Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Overdrive Libraries in South Africa

I've blogged here about Overdrive before, specifically, the Gauteng E-Library. It's an awesome free way to read e-books and listen to audiobooks.



Someone posted in a reader's group on Facebook over the weekend, asking about Overdrive. She's in KwaZulu-Natal, and wanted to know how it worked.

With that in mind, here's a list of all the provincial libraries in South Africa that belong to Overdrive. You're welcome.

Note: These are all the South African provincial libraries I've been able to find on Overdrive. There may be others, so if you know of any, please comment below, and I'll update the list.

There are also quite a few private and school libraries on Overdrive in South Africa, and the company you work for may have corporate libraries as well. When it doubt, ask someone.

In terms of how to borrow books from a South African provincial e-library, The way it works in Gauteng is, if you have a card to any library anywhere in Gauteng, you have access to the Gauteng Library's Overdrive site. I don't see why it wouldn't work that way for the other provinces as well.


However, your card does need to have been issued fairly recently (probably within the last three years or so). I know this because when I was first trying to access Overdrive, before I got my own card, I tried my mom's card--which was issued yonks ago--and it didn't work. Then I got my own card, and about a month later, it was active on the Gauteng library site. My new card looks very different from that old one of my mom's I was trying, and the length of the number is different, too.

So it's probably just that you need to have a library card that was issued after the various provinces started using Overdrive.

What about you? Have you been able to borrow e-books or audiobooks from your local Overdrive library? Please comment below if you have; maybe your experiences will help others, too.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Featuring South African Indie Authors

For the past couple of months, I've been making a point of showcasing one South African self-published author in my monthly newsletter. Last month, for example, I featured hybrid author, Joanne Macgregor.

It gives me a good feeling, knowing that I'm doing my small part to help out the wonderful people who've helped me so much on my author journey. And I like to think my readers appreciate it, too.

This month's featured author is a secret, but if you're interested in reading more South Africans, and supporting the self-publishing scene in general, won't you consider signing up? You can click the link below to do so, and I'll even send you a free book to say thank you:
I hope to grace your inbox soon!

By the way, if you have a favourite indie author, who is currently living in South Africa, please feel free to comment below with a link to their website. Let's keep this post relevent for a long time, by showcasing our favourites.

Friday, 3 August 2018

Book Review: The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan


Three stars, four stars, three stars, four stars. Eenie Meenie Minie Moe.

I loved the story. The plot. I watched the TV series a few years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was keen to find out if I'd enjoy the book just as much.

Well, I did. Pretty much. The problem is that the writing, while completely devoid of any technical issues that I could pick up, isn't very easy-reading. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone just discovering the joy of reading, or learning English as a second language.

Run-on sentences and fragments abound. Sentences are two or three words long. And then all of a sudden you read a monster (excuse the pun) that spans a screen and a half of your e-reader, replete with a long-winded parenthetical note which, by the time you get to the end of it, you've forgotten what came before it.

Irritating, isn't it?

So you see why I'm struggling so much to decide.

Look, del Toro is a master storyteller, there's no doubt about it. He's written a gripping book, which was turned into an amazing TV series.

I've read a few reviews that complain that there are too many characters here. I must admit, I felt that too, in the first third or so of the book. But here's a spoiler for you, which shouldn't really be a spoiler, in a book like this: most of them are dead by the end of the first half. And I think most of those characters are necessary early on, so you can really appreciate the scope of the tragedy that's unfolding before your eyes.

If, like me, you love vampires but hate zombies, well then the monsters in this book are somewhat of a hybrid between the two. I'm still not a fan of the whole zombie genre, but at least these guys have some intelligence. Some discernible motivation.

Check it out, if you're a man of more classical, long-winded writing.

My Review: 4 / 5 Stars

About the Book

A plane lands at JFK and mysteriously ‘goes dark’, stopping in the middle of the runway for no apparent reason, all lights off, all doors sealed. The pilots cannot be raised.

When the hatch above the wing finally clicks open, it soon becomes clear that everyone on board is dead – although there is no sign of any trauma or struggle. Ephraim Goodweather and his team from the Center for Disease Control must work quickly to establish the cause of this strange occurrence before panic spreads.

The first thing they discover is that four of the victims are actually still alive. But that’s the only good news. And when all two hundred corpses disappear from various morgues around the city on the same night, things very rapidly get worse. Soon Eph and a small band of helpers will find themselves battling to protect not only their own loved ones, but the whole city, against an ancient threat to humanity.

Click here to find out where you can get the e-book.

