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The Immortal King available for pre-order now



The first part of the prophecy fulfilled, Alastair and Lisa should be happy upon their return to Scotland. Yet too soon reality catches up with them.
While Lisa struggles with the sudden gain of power and the possibility of being pregnant. As if that wasn’t enough the man who raped and brutalized her is still out there and worse even, he knows she is back.
While helping Lisa to adjust to her new power, Alastair has to deal with the fact that they need to find and resurrect Arthur, his half-brother. Most would think a reunion like that a joyous occasion, but not for Alastair who deeply believes Arthur to be a rapist and a traitor.
Yet there is no way around it, only Arthur can bring forth Excalibur, and they need the Sword of Light to fulfill the prophecy.

One day only deal… The Immortal Druid for free today

freeby sunday

Get The Immortal Druid for free, toady only….

I’m not doing this often, so don’t waste time thinking, just get your copy and add it to your reading list. Embark on an epic journey as Lisa takes her first step down the road of destiny. Don’t wait any longer to acompany the young, fated couple as they explore love, friendship and danger along the way, with only one goal, to save mankind.

Promotion part 2 / Blurbs, Snippets, Tidbits or whatever you want to call it

Let’s get started, remember part one, where I talked about social media, if not you can read that here because you kind of need it. Ok, all caught up so let’s move forward. Posting short parts of your book can be a powerful tool to get new readers and get readers you already have talking about it. Now there are several things you have to think about doing this, so let’s go through it step by step.

Personally, I choose those parts while doing the last once over of the book I want to promote. How to decide? I’m sure somewhere out in the World Wide Web is a guide for this, I go by gut instinct and common sense. The parts I chose are usually emotional, telling about one or more characters but don’t reveal much of the plot. They hint at what to expect but never more, don’t use parts that are vital to the plot development and could be considered spoilers. The length is different, at least with me. Sometimes it’s just one or two sentences, at other times it’s a whole scene.

Now whenever I don’t get carried away, I post those snippets (let’s stay with that definition) on my blog and share it from there to all other social media as described in part one. If I do get carried away, they end up on Facebook first, something I try to avoid but often break my own rule. Once I posted it to all social media I post it in Facebook groups that allow more than just posts about the books, be careful and read the rules of each group so you don’t get thrown out. Some groups don’t want to see blurbs, but most have no problem with it.

Now, there are two ways to present those snippets. One is to simply have the text, add the cover of your book and the link and post that. You could use some emoticons or put something like —ATTENTION— on top to make it more noticeable. Sadly, Facebook doesn’t give you much in things of variation, not bold or italic to set things apart, leaving you no other choice but to use paragraphs and upper case lettering to do so. Which brings me to the second and in my experience a more effective way of presenting your snippet.

As a graphic. If you have no idea about how to add text to a graphic or about working with graphics then don’t do it until you learned. A snipped on a bad graphic will only have the wrong effect and as with anything, there are rules to this as well. Stick with the first version until you are certain you can do the second. Now, here are two examples for what I mean….

Utopian saga visitor blurb collection

First rule and one of the most important ones is, don’t steal graphics. I know how tempting it is to simply go on Google and type in whatever you think would represent your book well and get the first picture/graphic you like. However, that’s stealing and violating copyright. Still, that doesn’t mean you have to buy an expensive photo or graphic. There are hundreds of portals offering free graphics and photos, just make sure it’s under a CO0 license or one that allows you to use it for commercial use. Personally, I use this one often, it has a great selection and what I like a lot is that if I have a great success with one specific snippet and think it is because of the graphic, I can go back and donate to the artist.

Now once you have the graphic and your snippet you combine them to something like what you see in the examples above. Feel free to make several as I have from different parts of the book. Then post them on your blog and share it with your social media accounts, in addition you can post them in Facebook groups, Google+ communities or other writing communities you might have joined over time. You can use the same principle to spread reviews, if you have any, place them where your snippet would go and then go through the same process. Over time you might find out which snipped works the best and use that one more often than others.

