Saturday, December 14, 2013

Author Liam Muir Releases The Consultant, a gripping Scottish Mob Thriller

On behalf of ORB Press Books, Liam Muir and Pubshelf, we invite you to the virtual book launch for Liam Muir's first novel, The Consultant, on December 20th, 2013. Click on the link below for details.  There will be giveaways as well as the long awaited availability of the book for sale.  

If you are not on Facebook and can't make the party but want to buy a hard copy or the Kindle version ahead of the North American release, which will take place in a few weeks, go to or and click BUY to go to the Amazon e-store. It will be in select stores in the new year.

It's an exciting page turner and will make a great Christmas gift to put on someone's brand new Kindle.  

--I look forward to your valued readership. Liam Muir

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Award-Winning Author M.R. Mathias Releases Saint Elm’s Deep – The Legend of Vanx Malic, Book 3

The wait is over! Book Three of this highly-rated fantasy series is now available in Kindle eBook and paperback at Amazon.

Saint Elm’s Deep is the latest offering in the best-selling Legend of Vanx Malic series. Books One and Two reached the top of the Amazon Fantasy/Mythology bestsellers list shortly after they were released.

In Saint Elm’s Deep, Mathias continues to develop his main character Vanx, a half-zythian bard. After finding a map on a grueling hunt, Vanx and his new companions travel deep into the Bitterpeaks. There they search for the fabled Hoar witch's palace in a hidden valley of the treacherous and magical Lurr Forest.

The story expands as we explore Vanx's past and the future of this unlikely group of heroes. The journey and the strange creatures they encounter along the way make this an epic fantasy you won’t want to miss. Action, drama, thrills, and a barrel-keg full of adventure await readers in Saint Elm's Deep, The Legend of Vanx Malic, Book Three.

M. R. Mathias is the author of the international bestselling Wardstone Trilogy, the Locus Poll-nominated Dragoneer Saga fantasy series, and the Crimzon and Clover Short Story Collection. He is also the author of the award-winning horror thriller The Butcher’s Boy under the pen name Michael R. Mathias.

Book Four, That Frigid Fargin Witch is due January 8, 2014, and Book Five is scheduled for a June 2014 release.


“Once again Mathias has created another exciting masterpiece of a novel with the familiar captivating style that we have grown to expect.” –A “Top 500” Amazon Reviewer on The Legend of Vanx Malic
“We get a deep look at Vanx’s father Captain Saint Elm here, and the characters around Vanx are superbly drawn, complete with depth, emotions, and problems all their own. Especially, the Hoar witch.” -Digital Wizard

"The author's style is individual, but it has the flavor of a Tolkien novel, or possibly Robert Jordan. I must say that Vanx is quite a likeable rogue, and the way that the story begins certainly grabs the reader, pulling them into the story whether they like it or not." -Kindle Review

“I would recommend anyone who loves fantasy books to read this as you will be swept into this world!” -Avid Reader Reviews

Pre Order Book Four - That Frigid Fargin Witch

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Sherrie Lowe: The IAN Interview

I think I can now call myself an indie author. I have sold both paperback and ebook copies of my books for which I’ve received royalties so I presume that means I’m on my way. I’d always dabbled with writing starting with children’s poetry books when I was in my 30s but only seriously when I became ill with M.E/C.F.S in 1995 and I was forced to resign from my job as learning support assistant in a mainstream high school. I was heartbroken. Writing has kept me sane throughout the loneliness and isolation that comes with any illness and it is my hope that one day it will give me my life back – or at least half of it!  -Sherrie Lowe

IAN. Please tell us about your latest book:
SL. ANGEL BREATHS is my latest publication. It is a story which links life on earth with life in the realm of the angels. Angelique has been robbed of ever having a life with her earthly family and of walking the earthly path with her soulmate. Instead she watches over them from her position in a higher realm.

Had she lived she would have had a comfortable life, her parents having reasonably well paid jobs, both with prospects. What is heartbreakingly lacking in their life though is a family. Her soulmate by contrast is the son of a homeless drug addict and his start in life is a lot more difficult. Although they haven’t met on the earth plane their souls are connected and each is aware of the other as they run parallel in their complimentary realms. 

IAN. Is Angel Breaths published in print, e-book or both?
SL. Both
IAN. Where can we go to buy Angel Breaths?

