Tap, tap, tapping away!

These updates are getting embarrassingly few and far between! But I do have some exciting news.

Firstly, my book baby has sold over 100 copies, and I’m really thrilled by this. It’s still selling and I’m still getting lovely lovely reviews coming in which just make my day.

Secondly, Poisoned Well is finished! It’s been done for a while and I have a printed hard-copy ready for the second round of editing. So although I’ve not posted here for a while, things are happening behind the scenes.

Third and final, I’ve started working on a new book. So far it’s just one chapter but a start is a start and I can’t wait to get this project kick-started and off the ground. I currently feeling a little torn as to which direction the story-arc is going to go, so will have to resolve that before it gets much further on. So I’m spending a lot of time daydreaming!

Wish me luck and good luck to you all with your writing endeavors.

Fibi xx

Recommendations and Reviews

Responding to today’s daily prompt: Conversant

On this crazy journey of self-publishing I’ve found myself opening up a dialogue to my readers. So far, I have to admit that I love it. Probably because all of the feedback has been really positive and sent me running around the house going Sqeeeeeeeee.

After all, what is a story without reviews? I’ve been left totally humbled by the feedback I’ve received so far and am delighted to share these with you. 😊 *happy dancing* Besides, the ebook is currently available at 99c, or free on Amazon’s kindle unlimited. If I can tempt you into a copy I would love to have your feedback.

5starsOne of the best books I’ve read this year! I loved this fantasy tale of magic, romance and a girl trying to figure out the truth about her past and herself. The writing is fluid with vivid descriptions that bring the world to life. -Alison Dec 2017

starsOMG THAT ENDING. I don’t know how I’m going to wait for the next book. I found it highly engaging and almost impossible to put down. I enjoyed the originality of the story line, and I found Feia very relatable.  – Kelsay Nov 2017

5starsSo all I can say is WOW! This book had me from the start. From the beginning it pulls you in and keeps you there. Even during some “slow” parts, I found myself wanted to read more just to find out what happens next. From open to close, I wanted to keep reading.- Kira Feb 2018

starsThis was a really good book!! It was hard to put down! There is magic and a little romance and friendship all mixed in! – Denise Dec 2017

5starsThis book honestly captured my imagination and I was up until the early hours as I just couldn’t put it down! Can’t wait for the next instalment and hope I don’t have to wait too long! I really recommend this book for all those fantasy lovers out there 🙂 – Lydia Dec 2017

starsI really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to other readers of Fantasy – Miss A. Jan 2018

If you’ve read Burning Embers, don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads (or both!) because they make such a huge difference to new readers being able to find the story.

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Burning Embers is available in Paperback and Ebook in the following places:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

You can also download a short story that ties in for free: The Last Charter is in another bundle of other short stories! Short Month: Short Stories

Happy Reading! I would love to hear your feedback on Burning Embers!

Fibi xx

Take it from the top

I’m going to try and catch you up with my year behind the scenes. Something that has gone in the space of a Blink. However realising how enormous this subject is, I’m going to split it into a few sections and post over a few days.

This is my long promised post of the decisions I’ve made with self-publishing and how it’s all going so far…

The journey so far –

Last January I made the decision that Burning Embers was finally ready. It was a polished as a shiny squeaky thing and in the best shape that I could make it. With my dream of following a traditional publishing route I started to send BE out to agents.

I think it went well. I had a spreadsheet to monitor who I had e-mailed my book baby too, their contact details and what they required in their submission package. I even had a column with an approximate date of response. Generally I had positive feedback from agents and publishing houses that would accept direct submissions. I even accidentally sent it to a few self-publishing companies and received some encouraging results.

In the end however, the answer was no. I was told that Burning Embers was well-written, engaging, had excellent descriptions…but just wasn’t quite right for anyone’s list or didn’t suit their personal tastes. It was discouraging, but important to remember that this is a subjective business. I know that the opening of Burning Embers is tailored more towards literary fiction than a straight YA Fantasy-Romp. I also know that the book really hits its stride after the first six chapters (maybe I shouldn’t be so honest!) However, I also had faith that in the hands of readers who love fantasy, strong-female protagonists and want to be pulled into another world –it could really work.

