If you are an author, I am sure you have seen plenty of books advertised on social media, mainly Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Authors will post every day to various groups in a bid to get sales, but does it work?
Like many things, book groups have become oversaturated and flooded with buy my book posts. Hundreds are added everyday and as most book groups cover a wide range of genres, it can be difficult to get your book seen. Not to mention algorithms acting against you. So how can you make your book stand out from the rest?
For a start, use an image in your posts as opposed to the image which appears when you add a link. A clear image can be eye catching to the user and posts with images do better on the likes of Facebook.
Make sure that your image fits the platform. An image which works well on Facebook will not fit on Twitter or Instagram. Each platform has set dimensions and the last thing you want is a blurred or stretched image. If you use sites like Canva to create images, they have the correct dimensions available for specific posts.
Ad copy should include the book blurb, a teaser and a call to action – e.g. Click the link below to learn more. You need to grab the user and keep their interest. Images are the first step and if followed by a great blurb, this will increase your chances of the user clicking the link.
For the book link, add it to the comment section below your post as opposed to adding it to the main post. Facebook tends to hide posts with links in them. By adding them in the comments, you have a better chance of your post being seen.
For Instagram, it is difficult to show a book cover, but you can create an image for your book. You could create a teaser post with a short extract from the book or use a picture that ties into your book. Include a blurb and link in the comments.
For Twitter, it can be difficult to get your book seen. Twitter is fast moving and as soon as you tweet, it gets lost in a sea of other tweets. The best way to be seen is to post multiple times per day – up to ten times. You may want to use Tweetdeck to set up tweets in advance. A good picture will get your tweet noticed. Due to the reduced word count on Twitter, you will have to rely on a good hook to entice the user.
Social Media Marketing can be effective and when combined with ads, it can really boost sales. Remember to always follow the rules of any promotional group you are in and look for groups with more specific genres that suit your book as opposed to a group which includes every genre.
It can be a lot of work, but it is possible to get sales through social media marketing. If you are having problems getting sales, then perhaps it would be a good idea to get a second opinion on your cover and blurb. There are many feedback groups available to help.
Social Media Marketing is free and when done right can prove profitable.
Viral: After Zombie Series Book 3 is out on June 15th 2019. You can preorder your copy today.
I've died three times already, I might not survive another bullet...
When Jenna reunites with her father, under devastating circumstances, she knows that the only way to keep them both safe is to fight back against the ones who are hunting her.
Time to go Viral...
If she can show the world what Gene-Pharm Industries are really doing, the secrets they are keeping, then she can bring them down once and for all. That just leaves CHAOS.
But if Jenna thought she knew the whole story, she's in for a surprise. More family secrets threaten to tear her life apart. Add to that some zombies and she is facing an impossible situation. One she may not survive.
We spoke to Roma Gray about her new release Hunted Tribe 2: Rocket's Red Glare and we spoke to her about her new business too.
1) Congratulations on your latest release, can you tell us a little about your book?
The Hunted Tribe 2: Rocket’s Red Glare is the second book in The Hunted Tribe series. The main character, 16-year old Sean Wolf is in a tough spot. He has recently learned that his grandmother is under the care of a psychiatrist who believes she might harm a man named Gregg Redcrow. What the therapist doesn’t know—and what Sean does know—is Gregg Redcrow was murdered. His grandmother claims he was murdered by a dinosaur animal spirit named the Grishla who supposedly is hell bent on destroying the Dwanake tribe and only Sean can stop him, since she says he is the ultimate witch with special powers. Of course, Sean doesn’t believe her, but he doesn’t want to believe she killed Gregg Redcrow, either. So, he launches his own murder investigation. On the side lines, unrelated to all of this, Sean is digging up a treasure pit he and his friends discovered in the forest. Or…is it unrelated? Hmmm…
2) How many books do you have planned in the series?
Funny, you wouldn’t expect that to be difficult question, would you? The Hunted Tribe series has only three books. However, there is a prequel series to this, Jurassic Jackaroo which will be 2 books (book 1 is already published). There is also another series that takes place after The Hunted Tribe series called, The Copper Lining. That is going be four books right now, but may very well expand. There may also be another prequel series. It’s a big universe.
3) It is a somewhat unusual idea, how did you come up with it?
It all started with the Copper Lining series which I actually wrote first (yet to be published). I needed a way to explain something like the Grishla (I won’t go any farther than that) but couldn’t figure out how to explain it without slowing down the action. Well, I was right about that, because it’s taking me 3 books just to explain the Grishla. The part with the treasure pit, that got added in because I’ve always been interested in the Money Pit on Oak Island and always wanted to write a story on it. One day it occurred to me I could combine the two ideas.
4) You started a new enterprise not too long ago, can you tell us about it?
