My Newest Book!

It’s out! Bad Blood of Rosewood, my newest book. I’m doing the happy dance!!

badbloodThe Rosewood series is now complete… or is it? Never say never, right? I may write more about the Thorns and Gloria Larson in the small town of Rosewood. I have quite a cast of characters just hanging out, waiting for me to put them in motion. Ronnie, Doug, Hank, Betty, Josie, Tanya and Debbie. Don’t forget Officer Connors and all the guys at the Old Man Table at the Last Stop Diner. And you know how it is. Small towns have characters around every corner. I’m guessing at some point in the future something mysterious is bound to happen.

Until then, I have written six books for you to read. You can find all of my books on my book table here on this website, or on Amazon.

And if you haven’t read the entire series yet, Please start with Thorns of Rosewood, then read Flames of Rosewood, and finally, Bad Blood of Rosewood

Just a note. I sell exclusively on Amazon for Kindle e-readers and print books. If you own a Nook or other reading device, this may irritate you! I understand. But, over the years since I’ve started selling books, I’ve found by being a Kindle Select author, I sell exponentially more books via Amazon than I do any other channel. To be a Select author on Amazon, I must enter a contract agreeing to only sell through Amazon. Now, of course, I’d like all readers to enjoy my books on their Nooks or Kindles, but earning a living is important, too. (Certainly, my husband thinks so!) So, until I become rich and famous, I’m going to use this tool available to me as an Indie Author so I can get my product out to as many readers all over the world as possible.

Having said that, there are apps you can download for your computers or Androids to read Kindle books. Here is the download, and it’s free. Kindle App

All of the highlighted words, as well as the picture of my book, will take you directly to Amazon to purchase the books, or download the App.

Please share this blog post on your social media, or forward it to your reading friends!

THE MAGIC OF PLACE

Today’s blog is written by C. Hope Clark, an author friend of mine from South Carolina. I’m so proud to know her and call her friend. She’s a smart, strong woman and a fiercely good writer who is both Traditionally and independently published. I asked her to tell my readers about her Edisto book series. This is what she has to say…

Echoes of Edisto

I love a strong sense of place in my stories, as writer or reader, so when given the opportunity for a new mystery series, I leaped onto the chance to place my mysteries on Edisto Beach in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

The hardest of hearts and the saddest of souls can find peace on the sand, waves lapping at their toes. How many stories have been written and movies made about the ocean, and how people have used that ebb and flow, soft breezy environment to get away, seek answers, and let go of life’s burdens if even for a few days?

In my Edisto Mystery Series, I take a broken main character running from an eroded law enforcement career, and help her escape to the beach where she hopes to heal. But of course I do not let that happen, and what was supposed to be a long-term retreat for Callie Jean Morgan turns into death, injury, mental anguish, and a vicious cycle of life-threatening events. Amidst the waves, gulls, swaying palmettos and salty balmy wind, danger abounds. And in the newest in the series, Echoes of Edisto, just when Callie thinks her life is finding a new norm in the island paradise, death rears its head as she loses someone close. And the deeper she delves, the nastier the facts she learns about people she trusted.

Callie is often her own worst enemy, and since she operated in Boston for years, she views the beach from a detective’s eye, so even where island residents don’t see danger, she does. Without that juxtaposition of locations – big city rubbing against beach village – the magic wouldn’t happen nearly as well.

From another angle, she is Southern, reared in a political family in a mid-sized town about forty miles from the coast. Forever clashing with her socialist mother and ladder-climbing father, she graduates from a South Carolina college and takes a job up North, a smack in the face of any deep Southern family. She marries a Bostonian, but then I kill him off, forcing her to almost lose her mind and retreat to her roots. The class of place appears here as well. I make her life a yoyo, with setting often holding the string.

Setting can often assume the role of a character. When a tale can’t be told better anywhere else, setting has morphed into a player. Frankly, that’s my preference in reading material – those stories where even the very ground the character stands on has an impact on the plot.