One of the self-publishing companies did have this to say after requesting opening chapters:

‘Blimey exciting start, its made me think of Game of Thrones, Divergent and a female Uhtred of Bebbanberg all at once, which is a good thing – great imagery and sense of place. I think this would be very popular right now, with the right cover and mega saturation on social media, you will get noticed. I’m sure of that. Keep me posted as to how you get on with other publishers, I would love to work with you on this’ – In the end, this enthusiasm translated into an offer of publication with them for a much discounted fee.

In monetary terms they were willing to remove £500 from their usual price.  I really liked this company and probably would have published with them, however it was at the start of the year and I was determined to exhaust more ‘traditional’ enquiries first.

I also received an evaluation of Burning Embers:

‘The book is very well written and the story is original, exciting and engaging.  

The author creates a rich fantasy world with its own history and mythology. Feia is a sympathetic character and I enjoyed following her story.

I think fans of the fantasy genre will really enjoy this. It combines all the best traits of the fantasy genre but with an original twist. 

 An exciting story set in a rich fantasy world that will really appeal to readers. I can imagine this making an excellent series and, once hooked, I think readers will keep coming back for more.’ 

So what to do next?

I carried on writing.

I started with pieces of flash-fiction for competitions, and I even won a few. As a result of flash-fiction I was published in two additional books last year.

Amongst all the sting of rejection, I started the Poisoned Well a simpler, more linear YA Fantasy which was always going to be shorter than the 120,000 word beast that was Burning Embers.

The plan was to finish Poisoned Well and publish it on Wattpad.

Now Wattpad is amazing. It allows you to post you story in serial. You’re encouraged to post on a regular slot at least once a week and to interact with the community. This in turns generates ‘reads’ for your story and you gain followers. Followers who get excited about your work and are eager for the next instalment. Theoretically this can translate into sales of a book. One ‘success’ story of Wattpad recommends you have  the full text published on Amazon and provide that link to Wattpad, so your impatient readers can skip along and buy your book instead of waiting 30-odd weeks for the next part.

However, as I was sending BE out to agents at the time, I was aware I shouldn’t be publishing it anywhere online! This is where Poisoned Well was dreamt up – something that was specifically geared towards a Wattpad posting schedule. Another hint is to keep chapters at approximately 2000 words each, just enough to keep the story moving, but short enough to keep the reader engaged and hungry for more.

Then summer came around – and life changed. I’ve mentioned it in the occasional post, but over the summer I realised I was expecting a baby. Now among all the preparation for new life and feeling like I had the flu for a few months, I realised that I wanted my book baby project to be done. Signed off, sealed, delivered – fin. Burning Embers had been such a huge part of my life and in order to move on completely I would need to let it go. But it deserved more than staying in my desk drawer and on the computer. Because I’d been feeling so poorly, I’d also stopped writing Poisoned Well – a mere two chapters from the end! SO CLOSE!

So I decided to self-publish. All of the queries that were going to have a response had received one, and I’d exhausted the pool of agents I could harass. I had twittered, blogged, researched and finally it was decision time.

So what to do first?

Well, initially panic. I’d spent years reading articles about self-publishing, marketing, social media…and I immediately lost all confidence that I knew what I was doing and had to go back and re-read everything again!

Self-publishing – there are some big decisions to make. – this is where the next part of the story will continue…

Let me know what you think so far!

Happy Reading Fibi

xxx

Burning Embers: The Launch

Burning Embers is now available!

The wait is finally over…

Oh my goodness I’m so excited, and nervous.

For anyone that pre-ordered the e-book it should be currently downloading to your device of choice. For paperback pre-orders these should be in the post and on the way! I really hope that you enjoy Feia’s story and adventure through Arenith and I’m probably going to hide for a few days, until the verdicts come in.

