Joanne Phillips

A Writers Journey


A Life Unpredicted

A Life Unpredicted is FREE This Weekend

To celebrate the brand new gorgeous cover for A Life Unpredicted and other stories, I’ve set the price to free for this weekend only.


This collection of 10 short stories has over 20 4&5 star reviews on Amazon and is described as: “An emotionally satisfying collection of short stories, dealing with love and loss and some darker themes” by bestselling author Celina Grace. I’d love to use this free promotion to reach out to new readers so please download and share as widely as possible. Short stories don’t generally do as well as novels in free promos, but let’s see if we can get a couple of hundred downloads – that would be awesome!

Click here to download your copy for free right now 🙂 x

A New Look For A Life Unpredicted

I released my first collection of short stories back in 2012, wanting to offer something else for readers while working on the follow up to Can’t Live Without. The collection has been well received by readers, gaining some great reviews on both sides of the Atlantic, but recently, when I looked at the six titles I now have available on Amazon, I realised that the cover of A Life Unpredicted didn’t ‘fit’ with my contemporary look. It was a little bleak, and didn’t really reflect the mood of the stories contained within.

I made a quick call to my ace cover designer and a few days later a brand new cover arrived …

GIRL_SITTING_V2I love it! Eagle-eyed readers who have been on this journey with me for a long time may recognise this image from a former incarnation of Can’t Live Without – I always loved the picture and I’m so glad I’ve been able to use it for one of my books.

If you haven’t read it yet, A Life Unpredicted and other stories is available on Amazon for only 77p/99c. Here is the blurb:

Love, loss, joy, regret and the perils of parenting – all these themes and more are explored, touchingly and bravely, in this collection of ten short stories, including:

A Life Unpredicted – The key to your future might be hidden in the past … Shortlisted for the Grace Dieu Short Story competition.

Parenting Class – “‘You need help,’ Gina had said, ‘and I know just the place.’ Gina was my social worker, and the place was Parenting Class, Tuesday afternoons, free to those desperate enough to need it.”

One To Keep – A story for everyone who’s ever made – or broken – a new year’s resolution.

“This new volume contains all the hallmarks of her novels: sensitive observation, eloquent phraseology, a kind heart, a quick intelligence and a generous nature.” Debbie Young, author

“Ms Phillips’ writing is spare and direct, with scarcely a word wasted. This is just how short pieces should be written.” John Dolan

My cover designer and I are also in the process of redesigning the cover for my Flora Lively series, ready for the release of the audio book of Murder at the Maples. Watch out for news of that very soon!


Short Story Collection Permanently Free!

Following the release of The Family Trap two weeks ago, I’ve decided to make my collection of short stories permanently free across all formats. Below you’ll find links to download A Life Unpredicted for your Kobo, Nook, Kindle or other ebook reader. There’s also a link to download the pdf.

Now, I’d love ALU to show up as free on Amazon too, but the only way to do this is for the big ‘A’ to decide to price-match the other ebook sellers. (There’s a “tell us about a lower price” link on the Amazon page should anyone want to give me a helping hand 🙂 ) But in the meantime, you can download the full mobi file for your Kindle at the Smashwords link below.

PDF: A Life Unpredicted and other stories
Barnes & Noble (nook)
Smashwords (all formats including Kindle)
Kindle UK; Kindle US (not currently free, but hopefully they’ll catch on soon)
Check out the Reviews, which are pretty good.

I love writing short stories, and I’ll be adding more to the blog soon. I’m also working on making Can’t Live Without available across the other ebook platforms, so I’ll keep you posted on that.

Coming tomorrow – The results of The Indie Cover Hall of Fame competition. Find out the winners from the public vote, and which covers our professional cover designers picked out as their favourites.

Free Promotions and the Short Story Collection

Last week I ran a free promotion on Kindle for my short story collection A Life Unpredicted. I wasn’t expecting anywhere near as many downloads as I had for my debut novel, Can’t Live Without, back in July (see link at the end for info on this promo). In fact, I didn’t know what to expect, and the results were quite surprising – both in good and bad ways. Here is a run down of what I did and what happened:

The book went free in the UK at 9.00 am, and a bit later on the US site. I spent all day listing the book on the relevant sites and tweeting etc. But by the end of the first day the results were very discouraging – only 181 downloads in the UK, 32 in the US, and the book was ranked at #163 overall. It did reach #3 in both its categories, which was nice. But, as I was by now starting to realise, folks don’t love short stories that much!

More listing and tweeting etc, and today one of the big sites, Free Digital Reads, listed the book. There were some which refused to take the book as they only list novels, but generally today the work I put in yesterday began to pay off and downloads increased – 900 UK, 500 US, and #21 overall by the time I went to bed.

On the last day of the promotion I did very little, and the book peaked in position at #20 overall and #1 in both its categories. Downloads continued all day, and by the time the book went back to paid-for (on Saturday morning) I’d had a grand total of 2093 downloads in the UK, 990 US, and 4 over the rest of the world 🙂 So, 3,087 in total.

This is less than a third of downloads achieved for Can’t Live Without, so let’s take a look at why this might be.

  1. The biggy – it’s a short story collection and not a novel.
  2. This promotion was midweek, whereas CLW was over the weekend.
  3. I didn’t get on the big list with Digital Book Today, which I think accounted for most of my US downloads last time.

Other interesting differences are what happened after the promo ended. Can’t Live Without went back to paid-for and within hours had shot up the charts, staying in the top 100 for over 3 weeks, gaining me literally thousands of sales. A Life Unpredicted, since the promo ended, has sold … 5. Not quite the same effect 😉

But the really interesting thing has been the effect on sales of Can’t Live Without. You’ll remember that ALU has three free chapters at the end, with a direct link to buy the book. Sales of CLW have increased over the last few days, both here and in the US. Not by much, but a noticeable turnaround on the typical downward trend or steady trend of trickle-sales. I haven’t done any other promotion of CLW this week, so the effect must be because of increased interest on the back of the short story collection.

Overall, I feel it was a great success. It cost me nothing (remember, the general feeling is that free downloads are not lost sales, as many of the readers would not have downloaded the book had it not been free), and I’ve now reached over 3,000 new readers, exposed them to my writing and given them a taster of Can’t Live Without. This can only be a good thing.

Thanks to everyone who supported my free promotion and downloaded a book, tweeted, Facebook shared or anything else. You are fab!

Free Promo Results for Can’t Live Without

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