Saturday, 1 September 2012

Your chance to win a freebie paperback!

Go on, you know you want to ...

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Pike's Quest by K.J. Bennett

Pike's Quest

by K.J. Bennett

Giveaway ends September 30, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Learning from one's mistakes

OK, I haven't posted here for a while.

Pike is undergoing a makeover at the moment. My original cover was the subject of some derision, and when I held a printed copy in my hand I had to agree that it could be better. I changed it to the now familiar "Pike nose-to nose with Horse" version and went ahead and published the paperback version.

Sales have been slow. VERY slow.

When my own sister read the book she said words to the effect of:

 "I delayed reading it but when I did I really enjoyed it - that'll teach me to judge a book by its cover!"

- it was time to take action. So I've changed it again. The print version is temporarily unavailable while the changes are made (should be back in a few days) and the Kindle/Smashwords versions are happily downloadable (although the Amazon site hasn't updated at the time of writing this). 

And now, the new cover reveal is here:

I shall not be changing it again any time soon! 

Click HERE to check out purchase links.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Travelling the world, one page at a time.

Picture via @clraven Twitter feed

Only two weeks ago, Pike made his way to Rome to be examined by the wonderful Sara Viti. Today he is in Wales in the hands (all four of 'em) of fabulous writing duo C L Raven.

He certainly gets around a bit.

Check out C L Raven's latest release Disenchanted on Amazon or Smashwords - suitable for those aged 18+.

Check out Pike's Quest purchase links HERE

Monday, 9 July 2012

Well this is an honour

9 July 2012

Going from strength to strength, Pike's Quest has been selected as Indie Book of the Day.

How much better can it get? Well, this is how much better - I get a nifty badge and a certificate, as well as a feature on the IBD website -

Don't forget, Pike's Quest is now available as a paperback as well as in e-book format. Purchasing links can be found HERE.

My thanks to IBD for selecting my book and making such nice comments about it on their website.

Sunday, 1 July 2012


Let me tell you about Sara Viti.

First of all, I don't know her, but we made contact via Goodreads. For those who don't know, Goodreads is a reading and writing community with more than  nine-million members world wide. Any budding authors really ought to join - most of the early reviews for Pike's Quest emanated from the Goodreads community. 

Up until now my reviewers have, in the main, been on the upper side of thirty-years old (in some cases I am generously underestimating, here!). Nothing wrong there ... I have broad appeal and I am on the other side of fifty, myself. However, when I was hawking Pike around literary agencies and publishers, they were advising me that the book was clearly in the Young Adult arena, so where were my younger readers? Well, that's where Sara came in.

Sara Viti is a book reviewer and blogger. I am a writer ... you can see where this is headed.

Pike is just coming out in paperback, having spent the last eight months in e-book format. I have a few publicity things up my sleeve, but I wanted someone in the supposed age group of the book's main audience to have look and give me an honest opinion. I e-mailed Sara and asked her if she would like to review Pike Quest. 

"I can send you a free e-book copy," I offered, realising that this was a cheap option.

"I'd prefer it on paper," she replied, increasing my expenditure.

I cringed, but after seeing her website I really wanted Sara to review Pike.

I had one copy. It was my proof version with an awful cover and pencil marks all over the pages where I had hurriedly scrawlled some corrections. Actually, I hadn't even finished correcting it, but I had already ordered a new proof with a new cover. Reluctantly, and with a warning of "It's got pencil marks all  over the place and the cover is rubbish" I wandered off to the post office and spent a considerable sum in postage.

I need to point out at this juncture that I live in England. Sara lives in Italy - Rome - and my God, postage is expensive. AND, following a recent Achilles tendon reconstruction, I had to almost hop to the post office, as I am still using crutches. Suffer for my art, me?

Anyway, getting to the point at last, it was worth the effort. Sara is, perhaps, the most perceptive reviewer to have read Pike's Quest. This is highly apparent when you read what she thought of the book. She picked up on some (good) things that no other reviewer so far has. For instance:, a recent reviewer on Amazon gave me my first poor review. I'm not offended: most of what the reviewer said was fair comment. Pike isn't everyone's cup of tea and she is entitled to have an opinion (and she said my writing was good). However, that reviewer complained about a lack of character development. I didn't understand what was meant by that: my characters drive the story and they develop quite nicely, but not in an 'in your face, I'm going to write reams of innermost thoughts and bore you with my pain: woe is me!' sort of way. Sara picked up on this in her review:

"I noticed, during the reading, that for the first time there was not a depth descriptions of the characters, of their passions or feelings toward other people, but I felt like it was not necessary. In other books there are often entire chapters dedicated to a particular character or to the protagonist; in Pike's Quest this is not present: the author succeeded in revealing the characters' features, only by describing their behaviours during certain situations, the way they reacted in front of difficulties. As for Pike, I can't remember a chapter in which he was widely described, even if he was the protagonist. By the way, I feel like I know him.”

