Free Promotion – A Gangster’s Grip

‘A Gangster’s Grip’ will be FREE to download to the Kindle from Friday 28th October until Sunday 30th October so, if you haven’t already got a copy, here’s a chance to grab one. Just follow the link: http://viewbook.at/GangstersGrip.

‘A Gangster’s Grip’ is the second book in the Riverhill Trilogy but it can be read as a standalone novel so you don’t need to have already read ‘Slur’. I must confess that this is my own personal favourite of the trilogy, and readers seem to enjoy it too. To date, it has gained 44 reviews on Amazon UK, averaging 4.5 stars.

Gangster's Grip V4

Here’s the book blurb for ‘A Gangster’s Grip’ to give you a little taster of what it’s about:

When Rita returns to Manchester after a few years away, she doesn’t expect to find a spliff smoking, beer swilling thug called Leroy firmly ensconced on her parents’ sofa. Rita is horrified to discover he is her sister Jenny’s new boyfriend, and she senses trouble.

The more Rita finds out about Leroy, the more she mistrusts him. As she uncovers the truth about his shady dealings, she becomes anxious about Jenny’s safety and is desperate to lure her away from him. Rita’s mettle is tested as she tries to protect her sister while battling with personal health concerns.

But it’s worse than Rita could ever have suspected. Through her association with Leroy, Jenny is about to become embroiled in the most dangerous phase in Manchester’s recent history.

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I hope you enjoy it and, if you’ve already read and enjoyed the book, please let your friends know about the promotion.

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In the News

I’ve finally got round to adding the news features relating to my recent book signing at my local book store. I would like to point out that there is an error in one of the articles. Contrary to what is written in the article, Diane Mannion Writing Services is still trading.

Reporter Oct 23rd

Reporter Oct 16th

SLUR will be available on Kindle Countdown for the reduced price of 99p or 99 cents from 20th to 22nd November only at: http://viewbook.at/Slur.

What’s on your Kindle?

I have had my Kindle for about a year now and I am amazed at how much content I’ve managed to accumulate. I can’t resist all those free or bargain books that I see advertised on Twitter, or books that I see recommended on various blogs. There are so many great independent authors out there as well as authors that are published through traditional channels. I thought it would be fun to give a quick rundown of what is on my Kindle then invite readers to share what sort of books they have on their Kindles (or other digital readers). Here goes:

Reader

Books by Indie Authors
I have tried a variety of genres including chic lit, romance, crime thrillers, humour, historical, westerners, true life stories and parenting books. Some of the authors whose books I have enjoyed include: Geoffrey West, Joanne Phillips, Terry Tyler, Georgia Rose, Guy Portman, Rose Edmunds, Anne Renshaw, Romy Gemmell, Clare Davidson, Lizzie Lamb, Anne Coates, Taylor Fulks, Peggy Bechko, D J Kirkby, Mark Richards, Yasmin Selena Butt, Jess Sturman-Coombs, Charlie Plunkett and Alice Huskisson. There are some great authors there and I’ve also made some lovely online friends along the way.

Apart from novels I have found a couple of Indie books about independent publishing, which have proved useful. They are “Let’s Get Visible” and “Let’s Get Digital” by David Gaughran and “My Way” by David Perlmutter. “Let’s Get Digital” by David Gaughran is great for new independent authors as it teaches them the basics of how to get published. The follow up book “Let’s Get Visible” then focuses on promotional methods that authors can employ to help ensure that their books get noticed by readers once they have published, and it gives many details of how Amazon’s system works. David Perlmutter’s book also focuses on promotional methods but he takes a different approach, concentrating instead on social media, blogging etc. This is another handy book for newly published independent authors.

Other Authors
I mainly buy the print versions of books by authors who are traditionally published for a couple of reasons. The first reason is because I still like the look and feel of a printed book from time to time. The second reason is because I cannot resist grabbing a book bargain either when I am in the supermarket or from the second hand book stalls when I am on holiday. However, I do sometimes buy books by mainstream authors for my Kindle if they have been recommended to me, especially as I am now becoming more active on Goodreads. This means that I now have even more books on my Kindle that I’ll probably never get round to reading.

Research Books
I do most of my research online these days although I have a selection of trusty old printed books that I still use. Nevertheless, I have recently purchased two research books for my Kindle. One is “On Writing” by Stephen King as it was recommended on a writer’s blog. The other is a book about the gangs of Manchester because I intend to use it when I carry out my research for a future novel.

Reading Holiday

Apart from the content that I have personally loaded onto my Kindle, my husband also loaded a lot of content onto it when he first bought it me as a present. Much of the content relates to books by popular authors and classics. So, I now have a total of 194 items on my Kindle as well as a double cupboard full of books. I think I need a reading holiday. Over to you; what type of content do you fill your digital reader with?

