, I could have gone into it better prepared. I should have given myself more time to submit my book details to the freebie promo sites – I gave them about a week’s notice, when I should have pulled my socks up and done it two or three weeks earlier.

I didn’t know how many downloads I expected, but it was definitely far less than I got! My final download numbers after a four day free promo looked like this:

Amazon US: 2565 downloads.
Amazon UK: 315 downloads.
12 from Amazon Germany, 1 from France, and 7 from Japan.

Chart wise, in the UK I reached #242 overall in the free chart, and #28 in children’s books.
In the US it was #142 overall and #2 in children’s books > Christmas.

It also led to my first borrows from the Kindle Owners Lending Library, both here and in the US – which I admit that I got ridiculously excited about!

The free days kicked off on a Thursday and were scheduled to run for three days. By the end of Saturday, the downloads were still coming in, and I was so close to getting 2000 in the US that I decided to add another day to the promo, so it ended up being free on Sunday as well. I also conveniently forgot to mention this to anyone! The downloads still came in though, and I was very glad that I did extend it, as the number was well over 2000 by the time I got up on Sunday morning!

It’s now been a week since my free promo ended, and sales have been slow and steady this week. I have sold a few copies every day, and had an equal number of borrows in the US (less borrows here, but the lending library is still very new to the UK!)

I worked hard to promote it, but I could have done better. I should have been more organised and not ran around like a headless chicken on release day.
Promotion wise, I got mentioned on a couple of the free ebook sites – none of the big ones, but I’m sure the ones I did get a mention on led to some downloads in the US if nowhere else! I also posted links on a couple of Kindle forums that allow authors to promote their free books, and I mentioned the hell out of it on Twitter (Sorry, lovely followers! I do try not to use Twitter for advertising purposes, honest!)

I was also really lucky to have some amazing support on Twitter and Facebook, with friends, family, and even people I’d never met before sharing or retweeting the links.
I want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who helped. I know you all must’ve been sick of hearing about Creepy Christmas by the end of the promo, but I really appreciate the support so much!

 

In other news: I am coming to the end of NaNoWriMo – one half-novel is now turned into a full novel, and I’ve made a start on the next half-finished manuscript. 46,000 words written so far this month – almost there!

On Friday I was on the lovely Trashionista website talking about Kismetology here: http://www.trashionista.com/2012/11/author-interview-jaimie-admans.html

And speaking of Kismetology, it’s currently on special offer and reduced to 99p / $1.60 for a limited time only!
Amazon UK || Amazon US

Talking about writing… And other things!

Today I’m doing an interview with the lovely Tracie Banister on her blog Books By Banister – We’re talking writing, Kismetology, Creepy Christmas, and lots of other fun questions that I’ve never been asked before! You can read it here, and even better, you can enter to win a copy of Kismetology!

It’s so much fun doing interviews – it makes me feel like a proper author! A huge thanks to Tracie for having me. If you like chick-lit, you should check out her books too!

Secondly, thank you to everyone who voted in the Creepy Christmas cover poll. The cover that has been chosen is — [drum roll] — Cover 2! It was actually three votes behind in the poll, but a few people pointed out that cover 1 was too young. The book is aimed at ages 8 and up, but cover 1 made it look like a much younger children’s book. I’m still putting the finishing touches to the cover, but stay tuned for a reveal soon!

What else? Hmm. I entered the Kismetology cover into The Book Designer’s Ebook Cover Design Awards, and got some lovely comments for it! Have a look here. Well happy with that!

I’ve also signed up for NaNoWriMo again – my seventh year now! God knows how I’m going to find time for it this year, but I will try my hardest! Writing a novel in a month is never easy, especially when you’ve got another book to promote and yet another book to release! If anyone else is doing NaNo and wants to add me as a buddy, my ID is ChickLitWriterGirl on the site – profile here!

What a week!

Kismetology launched a week ago today and wow, what a week it’s been! I actually haven’t been online much (great plan that: launch a book then pull a disappearing act and fail to do any promotion whatsoever!) One disaster after another has led to building work to be done on the house and most of our stuff being put into storage. It was supposed to be going today but has now been rearranged for Monday morning. My week has been spent in a pile of boxes, sorting things between staying and going.

I’ve also managed to catch myself another cold/flu type thing, except this is the really fun kind where my lungs are trying to escape my body, my nose is alternating between streaming and stuffed up, and every time I cough or blow my nose, one of my ears goes bang, whistles and then goes completely deaf for a couple of hours. Fun, right?
I must have the weakest immune system in the world. This is the second cold within two months. I seriously used to go three to four years without one, and this is the third this year. And I am also a little bit obsessive when it comes to germs, use hand sanitizer constantly and won’t touch my face with dirty hands. And I still manage to get myself sick.
I bet it was that woman sniffling by the cheeses in Tesco on Saturday!

By far the best thing that has happened this week – I got my first five-star review for Kismetology! So exciting! I think this might be one of the best feelings in the world! Written by the lovely Sheli at Malibu Sunrise – have a look here!

