Why my eBook, Tirfo Thuin, is now free

During June my debut fantasy fiction novel, Tirfo Thuin, is free as an eBook. That means all you lucky people with Kindles, iPhones, iPads, Kobo’s etc will be able to download it for free. That is free. Zero Pounds/Dollars/Euros/Spondoolies.

You might wonder at my motives. Why make something that took years of my life to complete absolutely free? Well, there are a few reasons.

The first is that I did not write Tirfo Thuin to make money. Don’t get me wrong, I am far from rich but I did not sit there as the characters and story of Tirfo Thuin unfolded thinking, ‘Cha-ching, this is going to make me money.’ I wrote it thinking only of the story and where it might lead. Getting Tirfo Thuin published was an afterthought and one that actually came long after I had finished my first draft.

When you have a love of writing, and a passion to put pen to paper, you do it because you enjoy it. Some people like football, some people like video games or chess. I like all these as well but I also get the same level of enjoyment from seeing a story unfold. Therefore, I did not write to make money so it doesn’t matter that I give my book away.

The second reason is simple. I have just uploaded a second edition that includes a few minor tweaks/refinements. Nothing major, the story is the same but feedback from readers is crucial to me and after so many sales it was inevitable that I would receive some constructive feedback. After all, what is the point in being a writer if you do not listen to your readers? As a thank you to all the people who have already bought it but are yet to read it, and to all you that are new to Tirfo Thuin I offer you the shiny new version for free. Go ahead, download it again and get rid of the old version.

The third and final reason is that I want my book to be read and to receive lots of honest reviews. If you decide to take the chance to download the book (you might as well, it’s free after all) please do leave an honest review where you bought it and, if you get the chance, on Goodreads.com too. The only way readers know whether to get a book is if good honest people like yourselves let them know it is worth clicking the Download button.

I hope you enjoy it. At present you can only download it for free at Smashwords as I am waiting for Amazon to update my price based (they match the lowest price available apparently which is, at present, free) –https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/119228

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I’m back!

I have struggled to find time recently to dedicate to my blog and Twitter but that should change again soon. As a brief update a fair bit has happened since my last post.

  • My paperback cover is now complete and approved and I am awaiting my final hard copy proof before my paperback can go on general sale.
  • I have reached a mighty 600+ followers on Twitter. Might not sound like a lot but I am really pleased so many people are interested in what I have to say.
  • I am now set up on Goodreads with an author profile and have already recieved good reviews on there.
  • I have begun the basic plot of the sequel to Tirfo Thuin – yet to be named – and am very excited about it.
  • I have completed a first draft of a post containing details of self publishing a novel for my work blog. It is a kind of whistle-stop tour of what I have done over the last few years. I’ll post a link soon.
  • I have become a ‘Stealth Editor’ – more details on this to come in a following post but this is consuming a fair bit of my time at present. You authors who have been ‘Stedited’- as I am calling it – know who you are and I hope it has proved to be a useful exercise
  • Fantasy fiction novel is now on sale at more retail outlets. More details on my Tirfo Thuin specific site here: http://tirfothuin.wordpress.com/purchase/

I hope to get more time to dedicate to my followers and my blog over the coming months and get back on to author interviews. Therefore, if you are a self published author and would like to partake in an author interview just let me know.

Thanks.

New site for Tirfo Thuin – a fantasy fiction novel by Andrew Butterworth

Tirfo Thuin coverI’ve just realised that I created a nice shiny new site for my book before Christmas (a site and blog specific to my debut fantasy fiction novel Tirfo Thuin) and didn’t even post about it here.

It might look quite similar from a design point of view but the content is very much focussed on my debut fantasy fiction book and my general thoughts about how I came to get the book published and who I think will enjoy it etc. I wanted a site focussed on me as an author and a separate site all about the book. There is also a bonus materials section that ties in with some content at the end of my book where you can uncover further explanations of items in the novel as well as get information on how to get your free gifts.

Tirfo Thuin is already receiving great reviews with an average of 5* on Amazon. I hope you all give it a try. After all, it’s only 99p/99c. What have you got to lose? If you hate it, follow the instructions, get your free gift and what have you lost. Nothing. However, I’m sure you will like it. I hope you absolutely love it because that would make the time and hard work I put into it all worth it.

