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review 2018-06-12 14:01
Classic Knits
Classic Knits: More Than 100 Beautiful Projects - DK Publishing

100 patterns with fantastic photos. I even found a pattern that I want to make. 

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text 2018-05-14 08:30
Free and Easy Book Launch Basics
Cold-Blooded - Rod Raglin

 What's more disappointing than launching a new book and getting no sales and no reviews?

 

Paying hundreds if not thousands of dollars for someone to launch your new book for you and getting no sales and no reviews.

 

Cold-Blooded, Book 2 in the Mattie Saunders series was launched with a pre-order on Smashwords on January 15, 2018.

 

The Mattie Saunders Series is what I now go back to when I'm between, or need a break from, the major novel I'm working on. Mattie is a modern young woman dealing with new adult issues of relationships, career and family as well as addressing the contemporary challenges confronting society.

 

I'm actually taking subjects right from the nightly newscast and examining them from a fictional perspective. Because my overriding concern is wild places, plants and animals there's also a subplot that examines this problem as well.

 

In Cold-Blooded Mattie deals with the opioid crisis, a crumbling relationship and the exploitation of reptiles by the exotic pet trade.

 

This series of novella's are fast paced, somewhat irreverent and short - about one hundred pages.

 

The book was published on February 23, 2018, as an e-book on Smashwords and Draft2Digital and as an e-book and paperback on Amazon.

 

At that time I sent out approximately two hundred and thirty-four emails to members of my Advanced Reading Team with a coupon code for a free download of Cold-Blooded from Smashwords. Follow up emails went out March 4th and 13th.

 

The launch continued with giveaways on BookLikes and LibraryThing beginning March 18. I use these two sites because they don't charge you to offer your book for free like Goodreads that now charges $119.

 

If I ever thought I'd have to pay to give my books away I may have reconsidered becoming an author.

 

I used Goodreads prior to them charging to list giveaways and despite having a far greater audience than these other two sites I never found it generated more reviews.

 

After a month, BookLikes had two people requesting Cold-Blooded and LibraryThing had twenty-six.

 

I use free coupon codes on Smashwords with both my ARCs and giveaways so I can see how many actually redeem the coupon. Totally coupons offered, 271. Totally coupons redeemed, 27.

 

To date, marketing for Cold-Blooded has generated two tepid reviews and no sales.

 

It is now May 13th and I've just generated a free coupon for The Rocker and the Bird Girl, Book 1 in the Mattie Saunders Series, on Smashwords. The strategy is by offering the first book in the series free, readers will purchase the second book. Here's the link if you're interested. It expires June 3, 2018.

 

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/727720

 

I'm likely going to enroll The Rocker and the Bird Girl on KDP Select so I can take advantage of offering it free for five days over the course of the three month exclusive commitment to see it that will generate any interest in Cold-Blooded.

 

What's the take-away?

 

This is classic book launch marketing, something you can easily pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars for and I did it all free.

 

Okay, I got zero results, but if you're and Indie Author and considering investing in marketing your self-published book ask yourself, why should you expect a different outcome? Unless you've got a real good reason, consider going the free route as outlined here or you'll likely learn the hard way what's more disappointing than launching a new book and getting no sales and no reviews.

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

 

Links associate with this blog:

Author Amazon site https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

Link for free copy of The Rocker and the Bird Girl https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/727720

BookLikes http://booklikes.com/giveaways

LibraryThing https://www.librarything.com/more/freebooks

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway

Draft2Digiatl https://www.draft2digital.com/

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/

KindleDirect Publishing https://kdp.amazon.com/

Createspace https://www.createspace.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2018-04-21 12:15
Review: Every Body Yoga by Jessamyn Stanley
Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear, Get On the Mat, Love Your Body. - Jessamyn Stanley

Published by: Workman Publishing (13th April 2017)

 

ISBN: 978-0761193111

 

Source: Netgalley 

 

Rating: 5*

 

Description: 

From the unforgettable teacher Jessamyn Stanley comes Every Body Yoga, a book that breaks all the stereotypes. It's a book of inspiration for beginners of all shapes and sizes: If Jessamyn could transcend these emotional and physical barriers, so can we. lt's a book for readers already doing yoga, looking to refresh their practice or find new ways to stay motivated.

