Blog Tour – June 2014

Blog tour time! I don’t usually do these, but it’s good to do something different every now and again and rebel against my own insufferable habits ;)

First of all, thanks to author Travis Hightower (yes, it is a cool surname) for including me in the tour. You can find his blog at http://hightowerdreamland.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/blog-tour-sharing-our-writing-process.html. He’s into fantasy, like me, and also has good taste in music – also like me ;)

What are you working on?

My image, confidence, general wealth and good health. I’ve just started up jogging again and – oh, you mean writingwise? Ah, well that would be the third part of Dreamwalkers. I’ve put it off long enough, I’m going to have to decide how it ends – or how I get to the ending I should say. I’ve known the ending since the beginning. Wrote it, in fact. I try to do that: write the final or climactic scene first. Anyway, next question…

How does your work differ from others of its genre?

I’m not sure what genre I am. I would say I write for those aged nine or older (that includes adults). I like fantasy, but I also like to be different and try different styles. Dreamwalkers for example, is a Young Adult story set in modern England but most of the action takes place in a fantasy dream world based on Renaissance Italy. I also like humour, usually in the form of parody (I have two parody books, one of which is Pied & Prodigious – a parody of Pride and Prejudice, if you couldn’t work it out). My writing is for all the family and I’m a member of Clean Indie Reads.

Why do you write what you write?

There’s nothing quite as thrilling – or scary – as inviting someone into a world created by your own imagination. When I read reviews from children and adults who have enjoyed that world it gives me a nice feeling inside. As a reader myself, I know the power and effect of a good story. Movies have nothing on them.

How does your writing process work?

Very badly. I’m easily distracted, find it hard to write when it’s too warm (above say 20 degrees), and find it hard to concentrate unless I have a large block of time to write at my disposal. Even if I’m going out in the evening I can find it hard to write during the day because I’m thinking about the evening! Generally, I work best when I focus all my attention on something in large bursts. It’s not very healthy or very balanced, I’m sure. I like to listen to music to get me in the mood sometimes. Usually it’s movie or videogame soundtracks, though sometimes I might listen to artists such as Lindsey Stirling and others who have a strong melody/emotion to their music.

Can you share an example of your work?

Cal poked his head around the sandstone pillar and let out a silent breath of relief. The girl hadn’t seen him. She was still looking around the chamber in wide-eyed wonder, lost in the beauty of the marble floor and the domed ceiling decorated with peacocks. The girl’s dress, like her hair, flowed long, and both were of the deepest black. A shard of midnight in a sunlit hall of gold and white. The stark contrast unsettled Cal, as did the fact that he’d already encountered her three times this week, and yet never once had he sought her out. Coincidence, Cal thought.

He pushed away from the pillar and made his way silently back to the arched window through which he’d just come. Climbing out onto the ledge, he eyed the paved ground thirty feet below. After balling his hands three times to psych himself up, he dropped to the street and landed on his feet, a hand thrusting out at the last moment to keep his balance.

He stood and straightened the denim jacket his mum had given him for his fifteenth birthday. It was too small for him by now, two years later, but here in the city it fitted perfectly. Everything here was perfect.
He surveyed the city’s edge and saw no one. As he had done a dozen times before, he sprinted toward the city wall. A flight of stone steps stood between him and the walkway high above, but he leapt up them, taking eight steps in his first bound. A few seconds later, he reached the walkway.

Cal looked down and smiled. Eight. His best yet. Moving toward the wall, he gazed out over the verdant landscape below. Serried vineyards and pink-blossomed orchards punctuated the green hills and lowland forest, but in the distance it all blurred and, a little farther out, faded into nothingness.

- from Dreamwatchers, Part One, by D.M. Andrews

And who will be continuing this blog tour?

I’ve invited Andrea Pearson, an author of fun, exciting, and clean adventures for adults and young readers alike, of www.andreapearsonbooks.blogspot.co.uk and Jennifer Lynn Alvarez, who writes middle grade fiction focused around animals (and who has recently picked up a publishing deal!), of www.jenniferlynnalvarez.com/ to carry on the tour…

The Serpent in the Glass – audio in the works!

