Posts Tagged House Guests

An Easter Special Offer

The long Easter weekend is coming!

What’s the best way to relax? Indulge in an Easter egg and an easy read.House Guests and Other Stories

For sharing and hiding, I recommend this cornucopia of multi-coloured, foil-wrapped eggs  or this warren of Lindt bunnies. For selfish, serious chocolate eating, go for this Thornton’s Continental Egg.
For reading material it has to be the short story collection, House Guests, full of contemporary short stories about modern life. Enjoy a plethora of twist endings, some humour plus a tiny bit of romance. And a guest story by Iain Pattison.

Best of all – House Guests is half-price until Monday 18th April 2017 – Happy Easter!

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January Sale!

Hands up if you got any of the following for Christmas:

Kindle
Tablet
Smartphone
Amazon Gift Card?

Or do you already own any of the above?

I can see you all madly waving your arms in the air and I guess you’re all itching to download a bargain book. So, from now until Sunday 3rd January 2016, A Writer on Writing and House Guests are both only 99p each (or 99c if you’re in the US).

A Writer on Writing
A writer who earns money from his work is not merely a wordsmith. A Writer On WritingA profitable writer knows how to manage his time, produce ideas from a blank mind and create a web presence, plus many more things besides.
A Writer on Writing will introduce you to these and a range of other skills useful to anyone hoping to make cash from their words.

 

House Guests
A cornucopia of contemporary short stories about modern life. House Guests and Other StoriesEnjoy a plethora of twist endings, some humour plus a tiny bit of romance. There’s also a special guest story by prize-winning author and writing tutor, Iain Pattison! So make yourself a coffee, grab a sweet treat, put your feet up and indulge.

 

Happy reading and very best wishes for a happy, healthy and successful 2016!

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National Short Story Week 2015

It’s a mystery to me why National Short Story Week takes place in November when writers are hammering away at keyboards trying to complete 50,000 words of a novel. But it’s worth taking a break from your magnum opus and celebrating the art of the short story. A change is as good as a rest.

This year National Short Story Week is the 16th to 22nd November 2015.

National short story week was launched in 2010 by Ian Skillicorn of Corazon Books. It aims to:

  1. Get more people reading and listening to short stories
  2. Get more people writing short stories
  3. Develop creative and commercial opportunities for individuals and organisations involved in the short story form.

I was hoping to point you to lots of resources and activities related to National Short Story Week but there seems to be very little happening online. So here’s a couple of free to enter competitions to get the creative juices flowing:

Morgen Bailey runs a monthly 100-word story competition. There is a different theme each month and the prizes are access to up to three of her online courses.

Words Magazine has an open-themed short story competition closing on December 31st 2015. First prize is £50 and second prize is £25. Word limit is 2,000.

Finally, in celebration of National Short Story Week, my latest story collection, House Guests And Other Stories, is only 99p/99c until 22nd November 2015. House Guests and Other Stories

It’s a cornucopia of contemporary short stories about modern life. Enjoy a plethora of twist endings, some humour plus a tiny bit of romance.

Happy Short Story Week!

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The Winner of the Writers’ Forum Subscription Is …

Many thanks to all of you who took the time to enter my competition by signing up to my newsletter and blog and to those who also gave me a mention on Facebook or Twitter and bagged themselves an extra place in the draw. It was much appreciated!Writers' Forum Prize Draw

But unfortunately there can only be one winner of the annual subscription to Writers’ Forum magazine. My husband drew the winner’s name from a small plastic bowl full of bits of paper (pictured!). That person is:

Maria Smith

Maria enjoys writing short stories, flash fiction, and is currently rewriting her supernatural crime novel. Wading through treacle is how she would explain the process!  She enjoys networking with other writers and is an active member of Phoenix Writers in Leicester.

Maria blogs over at The First Draft Cafe http://firstdraftcafe.blogspot.co.uk/ and tweets as @mariaAsmith

I hope you enjoy the magazine, Maria, and also make use of the subscribers’ free entry to the monthly ‘flash’ competition.  A good way of practising writing to a deadline!

If anyone missed the competition but would still like to signup for the newsletter, click here. And if you’ve forgotten to treat yourself to a copy of House Guests, you can do that here.

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Win a Year’s Subscription to Writers’ Forum Magazine

Today is launch day for House Guests and Other StoriesHouse Guests and Other Stories

This is a collection of fifteen short stories, many with a twist, some to make you smile and all of them guaranteed to entertain – and there’s an excellent ‘guest’ story by Iain Pattison.

If you pre-ordered the e-book, a copy should be whizzing its way to your Kindle at this very minute (assuming that you’re not in airplane mode). If you inadvertently forgot to pre-order, don’t panic! Amazon still have a few copies left and one can be yours if you click here – but don’t delay, House Guests is on course to become the first e-book ever to sell out on Amazon!

So, now you’ve the bought the book, we can talk about the competition to win a year’s subscription to Writers’ Forum magazine. I got very excited when I dreamed up this competition. I was going to make you all work hard by writing an honest review (good or bad) for House Guests or any of my other books and then drop you in a prize draw. HOWEVER, I then came across this blog post by Molly Greene. It talks about Amazon reviews and, amongst other things, states that Amazon, “do not permit reviews that are posted in exchange for compensation of any kind, including payment (whether in the form of money or gift certificates), bonus content, entry to a contest or sweepstakes, discounts on future purchases, extra product, or other gifts”. The competition I wanted to run would have given entry into a sweepstake in exchange for a review.