Later in the review, Sara also got to the nub of what the book is really about: power, greed and corruption. She quotes from the book to reinforce her realisation. 

So, not only does Sara live in Italy, she is Italian and English is a second language (maybe a third, but certainly not her first). She is one highly talented reviewer who, in addition to her book reading, blogging and reviewing, holds down two jobs. I may be wrong, but I think she may also still be studying.

After reading Pike, Sara invited me to do a guest post on her blog. She also persuaded me to part with yet more money by way of offering a FREE PAPERBACK copy of Pike's Quest for a give-away on her site.

The review, guest post and give-away can be found here -

To my fellow writers who may be working in the YA arena, I urge you to consider Sara Viti as a top rate reviewer. Her enthusiasm for reading, the English language and hard work is humbling.

Now I feel like an under achiever!


Friday, 29 June 2012

It's here - the real book!

It’s time to blow my own trumpet and inform you all that my wonderful, fantabulous and understatedly brilliant book Pike’s Quest is now available in paperback as well as in Kindle format.

Am I enthusiastic? Yes. Should you buy a copy? Of course you should: don’t hang around.

Oh, you may have to hang around. Currently it’s available via the CreateSpace e-store  - (good if you're in the USA), but by 6 July it will be available from Amazon UK/US/IT/ES/FR/DE/IT.

Now, view the outrageously good - and again, understated – promo video:

Please feel free to spread the news, share the video, embed the video on your own sites, blogs, Facebook pages, etc, and you may consider buying a copy of the book (£6.99 UK, $8.99 US, €7.99) when it’s available through your friendly neighbourhood Amazon outlet!

Friday, 22 June 2012

The story so far ...

The new proof copy arrived on Tuesday, much to my delight. Pretty impressive stuff, I have to say. The print quality is great and it feels really good to hold a paper copy of Pike's Quest in my hands and to look at the cover art over which I have lost sleep.

Ardent followers of Pike may have noticed that the cover has recently gone through a series of iterations - from the orange-coloured silhouette, through to the clean-cut Pike in yellow tunic, going head-to head with a brown horse. Then Pike's hair grew, and Horse remained brown.

I started to read the proof and realised that it was not the fully corrected version. Dammit!

When I formatted the paper copy it turns out I did so with the last but one script of the Kindle versions, which contains around about 6 errors/typos. I can't remember what they are. I only knew of this when in the first chapter, Moorlock the Warlock says, "Look at your mouth ..." The proof copy still contained this - "Look at your youth ...", which is slightly confusing, to say the least.

I have found two more of the errors, and the hunt is on for the final ones. I have to say, it's easier to read the book and check for them than it is to reformat the corrected Kindle copy.

Finally, the cover art has had another make-over. In the book, Horse is a piebald stallion. My cover image showed him to be plain brown, and probably not big enough (in fact, the promo video that I have in the back ground, waiting for the paperback release, still will show a brown horse so it doesn't distract from the overlaying text [EDIT: or maybe I'll change it!]). Also, because of the bright yellow tunic on the right, from a  distance you can't see that there actually is a horse in the picture: it was tonally imbalanced. I have also had to lighten the image for the print version, as for some reason, the CreateSpace cover print comes out several shades darker than what I see on my screen and what I see when I print it on high quality photo paper at home.

So now I can reveal this - positively the last version of the cover (for the time being)!

Pike, with long hair, a piebald stallion and a sparrow.
Don't make me re-do it again.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Coming soon ...

... (but exactly when is yet to be finalised) - "Pike's Quest (the not quite a movie) video"

I have spent some considerable time putting together a promotional video for the launch of the paperback edition. Thanks to some useful advice from friends at Verulam Writers' Circle I think I have got it as good as it's going to get. However, I am awaiting the 'final' proof copy of Pike (should be with me by 22 - 23rd June, and then I can approve the print and away we go.

An update will follow as to when the paper version is released, and then the video will be premiered!!! 

In the meantime, here are some screen shots to garner your interest -

Home, sweet home

No one-eyed winglekrats were
injured during the making of
this "not quite a movie" ...

... nor were any Pikes.

Check back here for updates.

All images and content Copyright © K J Bennett 2012
You may reproduce these images only if a full link to
this blog entry and a picture credit is 
assigned to K J Bennett.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Pike will be a REAL book!

Great news, in just a few weeks, Pike's Quest will be available as a paperback book from Amazon.

