Posts tagged ‘Kindle’

May 14, 2015

The Heart of All Magic is 99 cents today

'The Heart of All Magic' went live for Kindle tonight! :)

The Heart of All Magic‘ is 99 cents for Kindle today

I’m trying a Kindle count-down deal for The Heart of All Magic. This marketing tool is new to me, and I’m curious to see what an unadvertised campaign can do.

Well, it won’t be completely unadvertised. I’ll post about it on Facebook, Twitter and here on my blog.

What do other authors think of Amazon free promotions and Kindle count-down deals? Authors near me say they get mixed results, but overall, the results aren’t as incredible as they used to be.

I decided to keep this series with Amazon outlets alone.

I’m curious about branching out into other e-book platforms with other books. This would eliminate my ability to use the Kindle free promotions and countdown deals. I’m wondering whether the time spent distributing the books to other sites would balance out something like free promotions.

I would love to hear your perspectives.


December 14, 2014

The Heart of All Magic is live for Kindle!!! #thenightones #theheartofallmagic

'The Heart of All Magic' went live for Kindle tonight! :)

The Heart of All Magic’ went live for Kindle tonight! 🙂

I’ve spent the last two months polishing ‘The Heart of All Magic.’ (Which means I haven’t been blogging much.)

It’s finally here. Book two of the two-volume series ‘Legacy of the Night Ones‘ is finished!

Tonight ‘The Heart of All Magic‘ went live on Kindle. The paperback will be available sometime next week.

I really love this game!

Please take a few minutes to look at the Amazon page! If you read it and like it, please leave an Amazon review. And if you get to it in the next two weeks, I would LOVE to have nominations for the Whitney Award! It takes five nominations to be officially entered.

Thanks so much, everyone! I’m looking forward to being on the blog a little bit more again.

Wishing everyone a very happy December. 🙂

February 4, 2014

Kindles, blogging and changes


Oh, how I have loved my Kindle. It’s been a companion for me for almost three years now, filling the gaps in my time while I sat in waiting rooms, the car, and, most often, here at home.

Imagine my distress when it didn’t power on last week.

Thankfully, it was just a low battery (I think). I’ve been careful to keep it charged since then, but it did bring to mind the fact that everything changes.

Even this blog.

If I remember right, I started blogging here in the spring of 2011, and I promptly took a really long break while my family moved and settled into our new home. I tried blogging again in late 2012 and followed through with some serious blogging until about April of last year. Then I took another long break, blogging only here and there for the past several months. All this after writing a blog about North Dakota for two years, and then setting that one aside for good…

BottledWorder has an excellent post about this sort of thing. To answer her questions–yes, I have taken several breaks from writing–and yes, I always miss it.  I always come back to it.

It does, however, sometime seem necessary for me to take a step back and re-evaluate what I’m doing, especially whether it’s fitting in with my overall life. I enjoy too many things too much to keep them all on the back shelf while I’m writing. This past year, my writing hiatus led to the idea of a no-deadline kind of lifestyle.

I’m now ready to report on that experiment. Except, I don’t really know what to say.

I don’t miss the stress of deadlines, especially the ones I place on myself.

I do miss the happy-busy-writing feel that blogging gives me. It’s a quick fix when I can’t get to my other works-in-progress.

I don’t miss writing by an editorial calendar (mostly because I tend to pack it too full of things I can never really get to, which means I have to keep revising my plan).

I do miss the surprising twists blog posts sometimes seem to take.

I don’t miss the moments when I’m scrambling for a picture I deem blog-worthy enough to attend my writing.

I do miss regular interaction with all my blogging friends. I’m sorry to say that if I’m not blogging, I’m not online enough to read other blogs, either. I’ve missed it, and it’s made me realize just how important other bloggers are to me.

So I guess the bottom line is this: I want to blog more. Again.

No promises on how much or when, but since I’m a work in progress, I guess this blog has to change with me.

I suppose that’s really part of the fun of it, anyway. 🙂




June 12, 2013

Indie Recon marketing thing is going on this week, and other things

I keep adding free books to my Kindle. :)

I keep adding free books to my Kindle. 🙂

It’s Marketing Mania Week over at Indie Recon.

Yesterday’s post by CJ Lyons was all about branding, which is something I keep thinking I need to think more about. The truth is,  I love variety and don’t like the thought of getting stuck writing just one genre. This post made me feel like I could actually create a brand for myself and still maintain my writing freedom. It was heartening.

There’s a great post today on marketing in general (and to young adult target audiences in particular). Wednesday will cover Ten Lethal Marketing Mistakes, Thursday will focus on marketing advice from bestselling Indie authors, and Friday there will be a secret giveaway. Fun for everyone!

