Tag Archives: psychological thriller

Book Review: Blue Coyote Motel by Dianne Harman

23 Jul

Apologies for my absence from the blogosphere for the past few weeks, but something amazing has happened. The sun has been shining! No, I couldn’t believe it either, but my face broke out in freckles so rapidly I could almost hear them ping!

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Anyway, this week I wanted to review Diane Harmon’s Blue Coyote Motel, an unusual debut novel which I found impossible to put down.

What is it about?

A disparate group of people visit the Blue Coyote Motel, situated in the Nevada desert, miles away from civilisation. Each of the visitors enter the motel, consumed by their own troubles, but leave feeling care-free and resolved to change their lives for the better. Is this dramatic change a result of quiet contemplation, or is there something else in the air? The answer lies with the beautiful Maria, the motel owner, and her genius scientist husband Jeffrey.

Blue Coyote Motel is different to any other book I’ve read, and I’m not even entirely sure how I’d categorise it, although it is listed as a psychological thriller. The book contains some unique elements. It has a very unlikely hero in the form of Sean a troubled ex-priest, and some startling narrative descriptions. I don’t think I will ever get the scene with the rats out of my head. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys an exciting fast-paced read, interwoven with intrigue and mystery.

Blue Coyote Motel was a quarter finalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and a Goodreads Psychological Thriller of the month. Dianne’s has recently published her second book, Tea Party Teddy  – a California political tell-all, set in a world which, as the wife of a former Senator, she knows all about.

 

 

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High or low? Choosing a price-point for my self-published eBook

21 May

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When I launched FRY on Amazon back in March, I initially priced it at $2.99, which translated as about £2.06 in the UK.  For the first few weeks, it sold steadily on both Amazon.com and Amazon UK. Then after around three weeks, my UK sales started to pick up as it was swept into the orbit of some much more prominent books in my genre. By orbit, I mean that it appeared in the ‘Customers also bought’ category for these books, and by prominent, I mean Amazon top 100 books – top 10 at one point. I believe that this happened because I went free for a couple of days shortly after my book launched, which helped give my book more visibility, even if it didn’t lead to a sales bump at the time.

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I knew that FRY would not probably not stay in the orbit of these more prominent books forever, and noted that most of them were priced lower than mine. £1.99, or even 99p or less were quite common for books in my genre, so after the first month, I took a gamble and dropped the price right down to 77p (99 cents.) This definitely had an impact. I went from a best of around 20 sales a day, to 70 sales in one day (nearly all in the UK). Albeit temporarily, FRY rose to number 4 in psychological thrillers on Amazon UK, above some of my favourite authors.

And now? A few weeks on, I do not make more money at the lower price-point, but I do sell a lot more books and I reach a lot more readers, which is very important to me. As a writer, I want people to read and enjoy my book, and I also want to build an audience for the next one, May Queen Killers, which comes out next year. I also get more reviews, which have been overwhelmingly positive, and I’m sure this helps to convince readers to give FRY a go.

Many self-publishing gurus advise that you don’t drop your price, or attempt any other marketing tactics until you have a number of books out, but for me at least, the low price is working. For now. And of course, I can always change my mind. That’s the beauty of self-publishing. Nothing is set in stone.

Have you experimented with different price-points?  I’d love to hear about your experiences!

Video

Going free early on Amazon with KDP select

14 Apr

In my first ever video post, I talk about my experience of going free on Amazon three days after my book launch.

Interview with Garry Kay, author of psychological thriller, Don’t Fear the Reaper

3 Apr

 

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This week I interviewed self-published author, Garry Kay. Don’t Fear The Reaper was the first self-published book I read on my brand new kindle and I was really impressed by the quality. If you would like to check out, Don’t Fear the Reaper is going to be free on Amazon for the next two days (Thurs 4th and Friday 5th April.) Read on to find out more…

Tell me a bit about yourself 

I am 49 and live in Cornwall with my wife Ginny and two teenage children Hannah and Sam. I did an economics degree at the University of Surrey and Michigan State University. In 1986 I started as a trainee reporter on the West Sussex County Times in Horsham. After the County Times, I joined the Yorkshire Gazette & Herald in York as sports editor. I then took a career break with Ginny to work in a bar in Lanzarote while she worked as a holiday rep. I returned to York as chief sub-editor before joining The West Briton in 1995 as deputy editor. In 2000, I joined the Press Association in Leeds as new media chief sub-editor, but missed Cornwall so much that I returned. Since then I have made a living through property investments and writing novels. During my time at the Yorkshire Gazette & Herald, the paper won the coveted Press Gazette national award for Newspaper of the Year, a success I repeated at The West Briton in Cornwall.

Tell me about your books

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Break Free: Stockholm syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages have positive feelings towards their captors. Andrew Leopard has not been kidnapped. He is a teenager starting university, but he has lived in his father’s shadow for so long that he struggles to break free when endless opportunities slap him in the face. He falls in love with Pink Socks. He doesn’t even know her real name. She’s a fox … but is Andrew the incapable in pursuit of the unattainable?