Behind the scene of a self-publishing author

This is a little bit of a rant, but lately I hear far too often that I (and many other self-publishing authors) are charging too much for our books. WTF… 1.99 or 2.99 is too much? Buying a book is something someone does for pleasure or because they are looking for information on a certain topic, right? Right!
Now the same people who say that have no problem spending 20$ to go into a movie, or 5$ to enter the swimming pool, or 15$ to go into the zoo and watch polar bears play. They have no trouble paying a traditional published author/publishing house 15$ for an eBook. Yet 1.99 is too much.
When I ask those people what they think they are paying for they look at me and most answer, “Words.”
Only recently I spoke to some people about the writing process and explained to them what work is involved into getting a book out all on your own. Because according to myth, there is a book in everyone and everyone can publish these days. Both statements I’m not generally refuting, but it takes a certain kind of person to put in the work.
First of all, most self-publishing authors do put in that work in addition to a full time job, family, friends, and housekeeping. Others like me who are chronically ill and can’t work or hold a job and yet aren’t ill enough for disability, have no other source of income. Of course you will find the odd one who has enough money to write full time and has not to care if they make they make money with it.
So keep in mind when you think 1.99 or 2.99 is too much that someone might be living of that money.
Now what goes into a book? Words of course, but they don’t just appear on blank pages. Most authors spend hours on research, I know I do. For my Utopian Sage alone I spend two months of research on ancient Celts, myths, legends and religion. After that came six months of writing the drafts of all five books, rewrites, edits, more rewrites and edits until after two years the first book saw the market. Then you have to add the hours spend on designing a cover design and on formatting the book. So that’s what, let’s say an average of five hours a day, for two years with a six day week to be on the lower end of numbers. That’s 3650 hours at least going into the first book, meaning you pay me as author when you buy my book 0.00082 per hour. Could you get a handyman to work for that, or a sales clerk or a truck driver? I don’t think so.
On Waiting in the Wings, where I didn’t have that much research I spend about six or seven hundred hours, that’s about 30 full days, or 60 twelve hour days, and invested 800 dollar for editing. While only making about 2 dollar tops on a sale. Meaning I need to sell 400 eBooks just to get the edit back, but you think 2.99 is too much to pay.
Yet all of those numbers are irrelevant for most authors, including me. Because we don’t write and publish just for the money, but because we want to tell a story and share it with the world. You don’t pay us for our time or the money we invested, but for entertainment. Most of us can’t afford a professional editor, or we would need to charge even more. So next time you open a reading sample and get annoyed over the use of an oxford comma or a misspelled word, remember how much work went into that mistake, because you pay us for those as well. Because no matter the mistake, you pay for the story not just words.

All about the front and back of a book, oh, and the spine of course

The cover of a book is almost as important as what is inside of it. It’s the first thing your readers will see, it’s what makes it stand out from the masses on a book shelve or presentation tables. An interesting cover is what makes a walk by reader stop, pick it up and look inside it. If you think about it, the cover is immensely important. Sadly in many cases it is also immensely expensive. If you publish with companies like CrowdSpring, they offer simple cover designs as DIY in a cover designer. To use those you need no skill, and not much imagination. It’s all pretty generic and simple.

In my opinion the designs you can create with those cover creators and what they offer you to work with, is good if you want A- not sell a thing and B- have no business sense at all. Your book isn’t generic and simple, or is it? So why represent it with a generic, simple, blah cover?

Your cover should be as unique as your story.

I have been in print design in one way or another since my teens, but designing book covers, which I only do sine last year, is a bigger challenge then I ever thought.  Unlike the design of a business card or a promotional flyer, where the written info is the focus and pictures are just to make it look better, a book cover needs to speak without words. Sure it has words, the books title, the author and the synopsis on the back. But those are minor things. The picture, the design is what tells part of the story that awaits the reader.

Now, I love designing book covers. Yet I still make mistakes, which is why I don’t charge as much as those who do it for years and years already. I get better with each cover I do and slowly start to actually make money with them. However, this article is not for bragging, or to tell you to use my service, (even so you should).

This is info for you as the one wanting a cover, so you know what a cover designer needs, what you can expect and the many ways of getting a cover you like. So let’s start with pointing out the three kinds of cover designers that exist, at least in my opinion.

In general they all are artists, however, the kind of designer I am I call photoshopper because I can’t draw a straight line if my life depended on it. There is a hell of a lot a designer can do with the right software and a photo. Being a Photoshop artist is not a bad thing, but it has its limitations.

Then there are those who can really draw and paint, who create a vision by place a pencil or oil to paper or canvas, but have no clue about photo shopping. They have the great benefit that they can create something out of nothing, bring your vision to life. Especially when you invent world, objects or fantasy characters not based on anything already in existence, those talents are invulnerable.

