Mid-year update 2022

How is it June already? 2022 has absolutely flown so far, and as we’re now halfway through the year I thought it was a good time to check in and do a little update on my reading and writing progress.

Reading

I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge to 36 books for 2022 – I’m an incredibly slow reader and I don’t have a lot of time to read between work, writing, being a mum and all of the other plates I’m spinning. But I’m really pleased with my progress so far, I’ve read fourteen books and am on track to hit my target.

I fell into a huge reading slump while I was editing The Solitary King at the end of last year. I couldn’t get into any fantasy books, I started several and just ended up putting them down and trying something else – nothing to do with the books themselves, and I’m looking forward to going back to them (I’m halfway through A Court of Silver Flames on audio and a few chapters into House of Sky and Breath on audio, so it’s definitely not because I chose badly!). I ended up grabbing a couple of crime/domestic thrillers from the library and they turned out to be exactly what I needed, so I’ve been predominantly reading thrillers all year. But I can feel the slump coming to an end, and I’m ready to jump back into my one true love, fantasy.

Here are the books I’ve read in 2022 so far:

And I’m currently reading I Know What You’ve Done by Dorothy Koomson. Then it’s back to fantasy for some of my favourite authors’ new books, including Kingdom of Feathers by Alice Ivinya.

Writing

After editing and publishing TSK, I was so completely burnt out I couldn’t write a word for months. I’m only just coming out of my burn out and it feels so good to be inspired and motivated again.

I’m currently working on a new WIP, it’s the next email subscriber exclusive story, A Fair Vendetta, and you can find out more about it and the rest of my upcoming short stories for subs in this blog post. My plan is to publish all five shorts on Amazon as ebooks, and give them away free to my email list, and once they’re all published I’ll compile them into a collection called Fair Tales which will be available in ebook and paperback.

I’m also really excited to be cowriting a short story for an anthology with the absolutely incredible Shana Vernon! We’re working on a villain romance/redemption story for Jafar from Aladdin, which we’ve titled Three Dark Wishes. It features a gender-swapped Aladdin and Jasmine, and a romantic arc for Jafar and our female Aladdin (all names will of course be changed, we’re not planning on getting sued by Disney!).

And I’ll also be getting back to The Fair War, book three in the Fair Chronicles, as soon as I can, but at the moment the muse is really pulling me towards these two stories, and who am I to argue!

Publishing

Back in January, I published the second book in my The Fair Chronicles series, The Solitary King. It’s doing really well, and was a fantastic launch, more than quadrupling what I achieved with The Fair Queen. Reviews are coming in steadily and they’re really positive. I’m actually planning to have a few free days to celebrate the release of an upcoming anthology, so keep your eyes peeled if you’d like a copy of TSK for FREE!

Get The Solitary King on Amazon

Then in April, Once Upon a Name was published, a short story anthology that I put together with some of my Enchanted Anthologies friends and coauthors, and a whole host of new teammates! Working with such a big team (twenty of us) was an incredible experience and I learned so much from every one of my coauthors, about writing, publishing, marketing and more. My story, Baroness of Blood and Bone, is an urban fantasy centred around a female alpha of a pack of wolf shifters and her quest for vengeance under the Blood Moon. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever written before and I actually loved it, so don’t be surprised if somewhere down the line I do write a full length urban fantasy series!

Get Once Upon a Name on Amazon

And today marks exactly one month to the day Enchanted Forests comes out! We enjoyed working together on Enchanted Waters so much that we decided to do it again (and again, but more on that soon!). As you can tell from the title, these stories focus on forests and woodlands, featuring all manner of magical and mythical creatures including unicorns, elves, and a talking racoon. My story, One Fair Eve, is a spin on the goblin market with a young man in Victorian England searching for a way to get into the prestigious musical conservatory he dreams of, and finding more than he bargained for.

Preorder Enchanted Forests on Amazon

And that’s it for the first half of 2022 so far! Seeing it all written down like that, I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved this year, alongside all of my other commitments and responsibilities, and being thrown some serious curveballs.

How is your 2022 going so far?

Lyndsey

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The Solitary King is out now!

My second book baby, The Solitary King, has been out in the world for over a week now, and I’m so proud of how much this little book has achieved so far!

Over sixty preorders for the Kindle ebook, plus over thirty copies sold of all three formats since 31 Jan, and hundreds of pages read in KU. And already a handful of lovely reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I can’t thank everyone who has bought or borrowed this book enough, I know it’s only my second published book but this launch has surpassed anything I could ever have imagined. I’m so glad everyone is enjoying Aria and Xander’s story!

If you haven’t read book one, The Fair Queen, yet you can get it here.

If you do read The Fair Chronicles, I’d really appreciate if you could leave a quick review on Amazon. It doesn’t have to be long, but reviews are so important for authors, especially us indie authors, and help us to reach new readers.

Thank you so much for supporting me on this crazy self publishing journey! I couldn’t do it without you.

Lyndsey x

Why authors love reviews (even the bad ones!)

(That’s negative reviews btw, not bad authors!)

Do you write reviews? What was the last book you left a review for? Tell me in the comments. Mine was Court of Bitter Thorn by Kay L. Moody.

I’m asking, because reviews are one of the biggest ways you can support your favourite authors. Not only do they help other readers decide if they’ll pick up a particular book, but they also tell the almighty Amazon algorithm which books to promote and show to readers (and it works the same way on Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Apple Books, etc.).

For example, once a book hits 50 reviews, Amazon may choose to include it in its email newsletters. That’s a whole lot of subscribers seeing a book they may otherwise have never discovered.

And reviews can be as short as “Fantastic!” or “Loved it”, or even “Poorly written” if that’s how you feel.

Why negative reviews are still good

With negative reviews, we all know it’s subjective and 100% opinion based – somebody else might think the book you hated was phenomenal. So if you can include a reason as to why it wasn’t your cup of tea, that’s really helpful, to both readers and writers.

For the author, if several reviewers have an issue with one plot twist or character, or an element of the writing, then chances are they’re not (entirely) wrong, and the author can work on that in their future books. Or even rectify it in a later edition.

For other readers, the reason you didn’t like a book (too steamy, too much swearing, darker than you expected, etc. etc.) could be the thing they’re really looking for in their next read, and your review might even convince them to buy it!

Five places you can leave your book reviews

  1. Where you bought it (Amazon, The Book Depository, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, Apple Books, Google Play etc.)
  2. On your book blog
  3. Goodreads
  4. Bookbub
  5. Social media

And always remember the GOLDEN RULE of sharing book reviews online. NEVER tag the author in a negative review. Even a mostly positive review but with some criticisms can be devastating for the writer. Authors are humans too, and many protect their mental health and wellbeing by avoiding reading reviews, unless someone trusted sends them the good ones.

So, just try to be kind. Reviews are for readers, once a book is out in the world the author has little control over it, and if it wasn’t your cup of tea that doesn’t mean it was the world’s worst book and everyone should avoid it.

(Obviously there are some exceptions, there are definitely problematic books out there that could damage some individuals, but it might be better to warn those communities rather than directing your comments at the author. Or you could possibly send a private message to let them know of their mistake, but be careful with this one, some people don’t appreciate unsolicited DMs.)

Happy reviewing! And don’t forget to review my books if you’ve read and enjoyed them!

Lyndsey

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