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text 2017-07-29 10:24
The last chance to get my books free - really

The 9th annual Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale is drawing to an end with thousands of E-books, including mine, offered free or at deep discounts through the month of July, 2017.

 

You might want to take advantage of this offer and download some of my books free since I am resolved not to give anymore of my work away with the exception to my ADVANCE READING TEAM.

 

Why is that, you might ask? And why now?

 

There is a school of thought among book marketeers (no, it's not a typo since I consider them in the same category as racketeers) that giving away your work will create readers who will write reviews that will generate book sales.

 

It's a lie.

 

Take for example this Smashwords promotion. A total of thirty-seven copies of the five books I offered free were downloaded. My other five titles were offered for fifty-percent off. Zero were downloaded. The vast majority of the two hundred and five books that have been downloaded from Smashwords over the past five years have been free. They've generated zero reviews.

 

There are two things about offering your work free to readers:

 

- there's no downside. The reader has invested nothing, so if he doesn't read it he's lost nothing.

 

- free is equated to no value. The reader thinks the work is garbage (and he might be right) and that's why it's free.

 

I think my work has value, but I'd still might consider offering it free during the launch if I thought it would generate future sales. It doesn't so there's no point in continuing to demean it.

 

The exception might be the first book in the Mattie Saunders Series I'm writing featuring an independent young woman with a social conscience and a bad attitude, who loves animals, but not so much people. There's some good evidence that offering the first book in a series free encourages readers to buy the rest of the series. I'll let you know once I have a few more books in the series written and published.

 

Members of my Advance Reading Team will continue to get free and discounted books as well as an opportunity to read new work before it's released to the public. You can become a member by clicking this link

 

http://eepurl.com/cj5wjj

 

No spam, no tips to live by, no click bait,

 

Here's a list and the link to my books, in e-book format, available free or deeply

discounted for two more days during Smashwords sale.

 

Loving the Terrorist - Free https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/579221

 

The Rocker and Bird Girl - Free https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/727720

 

The LOCAL RAG - Free https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/671782

 

End of the Rope - Free https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/655643

 

Harry's Truth - Free https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/649522

 

Saving Spirit Bear - 50% OFF https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/575296

 

Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients - 50% OFF https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/700967

 

FOREST - Love, Loss, Legend- 50% OFF https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/515038

 

Abandoned Dreams - 50% OFF https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/573742

 

The BIG PICTURE- A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic - 50% OFF https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/515877

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

 

30

 

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text 2017-07-17 15:19
Reminder: only free a couple of days more
Kushiel's Dart - Jacqueline Carey

 

If ever thinking about starting this series or curious about it, the first book is free from publisher TOR who notes:  

"Kushiel's Dart will be available

from July 13th-19th.

Download before

11:59 PM ET July 19th, 2017." 

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Get book free at http://ebookclub.tor.com/  (you will be asked for email address and receive notice of each month's freebie).

 

Feel free to join in the bookclub read at http://booklikes.com/book-clubs/book/88/tor-monthly-free-ebook-science-fiction-and-fantasy .

 

Publisher page for book details is https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780765342980 .

 

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text 2017-07-09 10:13
Survey results on self-publishing self-evident, self-serving

I've just completed comparing the results of three survey's recently sent to me regarding self-publishing and self-published authors to see what the take away is (if there is any).

 

All three of these surveys were undertaken by companies that are, in the most part, dependent on authors like me who use their platform or services to self-publish their writing.

 

The survey sample is skewed since the respondents are, in some form or another, clients of these three enterprises. They either publish and distribute their e-books with Smashwords, advertise their e-books on one of WrittenWord Media's four sites, or possibly are doing all the above as well as contracting editorial, graphic design and marketing services from BookBaby.

 

The findings provided here are likely their optimistic interpretations.

 

Experience counts (maybe): Successful authors (in terms of book sales) have more writing experience. They spend more time writing and subsequently have more books available in their catalogue. They also contract more professional services, particularly editors and cover designers.

 

This, of course doesn't answer the question of how they became successful? Did they achieve success because of all these things (experience, time, hiring professionals), or once they achieved some success were the the able to spend the time, develop the catalogue and hire the professionals?

 

What to write. Fiction sells better than non-fiction and romance (especially contemporary, paranormal and erotica) sells far better than any other genre or literary writing. Under served markets include the romantic subgenres New Adult, Contemporary and YA.

 

How long should your book be? So much for all those pundits who claim novellas are all the rage because they can be read in one sitting or during a commute. Best sellers, again according to Smashwords, average ninety-two thousand words.

 

Book Marketing. Offering your e-book for free draws thirty-three times more then priced titles, but what's the upside to offering your books free?

 

Okay, so money doesn't matter to you, it's about making that reader connection, about putting forth your view of the world. Does offering your work at no charge achieve that? How many free books actually get read?

 

Not very many has been my experience both as a writer and a reader.

 

I've had hundreds of my books downloaded free and it's resulted in an insignificant number of reviews. On the other hand my ibook library is filled with books I've downloaded free and have yet to read.

 

See what I'm getting at. There's no downside to clicking and getting a book free.

 

This might explain why over sixty-one percent of published authors have asked friends or family members to review their books.

