Friday, 25 July 2014

Book Review: Wolf Moon

Wolf Moon
by J.R. Burnett

Published: 2014 by J.R. Burnett
Format: ebook
ISBN-13: 9781310206313
As head of the midwest division of Occult Animal Control, Alex Ford doesn't know the meaning of a boring day at work. From exposing dragon fighting rings to trapping pesky unicorns...there's never a dull moment.

As a snow storm rolls into Tulsa, Alex discovers the mangled remains of a Shifter--the likes of which hasn't been seen in the city for nearly two years. Racing against the full moon, Alex must try to save the wolves from themselves. Can he put aside all of his prejudices to protect those he has hated and can his fourlegged partner do the same?

Wolf Moon is a novelette of approximately 11,580 words and is part of the Furred, Feathered, and Fanged series.
I normally read romance, but thought that I would give something a little different a try.

I really enjoyed Wolf Moon and liked the concept of animal control for paranormal creatures. Loved the engaging characters and was drawn into the story by the author's 'voice'. I felt like I was there along with Alex and his companions and could feel the tension building as the story progressed.

Even though this is a novelette it didn't feel like the story was rushed or cut short. Can't wait for the next story in the Furred, Feathered and Fanged series to find out what happens next to Alex and his team.

If you want a well written, quick read and are into paranormal or urban fantasy, then I can recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Five more things I learned at the RNA Conference: self-publishing

On the Saturday afternoon of the conference, Ian Skillicorn gave an excellent talk on epublishing. This was one of the most useful sessions of the weekend and I picked up lots of tips.

  • Photographic covers are more popular for contemporary romance.
  • Use keywords in the book's subtitle.
  • This will help your book get found on Amazon. You should also put your metadata into your Word file (click on file > properties) before it's converted.
  • Have a pricing strategy.
  • Make a list of similar books to yours, where they are in the sales rank and check their prices - what happens to their rank when the price changes.
  • If using Microsoft Word, format your ebook using Word's styles function.
  • Use a 'Heading' style for chapter headers - this makes it easier when you come to compose your table of contents.
  • Your marketing strategy needs to be in place before publication, but don't put links up to your book until it is available.
Thank you to Ian Skillicorn of Corazon Books for his talk on publishing and marketing ebooks.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Five things I learned at the RNA Conference: self-publishing

Last weekend, along with 250 fellow writers, I attended the Romantic Novelists' Association's annual conference. It was a brilliant weekend held at Harper Adams University, near Telford. The food was plentiful and the drinks even more so, but believe it or not as well as all the partying and socialising I did actually learn something (no sniggering at the back).

Over the next few blog posts I'll be looking back at my sketchy notes and picking out some of the things I found particularly useful.

The first lecture I attended was by Talli Roland and Nick Spalding about their experiences with self-publishing.

Photo courtesy of Harper Adams University
  • Publish your novel first, THEN have your marketing push. Have your marketing plan in place but don't start promoting your book until readers can click on a link to buy it.
  • Make sure you have the license to your book's cover image and fonts.
  • I knew about the image, but had wrongly assumed it was okay to use free fonts. Check the license of each font you want to use.
  • Write an exciting blurb.
  • So many of the books I see on Amazon, both traditionally published and self-pubbed have no description. How can a reader make a decision to buy it if they don't know what it's about?
  • Design an eye-catching cover that works as a thumbnail and in black and white.
  • Get your book professionally edited!
Thank you Talli Roland and Nick Spalding for the talk on their reasons behind choosing independent publishing.

On Friday I'll be looking at what I learned from Ian Skillicorn's talk on marketing and self-publishing your ebook.

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