Are Amazon Revealing too Much?

I’m referring specifically to Amazon’s ‘Look Inside’ feature. “A great idea”, many may say, both from an author’s and a reader’s point of view. For novelists it gives them the opportunity to display the quality of their work. Hopefully they will also be able to hook the reader so that he or she will want to read more and will therefore purchase the book.

From the reader’s point of view this feature is also advantageous. Often readers can tell in the first few pages whether they will enjoy a book. So, this facility gives readers the chance to sample the product before making a purchasing decision.

A situation where everyone wins, you may think. But what if you are a non-fiction author?

Amazon Look Inside FeatureThe Disadvantage for Non-Fiction Authors

This feature can cause problems for non-fiction authors. I will cite my first book “Kids’ Clubs and Organisations” as a specific example to illustrate my point. I think that the ‘Look Inside’ feature was detrimental to my first book and I remember feeling displeased when Amazon automatically added it. Although I had a good look around the author area I couldn’t find a way to opt out of this, but I am a self-confessed technophobe so it may just be that I couldn’t find the instructions. If anyone knows how to remove the ‘Look Inside’ feature I would be eternally grateful for your guidance.

The reason why I feel that ‘Look Inside’ has been detrimental to my first book is because one of the book’s selling points is that it introduces parents to kids’ clubs that they may not have realised existed. The contents page describes exactly what type of clubs they are, so some people, having been given the idea for free, could decide to do their own research. Of course, there will be many details that they won’t find on the Internet as I gained a lot of input from the organisations involved with the book. However, this is something that people won’t realise when they view the contents page. I think this disadvantage may have influenced the fact that I sold far more books outside of Amazon than I sold through the site.

I am not saying that this is the only factor that influenced my Amazon sales. Another factor may be because the title is quite formal and may make the book appear more like a library reference book rather than a book that parents and children can read together. I have addressed this factor with my new book by making the title more parent and child friendly. I also hope to include lots of lovely colour images. There is no doubt that self-publishing teaches you a lot and I have taken on board all the lessons that I learnt during the publication and promotion of my first book.

How my Second Book will address the ‘Look Inside’ Issue

With my second book I am avoiding the above situation by making my chapter headings more cryptic, then putting a sub-heading inside the book, which expands on the main chapter heading. The cryptic headings are also intended to add to the fun factor so that the book will appeal to parents and their children.

I have noticed that some authors put the contents page at the back of their Kindle books and I wonder if they do this so that readers don’t see the contents until they buy the book. From a reader’s perspective, however, I prefer to see the contents page at the start of the book, and this is the reason why I have decided not to follow this path.

N.B. My second book is nearing completion and I will be sharing more information about the book on this blog and on the books page of my website in the coming weeks.

If you have a view regarding the Amazon ‘Look Inside’ feature, I would love to receive your feedback in the comments box below.

Free Book – Kids’ Clubs and Organizations

21st August is FREE PROMO day for “Kids’ Clubs and Organizations – A Comprehensive UK Guide”. It’s almost here so put the date in your diary and spread the word to anyone in the UK with childrenFree Book Promo from toddlers to teens. The book will be available to download FREE to the Kindle at www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008IG41DU for ONE DAY ONLY so be sure not to miss it. It’s an invaluable guide for anyone with children. If you want to find out why, here are some details about the book:

“Kids’ Clubs and Organizations” introduces you to literally thousands of groups that provide children’s activities and events at little or no cost to families. You’d be surprised at the number of activities that you never even thought about for your children.

Children’s groups are available for all ages from babies to young adults, providing a broad range of enriching and educational experiences. Although the book is aimed primarily at UK parents, there are plenty of useful ideas for parents everywhere.

Here are some of the ways that you and your children can benefit through membership of a local kids’ club or organization:

Front book cover finalChildren can develop new skills

– It can prevent your children from becoming bored and disruptive

– Children can discover previously unknown talents

– You will be able to meet other parents with children of similar ages

– You can take pride in your children’s achievements

– Children will be able to make new friends

– You will get satisfaction from seeing your children happily engaged in worthwhile activities

We have divided the book into 24 chapters with each one focusing on a particular type of group. The chapters are then split into sections, starting with an overview and followed by sections about who can join, benefits, costs, how to find a group and how parents can get involved (where appropriate).

“Kids Clubs and Organizations” is the definitive guide to the wealth of groups in the UK that are devoted to children. Sometimes it’s just a matter of knowing where to find the right group and that’s where this book can help. Although each chapter gives a comprehensive guide to each type of club or organization, the last chapter provides even more sources of further information.

Great ideas to keep your children happy and fulfilled!

The free offer applies to the Kindle download only. If you prefer a printed copy you can purchase one using the same link at www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008IG41DU.