But the beach . . . especially one as secluded as the real Edisto Beach . . . is romantic, magnetic, and beckoning. Who doesn’t enjoy the salt and surf. Add to it the signature marsh, oak trees dripping with moss, loggerhead turtles and pelican vees gliding two feet above the wave crests at dusk. It’s relaxation clashing with melancholy, peace going up against crime, the joy of endless waves versus the pain of no one to share it with.

Imagine Sherlock Holmes in other than England. Or Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum in other than New Jersey. Or Tony Hillerman’s western mysteries without the Navajo west? There are many mysteries that could happen in any urban setting, or any rural setting, or any country, for that matter. But doesn’t it enrich the storytelling so much more to know that where the players fight, love, live and die impacts how the tale all turns out?

Edisto March 3BIO

  1. Hope Clark inserts strong setting in both her award-winning Carolina Slade Mysteries and Edisto Island Mysteries, all set in rural South Carolina. Her newest release is Echoes of Edisto, book three in the Edisto series, available August 5 wherever books are sold. When she isn’t writing mysteries, she is editor of FundsforWriters.com, an award-winning site to aid professional writers in their careers. She lives on the banks of Lake Murray in central SC when she isn’t walking the coast of Edisto Beach. www.chopeclark.com

Heads Up, Indie Authors!

Are you an Author? An Indie Author? Then this blog post may interest you.

At the lower end of your Amazon Author Page, you’ll see an offer saying, “Set up an Amazon Giveaway.” You click the tab and it takes you to this page: Amazon Giveaway Details. You can, by following the steps provided, create a book giveaway.

The reason for doing this is to create buzz, reward your audience, and grow your followers and customers. From what I can tell, you can give away anything sold on Amazon. A free Kindle. A gourmet food basket. Whatever you want to give your customers. For me, I want to give away my book in hopes of more sales, more reviews, and more readers knowing who I am.

CoverThe process walks you through setting up your giveaway. You get to choose how many books you want to give away (I chose 20). You get to choose how the winners are selected (every 3rd, or every 20th). Then, Amazon takes care of everything. They put the deal up. They monitor the entrants. They pick the winners. They notify the winners. They give the winners the prize. They notify you. And you say, “WOW. That was easy!!” You may also say, “Wow, that was fast!” My book giveaway had 100 entrants within a half an hour. I didn’t even finish writing the email to go out to notify my email list! So, congratulations to anyone who snagged the free book.

When I do this promotion again, there are a couple of things I’ll think through a bit more. First of all, I will drop the price of my book, or even set it to go free. No reason I should have paid for it! That was silly, and I should have done some more reading before I jumped in the pool. But, my mistake can be your lesson. It still only cost my $39, and I’ve spent that much on a mediocre meal.

The next thing I’ll do differently is to put URLs for my website and Facebook pages on the ad. I’m not sure any of these things will really make a difference, but I will try it and let you know if I see any positive results. I do know the giveaways did show up as purchases on my sales charts. It’s not enough to change rankings on my books, though, so that fact may not be significant.

I decided to offer Dark Works free starting tomorrow through KDP Select since the people who won the book were not people I know and came to the giveaway from the far reaches of Amazon. (which is cool.) But I also wanted to make the book available to friends, family and followers. So, starting tomorrow, anyone can snag the book for free. Click this link tomorrow.

In a delightfully perfect world, everyone who picks up the book for free, including the twenty out of one hundred who picked it up from the Amazon Giveaway today, will consider leaving a positive review. Maybe even checking out my other books and buying one. We’ll see. Advertising is just another form of gambling, I guess. They key is not to play more than you can pay.

Have you done this promotion with Amazon? What were your results? Share the knowledge if you’ve got it.

 

 

Reviews—The Good and Bad

When readers review my books on Amazon, I’m a happy author. Having numerous reviews allow me the ability to promote my book in certain places, such as BookBub. But what other leg-up do reviews give a book? Well, I’m on the fence about that.

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Honestly, when I buy a book, whether it be an ebook or print, it’s because the cover rocks, and the blurb is intriguing. Then I read the first page. Good writing is always evident within the first few paragraphs. I’m currently reading Alex Kava’s, Stranded. This is an excellent example of knocking you off your chair good stuff right from the get-go.