So, instead, I am giving you an easy life. Contenders for the Writers’ Forum subscription must subscribe to this blog (there’s a ‘Sign Me Up’ box towards the top right of the screen) AND must also sign up for my newsletter by clicking here. After signing up, look out for confirmation emails (check your spam) that you must click in order to activate the subscriptions.
The newsletter is a ‘work in progress’ and will be a very infrequent affair. All the e-marketing gurus advocate a mailing list, in case other forms of social media disappear as the next ‘big thing’ rolls in. If that happens I would hate to lose contact with you all.

You can earn an extra entry into the draw by sharing this post on either Twitter, Facebook or your own blog. If you do this, please let me know by adding a comment to this blog post, just in case I miss it.

The closing date for the competition is midnight on Tuesday 29th September 2015 (UK time).

Writers’ Forum is a UK monthly writing magazine. It’s full of advice on how to write, what to write and where to sell it. Every issue is packed with information and inspiration. An annual subscription is worth between £38 and £56 depending on where in the world you live. This prize subscription can be sent anywhere in the world.

Now put the kettle on, grab a biscuit and relax with House Guests and Other Stories.

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Kindle Direct Publishing Pre-Orders

When an author uploads a manuscript to Kindle Direct Publishing, he is given the choice between publishing immediately or making the book available for ‘pre-order’. Making a book available for pre-order means readers can order it up to 90 days in advance of the book’s release date. It will automatically be delivered to customers’ Kindles on the release date and they will be charged on this date.

Why use the pre-order facility?

  • All pre-order sales are counted in the launch date sales figures. This gives the book an immediate push up the Amazon rankings because instead of starting at zero sales, the book already has some sales ‘in the bank’.
  • Book promotion activities can start before launch date (& even before the book is completed, if you’re brave!), using a link to the Amazon product detail page.
  • The Amazon product detail page is ‘live’ before launch date, giving the opportunity to tweak the description, key words etc. prior to launch.

The pre-order facility wasn’t available last time I e-published and I’m experimenting with it this time around.

So, I’m pleased to announce that House Guests and Other Stories is available for pre-order. Order today and it will arrive on your Kindle on Tuesday September 22. You can be one of the first to get your hands on it. As you can see, people are already stopping in the street to gasp in awe at the front cover – such is the book’s popularity!

House Guests and Other Stories

House Guests and Other Stories is a collection of fifteen short stories, many with a twist and most have appeared in either The Weekly News, My Weekly or People’s Friend. There’s also a couple of competition successes in there plus a special guest story by a prize-winning author!

And that guest author is … Iain Pattison. Iain is a full-time author, creative writing tutor and competition judge. He also writes a very humorous blog. I’ve dropped Iain’s guest story right in the middle of my collection, like the delicious middle in a liqueur chocolate.

So, why not click ‘pre-order‘ and get ready to indulge!

To celebrate the launch of House Guests and Other Stories on September 22nd I will be announcing, on this blog, a competition to win a year’s subscription to Writers’ Forum magazine. So come back then, or use the box on the right to sign-up for email updates.

And I’m also interested to know how anyone else has got on with Amazon pre-orders?

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Cover Reveal for ‘House Guests’

Let’s have a drum roll … followed by a few oohs and aahs from the audience. Here it is, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the cover reveal for my third e-collection of short stories!

Put your hands together for the cover of House Guests and Other Stories!

House Guests and Other Stories

There are four different ways of obtaining an e-book cover:

  1. Design and create it yourself. Unless you’re a whizz at graphic design this can be very time-consuming. I give some advice on DIY (based on my own experience) in this guest post for the Writers’ Bureau.
  2. Use Amazon’s Kindle Cover Creator. This is very easy but the covers can’t be used on other e-book sales platforms and there’s a danger of them looking formulaic. I’ve written about this here.
  3. Use one of the cover designers on Fiverr.com. All services on Fiverr.com cost $5 plus a 50c processing fee (currently around £3.62). I’ve done this several times.
  4. Use a ‘proper’ bespoke cover designer. This will probably give you the best result but will also be significantly more expensive than the other options – meaning it will take longer to make a profit from e-books sales.

The cover for House Guests and Other Stories is from pro_ebookcovers, a designer on Fiverr.com. This designer worked differently to the others that I’ve used previously from the site. She asked for links to two e-books on Amazon with cover designs in a similar style to what I wanted (so I looked at short story collections that seemed to be selling well and had covers with a warm and friendly style). Then she asked me to choose a cover image from http://depositphotos.com (or I could’ve supplied my own). I chose something that I felt was vaguely applicable to the title story. The designer then downloaded the image and did the necessary fiddling to get it to the right dimensions and added the lettering.
I felt this way of working made things easier for both parties. I didn’t have to struggle to explain the type of image I wanted and the designer didn’t have to struggle to interpret my brief or spend time finding a suitable picture.
I recommend pro_ebookcovers and will use her again in the future.

So, back to House Guests and Other Stories. It’s a collection of fifteen short stories, many with a twist and most have appeared in either The Weekly News, My Weekly or People’s Friend. There’s also a couple of competition successes in there plus a special guest story by a prize-winning author!

I’ll reveal the guest author in a later post when I launch pre-orders for the book. I’ve never used pre-orders before and I’ve never had a guest author before so it’s exciting – watch this space!

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