I really must post here more often. Well, a couple of projects are still unfinished (not wholly my fault I might add), but major news is that The Serpent in the Glass is going to be coming out as an audio this year. More details to follow.

In the mean time, check out this site which has listed my book along with other dragon-related indie books!
http://discoveringnewadventures.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/book-blast-dragons-of-lore-may-14th.html

More soon (I’ll try!)

Merry Christmas!

My apologies for not posting for a while. I’ve been busy in other areas of my life, but still doing a little writing! Expect a new book very soon ;)

By the way, Dreamwalkers (Part One) is now free on all digital platforms! Let your friends know.

And a big Happy Christmas to one and all!

90-day Challenge & Serpent Hits 100 Reviews!

I’ve been setting fitness goals for myself lately. With a healthier body and mind, I hope to be able to focus on writing a little more!

Over the last few years I’ve had quite a bad back. I can walk and sit OK, but any lifting, bending, etc. really stiffens up my back and hurts. It’s been very limiting. Due to this lack of activity my fitness level has gone down.

As of May 27th I gave up eating chocolate and I also stopped eating sugary things in the evening. I’ve now committed to having some work done on my back – osteopath and pilates.

A final layer to my plan has been my enrolment in the 90-Day Challenge. You can read more about it here… http://dmandrews.bodybyvi.com

Feel free to join me!

In writing news: after publishing Dreamwalkers (Part Two) last month, I’ve been working on a couple of side projects (still far from complete) and also promoting a couple of my books. It was a big day for The Serpent in the Glass this month – it hit 100 reviews on Amazon.com! I still get little attention on Amazon.co.uk, however. No idea why :( Thank goodness for US sales is all I can say! ;)

My first in-car vlog

My first vlog. Testing things out. Need to get the lighting better! Suggestions?

In other news, Dreamwalkers (Part Two) is out on Kindle! :)

May update & Lindsey Stirling!

Well, I really should post more on my blog. I get caught up in social media! :(

So what’s been going on in May? Well, Dreamwalkers (Part Two) is with the editor and should be back with me in a couple of weeks – which could very well mean a June release!

I’ve also spent rather too much time watching Lindsey Stirling videos, and attended one of her concerts on Monday night. Brilliant! Look her up, follow her! She’s great!

Oh, I also met her in person around the middle of May and gave her a signed copy of The Serpent in the Glass. Check out the picture on my facebook author page at www.facebook.com/AuthorDMAndrews – oh, and please like the page, too! ;)

KDP Select Promo Results March/April 2013

As promised, I’m posting today about the after-results of the KDP Select campaign (22nd-24th March) mentioned in my last post (where I reported the download results). Again, if you want to know how I got a good number of downloads for a book not in the mainstream, then please go to my page:
How I Got 10,896 Downloads on the First Day of my KDP Select Promo with a Non-mainstream eBook

Starting paid rank before campaign: about 35,000

Highest free rank recorded during campaign: 7

Paid rank after campaign: 105,000 (ranks always drop severely after a campaign due to no sales or borrows during the campaign)

Now, with that in mind, let’s look at the data for the end of each of the listed days (rank, sales, borrows) below:

DAY 1 (MON): 13957, 17, 13

DAY 2 (TUE): 5461, 14, 11

DAY 3 (WED): 5713, 15, 18

DAY 4 (THU): 3482, 17, 37 (gets into top 100 for children’s books)

DAY 5 (GOOD FRI): 3395, 18, 18

DAY 6 (SAT): 3182, 25, 22

DAY 7 (EASTER SUN): 4141, 16, 5 (drops out of top 100 for children’s books)

DAY 8 (BANK HOLIDAY): 4730, 12, 23

Total sales/total borrows: 134 / 147

Best rank recorded: 3040

Best “best seller” ranking (allowing for only one subcategory level) recorded: #77 in children’s ebooks

(Note that ranking reports are delayed, so lag behind sales/borrows. These stats are for Amazon.com only, other stores had little traction, totalling perhaps 15 sales combined, with no borrows).

KDP Select Promo – March 2013

I’ve just finished a KDP Select campaign for my debut novel, The Serpent in the Glass. One of the reasons for running the campaign was to see the effect compared to past promo campaigns. In short, could KDP still deliver a solid punch if done properly?