Regardless of my perch on the fence regarding benefits of review, I have a real love/hate relationship with looking at the reviews on my books. Particularly, Thorns of Rosewood, book 1 in the Rosewood Series. When I see I have a new review, I’m excited. Then my stomach knots up, because sometimes, reviews are a mirror reflecting the moles and messy hair of my book.

I ran a Bookbub ad a couple of months ago with nice results in sales, but even nicer results in reviews. I believe I started with around forty reviews on that book. I now have 247 reviews, 228 of which Amazon deems positive, and 168 of which are 5-Star. Hey. I like those numbers. And I comment on every single review. Most often I just say, “thanks for reading,” but I do feel if they took the time to review my book, I should take the time to acknowledge it.

What about bad reviews, you may wonder. Oh… I’ve got them. Six of them. Three two stars and three one stars, so far. My very favorite bad review is the one titled, “?” The review is, “I never ordered or received this book!” I read it now and then because it makes me chuckle.

So how do you pick a book? Do you review books? Do you like cookies? (just checking to see if you were paying attention with the cookie question.)

Have a good weekend.

Cheap Date

Cheap-Date-logocolor1I like to tell my husband I’m a cheap date. He might disagree, but more often than not, I’m happy with take-out pizza and Netflix than an expensive dinner and a show, (provided I can, on occasion, have a nice dinner out and go to a show.)

In the spirit of being a self-proclaimed cheap date, I’m going to prove it. Tomorrow I’m reducing the price of my book, Flames of Rosewood, on Amazon, from $1.99, to .99 cents. I’m running an ad on EReader News Today and hoping I see some increased sales and readers for the second book in the Rosewood Series. Come on. Give it a try. Take me out. .99 cents. Seriously. You can’t lose.

So, if you just picked up Thorns of Rosewood last week during the free days and want to read what happens next, pick up Flames of Rosewood tomorrow for a most excellent price. You too can be a cheap date, stay home, eat a frozen pizza and read my book. If you’re a really cheap date, you can let your significant other have your pizza crust and let them look over your shoulder while you read my book on your Kindle. 😉

BOOKBUB PROMOTION RESULTS

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Thorns of Rosewood Amazon Review

If you click the link above, it takes you to the Amazon page where a reader gives me a 5-star review and says this about my book, Thorns of Rosewood:

“This woman can write!! And tell a great story too. I wish I could give it more stars. The characters all come across as very real people with their own joys and sorrows, triumphs and tragedies. Great reading.”

The person who left the review, I only know as, Kindle Customer. It could be a guy or a gal, an older person or a younger person, someone from the little Nebraska town next to mine, or someone from across the world. I don’t know, and I probably never will. It’s exciting to get reviews from complete strangers. Especially positive ones. So far, since the ad for my book, Thorns of Rosewood, ran last week on BookBub, I’ve received eighteen new reviews, and all but one were four and five stars.

To everyone who picked up Thorns of Rosewood free (59,978 of you!), I say THANK YOU SO MUCH!! To those who after the free day was over, bought the book (216 of you!) I say THANK YOU EVEN MORE!! To the 594 people who bought Book 2 in the Rosewood series, Flames of Rosewood, I am ever so grateful!! And my reader stats show that 97,224 pages of Thorns have been read since the promotion. Wow.

To all the writers out there who are thinking about buying a BookBub ad, I’d encourage you to keep trying until they accept you. I’ve earned three times what I paid for it. But, oh, for the new readers—that is the true benefit! What a joy. My thoughts are running through their minds as they read. That’s quite a connection, now, isn’t it?!

Oh, and just for the fun of it, here is a screen shot of my ranking on Amazon during the promotion. For a little moment in time, I was number 1!

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DARK WORKS – FREE TODAY!

If you’re a writer, what’s the one thing you want more than anything? A big fat royalty check? Fame? Jet-set lifestyle? A cameo in the movie made from your book? Well. Not me. And I don’t think most writers actually want that. They may think they do, but so often we dangle a carrot of material things in front of us when what we’re really looking for is something closer to the soul.

