Enchanted Forests cover reveal!

Today, I’m super excited to share the stunning cover of Enchanted Forests with you!

Enchanted Forests is the follow up to my 2021 anthology, Enchanted Waters, which features eight authors telling ten stories of mythical water creatures and magic, whilst also raising funds for an ocean conservation charity.

Enchanted Forests will follow in EW’s footsteps by raising money for woodland conservation by featuring stories by eleven authors that focus on the magical creatures and folk who inhabit the woods.

Ready to see the cover?

What do you think? Didn’t Emily’s World of Design do an incredible job? It was a really collaborative process in which we all got to make suggestions and give feedback, which was really fun. And I’m so happy with the final result.

In addition to the EW gang of me, Astrid V.J., Alice Ivinya, Jennifer Kropf, N.D.T. Casale, Sky Summers, Elena Shelest and Ben Lang, we’ve been joined by a few more authors for this next anthology, including Ashley Steffenson, Xander Cross and Fox Rogers. I’ll be introducing you to these awesome indie authors soon.

I’m so excited to share more about my story and the rest of this collection with you over the next ten months! If you’re already sold, you can preorder the book now for the special early bird price of 99c/77p, just click here or on the cover to go to Amazon and prepare to find EF in your Kindle on 1 July 2022.

Not quite sold yet? Here’s the official blurb:

If you go down to the woods today…
You’d better not go alone…

Discover the secret world between the trees where fairies, unicorns and even monsters dwell. Take a stroll through enchanted woods and dance with pixies and dryads by the light of the stars. Escape Baba Yaga and fall in love with a prince in disguise. Taste the fruit at the goblin market and be whisked away on a magical adventure.
Between ancient trees, find beauty, danger and adventure in these enchanting short stories by award-winning, best-selling, and up-and-coming fantasy authors.

Enchanted Forests is fully illustrated by the talented Elena Shelest.

All profits from this anthology will be donated to charity to support woodland and forest conservation.

Alternatively, if you’d love to get an advance review copy, you can join our Facebook fan group and sign up to be on our review team! The form for ARCs will be released a little closer to release day, so join us now and we’ll keep you in the loop.

Thanks friends! We’re excited to share these stories with you and the incredible illustrations Elena is creating to complement each story.

Lyndsey

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P.S. If you haven’t snapped up your copy of Enchanted Waters yet, hang on a couple more days, because it’s going to be on sale from 18 Aug!

7 things I wish I’d known when I published my debut novel

It’s been almost a year since I published my debut novel, The Fair Queen, and I can honestly say it’s been one of the best years of my life. Pandemic aside, the friends I’ve made, opportunities I’ve been given and everything I’ve learned since hitting ‘submit’ on my first book have made it an amazing twelve months.

But, that’s not to say that I wouldn’t do it slightly differently if I had my first time again. Sadly, I don’t actually own a time machine, so I’ll have to settle for doing a few things – and NOT doing a few others – next time around. Bring on book two, The Solitary King!

Here’s seven things I wish I’d known when I published by debut novel:

Fast release

OK, so I won’t be fast releasing books 2 and 3 in The Fair Chronicles, sadly, my timeline for these books will be early 2022 and early 2023, for so many reasons (I’m starting a degree soon and my military husband is moving away for work and then being deployed next year, so it’s going to be a busy couple of years!). But next series for definite!

The difficulty with slow releasing is that you end up having to work ten times harder on your marketing to get people to remember you and buy the next book. With fast releasing, they’ve just read (and hopefully loved) your first book in the series and can’t wait to get their hands on the next one.

On that subject…

Linking to preorder book 2 in the back of book 1

When I published The Fair Queen, I had already written a good chunk of The Solitary King, but I didn’t trust myself to have it finished in time for people to preorder it and get it by a specific date. And, wouldn’t you know, like a self fulfilling prophecy, I haven’t gotten TSK ready for publication yet. But it is in the works, and in six months’ time not only will you be able to buy The Solitary King, but you’ll also be able to preorder the third and final book in Aria’s story (which is currently untitled, but one thing at a time).

The cover might be a place holder, the blurb might be a little vague and subject to change, but I’m promising you now that there will be a link to preorder TFC3 at the end of TSK and I’ll keep to my promised publication date in early 2023.