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The Door: Jack String and Bruce Morfield don’t like each other. The feud steps up when they become reporters on rival newspapers. The race is on for the  big front page splash. Bruce is always one step ahead as Jack is distracted by the dark-haired daughter of a wealthy property developer  … when he’s not playing football. He’s never far behind Bruce but as  he closes in, the light at the end of the tunnel is switched off. Jack is left with questions. He hopes to find the answers behind a mysterious locked door.

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Don’t Fear The Reaper: One of the best film endings ever is The Italian Job. ‘Hang on a minute lads, I’ve got a great idea.’ But what happens next? Don’t Fear The Reaper starts where The Italian Job ends but there’s no gold and it’s not in Italy. It’s a crashed bus full of tourists balanced upside down over a cliff in Corfu. The Grim Reaper arrives in playful mood with a quota of 16 to fill. As you face death, your whole life flashes before your eyes. This book explores that fascinating and most fleeting moment.

What gave you the inspiration for Don’t Fear the Reaper?

I was fascinated with films like Flatliners which look at what happens immediately after death … the out-of-body experience which many people have spoken about after being revived from near death. In short, the moment your life flashes before your eyes when you face death.

When and where do you write?

Ideas fill my head in the night and I wake up with a head full of new chapters. Can’t write with others in the house, so must wait till they’ve all gone, then I play key mood songs, which for the Reaper included Hurt by Johnny Cash,Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks and The Scientist by Coldplay, then I tap away at my desk in the bedroom (warmest room in the house) 

How long did it take you to write your first novel? Have you got any faster?

First novel took 16 years. Second and third were six months each.

Why did you decide to self-publish?

Big publishers are understandably profit-driven and only touch new authors if their work is similar to something which has previously made them money. Basically there is very little scope for originality. I’d like to think my books are a little bit different … all have a few psychological surprises, which may spook the majors. Self-publishing does not have these constraints … clear winner.

Who designs your covers?

I do. Newspaper design was may first career, so my book covers use the same ideas.

Do you use a professional editor?

Having won newspaper of the year (national title) on two separate papers, I’d like to think I am a professional editor … although there are always a few “literals” which sneak through

What’s your top self-publishing tip?

Don’t be dis-heartened if you don’t outsell Fifty Shades. There are a lot of very good self-published books … FRY by Lorna Dounaeva being a perfect example. You’re not going to make millions without a lot of luck … right place right time.

Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed on selfpublishbible, Garry. Wow, 16 years to complete the first novel and then the next one in just six months. That gives me hope! And I can’t believe you designed your own covers! That’s awesome, not to mention money-saving! 

If you’re in the mood for a psychological thriller with a difference, Don’t Fear the Reaper is free for the next two days.

FRY is number one in Canada!

15 Mar

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Just a quick update, friends. Just wanted to let you know that my new nove, FRY, is currently number one in free psychological thrillers on Amazon Canada!  It’s also number two in Germany, under the amusing category name ‘Psycho and voltage!’ (I think we lost something in the translation there!) It will be free for one more day, so if anyone is interested, you can download by clicking on this link viewBook.at/B00BSGIDRM08:14 AM – 15 Mar 13

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My first book launch on Amazon – FRY goes live!

13 Mar

My first book launch on Amazon -  FRY goes live!

I was very excited to launch FRY on Amazon yesterday. It had a swift first day of sales and reached #21 on the psychological thrillers list. A great start!

So, what did I do to to prepare? Well, all the usual stuff, putting together a press release, doing some blog interviews, tweeting and telling anyone who would listen about my book.

I felt about as ready as I could be. But then, on the day of the launch, my son came down with chicken-pox! I spent the day alternating between tweeting, social networking and nursing my poor sick boy!
You just can’t plan for everything, can you? I did at least manage some champagne in the evening!

New Year, New Blog!

2 Jan

Greetings, readers and welcome to my new blogtopia. I will be publishing my first novel, a psychological thriller called FRY on Amazon in March and this blog will plot my trials and tribulations as a self-published writer.

As this is my first post, perhaps I should tell you all a little bit about myself. I am a politics, social psychology and European Studies graduate. I have worked mainly in the British civil service, primarily at the Home Office. I have two small children who keep me highly amused and I suppose I am a little bit quirky. I have an unlikely fondness for My Little Ponies (yup, that’s the children’s toy) and used to help organise conventions. I love the Eurovision song contest – I haven’t missed it in 15 years and nor has my poor husband. We even went to see it live for the 50th anniversary in Kiev. I once met the Dalai Lama on a plane (he smiled kindly at my son) and I am very, very fond of coffee and chocolate.

I was named after the novel, Lorna Doone, so really, I had no choice but to become a writer. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. I just hope I’m not jinxing myself by launching my first book in 2013!

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