 

lt's a how-to book: Here are easy-to-follow directions to 50 basic yoga poses and 10 sequences to practice at home, all photographed in full colour. lt's a book that challenges the larger issues of body acceptance and the meaning of beauty. Most of all, it's a book that changes the paradigm, showing us that yoga isn't about how one looks, but how one feels, with yoga sequences like "I Want to Energise My Spirit," "I Need to Release Fear," "I Want to Love Myself".

 

Jessamyn Stanley, a yogi who breaks all the stereotypes, has built a life as an internationally recognized yoga teacher and award-winning Instagram star by combining a deep understanding for yoga with a willingness to share her personal struggles in a way that touches everyone who comes to know her. Now she brings her body-positive, emotionally uplifting approach to yoga in a book that will help every reader discover the power of yoga and how to weave it seamlessly into his or her life.

 

Review:

Wow...I love this book! Jessamyn's attitude is inspirational.  Her body-positive approach to classes is fantastic and the way the book is written just outstanding. To write about her personal journey towards self love and body acceptance must have been such a difficult yet cathartic thing to do. To be at peace with her body now and to be such an inspiration to so many others as a yogi and such an influence via her Instagram account must bring her the happiness you see on her face. 

 

The yoga poses in the book are in full colour, and it is clearly demonstrated how to get into and out of each pose too. There is an emphasis on breathing, interesting chapters about the history of yoga, and lots of detailed information. This is probably the only yoga book you'll ever need! I read an ebook but have since got a printed copy for reference. 

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley and this is my unbiased review. 

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review 2018-04-21 09:37
Review: The Prague Ultimatum by James Silvester
The Prague Ultimatum - James L. Silvester

Published by: Urbane Publications  (20th April 2017)

 

ISBN: 978-1911331384

 

Source: Netgalley 

 

Rating: 3*

 

Synopsis: 

Fear stalks the newly reunified Czechoslovakia, the terror wrought by international terrorism and violent extremists overshadowing the forthcoming fiftieth anniversary of the Prague Spring, and threatening to burn the country in its wake.

 

Into this arena steps Captain Lincoln Stone, a disgraced British officer, humiliatingly scapegoated by his government for his role in the disastrous on-going Syrian Conflict. Plucked from his purgatory, Stone is teased with exoneration by British Foreign Secretary Jonathan Greyson, in return for his 'off the books' aid of Czechoslovak Prime Minister, Miroslava Svobodova. Stone, resentful of his treatment and determined to prove himself, is driven by deeper motives than the casual platitudes of his superiors, and finds himself at the epicentre as the country descends into chaos.

 

Cut off from the international community and isolated in the face of an expansionist Russia, and with the sinister Institute for European Harmony ever present behind the scenes, Czechoslovakia's fate, and that of the world, hangs on the outcome to the Prague Ultimatum.

 

Review:

The Prague Ultimatum has an interesting lead character in Lincoln Stone. Disgraced but bright back into service with the promise of exoneration dangling like a carrot on a stick, he grudgingly throws himself into proving his worth. I found him great to read, and his interaction with the other characters a highlight. 

 

I'll admit I really struggled with the plot. There are many twists and turns - if this was a rollercoaster I'd have been puking by the third chapter! It wasn't that I couldn't keep up, I think maybe the military language, combined with some names I found hard to read kept putting me off. I kept picking this book up and putting it down, for several weeks, eventually abandoning it at 50% read. Other reviews have given between 3 and 5 stars, so some purple obviously loved it. I'm sorry I'm not one of them :-(

 

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. This is my unbiased review.

