Tuesday, August 30, 2016

#New Release: Death at First Sight (Spero Heights Book 2) #TuesdayBookBlog

It's Release Day! Woot! Death at First Sight (Spero Heights Book 2) is finally out, and I'm ready for a nap. : P

 Lia James would give anything to be normal.

Struck with horrific, daily visions of death isn’t what any sane person would consider gifted. Her only consolation is that Sheriff Saunders, her shady keeper, does what he can to change the outcome of her visions—at least, the ones that might lead to a swanky promotion.

Christian Delph is not a normal doctor, and his patients’ maladies are not found in the average medical journal. As the head therapist of Orpheus House in Spero Heights, he sees everything—and usually before it happens. The one thing he didn’t see coming was Lia, and all the ways she would turn his fragile world inside out. 

FAQs about this book:

Q: Do I have to read book 1 first?

A: Nope. This series is specifically set up so that the titles can stand alone. Each book follows a particular couple in alternating, 3rd person POV. There may be some slight spoilers, but nothing that should confuse readers as to what's going on in each book's central plot. (Though if you're unsure, feel free to grab Blood Moon (book 1). It's available for 99¢ right now, at most retailers. : )

Q: Why are the books in this series cheaper than the Lana books?

A: The books in the Spero Heights series are shorter and can often be read in one sitting. It seemed only appropriate to make them available at a lower price. 

Q: Why is this book only available on Amazon and not through my favorite retailer???

A: This is me timidly sticking my toes in the water. I finally decided to give Kindle Unlimited a try. For at least the first 3 months. This means I'm under an exclusive contract for now. But fret not--I'll be posting links in December with details on where to find Death at First Sight everywhere else.

Okay. Happy reading everyone! On to the napping segment of this morning... xoxo 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

#BookBub Promo Comparison: #Free vs. #99cents

Hey guys!!!! Okay, forgive my exuberance. I'm a little over the moon right now. Today is a big day for me. It's my first time being featured for a 99¢ deal with BookBub. Squeeee! 

I've run 4 free book promos with BookBub in the past, all of which yielded fantastic results. I really cannot sing enough praises about BookBub. Which is why I thought it would be worthwhile to run a 99¢ promo with them too. I know, I know. The cost is twice as much as a free promo, but if the free promo results were any indication, I knew it would be worth the added expense.

Here are a few key things that pushed me to sign up for a paid vs. a free BookBub promo this time around:

1) Amazon has 2 separate bestsellers lists--one for free books and one for paid books. Let's not sugarcoat it. The paid list is definitely the one authors want to see their name on the most. Not only does it result in a nicer paycheck (even if you've discounted your book), but it holds more prestige.

2) Free book downloads do not count toward the NYT or USA Today bestsellers lists. They only care about paid sales, so authors promoting a free book can kiss their chance (no matter how slim, we all like to dream, yeah?) at hitting those lists goodbye. 

3) I've already run 4 free book promos with BookBub. For the same book. Don't get me wrong--each promo has been amazing, and each resulted in lots of sales for my other books. I will totally be submitting for more free book promos in the future. But it definitely felt like it was time to do something fresh. The bundled set of my first 3 Lana books usually goes for $4.99, the highest priced book I have on the market currently. Dropping the price to 99¢ was the best deal I could offer after my free book, so that's the direction I chose to go.

There are some pretty serious differences when it comes to running a discounted book rather than a perma-free book. If you too are considering taking a step up with BookBub and submitting for a most costly (and more rewarding) promo, here are a few key things you'll want to keep in mind:

1) Your book has to be available at your discounted price by 12am Pacific time on the day of your deal. Amazon's fine print says they can take up to 72 hours to apply a price change to your book. It usually doesn't take that long (mine took about 24 hours), but better safe than sorry. If you distribute to non-Amazon retailers through Smashwords (or another multi-retailer distribution service) discount your book several days in advance--check the site FAQs for more specifics. Often, it can take several days for the change to be applied at all retailers.

2) Be extra careful when it comes to retailer sites in other countries. The Apple stores in Canada and Australia do not like to discount books below $1.99, so even when you change your price to 99¢, you will not see that reflected in those stores unless you go the extra mile and email your distributor directly... maybe. If you're lucky. On second thought, I might just not check those 2 boxes next time.

3)  If you're seriously trying to hit a big list, don't rely on BookBub to do 100% of the work. They're like a trampoline, greatly multiplying your efforts, but you'll always go higher if you put in a little extra effort. Send out a newsletter, create (or hire someone to create) several graphics for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Change out your FB cover, post a graphic on your website, post links to Facebook groups for bargain books. Sign up for other book promos. Every little bit helps when you're reaching for the moon.