IAN. What inspired you to write the book?
SL. ANGEL BREATHS was inspired by a news item on abortion laws which asked the question, ‘At what point does a baby have a soul?’ It made me wonder that if it was as early as an embryo, how would that soul feel it if were to be aborted or miscarried?

IAN. Did you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft?
SL. I usually have a rough idea of where I’m going but my stories evolve often into something quite different to what I’d originally planned.

IAN. How much of the book is realistic?
SL. I’d say about half and half. As no-one has ever truly passed into the afterlife and then returned we cannot know what it is like, we can only form our ideas by what we read, see and experience. I have had experiences with it as I write about in my memoir SHADOW ACROSS THE SUN and my interest in it stems from them. This is my own perception.

IAN. What book are you reading now?
SL. The Clairvoyant’s Handbook by A.L.Hale. I don’t wish to hone my psychic skills specifically I am just fascinated by the afterlife, a fact which I think is reflected in several of my books.

IAN. Are there any new authors that have caught your interest?
SL. Since becoming an indie author myself I have read many other indies and in truth I have found some of them to be far superior to some traditionally published authors. These are the ones that come to mind: Maureen Turner, Bev Spicer, David P. Perlmutter, Terry Tyler, Brooklyn Hudson, Peggy A. Edelheit, Geoffrey West.

IAN. Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

IAN. Do you see writing as a career?
SL. I’d like to. I was forced to give up the career in education that I’d trained for because of my health. Writing is something I can do at my own pace and I’d love nothing more than for it to earn me a living.

IAN. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
SL. I have lots of favourite authors and have been influenced by many but to choose one of them I’d say Frank McCourt for his memoir Angela’s Ashes. I was struck by his honesty and humour, even in the most difficult times of his life.

IAN. Who designed the cover(s)?
SL. An artist friend from my creative writing group called Mary Bennett paints original watercolour paintings for my covers.

IAN. Do you have any advice for other writers?
SL. The advice I’d give to other writers is to keep at it. The advent of the ebook has given authors the opportunity to achieve what they aimed for when they wrote that first word, to have it read.

IAN. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
SL. To my readers I want to say a huge thank you. I am humbled that you have spent your hard earned money to buy my books. I really hope that I haven’t disappointed you and that if you’ve enjoyed one of my stories that you will try another title.

IAN. What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life? 
SL. My main challenge is always my health. The writing aspect I enjoy but if I were well enough I’d love to go out physically to do my research as I did with FREE FLIGHT, that was a wonderful experience. Since discovering who have published my paperbacks and KDP for the ebooks it has taken the pressure off that massive challenge of getting published. All I need now is that lucky break to sell millions!

IAN. Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand-alone?
SL.The book I am working on at the moment is a sequel to my memoir. I’m thinking that the title will be JUST TWO MIRACLES but that could change. I’d had an idea to do it but it was friends and family who’d read the first book who encouraged me to make a start. Although it is essentially for friends and family I think that many people will relate to my life experiences. Lots of us go through the same joys and troubles but we all react differently. I’ve found by writing both fiction and non-fiction that even in the darkest hours there is humour.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Author M. R. Mathias announces the release of The Legend of Vanx Malic Book Three: Saint Elm’s Deep

Once again Mathias has created another exciting masterpiece of a novel with the familiar captivating style that we have grown to expect. A Top 500 Amazon Reviewer on The Legend of Vanx Malic

Enjoy The Legend of Vanx Malic series with this huge Kindle giveaway of Books One AND Two from Oct 1 - 

M. R. Mathias is the author of the international bestselling “Wardsone Trilogy,” the Locus Poll nominated “Dragoneer Saga,” fantasy series, and the “Crimzon and Clover Short Story Collection.” He is also the author of the award-winning horror thriller “The Butcher’s Boy” under the pen name Michael R. Mathias.

“Saint Elm’s Deep” is Mathias’ latest entry in the highly-rated fantasy series, “The Legend of Vanx Malic.” Book One of the series made it to #1 in the Amazon Fantasy/Mythology bestsellers list in May 2013 and Book Two has been as high as #3 on that same list.

In “Saint Elm’s Deep,” our hero, a half-zythian bard named Vanx, is being drawn to places from his father’s infamous past. After helping Darbon get over the loss of his first love, and finding a map on a grueling hunt, Vanx and his new companions decide to travel deep into the Bitterpeaks. There they hope to find the fabled Hoar witch's palace in a hidden valley of the treacherous and magical Lurr Forest.