I've just reviewed the proof version and it's pretty damned good. However, my cover art was sadly lacking in clarity and I need to change it. Here is the great reveal of the new cover image -

Pike's Quest cover image

Pike's Quest - new cover

I've just uploaded the new Kindle cover, and will be making my amendments to the print file tonight and tomorrow. Then, in maybe five weeks or so .... A BOOK!

Now I need to chase around the web and replace old cover images with the new.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Cover art - Pike's ReQuest

Check out the proposed cover art for the sequel to Pike's Quest -

With any luck, it should be in publication by the winter.

I designed the cover last week to encourage me to write the rest of the book while I'm incapacitated. I've just had an operation to reshape and reconstruct my left Achilles tendon in order rectify a chronic rupture, (misdiagnosed by the NHS for 12 years), and shall be sitting around on my backside for quite some time over the next few weeks. I am also going to be working on the re-write of Rathbone Kydd, a novel I wrote several years ago and which I think has great potential. It is a a thriller, with quantum stuff, and a more 'adult read' (as in, not a family friendly one such as Pike), containing drugs, sexual references and some violence; also, it has lots of comedy and action. If it were to be classified by the film censors, they'd probably rate it as a 15 certificate.

Catch a sneak-peak of the Rathbone Kydd cover art HERE.
"If you like your fantasy funny, or fancy a satisfying pick-me-up of a read, snap up a copy of Pike's Quest" 5* review.  My thanks to ms Sandra Norval for this glowing review

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Pike steps off the page

Oddly, some book characters just take on a life of their own. Take Pike, for example: one minute he's in the age of the New Dawn, having a helluva time battling the forces of evil, trying to win the heart of a fair maiden, and save the world, the next he's ripped out of his comfort zone, dragged all the way back to the 21st century, and interviewed on a friendly website!

I'll post the link on 8 March, once it's on the site, but in the meantime, why not familiarise yourself with Aside From Writing?

Saturday, 25 February 2012

K J Bennett's Blog: The final hours

K J Bennett's Blog: The final hours: This week I placed Pike's Quest on the FREE list at Amazon (UK, US, DE, FR, ES, IT) for a five day period: it is now inside it's last 24 h...

Monday, 20 February 2012

Pike's Quest for free!!!

It’s here: the Pike’s Quest give-away!

Starting on 21 February 2012 - 08:00 hrs GMT, (00.01 PST), Pike’s Quest will be available for free download for Kindle from Amazon on these links - 

UK - USA - ES - DE - FR - IT

The times are approximate, as I am at the mercy of the Amazon servers

Pike’s Quest has received several 5-star reviews on Amazon UK and US and on Goodreads: this is your chance to get it for free. Why am I doing this? To get readers: I am writing the sequel and would love to have more readers for the first book before I release it. I have a zero advertising budget, so this may be the best way to find them.

Spread the word. Tell your friends, tell your enemies. Grab it now (well, when it starts, at least).

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Fantasy with a sharp wit! Review by L K Jay

Many thanks to fellow writer L K Jay for a fabulous, 5 Star review of Pike's Quest, which can be read here, or here

Isn't it about time YOU read it, too?

Saturday, 4 February 2012

K J's Shorts for free!

Here it is: FREE for 48 hours -"K J's Shorts - a short selection of short stories" - a Kindle e-book.

On Amazon UK or Amazon US

Also available at the FR, DE and ES Amazon stores.

Enjoy ...

Monday, 30 January 2012

And the praise just keeps on coming!

This time on

"K.J Bennett is a masterful writer ... Pike's Quest will enchant you, amuse you and, with graphic detail, make you grimace. This is all in good fun ..." Well, I can't argue with that, Vera Jane Cook. Thank you very much!

See the full FIVE STAR review here! (Then consider, perhaps, purchasing said e-book. Just a hint).

Sunday, 29 January 2012

The only downside was finishing the book

Pike's popularity doth grow: the latest 5 Star review on Amazon -

"A journey through wonders that keep the reader enthralled from cover to cover, all served up with a humour-rich narrative that made me laugh out loud at times. The only downside was finishing the book."

The second edition of Pike's Quest is now out on Kindle, complete with a sample chapter from the sequel.

Thanks to all those who have read, reviewed, supported and contacted me re Pike's Quest.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

More Pike praise!

Yet another 5 STAR review has appeared on Amazon

Thank you 'Hightower'

QUOTE: I have thoroughly enjoyed Pike's Quest ... I am sure would be relished by all due to the pace of the action and the descriptive but not ponderous illustration of the scenes, the characters and the action. Some lovely twists,a bit of "magick" and a book that really should be read by many.

I believe I have a couple of Five Star ratings in the iBook store. They show-up in the iBook app on my daughter's iPod, but there is no sign of them if I look on the web page or via my iTunes application on my laptop.

All in all, people seem to approve of Pike's Quest - just as well: I'm writing the sequel.

Now, more sales, please!