Blogger Award and My Last WIPpet Wednesday (for a While)

sisterhood-of-world-blogger-awardIt’s true, this is going to be my last WIPpet Wednesday, in fact my last blog post for a while. How long a while is all depends on when our baby decides to arrive and when I’m next awake enough/have any time (you get the idea) to even think about blogging. Apart from taking the time to relax over these next couple of weeks I also want to concentrate on writing A Long Way From Home while I have the chance. It has stalled at around a third of the way in and I’d like to get a good chunk written before our baby arrives. A little scare over the weekend when I was admitted to hospital for 24 hours to be monitored made me realise how soon our little baby could actually make an appearance. All is fine and baby’s heart was monitored and he/she was moving around like a crazy thing so I was discharged on Monday. Feet up, laptop and writing – that’s my plan.

I’ve also been meaning to do a post about a blogger award I received way back in November from my friend and fellow author, Jade Reyner, who’s not only a prolific blogger but about to launch her second novel in the coming weeks. She nominated me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award! and so I thought it was about time that I officially thanked her and passed the award on. As blogger awards go this is a simple one:

Rules:

  1. Provide a link and thank the blogger who nominated you for this award.
  2. Answer 10 questions.
  3. Nominate 10-12 blogs that you find a joy to read.
  4. Provide links to these nominated blogs and kindly let the recipients know that they have been nominated.
  5. Include the award logo within your blog post.

Questions:

  1. Your favourite colour? – Blue
  2. Your favourite animal? – Dog, specifically our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
  3. Your favourite non-alcoholic drink? – Rhubarb & Custard drink from M&S that tastes just like the sweets I had when I was a kid.
  4. Facebook or Twitter? – Twitter, although I’m getting in to Facebook more now.
  5. Your favourite pattern? – Stripes
  6. Do you prefer getting or giving presents? – Giving, particularly when you know you’ve got something that person will really love.
  7. Your favourite number? – 2 and 7
  8. Your favourite day of the week? – Sunday
  9. Your favourite flower? – Colourful, sweet smelling ones!
  10. What is your passion? – Writing stories of course.

There’s absolutely no pressure to take part but I’d like to pass the award on to all my fellow WIPpeteers as I love reading your novel extracts each week and receiving your comments on mine. You’re a great and supportive bunch, so thank you.

Now, for my WIPpet. What to give you today… hum, it’s really getting tricky now without having written any new stuff recently. I think, because it’s my last WIPpet for a while, I will give you five paragraphs for the 5th February 2014 from the last chapter I’ve written, which just so happens to be chapter 14. For those of you who didn’t beta read book one this extract will probably be quite confusing. All I will say is by this point in the book Lizzie has been found and she’s with Maisie in a house in 1940s London with a future version of Danny. Oh, and to be really mean I’ve cut the last paragraph short because it gives away a huge plot spoiler.

“What are we not going to like?” I asked.

“My suggestion of what I think you should do.” Future Danny looked directly at me.

I pointed to the top of my chest. “What I should do?”

“Why Maisie?” Lizzie asked, folding her arms and huffing.

“Because,” future Danny said. “Maisie is the only one of us that can time-shift to…”

Make of that what you will! We’re a very welcoming bunch headed up by the fabulous KL Schwengel, so if you fancy joining in with WIPpet Wednesday simply choose an extract from your WIP that corresponds with the date (creativity is encouraged) and add your link here over on My Random Muse. Take the time to read the other WIPpet offerings too – we’re a diverse bunch.

I don’t know when I’ll be blogging again, but I will be back, that’s a promise. Until then happy writing and reading everyone!

Succeeding at Self Publishing – A Case of Trial and Error

ButtStorm700x700CenteredLast week I met up with local writing friends Elaine Jeremiah and Jade Reyner. All three of us have published our debut novels this year: Jade published Twelve Days – The Beginning in April, I launched The Butterfly Storm in June, and Elaine’s novel The Inheritance was published just last month. One of the things that dominated our conversation was how to get our books noticed on amazon. Visibility is the key but it’s a constant battle to one, get your book noticed in the first place, and two, to maintain a presence on amazon.