Hold me to that.

Facebook groups

I didn’t have a Facebook group for readers when I started this publishing journey, in fact I’ve only just started one (you can join Lyndsey Hall’s Fair Folk here). But not only that, I was barely in any groups myself, I didn’t know many of my fellow indie authors, I didn’t have a real community or a place for readers and friends to share about books and play games and host giveaways. And now I do!

I’ll definitely be using my Facebook group more going forward, in fact, I’ve got a few really cool ideas for my birthday in early August and The Fair Queen’s bookaversary on 30 August…

Newsletter swaps

I’ve actually had an email newsletter for years, but it only consisted of my most recent blog post emailed out to around 30 people who’d signed up in 2016. So when I heard about the great indie marketing tactic that is newsletter swaps, I knew I needed to get started sooner rather than later!

I’ve now got almost 2k email subscribers who get Letters from the Fair Realm every week, with a bit of an update about life, my books, anything fun coming up over the next week or two, as well as a link to my latest blog post and a few book recommendations and book fairs with discounted books, new releases and Kindle Unlimited books. It’s been a great way to connect with new readers and get some feedback on what people like and want to read.

Where do I find other authors to swap newsletter mentions with, you ask, well Facebook groups, but also…

StoryOrigin

If you’re a self-published author, or aspire to be, then StoryOrigin is definitely worth looking into. I was introduced to it back in March when it was still in beta (read: free) and now I’m a paying member as I found it so useful for my book marketing efforts.

SO lets you create and join group promos (book fairs) which will then be shared by all the authors involved in their newsletters and even on social media, giving you more exposure than you ever could have gotten alone (teamwork, amirite?). It also allows you to search for newsletter swaps with other authors in and around your genre, using either a universal book link (UBL) or a reader magnet (a free short story, novella, book, or sample).

That’s not all though, you can also use it to host review copies and accept requests from reviewers, whose stats for downloads versus reviews you can check before approving. Plus there’s a handy word goal tracker to help you get words on the page.

If I could go back a year, I would definitely join StoryOrigin sooner and start building my email list and creating reader magnets to get my readership ready (this isn’t an ad btw, I’m just a big fan!).

Promotions

One of the things I hadn’t considered before this year is big promo sites and newsletters. I just hadn’t even realised these sites existed, let alone that there were some that were worthwhile paying for and others that weren’t. Luckily, Reedsy and Kindlepreneur (two sites for writers I absolutely trust and can comfortably recommend you check out) have created lists of the best promo sites and newsletters to get your book out there, including which have free services. (Spoiler: not many do!)

These services are best utilised for brand new releases and big sales, so the week your new book comes out or over the few days your book is free or 0.99. You either want to make your money back from sales, or get enough free downloads that you know the reviews will start to roll in and it’ll be worth the cost in the long run.

(I’ll do a more in depth blog post on these services and which have worked well for me soon.)

Author friends!

I don’t know what I would do without the friends I’ve made since I decided to self publish my stories. Or where I would be. Whether I’d have stuck out this indie life and continued with publishing. I certainly wouldn’t have reached as many readers as I have, or been offered the opportunities I’ve been lucky enough to have. I wouldn’t have a second published story coming out on 16 July in Enchanted Waters, or a group of ride-or-die indies who have had the best time working together over the past year that we’ve decided to do it again next year, with Enchanted Forests.

This past year has been a dream come true, even wilder than my wildest dreams, and it’s been made possible by you guys, my loyal blog readers, the fellow authors who helped me along the way, through NaNoWriMo and Pitch Wars, the friends in Facebook groups where we shared synopses and blurbs, celebrated word count goal wins and complained about agent rejections. The indies on Instagram who inspired me to go solo and take a chance on myself, and then became the best friends a new baby author could have.

Thank you to all of you, if you’ve ever read a single word I’ve written, here, on social media, in a book or elsewhere, then this is my thanks to you. You’ve made my dream come true this year.

Lyndsey

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Interview: Romantic fantasy author Carol Beth Anderson

Hi folks! I hope you’re having a fantastic July so far, the weather has been a bit hit and miss here in the UK, but when isn’t it?

Today I want to introduce you to another fabulous fantasy author and help you build that vertiginous TBR just a little higher. Step inside and say hi to Carol Beth Anderson, author of The Magic Eaters trilogy, and more.

