Tag Archives: self publishing

The Sphinx Project – Review

6 Mar

Today I want to share with you The Sphinx Project a new title that has just been released by self published author Katherine Hawkings.

Lets start with the blurb:

Not many people can say their entire existence has been one big lab experiment: poked and prodded by scientists, genetically modified to be the best and endure the worst, subjected to daily tests and trials that would kill a normal human. All Michaela wants is her own life, to be able to go to school, flirt with boys, maybe eat ice cream now and then. So when the chance to escape finally comes, Michaela and her sister grab it, taking their friends with them.
But they weren’t the only ones to find their way out of those labs. Following close behind are another breed of creature, one that doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong, who exist only to feed their own hunger. The appearance of a strange boy who seems too much like them to be a coincidence makes things even more confusing. But as the world begins to literally fall apart around them, Michaela must accept his help, especially when she could lose the very thing she holds dearest: her sister.

Sounds good. Believe me, it does not disappoint. Fast paced, action packed, compelling storyline..even the slightest hint of romance is included in this genreless book.(Maybe I have made that word up – lets run with it!) And it is genreless, its crossover is what holds its appeal, a bit of everything for everyone and it certainly seems effortless, and there is not one point that I scrunched my face feeling that it didn’t work.

Sure, it may predominantly fit YA but i think to pigeon-hole it would detract from its quality.

I just have two negative points to raise. During the first half of the book a couple of times I felt the information was repeated. Just the odd line, but I noticed it, so I have to mention it. The other one is the fact that this book is part of a series, and I need the rest of that series NOW. Seriously, I feel like my iPad has been stolen midway through a book.

My recommendation is that everyone should read this book. Even if it isn’t your usual cup of tea, the drama and action is too much to ignore, you will be at the end before you even know you have started. If, like me, you are impatient, I recommend you follow Katherine Hawkings to keep up to date with new releases so you can get the full series in one hit as soon as it is available.

You can pick up your copy here.

Have you self -published?

10 Dec

Hi all,

So this evening I have searched the ibookstore for my self published friends and have started building a little collection of works – this is my reading until Christmas when I can collect my next batch of books from my Mum. (You know the story right?)

Drop your name in the comment if you have self published and want me to download a copy – or if you wish to recommend a work.

Why? Well, obviously I need something to read, but, I feel a little guilty. So many of you have released works but I have been too ‘busy’ to jump on to downloading straight away – lame I know! I am ready now, so ‘it is time’.

By the way, I am not after freebies, just suggestions!

I look forward to seeing my new reading list.

Spam and self promotion – the missing link.

20 Sep

Now I am fully aware that spam is a frequent topic of conversation on blogs. Indeed, even on Twitter, the conversation comes up about what is received via DM.

I have often sat reading these thoughts wondering what did it matter, what harm does it do? After all, DM messages on Twitter are private, as for the blog, Akismet does a pretty good job – in fact, I have only ever had one spam comment break through the site.

My thoughts are still the same.

But, and I find this quite intriguing, in the space of five hours today I received 17 spam comments. Seventeen! I mean seriously, why do these people persist?

The message is generally unrelated, so you wouldn’t follow the link, and as for the spelling…

I am guessing as a whole my attitude is quite relaxed because I don’t have a mass following, I don’t post my URL here there and everywhere, and therefore, my traffic is relatively low. To know someone has popped by even if it is an automated computer generating utter drivel still pleases me. Small victories and all.

The low traffic is a large problem however, and it is something I need to work on. Obviously now I am back up and posting my traffic naturally increases, and the subscribers increase.I am once again using twitter, but it’s really not me. I know what you have to do, but I guess it just doesn’t sit right for me. I can’t really explain it. I guess my main issue is time management. At best of an evening I can commit two hours to the computer. I say at best, once the kids are in bed and I have run around I have two hours left before I head to bed. Hubby doesn’t mind, more often than not he is blogging also, but for both of us there is the guilt.

But lets say I do spend two hours an evening online. Check the blog, write a post, check FB, send some tweets, consider logging onto Google +…my two hours are pretty used up. Obviously in that I am reading blogs and commenting. I never quite manage to indulge with real interaction through twitter. A lot of this has to do with organisational skills, creating my lists etc.

Twitter is basically a no go for me I think is what I am saying.

So I now have two pages on Facebook as well. Lets be honest, the A Simple Guide to Self Publishing page has never been managed properly. Many authors do this so well, but quite frankly, I am rubbish. We have just set up the page for A Cuppa and an Armchair. As there are two admins on this the onus isn’t on me, but I already feel the pressure. How do I get the followers? how can I get the interaction? How do I get people to understand you like the page not the link? (or maybe they know…) More importantly with this particular site, how do I get people who don’t know me, or the charity, to give either their writing or their time?

So all in all, spam is not really a worry of mine. I just find it a little intriguing. Maybe it is my attitude towards spam, why bother, everyone knows it’s a scam attitude transfers to my promotional side (though mine isn’t a scam, let’s make that clear now).

Anyway, any suggestions on how to find a more positive approach to promotion would be greatly received. (And yes, this is coming from the author a simple guide to self publishing. I know I know, I guess I am after a little more personal advice, what you did/are doing, what definitely didn’t work).

If you have a short story that you would like to submit to A Cuppa and an Armchair, please email chat@elenaransley.com.