Eight weeks after I published The Butterfly Storm I did my first free promotion. As I wrote in a post not long after the promotion ended, putting my book for free more than exceeded my expectations and resulted in nearly 20,000 downloads in just three days. The post promo results and benefits that followed were incredible with The Butterfly Storm averaging 100 sales a day for around three weeks, making it into the ‘Movers & Shakers’ chart, and becoming a bestseller in the contemporary romance, literary fiction and women’s literary fiction categories. Of course I expected that post promo boost to die down after a while and although it’s been selling at least one copy a day since it dropped lower in the rankings, I’ve been thinking of ways that I can increase my visibility again.

On Friday I reduced the price by half to see if it would make any difference. Friday morning The Butterfly Storm was at about 30,000 in the amazon rankings and by that evening it had jumped to around 6,000. Although there’s not been a massive increase in sales since, there is most definitely an increase both on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com (where it had pretty much being doing nothing). I have got a paid promotion running on kuforum all week but until today I’d done nothing to promote the fact that the book is reduced until the 31st October. My aim is to make it into the top 5000 over the next week or two. I will let you know how it goes.

What strategies have you used to help promote your book or books and how successful have they been?

Blog Tour Giveaway Winners and What’s Next

ButtStorm700x700CenteredI know I said I was going to announce the winners of the amazon voucher giveaway on Sunday but my excuse was I was doing lovely Sunday-type things and I ran out of time in the end. But I have put the names of all the fabulous people who bought The Butterfly Storm during the blog tour into the draw and can now officially announce the two winners:

  • Ben Dangerfield
  • Naomi Hopkins

Congratulations! I will be in touch with Ben and Naomi in the next couple of days to arrange their prizes of £5 amazon vouchers. Thank you to everyone else who bought the book and I very much hope that you enjoy reading it.

So, the blog tour is over and during the past two weeks an extract of The Butterfly Storm featured on Jade Reyner’s blog, guest posts appeared on Joanne Phillips’, Maryann Miller’s, Laurey Buckland’s, Raewyn Hewitt’s and Estelle Wilkinson’s blogs, plus I had interviews with Alana Terry, Elaine Jeremiah and Beach Bound Books. Thank you so very much to all my wonderful and talented blog tour hosts.

So what’s next? Well the promotion and marketing of The Butterfly Storm doesn’t stop but it’s no good having just one book published… My children’s novel is almost finished and so I’m going to dedicate July to doing the final edit before sending it off to agents and/or publishers. If I get any feedback, well then that’s great, and if I don’t then I’ll follow the same route as I did with The Butterfly Storm and self-publish Time Shifters. Then in August I’m going to spend the month writing my new WIP, The House of Stone, and see how far I can get with it. That’s my summer sorted. How about yours? What plans do you have?

5 Minutes With… Jade Reyner

AnnMarie 3I’ve only known Jade Reyner for a couple of months but in that time I’ve got to know her via her blog and enjoyed a lovely coffee and a chat with her about writing, our books, hopes and dreams along with fellow writer and friend, Elaine Jeremiah. Not only is she an exciting new author but she’s incredibly supportive too and I was honoured to be her first guest blogger on Wednesday.

Jade published her debut novel, Twelve Days – The Beginning, at the end of April and she’s busy working on its sequel, Twelve Days – The Future. Jade took the time to talk to me about both books, her ideal writing location and exactly just what inspires her…

For anyone who’s not read your debut novel, Twelve Days – The Beginning, how would you pitch it to them?

I would say that it is a hot and spicy romance with an element of thriller and plenty of twists and turns. It’s one that you can’t put down (but then I would say that!)

What books, if any, would you compare it to?

Gosh, that’s tricky as it’s not the sort of book that I have ever read before. It’s kind of a cross genre, sort of Fifty Shades meets Stephen King I suppose.