You can visit my new site here: http://tirfothuin.wordpress.com

Details on Where to Buy Tirfo Thuin can be found here: http://tirfothuin.wordpress.com/purchase

 

Tirfo Thuin now available on Amazon Kindle

Now my debut novel – Tirfo Thuin – is available I wanted to write an opening post on my new blog that contained loads of promotional stuff about my book – buy buy buy it’s amazing etc.

However, when I really thought about it I realised I didn’t actually care about getting lots of sales. I am writing this post using a note app on my iPhone while traveling home on a packed tram from a manic day at the office. I’m tired. I’m miserable. I’m cramped. However, all I can think as I look around the tram is ‘I wonder if the middle-aged business woman in her grey suit would love my book. I think so. I wonder if the guy who looks like a graphic designer would like it. For sure. I wonder if the group of noisy rebellious teens would love my book. I would bet money on it.

Please do not mistake my lack of care for how well Tirfo Thuin sells as me not caring about my audience because I do, greatly. Or that I may not care about the quality of my writing because, again, I do. My first novel took years to complete and I will probably still think of things I could improve now it’s published – none of us are perfect.

What I mean is that I write because I love it (not to make money) and I publish to give my writing a purpose and so, hopefully, some of you can get pleasure from the hours, days, months I spent slaving over notepads and laptops to make what I hope is a great book.

I don’t need high sales. I have a day job as a project manager that I love. I am far from rich from a money point of view but I am comfortable. I am rich from a family point of view as I have a great wife, daughter and family who I love very much. So you see the measly 30p from each sale means very little to me. If I cared only for money I wouldn’t sell my years of work for less than a double cheeseburger 🙂

What is actually priceless to me is that just 1 person who I have never met, maybe never even come across online, takes a chance on my novel and tells me they liked it.

I would get more pleasure out of receiving 5 nice reviews on Amazon than I would if I sold 100,000 copies, made a great chunk of money but got no feedback. After all, I’m never going to leave my job to be a writer no matter how many books I sell.. It is something I love to do but I also like the day-to-day aspects of my life. That is where I draw inspiration and structure from. That is just life.

I’ll wrap this up by saying if you like a good read about a rebellious hero, someone who has all the odds stacked against them but still tries anyway, this book is for you. It is a great fantasy fiction novel that also covers day-to-day issues we all encounter (loss of parents, single parent families, coming of age, racial and religious divides) in a subtle way. I here you all cry ‘that doesn’t sound like a fantasy fiction book’ but that is the beauty. I am sure all you Harry potter fans are going to love it anyway. I even got a comment off one reviewer stating it could be better than HP – the book not the sauce. Done in the right way you can combine any genre with hard-hitting themes like these and it means you do not need to be a hardcore fantasy fiction fan to love this book.

Anyway, check it out and I hope you like it.  I will be happy if just one of you tells me you enjoyed it and as a thank you for taking the time to read and review my book I will be giving away some free goodies – http://tirfothuin.wordpress.com/bonus-material/

Check it out on Amazon here

Thank you all for your support.

Andy.

Writing inspiration – a Christmas photo

Walking through town tonight after work I realised how much inspiration can be taken from everyday surroundings -particularly in the festive season.

Take this photo I took for example. A 15 foot high illuminated reindeer that conjures ideas of fantasy, magical lands and amazing beasts.

The other day I dragged myself away from my iPhone to notice a statue intricately carved with swords and flowers. I have walked past this every day for 18 months but never noticed.

I spend so much time glued to my laptop or my phone hoping to perfect my latest novel or Tweet help and support to fellow authors that I often forget that the best ideas and inspiration often go unnoticed day in day out.

Take a moment to absorb your surroundings. You’ll be surprised at what jumps out at you. Feel free to comment with links to images of what you notice today. It might help spark someone’s immigration.

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Author Interview – Patti Roberts (author of the Paradox series)

I would like to introduce Patti Roberts – self published author of the Paradox series. She has kindly agreed to answer some questions and offered to throw in a free copy of Paradox – Progeny Of Innocence to one lucky reader. See below for more details.

Patti Roberts1. How would you describe yourself and your writing?

