New novel from fellow fantasy author Nancy Chase

I only ever plug another writer’s work if I think both it and they deserve the plug. This is one of those times. Nancy’s debut novel, The Seventh Magpie, is more than just a fairy tale; it’s a personal journey that spans decades, culminating in a literary triumph and, along with Katrina Sesum’s illustrations, an absolute work of art. Do yourselves a favour and check it out. This is a gem worthy of a pedastal, and it needs your help to be raised out of the quagmire.

And here’s how certain I am that, if you’re a fan of fantasy stories, you’ll enjoy The Seventh Magpie: if you purchase Nancy’s novel, and genuinely don’t feel you got your money’s worth, then I will GIVE you a copy of my book, From Grains To Galaxies. Can’t say fairer than that, hey?

How can I be so certain that The Seventh Magpie is any good? Because I’ve read enough snippets and seen enough teasers of the interior to recognise quality when I see it. I’m a good writer, and quality gravitates to quality. It’s an unwritten law of universal nature. You’ll see.

The Seventh Magpie, by Nancy Chase at Amazon

Nancy’s personal website and blog

And while I’ve got your attention, why don’t you come and join Nancy’s Facebook launch event where there are lots of guest authors, including myself and Nancy’s illustrator, Katrina, with lots of giveaway competitions every day until Saturday! Just click on the cover image and be whisked away to the event! And when you get there, do by all means vote for my name in the ‘who invited you?’ poll. ;)

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Ebook GIVEAWAY! From Grains To Galaxies FREE!

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For ONE day only – Saturday, January 31st – my 150-page collection of short stories and poetry (plus a few sketches) will be FREE to download from all Amazon stores across the world here: http://mybook.to/FGTG
Save yourself either $3.99, €3.45 or £2.63 by taking advantage of this ONE DAY GIVEAWAY!
Just visit your regional Amazon site via this link – http://mybook.to/FGTG – and you’ll be one click away from your very own free copy of From Grains To Galaxies.
If you’re a fan of fantasy, science fiction, horror, poetry, contemporary fiction and/or speculative fiction, then you’re guaranteed to find something in this collection to your liking.
Invite your friends. Invite your family. Invite your colleagues. Hell, invite your pet hamster if you want to.

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Indie Authors: Self-Promotion – Worthwhile or Pointless?

Self-promotion for an indie author is as effective as diving headfirst into quicksand. If you can’t find or attract the right kind of audience and potential reader-base, and if you can’t solidify those first few fans who are not only willing but happy to share word of their newly-discovered Brilliant Author, then all you’re doing with your self-promo is flogging a world of dead horses (which is why my blog is so named.)

On December 12th I released my 150-page collection of short stories and poems (and sketches), covering the genres of fantasy, sf, contemporary, spec and horror. To date it’s sold one paperback copy and one Kindle copy, and received two reviews.

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On December 14th I released the short story / poem combo of Moses Garrett / Angerland – dystopian urban SF – for the lowest possible price of 99c and equivalents. To date it’s sold no copies and received no reviews.

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A week ago I released my entry into the Verragos Tapestry epic fantasy series. Night of the Taking includes the eponymous short story, an exclusive full first chapter of my current work-in-progress, and more exclusive content. It immediately sold one copy (thanks, Dave), then sank along with my other releases.

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Now, I can almost hear the writers with novel-length releases saying how short stories are a hard sale. I hear it all the time, and yet about 10% of the free copies I’ve given out have received fantastic feedback. Unfortunately, while such feedback is great to hear and humbling to receive, it stops as soon as it’s given because indie-published works don’t sell themselves.

I’ve done interviews, I’ve appeared as a guest author on a couple of blogs, I’ve promoted myself a lot, but (for those of you who are sick of seeing my promo posts) it’s been a lot less than the majority of indie authors.

The main crowd I need to attract is the Fantasy/SF crowd. You’d think that would be an easy one to grab the attention of. Unfortunately, the opposite couldn’t be more true. I’ve witnessed the romance/erotica crowd dutifullly sticking together and promoting one another; it must be great to gather a flock of similar authors around you like a comfy blanket, knowing each time you release something it’s going to get exposure and sales.

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I think perhaps that while I’ve always been good with people, I’ve also always been something of a loner. If I was a troubled young girl, you might call me a wallflower. If I sported a biker’s jacket and an attitude, you might call me a rebel. Truth is I’m just an introvert. So how does an introverted indie author go about gathering a fan base and a gaggle of like-minded authors around himself? How does one grab exposure? How does one attract the attention of the right people? Clearly it’s not about promo, promo, promo till you’re blue in the teeth, because that’s a tried and tested method that just doesn’t cut it.

Clearly it’s all about who you know. And if you don’t know people, you need to get acquainted with them. But where are they? Don’t get me wrong – I’ve read some fantasy, sci fi and horror stories, from shorts to full novels, that absolutely stank; I don’t want to associate myself with writers who can barely string a sentence together. I don’t want to surround myself with authors who have learned none of the golden guidelines to writing a story that people are going to feel immersed in. I want to find the quality crowd, the people who have learned how to write well, because if I associate myself only with those whose prose is as dull as a white-washed wall, it’s going to be more of a detriment than an asset.

So, while the quest continues in the background, in the meantime my focus will be away from pointless self-promotion and solely on my work-in-progress. My next release will be at least novella-length, but equally likely it’ll become long enough to be classed as a novel. Then we’ll see who’s interested.

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Short Stories: Worth Bothering With?

I bought an Isaac Asimov short story because I LOVE Asimov, but it was boring, plodding and predictable, with annoying dialogue and redundant descriptions. I bought a George RR Martin short story because of all the hype about Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire, but it was dreary, limp, purple and frankly wince-inducing. But I’ll tell you this: If you separate yourself from your hard-earned pennies and buy a Scott Kaelen short story, you WILL like it, regardless of your genre tastes. And I’ll tell you why: It’s the writing you’ll love. The dlalogue is never dull. The prose is never plodding or predictable. You’ll feel engaged to the story. When you’re finished reading, perhaps you’ll wonder why it wasn’t longer. You might also wonder why the small blue butterfly lives only a few days, or why the brightest candle burns the quickest. But you won’t feel empty by their passing; rather you’ll feel gifted for witnessing them during their fleeting life. There may be sadness, but there will also be pleasure. I can say this with a 99.8% probability rate. If you fall into the 0.2%, then you probably enjoy boring, plodding, dull, predictable, annoying, redundant, dreary, limp, purple, wince-inducing tripe. Good luck with that. For the rest of you, the journey begins here: http://author.to/ScottKaelen

For those waiting for the first instalment of my epic fantasy series, The Verragos Tapestry, it’s coming very soon. Night of the Taking is a short story detailing a hideous betrayal whose repercussions will last centuries. Included is the full first chapter of the upcoming novella, The Blighted City, which follows a trio of adventurers set to earn the bounty of a lifetime by venturing into a centuries-deserted city’s graveyard and retrieving a family artefact. But are the city and its graveyard really as deserted as they at first seem? Some legends are worth taking seriously.

Night of the Taking

Night of the Taking