Can you describe the writing process of Twelve Days from initial idea to finished book.

The plot line for Twelve Days is based on life experiences and those of others that I have met on my journey and is something that has been rattling around in my head for a while. I started a Creative Writing course last year and that gave me the confidence to believe that I could write a novel and so I just sat down and started writing. It only took me a month or so to write, but the cover art, editing etc… all took up more time than I anticipated.

How is work on Twelve Days – The Future coming along and are you finding that because it’s a sequel it makes writing it easier?

Twelve Days – The Future is progressing well, I am about a third of the way through it Cover 2now and it should hopefully be ready late autumn. In some ways it is harder to write a sequel as you have to remember all the details about the characters that you dropped into the first book and make sure that you follow them through – although I feel that I have more freedom with the plot line for this one as this is completely new and is not based on anything other than my imagination.

Where do you write and if you could live anywhere what would be your dream location for writing?

I am very lucky in that I have just had a section of the spare room made into an office space for me so I write from there. In my ideal world I would have my own room overlooking the countryside and it would definitely need to have a field full of cows!

For anyone who’s thinking about self-publishing do you have any tips or advice?

I would say don’t underestimate how long the process takes and be prepared to spend a huge amount of time marketing. This is an area that I am struggling with, as do many self-published authors and for anyone starting out, you have to realise that it is an ongoing journey – even once the book is out there.

Did you write the kind of book you like to read?

At the moment yes, although I have some others in the pipeline which will more than likely stray from my normal reading/writing genre.

What inspires you?

Truthfully, my family. I am blessed with a wonderful support network and without them it wouldn’t be possible to do what I am doing. Their never ending faith in me is what keeps me going.

If you could only take one book to a desert island what would it be and why?

Could I take a trilogy? Wow, that’s a hard question. It would have to be real escapist type book, maybe something by Sylvia Day or Colleen Hoover.

What are your plans once you’ve finished Twelve Days – The Future?

The initial plan is for Twelve Days to be a series and I have plans for two other books in the series featuring two of the other characters. After that, I have two more completely different books in the pipeline so I am hoping to get all six books out there eventually. After that, who knows?

I’ve no doubt that Jade will have all six books out in the not-too-distant future. With her debut published this year and another one due to out in the autumn it’s clear that she’s a hard worker and is certainly not at a loss for inspiration. If you’d like to find out more and follow Jade’s writing journey then she has a great blog where she publishes lots of interesting and informative posts. She can also be found on Twitter @twelvedaysjade and her book is available on amazon.

Blog Tour Stop #8 – Estelle Wilkinson

ButtStormBlogTourThis evening my The Butterfly Storm blog tour host is Estelle Wilkinson, author of It Started With a Click: A Memoir of an eBay Romance. Estelle has been doing very well for herself since publishing her book and is hard at work writing a follow-up to it. My guest post for Estelle, In It for the Long Haul, is all about my journey from 7 year-old wannabe writer to 36 year-old published author and the qualities you may need to get there… enjoy.

Right, back to ‘Today at Wimbledon’ now. If you’ve got five minutes to spare tomorrow then please pop back and have a read of an interview I’ve done with author Jade Reyner where we’ll be discussing her racy thriller Twelve Days – The Beginning and just what book she’d take to a desert island.

Blog Tour Stop #7 – Jade Reyner

ButtStormBlogTourIt’s a whirlwind of a week for blog tour stops with one each day and today is the turn of author Jade Reyner who has very kindly posted an extract of The Butterfly Storm over on her blog. I was introduced to Jade through Elaine Jeremiah and the three of us, as we all live reasonably close, met up for a coffee and a natter a few weeks back.

Jade’s debut novel is called Twelve Days – The Beginning and she’s currently hard at work on the follow-up, Twelve Days – The Future. If you’re able to visit my blog this Friday I’ll be doing an interview with Jade for my 5 Minutes With… feature.

