Snag free stories + stay up to date

G B Ralph, Author
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FAQ

I’ve answered some frequently asked questions below – scroll down or select a category to get started:

I hope these answer your questions? If not, please feel free to drop me a message!

What’s the best way to keep up to date?

My mailing list, 100%. People who join my mailing list will always be the first to know about new releases, discounts, free short stories, etc. This is the most reliable way to get the information out, better than social media platforms or anything else.

Facebook, Twitter, and the rest are great – you can follow me there too, of course – but social media platforms tend to hold back the bulk of posts from followers, or flood your timeline – either way, you miss the key messages.

Currently, I’m only sending out emails to my mailing list twice monthly. I’m too busy writing stories to fill up your inbox! When you join, you’ll get a couple of exclusive short stories as thanks, followed up by one more ‘onboarding’ email with information about me and my writing. After that, you’ll only receive emails as and when I send them out. You can join my mailing list here.

How do I join your mailing list (AKA newsletter)?

Head to my mailing list page and click the link. You’ll see a form asking for your first name (so I know what to call you!) and your email address. Once submitted, exclusive content will be winging its way to you right away, and you’re all set for future updates too. Easy!

I joined your mailing list but haven’t received any emails, what’s the deal?

You should get an email immediately after signing up with your exclusive short stories. If you don’t see it, or if you haven’t seen any emails in a while:

  • Have you confirmed your email address?
    • When you first enter your email address to join my mailing list, you’ll get an automated email asking to confirm that you want to receive emails from me. Clicking on the link in that email confirms that you are indeed interested, and prompts my system to send out your short stories.
    • This process is called ‘double opt-in’ and is considered good practice. It’s a way to minimise spam, avoid dead email addresses bloating my mailing list, and ensure people aren’t being signed up to things without their permission.
  • The emails may have been automatically filed somewhere other than your primary inbox (e.g. Gmail often files emails in the Updates or Promotions inbox tabs). To avoid this in future, try dragging my email into your primary inbox – this will hopefully teach your email provider for future emails!
  • Check your Junk/Spam folder. Sometimes email providers can get a bit overzealous with their spam filters. If my emails have been thrown in there:
    1. Tell your email provider that emails from me are ‘Not Junk/Spam’ (there should be a button you can click somewhere above/around the email). The email should now appear in your inbox.
    2. Next, add me to your Contact list / Address book / Whitelist / whatever your email provider calls it (so their algorithms know you want to receive emails from me in future).
  • Still can’t find an email from me? Or you’ve never received one? You might have typed your email address incorrectly when joining: head back to the mailing list sign up page and give it another go.
  • Still no luck? Drop me a message with your name and email address. I’ll investigate / add you to the mailing list manually, no worries.

How can I get in contact with you?

If I haven’t answered your question here, or you just want to say hi, please feel free to drop me a message via my contact form or social media.

I’ve read everything! When’s your next book coming out?

I’m glad you’re excited for the next release! If it’s not already listed on the books page of my website, the best and easiest way to keep up to date is to join my mailing list. As that’s the most reliable channel, it’s my go-to when letting people know what’s what.

You can also check the news on my website and my social media for updates too.

I’ve just stumbled across you – where should I start with your books?

Firstly, hi! Haere mai, welcome. That’s an easy question to answer at this stage: Duck and Dive is a great place to start, the first book in my series of gay romcom novellas. They’re light, fun, easy reads that maintain a brisk pace from start to finish. And at 22,000 words (112 print pages), Duck and Dive will only take you a couple of hours to knock it out. I hope you’ll give it a go!

Duck and Dive works as a standalone story, so you can stop there if you like. Or, if you’re keen for more, you can pick up the subsequent books in the Rise and Shine series: Slip and Slide and Over and Out. These get steadily longer than the first book, following the characters to see what happens next!

I’ve only got a few minutes – what else have you got?

I’ve got a selection of short stories / flash fiction available to read for free on the Short fiction page. They’re quick, bite-sized reads, designed to enjoy while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, or for the bus to arrive.

Then, if you’re ready for something a little longer, check out Duck and Dive, a short novella you’ll get through in only a couple of hours.

Where can I buy your books?