In the meantime, I’m feeling hopeful and am delighted to share the very first review of Burning Embers with you. It made me go Sqeeeeeeeeeeeee for at least an hour when it appeared on Goodreads the other night.

stars“OMG THAT ENDING. I don’t know how I’m going to wait for the next book. I found it highly engaging and almost impossible to put down. I enjoyed the originality of the story line, and I found Feia very relatable.”  – Kelsay Calvaruso

I’m just going to take some time to digest this review…and panic about writing the second book in the series. (It seems my panicking is never done!)

Once you’ve ready my little bookbaby, if you have the time then please do remember to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads (or both!) It really does help other people find the book and other’s like it.

So here it is, Burning Embers.

 

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Amazon UK

Amazon US

I hope that you enjoy it! I’d love to hear from you, or see pictures of my book out there in the world!

I’m also running a giveaway, if you leave a review for Burning Embers and drop me an e-mail at fibijeeves@gmail.com I will enter you into a draw to win a signed paperback copy with limited edition artwork print.

Happy Reading and a wonderful weekend all,

Fibi xxx

Weaving Networks

I’m a left-handed dyslexic and I cannot Knit. I love to sew, paint, draw and I’ve even turned my hand to crochet and lucette; but I cannot knit. I’ve watched friends and family knitting, and they always ask why I’m frowning at them. I’m usually not, but I am glaring at the whirr of wool between their hands because it just doesn’t make sense. I’m sorry, I know it’s a terrible confession to make, but I can’t get my head around the way the knot on the needle joins with the other one-and-why-doesn’t-it-all-just-fall-off?!

Knitting, I just have to admit, is a skill I do not have.  This is also not due to a lack of kindly (and very patient) tutors. I’ve had to make my peace with knitting, and continue to observe it as a strange, wool-based-ritual that I may not join. What I remind myself – is that it’s okay that the tangle of wool has eluded me because I have other talents.

Now, in my head is a Thunderbirds countdown of Five, Four, Three, Two, One – lift off! This is because Burning Embers is released on Friday. ARGH! That’s right, Friday!!! For everyone that has pre-ordered a copy online, it should be downloaded to your screen of choice or posted to you on the 1st of December – ARRRRGH! Time for me to hide under the desk!

It’s funny how this has come about though, this book. It’s been in the pipeline for so long, but it’s the way my writing interlinks with the rest of my life which has pushed it to the forefront now. Expecting our first little one in the New Year, meant that I was determined to pull this project to an end. So the decision was made to self-publish. All these choices are carefully interwoven, like fine threads that tug and pull on each other.

Having decided to self-publish, I realised that I had done all of my research…and that I still didn’t know enough to give Burning Embers the best shot at life, out there in the big world. So I joined a few groups of facebook, and the wealth of experience and advice has been astonishing.

When fellow indie authors are posting about how they’re selling 500 paperbacks a month, and how can they increase this? I just about fall of my chair in a scramble to grab the computer and shout ‘tell me all of your secrets!’ I feel like I’ve made connections with lovely people, who are all stitching together their books and projects with the same passion and enthusiasm I commit to my own work. It’s a beautiful community. Join us!

I’m compiling information and experimenting across the internet and I fully intend to share my findings with me.

However, in this final run up to the release of Burning Embers wish me luck (and positive reviews!)

Remember you can still pre-order a copy of the paperback and the e-book online, and for a short story from the world of Arenith, The Last Charter is available through instafreebie. Nearly 100 copies have been snatched up already, so make sure that you don’t miss out!

Happy Reading!

Let me know what you goals for this week are!

Fibi

Short Story Release! The Last Charter

Happy Friday Everyone!

Just a sneaky little update for today – woohoo!

Burning Embers is set in Arenith, an empire that has been crumbling for three hundred years. Now, with all of the edits to bring my novel to print and publication; chapters and additional story arcs have been brutally hacked away; until now.