Dedicated. I like to research particular aspects of the story line to make events as realistic as possible. And although a work of fiction, I like to feel that the reader has learnt a little something that they didn’t know before they read on of my books. Usually, an event from history.

2. Can you tell me a bit about how the Paradox series came about?

I need to do something creative and positive with myself. Writing Paradox – The Angels Are Here, was a kind of therapy for me. It helped me put a positive spin on the negativity of a failed relationship. It most certainly worked!

3. What made you self publish your novels and what has the experience been like to date?

I can’t compare it with traditional publishing, as I have never walked down that path. I never even considered it – I’m way too impatient and independent to wait around for someone else to tell me yes or no. So I went ahead with the idea of letting the reader tell me yes or no. Most have said YES, so I’m more than happy with that!

4. Who have you published with?

Self published with Smashwords, Amazon and Createspace.

5. Did you prepare your e-books yourself? Any pointers?

Yes I did. I have done everything. Formatting, cover design – I bought the artwork however, I’m not that talented. Promotion and marketing. Lots of very long hours but very rewarding. I highly recommend everyone thinking about writing to join Goodreads. They are such a supportive bunch of people over there!

Progeny cover6. Who does you cover art?

I bought the cover art from Dreamstime.com. Some really talented artist can be found there. I love your cover by the way! Then I work on the text. Oh, and people do judge a book by the cover… So make sure you pick a winner. If people don’t stop to admire the cover, chances are they won’t bother to read what the book is about. Result – Sale missed!

7. Do you do a lot of self promotion? How do you market and promote your work & what do you find are effective methods of self promotion?

Anyone can self promote and market if they are prepared to put in the hours. HOURS. I use twitter and Facebook. I provide lots of free copies of my book to bloggers that do reviews and host giveaways. Recently I held a comp and asked people to help me chose a cover for book 2. I had 3 different covers designed for voters to choose from. Then after the comp I gave two winners a copy of Paradox – Progeny Of Innocence. I thought it was a way to get people involved. And it certainly did.

8. Do you find sales peak and then drop off after your initial self promotion?

Sure, that is the way it goes. The more promotion and marketing you do the more feedback and interest you receive.

9. What advice would you give to a newbie to self publishing?

Use you first book as a marketing research. Get it out there as much as you can. Find out what people loved and hated about it. And listen to what the readers are telling you. Learn from what they are telling you… Listen to the good and the bad. You can learn more about the bad than the good… That is if you want to keep getting better!

10. What lies in store for Patti Roberts?

Lots more books in the Paradox Series. I start writing for book 3 in the New Year for a 2012 release. I would actually like to bring out 2 books in 2012, but we will just have to wait and see.

Thank you so much for the interview Andrew. I have enjoyed answering your questions. Patti

More information

The Paradox Series Book Trailers
Twitter
Facebook

e-book from Smashwords – all formats
US – e-book from Amazon
UK – e-book from Amazon
Nook – Barnes & Noble
Paperback – Createspace
Thesaurus Bookstore – Melbourne

Paradox – Progeny Of Innocence Giveaway – Free e-book alert!
Patti often gives a free e-book to a reader along with an interview or a review. Therefore, all you need to do is Tweet/Like this post and then add a comment. I will pick a winner at random on 21st December and post here who the lucky winner is. What a great prize for you to enjoy over the Christmas break. Good luck.

Sneak preview of my promotional goodies

As many of you know my first fantasy fiction novel – Tirfo Thuin – is due to be released before the end of the year. In preparation for this I have been busy finishing my cover and getting some promotional goodies together. I’ll report back on how successful they are once I am a few months into 2012.

However, as the number of sales versus cost on most printed promotions is probably extremely low I decided to look into Vistaprint (other print companies are available). I get daily emails from Vistaprint for free items such as business cards, brochures, pens etc. You simply pay the postage. I gave it a go and the results are great.

I got 250 free premium business cards (which I can pop in Christmas cards or hand out to people I see with a Kindle on the tram). Whilst they are not entirely free I think this is a bargain at just £4.53. This cost covers £0.69 to use my own image as opposed to the templates they provide and the rest is postage. Even if it doesn’t pay of it not a huge risk due to the low cost.

TirfoThuin Business Card

Let me know what you think of the design – it is difficult to get across all the information you want to in such a small area. Also, feel free to share your experiences if you have taken similar approaches and have any good tips on how to promote your books offline.