You can pick up my ebooks on Amazon, Kobo and Apple. Or if you prefer print, you can grab my paperbacks from Amazon, Book Depository (for free worldwide delivery), Waterstones, Blackwell’s, Alibris, Powell’s, BAM! (Books-A-Million), Wob (World of Books), Fishpond (NZ) and Wheelers (NZ).

Find the book you’re after by heading to the Books page on my website, decide what format you want (ebook or paperback), then click through to the relevant website.

My country doesn’t have its own Amazon website – where should I go?

Amazon has dedicated marketplaces for digital content and for physical items in some countries, but not others. If your country isn’t one with its own Amazon website:

  • Amazon may channel you to a marketplace that shares your language, currency, and/or area of the globe (e.g. New Zealanders will often be directed to the Australian website to make purchases).
  • Or, Amazon may default to sending you to the US website.

My books are the same inside no matter where you buy them from. And the ebooks are the equivalent price across the various marketplaces (with some rounding so the numbers don’t look so random).

I have a Nook / other ereader – can I buy your books on that?

At this stage I’ve only made my ebooks available on Amazon, Kobo and Apple. There’s a fair bit of admin required to release them on each platform. But I’m working on it, promise!

I started with Amazon as they are the dominant players in the ebook space (I’ve seen estimates ranging from 67–83% of the market), so I have prioritised making my books available there, and I’m distributing more widely as I find the time. Please let me know if you’d be keen to see my books on another platform and I’ll see what I can do!

Can I buy a paperback / hardback / physical copy?

Yes! Find the book you’re after by heading to the Books page on my website, then click through to the relevant website. I’m hoping to make the paperbacks available through more retailers, and will update the links on my website when they’re available. Jump on my mailing list to be kept up to date with any changes like this!

How do I read your ebooks?

There’s a few options to read, depending on your preference:

  • On your ereader device:
    • Kindle.
    • Kobo.
  • On your phone or tablet:
    • Apple iPhone/iPad:
      • Get in the Apple Books app.
      • Download the free Kindle app and log in with your Amazon account.
      • Download the free Kobo Books app and log in with your Kobo account.
    • Android:
      • Download the free Kindle app and log in with your Amazon account.
      • Download the free Kobo Books app and log in with your Kobo account.
  • In the browser on your computer, once you’ve bought a book:
    • Amazon: go to the Amazon page where you bought the book > click ‘Read Now’.
    • Kobo: go to the Kobo website > My Account > My Books > click ‘Read Now’.

Still having trouble? Drop me a message and I’ll try my best to help.

Can I read your stuff for free?

I do indeed have some stuff you can read for free:

  • I’ve got some short stories you can get into, and exclusive stories available to mailing list subscribers – join for free!
  • The first chapter preview of my books is available, free to read. Find the link on each book’s page.
  • Kobo Plus subscribers get access to my books for no additional cost. Kobo Plus is like Netflix for books, with hundreds of thousands of books you can read for a monthly subscription fee. So, it’s not free, but you get to read the books without paying for individual titles.
  • Or, if you’re keen for discounted books, join my mailing list to be notified when my books next go on sale.

How’d you come up with the reading time estimates?

For each story I’ve taken the total word count and divided it by a reading speed of 250 words per minute, which Google reckons is about right for a typical leisure reading speed. I’ve then gone and slapped a wide time range on the estimates. This assumes there’s some folk who are focused, speedy readers who’ll power through, but also others who’ll be bombarded by distractions like pinging phones, demanding pets, hungry children, or bosses who don’t think it’s acceptable to be reading books on company time (how rude).

I hope the reading time estimates give you an idea what you’re getting yourself into, seeing as you can’t so easily pick it up off the bookstore’s shelf and flick through the pages to gauge for yourself.

What are your favourite books? Do you have any recommendations?

I love great stories. I love to talk about them, and I love to hear about them from others. I could go on all day about books, but I promise I won’t. Instead, I’ll direct you to the News on my website (specifically anything filed in the Reading category) to see what books I’ve talked about recently. I also maintain an occasionally updated list of my favourite books – every single one a knockout.

