An interview with Jacqui Murray and me!

Today, I have the great pleasure to introduce you to Jacqui Murray, author of the popular book Building a midshipman and her Rowe-Delamagente thriller series. She has recently published a spin-off series about Lucy, a homo sapien, and her plight to survive the harsh conditions of a pre-historic world. I have read Jacqui’s books and highly recommend them if you enjoy thrillers that have a Covert Affairs edge to them (TV series about a CIA agent for those who haven’t watched it) and a great adventure the reader experiences through Lucy’s point of view.

Come along and join us for a reciprocal interview. It was a lot of fun.

microphone-2001751_640

Continue reading

Advertisements

Writing Update

It has been a while since I’ve written one of these, and it’s been two years since the publication of Search for the Golden Serpent. This is the reason why I started a blog, to showcase my writing, share my passion for ancient history and to support fellow indie writers. So today, I am going to let you know what I’ve been writing, or rather struggling to write, as in finding time!

Pencil this date into your diaries
1st October 2017

Continue reading

What did the Phoenicians eat?

Origins
The Phoenicians lived in northern ancient Canaan, where Lebanon is today. They were considered to be Canaanites, yet recent DNA evidence of Modern Lebanese, a study conducted by the National Geographic,  suggest they came from an ancient Mediterranean sub-stratum. What does this mean? The results showed their bloodline are of mixed origin and were not indigenous to the area. It could be the Phoenicians were related to the ‘sea people’, having migrated in the 3rd millennium BCE and mixed with the local Canaanites and hence the Phoenician line was born. You can read more here.

Phoenician trade routes Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Phoenician trade routes
Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Continue reading

Goodbye 2016

I thought it was time to reflect on the year that was 2016. I haven’t written an article as such before, so here we go. 2016 was a roller-coaster and so to close the year out, here are some pivotal events that happened.

The year started very promising, I had started a new job and was working in two schools. It was hectic going from one school to the other, but I made it work. My new line-manager then offered extra days, which meant resigning from the other school. That was fine as I was travelling an hour and half each way to get there.

header-the-year-that-was

Continue reading

Results from Readers’ Survey – Part 2

Here we are, the remainder of the results from the survey.

Question 7: Do you prefer to read:
I gave people the option to choose more than one answer as I know I read both print and eBooks. There was only a 3% difference between paperback (53%) and eBooks (50%) and hardback wasn’t far behind with (45%). This does show people do prefer printed books over digital, which also goes to the statistics given last year with regards to the increase of sales in printed books and a decline in eBooks. The availability of both formats is good as it meets the demands for those who prefer one or the other or both. And really, once the genie is out of the bottle, you can’t put the stopper back on.

preference

Question 8: When do you usually read?
This had a good spread of answers but no real surprises. Most people like to read at home (82%), and before they go to bed (73%). Some like to read at work (14%), which I am guessing is during their lunch break. 41% like to read in the morning, 18% read at midday, while 32% read in the afternoon. No one read while cooking, except perhaps when you read a recipe.

when do you read

Question 9: How much would you pay for an eBook written by an Indie Author?
This also had a fair spread of responses; the ones that didn’t make the cut was $7.99 and $8.99. It was interesting to see what people were willing to pay, with most saying 99c (62%), a tie between $1.99-$2.99 (57%), then 48% for $3.99 and 43% for $4.99. This is most helpful as it gives me a guideline for pricing eBooks.

how much pay for indie book

The next three questions were more of a personal nature, as I wanted to gauge interest in the books I write. I wasn’t offended by the answers as everyone has different tastes and to be honest, there are genres I don’t read.

Question 10: Would you buy my books?
95% of the responses said they would buy my books and 5% said they would not.

buy my books

Question 11: How much would you pay for my eBooks?
The answers to this question was a nice surprise and again helpful when I come to pricing my books. 24% said they’d be happy to pay $4.99, followed by $1.99 (19%), $5.99 and $3.99 (14%), $2.99 and $9.99 (10%) and 5% would pay $6.99/$8.99. The distribution is diverse but gives me a good indication of what people will pay.

how much pay for my books

Question 12: Have you read my books?
Of the survey respondents, 73% had read my books, while 27% had not.

Overall, the survey did provide the answers I wanted to know more about. I may revisit the survey sometime later in the year, and hopefully get a larger pool of responses. I also want to thank those who did take the time to complete the survey, I am most grateful. You have given me a lot of good information for me to consider especially when I launch my next book/s.

Thanks for visiting and reading. If you have any questions regarding the survey or would like further clarity, please leave a comment below.

Results from Reader’s Survey and Prize Winner – Part 1

The purpose of the survey was to gain a better understanding of why people read and what motivates people to read. I believe love for reading begins when we are children, but it doesn’t happen on its own accord. When parents spend time reading stories to their children and instill a love for books from an early age, then it continues right into adulthood. The frequency of reading may ease as commitments grow but you always find time to pick up a book and read. There is also a correlation between reading and literacy skills. In fact, it has been proven reading helps to improve literacy and understanding, and provides limitless opportunities.

Now to announce the prize winner:

The winner of the eBook Search for the Golden Serpent and $25 Amazon Gift Card is:

Cathleen Townsend

Congratulations, Cathleen. I’ll be in touch via email.

On to the survey results:

Question 1: are you Female or Male?
The majority of respondents were female coming in at 81% and 19% were male. That isn’t unusual as more women tend to complete surveys than men.

 

Question 2: Country of residence
Most of the responses came from the United States with 38%, followed by Australia with 29% and 10% coming from Canada and Germany.

demographics

Question 3: Why do you read?
This was a question I was interested in and the two most popular answers for reading was entertainment (41%) and relaxation (32%). There were those who read to escape (18%) from the daily grind. I do that too!

why read

Question 4: What type/s of fiction do you like best?
I read a variety of genres and I suspect so do most people but you always have a few favourites that you prefer to read. This is why I gave people the option to choose more than one answer and I am happy to report, Historical Fiction came out on top with 82%, followed by Adventure with 68%, then Fantasy (59%), Mystery (45%), Sci Fi (41%). I was surprised Romance wasn’t the leader in this one with 27% responding they like to read this genre.

types of fiction

Question 5: What motivates you to read a book?
With this question I wanted to know more about what readers look for when choosing a book. The responses certainly will change the strategies I will use when launching my next book. The blurb came out the strongest (89%), followed by the cover (64%), reviews (41%), endorsements (23%) and then awards (18%).

motivation

 

Question 6: What influences you to choose a book to read?
The responses to this question really surprised me. I was of the opinion word of mouth influenced people’s choices in books but recommendations was only 14%, nothing to sneeze at, though the ranking wasn’t high. 32% said the genre was the reason in reading a book, followed by both the author and browsing a book store with 23%, then searching an online book store at 9%.

influences

Stay tuned for next week’s Part 2. If you have any questions regarding the survey and even if you don’t, please leave a comment below.

Thank you for visiting and reading.

Historical fiction novelist and a secondary teacher, Luciana Cavallaro, likes to meander from contemporary life to the realms of mythology and history. Subscribe to her free short story at http://eepurl.com/bhEOXr