Check out some of the offers here: http://www.vistaprint.co.uk. If you sign up for newsletters or purchase something you tend to get a lot more offers for free things in email newsletters.

 

Author Interview – Nicholas A. Rose

I would like to start by thanking Nicholas for taking the time to answer my questions and to say how much I enjoyed reading his contributions. If you find his answers useful please follow him on Twitter, add your comments/questions below and Like/Tweet this post.

Bio

Nicholas A RoseNicholas A. Rose is the author of the Ilvenworld novels and novellas.  He has read fantasy fiction for longer than he can remember and writing it for only a little less time.  Love of the sea and ships; mountains and the outdoors; and the rather more sedentary pastimes of chess, real ale and reading have all influenced his writing.

Nicholas lives in and is inspired by North Wales and believes all his best ideas come when out in the hills.

For those who must know, the “A” stands for Andrew.

Questions

1. How would you describe yourself and your writing?

I tend to be a prolific writer.  It’s always been fantasy for me.  The boundaries between the sub-genres have become a little muddled over the years, but I would call my books epic and heroic fantasy.

2. How many books do you have published and tell us a bit about them?

So far three:

Markan Throne is the first book of a trilogy.  Rival claimants battle for the right to be Marka’s first emperor for three centuries.  The winner, Marcus, is implicated in a murder, so his claim is suspended.  Marcus must prove his innocence, which means breaking a man free from jail and risking losing his right to the throne forever.

Markan Empire is book two, following on from Markan Throne.  A new enemy threatens the stability of the new empire, while an old enemy lurks to one side.  Marka cannot fight two wars at once, so spies are sent to Re Taura to learn what the new enemy is up to.  But spies have a habit of being caught and killed on Re Taura.

And though Marcus has proven his innocence, Marka’s Senate is still not quite ready to grant his life’s dream and refuses to let him ascend the throne he covets.

Gifted Apprentice is a novella, separate from the trilogy, but using a central character who appears in those books.  It marks the beginning of Sallis ti Ath’s journey from farmboy to feared bounty hunter.

3. Gifted Apprentice. Can you tell me a bit about how this book came about?

Gifted Apprentice CoverA minor character in Markan Throne sparked my interest.  This is the bounty hunter Sallis ti Ath.  When I first published online, I knew one book looked very lonely all by itself, so GA was born.  It was one of those ideas that was so bright it almost burned, so the book had to be written.  I feel this novella is an excellent introduction to the ilvenworld series and, while not strictly a prequel, will help make the world of the trilogy more familiar to readers.

If I’m allowed to make a selfish plug, this novella is free on Amazon.

4. What made you self publish your novels and what has the experience been like to date?

It is now almost impossible for a new writer to break into traditional publishing, so self publishing, or “indie” was really the only way open.  Once I learned of the explosion in popularity of ebooks, then I was away.

I published MT in March 2011 and the experience since has been fantastic.  (Sorry about the pun!)  There is a wonderful and growing community of indie writers online and most of us are happy to share information.  It’s been a steep learning curve and I wouldn’t kid anybody by claiming it’s easy, but I’m glad I came this way with my books.

5. Who have you published with?

ePublished, rather than published.  My books are with Amazon and Smashwords.  Amazon is the big beast of course, but Smashwords have connections with most of the other ereaders, such as B&N’s nook, Sony and quite a few others.

6. Did you prepare your ebooks yourself?  Any pointers?

I did prepare them myself. This is the part many aspiring authors don’t like.  The proofreading, copyediting and so on is entirely up to the author.  In essence, the author is also the publisher and has to deal with the less glamorous aspects of that.

As for pointers, read the publishing guidelines that Amazon issue (and the Smashwords Formatting Guide for those going to Smashwords as the requirements are different) and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

I would recommend getting a copyeditor or, if that’s too expensive (most of us start off on a really tight budget), then get some beta readers.  If anybody reads your published work and points out an error, correct it immediately and reupload the book.  Amazon provides a useful guide how to do this in their help section.

But, if the choice is between spending on a copyeditor or really good cover artwork, go for the artwork.

7. Who does your cover art?

Joleene Naylor.  Worth her weight in gold.

8. Do you do a lot of self promotion? How do you market and promote your work & what do you find are effective methods of self promotion?

Yes.  I’m particularly active on Twitter.  The most effective method of self promotion is to be accessible, friendly, polite and helpful.  That’s to other authors as well as your readers.  As for marketing your work, books are very hard to sell directly.  People prefer to “discover” authors for themselves, or for those known to them to make recommendations.  Being active on the social networks is probably the best way of promoting yourself, but it’s a fine line to walk.  Kindleboards, for example, do not like overpushy authors plugging their work all the time.  By all means jump into discussions, but be mindful not to cross the line.

The most effective method of self promotion is to ensure your name is familiar to people, rather than selling your book all the time.

9. You seem quite proactive in IAN circles.  What are your experiences here?

IAN – the Independent Author Network – is probably where I’m most active right now.  My experiences are good and I’ve made a lot of friends there.  It’s a good place for a new author to go (the only requirement is that you have at least 100 followers on Twitter), and the guys you’ll meet on IAN are a really friendly and helpful bunch.

Another good place for a new author to cut teeth is Twitters #sampleSunday.  That’s where I started out!

10. Do you find sales peak and then drop off after your initial self promotion?

Sales peak and trough all the time.  I’ve found it impossible to directly link rises and falls to promotion.  I would say that you need to promote all the time.  There is a large element of luck when it comes to sales.  But keep on promoting.  All you need is the right person to notice, download, read and… hey presto!  You’re selling.  But that right person might be weeks or months in coming.  If you stop promoting, that reader has passed by…

11. What advice would you give to a newbie to self publishing?

Get your book as professionally finished as possible.  That means polished, edited, proofread.  Get the best possible artwork for the cover, and ensure that artwork is unique.  Get involved in social media, such as Twitter, Kindleboards, Goodreads and the like.  Keep writing and get as many books up as you can.  The more books, the greater the chance you’ll be discovered.  Be accessible, friendly, helpful and polite.  If unsure about something, ask questions.  Read the publishing guides and follow what they say.  Avoid shortcuts.

And DO NOT give up!!

12. What lies in store for Nicholas A. Rose?

2012 is promising to be as productive as 2011.  The third and final book of the trilogy, Markan Sword, should be out in the middle of the year and the sequel to Gifted Apprentice should be out at the end of January.  Beyond that, two more trilogies are planned.  Exciting times indeed!

Thank you for interviewing me.

Useful Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Nicholas_A_Rose

Blog: http//ilvenworld.blogspot.com

Markan Throne: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004SBZ16A

Markan Empire: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005OYDNYC

Gifted Apprentice: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005DZ4FJE

Author Interview – Robert David MacNeil

I want to open by saying how glad I am Robert agreed to answer some of my questions. I’m loving Iona Portal so far and thought I’d find out a bit more about him and his work.

First of all let me introduce Robert David MacNeil, author of Science Fiction Thriller IONA PORTAL.

Robert bio pic 2011Robert is a teacher, author, wine-lover, and world-traveler. Over the past twenty years, his travels have taken him from the steppes of Mongolia to the jungles of Thailand, and from the Eskimo villages of Northwest Alaska to le fin del mundo, the “end of the world,” at the tip of South America.  He presently lives in a suburb of Dallas, Texas.

Robert has authored five non-fiction books under a different pen-name. His first novel, IONA PORTAL, is currently the top-rated Science Fiction book on Amazon, and #2 in mysteries and thrillers.

Robert is presently working on the sequel, IONA STRONGHOLD.

1. How would you describe yourself and your writing?

Thanks for inviting me to do the interview, Andy. I really appreciate the opportunity.

In my “day job” I’m a writer, speaker, and dean of a graduate school.  I also travel frequently. Several times a year I teach in schools in other countries. As my bio indicates, I’ve traveled to some remote places, including the steppes of Mongolia, the jungles of Thailand, and the remote isles of the Scottish Hebrides-which includes the Island of Iona.  (A lot of these locations turn up in Iona Portal, and the other books of the Synaxis Chronicles trilogy.)

Concerning my writing, I’ve been an avid reader all my life, and to me, that’s the first step in becoming a writer. In high school I got frustrated when I realized I’d read every science fiction book in our hometown library! I read many genres, but continue to love science fiction and suspense thrillers.

