Amazon Academy KDP event, EICC

I was invited along to be part of Amazon’s Academy event in the Edinburgh International Conference Centre last Tuesday, 23rd May. This was mainly for small businesses but there was also a section dedicated to Kindle Direct Publishing, chaired by the head of KDP UK, Darren Hardy. I was on two of the panels during the day. Here’s how it went…

My wife and I came through the day before and spent the night at the Edinburgh Park Novotel. I highly recommend this place as it’s on the outskirts so you can avoid the city centre traffic, check-in, and use the tram/train stations right outside to get about. We had a nice dinner and a couple of drinks. I don’t recommend trying to carry a full Cosmopolitan up four floors in an elevator packed with Chinese tourists, but I made it without spilling a drop!

cosmopolitan

The next day I was nervous, as I always am before important things like this so all I had for breakfast was half a bread roll and a yoghurt. The bacon, scrambled eggs and beans looked good, but I had no appetite. We headed for the tram and made our way towards the city, where I got off at Haymarket and my wife went further on for some shopping.

eicc

The EICC was a really impressive sight with all the Amazon flags flying and, when I got inside, my friendly KDP contact spotted me straight away. I had no time to hang around thinking about things as she ushered me straight into the auditorium where Darren was talking people through the process of uploading your book to KDP. I got a real kick seeing myself on one of his slides!

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I hoped for a moment to compose myself, calm my nerves and so on before getting up onto the stage for the first panel but I never had a chance. Paul Teague, Harriet Smart and myself were called up straight away, handed our headsets/microphones and it was on!

That first section was all about the process of writing, with Darren asking us questions about how we worked and I have to say it was so much fun. I loved it! The thought of being on a stage in front of a crowd is always frightening – I actually threw up before one of the gigs I played when I was in a metal band – but once you’re up there doing it the nerves go away and it’s great.

amazon marketplace

There was a short break after that but I didn’t get a chance for a coffee as some of the audience came down to chat (including novelist Margaret Skea), which suited me fine. I was asked about appearing at a couple of other things and, of course, said I’d love to. I’ll let you know if it comes to anything.

The next panel was all about marketing and by now Murray McDonald had joined us after flying up from London that morning. We talked about free promotions, Goodreads giveaways, paid ads from the likes of Bookbub, Kindle Nation Daily, Facebook etc and I actually picked up some tips myself from the other panellists so it was really good although not quite as much fun as talking about writing. I will really need to write a detailed blog post with some tips on marketing but for now, you can check out this one I did a while ago.

That was my final panel for the day and time for another break. Some more people came to chat and I was glad to get a chance to talk to Darren Hardy in a more relaxed setting again. I first met him when I appeared with KDP at the London Book Fair in 2014 and he’s a really nice guy who does a great job of running the panels.

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It was down to the main hall then as Amazon had laid on a fantastic lunch for everyone at the event – salmon, potatoes, cheesecake! I’d brought along a box filled with copies of Knight of the Cross, flyers, and Blood of the Wolf bookmarks which people could help themselves to and they were quickly gone. I hope anyone that got a free book enjoys the tale…

So that was it for me. There were more panels later on, with Linda Gillard joining the others, but I had to head off to try and avoid the rush hour traffic back along the M8 towards Glasgow and home. I was so pleased to have been a part of the event and the Amazon staff and the audience were all really lovely. Some of them even told me I was very memorable. Hopefully they meant it in a nice way!

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I want to thank the audience for being so kind and Amazon for actually having me on the panel. If you ever get a chance to do something like this, grab it with both hands, even if you think you’d be too nervous. If I can do it, anyone can!

 

PS – I found some of those photos on Twitter and I don’t know who took them. If you want credited just send me a message. Thanks for taking them!

Signed copies now available on Ebay

If anyone wants to buy a signed copy of any of my books and wants the simplicity of Ebay, here you go: MY EBAY STORE
signed books historical fiction
 
Otherwise, just send me a message using the CONTACT button or email me at stormwatch1977@hotmail.com and I’ll sort you out!

Ritter des Kreuzes – Jetzt erhältlich!

 

 

german translation

Jetzt erhaltlich

“Wirklich spannendes und gutes Buch!” 5* Jetzt erhältlich!

Deutschland, UK, USA, Weltweit!  – getBook.at/RitterDesKreuzes

Auf mysteriöse Weise verschwinden mehrere Menschen in einem kleinen Dorf auf Rhodos. Als zudem drei Mitlieder des Johanniter-Ordens vermisst werde, sendet der Großmeister Foulques de Villaret den englischen Richter Sir Richard at Lee aus, um in dem Fall zu ermitteln.

Gemeinsam mit seinem Waffenmeister Jacob stößt er bei den Einheimischen auf eine Mauer des Schweigens. Er ahnt nicht, dass sich dahinter eine Verschwörung verbirgt. In einem Strudel aus Aberglauben und okkulten Riten, wird nicht nur sein Leben bedroht, vielmehr gerät er an den Abgrund seines Verstandes.

„Ein großartiges, actionreiches Lesevergnügen, in dem trotz der Kürze einer Novella der Autor eine spannende Idee umgesetzt hat.“ Matthew Harffy, Autor von „The Serpent Sword“.