Other things on my mind:

  • The more I read, the more I want to write. I see a plot or a style I like, and I think “I have to try this out sometime and see if I can do something like it.” The same thing happens when I watch a good movie (although I want to write stories, not make movies). I want to do it my own way, of course, but the draw is there with every good book I pick up. Does anyone else experience this? Is this what inspires people to write fan fiction?
  • I’ve decided I really, really love ebook Habits and Free Book Dude. I keep adding stories to my Kindle, which I’ll read someday when life slows down.  These sites list books that can be downloaded for free. Browsing through their lists has become part of my daily e-mail ritual.
  • The beans are up! And some of the kale I planted earlier this spring is ready to harvest. Hurrah for fresh kale at lunch! 🙂
May 8, 2013

Marketing and The Night Ones Legacy

I love my Amazon sales page. :)

I love my Amazon sales page. 🙂

Nearly two weeks ago now, I promised to post results from my most recent marketing lab. This time, it was a two-day KDP Select promotion for The Night Ones Legacy celebrating its two-year anniversary. Here’s what happened:

I requested free advertising on about 15 sites and received it on about five of them. I also paid for advertising ($20 for a package that included tweets) on eReader Perks.

I really didn’t know what to expect, since the book has been out now for two years and doesn’t seem to fit into any category very well. Under the circumstances, I was pleasantly surprised when The Night Ones Legacy reached #764 free in the Kindle store. My best stats included #25 in Kindle eBooks>Literature & Fiction>Action and Adventure and #61 in Kindle eBooks>Teens. (It’s nothing spectacular like what author Charles Yallowitz has experienced—see his successes here and in other spots on his blog—but I was pleased, anyway.)

I wondered whether the promotion would spark new reviews for it on Amazon, but I haven’t seen any yet.  The Night Ones Legacy currently sits at #553,140 in the paid Kindle store.

That’s certainly not a high number, but before I began blogging again around October 2012, sales numbers for The Night Ones Legacy hovered consistently just above #881,000. To that point, I hadn’t really done anything to promote it other than one quick banner advertisement when it was first published two years ago.

Since then, it’s been the focus of a contest, several blog posts, this KDP Select experiment and a rather quiet give-away (If people contacted me and requested a copy, I gifted them a free Kindle version—I’ve given away about 25 books this way over the past six months). Oh, and I did finally start tweeting about it a month or so ago, but I haven’t yet built a habit out of Twitter, so the little bursts there have been inconsistent.

What this means to me: my marketing experiments are paying off both in terms of what I’m learning and in my sales rank, but they’re paying off very, very slowly. This is a great exercise in detaching my emotions from the outcome and just enjoying the journey, and I can say, it really is a wonderful ride.

I’ve given a lot of thought to this book while I’ve been working on its sequel. For the following reasons, I think it may always be difficult to sell this series of books:

  • I cannot seem to find a category where it really fits. In the first book, the protagonist is too young to fit with young adult books, but the story is too…old?…to qualify as a middle-grade read.
  • Although it’s high fantasy and there is plenty of adventure in the book, it focuses more on Lily’s character development than anything as she is forced to participate in the events unfolding around her. One writing friend has told me this is kind of a literary device.  I’m sure every fantasy writer wants to be like Tolkien to some extent, but I have to wonder if contemporary high fantasy can be marketed as literary, as well.
  • At less than 400 pages for the first book and with only three books planned in the series, can it be marketed as epic fantasy? I’ve had mixed reports on that one, although I lean toward the ‘no’ answer.
  • Another problem: As I’ve been studying how to raise boys (yes, I really do read about that!), I’ve learned that girls often enjoy books with boy protagonists but that boys hardly ever enjoy books with girl protagonists. If what I’ve read is true, that limits my target audience even more than the age group thing does.

It’s definitely an experiment in the elements of writing. I plan to finish the entire series, mostly because I enjoy writing it. After that—and maybe during that, as well—I intend to branch out and try different things. I really, really love variety.

I know that goes contrary to the whole idea of branding. I’m not yet sure how I’ll address that. I’ll have to figure it out if I ever get serious about selling fiction books. For now I’m just learning and having fun. 😀

April 25, 2013

KDP Select and The Night Ones Legacy anniversary: web sites I’m promoting on

Happy 2nd anniversary to The Night Ones Legacy

Happy 2nd anniversary to The Night Ones Legacy

I’m celebrating the second anniversary of the publication of The Night Ones Legacy by running another KDP Select experiment. This time, the book will be free on Kindle during April 27 and 28–this Saturday and Sunday.

It’s hard to believe two years have gone by, and I’m just now beginning to really play with my fiction.

As part of the fun, here’s a list of places I’ve submitted this book for promotion during these free days. I’ll try to keep track of the results. If they’re anywhere near impressive, I’ll post about it and I’ll probably use those sites again in the future.

Here they are:

If you click on the links, you’ll notice a majority of them came from a site called Authors Marketing Club. I joined last Saturday and have had a great time browsing the site pages. This could be a valuable resource for any writer serious about marketing and promoting books.

The more I look around, the more I see that there are plenty of web sites that will promote your book for free. The ones listed above are only to be used if your book is going to be listed for free, but there are others who will take priced books, as well. I’m planning to do something similar when the sequel to the Night Ones Legacy is released, but I’ll use (and list) those sites in that post.

