*Promo with Guest Post on Publishing Tips* ‘Frenzy’ and ‘Daniel Jones Doom’ (The Daniel Jones series, #1 & 2) by Mark King

Hi readers, we are all in for a treat with not only a promo of the post-apocalyptic Daniel Jones series by Mark King, but the author has very kindly written a guest post for us on publishing tips! You can find all info on Frenzy (Daniel Jones #1) and it’s sequel, Daniel Jones Doom, below with links, as well as an author bio. This series is certainly on my reading list for me to review later in the year. We hope you enjoy! – Caroline

Frenzy 3 v2Title: Frenzy (A Daniel Jones Story #1)

Author: Mark King

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic

Date released: March 1st, 2013

Published by: Book Guild Publishing

Length: 226 pages

Jacket Blurb:

Daniel leads a peaceful life with his family until he finds out a repulsive secret about the Over-seers, the ‘saviours of humanity’, and his security is blown to smithereens. He enters a world where death is the only certainty and quickly learns to kill – or be killed.

Enter Gwendolyn, with the charm of a snake and a bite that’s twice as dangerous. People skills aren’t her thing but she knows how to survive in a post-apocalyptic world; she’s a hotshot with a bow and arrow and can rustle up a mean rat soup.

Mary is the only person left alive over forty. She’s not too good at fighting but she knows where to find the one thing that could save their lives; the golden shield. Only Mary can remember life before the alien invasion, before humanity was brainwashed into following the procedures.

Pursued by the Over-seers, the Triclops and the barbaric hunters, can the three brave rebels triumph in their quest for the golden shield? The odds are stacked against them – hold tight for a white-knuckle ride through a landscape of devastation!

Back jacket extract:

Bang. Bang. Bang.

And the ground shook.

Bang. Bang. Bang.

And the ground shook with an almighty force.

Bang. Bang. Bang.

And the ground shook with such terrifying power that once again the soul of humanity would cry out in fear tonight.

Silence.

Frenzy (A Daniel Jones Story #1) by Mark King is available at Amazon UK and Amazon US. You can also check it out on Goodreads.

Daniel Jones Doom Cover LargeTitle: Daniel Jones Doom (A Daniel Jones Story #2)

Author: Mark King

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic

Date released: December 12th,  2014

Published by: Rethink Press

Length: 238 pages

Blurb: Daniel’s peaceful life has been destroyed after discovering the hideous truth about the Over-seers – the new masters of humanity. Hiding in centuries-old flint mines from Hunters and from the terrifying Triclops machines, Daniel’s recurring nightmares lead him, once more, into danger. With mankind brainwashed under the false hope of a glorious new life in the Achievement Centre, he must return home through a devastated landscape to save his father from certain death.

Daniel reunites with two fellow fugitives – Mary and her young companion Gwendolyn – to undertake a rescue mission so dangerous that death is the only guarantee. Is it too late for Daniel’s family or is it too late for humanity itself? Daniel Jones DOOM, the exciting new sequel to FRENZY a Daniel Jones Story, is another fast-paced, engrossing chronicle of three rebels who once again risk their lives in a vividly depicted world peopled by memorable new and known characters.

Daniel Jones Doom (A Daniel Jones Story #2) by Mark King is available at Amazon UK and Amazon US. You can also check it out on Goodreads.

 GUEST POST: Publishing Tips by Mark King

After the success of my debut book FRENZY a Daniel Jones Story and now with the release of the sequel Daniel Jones Doom I am asked by aspiring authors for advice on becoming published. I have found it’s a journey that has three distinct parts with each being as important as the others.

Stage one is getting the story out of your head and onto the laptop. I often come across people who have been writing on a manuscript for many years, but because of the daily trials, and tribulations, that life throws up it never quite gets finished. I decided in early 2010 to resign from a secure job leaving me just two years to fulfil my dream before I had to re-join the daily rat race. So set yourself a deadline and keep to it no matter what sacrifices you need to make or what gets in the way.

Stage two is getting a publisher or agent. All new authors are guilty of using the scatter gun approach; sending out reams of paper to dozens of publishers or individuals, and you will only end up propping up the stack of what is commonly known in the industry as the slush pile. With agents you are in a catch twenty two position because they are generally only interested in authors’ that are already published! Go to the local book shop and look at the shelves in which genre your book is based, and then note the relevant publishers. Carry out lots of research on these leads, and if the time is right one or two may be open for submissions. Ask yourself this question. If your manuscript is a science fiction based dystopian novel why bother sending it to Mills and Boon?

Stage three is the marketing and promotion of not only your book, but of yourself as an author. Hundreds of thousands of books are published every year around the world and all are trying to get noticed. I set up a blog called always-hanging-around to connect on a personal level with new people. I also had a professional photo shoot because when the media asked for interviews they also requested photos. I only had holiday snaps either with me pulling a funny face, or I had a drink in my hand. If all else fails then authors are lucky now to live in the age of the Internet and the opportunities that are offered by self-publishing. This option is very popular in the U.S.A and becoming more so in the U.K. and one well worth looking at. FRENZY a Daniel Jones Story and Daniel Jones DOOM are only the start of the journey for me as I now start on my third book in the Daniel Jones series, and if you keep my three points in mind then hopefully too you can follow the same path.