—>>>  getBook.at/RitterDesKreuzes  <<<—

Blood of the Wolf

Just wanted to post a little update since I haven’t said anything here for a while, so…

The fourth and final Forest Lord book is coming along nicely (if a little slower than I’d like) – I read through it the other day and rather enjoyed it, which is always a relief!

Look out for it this summer. I believe it will be called BLOOD OF THE WOLF but that may change.I feel like I need to wrap the series up with something of a bang so expect fireworks…
In the meantime I’m really happy to see Wolf’s Head still doing so well, even managing to reach number one again today in one of Amazon’s charts.
Wahey!

If you haven’t read it yet you can get it here, worldwide: getBook.at/Wolfs-Head-Kindle

stardust

Neil Gaiman, “Stardust” and Salman Rushdie, “Satanic Verses” for company!

 

All of my books at number 1 on Amazon!

Yessss!!!!! I’ve just had a call out from the day-job to go and put money in someone’s gas meter but spotted this as I was getting ready to go.

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All five of my books at number 1 in their categories, with the Forest Lord series all in the overall UK top 30!
I’m so pleased, thank you everyone who’s bought them, left nice reviews and spread the word. It really is like a Christmas miracle!

Special thanks to Amazon KDP for putting the Forest Lord books in their Kindle Daily Deal yesterday.

PRE-ORDER for Friar Tuck and the Christmas Devil up now!

PRE-ORDER is up for Friar Tuck and the Christmas Devil!

UK – just 99p –

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Friar-Christmas-Devil-Steven-McKay-ebook/dp/B016X06DVA/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_img_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=0MCAGF4T5MFF5QJSPCDY

USA – $1.49 I believe –

http://www.amazon.com/Friar-Christmas-Devil-Steven-McKay-ebook/dp/B016X06DVA/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1445530577&sr=1-2

You can also pre-order the paperback and there will be an Audible/iTunes version available soon too!

robin hood

Phil Rose reads his foreword.

Alright Phil Rose fans, wanna hear that famous Friar Tuck voice again? Well, Phil hasn’t just written a foreword for my new novella, he’s read it too. It will be included in the Audible/iTunes version (assuming it passes the quality control tests at Audible but I can’t see that being an issue). The rest of the audio will be read by my usual narrator Nick Ellsworth.
Here’s a very short snippet so you can hear that magical voice again. To hear the rest look out for the audiobook this November!

Friar Tuck and the Christmas Devil COVER REVEAL!

This is the first draft, although it will probably end up just like this as I think it’s perfect! Like it?

As you can see from the artwork, the novella is going to be part of the Kindle Singles programme! I’m really excited about the whole project – it’s been great fun to write and will hopefully bring some cheer to people all around the world this winter.

Keep an eye on this page or my Facebook page for the release dates of each format. I’ll also be doing giveaways for signed copies of the paperback and free codes for the Audible version closer to December with extra goodies for people signed up to my Email List so…if you’re not on it, sign up HERE now!

 

robin hood

It’s CHRIIISTMAS!!!

Friar Tuck has written a foreword for my new novella!

Yes, it’s true, the REAL Friar Tuck – Phil Rose from Robin of Sherwood – has written the foreword for my forthcoming novella, Friar Tuck and the Christmas Devil. To say I’m excited is an understatement!

Robin of Sherwood book

Phil as Friar Tuck with Michael Praed (Robin Hood)

Robin of Sherwood was produced by HTV and ran from 1984-1986, making huge stars of guys like Michael Praed, Jason Connery, Ray Winstone, Clive Mantle and, of course, Phil Rose. I’d never really watched the show until a few years ago when I checked it out to see if I could get any ideas for my own version of the Robin Hood legend. I loved it and bought the whole lot on DVD. The camaraderie of the actors shone through so well on the screen and I could see why it’s still loved by so many people around the world. Phil and the rest of the cast are reprising their roles for a new audio production called “The Knights of the Apocalypse” which has really caused great excitement for fans of the show.

When Phil heard about my novella (via his friend Carole Elizabeth Ballard, who runs his official Facebook page) he kindly offered to write a foreword and I’m very pleased to say he has come through. I’ve read it and it’s great. He will also, hopefully, read it for the audiobook version although Nick Ellsworth will narrate the rest of the story as usual.

Friar Tuck and the Christmas Devil will be available to pre-order – hopefully in ALL formats (Kindle, paperback and audio) on November 1st this year. Less than a month! Get your mulled wine ready!

Friar Tuck and the Christmas Devil

Phil nowadays.

Signed books and posters. Get ’em while they’re hot!

I’ve just had another delivery of Rise of the Wolf paperbacks, and still have 5 or 6 posters left from the short run I did. So if you fancy a signed copy of any of the books and/or a poster, just email me at stormwatch1977@hotmail.com!

£6 per poster including P+P (£7 worldwide)

£12 per signed book including P+P (£13 worldwide)

If you want more than one thing, P+P will be much cheaper. I posted a full set of books and a poster – all signed – the other day and it was only £2.80 postage, which is the same as it is for ONE of the items! Silly Post Office prices…

Don’t forget to sign up for my Mailing List – I just gave away a free signed poster there and more free, signed goodies will follow, especially once my new novella, Friar Tuck and the Christmas Devil comes out this winter! Might have some exciting news about that too, shortly…

robin hood poster