Writers want readers. (And the nitty-gritty, honest truth is, writers want acceptance.) All artists want someone to look at their work and nod with a smile. Say, “Yeah… I get that.”

So, if writers want readers, one of the tried and true ways to achieve that is by giving your work away. It’s nothing new. Some writers give away print books at book signings, or on websites like Goodreads. Writers often charge nothing to speak at events for the opportunity to sell some books. Just about every business offers freebies to get you in the door, and writers are business people, too.

In that vein, I’m offering a book free today because I want more readers. I want people who will read my work and say, “Yeah… I get that!” People who will then go ahead and buy a few more of my books because they enjoyed the free book I gave them. People who will leave a good review on Amazon!

Today I offer my book, Dark Works. FOR FREE!! I’ve renamed one of my books (previously titled, The Scary Things) and put a shiny new cover on it. I love this collection of short horror stories. (Halloween is just around the corner, you know!) Every one of these terrifying tales give me a twisted grin. Maybe you’ll feel the same. And maybe you’ll read them and decide you’d like to give all of my books a shot. Even decide to pay for a few! I hope so, because what I want most is readers!

THORNS OF ROSEWOOD ON BOOKBUB

TODAY’S THE DAY!! I’m trying a new form of promotion. So far, so good. I’ve sold around 100 books so far and given away 37,000. That number keeps climbing. More readers are a wonderful thing!

Thorns-smallerThere is a book promotion site called BookBub. Check out the link. Join. It’s free. I love it because depending on how you set it up, you’ll be notified about discounted books, and not books just anyone can put up there, either. I’ve tried three times to get a BookBub ad and was just now accepted for it. If you’re a reader, sign up so you can learn about good discounted ebooks. If you’re an author, read the rules and apply knowing it may take a year before they accept you.Oh, and it’s not just unknown authors using BookBub for promos. I just picked up Stephan Cobert’s book, Beyond Truthiness, from a BookBub ad.

BookBub is promoting my book, Thorns of Rosewood, today, Thursday, September 17th. I am offering Thorns of Rosewood FREE. It’s normally priced at $2.99. If you happen to pick up Thorns on Thursday for free, I hope you’ll go on to buy Flames of Rosewood at it’s already low price of $1.99. (Hey, you just saved $2.99… you can afford it now!)

So go. Join BookBub. Get Thorns free on Thursday. Buy Flames with the money you saved on Thorns. You’ll thank me later. And authors, check into BookBub. It might be a new way for you to promote your book. I’ll let you know if I find it to be a good business decision.

Oh, and if you want to help me out, you can forward the link for this blog to any readers you know. I’d appreciate the support.

Flames of Rosewood – Book Review

JOY IN THE MOMENTS

https://joyinthemoments.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/flames-and-thorns/

Yesterday I talked about water. Today, I’m washed in friendship!

Charissa Stastny reviewed my book, Flames of Rosewood on her blog. Go check it out and make sure to follow her blog. She always has great insight on new books. Comment on her post and you may win a free print copy of my book, Flames of Rosewood!

Shhhhh. It’s only on Amazon.

I’m going to whisper this quietly into cyberspace.

My book, Flames of Rosewood, is now live on Amazon.

Why am I whispering? Because it’s only on Amazon. Nook won’t accept my cover as it is so I’m waiting for a new cover. I haven’t formatted it for Smashwords, so it isn’t on Sony or iBook or anywhere else. And I haven’t even begun to get it ready for a print copy.

Considering all of those things, I’m not really ready to launch this book, but if you are one of the few people who read this blog, you get to know about the Amazon launch first. And, if for some reason you read it and feel inclined to leave a decent review, I’d be ever so much obliged. Reviews sell books, so if I could glean a few before my hard launch, it would be delightful.

So, you can whisper this to friends who have Kindles or Kindle aps on their computers or iPads or phones. Nook and other e-reader users must wait. Print copy folks must wait even longer. I’ll jump up and down more when it’s all ready to roll.

Until then, some of you who are interested can get a first peek.