I’m delighted to release: The Last Charter. It’s a short story set in the world of Arenith and might just tie in with the events of Burning Embers… but I’m not giving too much away about that!

The Last Charter is available for free download: here!

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I hope that you enjoy it! I love hearing from you all, so please feel free to leave comments about the cover or the story itself!

There will be more short stories from Arenith to follow, along with some from the other worlds that are floating around in my imagination.

In the meantime – two weeks before Burning Embers is released! Argh! You can still pre-order on Amazon, or for a signed copy with limited artwork print directly from yours truly: Shop.

Happy Reading!

Fibi xx

To strut, to saunter, to parade and promenade

There was an interview with David Jason aeons ago, where he said that the first thing he finds in a character, is the walk. Trying to move away from aesthetic descriptions of my heroes and heroines in Burning Embers, I keep this idea in mind. How much of a person can be given away by their movements?

We all have tells, and unconscious signals that we share with the world. Something I find successful in layering my characters, are the small motions that they make when nervous. They’re not something I telegraph to my reader, but you’ll often find my protagonists or their companions putting their hands to their faces.

What does it mean when someone covers their mouth when speaking? Does it mean that they’re lying, or they don’t really want you to hear what they say? Some people when nervous scratch the back of their necks, or fiddle with their clothes. What about a character who gives nothing away, who is conspicuous by their lack of nervous responses? Are they without fear, or are they afraid of something even bigger.

I feel that I have digressed from the daily prompt: Strut, but I guess that’s why we’re given them; to roam freely on a subject and see where we will land.

Updates from the week:

I was featured as a guest blogger for Black Hart Story Tellers – they’ve published my hints and tips for writing horror that can be found: here

Secondly, I’m delighted to announced that for those who purchase a signed first edition copy of Burning Embers from fionajeeves.com will also receive a limited edition, numbered print with their book! Only 50 5” x 8” prints will be made to go alongside the release. I would love to know what you think!

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YA Fiction for you…

As a lover of YA Fantasy, I’m always on the lookout for a new book to read. I’m eagerly awaiting the newest release from Tamora Pierce (February 2018 folks! It’s pre-ordered!) but February is still a long way off!

Now, if like me you’re waiting for the next book to add to your collection have a look at Dorothy Dreyer. All of the tantalizing information about her forthcoming release is below…

PD 99 cent promo

Who must she become in order to survive?

Since the outbreak of the phoenix fever in Drothidia, Tori Kagari has already lost one family member to the fatal disease. Now, with the fever threatening to wipe out her entire family, she must go against everything she believes in order to save them—even if that means making a deal with the enemy.

When Tori agrees to join forces with the unscrupulous Khadulians, she must take on a false identity in order to infiltrate the queendom of Avarell and fulfill her part of the bargain, all while under the watchful eye of the unforgiving Queen’s Guard. But time is running out, and every lie, theft, and abduction she is forced to carry out may not be enough to free her family or herself from death.
Dorothy Dreyer is an author of young adult and new adult books:
ENTANGLED SOULS out April 18, 2017
FRAGMENTS OF DARKNESS out Sept 13, 2017
PHOENIX DESCENDING out Nov 28, 2017

I’m sorry, but the cover is just gorgeous! I love the delicate scrolling and the story is intriguing.

Now, this is going to be added onto my reading list. However, my lovely blog-followers, would you be interested in further YA fantasy recommendations from me? I’m working on a monthly newsletter with the most exciting new YA releases to be included.

Please comment below, if this is something you would like to hear more about!

Happy Reading,

Fibi

xx

Autumn leaves in golden light

Autumn leaves flicker in golden light. A bright sun breaks through grey puffs of cloud. It’s warm, suspiciously so. A chill wind pulls at unfastened coats and untamed hair. The green is fading from the grass and bare earth appears in patches. Still, the leaves fall in turbulent circles;  gold and Orange they flicker.

It’s here!

LOOK! In all of it’s autumn, orangey goodness!

Book!

Well you could say that I have been busy.