The story broadens, as we delve into Vanx's past and the future of as-unlikely-a-group of heroes as you will ever find. The journey, and the strange creatures they encounter along the way, makes this a fantasy adventure that you just don’t want to miss. Action and adventure, drama and thrills, and a barrel-keg full of adventure await readers in Saint Elm's Deep, the third installment of M. R. Mathias’ The Legend of Vanx Malic.

“We get a deep look at Vanx’s father Captain Saint Elm here, and the characters around Vanx are superbly drawn, complete with depth, emotions, and problems all their own. Especially, the Hoar witch” -  Digital Wizard.

And even better news, from October 1st through the 5th 2013, everyone can get The Legend of Vanx Malic Book One “Through the Wildwood” and Book Two “Dragon Isle” FREE in the Amazon Kindle Store here:   If you don’t have a Kindle, just get the free Kindle reading app for your phone, PC, or tablet. Then get the books. It is that easy.

“Saint Elm’s Deep – The Legend of Vanx Malic Book Three,” is available for pre-order online at Amazon here:  and will officially release November 20th 2013.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Book Review: Hidden Footprints of Unity by Raja Arasa Ratnam

by Raja Arasa Ratnam

Reviewed by Cynthia Collins for the US Review of Books

"The bottom line is tolerance and fair treatment by all, to all, irrespective of origins, language, religion."

This book describes the conflicts and unity of different religions as they, and the people who practice them, search for a common ground in Australian culture. It focuses on the spiritual aspect of what was White Australia during British rule. It can either be read as self-contained or in conjunction with Ratnam's previous books, Musings at Death's Door and The Dance of Destiny, that deal with the prejudices of language, race, politics, and employment during the same time period.

Ratnam grew up in British Malaya (now Malaysia and Singapore). His environment embodied multi-ethnic, multicultural, and multi-religious tolerance. That changed when he moved to Australia at the age of 19 in 1948. He watched the country change from "white" British rule to one where the different races, languages, and religions are celebrated as a part of the variety of cultures. He goes into a lot of detail of discussing the various religions of the world as well as the beliefs of psychics and scientists. He questions the obvious and not so obvious, and wonders if those who condemn other religions are hiding their own fears of insecurity.

This is a well-written book and recommended for anyone studying comparative religion, sociology, Australian history, civil rights, and ethnic cultures of Australia. It would be appropriate for high school and college students, civil rights and religious leaders, and historians. The author uses a quote from Hippocrates made 2,500 years ago to make his point. "There is one common flow, one common breathing. All things are in sympathy."


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tayo Emmanuel: The IAN Interview

My name is Omotayo Utomi although I’ve authored my novel as Tayo Emmanuel. I like to believe I mean different things to different people – wife, mother, poet, writer, counsellor and analyst. My corporate working experience covers Corporate Communications, Marketing, Events Management, Customer Care and Business Analysis. I’m educated up to Master’s Degree and I have a Writing Certificate from the City University London. My world view is greatly influenced by my Christian faith and in my spare time, I volunteer for non-profit organisations; training, counselling and writing. I currently maintain a relationship column in Mentor Magazine and a blogging platform at

IAN. Please tell us about your latest book
T.E.  My latest book is my debut novel called A Bouquet of Dilemma. It’s a story about the love lives of two friends, Tobi and Maggie. But it focuses more on Tobi as the main protagonist - an undergraduate from a conservative family whose first experience of love is with Richard, a playboy from a relatively errant family. They both met at Maggie’s party and Tobi was totally besotted with Richard. Despite being warned by her friends, she starts dating Richard after her mind-blowing birthday treat. Ironically, Richard stays faithful and even gets engaged to Tobi before travelling abroad. The eventuality happened when Tobi gets a mysterious letter advising her to move on with her life, without Richard. To help her recover, Maggie suggests having a fling with Oba who had been wooing her for over a year. A week to Maggie’s wedding and on the eve of Oba proposing to Tobi, Richard shows up asking for forgiveness. The dilemma for Tobi is to make a choice between ‘charming, unpredictable Richard who spins her life inside out’ and ‘reliable, gentle Oba who was supposed to be just a distraction’. It’s an intense battle between her heart and her mind.

