Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Gingersnap Books 2017 Book Giveaway

 Hi there

It's (almost) the season of goodwill, and I have decided to do a giveaway, partly as I am grateful to have worked on so many amazing books in recent years, and partly to simply share the joy of reading.

The prize will be the choice of a book (paperback or Kindle format) from a selection of books that I've worked on during 2017.

I have included books from a range of genres in this list so there should be something to suit everyone.

Please click the links in the book titles to see full details on Amazon.

Foxden Hotel by Madalyn Morgan
Historical fiction.

The Million Pound Drop by Martin Davies

The Woman Who Knew Everything by Debbie Viggiano
Contemporary fiction / humour.

Threads of Awen by Awen Thornber
Short stories & Poetry

The Cabal by Catriona King
Crime / Police procedural

A Secret Visitor to Saltmarsh Quay by Ian Wilfred 
Contemporary fiction

Edited 8 December: This giveaway is now closed to new entries.

If you'd like to follow my work account on Twitter, here is a link: Gingersnap Books on Twitter.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Theatre Review: School of Rock at the New London Theatre 2 September 2017 matinee

It was an impromptu decision to see School of Rock yesterday afternoon, and having secured seats in row D of the stalls I really didn't know what I was expecting to think of it. I've always loved musicals and am willing to try most of them once so with a very open mind we joined a very mixed audience of all ages.

During the opening number I was thinking, 'this is going to be a good show ...but what will the kids be like?' As the build up to the story progressed it was still going strong with awkward relationships, a stuffy school principal and a very annoying girlfriend... but I was still thinking, 'what will the kids be like??'.

Finally we made it to the classroom and Stephen Leask as lead Dewey Finn introduced himself to the students and in doing so introduced the students to the audience and by the time we'd heard 'You're in the Band' it was pretty definite that these kids were something else. To have so much talent and be able to act, sing and play instruments alongside experienced professional adult actors ... they are a sight to see. I didn't expect for one minute how much I would be willing these characters on... so convincing they were in the roles. I especially didn't imagine that I would feel so damn emotional while listening to 'If Only You Would Listen' that I welled up. Both times.

After the show I noticed Stephen Leask had tweeted about how it was the team's first show. I couldn't believe it. These amazing actors looked like they had been on stage since they were born. I sent a tweet in reply to effectively say that too. What happened next was a surprise and has sent some of the performers in this show right up there to the top of my favourites list. Firstly Stephen Leask replied to my tweet with 'The kids in this show are incredible! I am constantly surprised and astounded by them". Several other cast members also liked my tweet. It was ALL about the kids. As a parent myself, I loved that reaction. But, I have to say, the adults in this show are also incredible, and Stephen Leask himself deserves a medal for being on stage nearly the entire time the show was on and acting /singing / doing all sorts of acrobatics and basically owning the stage. If that energy could be bottled, you could make a fortune!

All in all I would recommend this show to anyone who likes musicals, or rock music, or comedy, or seeing an incredibly talented cast (of all ages) perform a show that includes some very catchy music indeed. I definitely want to see it again.

I was happy to see School of Rock is now booking until 2019, so you have plenty of time to go and see it.

On a side note - one to watch: Cameron Sharp who took the stage over when No Vacancy were performing. Definitely a star in the making. (Someone needs to put on The Fix and cast him as Cal Chandler. Just thinking aloud...)

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Author Interview: Radu Balas

Today I'm pleased to welcome Radu Balas to my blog. Radu has written a book about promoting yourself as an author and also has a business helping people do just that. You can read more about him and his work below, in his article based on questions I sent to him.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your career.
I am a visionary and a builder.  I think you can’t be a good visionary if you’re not a builder.  I like seeing things growing and that’s how I became interested in business.  During my teens when I was around 15, I started creating logo designs in various forums and websites.  I have excelled in this arena which helped me discover the potentials of building a lucrative online business.
Work takes up majority of my time but I still get to enjoy life.
That’s the beauty of having your own business instead of a doing a 9-5 job.  Some days, I could clock in 10-12 hours at work but go on a 2-week holiday out of town.  Passive income gives me freedom.  Just recently, I went on a 10-day ski trip in Italy with some of my friends.  Some of them also work with me.  I love traveling and spending time with some important people in my life as much as I am passionate about our business.

Please summarise your book in five words.
Ah, that’s interesting.  I thought writing a full-length eBook was the difficult part.  Hmm, 5 words…
  1. Relevant
  2. Easy to follow
  3. Results-oriented
  4. Informative
  5. Complete

Tell us why we should read your book.
I’ll tell you the reasons based on the five words I used to describe my book.
Relevant –My book is relevant to the current publishing trend.  You gotta be seen out there.  You gotta be found where your target market is.  My book helps an author know how to do this starting from creating an author website.
Bespoke – Our aim at Publishing Addict is to tailor the website according to the brand image of the author.  Sticking to a brand avoids confusion among the audience.  Consistent branding gives you credibility as an author.
Results-oriented – We do it out of passion.  We do it professionally.  We don’t just make your website look good for the sake of having something to display online but also make it generate more traffic in order to sell more books.
Informative – The information related in the book are mostly based on my experience working with several top authors.  I am happy to share them with my audience and clients.
Complete – You may find other information online but different articles say different things.  My book is well-researched and based on actual experiences.  I gathered them together to put them into one complete source of information on how to market your books through your author website.

What’s next? Are you planning to write any more books?
Yes, I am writing some chapters down as we speak. I haven’t decided on a title yet, but it will be something along these lines “The New Entrepreneur Guide to Starting a Business”
I will approach complex topics in a practical manner:
  • Understanding the MVP concept and talking about proof of concept before spending money and time on it
  • What to sell, how and why
  • Where to find clients
  • Authority and Brand - 3 practical ways to build a brand and increase your authority if you’re not Coco-Cola
  • Amazing tools that are available now to make your journey so much easier
I know that most of your readers are authors; this applies to them as well. Doesn’t matter if you are writing a fiction or non-fiction book, it’s important to know who you are writing it for.

What's the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Follow your intuition and keep searching for what makes you happy until you found it. This sounds like something Steve Jobs would say. One of my mentors told this same thing to me many years ago.  I was a young teen when I started having interest in the online arena and when I found where I’m good at, I decided to stick with it.  It involves a lot of hard work but I am thriving and happy because I enjoy the work I’m doing at the same time helping authors build their brand.

About Radu
People around the world depend on Radu Balas to show them clear marketing systems on how to put their businesses in front of their clients, increase sales, drive more traffic, build a brand, grow their email lists all while spending less time doing it using tools and automation.
Drawing on his years of design and marketing specialist experience, working for some of the world’s top influencers, along with his own experience in building a business from scratch, Radu provides priceless insights and a clear path to follow for a stress-free approach to starting and growing your own online business. Radu is also a best-selling author and runs several successful businesses online.