Night Sky Book Services. It is a small press. Right now, all I’m doing is a few anthologies to help promote writers and audiobook publishing for a few of my Australian friends who do not have Audible yet.
5) What are your plans for the future of the business?
When I started this, I wanted a full service press. However, over the last year I saw it eat away at my writing time until I was so overwhelmed I had stopped writing completely. So, my plans now are to scale back to just a few anthologies a year. This way, I get the fun of interacting with talented authors on a themed project, but can still put out my own work.
6) What’s next for you personally?
We have three anthologies planned for this year, Postcards from Hell, A Cyberpunk anthology, and Trick-or-Treat Thrillers Best Paranormal 2019. I’m also working on a few novels. I just recently moved 2,000 miles from Oregon to Illinois and lost about 4 months doing this, so I have a lot of catch up to do.
A rock singer’s life unravels
The resurfacing of old addictions becomes the least of rock singer Jake Reece’s problems when he finds himself demon bound to an amulet and chased by a succubus befitting a gothic fairy tale—or nightmare. She wants his body and magic to defeat this demon in a spurned angel’s game of retribution. She’s even sent a clan of Darkened rogues after him that wants the mystical piece worse than she. The dashing fop has an entourage of sexy stripper Casters led by Marci Stone on his side, but saving him isn’t the only problem.
A dangerous magic sex drug called “Bacchus” is running riot in Atlanta. Detective Fred Waters of the Fulton County Paranormal Division calls on Marci in the belief that the drug is connected to the murderous clan. Now Jake and sensational girl trio must quell a potential catastrophe while they seek out the succubus leading these marauders. Still, if they do trounce the succubus and her minions, can Jake face that a fallen angel has made him the Keeper of the amulet for all time?
This darkly sexual novel will take you through the night club and strip bar scene of Atlanta and into the rolling hills of rural Georgia. The main character is an outrageous foppish singer surrounded by dazzling strippers and a colorful cast of misfit regulars at the bar Medusa’s where he works. The nemesis Ariel Celique is a nefarious beauty who is both queen and prisoner of her gothic mansion fantasy world. The story flies in the face of traditional novels about the South, flaunting the dark side of Atlanta. While David Chylde does employ elements of Southern flare, this is no mere effort to be the Faulkner of urban fantasy.
I really liked the premise of this book. Jake is a rock singer who finds himself caught up in a supernatural fight with succubi, demons and more. The author has created a wide and varied world with plenty to keep you entertained. I think it was well written and the characters were well developed. I enjoyed the book and I would recommend it.
More and more people are working from home nowadays but while a lot of people may view this as an 'easier' option, who wouldn't want to start work while still in their pyjamas, working from home can make it harder to switch off and could end up becoming more stressful than going to a workplace everyday.
Think about it. When you go to a workplace, you have set hours, a schedule. You know what work you need to get done by the end of the day and when clocking off time comes around, you can just walk out the door. When you work from home, there is no set clocking off time. It can be tempting to work on for hours in an attempt to get a jump start on the next day, but you may soon find yourself working constantly and ignoring your own needs.
I recently started working from home. It's not a choice, I have a disability, so going out to work is no longer an option for me. It is a difficult adjustment to make. In the beginning, I did everything wrong. I would work with my laptop, sitting on the couch and find myself working on one thing or another from the moment I woke up until I went to bed. It is a fast way to burn out, believe me. Finally, I decided that I needed to make a change or I wouldn't be able to get my work done.
The tips below are what I have changed to structure my work day and to make it more efficient.
These changed may not sound like a lot, but by utilising them, you can separate your work and home life, while making sure you take adequate time off. Working from home can be an exciting prospect, hopefully these tips can help to make it a little more enjoyable.
The Devil’s Own
What are they?
Pishacha are Hindu demons with red bulging eyes.
Where can I find them?
They are found in Hindu theology and said to live in the darkness.
What powers do they have?
They are flesh eaters who can change their appearance and turn invisible. They feed off human energy too.
Where can I read more about them?
You can read more about them in Dorothy Dreyer's Crimson Mage.
What are they?
Sorceresses and people with magical abilities can perform magic. They are very similar to witches although they might have some more impressive powers.
Where can I find them?
They are found in all cultures and folklore across the world.
What powers do they have?
The ability to conjure fireballs, the ability to control the world around them, glamouring, invisibility - the list goes on and on.
Where can I read more about them?
You can read more about sorceresses and people with magical abilities in Curse of a Jinn by Lichelle Slater, Rune by K. A. Parkinson, The Crown's Calling by Silver Nord, Stolen Magic by Char Webster and Among Shadows by Nina Walker.
“Oh my God, this is so unbelievably lame,” I muttered. How much longer was I going to have to endure this torture?
“Just one more picture,” Mom insisted. “How about actually going over to the stones, since we came all this way?”