IAN. Is your book published in print, e-book or both?
T.E.  A Bouquet of Dilemma is in both print and electronic formats. 

IAN. What inspired you to write A Bouquet of Dilemma?
T.E. The starting point is that I am usually inspired to draw morals and learning points from life experiences, based on the belief that someone somewhere can always learn from an event. I’ve been a relationship counsellor and that makes me privy to a lot of issues about love and life. A Bouquet of Dilemma was inspired by the true life story of a lady whose first experience of love was with a guy that eventually jilted her so he could afford a better life abroad. A sneak into her life portrays different views and perceptions about defining love and finding happiness.

IAN. Did you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft?
T.E.  Yes, I use an outline, but the outline is a guide to put together my thoughts and see the end of the book before I start. But as the story unfolds, the outline is somewhat overtaken and consumed by the flow.

IAN. How did you come up with the title?
T.E.  A Bouquet of Dilemma came in a flash and I stuck with it. Before then, I had toyed with other titles and I wasn’t quite satisfied because I wanted a unique title that would be catchy and stand out from other titles. And that is based on an experience I once had on Amazon, when I was looking for a book and the title search brought up over five different books with the same title.

IAN. What do you hope your readers come away with after reading A Bouquet of Dilemma?
T.E.  Incidentally, African writers usually write to communicate morals or values. I want my readers to come to an understanding that nothing is cast in stone when it comes to love and life. People change, circumstances change, motivations change and history can be re-written by a simple choice to stay or to walk away. Maggie, the sub-protagonist in A Bouquet of Dilemma had to deal with tribal stereotyping and I want people to see how fitting individuals into pre-defined boxes doesn’t work in love situations.

IAN. How much of the book is realistic?
T.E. For me, the purpose of fiction writing, especially romance is to turn the ‘imaginary’ into the ‘reality’ by creating a plausible and believable story from scraps, otherwise it becomes a memoir. I was happy when one of my readers said, “That happened to me. I was like Tobi some years ago.” To that extent, the book is realistic, but it takes from a lot of unrelated events which I combined with real and historical events in the setting.

IAN. Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
T.E.  A Bouquet of Dilemma is based on life experiences of diverse people.

IAN. How is A Bouquet of Dilemma different from others in your genre?T.E.  A Bouquet of Dilemma is in the Contemporary Romance Fiction and New Adult genre and the only way I can say it is different is that it’s original. Every original work of art has a distinct signature and I believe that no two voices are alike in the writing world. Yes, it is a story about two regular but diverse young ladies, but I haven’t read anything like it. And like I would say, maybe it’s because I haven’t read much. It focuses on the transition of a girl into womanhood from a Nigerian perspective. The book is also an expose on politics and the value systems in Nigeria as it affects relationships and aspirations of young adults. One of the recurring comments I’ve heard from non-Nigerian readers is that the novel has opened Nigeria to them in a new interesting light.

IAN. What books have most influenced your life most?
T.E. Kola Onadipe’s The Adventures of Souza and Akinwunmi Ishola’s Oleku taught me to enjoy African stories as a child. Wole Soyinka’s Trial of Brother Jero taught me to love satires, Shakespeare’s Julius Ceaser taught me to love plays and verses, Harold Robbins’ 79 Park Avenue and Jojo Moye’s  Me Before You have shown me how fiction should be written.

IAN. Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
T.E.  Apart from family, the entity that has supported me most is actually my  writing group called the Angel Writing Group. The group was started after we completed the writing course at City University, it’s a small support group where we critique one another’s work and share knowledge on everything related to writing.

IAN. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
T.E.  Up till now, I always feel more comfortable expressing myself writing than talking. I developed a reading culture early in life. In secondary school one of my best subjects was literature, from where I started playing with words and writing poems. I read a numeric course in university, so I forgot writing until I started working and we started an official lifestyle magazine. Over time, I started contributing articles here and there in magazines. I've also worked in Corporate Communications which entails a lot of creative writing. Sometimes in 2010, I decided to compile some of my works and have it published as an anthology of short stories and poetry. Feedback from that spurred me to continue writing.

IAN. What was the hardest part of writing A Bouquet of Dilemma?
T.E.  The hardest part of writing my book was when I developed a mental block and didn’t have any inspiration to write. There was a time I set the book apart for almost four months because the pieces weren’t fitting together.