 

However, if you're writing a series, and series are more than likely going to generate best sellers, than offering the first book free is a good marketing ploy.

 

Speaking of FREE E-BOOKS. I'm participating in Smashwords Summer Sale and until July 31, 2017 my entire catalogue, eight novels and two plays are either FREE or 50% OFF. Go to https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/raglin

 

What's the right price for an e-book? So if you opt not to offer your books free how much should you charge? Interestingly, e-books priced at $3.99 and $4.99 did better than those priced less - or more, at least on Smashwords.

 

In the end it was a lot of reading for very little worthwhile information, most of which was self-evident if you really think about it.

 

Here's how the sage folks at WrittenWord Media summed up the findings from their survey.

 

Indie publishing is a viable path to success. Many indie authors signed traditional publishing deals on the strength of their self-published books and many traditionally published authors are becoming indie authors because of more control and higher royalties. Hybrid publishing gives you the benefit of both paths.

 

This rosy prediction in light of the fact that 727,125 ISBNs were assigned to self-published titles in 2015, representing 625,327 individual indie books*.

 

Well, really, what did you expect them to say?

 

These surveys would have been more credible if they'd had similar terms of reference. WrittenWord Media considers a "successful author" as someone who makes $100,000 or more in a single year from book sales. Book sales of $500 or less categorizes you as an "emerging author".

 

At BookBaby you're a successful author if you've earned $5,000 or more annually from book sales. Those who earned less than $100 were labeled "lower earning authors".

 

Huh?

 

We definitely aren't comparing apples to apples here. How can one company consider a successful indie author as earning $5000 a year while another has it pegged at $100,000?

 

But it gets even weirder. Of the forty-three hundred authors who completed the BookBaby survey a little less than five percent fell into the category of the "high achieving group" earning $5000 or more.

 

If only about two hundred BookBaby authors earn $5000 or more how many WrittenWord Media authors earn over a hundred grand?

 

Or put another way, how can twenty successful BookBaby authors only be equal to one WrittenWord Media successful author?

 

See what I mean? It's like they're comparing different species.

 

The take away? Only that I now know how to categorize myself. I'm a "lower earning emerging author".

 

And on that we all agree.

 

Stay calm. Be brave. Watch for the signs

 

*According to Bowker, the exclusive U.S. agent for issuing International Standard Book Numbers.

 

Smashwords   http://smashwords.com

BookBaby   https://www.bookbaby.com

WrittenWord Media   https://www.writtenwordmedia.com

 

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

 

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text 2017-06-22 23:30
Miss Spelled - Morgana Best

This was free today for kindle and had been on my list of series to checkout for quite a while.  It's short at 225 pages.  I expect it to be a mix of cozy mystery, paranormal, and chick-lit.  Okay, so partly the two cats caught my interest.

 

Book description:  

"Amelia Spelled has had a bad week. Her boyfriend dumps her when she inadvertently gives him food poisoning; her workplace, a telecommunications center, fires all their staff as they are outsourcing offshore, and she is evicted due to smoke damage resulting from her failed attempts at baking.

 

Amelia thinks her luck has changed when she inherits her estranged aunt's store, two mysterious cats, and beautiful Victorian house.

 

Yet has Amelia jumped out of the frying pan into the fire? To Amelia's dismay, the store is a cake store, and she discovers that her aunt was a witch. To add to the mix, the house has secrets of its own.When a man is murdered in the cake store, will Amelia be able to cook up a way to solve the crime? Will her spells prove as bad as her baking?"

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review 2017-04-07 21:55
House of Royals Audiobook
House of Royals - Keary Taylor

House of Royals was an interesting read for me. It has been a long time since I have fallen in love with a vampire novel as easily as I did with this one.

 

Keary Taylor wrote this lovely story. This is the first book in a seven-book series so far. It is about a girl named Alivia. She is a 22-year-old girl who just moved to the south after her father someone she has never met died and left her everything he had in his will. I will not go into more detail than that because I feel that every bit of the story is a giveaway.

 

Now, I listened to the audio book so I will get into details about how I thought the narrator did.

 

First, let us talk about the actual writing in the book. I really enjoyed the writing flow of how Keary wrote. It wasn't too fast or too slow. The main character Alivia I really enjoyed her. I found that I was really invested in the well being of this character. Although, I will say this about Alivia, I felt that was really wasn't reading a story of a 22 year old woman, but more of someone who was in their late teen years. Not saying that the character was not relatable. She was. I just felt that I was reading about a teenager. Closer to the end of the novel did I feel that I was reading about a 22 year old young woman.

 

Now on the narrator. When it comes to audio books I am really critical on the person who reads the novel. They can make or break an audio book. I have listened to a lot of audio books in my time.

 

I LOVED the woman who narrators this novel. Her name is Renee Dorian. The way she read this novel had me hooked from the very first paragraph that she read. Renee had a lot different voices when she was voicing for all of the different characters. This gives the narrator big brownie points from me. When any narrator can do this I know that I am going to enjoy the book. I am looking forward to hearing her narrate the rest of this series.

 

Oh wait I forgot to tell you that this book is free on the Kindle. I bought the audio book as an add on for $1.99. You can't beat that in my opinion.

 

I will have to give this book a 4.5 out of 5.

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