Podcast interview with yours truly, check it out!

The Glen & Dean Show

Robin Hood

I recorded an interview with the guys from the Glen and Dean Show yesterday. From Scotland to Ohio thanks to the magic of Skype! Note to self, next time don’t say “exactly” so much…It’s a fun listen though, check it out by clicking the pic!

Author Steven McKay joins us via Skype all the way from Scotland to discuss his work, process, working with Amazon, playing guitars, history, and a whole lot more. This week’s episode’s theme is music from Steven. Be sure to check out his work on Amazon, and enjoy the episode! 


Two number 1’s on Amazon’s Kindle charts

Very pleased indeed with this. The Wolf and the Raven and Rise of the Wolf are at number 1 in a couple of Amazon‘s UK Kindle charts. Thank you all for buying the books and leaving such nice reviews, you’re all amazing!

If anyone out there is a particularly big fan of the new book’s cover art, keep an eye  out because I’ve just ordered some medium-sized posters. If you’re interested in one, and would actually put it up on your wall, let me know.

historical fiction

Steven A McKay : Rise of the Wolf

Not quite as glowing as I’d have liked, but Robin is always brutally honest. And he did still say it was excellent! 😉


Author Bio (in his own words)

Steven A. McKay

My second book, The Wolf and the Raven was released on April 7th 2014, at the London Book Fair where I was part of the Amazon KDP/Createspace/ACX stand. My debut novel, Wolf’s Head, was also released the same day as an audiobook.
My new book, Rise of the Wolf, will be published in June/July 2015.

I was born in 1977, near Glasgow in Scotland. I live in Old Kilpatrick with my wife and two young children. After obtaining my Bachelor of Arts degree with the Open University I decided to follow my life-long ambition and write a historical novel.

Bernard Cornwell’s King Arthur series was my biggest influence in writing “Wolf’s Head”, and “The Wolf and the Raven”, but I’ve also really enjoyed recent books by guys like Ben Kane, Glyn Iliffe, Douglas Jackson and Anthony Riches.

I play guitar and sing in a…

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Signed copies of Rise of the Wolf!

Now we’re cooking. 15 copies of the new book! Will get any sent out to those that have still to get one, and if anyone wants to buy a signed copy, message me and we’ll sort it. Still got some copies of the older books too if anyone wants to buy signed copies of those.

It’s still at number 1 in one of the Amazon charts so thank you to everyone that’s bought it. Keep the reviews coming!

robin hood

Amazon KDP – to use the pre-order option or not?

robin hood

This is actually the second draft of a post I wrote three weeks ago, before the publication of my new book, Rise of the Wolf. I’ve had to completely change the post in the near-three weeks since Rise has been available as things didn’t quite go as I expected!

My previous book, The Wolf and the Raven, which came out in April 2014, was available for readers to pre-order which was excellent as – at that point – indie authors weren’t able to do that. Amazon allowed me to do it because I was going to be publishing the novel while I was part of their team at the London Book Fair. On day one, The Wolf and the Raven hit number 1 in the WAR chart while Wolf’s Head reached number 2. It was fantastic to see, as you can imagine.

So that was my prior experience of using the pre-order facility. It was exciting to see the book listed for people to buy before it was actually available, but when it came out and I thought about it, and spoke to a couple of other authors, it seemed to us like a pre-order might actually be counter-productive. The best promotion for your Kindle book is to get it as high in the charts as possible, right? Then the Amazon algorithms apparently start showing it to lots of readers, who in turn go and buy it, and it snowballs, we hope.

So, I thought it might perhaps be better to NOT do a pre-order for Rise of the Wolf, but instead to try and get as many people as possible to buy the book on the day it came out. THAT, I was sure, would fire it higher up the charts than sales coming in in dribs-and-drabs over a period of two weeks or whatever it might be before it was actually published.

Well, my plan didn’t quite come together, despite lots of my readers doing their bit by buying and sharing the news on social media etc.

You see, Amazon’s system, while being fantastic, doesn’t work instantly. When you hit the “publish” button on your book it doesn’t appear at that moment on Amazon, all nicely linked in to your paperback edition and your other books in the same series. All that takes a matter of hours or even days! Ditto your chart placing, and your author page and the various different international Amazon sites… The system takes a while to catch up and put it all together. In the end, although Rise of the Wolf has been sitting at number 1 in the “Historical biographical fiction” chart on Amazon UK for a few days now, it did NOT make that big, day one leap that I’d prayed for.

What I failed to realise is that Amazon has changed since I published The Wolf and the Raven a year ago. Now indies can do pre-orders. Just take a look at the WAR chart, “Hot New Releases” section. See a pattern? That’s right, none of the books are out yet. They are ALL pre-orders. It’s a whole chart promoting books that aren’t even available. And people are buying them in huge numbers.

When those books come out and are actually available to read they will have hundreds, thousands of people getting it straight to their Kindle and the reviews will start to flow in within a day or two. The paperback and ebook (or audio if it’s available – Rise of the Wolf is in production but won’t be ready until about September) editions will all link up, the series will show nice and neat on your author page and they are ALREADY in the charts so if you DO manage to get your most loyal readers to buy on day one you might just get that hoped-for spike that breaks the charts.

robin hood audiobook

We’re continually being told the publishing business is constantly changing but I hadn’t really seen much evidence of it myself until now. I made an error by not using the pre-order facility, an error which I won’t make again when I put out my next novella, The Christmas Devil, this December.

I just hope the system doesn’t change again in the next couple of months wrecking my plans once more!

I’d be very interested to hear from other KDP authors who’ve recently used the pre-order system. How did you find it? Any tips you can share with the rest of us on how to use it effectively? Please leave your thoughts as a comment or email me!

Number 1 for Rise of the Wolf!

The new book has hit number 1 in the Kindle UK Biographical/Historical fiction chart! Very pleased, thank you all for buying and extra thanks to those who have left a great review already. 🙂

I’ve ordered an extra 15 copies for giveaways and stuff so please do share the news of the book’s publication and leave a review when you’ve finished it – I will be picking names from the hat for anyone doing their bit to help me get the word out as I really do appreciate it.

robert harris

Audio interview with me from last year’s London Book Fair

I was interviewed at LBF14 for an internet radio station – AudioBookRadio.net, but never heard much more about it. Until today, when they contacted me to tell me it was on Youtube so… have a listen. I hope you can all understand my (polite) Glasgow accent! It’s a bit noisy and you can’t really hear the interviewer but my answers are clear enough.

1 – What book most inspired you to be a writer?
2 – Is there a book that you wished you had written?
3 – Is there any subject that you think does not belong between the covers of a book?
4 – What book would you most want read to you?
5 – Do you think you would have been a storyteller in the days before print?


Wow! Stunning review of Rise of the Wolf

“This is the best Robin Hood you are ever going to encounter.” So says Professor Andrew Latham,  author of The Holy Lance! Read his review here: