Tag: Amazon Books

A MAGICAL TALE OF TRUE FRIENDSHIP

Can you imagine if there was no longer a Spring, Summer, or Autumn? And, there was only Winter? Well, winter is what the North Wind wants, and why he tries to come between two wonderful friends; the Moon and the Sun.

friendship

Children will love this delightful tale of friendship and magic by Oscar Malenar called The Sun and the Moon Friendship Tale.

In this wonderful story, the North Wind is unhappy. He does not like warm, sunny days, and green grass and trees. The North Wind longs for a cold, snowy winter that lasts forever. Therefore, he is determined to end the friendship between the Moon and the Sun that keeps the seasons of Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn in place. The North Wind has finally hatched a plan to get rid of the Sun!

Will the Moon and Sun fall victim to the North Wind’s plan? Or, is their friendship strong enough to save the day? If the Earth turns cold and stays covered in snow, all the Earth’s people, animals, and birds will suffer. Everyone will become sad and depressed.

But, there is hope. And, that hope lies in a special gift the Sun has given the Moon. Can the Moon come to understand how special that gift is before it is too late?

Read this beautiful story and learn how sometimes even the smallest and most ordinary of things can still be big enough to save the day!

This is a wonderful bedtime tale for children. A story of true friendship and magic with a beautiful ending. Highly recommended for parents with small children they love to read to.

What to do when your book cover sucks!

It is not just about the reviews!

Learning to market your book as a self-published author is an interesting and sometimes painful journey. There is so much to learn and so much to do. The book cover, the story itself, the categories and keywords, SEO, social media marketing, Twitter, Instagram. BookBub, etc. … and getting reviews. The list of things to do can quickly become rather extensive.

The reviews I get tell me my story is pretty darn good.

Of course, you always get a few bad reviews. Not everyone will like your book. That is just a fact of life.

However, most of your reviews have been 4 and 5 stars. Some of the reviews have been absolutely outstanding. So why is your book not selling a little better?

Yes. It does take time. When first starting out, you are not exactly Tom Clancy, Lee Child, or Vince Flynn! At least not yet!

You do have to keep plugging away at finding what marketing ideas work for you. There is no way you can do it all. You have to have a plan and then you have to work the plan.

Enter the experts

Through ALLi (Alliance of Independence Authors), I have been exploring and learning about marketing for self-published authors. I have been working with Beth Kallman Werner at Author Connections and now with Jim Kukral at Authors Marketing Club.

The book cover story

book cover

About a week ago, while on the phone with Jim Kukral, we went through my book’s categories and keywords and at Jim’s suggestion, made some smart changes there. I learned about KDP Rocket and if you are a self-published author, I think this tool is indispensable.

We also looked at the book cover. Jim’s comment was that the book cover looked like exactly what it is … a first cover attempt by a newbie self-published author.

I must admit it hurt just a bit. After all, I was kind of proud of the cover. I mean, I designed it myself. Jim then suggested I take a look at other book covers in the same genre; essentially military action thriller.

I did this and his point became painfully obvious. A lesson learned. Jim explained the concept of “cover to market.”  Essentially, this means your cover has to stand out in the market you are competing in. Kind of a “duh” moment actually.

So … back to the cover drawing board we went. And, about a week later, voilà!  I must admit, I love the knew cover. It fits the genre and stands out among the book covers of my competitors. It gives clues to the story line with out being a “spoiler.”

In addition, many people I have shown the book cover to really like it.  A few have not. But when I dug a little deeper, I realized this is not a genre they read very much of. That kind of clicked as well.

The unveiling!

book cover
The new cover

I would be happy to hear your thoughts on this new book cover.

I think there are several good lessons in this post. Self-publishing is an interesting new venue for aspiring authors. It is very cost effective when you are just getting started. But being self-published does not mean that you have to remake the same mistakes as everyone else.

You most certainly can if you want to!

And, we will all make our share of mistakes. However, there are legitimate experts out there who really love helping authors succeed and it does not have to be prohibitively expensive. Talk to a few people who know. Check out the competition. Learn about concepts such as “cover to market.” Check out tools like KDP Rocket. And always remember, it is not a sprint to instant success  … it is a marathon where endurance and training count.