1. Preparation

Firstly I should say that my book, The Serpent in the Glass, had 48 reviews with a 4.2 average rating as of campaign start. The cover appeals to both young and old, probably around age 9+. Campaign ran from Fri 22 – Sun 24 March 2013.

I contacted (mainly by filling out forms) over 30 sites that you can notify, for free, about your free promotions on Amazon Kindle. This doesn’t mean they will list your promotions, but some will. You need to start doing this about 3 weeks before your campaign runs.

I spent somewhere in the region of about $200 on various services, including a book-tweeting service and two modest adverts in a couple of the high-profile sites.

2. The Campaign

I tweeted, retweeted and replied to personal tweeters as they appeared. I tried to use some @ and # on twitter to help visibility, though I’m not very good at that. I posted on a dozen or more facebook groups.

3. The Results

12 hours into the first day: 4117 downloads and ranked at #111
16 hours into the first day: 7675 downloads and ranked at #30
Start of second day: 10,896 downloads and ranked at #10
4 hours into second day: ranking at #7 (PEAK)
6 hours into second day: ranking drops to #9
12 hours into second day: 13,469 downloads and ranked at #9
16 hours into second day: 14,382 downloads and ranked at #14
Start of third day: 15,392 downloads and ranked at #16
8 hours into third day: 15,882 downloads and ranked at #16
14 hours into third day: 16,680 downloads and ranked at #16
End of third day and campaign: 17,561 downloads and ranked at #37 (first-page position lost :( )

Breakdown of downloads per Amazon store:

Brazil: 2
Italy: 2
Spain: 6
France: 12
Japan: 19
Canada: 60
Germany: 152
UK: 464
US/India: 16,844

I shall report any sales/ranking changes in the next post, probably in early April.

Would you like to know exactly how I got so many downloads on day 1? Then go to this link.

Askdavid.com

Please feel free to review my book,The Serpent in the Glass (The Tale of Thomas Farrell) on Askdavid.com

Now displaying site previews. Neat.

Authors, why not get listed too?

March Magic Giveaway

March Magic Book Giveaway!

Enter to win three paperbacks–The Pet Washer, Beswitched, and The Serpent in the Glass.
The Giveaway ends March 31, 2013
It’s free!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About the Books  

Molly Snow

Surla and Cathy have a HUGE secret!

After spending hundreds of years as a ‘familiar’ to an abusive witch, Surla runs away to find freedom. But there’s one catch! The Black Cats’ Curse states she will have to switch bodies with the first lonesome soul to cross her path.

Painfully shy Cathy Phillips can’t muster the courage to ask hot water polo player, Craig Nelson, on a date. Neither can she stand up to the three biggest snobs at Washington High. What’s a girl to do? Could switching lives with a sassy, magical cat be the answer to her wishes?

The “curse” of being “BeSwitched” may just be the most purr-fect secret these new best friends could ever have!

D.M. Andrews

On his eleventh birthday Thomas Farrell is informed that the deceased father he never knew has provided for his education at Darkledun Manor, a school for gifted children. Thomas, however, feels he’s just an ordinary boy, but Darkledun Manor proves to be anything but an ordinary school…

In this work of fiction the reader is transported into a world of myth as the young protagonist, Thomas Farrell, seeks to understand who his mysterious father was, and why he left him a strange glass orb containing a serpent. As the story progresses, Thomas and his friends become increasingly caught up in a world they never knew existed – a world beyond the standing stones.

Jennifer Lynn Alvarez

What happens when a vacationing princess befriends a hard-working pet washer?

Meet the pet washer! Cianna works overtime at The Royal Pet Palace and Day Spa. Here, animals are cleaned, massaged, bedazzled, and dyed to match the outfits of their masters. Cianna is popular because she invents special shampoos, flea treatments, pet foods, and toothpastes to keep the pets as healthy as they are clean.

Meet the princess! Polly owns the finest dresses, the fastest horses, lives in the largest castle, and has the prettiest friends in the seven kingdoms. She befriends Cianna to replace an ill dancer in her annual Spring Festival performance.

When Cianna is thrown into the glamorous lifestyle of the royals it seems all her dreams are coming true, but when Polly has a change of heart, both of their lives are changed forever.