The third kind, is the best but also most of the time those only few can afford. The artists who combine both formerly named styles. Who can draw and photo shop, creating the perfect vision of your dream book cover.

As different as the approaches, pricings and talents used of those three categories are, they all have one thing in common. The need for clear information and open communication. No designer can look into your head, no designer can know what measurements you chose, or what your story is about if you don’t tell him.

Many of us are miracle workers, some more than others, but none of us is a mind reader. Since I started competing for jobs on crowdsourcing sides, I learned how unprepared some authors are when looking for a cover design. Then when nobody comes up with anything they like, they bitch about how useless and money wasting it is to use them. I’m not saying that they aren’t or are, only that as the author you have to give the designer more than a bundle of dollar bills, in order to get a result.

So let’s talk about what the author needs to bring to the table, aside from his/her wallet.

The obvious thing you need is the TITLE OF YOUR BOOK and the AUTHOR OR PEN NAME you want on the cover. I write those in capital so it sticks more out, not because I’m shouting. Anyway, if you have a SYNOPSIS, BLURP OR SHORT BIO you want on the back as well as a PICTURE of you, have those ready as well. As the designer we don’t know much about what your book is about, asking us to write your synopsis is simply not feasible, same with the bio or getting a picture of you. That is not part of our job to research you, or send a photograph to your place. Unless of course to take the hit moneywise, then you can have it all.

Then we need or prefer to have the measurements of your book. Like is it a 6 x 9 or a 5.5 x 8 and how many pages has it or do you know the spine measurements already. It is possible to design without those but depending on how much off we are from where you want to apply it to, it might not fit.

Tell us what your book is about, what GENRE it belongs to as well as the TARGET GROUP, and anything you think is important about your book. What makes it better, different, more lovable then others with the same topic.

If you have a KEY SCENE, and IDEA or VISION of how the cover should look like, then tell us about it in as much detail as you can. This not only enables us to make your vision real but also to determine if we can do it. For example a customer of mine wanted a certain bracelet in his cover, one from the story. It was an unusual and unique piece of jewelry and I simply couldn’t imagine how to do it. So I had to tell him I couldn’t and we found a different way, but if we hadn’t we wouldn’t have wasted time because I knew I couldn’t bring that particular vision to life, and told him so.

Which brings me to the most important part, COMMUNICATION. It’s the A and O of creating a good cover. No matter if it is by contacting a designer directly or going over crowd sourcing companies. Let the designer know what you like and what you don’t like. The changes you want to be made or the suggestions you have. Creating the right cover can mean a lot of back and forth.

Her is an example:


I designed this only recently following the brief the customer posted. I never even got a comment and since the contest was blind could hardly orient myself by what the customer liked and what he didn’t like. So I was in the dark. A simples, too busy or too bright would have already steered me in a different direction. If I had been the customer I would have for example said: “I can see you read the brief, but this cover has to many different elements for my taste, I would prefer something simpler. The woman is to old and not enough on fire, neither do I like the fog on the ground. However, I do like the font (imagine one since I removed it for privacy reasons) because it pops and stands out wonderfully. I also like the castle you used, but the dragon is not fitting those I used in my story. Mine are more Basilisk like…..

So I trashed pretty much everything except for the castle and the font, but that would have helped me to find a different direction while still sticking with the brief.

You don’t have to be nice and say you like it, when you don’t. Because that helps neither of us. If you comment, tell us honestly what you like and you don’t like it will be a lot of work for you, but the main work is on us. Creating a custom cover takes hours, day’s sometimes weeks. Email after email, back and forth until you are happy.

Now, let’s talk about the options of finding a cover designer. There are lot’s of options.

If you have Facebook, you will find many cover artists there, including yours truly. Just use the page search and enter cover artist or cover designer and you’ll find many pages you can compare and contact.

I know that on are many to find but have no clue how good or bad they are, only that they are cheap, which doesn’t mean they are bad. I started selling mien for under ten and twenty dollars to establish myself, I bet others do the same.

When you publish with Creatspace they link to CrowdSpring for cover designs. Which is a crowdsourcing site. You pay them I think 399 Dollar and the artists get 239 dollars for the cover. Then there is 99Design who have a similar deal. The benefit in using those sites is that you usually get a wide selection of designs to choose from. I work with both and prefer CrowdSpring because they don’t make you jump through too many hoops as designer, but 99Design is more busy with contests and designers.

