Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Holiday Specials: Mirrors & Mist Sale, Crimson & Cream Giveaway

This week, my 4.7-star rated epic fantasy adventure Mirrors & Mist (Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy) is on sale at Amazon for $0.99. The Countdown deal will increase to $1.99 next weekend before the deal ends.

Crimson & Cream (Book I of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy) is free at Smashwords through the holidays with this coupon code: JH88U. Crimson & Cream currently has a 4.4 star rating on Amazon and a 4.7 star rating on Smashwords.

I've included some descriptive reviews below, to provide an idea of what to expect. My best wishes to everyone on a safe, joyous, and peaceful holiday season. I'll be back in 2016 with a progress update on Warlock & Wyrm (Book III of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy).

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An exciting and excellent second book in The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy!
By Shay VanZwoll on March 14, 2015

Mirrors & Mist, the second book of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, continues the story of the orphan Jetsam and the "kingslayer" Seryn. While Jetsam finally has a chance to learn magic under the tutelage of Seryn, his training is interrupted when Seryn is captured and taken back to Dwim-Halloe. Jetsam must now help Seryn escape certain death and discover the truth of King Tygan's murder before the secrets of the past are lost forever.

CM Skiera has managed to write another spellbinding tale, expanding on the first adventure while also tying in Seryn's past. Not only are we able to see the events unfolding that led to the banishment of magic in Dwim-Halloe, we also learn how the paths of Seryn and Jetsam are woven together through the teachings and loyalty of Jetsam's parents. Interspersing the present with past memories helps keep the story moving forward quickly without feeling as if too much background information is forced on the reader at once.

It's difficult to believe that this is only the author's second book, with well-written and interesting characters and an exciting plot. A mixture of High Fantasy and Sword & Sorcery genres, this story does contain some of the staples, including dragons, wizards, and trolls, though it also introduces creatures unique to the Oxbow Kingdom. The author has created a complex world, giving a deeper understanding to the politics and motives of the characters while still being entertaining. Most importantly, you want to learn more about the people and discover what happens next!

As this is the second book in the trilogy, the ending leads us straight into the adventure waiting in the final volume. I'm already eagerly anticipating the events to come in Book Three!

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
C.M. Skiera Raises His Own Bar!
By Dii TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 16, 2015

C.M. Skiera is back! The second addition to the Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, Mirrors & Mist is another trip into a world where magic and wizardry are feared and unlawful. Once again we share in Jetsam’s life and the lives of the orphans who were his only family as his life is again caught up in turmoil and magical entanglements.

Jetsam is now apprenticed to the one of the most powerful wizards ever. Seryn Vardan is the most wanted man in Dwim-Halloe and Fate has placed them in the right place at the wrong time, Seryn allows himself to be captured to save Jetsam and is now scheduled for a public death. Can jetsam find a way to save his mentor? Can he enlist the help of the boys underground, would they still risk their lives for him, as in the past? Time changes people, but has the bond of being unwanted orphans still held strong? Will any of his old comrades still be there?

In another twist of Fate, a lie has been revealed that could shatter the very foundations of the kingdom. Is it another trap for Seryn and Jetsam or will the truth set them free? Will they live long enough to uncover the evil that has been lurking in the castle?

Once again, reality faded away and I was transported into C. M. Skiera’s world of dark fantasy, emotion and wickedly fast-paced action, both physical and mental as Jetsam finds himself caught up in more deceit and danger. Being reunited with his friends felt like a homecoming as their personalities came back in full-color detail! Each page uncovered another twist, another revelation and more of the man Jetsam was turning in to as C.M. Skiera smoothly brings another tale to life. The tension created by Mr. Skiera’s words is thick, the energy, heady and the loyalty of allies simply amazing!

December 2015 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title December 2015, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : Holiday Specials: Mirrors & Mist Sale, Crimson & Cream Giveaway
link : Holiday Specials: Mirrors & Mist Sale, Crimson & Cream Giveaway

Read Also


December 2015

This week, my 4.7-star rated epic fantasy adventure Mirrors & Mist (Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy) is on sale at Amazon for $0.99. The Countdown deal will increase to $1.99 next weekend before the deal ends.