So, if you have a few minutes then please stop by Jade’s blog to read a snippet of The Butterfly Storm and if you fancy reading an extract from something completely different then my children’s novel, Time Shifters featured again in my WIPpet Wednesday post.

Blog Tour Stop #4 – Laurey Buckland

ButtStormBlogTourIt’s Friday afternoon, sunny and nearly the weekend, what better way to celebrate than to head on over to the very welcoming Laurey Buckland who’s hosting me today as part of my blog tour. Laurey has a chick-lit novel out called A Girl’s Guide to Fairy Tales (it has fabulous reviews on amazon) and she’s also featured in The Sunlounger Anthology alongside around 30 other chick-lit writers and authors.

There’s still time to enter my prize giveaway. All you need to do is buy The Butterfly Storm between now and the 28th June and either email me the amazon receipt to kactus (at) kate-frost (dot) co (dot) uk or tweet that you’ve bought it when prompted by amazon and I’ll include you in the draw to win one of two £5/$5 amazon vouchers. Thanks so much to those of you that have bought it.

My blog tour is continuing after the weekend. On Monday my friend and fellow writer Elaine Jeremiah is interviewing me; Tuesday (that’s New Zealand time as it might actually be Monday in the UK…) I’m visiting the lovely Raewyn Hewitt; Wednesday I’m sharing an extract of The Butterfly Storm on Jade Reyner’s excellent blog; Thursday I have a guest post on British author, Estelle Wilkinson’s blog; and then on Friday I’m rounding off the week with an interview on Beach Bound Books.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

The Butterfly Storm Blog Tour 2013

The next two weeks are going to be all about The Butterfly Storm on my blog, although I’ll try and throw something else into the mix so you don’t get fed up of Sophie and Alekos, Leila and Despina and their exploits in Greece and north Norfolk.

Not only will I be blogging about The Butterfly Storm but some other lovely and very generous writers, authors and bloggers will be hosting me on their own blogs either through guest posts or interviews, so if you’d like to follow my blog tour and support both myself and the fabulous hosts then here’s where I’ll be stopping off at:

  • Friday 14th June: The tour kicks off with a guest post on the very talented and successful Joanne Phillips’ blog. She’s the author of bestsellers Can’t Live Without and The Family Trap.
  • Sunday 16th June: Review of The Butterfly Storm on Maryann Miller’s, It’s Not All Gravy blog.
  • Monday 17th June: Interview with fellow WIPpeteer the lovely Alana Terry, author of The Beloved Daughter and What, No Sushi?
  • Wednesday 19th June: A guest post featuring a conversation between myself and my main character, Sophie Keech, on It’s Not All Gravy.
  • Friday 21st June: A guest post on chick-lit novelist Laurey Buckland’s blog.
  • Monday 24th June: Interview with my friend and talented writer Elaine Jeremiah.
  • Tuesday 25th June: Guest post on the very lovely Raewyn Hewitt’s blog.
  • Wednesday 26th June: I’ll be visiting Jade Reyner, recently published author of Twelve Days – The Beginning.
  • Thursday 27th June: Guest Post ‘In It For the Long Haul’ on author of It Started With A Click, Estelle Wilkinson’s blog.
  • Friday 28th June: Interview with Stacie Theis on her fabulous blog, Beach Bound Books.

I hope you will join me on my blog tour as I cross the pond and visit Alana Terry, Maryann Miller and Stacie Theis of Beach Bound Books in the US; stick around in the UK with Joanne Phillips, Laurey Buckland, Elaine Jeremiah, Jade Reyner and Estelle Wilkinson; and head all the way down under to visit Raewyn Hewitt in New Zealand. Also, in July I hope to be doing a Q&A over on Off The Shelf Book Promotions with the lovely Debbie Young, author of Sell Your Books! and on the 23rd July check out a review of The Butterfly Storm on Chick Lit Plus.

In the meantime I need to stop blogging and tweeting for an hour or so to go take Frodo for a walk and grab some lunch!