I rolled my eyes and trudged across the muddy grass to Stonehenge. The place was crawling with tourists ahead of the summer solstice. I guess I was a tourist too, although not a willing one.
Mom organized a last-minute trip to jolly old England, to stay with some distant relative, a man she insisted I call Uncle Phillip. I’d certainly never heard his name growing up. Then she insisted on this ridiculous day out together. Mom didn’t do days out. When she wasn’t working at the lab, she was locked away in her office at home.
I got used to doing things by myself, this was completely out of character.
Maybe after almost eighteen years, she’s finally remembered that she has a kid.
I could be back home hanging out with Roxy, going to parties, instead of visiting some ancient rock formation. I mean who cared about them anyway?
“At least try to smile, Nova,” Mom said, giving me her patented disapproving stare.
I forced a smile then dropped it as soon as the flash went off.
Leaving Mom to fuss over the camera, I strolled over to the nearest rock. There was a kind of weird energy in the air.
Probably static electricity, I thought. It had been raining for most of the day. It wouldn’t surprise me if there was a thunderstorm soon.
I reached out my hand and placed it on the stone. The second my hand connected, the world started to spin, my vision clouded over and everything around me disappeared. It was dark, so dark, and cold. I couldn’t move my body, couldn’t speak. Then in the darkness I saw something. A face. Skeletal, terrifying. It opened its eyes and I screamed.
Suddenly I was back at the rock. I jerked my hand away from it, hissing in pain as I scraped my hand. I clutched it to me and looked around at the other tourists. Clearly, I didn’t scream for real as no one was even looking in my direction. I still felt strange, I could feel a headache forming at my temples. What the hell was that?
“Nova? Is everything okay?” Mom asked.
I showed her my hand.
“Oh! Let me see,” she said. As she took my hand, she accidentally jabbed the cut with her thumbnail.
“Ow! Mom!” I tried to pull my hand away, but she grabbed hold of it and squeezed, causing blood to drip onto the grass.
“Hold still, Nova. Let me see it.”
After a few seconds of inspecting it, she pulled a tissue from her pocket and pressed it to the cut.
“Go clean it in the restroom.”
Holding the tissue in place, I headed for the restroom. So much for her bedside manner. But Mom wasn’t that kind of doctor, she was a biologist. Everything was cold and clinical with her. I remember cutting my knee as a child when I fell off my bike. It was a quick inspection, a band aid and a warning to be more careful.
I checked the cut, it wasn’t too deep, but I ran it under the cold faucet anyway. The last thing I needed was to catch some British disease.
I brushed my auburn bangs out of my eyes and fixed my eyeliner using the cracked mirror above the sink. I tried to put my…vision? Out of my mind. Maybe all this fresh air was making me hallucinate. Or I should stop watching horror movies before going to sleep.
Mom was waiting when I left the restroom.
“Can we go now?” I moaned.
“Yes, fine.” Mom sighed. She brushed her light brown hair off her face and gave me a tight smile. We looked nothing alike. I was a redhead with green eyes, a trait Mom often told me was rare. I was a good four inches taller than her too. I guess I took after my father, whoever he was. Mom never spoke about him. I didn’t even know his name. My guess was that it was a one-night stand, but she would never admit to that. Mom had to be in control of everything and there was no way she would have lumbered herself with a kid if she didn’t want one. Pity all her behavior said otherwise. I often worried if I was just some science experiment to her. There to be observed but not loved.
Stop it, she does love you. Perhaps she did, but she was definitely not maternal.
We headed back to the car.
“A fascinating structure, isn’t it?” Mom said.
I shrugged. “I suppose.”
“Come on, Nova. This is supposed to be a fun day out.”
I checked to see if my hand was still bleeding. It was. “Well I’m sorry, but I don’t think a bunch of rocks are fun.”
“I thought you would like to get out of Phillip’s house for a while. To see a bit of the world.”
“Yeah, well now I’ve seen it. Can we go home now?”
Mom sighed as she started the car. “Why don’t we stop somewhere for some ice cream? Chocolate chip? Your favorite.”
I bit my tongue to stop myself from saying, “Yeah, when I was five.” Instead I shrugged again. “Whatever.”
She took us to a little café that served ice cream.
“What’s the password for the wi-fi?” I asked the girl behind the counter. She pointed to a chalkboard on the wall with the password on it – Sprinkles.
Taking a seat at one of the tables, I logged in to check my messages. There was one from Roxy.
Yo, girl, how’s jolly old England? Snore. You better get back here soon. Todd was asking about you ;)
Todd? Todd Parish was asking about me? He was the hottest guy in school. I flirted a bit with him before Spring Break, but I never thought he would do anything about it. I messaged her back for the details.
Mom appeared and handed me an ice cream cone.
“Thanks,” I said, taking a lick of it. It wasn’t bad.
Mom bought a cup of coffee for herself. She looked lost in thought.