Another thing you can do is check your favorite books, indie authors and traditional authors alike. Often the cover artist is named on the copyright page. You can search them on the internet and check them out. Some authors add the cover artist in the contribution when they publish, in that case the name shows up on the Amazon detail page as well. So that another way you can search.

I bet there are more ways and feel free to add them as a comment, but those are the ones I know of.

No matter how you find your artist, or how much you are paying for your design, it’s important to remember that in the end it’s a combined effort. No artist can create your vision if you are not engaged in the process. Before you even start looking for an artist, think about what you want, what you imagine and write it down, make a sketch or even make a tape if that’s the way for you to express yourself the best way.

Icebreaker review

You wrote and published a book, spend weeks, months, maybe even years on it, so you get it right and it’s the best book you can create. But you have a hard time selling it. Sure once in a while you sell one, you get many downloaded when you offer it for free, but the moment your reader has to pay, it stagnates. It’s frustrating, annoying and sadly part of being an independent author.

One strong point in selling are reviews, and not just because they let other readers know what to think of your book. Amazon won’t promote you until you have some reviews, and it takes at least 50 reviews before they will help you promote.

The thing is, nobody leaves one. You have a few hundred books out, most of them during a free download campaign, but still, why is nobody saying anything? It makes you wonder.

Am I that bad? Does my writing suck that much? Do I do bad marketing? Can’t they even find my book? Did I put it in the wrong category, or maybe the whole thing isn’t working right?

I know, it’s not different for me. However, back in the day when I with a publisher back in Germany, my publisher hired people to write so called ice breaker reviews. Ice breaker reviews are not always good or bad, often they are neutral just pointing out some pro and cons for a book. Quite frankly I don’t think the people my publisher hire, ever read the books.  Still, once there was one review, others followed.

I know that big publishing houses do the same, or at least I know they hire reviewers, so their books quickly have a few reviews, making it easier and more comfortable for the reader to say their own piece.

The thing is, big publishing houses have big budgets to buy those reviews, or at least the time of a reviewer. We as indie authors often don’t have that budget. We try to ask friends, other authors, and family even. However, most people either don’t feel like what they write sounds fair, or right and others don’t have the time to actually read your book. I had it more than once, that I handed a free copy over with the promise that they would write a review, and never heard of them again. I did swaps with other authors, finished mine within a few days and never got the review I was promised while I had posted mine already on Amazon.

So, yeah… been there, done that and it’s frustrating like hell. (To all of you who still owe me a review, hurry the hell up. I didn’t write War and Peace, my books aren’t that long, it does not take half a year or more to read them.)

Now, the thing with new indie authors is, and I belong it that category more than others, our books are rarely perfect. It’s called a learning curve, yet without reviews and response to what we wrote, we can’t get better. We need the response in order to grow and evolve, to make us better authors.

So, that brings me to what I am offering.

If you need an ice breaker review, I will help you by writing one.

How it works.

You send me a copy of your book in pdf (certain genres only) and I will read it. Why pdf? Two reasons, I can attach sticky notes, and unless I want to be mean, evil and destroy any reputation I have, can’t meddle with your text. While I read your book I will attach sticky notes, but not only for myself to help me write the review, if I find spelling mistakes, or typos I will point those out as well. When I’m done, I will write my review, even when I think your book sucked, I will find something that is good about it. My review will concentrate on those good points. Then I send you back your file, with the sticky notes and what I intend on writing in the review. It’s your call if I post it on Amazon and Goodreads or not, however I will post it on my own review blog.

If your book makes it in the three star and more category I will also add it to my own online bookstore.

Now, we all know thing are rarely free in these times. However, I am cheap (pun intended). When I send you back your file, I will attach a donation link to PayPal, you decide what my help is worth to you.  In addition I will send you a collection of links to my website, blogs and bookstore to choose from. Please place one link to any of those sides on your website, blog or storefront.

I think that is a fair offer, and as I said if you think my help isn’t worth anything, you just don’t donate anything. I will still post the review on Amazon and Goodreads, unless you don’t want me to.

If you are interested feel free to contact me either by email at or via Facebook messenger.

Genres I take on are:

Romance, erotica, fantasy, history, paranormal in any combination of those and their subgenres. Young adult is fine too, as long as it is within those combinations.