Mary Enck: A Review of Serpents Underfoot

Thank you, Mary Enck, for your fantastic review!

Mary Enck is the author of, A King in Time II.

Mary Enck attended UCLA and holds an MFA in Creative Writing. She enjoys reading Fantasy and Science Fiction and has a new love for Mystery/Thrillers. Latest character crush is Jack Reacher. A native of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, and lives in Colorado Springs with her family, a Lab/Dane doggo who says her name is Gillie, and two cats, Lucky and Tuxedo.

Being a long-time fan of the Arthurian legend and having read several versions during my life, I certainly am going to have to read hers as well. In fact, I just started reading it. I am sure there will be a post about A King In Time on here in a little while.

However, the purpose of this post is to thank her for her fantastic and thoughtful review of Serpents Underfoot. Her review left me humbled and speechless.

 

Three Quotes from Mary’s Review of Serpents Underfoot

Author, D. C. Gilbert, takes the reader back to a time that has passed into history. While the era is overshadowed by so much that is happening today, at such a rapid pace, this story reflects how little we have advanced in all this time. We remain in conflict with humans, inflexible in their beliefs.

 

The characters are very strong in their individuality. Again, it is interesting to see the contrasts drawn between the West and influences from another time and another faraway place. I became related to the good guys in this book. I enjoyed their personalities and like them very much.

 

There is a lot of delving into the way of things such as martial arts, Navy Seals and their working dogs, which I especially liked. To me, if there is an animal in a novel significant to the story, it is a relief from the more severe issues that come up.

 

If interested, you can read the complete review here.

 

The novel, Serpents Underfoot, is available in Kindle format for only $3.99.  I hope you will give it a read!

Freedom … And Three Simple Steps to Something Free!

Freedom  And Sacrifice … And Thanks!

giveaway

Memorial Day Weekend Giveaway

Freedom is a wonderful thing, but it is certainly not free. Memorial Day is not a day to honor Veterans who are still here although we certainly appreciate it. Instead, Memorial Day is a day to honor those who give the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our Freedom. In honor of those who have made this sacrifice, I am giving away free Kindle versions of my book, Serpents Underfoot, over Memorial Day weekend. Starting at midnight tonight and ending midnight on Monday the 28th, the Kindle version of my book will be available to download for free.

A Great Read!

Serpents Underfoot floored me!

Serpents Underfoot is a thrilling, compelling, exciting mystery that will keep its readers hooked from the very beginning. The plot of Serpents Underfoot is thrilling and incredibly clever. Serpents Underfoot is different because at the heart of its story is genuine proudness and respect for the military.

~Red Headed Book Lover Blog

4.5 Out of Five Stars

This novel starts with the deep background story of Cordell’s father when he was serving in Viet Nam. It carries forward to JD Cordell’s SEAL Team and other major characters in the plot. Far more background is developed in this novel than you would normally find. I also liked that the characters are down to earth with no “over the top” scenes of heroic combat.

~ John’s Notes

You can read other reviews (10 Five Star) on Amazon.com or here on my website. There are no strings attached or gimmicks involved. However, if you download a free Kindle version of Serpents Underfoot, enjoy it,  and feel compelled to give me a review on Amazon, I will not complain!

So here are the three steps:

  1. Click on the Serpents Underfoot Link!
  2. Download the Kindle book!
  3. Enjoy!

My Tenth 5-Star Review and Why Does it Matter?

My Tenth 5 – Star Review … The Big Double Digit Has Been Hit!

tenth 5-star review

Wowsers! I just received my tenth 5-star review for Serpents Underfoot on Amazon.com. Do book reviews on Amazon.com matter? I would say that depends on your goals. I have read that pursuing reviews for the sake of pursuing reviews is a waster of time. I am not sure of that. Perhaps, if you take it to an extreme …. I mean, after all, anything taken to the extreme can be bad for you. Even too much Rocky Road ice cream can have a negative effect. You can trust me on that one!