Crimson & Cream (Book I of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy) is free at Smashwords through the holidays with this coupon code: JH88U. Crimson & Cream currently has a 4.4 star rating on Amazon and a 4.7 star rating on Smashwords.

I've included some descriptive reviews below, to provide an idea of what to expect. My best wishes to everyone on a safe, joyous, and peaceful holiday season. I'll be back in 2016 with a progress update on Warlock & Wyrm (Book III of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy).

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An exciting and excellent second book in The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy!
By Shay VanZwoll on March 14, 2015

Mirrors & Mist, the second book of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, continues the story of the orphan Jetsam and the "kingslayer" Seryn. While Jetsam finally has a chance to learn magic under the tutelage of Seryn, his training is interrupted when Seryn is captured and taken back to Dwim-Halloe. Jetsam must now help Seryn escape certain death and discover the truth of King Tygan's murder before the secrets of the past are lost forever.

CM Skiera has managed to write another spellbinding tale, expanding on the first adventure while also tying in Seryn's past. Not only are we able to see the events unfolding that led to the banishment of magic in Dwim-Halloe, we also learn how the paths of Seryn and Jetsam are woven together through the teachings and loyalty of Jetsam's parents. Interspersing the present with past memories helps keep the story moving forward quickly without feeling as if too much background information is forced on the reader at once.

It's difficult to believe that this is only the author's second book, with well-written and interesting characters and an exciting plot. A mixture of High Fantasy and Sword & Sorcery genres, this story does contain some of the staples, including dragons, wizards, and trolls, though it also introduces creatures unique to the Oxbow Kingdom. The author has created a complex world, giving a deeper understanding to the politics and motives of the characters while still being entertaining. Most importantly, you want to learn more about the people and discover what happens next!

As this is the second book in the trilogy, the ending leads us straight into the adventure waiting in the final volume. I'm already eagerly anticipating the events to come in Book Three!

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
C.M. Skiera Raises His Own Bar!
By Dii TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 16, 2015

C.M. Skiera is back! The second addition to the Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, Mirrors & Mist is another trip into a world where magic and wizardry are feared and unlawful. Once again we share in Jetsam’s life and the lives of the orphans who were his only family as his life is again caught up in turmoil and magical entanglements.

Jetsam is now apprenticed to the one of the most powerful wizards ever. Seryn Vardan is the most wanted man in Dwim-Halloe and Fate has placed them in the right place at the wrong time, Seryn allows himself to be captured to save Jetsam and is now scheduled for a public death. Can jetsam find a way to save his mentor? Can he enlist the help of the boys underground, would they still risk their lives for him, as in the past? Time changes people, but has the bond of being unwanted orphans still held strong? Will any of his old comrades still be there?

In another twist of Fate, a lie has been revealed that could shatter the very foundations of the kingdom. Is it another trap for Seryn and Jetsam or will the truth set them free? Will they live long enough to uncover the evil that has been lurking in the castle?

Once again, reality faded away and I was transported into C. M. Skiera’s world of dark fantasy, emotion and wickedly fast-paced action, both physical and mental as Jetsam finds himself caught up in more deceit and danger. Being reunited with his friends felt like a homecoming as their personalities came back in full-color detail! Each page uncovered another twist, another revelation and more of the man Jetsam was turning in to as C.M. Skiera smoothly brings another tale to life. The tension created by Mr. Skiera’s words is thick, the energy, heady and the loyalty of allies simply amazing!


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Confessions of a Failure; A Post-Game Wrap-Up of My Kindle Countdown Deal

I conducted my first Kindle Countdown Deal last month for my epic fantasy adventure Mirrors & Mist, Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy. Unfortunately, the results failed to meet even my tempered expectations. But you may recall, I promised to compare the sales from the KDP Select Free events versus the Countdown promotion to see if one is more advantageous than the other.

I'd previously done a few KDP Select Free events where I would typically see a spike in free downloads, and an associated (much smaller) spike in sales. My hope was that the Countdown Deal would produce more sales (albeit at a discounted price), however, this did not happen.