Special weekend sale because of Newspaper article

I was in the newspaper today and that’s reason enough for me to put my paperback on sale for you. This weekend only, 20% off the paperback. Hurry up and order now, before the price goes up again. Use coupon Code 3UMNSRKP to save 20%

newspaper clipping with cover

Free download has started

free book promotion dyslexia

Get it this weekend because I don’t know when or if I run another giveaway

Getting the attention of stores

Even in times like these where internet and digital is everywhere, many readers still prefer a physical book. And I have to admit, I get it, the feel of the paper, the weight of it, it is simply a totally different experience then with an e-reader. Lucky for us as Indie authors and thanks to POD services like Lulu and Createspace offering that option to our readers isn’t hard or expensive anymore.

However, aside from offering a physical book, many readers especially the generations 40 and still prefer to buy books in stores as well.

Statistics say that most spontaneous buys happen in stores while most sales online are informed. Now, we all think our stories are just as good as one ending up on the bestsellers list. We all love our books, they are our children and we are proud of them. But just like with real children we often don’t want to see and admit the flaws. Which is the reason we need people to take a chance, those people are usually spontaneous buyers. Ergo, store buyers, that are interested because of the title or cover. But how do you get them into stores, and in what stores can you get them?

Well, the first thing you think of as an author is a bookstore of course. I tried writing to bookstores, in the beginning, sending them a long, well… very long letter. Explaining what my book was about, who it targets, what the price is that I can give them and so on. Two to tree weeks later I called all those stores, thinking they had enough time to read and consider. Only to find out that most hadn’t even read beyond the first few lines. At some point, I got tired of that answer and asked why they didn’t read further. The answer was, “it’s just too long, if I’m interested I can look up all that stuff on my own, I rather have a pitch or a blurb, if it wakes my interest I get either in contact with the author or check if my wholesaler can get it.”

One of then, one I talked to in person was so friendly and explained it a little bit more in detail.

Do you know how many books get published each day now that it is so easy to accomplish, several thousand. We get between 10 and 50 letters a day with offers, pleas, and bargains to add someone’s book to our inventory. Yet we don’t have endless space to simply add everyone. Neither do we have the time to read all those letters, and take them long into consideration. If the letter doesn’t catch me in the first paragraph, I throw it away, so I can move on to the next.

Now that might have been a little harsh and blunt, but honest and that I can appreciate.

I tried the same approach with other kinds of stores, thinking they might not be so busy that they can’t read my letter, and it was a fine letter. Now, again a few weeks after sending them, I called those I send it to, only to find that almost nobody read it. “have you any idea how much spam mail we get, how many offers for products? Sure we sell books, but we are mostly a (grocery store, pharmacy, drug mart) Those offers are what we need to take time, a letter about a book is just too much.”

Did you notice the similarities? Too long, takes too much time, doesn’t catch my interest right away.

For the time being I gave up on trying to get my book into stores, simply because I couldn’t think of a different approach. Until a few days or weeks later I saw a so-called blurb or snipped card on Twitter. Of course, I had seen them before, but that day I thought, ay… that looks like a postcard. And that got me thinking.

blurb 10

This is such a card, this one isn’t formatted yet for a postcard, but it’s enough as example. Usually, I use it on Twitter of Facebook, but after those calls and talks, I decided to try a different approach. Instead of a long letter, I designed postcards. The front similar to what you see here, only instead of where to buy I put the book information, like how many pages, what kind of paper, what size of book, ISBN and ASIN. The result was a front where you had all the important info nicely compacted. The cover, a snipped that I believed represented something good from my book, and all the important info. On the back of the postcard, I entered the address of who I wanted to reach (obviously) and wrote my contact information. Including a little “thanks for your time”

Now you’re asking, “did it make a difference?” and the answer is, yes and no.

Yes because:

I send out around 100 postcards to bookstores, supermarkets, drug stores, corner stores and so on. Just as I did before. This time, I got 43 responses.

No because:

Out of those 43 responses I had only 7 direct sales, 23 books altogether. However, the rest, at least, gave me a response, telling me that they either were still fully stocked and would get back to me when they had room for a new book or that they would contact their wholesaler about it.


However, since then I talked to several who had responded, sadly not about sales, and they all told me they were happy with my approach. So I thought I share it with you, and if you need help designing those postcards, you can always employ my help.

My Life with Dyslexia and other Shit… to be published at February 8th 2016

My Life with Dyslexia and other Shit… is now ready to go towards publishing and the date is decided on as well… February 8th 2016, family day in Canada. In my opinion there couldn’t be a better day to bring my story out.

For now you can get a reading sample either on my website, or here Reading sample

Pre-ordering will be available soon, so keep on checking in.