I keep track of most of my reading on my Goodreads and The StoryGraph profiles, so you can follow me there or just go and click around. Head over to see books I’ve read and what I thought of them (based on a rating and/or review), as well as the books I’m reading right now, books I want to read, and of course, books I’ve written.

In saying all that, I couldn’t possibly recommend a specific book – it’s so personal! A book I love, you might hate, and vice versa. What I can recommend is perusing at your leisure, seeing what books catch your eye, virtually picking them off the shelf and reading the back. See what grabs you!

Why are you always banging on about rating or reviewing books? What’s the point?

  • Boost in charts: Each time someone rates or reviews my books, they get a little boost in the charts (especially on Amazon!). This boost makes the books more visible, and means the algorithm is more likely to recommend my book to other potential readers.
  • Adds credibility: A book with a single rating doesn’t give a potential buyer much confidence, especially if that’s a 5-star rating from the author’s boyfriend or mother dearest. So, the more ratings and reviews, the more legitimate it is in the eyes of potential buyers.
  • Gives future readers confidence: Many potential readers will check the star rating of a book (or any product) before purchasing. If they see something averages a high number of stars, they can have some confidence they’re about to spend their money (and time!) on something worthwhile.
  • Keep track of your reading: It’s a good way to record what books you’ve read, and what you thought of them. I have a terrible memory, so I find Goodreads and The StoryGraph are great for jogging my memory, especially when making recommendations to other readers.

What’s the difference between a rating and a review?

Ratings are all about the stars! On a scale of 1–5 stars, how would you rate a particular book? A book’s average rating is based on how each reader has rated (or graded) a book. This is how I tend to think of it when rating books:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Loved it
⭐⭐⭐⭐ Liked it
⭐⭐⭐ It was OK
⭐⭐ Not so good
⭐ Hated it (probably didn’t finish it)

Reviews are all about the text. They’re a way for someone to give feedback, express their opinion, with specific comments about aspects they liked or disliked. Potential readers may flick through reviews to help them decide if a book’s for them or not. Note: reviews may also have space for you to add a star rating as well.

How do I rate and/or review a book?

Retailer website (Amazon, Kobo, Apple, etc):

  1. Go to wherever you bought my book(s) – you can find the books’ buy links on my website
  2. Scroll down to the ‘Customer reviews’ section and click on ‘Write a customer review’
  3. Give it an overall rating of 1–5 stars
  4. Then, if you’re feeling extra: add a headline and a written review – even a one-liner does the trick ✅ Thank you!

Note: Amazon requires customers to have spent a minimum of £40 (UK) or $50 (US/CA/AU) on their website to leave reviews. I understand this is to prevent spammers creating countless free accounts in order to flood the website with fake reviews. So, if you’re not a regular Amazon customer, you may not be eligible to leave a rating/review. You can always leave a rating/review on Goodreads or TheStoryGraph though…

Goodreads:

  1. Go to the book(s) you’ve read on my Goodreads profile
  2. ‘Rate this book’ by clicking on 1–5 stars
  3. Then, if you like you can ‘Write a review’ too. Chuck in the same thing you wrote on the retailer’s website. Done ✅ Thank you!

The StoryGraph:

  1. Go to the book(s) you’ve read on The StoryGraph
  2. Once you’ve marked a book as ‘Read’, you can then click ‘Add Review’
  3. Rate the book by clicking on 1–5 stars
  4. Then, if you like you can select the book’s moods, pace, answer questions, or write a review. Chuck in the same thing you wrote on the retailer’s website. Done ✅ Thank you!

Hah! I found a typo (or something else wrong) in your book!

Firstly, that’s not a question. Secondly, damn… Thirdly, where is it?! If you could please let me know I’d be very grateful, then I can hunt it down and sort it out.

Oh no. I do try my best to avoid dead links – promise! – but they can get away from me. Again, please let me know and I’ll sort it out. Thank you!

I can’t find something on your website

I maintain a page of key links you could try? It’s like a directory that I mostly use when linking from social media (as opposed to using Linktree or equivalent), but it might serve for your purposes today.

Still can’t find what you’re looking for? Drop me a message!

If I haven’t answered your question here, or you just want to say hi, please feel free to drop me a message via my contact form or social media.

Updated: June 2022

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