2. How many books do you have published and tell us a bit about them?

I’ve written five non-fiction books under a different pen-name, but my first novel is Iona Portal.  Iona Portal is a SF thriller that views the ancient battle between good and evil through the lens of Science Fiction.  I like to think of it as Lord of the Rings meets The Matrix. 

3. Can you tell me a bit about how Iona Portal came about?

I’ve always been fascinated by the supernatural, and in the course of my travels have talked with a lot of people about their experiences. Other cultures are often more open to the supernatural than ours, and I’ve met people with some incredible stories. In the process, I’ve had a few unusual experiences myself. There’s a lot more “out there” than most of us suspect.

Two years ago a friend encouraged me to write a science fiction book about some of these encounters. The result is Iona Portal.

4. What made you self publish your novel and what has the experience been like to date?

I’ve published non-fiction books through traditional publishing houses and assumed I’d do that with fiction, but as I began to research agents and publishers, I found that the ebook revolution has shaken the publishing industry to the core. Sales of traditionally published books are plummeting.  Bookstores are going out of business. Agents and publishers are fearing for their existence. In the light of these new realities I decided to go the indie route and e-publish Iona Portal. It’s harder in some ways. You have to wear a lot of hats. But I’m convinced it’s the wave of the future.

5. Who have you published with?

Iona Portal is now published on Amazon Kindle, Smashwords, Apple’s iBookstore, and at Barnes & Noble for the Nook. A paperback version is coming out this month through Amazon’s CreateSpace.

6. Did you prepare your e-books yourself? Any pointers?

Yes. It’s not an easy process, but there are some excellent tutorials available online. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing also has some great step-by-step instructions. I’d advise reading several of these tutorials before you begun, then take your time and go step by step until the process is finished.

front cover of Iona portal7. Who does you cover art?

I do all my own graphics. I’m fortunate to have some skills in that area. For those who don’t have those skills, I would definitely recommend getting professional help for a cover design. People really do judge books by their covers.

8. Do you do a lot of self promotion? How do you market and promote your work & what do you find are effective methods of self promotion?

I’ve done most of my promotion thru Twitter.

Twitter is a great tool for marketing, but you need to understand what you’re doing. Some authors think marketing means posting a “BUY MY BOOK!” tweet several times a day. That’s not an effective way to market.

The primary goal of twitter is to engage people and build relationships. I also believe there’s a principle in the universe that says, if you want to receive, you must first be willing to give. It’s the whole “do unto others…” thing, and I’ve found it to be true.

So in addition to promoting my own book, I actively read books of other authors. When I find books I like, I try to promote their books as much as I promote my own. This has brought me into some mutually supportive relationships with other authors I respect, and it has definitely helped in marketing.

9. Do you find sales peak and then drop off after your initial self promotion?

Sales peaked after the first week or two when my close friends had all bought their copies. But I’ve tried to be pretty consistent in promotion. Sales picked up by the end of the first month, and have been increasing ever since. This last month, sales more than tripled.

10. What advice would you give to a newbie to self publishing?

Go into self-publishing with the expectation that being a writer is hard work. That’s true no matter whether you publish traditionally, or self publish. If you just write a book and post it on Amazon, it won’t sell, no matter how good it is. No one will even know it’s there. You have to learn to market your book. That’s part of being a writer.

Your ultimate success, of course, will depend on the quality of your book. If your book is dull, boring, or poorly written, it won’t sell no matter how hard you promote it. But if you write a good book, and do a reasonable amount of promotion, your book WILL find its market.

11. What lies in store for Robert David MacNeil?

In one interview, Clive Cussler said he viewed himself more as an entertainer than a writer. That’s my desire also. I want to entertain my readers, whether they’re reading my tweets or my novels. I want to write books that entertain and enthrall, and that open the reader’s minds to new dimensions. If I can do that, I’ll be a happy writer.

Beyond that… I’d LOVE to see Iona Portal made into a movie!  (In 3-D of course!)

