Final cover for Abbey of Death. Like it?

Thank you to all who voted on my new cover!

The response was really fantastic – the best I’ve had so far from you guys here and also on my mailing list, so thanks, I really appreciate your help with this. I honestly expected there to be a clear winner but in the end it was about a 50/50 split with many saying they liked the cleaner lines without the rosary, while lots really liked the interest the beads added.
So…I asked my designers to come up with something I hope will appeal to EVERYONE! Check it out below, I think it’s the ideal blend of both previous covers.

the-abbey-of-death-final-final

On another note now, Wolf’s Head (book 1 in the Forest Lord series of course) is just 99c on Kindle USA for a few days, and the German edition of Knight of the Cross (Ritter des Kreuzes) is only €0.89 as part of the Amazon.de #indielesefestival promotion.

Cheers all!

Cover reveal for Abbey of Death – which is your favourite?

Here’s the artwork for the final Forest Lord novella…

I really love this art! It goes with the Will Scarlet novella, The Abbey of Death, in which he, disillusioned with a life spent as a mercenary and outlaw, becomes a Benedictine monk. Obviously, though, things don’t go quite to plan and soon he’s called back into action….

compo

A                                                                      B

 

The cover on the left was the first version (A), but I thought it might be a nice little touch to have some bloody rosary beads so my designers added them and came up with the cover on the right (B).

But I’m not sure which is best! I am thinking the simplicity of A is probably going to work well but I wanted to ask you guys, my most loyal readers, what you think? Please comment below and let me know what you think, it will be a great help.

The novella is finished (first draft), I just need my editor to go over it now and then tidy it up so I’m expecting it to be available for Kindle and paperback by March or April. Audio version will hopefully follow soon after although I’m not sure about that just yet.

My brand new book, The Druid (working title), is coming along and I’m really loving writing it. Still hopeful it will be ready to publish sometime around late summer/autum this year. I think you’re all going to love it!

Have a great weekend!

Steven

OUT NOW!

the prisoner v2.png

The art and magick of…pricing eBooks!

Sorry, if you were looking for a definitive, comprehensive guide on how to price your ebooks I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong place. Because, just like art and magick, there’s no one right way to do things – it’s about experimentation and finding a balance that works for you.

So, rather than me being some guru about to tell you how to do things, I’m actually looking for input from YOU, as readers first and foremost but also from other authors who’ve tried different prices for their work.

When I first started writing my novella Knight of the Cross I planned on selling it for 99p/ $0.99. I hoped the tiny price would draw in new readers who might not take a punt on my full-length, full price novels. Unfortunately, that really hasn’t happened. In my experience readers don’t really want to buy a novella from me. By pricing it so low I also only get 35% royalty from Amazon – that amounts to just 23p for each sale. Considering I paid to have the cover art made (twice, since I wanted to update it) and hired my usual editor to work with me on it, you can imagine how many thousands of copies I’d have to sell to make back my outlay, never mind actually make a profit.

Knight Of The Cross-pb-eb-des2

But, despite the overwhelmingly positive reviews and that bargain low price, people just haven’t really bought KotC the way they’ve bought the other, “full-price”, books.

Today I was looking at the prices of other ebooks on Amazon and noticed that there’s loads of people selling similar stuff for £2+. Even books that are the same length or even shorter than KotC‘s 23,300 word count!

There is an argument that selling your work for 99p devalues it, and readers assume it must be crap or it wouldn’t be so cheap – and that results in few sales.

So, as a little experiment I’ve put the price of that particular novella up to $2.99 US/ £1.99 UK (also opening up Amazon’s 70% royalty rate). Or, if you buy the paperback you get the Kindle version for free, and, if you buy the Kindle version first you can add the Audible version to it for a much reduced rate. So there’s still value to be had.

My other novella, Friar Tuck and the Christmas Devil is still only 99p/99c – as that’s part of the Kindle Singles Programme I get 70% royalty on that one even at the lower price. Furthermore, new readers looking for a great way to try out my work can get the completely FREE Little John short story “The Escape” just for signing up to my Email List.

Perhaps my experiment will fail miserably and the low sales of KotC will drop even further with the higher price. Time will tell.

Let me know what you think! If you’ve already read Knight of the Cross, do you think it’s still fairly priced at £1.99? And if you haven’t read it yet, would you be much less likely to buy it for that price than 99p?

And other authors – what say you? Have you found the ideal way to price your ebooks? If so – please share it with us!

necronomicon

Amazon’s Kindle Singles Programme

I’m very pleased to see my new novella  Friar Tuck and the Christmas Devil displayed prominently on Amazon’s “Kindle Singles” page!

ftxd singles page

Enter a caption

 

It’s a great honour to be part of this programme, which Amazon describes as “Compelling ideas expressed at their natural length.” They receive thousands of submissions from authors every month according to the Huffington Post and, of those, apparently only a tiny minority are – like me – indies.

On top of that I get a 70% royalty on each sale, compared to the 35% from each sale of my previous novella Knight of the Cross. Not to be sniffed at!

I was also offered cover art but I’d already asked my usual designers to come up with something and, although it would have been nice to get a freebie from the Amazon designers I think you’ll agree my own guys did a fantastic job.

robin hood

Also in the Kindle Singles programme are shorts by the likes of Lee Child, Dean Koontz, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Rachel Abbott, Patricia Cornwell and Stephen King. Some serious company for a humble Glaswegian meter reader I’m sure you’ll agree! They’re all very nicely priced too (mine is just 99p/$1.49 and the others are all about the same).

If you enjoy short works of fiction or non-fiction you should check out the Kindle Singles page. You’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy.

And if you’re an author, why not submit something yourself?

 

 

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

Friar Tuck paperback proofs are here…

…I hope you signed up for my mailing list already, cos I offered a chance to win the last one of these EXCLUSIVELY to the people signed up there.

They look great, and the audio version is almost ready to go too so look out for the pre-order on all formats mid-Novemeber!

robin hood books

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!

Rise of the Wolf posters are here!

Anyone fancy a Rise of the Wolf poster for their wall?

robin hood

Honestly, I didn’t think anyone would be interested so I initially only ordered a couple of these to give away as little prizes to readers. Then a dozen or so of my Facebook followers said they’d like one so…I ordered a few more. If you would like one, and will actually put it on your wall (as opposed to hide it in a drawer!) let me know.

UK orders will be just £6 INCLUDING POSTAGE AND A WEE TUBE TO PACK IT IN (I hope – not been to the post office to check the postage costs yet). Worldwide should only be an extra £1 onto that.

If you’re mad enough to want it signed, I will of course do that for no extra cost. Already done a couple already actually!

In other news, I finished the first draft of my Friar Tuck novella, The Christmas Devil, last night. It should be good. Look out for the pre-order this November!