Hello! Thank you for chatting with me today, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in the Arizona desert, where I played make-believe games with my twin sister and older brother, transforming blankets into princess capes and my mother’s dresses into fine gowns. Almost as soon as I learned to write words, I began turning them into stories.

As a young adult, I moved to Texas and have lived here ever since. In addition to writing, I enjoy baking sourdough bread, hanging out with my teenage kids, husband, and miniature schnauzer, and hosting high-school exchange students.

Amazing, I was an exchange student back in my teens! We exchanged with France and Spain, and it was so much fun. When did you start writing and who inspired you? 

I’ve always written, but I was inspired to start writing a novel when I happened to meet a local author doing a signing at a bookstore. I read her novella that day and thought, “I could do that!” I started brainstorming for my first novel that night and started writing it a few days later.

I love that, I would absolutely love to do a signing in my local bookstore! And the idea of inspiring someone else to follow their dream is wonderful. I hope you wrote to that local author and told her she inspired you! What’s your favourite genre to read?

I love fantasy with romance in it (whether as a primary plot or subplot). I love Brent Weeks, Michael J. Sullivan, and Leigh Bardugo.

Romantic fantasy is my number one genre to read and write too, and Leigh Bardugo is one of my favourite authors! Six of Crows was just brilliant. Can you tell us about your published books and where we can get our hands on them?

The Frost Eater is the first book in The Magic Eaters Trilogy, which is upper-YA fantasy with dragons and romance on the side. The trilogy is complete, and I’ll admit … I adore this story. I’ve been thrilled to find that readers do too!

Buy The Frost Eater here, available in ebook, paperback, hardback and audio.

Add it to your TBR shelf here.

I have to admit, I’ve seen those covers around and been coveting them for quite a while! I’m definitely going to have to get the audio book of The Frost Eater! I’m in the process of having an audio book made of my debut novel and it’s such an exciting process! Where do you find inspiration for your stories? 

A lot of it just comes from letting my mind wander over the course of time. I write down ideas, and some of them stick! However, I also find inspiration from covers. For The Magic Eaters Trilogy, I just had some rough ideas. I found the covers as premades—the designer had already made them and had them for sale. I bought them, had her change the titles to the ones that would fit my series, and used the covers to help guide the series. I bought a premade for my next book (Faerie Fallen) too. I didn’t have any ideas for my next series that were “sticking” until I got the cover and suddenly had tons of ideas, based on the image.

I’m addicted to premade covers, The Fair Queen was a premade too and as soon as I saw it I knew it was the one. But I love the idea of taking inspiration from the cover itself! It sounds like you’re very visual, I bet you love Pinterest! Do you consider yourself a plotter, pantser or plantser? 

Plantser! I plan out major plot points in advance, but some of them do change as I go. I only do a chapter-by-chapter outline for one-quarter of the book at a time. (When I finish the first quarter, I do the detailed outline for the second quarter, and so on. And it still ends up changing along the way.)

I think most of us are plantsers at heart, my writing process is pretty similar. So, what are you working on right now?

Faerie Fallen, a romantic fantasy novel. It’s the first book in my Feathered Fae series, and I’m loving this world and characters and the slow-burn, enemies-to-lovers romance!

Faerie Fallen is on pre-order and comes out in December.

You had me at enemies-to-lovers romance! Your new series sounds like a combination of all my favourite things. What one piece of advice would you give aspiring authors? 

Publishing is a marathon, not a sprint.

So true. Thank you so much for chatting with me today! It’s been lovely to get to know you and your writing methods better. Before you go, where can we find out more about you and your books? 

Carol Beth Anderson’s website: https://carolbethanderson.com 

Sign up to my newsletter: https://carolbethanderson.com/sign-up-for-insider-emails/

Find me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cbethanderson/

Join my Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CBAStreetTeam

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cbethanderson

and Tiktok! https://www.tiktok.com/@cbethanderson


Well, that’s me on an official book-buying ban after adding all those gorgeous covers to my TBR!

I hope you’ve discovered a few new reads, I for one can’t wait for Faerie Fallen to release in December, it sounds right up my alley.

Happy reading friends,

Lyndsey

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