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Book Marketing With Images

I've decided it's high time I started promoting some of my other books on social media again. I've been promoting Memoirs of a Guardian Angel every day since April, and I think whoever was going to see it has seen it by now (whether they've bought it is, of course, a different matter).

But the way I used to promote them, especially on Twitter, was boring. So I've taken some inspiration from the wonderful Tallulah van der Made (née Habib), who did the cover for Memoirs. She also gave me a collection of beautiful images, with quotes from the book, to use when promoting it.

With that in mind, I've started creating "Quote Images" for my other books, which you should start seeing me using over the coming weeks. They're not nearly as spectacular as Tallulah's, but I don't think they're half-bad.

I have four so far. What do you think? (Click on an image to visit the book's page on my website)





By the way, feel free to share these images on your favourite social media channels!


Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Do you shop at Exclusive Books or Loot?

Here's some amazing news for you: the paperback of my Urban Fantasy novella, Memoirs of a Guardian Angel, is now available in South Africa, from Exclusive Books and Loot.co.za.

Click on the images to buy it:




Memoirs of a Guardian Angel has received multiple four- and five-star reviews on social reading site, Goodreads, so don't miss out.

In case you missed it, here's a quick blurb:


Do you believe in Guardian Angels?

Have you thanked your Guardian Angel today?

I never did... now I wish I had.

Now I understand the hard work and difficult situations they face every day. That car that veered off course, the knife that slipped or even the close call when you nearly tumbled from a tree.

It wasn't good luck that saved you, it was me.

My name is Adam and I'm a guardian angel.

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Book Review: Transient by Zachry Wheeler


This book was awesome! It reminded me so much of True Blood that it made me half want to watch that series all over again.

It concerns vampires in the distant future, except that term has fallen out of favour of late, and most people use "eternals" instead. But these are real vampires, not the sparkly, hunky, romantic vampires we've been so exposed to since the release of Twilight.

The story takes a while to get into. It opens pretty much in the middle of the action, and backstory is given in bits and pieces throughout, so it keeps you interested and curious; I only figured out what was really going on about 25% in.

Editing-wise, it's near-perfect. There are a few WTF moments which disrupted my immersion, but those are few and far between, and shouldn't be nearly bad enough to detract from your enjoyment.

There really isn't much more to say about it without regurgitating the plot, so I'll just reiterate what a fantastic story it is. If you like real, blood-sucking vampires, you should love this book.

My Review: 4 / 5 stars

About the Book

The year is 2578 and immortals control the world. Brutal wars and endless genocide have reduced mankind to a handful of mountain tribes. In order to survive, humans infiltrate the eternal society as transient spies, hoping to uncover a means to regain control of the planet. 

Jonas is a young transient deep undercover in downtown Seattle. He lives underground, works at night, and drinks his daily blood rations, just like any normal eternal. He is a model spy, but also an apostate among extremists, torn between ideologies (as well as lovers) from either side. 

Allegiances are strained to the breaking point when Jonas bears witness to a violent death that rocks the eternal civilization to its core.

Click here to find out where you can buy the e-book.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Results of my BargainBooksy promo

I got a BargainBooksy last week for Memoirs of a Guardian Angel, which ran on Monday. The book was discounted to $0.99 for the duration. Because of technical issues, the BargainBooksy e-mail only went out on Tuesday, so I set the price back to $1.99 on Wednesday.

I thought you might be interested in how it did.


The promo cost me ZAR531.04 ($40), based on the exchange rate at the time of this writing. Here's what I made in Book Sales this week, in ZAR:

Heaven and Earth

  • Amazon (USD) - R4.65

Memoirs of a Guardian Angel

  • Amazon (AUD) - R3.45
  • Amazon (EUR) - R8.68
  • Amazon (GBP) - R5.09
  • Amazon (USD) - R144.09
  • Barnes & Noble - R15.67
  • Google Play - R12.62
  • iBooks - R7.84


Total Sales: R202.09

I included Heaven and Earth in this report, because it may have been buy-throughs from people who bought Memoirs.

One of the things I noticed is that I made far fewer sales on each of the non-Amazon platforms, but made more money per sale--twice as much, in some cases. Amazon's royalty rate is pathetically low.

I knew I probably wasn't going to make my money back on this one promo, because it's a long tail. As more people finish the book they bought, and recommend it to their friends, or buy-through to my other titles, that'll hopefully come with time. Still, I had it in my head that I would make about 75% of my money back. As it stands, I made just under 40% back in sales.

I did, however, get a five-star review of Memoirs on Goodreads, and you can't put a price on that! ;-)