During the Kindle Countdown Deal that ran November 10 through 17, I sold a total of four e-books on Amazon. In comparison, my last Amazon giveaway produced an additional six sales of my first book (which was not being given away) and around 150 free downloads of the featured book.

I advertised my Kindle Countdown Deal on several websites that feature discounted book promotions and I promoted the event on my Twitter, facebook, and Google+ feeds. In retrospect, these efforts appear to have had little effect on sales.

At this point, for my books, the free promotional giveaway appears to be the more effective strategy, for two main reasons:
  1. The uptick in additional sales during my free promotions roughly matches the  number of sales at the discounted price. When you factor in the reduced sale price during the Countdown promotion, I actually earn more revenue with the free promotion from the associated sales.
  2. During the free promotion, I also give away a decent amount of e-books, regardless of sales numbers. This achieves my goal of getting more readers exposed to my writing (even at no revenue).
I suspect the Kindle Countdown Deal can be an advantageous promotion when you have a greater demand for your books, however, I'm not at that point, yet.

Since my KDP Select 90-day term resets soon, I'll be planning another promotion. I'm going to try a second Countdown Deal in December to collect more data, and hope that Christmas shoppers will be more alert for bargains than they were in mid-November. This time, I plan on skipping the website promotions in an effort to gauge their effectiveness.

Do you have any stories to share about your Kindle promotions? I'd be interested in reading them, if you're willing to share.

Author Update:  I'm  finishing the first draft of Warlock & Wyrm, Book III of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy and recently passed the 81,000 word mark. 

If you'd like to try the trilogy, you can get a free copy of Crimson & Cream, Book I of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy at Smashwords with this code: JH88U.


December 2015 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title December 2015, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : Confessions of a Failure; A Post-Game Wrap-Up of My Kindle Countdown Deal
link : Confessions of a Failure; A Post-Game Wrap-Up of My Kindle Countdown Deal

Read Also


December 2015

I conducted my first Kindle Countdown Deal last month for my epic fantasy adventure Mirrors & Mist, Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy. Unfortunately, the results failed to meet even my tempered expectations. But you may recall, I promised to compare the sales from the KDP Select Free events versus the Countdown promotion to see if one is more advantageous than the other.

I'd previously done a few KDP Select Free events where I would typically see a spike in free downloads, and an associated (much smaller) spike in sales. My hope was that the Countdown Deal would produce more sales (albeit at a discounted price), however, this did not happen.

During the Kindle Countdown Deal that ran November 10 through 17, I sold a total of four e-books on Amazon. In comparison, my last Amazon giveaway produced an additional six sales of my first book (which was not being given away) and around 150 free downloads of the featured book.

I advertised my Kindle Countdown Deal on several websites that feature discounted book promotions and I promoted the event on my Twitter, facebook, and Google+ feeds. In retrospect, these efforts appear to have had little effect on sales.

At this point, for my books, the free promotional giveaway appears to be the more effective strategy, for two main reasons:

  1. The uptick in additional sales during my free promotions roughly matches the  number of sales at the discounted price. When you factor in the reduced sale price during the Countdown promotion, I actually earn more revenue with the free promotion from the associated sales.
  2. During the free promotion, I also give away a decent amount of e-books, regardless of sales numbers. This achieves my goal of getting more readers exposed to my writing (even at no revenue).
I suspect the Kindle Countdown Deal can be an advantageous promotion when you have a greater demand for your books, however, I'm not at that point, yet.

Since my KDP Select 90-day term resets soon, I'll be planning another promotion. I'm going to try a second Countdown Deal in December to collect more data, and hope that Christmas shoppers will be more alert for bargains than they were in mid-November. This time, I plan on skipping the website promotions in an effort to gauge their effectiveness.

Do you have any stories to share about your Kindle promotions? I'd be interested in reading them, if you're willing to share.

Author Update:  I'm  finishing the first draft of Warlock & Wyrm, Book III of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy and recently passed the 81,000 word mark. 