Author bio:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMark King is a free spirit, lover of life, family, friendships, good food, and travel. He lives in Norwich in the county of Norfolk in the U.K. It’s one of Britain’s most historic cities and a hub for present day literature. Author of the internationally acclaimed book Frenzy a Daniel Jones Story and the sequel Daniel Jones Doom; Mark is also the writer of the world-wide blog at www.always-hanging-around.blogspot.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @author_king and on Google +. Mark is now working on the third book in the Daniel Jones series.

Cover Artist vs. Published Author – Dawné Dominique **GUEST BLOGGER POST**

A Reader’s Review Blog have had a great opportunity to hear from a cover artist and author, Dawné Dominique. Dawné has kindly written a blog post for us, providing an insight to both worlds and their challenges and differences. Throughout the article we also feature some examples of her beautiful cover designs. – Caroline & Tina

Dawné Dominique

Cover Artist vs. Published Author

A lot of people may be familiar with my name as a cover artist, but I’m also a published author. Unfortunately, both are not synonymous in the aspects of the publishing world. In other words, I’m known more for my cover art than my books.

Dominique 1I restarted my writing career in early 2000 as a fantasy writer, wherein world building and character development are tantamount in creating believability in fantasy fiction. People who have read my books, whether fantasy, paranormal, or erotic romance, told me that they read like movies; that they feel my characters; they walk in the worlds I’ve created; but more importantly, they actually care about what happens in the story. Then why am I not a NY best selling author? Firstly, I’m published with a smaller publishing house. Secondly, do I want to become famous? Well, of course. Who doesn’t? But I didn’t get into this business to get rich or famous. I write because I love to tell stories. And I create cover art because the artistic gene in me needs to flourish. Being my own cover artist? Uggg! I’m my own worst client. I’m never satisfied. Even after a book of mine is published, I’ll discover something on the cover that I want to refine and/or revise.

Dominique2Someone once asked me how many covers I had created during my career. I’d never given it much thought, so I began calculating and came up with a number that astounded me. The total was well over 1K. Since I branched out on my own with DusktilDawn Designs, in any given year, I’ll create approximately 500 covers, so that initial number is far higher. Believe me, no one is more surprised than I am because to me, it’s not work. It’s an absolute pleasure—and more so when I read an author’s reaction to my design.

Writing books, however, takes me far longer. I can’t seem to write novellas, although my first published piece of work was that size for a book anthology titled Ridley’s Rival, which had been nominated for a CAPA. For my very first submission, I was rather pleased with that recognition. But the cover? *shivers* (And not in a good way).

Dominique3As any author knows, the icing on the cake is their book cover. It’s the first thing people see. It’s what entices people to read their books. It’s my job to create that initial visual selling tool.

When I get a cover art request from one of the publishers I work with, or the many Indie authors I represent, all I have to work from is a paragraph sized description and/or a brief synopsis. Ninety-nine percent of the time that’s enough for me. I, unfortunately, have no time to read the books. If I did, I’d be setting up bathroom appointments, not to mention eating and sleeping at my desk. Because I’m an author too, I believe it gives me an extra edge in their creative designs. For the record, no draft cover is sent to an author unless, and until, I would be proud to have it as my own. There are some past covers I’ve done that I cringe at when I see them. In my earlier days, I would bow to an author’s wishes. What they wanted, I gave. I’m more stringent now. If it’s not going to look natural, I won’t do it. Changing “hair” is the most contentious idiosyncrasy of mine. If a male character’s hair is described as long, and I can’t find a picture with appropriate hair, I’ll somehow ensure that their hair isn’t showing or that the change can be completed and look real. I’ve seen so many covers out there with badly photo-shopped hair that it makes me cringe.

Dominique4No matter what the genre, after reading that paragraph, more times than not, a design will pop into my head. I think like an author, and a managing editor (another hat I wore for several years) so I have a clear concept of what sells and what doesn’t. Simplistic, streamlined, and artistically crafted covers work best in catching the eye of readers and holding their interest. A word of caution, however. What I put on the front MUST reflect what’s inside those pages (i.e. character descriptions, location, items of importance, etc.). There are some readers who will never read another author’s book if the cover doesn’t accurately reflect what’s inside those pages.

It’s those authors who hire me and tell me to “run with it” is when I have the most fun. Especially with horror cover art. I can’t watch the movies, but doing fiendish book covers is a passion of mine. Go figure. : )

TearsofSanFerath_finalCreating art from a mere paragraph is challenging, but I love what I do and every cover is a challenge to exemplify an author’s deepest desire to see their words depicted into art.

Now if only I could sell as many books as the covers I create.

To see some of my designs, please visit me at:

www.dusktildawnDesigns.com

www.dawnedominique.com

www.dthomasjerlo.com