IAN. Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand-alone?
T.E.  My work in progress is a stand-alone novel about a couple who are disenchanted in their marriage and struggling with infertility and infidelity.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Claudia Burgoa: The IAN Interview

Claudia Burgoa lives in Colorado with her family and three dogs. Two beagles who believe they are human, and a bichon who thinks she's a beagle. While managing life, she works as a CFO at a small IT Company. She's a dreamer who enjoys music, laughter and a good story.

IAN. Please tell us about Where Life Takes You

C.B. Becca Trent lived her childhood next to a cruel woman—her mom—who lived to torment and neglect her. During her high school years, her mother married; bringing home not only a new husband, but a step sister her same age.

The latter took over her Mom’s role—making Becca’s life miserable. Including stealing Ian—Becca’s best friend and boyfriend—Lisa treated her worse than her mother had for the previous fifteen years. A couple of years later, things ended up in tragedy.

Becca buried that part of her life in the deep corners of her psyche, but that only work during the days when the nightmares didn’t come back to haunt her. Her best friend, Dan gives her that family love she always lacked. Everything was close to perfect, until everything and everyone from her past came back. Now, she’s trying to figure out how to survive and keep that bond which seems now to be held together by a thread.

IAN. Did you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft?
C.B. I just wing for the first draft. My stories start with an idea and the first words are a scene… any scene. From there I start sculpting it.

IAN. How long did it take to write the Where Life Takes You?
C.B. Between three and four months.

IAN. How much of the book is realistic?
C.B. A big part, after all, it is contemporary. The struggle Becca goes through, trying to overcome everything she buried from her teen-years is something that unfortunately, a lot of women go through. 

IAN. Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
C.B. Yes, some of them, rather not specify which. But a few are mine and some friends who sadly no longer live among us.

IAN. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
C.B. Modern, I’d say it’s a tie between Sophie Kinsella, Meg Cabot and Nora Roberts.

Classic… I’d like to think that throughout the years I have learned from Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Cervantes, Wilde, Asimov, Dickens and Austin. Let’s not forget Shakespeare, who wrote about Italy without ever visiting the country.

IAN. What book are you reading now?
C.B. I just finished: The book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

IAN. Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
C.B. My friends, and also my social media friends. Members of Facebook I met five years ago and now from twitter, the community of indie authors is amazingly supportive. Not only with my writing, but on a personal level too.

IAN. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
C.B. Young age, like Becca, my life wasn’t pleasant and I learned to survive and drift away by reading stories. Not too long after, I began to create my own reality. A happier one.

IAN. Who designed the cover for Where Life Takes You?
C.B. Danielle Fine did the cover of my eBook, and based on it Steve Caresser designed the print version.

IAN. What was the hardest part of writing Where Life Takes You?
C.B. Editing, my first experience doing so wasn’t gentle. But I think my first editor taught me a few valuable lessons and brought out more from me to the book that I was willing to share or deliver.

IAN. Did you learn anything from writing Where Life Takes You and what was it?
C.B. Yes, the biggest one was not to shy away and bring your best game to the keyboard… also proof it before publishing!

IAN. Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand-alone?
C.B. Currently I’m working on the sequel of Where Life Takes You and finished writing Getting by, the first book of the Knight Brother’s series.

IAN. Do you have any advice for other writers?
C.B. Write, write, write and keep writing, don’t give up. Also read, read and why not, read after you finished writing. Don’t give up. Have I mentioned you should proof it before publishing the book?

Where Life Takes You is available in trade paperback and Kindle eBook at 


Friday, August 9, 2013

Deadly Storm - A Kelli Storm Novel by Kenneth Hoss

Police Procedural
Detective Kelli Storm and her partner, Eric Ryder, are called to the scene of an apparent suicide only to discover that the victim was a Russian hit man and Kelli was to be his next target.

The trail from the body leads the two Detectives to the underbelly of Brighton Beach, and the Russian Brotherhood that rule there. During the course of their investigation, Kelli discovers a link between them and a powerful Colombian Cartel, the same Cartel she thought had been shut down with the death of its leader.

When the FBI and DEA take an interest in the case, they forge a plan to break up the international drug ring. As they delve deeper, the Cartel and Brotherhood become bolder and they both want Kelli dead. To make matters worse, after an ill-conceived tryst, it’s all she can do to keep her professional and personal lives separate.