If you'd like to try the trilogy, you can get a free copy of Crimson & Cream, Book I of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy at Smashwords with this code: JH88U.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

My NaNoFiMo

As you may recall, I didn't attempt NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year, although I did set a goal to finish the first draft of my novel, which was already started, by the end of November. I felt like I was fading down the home stretch and wanted to challenge myself to complete the first draft. Tagging along on the coat-tails of NaNoWriMo, I dubbed my fictional endeavor NaNoFiMo, as in National Novel Finishing Month. Since I don't keep a writing log or journal, I decided to document my results here, so I can look back at this post, once I forget the details.

My goal for November was 1,000 words a day, and although I fell short of 30,000 words for the month, and didn't finish the first draft by my self-imposed deadline, I did come close. For the month, I wrote 24,912 words (830 words per day), which is 5,088 words shy of my goal. I know it seems like I'm fixating on the numbers (I'm a bit of a statistics nerd), but I'm also looking at the results as a way to measure my progress and forecast a realistic writing schedule going forward.

The bust in my goal was expecting to write every day for 30 consecutive days. I ended up not writing anything on seven days in November. I blame part of the failure on my oversight of a birthday and a national holiday (as well as an exceptionally good month for my Spartan Football and Basketball teams). The upside is that for the 23 days in November that I did write, I beat my goal of 1,000 words per day (1,083 wpd, for you numbers freaks).

So what's the lesson I learned? I enjoyed challenging myself, and didn't set a goal so high that it turned writing into drudgery (which I fear a full NaNoWriMo would have). I also found the upper limits of my current productivity level and came close to finishing the first draft. The 5,088 words I fell short still wouldn't have been enough to finish the first draft, since, as of now, I estimate I still need at least 10,000 more words to finish.

Based on the data, I hope to finish the first draft by the end of the year. Since December will be a busier month for me with vacation and holiday travel, a 10,000-word month seems like a challenging, yet achievable goal. In a month from now, we'll see how I fared.

The first draft of Warlock & Wyrm sits at 78,773 words, with 26 out of 31 chapters completed. Now, on to December!


December 2015 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title December 2015, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : My NaNoFiMo
link : My NaNoFiMo

Read Also


December 2015

As you may recall, I didn't attempt NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year, although I did set a goal to finish the first draft of my novel, which was already started, by the end of November. I felt like I was fading down the home stretch and wanted to challenge myself to complete the first draft. Tagging along on the coat-tails of NaNoWriMo, I dubbed my fictional endeavor NaNoFiMo, as in National Novel Finishing Month. Since I don't keep a writing log or journal, I decided to document my results here, so I can look back at this post, once I forget the details.

My goal for November was 1,000 words a day, and although I fell short of 30,000 words for the month, and didn't finish the first draft by my self-imposed deadline, I did come close. For the month, I wrote 24,912 words (830 words per day), which is 5,088 words shy of my goal. I know it seems like I'm fixating on the numbers (I'm a bit of a statistics nerd), but I'm also looking at the results as a way to measure my progress and forecast a realistic writing schedule going forward.

The bust in my goal was expecting to write every day for 30 consecutive days. I ended up not writing anything on seven days in November. I blame part of the failure on my oversight of a birthday and a national holiday (as well as an exceptionally good month for my Spartan Football and Basketball teams). The upside is that for the 23 days in November that I did write, I beat my goal of 1,000 words per day (1,083 wpd, for you numbers freaks).

So what's the lesson I learned? I enjoyed challenging myself, and didn't set a goal so high that it turned writing into drudgery (which I fear a full NaNoWriMo would have). I also found the upper limits of my current productivity level and came close to finishing the first draft. The 5,088 words I fell short still wouldn't have been enough to finish the first draft, since, as of now, I estimate I still need at least 10,000 more words to finish.

Based on the data, I hope to finish the first draft by the end of the year. Since December will be a busier month for me with vacation and holiday travel, a 10,000-word month seems like a challenging, yet achievable goal. In a month from now, we'll see how I fared.

The first draft of Warlock & Wyrm sits at 78,773 words, with 26 out of 31 chapters completed. Now, on to December!