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again – to everyone – thank you so much for all the support I’ve had this week. You’ve all made my first week as a published author absolutely brilliant!

Kismetology Release Day – It’s out! It’s out now!

Release day is finally here! My first novel, Kismetology, is officially released as an ebook today!
Kismetology Cover

I can’t believe how exciting this is. To be honest, I thought all I’d feel today was nerves, but I’m much more excited than I am nervous!
I just want to say a quick thank you to everyone again. Everyone has been so amazingly supportive, it’s unreal. If you’ve even taken the time to read this post, thank you!

Of course, the point of the post is to tell you where to buy the book…
You can read a sample or buy the book on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.
Amazon: FR, DE, ES, IT.
And coming very, very soon to Sony, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and Apple iBooks.

You do not need a Kindle to read it. Amazon do a lovely little free Kindle app, which you can download to your computer, phone or tablet-thingy, and read any Kindle book you wish on it.

Many other formats available on Smashwords.

Of course, you don’t have to buy the book. I’ll still like you even if you don’t, I promise!

I cannot believe, absolutely can’t believe that my writing, which has been gathering virtual dust on my hard drive for far too many years to mention, is actually out there in the world. People may actually read something I wrote.
What a brilliant feeling!

Kismetology – Excerpt – Chapter One.

It comes out on Friday! If it wasn’t obvious, I’m a little bit excited about that! If you want to know more about the cover or blurb, have a look at the post here.
But for now, here’s a extract:
~*~
Kismetology.
Chapter 1.

If I could give one piece of advice to every teenager in the world, it would be this: when you move away from home, move far, far away, and never look back. My biggest mistake? I didn’t move far enough. In fact, I only moved three houses down the road. The perfect distance for my mother to interfere in my life, even more than she did when I lived under her own roof.

“Mackenzie, your curtains aren’t even straight,” Mum complains from her place on our sofa. “I don’t know how you can put up with such a mess.”

“How can curtains not be straight, Mum?”

“There’s at least six inches more on the left than on the right, and the join in the middle is wonky.”

Dan rolls his eyes and gets up from his armchair with a groan.

I know how he feels.

“Don’t be long, Daniel, you’ll miss Eastenders,” Mum calls after him.

“Sir, yes sir,” Dan mutters, doing an army salute behind her back.

In all fairness to my mum, maybe my announcement that I was moving in with Dan came as a bit of a shock to her. After all, we’d been dating for a year, but my mum had only known him for six of those months. I’d dated him in secret for the first six months. I was a bit reluctant to introduce them, especially after the incident with an ex-boyfriend—the first and, up to that point, only boyfriend to ever meet my mum—where she’d nearly run him over with a wheelie bin (accidentally) and then put a brick through his car window (she was killing a wasp).

“Can’t you get him to brush his hair once in a while?” Mum asks when Dan has left the room. “He makes the place look untidy. And don’t even get me started on that shirt.”

“Leave him alone, Mum,” I warn her. “And stop your bloody dog peeing in my houseplant again, it’s dying.”

“Oh, Mackenzie, you’ll never guess what happened to me today,” Mum says animatedly. “Go on, guess.”

“I have no idea, Mum.”

“I almost got a criminal record. Can you believe that? Me! With a criminal record!”

“I’m honestly scared to ask, but how on earth did you manage that?”

“I nearly got arrested in the park!” She says excitedly.

Only my mother could be excited about getting arrested. “What happened?”

“Well, you know Baby’s crocodile outfit, right? I did a really good job of making it, didn’t I? I made it look really realistic?”

I nod.

“Well, Baby was off his lead in the park, doing his business, you know, as dogs do. And suddenly all these police surround us. Two animal control vans pull up, there’s a helicopter overhead, there are even a couple of men with tranquilizer dart guns poised and ready to shoot.”

I rub my hand over my eyes. “Why?”

“Well, it turns out that someone had seen Baby in the park and thought he was a real crocodile. She’d called the police in case he ate the children.”

“Oh, Mum, really?” I groan.

“It was so exciting! I think I might even be on the news tonight!”

She thinks this is exciting? Embarrassing would be my preferred term. Very, very embarrassing. “So what happened?”

“Well, the police quickly realised their mistake. But one of them did take me aside and ask if I could not bring Baby to the park in that attire again. Then he gave us a lift home in his police car. He was ever so nice about it.”

“I’m sure he was.”

“How anyone could mistake my Baby for a crocodile is beyond me. He’s hardly crocodile size, is he? The woman must have been blind as a bat.”

“Well, you do insist on dressing him up as potentially dangerous animals. And walking him. In public. It’s really quite disturbing.”

“Oh, nonsense. I like trying out the sewing patterns I find on the internet. It keeps me busy.”

Well, something has to, I suppose.

“Come here, Baby.” Mum pats the sofa and the miniature Yorkshire terrier, which is practically surgically attached to her, comes running over. “Don’t listen to that big, mean lady. She loves you really.”

Baby is currently dressed as a ladybird. No, really. Mum’s hobby of making these outfits for him is getting out of hand. He jumps onto the sofa and sinks his teeth into one of my twenty quid cushions.