Your reputation and name recognition

As an author, your reputation is perhaps your most valuable asset. What people say about your books matters. It matters to other readers who may buy your book, tell their friends about it, or recommend it to other readers. And, just maybe give your book an online review themselves. Online shoppers often rely on reviews when deciding which products to buy. In fact, 93% of online shoppers say that their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. So, if you are not already a Tom Clancy (which I certainly am not), and you are a new self-published author who is trying to stake you claim, I think good reviews are pretty darn necessary.

A Review Can Affect A Customer’s decision to purchase.

While I prefer brick and mortar stores, I do sometimes purchase online, often from Amazon.com. I do like to check products out before I buy. Therefore, I do rely on customer reviews to help in my decision-making. Why should book buying be any different. I certainly have my favorite authors such as Tom Clancy, John Grisham, Robert Ludlum, Alistair MaClean, Louis L’amour, and others. So, if someone recommends a book by a new author to me, I will often search on Amazon to see what other readers have to say about the book.

On another note …

In celebration of Memorial Day weekend this year and tin honor those who sacrificed so much for our country, the Kindle version of Serpents Underfoot will be available for download the entire weekend.  If you are a Kindle user, I hope you will take advantage of this and that, if you do, you enjoy the book!

So, back to the original point of this rather rambling post, I want to thank you, Name_Not_Returned, whoever you are … for giving me my tenth 5-Star review!

Skadoosh! Another ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review!

That’s right, I wrote Skadoosh! I am celebrating another Five Star Review for Serpents Underfoot!

What is skadoosh, you may ask? It’s a secret technique from the movie, Kung Fu Panda.  The “word” kind of stuck in my brain. I use it as an exclamation of thankful appreciation, kind of like ‘Bingo” or “Yippee.” My novel, Serpents Underfoot, has just scored another Five Star Review on Amazon.com!  So yes, I could have written “yippee,” but “skadoosh” just sounds so much cooler!

Thank you, Kathleen Palazzolo, for your great review and kind words. This makes a total of nine … not that I am keeping count or anything! Reviews like this really make it all worthwhile and I really appreciate the feedback.

I am hard at work on the sequel, Montagnard.  Of course, my goal is to make it even better than Serpents Underfoot.  I did learn a good deal writing the first novel, so this should turn out to be the case. Soon, I will be posting some teasers and sample chapters on my website.

It is Friday, so I hope everyone has a bodacious weekend ahead of them!

P.S. Please remember to occasionally check back here for updates … and, I do have an email subscription form! I promise not to spam anyone, but I will announce things like Advance Review Copies if anyone is interested in getting one … of course, that will be a bit off yet!

Book Signing at McKay’s Books in Knoxville!

My Very First Book Signing …

Five Star Review book signingHello friends! I will be having my very first book signing on Tuesday, February 27th, from 12:00 to 3:00 pm at McKay’s Books in Knoxville, Tennessee. This is pretty exciting! It is a lot of work establishing yourself and getting your name out there. Every little bit certainly helps. If you are out and about during this time period, I hope you will stop by and say hello!  And, maybe … even buy a book.  I will have both paperbacks and hardcovers available.  I will also have a sample chapter from my upcoming sequel. Please let your friends, family, and even acquaintances know …

Currently Available At …

Serpents Underfoot is currently available in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle versions on Amazon.com. It is now also available online from Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million.  I guess it takes a lot of work to actually get a book on the shelf in the brick and mortar stores, but I am working on it!  I am also working to get it out on Audible, iTunes, and other media outlets.

Montagnard

Now I am busy working on the sequel to Serpents Underfoot.  I don’t want to put any spoilers in here, but it will involve a return to Vietnam, more Navy SEAL action, and some interesting twists and turns. It will be an interesting story … a lot of history, excitement, and of course … new adventures for JD Cordell and his faithful K9 partner, Ajax!  The research has been interesting. Because of their support of the American forces fighting in Vietnam, the Montagnard people were nearly wiped out by the communist government after the War. I have found that there is quite a large group of Montagnard folks that were resettled in the United States after the war and are now living near Cary here in North Carolina.

 

More to follow!