My website is http://ionaportal.com/, and my blog is http://ionaportal.com/blog/

Readers can also follow me on Twitter at @RDavidMacNeil

You can find Iona Portal on Amazon here…  http://www.amazon.com/Iona-Portal-Synaxis-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B005IA87WA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1313854512&sr=8-1

Author Interview – Faith Mortimer

I am extremely pleased to have had the opportunity to interview author of The Crossing, Faith Mortimer. I think there is a lot of great advice here for other authors so please Rate, Tweet and Like this post to spread the word.

How would you describe yourself and your writing?

Good morning Andy. May I take this opportunity to thank you for interviewing me? I am delighted to feature on your splendid website and I must say I take good interest in your other articles. You publicise lots of interesting views and news to share! Briefly, I am Faith Mortimer, and I live in an old stone-house in the foothills of the Troodos Mountains on Cyprus. Cyprus is a beautiful Mediterranean island and is also known as Aphrodite’s own. I originally come from England and I began writing seriously around 2000, when I had completed a degree in Biology. I realised that after studying for my degree I had found new dedication, stamina and confidence to finally finish my first novel. Before then I had qualified as a Registered nurse (in my twenties) and latterly run my own business from home. I am a qualified Yachtmaster and before we settled in Cyprus, my husband and I explored the seas from as far north as New York down the coast to the Caribbean and Venezuela and then back across the Atlantic into the Mediterranean where we finished our travels in Turkey – a fantastic eight years living on our sailing yacht – just the right place to write books

How many books do you have published and tell us a bit about them?

I now am so proud to have three published novels under my name and I’m currently working on my fourth, which I’d dearly love to have out for Christmas!

the crossingThe Crossing:
The Crossing was my first novel and covers many genres: action and adventure, romance, wartime hero, family saga and a rite of passage. It took me about two years to write including six months of intense research. It is a bumper book of some 130,000 words and readers tell me they love the characters and the story.

Assassins villageThe Assassins’ Village (a Diana Rivers mystery novel):
The Assassins’ Village is a mystery thriller set in Cyprus and written in an Agatha Christie-like style. The story is about a village of locals and expats. The setting is an open-air amphitheatre and because of some dreadful past secrets one person is found murdered. A whole chain of events is set in motion with some shocking repercussions. Love, hate, sex and retribution all feature in this sinister tale.

children of the plantationChildren of The Plantation (a Diana River mystery novel):
Children of The Plantation” is set in Malaysia. As I lived there as a child I always wanted to write a novel about it. “Children” came to me only this year as an idea and within a couple of months I had a full blown new novel. It’s quite spooky and mysterious and so far the reviews have been fantastic! I had the original idea from a play I starred in and took the story from there. It’s nothing like the play really but it gave me the initial idea. I’ve also written a short story, The Bamboo Mirror; released as a TRUE short ghost story and set in Singapore at a boarding school during the sixties and going back to the occupation by the Japanese. A chilling tale! And finally, my anthology of short stories, Echoes of Life and Love. These feature romance, horror, paranormal and murder! A real good mixture.

The Assassins Village. Can you tell me a bit about how this book came about? I see it did well on Authonomy.com

The Assassins’ Village came about when I was living in our first house in Cyprus. There are a lot of old stories about assassins’ of the mountains and our village was reputedly the original Assassins’ Village. Apparently you could have (and still can) anyone murdered for a couple of hundred dollars! I decided to put this book in eFormat first as I wanted to control the sales and marketing myself. Yes it reached the number one position on Authonomy in November 2010. So far I believe I made the right decision as sales have been great and I believe have not yet reached their potential.

Who have you published with?

I first published with Olympia Publishers of London and now I use Topsails Charter from Southampton.

Did you prepare your e-books yourself? Any pointers?

I write my own books and as I’m a complete dinosaur on the PC I get my husband to prepare the manuscript for publication on Amazon. He’s brilliant at it. The main thing I believe is to make sure you’re absolutely happy that the book is READY for publishing.

Who does you cover art?

I choose my cover art with my husband and then he prepares and finalises it for me.

Do you do a lot of self promotion? How do you market and promote your work & what do you find are effective methods of self promotion?