 

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text 2018-03-29 21:39
Tea's TBR Thursday - March 29, 2018
The Women Who Wrote the War - Nancy Caldwell Sorel,Arcade Publishing Staff
Train to Nowhere: One Woman's War, Ambulance Driver, Reporter, Liberator - Anita Leslie
Cliffhanger - Amy Saunders
Romance Down Under: New Zealand Romance Starter Set - Tracey Alvarez,Book Cover by Design
Sacrificed to the Dragon (Stonefire Dragons) (Volume 1) - Jessie Donovan
Wild Montana Skies (Montana Rescue Book #1) - Susan May Warren
Destiny's Embrace - Beverly Jenkins
Bollywood and the Beast - Suleikha Snyder
A Dangerous Legacy - Elizabeth Camden
After a Fashion - Jen Turano

We found out we are moving back to the US sometime mid-summer. So now we are just waiting for our orders (telling us where we are moving to) to start the out-processing/clearance process. I am re-adjusting my summer reading plans and delaying grad school. I am really happy to be going "home" but I will miss some parts of living in England. 

 

To deal with my anxiety and stress (you would think I had a better handle on military moves considering this is my fourth move, but nope), I have been stuffing my eReaders with as much content as possible. One reason is that when we get close to leaving, my eReaders and laptop will be my only entertainment for weeks, since we will be staying in hotel rooms or temporary lodgings once back in the states. Second, my print collection will be on a boat with my other household goods, and that can take up to two months for it to arrive at our new house. So I am very dependent on easily portable reading material and puzzle books.

 

Added to the NOOK:

1. The Women Who Wrote the War by Nancy Caldwell Sorel

2. Undeniable: Book One in the Oregon Trail Series by Laura Stapleton

3. Lost Fortune (Unbridled #1) by Sandra E. Sinclair

4. Sacrificed to the Dragon (Stonefire Dragons #1) by Jessie Donovan

5. Train to Nowhere by Anita Leslie

6. Mad About Matt (Red Maple Falls #1) by Theresa Paolo

7. Restless Hearts (Gold Rush Romance #1) by Mona Ingram

8. Giovanna: The Cowboy's Calabrese Mail Order Bride (Sweet Land of Liberty #1) by Lorena Dove

9. A Mail Order Heart (Miners to Millionaires #1) by Janelle Daniels

10. The Wren (Wings of the West #1) by Kristy McCaffrey

11. The Christmas Mail Order Bride (Holiday Brides #1) by Kit Morgan

12. Romance Down Under: A New Zealander Romance Starter Set by Tracey Alvarez

13. Cliffhanger by Amy Saunders

14. McKenna (Nevada Brides #1) by Clara Kincaid

 

Added to the Kindle:

15. Wild Montana Skies (Montana Rescue #1) by Susan May Warren

16. After a Fashion (A Class of Their Own) by Jen Turano

17. The Bounty (The Malloy Family #1) by Beth Williamson

18. Then Came You (Bradford Sisters #0.5) by Becky Wade

19. True to You (Bradford Sisters #1) by Becky Wade

20. Destiny's Embrace (Destiny #1) by Beverly Jenkins

21. Destiny's Surrender (Destiny #2) by Beverly Jenkins

22. Destiny's Captive (Destiny #3) by Beverly Jenkins

23. A Dangerous Legacy (Empire #1) by Elizabeth Camden

24. Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden

25. Dawn's Prelude (Song of Alaska #1) by Tracie Peterson

26. Gentleman of Her Dreams (Ladies of Distinction #0.5) by Jen Turano

27. Spice and Smoke (Bollywood Confidential #1) by Suleikha Snyder

28. Spice and Secrets (Bollywood Confidential #2) by Suleikha Snyder

29. Bollywood and the Beast (Bollywood Confidential #3) by Suleikha Snyder

 

 

 

 

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