“There’s something I have to tell you,” she blurted.
“Oh God, are you dying?”
“What? No! Of course not,” she said.
“Good. You just looked so serious,” I said.
“Well, it is serious. I have to go away on a trip.”
“So? You always go away. I’ll be fine by myself.”
“I can’t leave you by yourself. You’ll be staying with your Uncle Phillip.”
“He’s going to come to our house?”
“No, you’ll be staying here.”
“For how long?”
“I don’t have a time frame yet. At least a couple of weeks.”
“Weeks? But Roxy and I have plans…”
“For now, you’re staying here,” she said firmly.
“I don’t even know the guy. I’m nearly eighteen, I can go back home, I’ll be fine by myself.”
“I’ve made my decision. I’m sure Phillip can find chores for you to do around the house to keep you busy. The time will fly by.”
“Can we go home when you get back?”
Mom sipped her coffee. “Of course.”
For some strange reason, I didn’t believe her.
* * *
Asteria was asleep and dreaming of the war when the first drop of blood touched the Earth. Her eyes opened for the first time in a millennium, as she felt the vibrations through the soil.
Oberon’s blood. It has been shed.
Her kin started to awaken too. They lay below her, her subjects, the ones who followed her in her bid to become Queen. Even Oberon’s loyal followers were entombed with her. He showed them no loyalty to them, choosing instead to seal them all away until only he remained.
Selfish of you, brother, Asteria thought. She remembered that day on the battlefield, when she lay waste to all around her, smiting and cursing the humans because he preferred them to his own kind.
She was majestic, riding forth on her winged horse, her red hair, the color of blood, flowing behind her as she rode. She was well named. She held the power of the sun within her and was determined to scorch the Earth, rid the world of the human vermin and make it fit for the Fae once more.
She should have succeeded, but Oberon fought dirty. He knew he could never defeat her head on, so he used blood magic to open a sinkhole in the Earth. One by one, her brethren were sucked inside.
As she stared her brother in the eyes, she asked him – why? She didn’t expect to see pain in them, but it was there all the same.
She fought hard but the magic was too strong. She was sucked down into the ground, her body trapped by the layers of dirt. But Fae cannot be killed by being buried alive, no, they remained conscious, forever subdued, while the world above them carried on.
But Asteria could still dream and she dreamed of the day she would escape and finish what she started. While she did not share her brother’s ability to see the future, she was able to see glimpses of the world above her. The humans grew in number at an alarming rate. They laid waste to the Earth, murdering each other over petty squabbles. At times she wondered if they would do her job for her, but no, they continued to flourish and breed.
Oberon decided to mark the spot where they fell, placing huge stones above them, as grave markers. The stupid humans would flock to the site to marvel at the structure.
If only they knew what lay beneath their feet.
She wanted to reach out and grab them, to strip their flesh from their bones and swallow it whole.
Today was one of the days they congregated here – the Solstice. Surprising that the fickle creatures remembered such sacred days. The Solstice was a rare time when she could feel the sun’s energy replenishing her.
She longed to bask in its glow. It was so cold down here, so dark. That was when she felt it. Some primal part of her reaching out to something familiar in the world above. What was that?
For a moment, a brief moment, she was connected to it. Oberon? He has returned. The connection broke as quickly as it came.
Oberon never came here. Even with her ability to reach out into the world, she never once felt him. Saw him. Perhaps he changed his mind? Could he have decided that she was right all along?
Then the blood dropped. Fresh, warm, it struck the dirt like the first drop of rain after a long drought.
He is here. He is releasing us. No doubt he has seen what this world has become and decided to join her against the humans.
All around her, the others were reacting to the blood too, eager to be free.
Patience, my pets, she thought. It would take time for the blood to reach them, but when that first drop touched her, this Earth would face a reckoning. There would be no more mistakes, no more truces with the humans. They would be wiped out quickly, without warning. Most would be consumed and the rest? Well, she’d had plenty of time to think of suitable ways to torture them. This world would be hers. If Oberon wanted to join her, so be it. She could work with her brother despite all that he’d done. They could slay the humans together, help restore the Earth to the way it once was, so it could heal, and the magic could flow freely once more.
And when it’s over, I’ll cut off his head and place him in a tomb of his own. Somewhere dark, cold, where he will be completely alone. When a Fae dies naturally, they enter the Summerlands, but she would ensure he never reached it. He didn’t deserve peace. She would trap his essence in a body that could not be used, for all eternity.
The blood began to work its way down towards her.
Come. Yes, free us, brother. It will be the last thing you do.
* * *
The Fae will rise, can Nova stop them? Find out in Bloodlines: The Dark Fae Chronicles, available in the Cursed Lands boxed set for only 99c!
About the Author:
S. K. Gregory is an author, editor and blogger. She currently resides in Northern Ireland.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”