Yes, I’m afraid I have to do a lot of self-promotion. No one else is going to advertise me and my books. I’m on Facebook with about 1800 followers, on Twitter with 8000, and over 1000 on Goodreads. There are other sites but it all takes masses of time and energy when I’d really much prefer to be writing. I host a blog twice a week, have other guest writers and sometimes put all my books on special offer of just 99c for a period to attract sales. But quite honestly I think most serious readers are wary of ‘cheap’ books and prefer to pay a bit more (up to $5.50 say) for a decent read. I say decent – there’s nothing wrong in hundreds of 99c books but – hey I have to eat and I’d have to amass huge sales to survive on 99c sales full time! I like to think my followers and buyers of my books are friends – I listen to what they have to tell me, what they want and how they feel. This does help sell more.

Do you find sales peak and then drop off after your initial self promotion?

Sales do peak when there’s something special going on and then there’s a natural trend of some dropping off. But I’ve found that the more I write and the longer I’ve been around more and more people now know and (hopefully) trust me enough to know a good book when they find one, then the peaking stays higher for longer. Nowadays whenever I promote the peak lasts a lot longer.

What advice would you give to a newbie to self publishing?

Many of my blog posts are about writing and keeping at it. You do need stamina, dedication and confidence when writing. A lot of writers do hit a low in the middle of their books. I’d say if this happens to you then walk away, do something else and then when you come back to it the problem usually has resolved itself.  Don’t give up. Don’t write for others, write for yourself. Your followers and fans will find you, don’t worry. Your life is in your own hands and be true to yourself.

I would also like to tell other authors that you’re never alone in your work. The actual writing is a lonely business, but with today’s technology at our fingertips there’s always someone out there who is willing to give help and advice when you’re looking for inspiration and just need a little friendly chat. I’ve made hundreds of friends on Facebook, Twitter and from followers on my website. Some are amazing and we share loads of news and often trade ideas.

Don’t ever feel you are alone – there is no need to be. And don’t ever, ever give up! If you feel a deep yearning inside then you are going to get that first book written. Good luck and remember I’m always there with a willing and ready ear. If you would like to connect with me feel free to join me on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/FaithMortimer.Author and Twitter http://twitter.com/FaithMortimer If readers want to read over some of my earlier blog posts they’re all on my website – I’ve had some brilliant comments about them.

The link is: http://www.faithmortimerauthor.com

What lies in store for Faith Mortimer?

A Work in Progress – my latest endeavour.  Upon the birth of her baby, Holly, Diana is determined to enjoy her first taste of motherhood. She decides to have a rest from writing until Holly is a little older. As soon as her infant is a few months old, Diana returns to her mother country, England and stays with a cousin of hers, Robert. Robert is a helicopter pilot, with emotional problems of his own and is involved with a woman, Libby whom he rescued during an accident at sea. He recognises in Libby, a character not unlike his cousin Diana and realises she is just as accident prone and seems to be mixed up with some characters who are perhaps not as they appear to be on the surface. Is Libby in danger when she has an intruder during the night? And then there are hints of her being stalked. A series of horrendous attacks on female nursing staff at the hospital where Libby is a ward sister set off a chain of events that reaches an exhilarating climax. Who is the attacker? Is it the hospital porter, Peter, Libby’s enigmatic and superior surgeon fiancé or is it long-suffering and emotionally damaged Robert himself…find out more when “The Surgeon’s Blade” is released in the next month or so!

Author Bio

Faith MortimerFaith Mortimer was born in Manchester and educated in Singapore, Malaya and Hampshire, England. She qualified as a Registered nurse and after some years changed careers to oversee a number of travel and sport related companies.

She is happily married with four children. Once the children attended University, she decided to join them in reading for a Science degree and obtained an Honours Science degree with The Open University in 2005. She believes that the dedication and stamina needed to sit for a degree gave her the confidence to finish writing her first novel. On achieving this, January 2009 saw the publication of The Crossing. This novel is based on a true
incident and Faith thoroughly enjoyed the six months or so research that went into the book and the 12 months writing and editing.

The Crossing is available in paperback and Kindle format on Amazon.

In 2011  finished  second novel; a murder mystery set in the Troodos mountains of Cyprus.

This 93,000 word novel was posted on the Harper Collins/Authonomy site and out of over 8000 books was chosen in November 2010 to be the Number 1 book! You can read the review here on Faith’s Amazon page.

Faith Mortimer’s novels can be found  at http://www.faithmortimerauthor.com