“These cushions were expensive.” I yank them out of his way.

“He likes the tassels,” Mum responds.

This is our nightly routine now.

On our one-year anniversary, Dan had proposed that we move in together. My mum had not been overly thrilled by the turn of events, until she’d found a little house available to rent and paid the deposit without even asking us. The house happened to be three doors away from her place.

We should have known better.

Dan was indifferent to the fact that my mum had decided where we were going to live and paid a deposit without even telling us. It was one less thing that he had to do. And I couldn’t really be mad at her; she was only doing it out of the goodness of her heart. Presumptuous, yes, but ultimately only trying to be helpful. We’d signed a one-year lease two days later.

Since then, Dan has been a gem. Not many men would put up with my mother being an almost permanent third wheel. Not many men would run her cat, Pussy (no, really), down to the emergency vet at three o’clock in the morning because it looked a bit peaky. It was fine. A screeching woman yelling that it looked off-colour had just woken it up from its sleep. I look peaky at that time of day too. Dan had offered his car as transport and we’d roared off down the road at breakneck speed, scaring the poor cat half to death. Then Dan and I had sat in the parking lot for half an hour, while the vet determined that there was absolutely nothing whatsoever wrong with the cat.

The house being so near had softened the blow of me moving out and leaving Mum with only her yappy little dog and not-sick cat for company.

“You can pop in anytime you want,” I’d told her.

I had no idea that translated into “come over every night and bring the dog and cat with you” in mum language.

The night we moved in, just as we’d settled down together on our new sofa with a glass of wine each and switched on our newly installed satellite TV, my mum’s special knock-knockknock-knock on the door reverberated through the living room. We looked at each other with dread and Dan groaned.

My mum came in, took her shoes off, sat down on the sofa, helped herself to a glass of wine and put on Coronation Street. She didn’t actually watch Corrie, but proceeded to criticise our carpets, our uncomfortable sofa (it wasn’t) the colour of the walls, the way the walls clashed with the curtains (they didn’t) the heat in the room (it was too hot) and the shirt Dan was wearing (I’d always quite liked him in it). Within three minutes, Baby had peed on my new plant. I don’t have the best of luck with plants anyway, but I’m sure the dog pee didn’t help the plant’s life expectancy.

This routine has continued almost every night in the three months since we moved in. In comes my mum, on goes Emmerdale, Corrie or Eastenders, and out comes Mum’s opinion of everything from the wattage of our light bulbs to the colour of Dan’s socks.

~*~

It’s out on Friday! Friday!

Kismetology: Cover, blurb and release date!

I think it might be time to start talking about my book, seeing as it comes out this week. This week!

This is the cover:
Kismetology Cover

The blurb:
Finding the perfect man isn’t easy. Especially when it’s for your mother…

Mothers. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them, can’t live three doors down the road without them interfering in every aspect of your life.

Fed up with her mum meddling in her love life, Mackenzie Atkinson decides to turn the tables and find love for her lonely mother.
Her lonely and very fussy mother.
Surely finding an older gentleman looking for love won’t be that hard, right?
Wrong.
If you’ve ever thought that boys grow up, here’s the problem: They don’t. Ever.
And Mackenzie is about to learn that the hard way…

 

And the release date:
September 14th! Better known as: This Friday! *cue excited headless chicken impersonation*

Stay tuned for an excerpt!

Thank you!

I had to do a post about this because it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
The support I’ve had since I decided to self-publish has been unbelievable. My dad has offered help. My brother and sister-in-law have been amazing, interested and supportive! My mum is incredibly supportive, although not overly impressed that I borrowed some of her quirks for the mum in the book. (A love of Martin Clunes, for example!) (Seriously. If anyone can shed some light on that one, feel free!)
My online friends are amazing. Cheerleading me all the way and promising they won’t get sick of me going on and on about writing.
People I’ve only just met on Twitter are encouraging and brilliant.

And okay, so no one has read the book yet. They may read it, think it’s crap, and hate me forever.

But I openly admit that I didn’t expect support, especially from people who know me in real life. Especially from the ones who don’t know what a Kindle is and don’t understand how I can be a writer if WH Smith don’t stock my book. But they have all been there, asking me about the book, about the process, how long it will be before it’s out so they can tell their friends to buy it.
It’s the complete opposite of what I expected. I honestly expected complete and utter indifference, of a “that’s nice” and an uninterested handwave variety.
And I’m sure that says more about me than it does about my friends and family, but it has been a very pleasant surprise and a nice lesson in human nature.

So, to everyone, even to you who has taken the time to read this: THANK YOU!

Sidenote: My release date is next week. Next Friday, to be precise. I apologise in advance for shameless plugging everywhere it is possible to shameless plug!

Other sidenote: On the plus side, it appears my day of formatting has worked and the file seems to have converted nicely for Kindle. I haven’t built up the courage to tackle Smashwords yet.
Not too keen on the KDP preview of my cover image though. Hope it looks better than that on the site!