Deadly Storm - A Kelli Storm Novel is FREE for Amazon/kindle 
August 10 and 11

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Marguerite Ashton: The IAN Interview

Marguerite Ashton is Founder of the popular blog Criminal Lines and Co-founder of the Crime Writers’ Panel. There she works alongside Joe Giacalone with other panel members to educate writers on the importance of showing accurate portrayals of criminal investigations and law enforcement procedures in their novels.

Her radio show, Criminal Lines Radio airs weekly, bringing together law enforcement and authors in an open forum.

She grew up in Colorado, but now resides in Wisconsin, where she is currently working on her next book. 

A member of Sisters in Crime.

Her readers can visit her website at

IAN. Please tell us about your latest book.

M.A. “Burned Bridges” is about a woman named Traci who, after learning of her friend's past, withholds information from the police in order to protect her. Believing she's doing the right thing, Traci turns a blind eye until she receives a text from someone determined to use her as bait to get to the truth.

IAN. What formats is your book available? 

M.A. Burned Bridges is available in three formats. eBook, Print and Audio. And now it can be downloaded on all eReaders through Smashwords.

IAN. Where can we go buy Burned Bridges?

Smashwords  Amazon  Kobo  Barnes&Noble   iTunes   Diesel 

IAN. How long did it take to write Burned Bridges?

M.A. It took two years to complete Burned Bridges. The first year I let the creative flow take over and wrote what I wanted. Upon finishing the first draft, I realized that if I wanted to take my career seriously, I needed to make some adjustments and find a writing mentor. Once we established what professional course I wanted to take, she put me through writing exercises before letting me write one word. Not long after that, I learned that rewrites were my favorite part of the writing process.

IAN. How did you come up with the title?

M.A. If we look at life there is at least one issue from our past that is like a knife in our side. People hurt each other; sometimes accidental and other times on purpose, which creates a division that can last for decades.
These are burned bridges.

IAN. What do you hope your readers come away with after reading Burned Bridges?

M.A. I’m hoping my readers will feel inspired. I want them to know that no matter how big the challenges are in their lives that there are people around them willing to help if they seek them out. It’s all about loyalty and friendship.

IAN. What books have most influenced your life most?

M.A. The Life of Elizabeth 1 by Alison Weir. She was an independent woman who defied conventional wisdom that said a woman could not lead a nation without a man. She proved them wrong.

IAN. What book are you reading now?

M.A. Forensics and Fiction by D.P. Lyle

IAN. Do you see writing as a career?

M.A. Absolutely! I think of my writing as a business. It includes regular work hours and weekly consults with my mentor and editor. I’ve structured it this way to help keep me disciplined in my writing.

IAN. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

M.A. My favorite author is David Baldacci. I love his writing style and his ability to keep me in suspense with his political thrillers.

IAN. Who designed the cover Burned Bridges?

M.A. Judy Bullard is the designer of my book covers. She does a fantastic job!

IAN. Did you learn anything from writing Burned Bridges and what was it?

M.A. Yes I did. I learned how much I enjoy entertaining my readers. 
It was strengthened after receiving emails from several of them about the book. They informed me that they had their favorite scenes and others had their favorite characters. And that was something that I was hoping to hear.

IAN. Tell us about your next book or a work in progress.

M.A. Well, I’m currently working one as I finish up another. Book two in the Crossing Series is my WIP and will be out later this year. My upcoming novel, Led by Lies will be released in August. It is the first book in the Lies Series. 

IAN. Do you have any advice for other writers?

M.A. Stick with it and give it your A.L.L

     A. Ask questions about yourself and your writing. Make sure this is something you want to do.
     L. Listen to the answers. Sometimes the reply is not what you’d expect or want to hear.
     L. Learn from those answers. Then take the appropriate steps to master your art.

