14 hour days, marketing and dealing with snobbery: my life as a self-published bestseller

Rachel Abbot, Author of Kill Me Again (Image from The Guardian)

“I’d like to say that there has been a dramatic change in attitude towards self-publishing since I released my first novel. In some quarters that is definitely the case. But sadly there are still some influential people who believe that, first, self-published authors sell a lot of books because they are cheap (Kill Me Again is currently in the Kindle UK top 20 and only one book in the chart is more expensive) and, second, that if the writing was good, the author would be offered a traditional deal. Despite being placed 14th in the UK Kindle chart of all authors over the past five years – above many of my favourite authors – some festival organisers still believe I don’t have as much to say about writing and selling books as a traditionally published author, regardless of their popularity.

But that’s a minor gripe, and I am happy to trade the occasional (and diminishing) lack of recognition as a serious author for the unbelievable support that I get from readers. Nothing thrills me as much as hearing from people who have read and enjoyed my novels – readers who probably don’t know, and couldn’t care less, how I am published.”

Source: 14 hour days, marketing and dealing with snobbery: my life as a self-published bestseller | Books | The Guardian

No Strings Attached Giveaway Blog Hop


Like the title says, there are no strings attached for this giveaway hop! For a chance to win $5.00 gift card (Amazon or Paypal Cash), from now until March 11th, enter my Rafflecopter giveaway.  You don’t need to do anything…just click the Free Entry option and you’re in!

No Strings Attached Giveaway Blog Hop

Source: No Strings Attached Giveaway Blog Hop

Let’s Leap Into Books Giveaway Blog Hop! | Liz Madrid


As part of the Leap Into Books Giveaway Blog Hop, and as my thank you for introducing me to new authors during my last giveaway, I’m running another giveaway on my Author Blog, and this time,  it’s for an ebook copy of my novel, Loving Ashe AND a $5 Amazon Gift Card (or if you’re international, $5 Paypal Cash).

If you already have Loving Ashe, you can also pick from my other novels, A Collateral Attraction, and Finding Sam instead.

Here’s the link to go the Rafflecopter giveaway directly.

Source: Let’s Leap Into Books! | Liz Madrid

Reviews: Just How Important Are They?


So you’re looking to buy a brand new TV.  You know, the one that fills up the whole wall and looks like you can actually smell the flower on the screen if only Smell-A-Vision had been invented at the same time as Hi-Definition.  You’ve probably already seen the TV you want at the store, and now just need to do one more thing before you hand over your credit card.

Most likely, you’ll probably check the reviews.  How many stars did it earn from the majority of customers?  Any complaints?  Any regrets?  Smell-A-Vision model coming in oh, 2018?

Yup, most of us, and me most of all, would probably — most likely — check the reviews.  We probably do it, not just for big-ticket items, but for movies, plays, vacations, airlines, restaurants, even pizza or that latest noodle place that just opened down the street.

And books.  Yup, books.  Especially indie books.

While there are those who’ll buy a book without reading reviews, like the latest Stephen King release, many people will read reviews first before shelling out a few dollars to have the book downloaded to their e-readers, especially for an author they know nothing about.

Indie authors like me.  Or that author you’ve yet to meet.

So if you like a book — any book, even Stephen King’s or Neil Gaiman — please take the time to leave a review.  Share your thoughts about what worked for you, and what didn’t work.  Just a few sentences will do.  Every little review does help.  And with Amazon cracking down on reviews they believe have been bought (and rightly so, some are bought) or written by friends and family, reader reviews are harder and harder to come by.

New cover!
New cover!

Today, I discovered I had new reviews for my free-to-my-blog-readers short story, The Accidental Christmas (it’s really a year-round story, and I’ve yet to come up with a new title but I do love it the way it is).  And reading them made me smile.  One, because I remembered what inspired me to write it (a trip to the Christmas tree lot with my 5-year old who picked, of all the trees in the lot, a 3-footer), and two, because it leads me to another story, one that deals with PTSD and the power of second chances.

So if you’ve read it, I’d love a review on this and any of my other books you’ve read.  I’d also love to see what you thought of this 8100-word story.  And who knows?  Maybe, future readers can read it and say, hmm…maybe I should check out this new writer.

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Book Review: Kingdom’s Fall by Andrew Reid

Kingdom's FallKingdom’s Fall by Andrew Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this as it was serialized on Wattpad, then bought it the moment it was published.  It’s one of the things I love about stories I discover on the site that go “wide,” meaning that they end up published professionally (we’ll argue about the difference between traditional and indie in another post).

But before I continue with the review, let me just preface this by saying that if you guys know me, I am a romance and women’s fiction writer, though my reading choices lean more towards literary fiction, thrillers and women’s lit with elements of romance.  And other than George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire, I don’t necessarily gravitate to fantasies right off the bat.

I actually discovered this book while searching to see if anyone was using the title Kingdom’s Fall since it was the title of Gareth’s breakout mini-series in Loving Ashe.  To my surprise, Reid already was, but I ended up sticking to my title anyway, and then went on to read this – and I sure am glad I did.

So on to the review.

Something dark is growing in the Kingdom. Trade from the south has choked to a standstill, and the air over the marshes hangs heavy with the threat of war.  In the north, the sea-wall, the ancient defense that protects the coastline, is crumbling.  The people look to their lords for guidance, and the lords look to their King.

But King Varion has little time for their concerns, for his daughter has been kidnapped a priestly cult who intends to sacrifice her and summon an ancient power into the world.

From the moment the story began, I liked the way the characters feel realistic.  You feel like you know them, their motivations, even their failures.  I felt for the characters, beginning with Kara, the innkeeper’s daughter who finds herself allied with the most wanted man in the kingdom, Aiden Baird, who can’t quite remember who or what he’s doing so far from his King. Then there’s Captain Gray who takes the poor army urchin, Cuan, under his wing, and the Islanders Siv and Einar on a heart-wrenching mission to find their kidnapped daughter.

I stuck with these five characters through their journey to fight an evil force that’s threatening to take over the Kingdom, even as the walls protecting the coastline have started to crumble. The odds are against them all, but they keep on going, knowing that if they fail, the Kingdom will fall.  One thing that I did wish to see in the book was a map to show me the Kingdom that everyone is fighting to save, but that’s only because I’m a visual reader in some respects – and maybe I’m so used to those maps that come with Martin’s books.  But let that not be a reason to not check this book out – the story is engaging and the characters even more so and they’ll have you rooting for them till the end.

Buy on Amazon