#1 in Fantasy Anthologies on Amazon. Not too bad. And it's only 3 o'clock. Now time to aim for the Amazon top 100! ; )

Best of luck in all your Bookish adventures! xoxo

***UPDATE: The Lana bundle reached #40 in the US Kindle store yesterday! It also reached #8 in Canada, #21 in Australia, and #96 in the UK. Author level unlocked: International Best Seller status. Score!

The numbers are slowly declining now, as expected, but they're still not bad, including the author list rankings. ♥

 Here I am, just hanging out with some of my favorite Science Fiction and Fantasy authors. No big deal. *must contain squees*

Friday, August 5, 2016

When I think about books, I touch my shelf.... #BookShelfTour #AmReading #Books

This has been requested a few times, and I think I've dragged my feet long enough. It's just so hard to whittle down a list of books I love most. There are too many, and I always fret that I'll leave some vital, life-changing read off the list, and then I'll spiral into a neurotic depression for my thoughtlessness... okay, that might be stretching it a bit. Just a bit.

Anyway, I've decided that instead of a set list of top 10 or top 100 books, I'd just snap a few pictures of my office shelves and share those. This is by no means my entire collection. There are a few additional shelves and cabinets crammed full of books (the angle was just too awkward for a picture), not to mention my kindle library (full of awesomeness), and then there are the magical reads I tracked down via library because I couldn't find them elsewhere for a decent price. Seriously, how could so many gems go out of print? Curses!

So here we go... pay no attention to my dust. That's a cleaning project for another day.

If you've been following me for a while, then you might recognize this as the desk I built a few years ago to accommodate my book habit. As you can see, it has served me well. These are the books I always have at arm's reach. Literally. My laptop fits in the cozy nook just below the fancy Keep Calm tags hanging in front of my calendar.

I won't detail every last book you see here (because that would take for-fucking-ever) but I'll at least do a quick rundown. The center 3 shelves are reference and writing books. There are a handful on marketing, and several on screenwriting, and then the dictionaries, thesauruses, and style books are right in the middle, along with several books on various languages, including Latin, German, Italian, and Chinese. There are a few additional books crammed in there that don't fit in these categories, but that's likely due to lack of shelf space elsewhere. Or laziness.

To the left, you'll see some of my favorite leading ladies of urban fantasy, including: Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse series), Vicki Pettersson (Zodiac series & Celestial Blues series), Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson series), Jeanne C. Stein, Lilith Saintcrow, Tonya Hurley, Kelley Armstrong, Kory M. Shrum (the Dying for a Living series)...

To the right, there are more kickass ladies, including: Kim Harrison (the Hollows series), MaryJanice Davidson (Undead series), Laurell K. Hamilton (Anita Blake and Merry Gentry series). And the bottom shelf is anthologies that contain stories from most of these ladies too.

 This lovely beast of a shelf is vintage. My husband's grandfather built it long ago, and I love it dearly. What you can't see (and won't, because my office floor is covered in inventory boxes) is the enclosed cabinets on the bottom portion of this shelf, that I also have stuffed to max capacity with more books.

On the left side, you'll find some of my favorite dude writers, including: Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Jasper Fforde, Jim Butcher, George R. R. Martin, Charles de Lint, and Christopher Moore. Kevin Hearne would be over here too, but his books are on my kindle.

In the center, you'll find some more research books--but these are on vampires. You'll also find some vampire books by J. R. Ward, Anne Rice, and more. Below that are my favorite classics, including: Alice and Wonderland, a giant-ass Shakespeare collection, Dante's Inferno, some Thoreau, Emerson, and Whitman. Lots of good stuff. 

To the right is a menagerie of religious books, ranging from Christianity, to Paganism, to Atheism. Half of this collection is tucked away in the cabinet below, but I keep my favorites on this shelf for easy access. 

This is my little fantasy corner. I keep Holly Black's books and my Brian Froud Oracle set up on the shelf with Miss Mermaid and the butterfly tea set. The colorful bottles serving as bookends were bought from a wonderful lady named Suzi who owns the Gypsy Folk Shoppe in Millersburg, OH. On top of the bookshelf (this one was donated by my mom during an office makeover) I have a collection of trinkets and illustrated fantasy books on fairies, mermaids, unicorns, wizards, and other magical things. 

Here are a few more dude writers I admire: Gregory Maguire, Dan Brown, Daniel Quinn, Ray Kurzweil. Mary Roach is mixed in there with them. These genres are a bit different from what I keep on my other shelves, lots of non-fiction and science goodies, so they ended up here. 

On the bottom shelf, I have more epic high fantasy, lots of Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Jacqueline Carey, Robert Jordan, and more. The Harry Potter books are tucked in the back there too, but I have everything doubled up, so you can't see. Apparently, I need another shelf. But where to put it?

So that's the bulk of my bookish loves. I hope you enjoyed this little shelf tour. I hope you found something familiar that made you feel kindred, and I hope you found something new and exciting too!

Happy reading! xoxo