IAN. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

M.A. I want to say thank you for taking a chance on me. I appreciate the support.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pros and Cons of the KDP Select Program

The Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform is a powerful tool that allows any independent author or publisher to compete alongside the biggest New York publishing houses when selling Kindle e-books. Getting equal access to the market is no longer an obstacle to successful publishing. The main challenge is getting noticed by potential readers. And that is where the KDP Select program comes in.
What is the KDP Select Program?
KDP Select is an exclusive publishing agreement between Amazon and authors who are publishing their e-books through the Kindle Direct Publishing platform. When an author enrolls in the program, she can take advantage of several marketing tools that are not available to non-members.
Enrolling in the program is easy. Whenever an author adds a new e-book to their KDP account, Amazon will ask if they want to enroll the book in the Select program. If she declines at that moment, the author can enroll a book in the program later using a link in the KDP bookshelf. Enrollment is set separately for each e-book published. So, an author may have some e-books enrolled and others not enrolled.
By enrolling an e-book in the KDP Select program, an author agrees to sell the digital version of her book exclusively through Amazon's KDP program. The e-book cannot be sold in any other digital format (including PDF files sold from the author's own website) during the duration of the agreement.
The Select program runs for a period of 90 days. By default, the enrollment is set to automatically renew for another term at the end of 90 days.The author has to switch off the auto-renew option manually if she chooses to leave the program.
If an author does decide to cancel enrollment in the program, she must still honor the exclusivity agreement until the end of the current 90 day enrollment period. Failure to do so could jeopardize the status of her account.
Benefits of the KDP Select Program
So, you may be wondering, what benefits does an author get for granting exclusive publication rights for her e-book to Amazon. Basically, she gets increased exposure within the Amazon website, her book is included in the Kindle Lending Library, and she is permitted 5 giveaway promotional days for her e-book during each enrollment period.
The Amazon website and the Kindle Readers make up an amazing sales ecosystem. Built into every facet of the Amazon marketplace are cross promotional opportunities that can help sell more copies of your book. There are best seller lists (for both free and paid e-books). When you view a one e-book's promotional page, Amazon generates and displays a list of other e-books 'you may be interested in.' On order pages Amazon tells you what other products people purchased who bought what you just paid for. In short, there are multiple places where Amazon sneaks in a quick sales message. As a member of the select program, you get a little better exposure in this ecosystem.
The Kindle Lending Library is a benefit for people who join the Amazon Prime program. Those members are allowed to borrow one book per month from the library at no charge. Amazon sets aside a block of money each month to divide among all of the people whose books have been borrowed. Each borrow can generate several dollars in income for the author. Your book appears in all of the areas listing available library books (more exposure.) Also, when people view the sales page for your book, they will see the price prominently listed as free - for Amazon Prime Members. The sales price for everyone else is listed below in more subtle text.
Finally, members of the Select program can give their books away for free for up to 5 days per enrollment period. These free days can generate massive exposure for your e-book. Amazon generates best seller lists for both free and paid Kindle books in every category. The lists are displayed side-by-side on the website. So, if you hit the top of the free chart, you can be seen right along side of the top paid book - more exposure.
Disadvantages of the KDP Select Program
The biggest disadvantage of enrolling in the KDP Select program is that your e-book cannot be sold on any other e-book platform. No sales to Nook owners or iPad users, or selling PDF versions directly through your website. Amazon dominates the e-book market, but there are lots of other places to sell your e-book. Many people do not realize that you can read Kindle books using free apps, so they skip the Kindle Marketplace because they think they need to own a Kindle device.
Free days, as many authors have discovered, are not a marketing magic bullet. Just because you give your book away does not mean you will suddenly become popular and make sales once the giveaway ends. And, the benefits might not offset the restrictions of your e-book only being sold through Amazon.
Just as free days are not magic, the Kindle Lending Library is no guarantee of riches either. Since Amazon Prime Members are restricted to one e-book borrow per month, they often save that for an expensive title. As I write this, Amazon has set aside $600,000 for the Kindle Lending Library payments (a figure that has been consistent for several months.) The promise is enticing, but results are not guaranteed.
Should You Enroll in the KDP Select Program?
The decision to enroll depends on many factors. If you have only one title, you might be better off publishing on multiple platforms and selling directly from your website as well.
If you have multiple e-book titles, you may choose to enroll some of your e-books in the program as a way to expose new readers to your work and steer them toward your other e-books.
Your goals for publishing might be to establish your expertise and reach new customers for your business rather than profiting from book sales. In that case you would benefit from being able to reach a wide audience through free days.
Ultimately, you have to weigh the pros and cons of enrollment and decide what makes the most sense for you. Oh, and make sure and turn the auto-renew option off - just in case you change your mind later.