I have, at this very moment, a printed copy of Burning Embers! I love it! I have to say, that the quality of printing is incredible, and my book baby looks like a book! An actual book. I’m going to be excited about this for a while…

Over the next few the days the printed proof will be examined with a magnifying glass, tweaks will be made and then – THEN it will be available for Pre-order. *Cue Fainting*

Review copies have been sent out, and I’m watching Amazon like a hawk. Hopefully when the next boost of sales come in, then the reviews will keep the book ‘sticky’. (From what I can tell, sticky means that it stays in the higher rankings and ‘sticks’ around the bestseller mark – whoohooo!)

But that doesn’t sound very busy does it? What else have I been up to…

Well, I’ve been writing horror tips for Black Star Publishing; just in time for Halloween. They’re starting a new blog and invited me to be their first guest blogger. (I may be getting a little too big for my britches at this point.) I also intent to submit a short story to their competition. Luckily we all have until December to come up with a suitably spooky idea. Once the post is up, you can be sure that I will share it with you.

Wattpad is up to date (incredible by itself) Six free chapters of Burning Embers are available to read – and they’re being read. I’ve joined a few review groups, so I’ll be anxiously biting my nails waiting for those to come in from my fellow wattpadders.

I’ve planned out a very very long blog post about self-publishing and the decisions that I’ve made and why. Over the coming weeks I’ll also be divulging my marketing strategy – I tell you, the more you delve into this with self-publishing, the more there is to know! At times it feels like an endless ball of wool that I’ll never fully untangle, but it is fun.

In the meantime, the e-book is still available to pre-order and currently at a discounted price of £1.89 (correct 27.10.17)

I’d love to know your thoughts – don’t forget to leave comment and let me know what you’re up to. I’m also still happy to send out review copies if anyone is interested!

Happy Autumn everyone!

Fibi xxx

My shout will resound!

This week, it’s a shout of triumph. I am so excited. I know that it something I say on a regular basis – but this is sheer adrenaline filled excitement. In response to Today’s Daily Prompt – A Cacophony of fizzing, buzzing, joyous noise is just a gorgeous way to describe the weekend.

The pre-release e-book for Burning Embers sidled onto Amazon and other outlets last week. I was thrilled, and posted here and on the facebook page and was content to watch the rankings. On Thursday, Burning Embers was ranked 38,885 on Amazon.co.uk. It had been loitering there all week.

Out of 750,000 books, to be ranked in the 38,000’s – I was pretty happy!

Then I don’t know what happened.

My mind is still resounding with the cacophonous resound of WHAT?!

On Amazon your book is put into three ranking categories, as far as my newb self-publishing-self can tell. I had been steadily sitting in the top 200 for Young Adult, Fantasy and Kindle Store> Books> Young Adult> Romance> Science Fiction and Fantasy – and that felt amazing.

And then the numbers started to drop. I went from being in the top 200 of the category rankings, to the top 100. THEN BELOW! – WHAT?!

The highest I saw my amazon overall ranking was #8887. In terms of the categories, I was in the top 50 for each one! I had to take photos so that I can continue believing it! LOOK! Omg!

BE1

What happened then was brilliant – because of the sales, Burning Embers was pulled into a list of the top ten ‘hottest new releases’ for Young Adult, Science Fiction and Fantasy. Here it is, my little book baby – in a list. That’s right folks. In a list.

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I may be ridiculously over excited, but I was so proud to see Burning Embers included in such good company. I don’t know how many copies have sold, and I won’t until after the pre-order period is over on the 1st December.

What I can tell you, is that the paperback copy of Burning Embers should be available for pre-order before Friday – this Friday! So I’m sure you’ll be hearing more from me about it. Sqeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Later in the week, I’ll be posting about all of the work I’ve been doing in the background to publishing Burning Embers, and how that is hopefully making a difference.

Please let me know your feedback and comments, I love to hear from you!

In the meantime, the first five chapters are available for free on Wattpad.

Happy Reading,

Fibi