And in order to get that to happen, I’ll be spending some time this evening working on the last few chapters of the initial draft.

Meanwhile, I’m not the only one who’s running a free book weekend. More fun for everyone!


April 17, 2013

Celebrating a publication anniversary, and other news

See the first listing? That's my blog! On Kindle!

See the first listing? That’s my blog! On Kindle!

Last week I realized the second anniversary of the publication date for The Night Ones Legacy is right around the corner.  Although I’m more focused on finishing its sequel right now, I can’t help but try another experiment in conjunction as a way to celebrate.

I enrolled The Night Ones Legacy in KDP Select. I’ll try it for one three-month term. If I like it, I’ll do it again. Two of the five free-day promo will be April 27 and 28, 2013 to coincide with the publication anniversary. The other three dates will be saved for the release of its sequel, hopefully by June 1.

As part of the experiment, I’m promoting these free days on several web sites. Once I have a final list of all the places I’m promoting the promotion (that’s a strange phrase to write), I’ll post about this again. That way, if I get a good response, other authors will have a springboard for their own free book promotions.

Charles Yallowitz’s links also has some great ideas for sites where you can promote your book.

In other news:

  • If you would like to be interviewed on my blog, please let me know. I love featuring authors, and I really, really like talking with other people who like to write.
  • If you want to create a ‘tweet and retweet’ team, please let me know. I try to retweet tweets I see from people I know, but I don’t always catch them all.
  • This is, apparently, a tongue-twister kind of day.
  • My blog is now available on Kindle. How wonderful is that?!?
April 3, 2013

Celebrating a met deadline

Looking down from a waterfall at Thanksgiving Point gardens

Looking down from a waterfall at Thanksgiving Point gardens

I met a deadline today. Beat it, actually, by one day, which was tricky. This particular article was one of the most intricate and challenging journalism assignments I’ve ever accepted, and although it’s still subject to editorial change, it feels good to have submitted it.

It’s like standing at the top of a mountain and watching worries fall away like drops of water.

I’ve been celebrating, these past few hours. Here’s how:

  • Dessert Club–I turned the final submission in just 33 minutes before two carloads of friends and their children (on Spring Break) showed up at my door. It was my turn to host–and I can’t say I was prepared–but it was a great stress relief. Delicious, too–I tried Strawberry Soup for the first time today. Yummy and healthy, too!
  • I took a nap with my toddler this afternoon. As pleasant as this is, he’s becoming less inclined to take afternoon naps, so I’m counting myself lucky.
  • I looked through a catalog my neighbor brought over. I love window shopping, even in catalogs or online, but it’s not something I take time to do very often.
  • I took a short walk with a daughter. While we were out, we chatted with some neighbors I hadn’t yet had the chance to meet. They’re lovely people. They felt like sunshine.
  • I walked over to another neighbor’s house and saw the beautiful quilt she’s making. Inspiring. Maybe I’ll pick mine up again.
  • I caught up on some blog comments (although I’m still looking forward to visiting other blogs and catching up with what my online friends are up to).

And here’s how I plan to celebrate during the rest of today:

  • take my daughters shopping for prom shoes;
  • file away all the papers and e-mails related to the article I submitted;
  • play in the sandbox with my toddler while it’s still sunny out;
  • buy a book for my Kindle; and
  • get back to work on my fiction projects this evening 🙂

Have a lovely evening!

March 25, 2013

The Night Ones Legacy gets a new look

New book cover!

New book cover!

This is an exciting day for me: The Night Ones Legacy has a new cover! (Well, as I write this, it’s been uploaded to KDP but it’s still under review.)

The need for a new book cover grew out of feedback I got from some terrific reviews and the contest I hosted earlier this year. The story itself was earning five-star reviews, but the cover was detracting from the content inside.

There were about six concepts to choose from, and I was able to narrow it down to four fairly quickly. From there, I asked for opinions from a diverse handful of people. The concept above was the one liked most by almost everyone I asked.

Most importantly, the daughter I wrote the story for likes this one the best.

I also made a few changes to the text. There were a few grammatical errors to be addressed (a ‘to’ that should have been a ‘too,’ etc.). There still may be a few mistakes, but I’m not anticipating any other changes to the book.

I’m slightly apprehensive as to how the updates will go for Kindle owners who already have the book. I’ve never had problems with book updates before, but I’ve never been on this end of it before, either.

One other thing that I learned from the contest: it seems my writing is geared more toward a young adult audience, even though I tried to make this first book a middle-grade read. The sequels will most definitely be written for a young adult target audience.

I’m ready to focus on the sequel, which I’m tentatively hoping to publish at the end of April. We’ll see how that goes! My chapter-by-chapter beta readers are already hard at work as I write, and I have a list of full-book beta readers in place. I’m looking forward to the feedback.

I was so shy when I wrote The Night Ones Legacy that I really didn’t ask for any help. After fourteen drafts, there were still quite a few changes that needed to be made. Hopefully most of them are addressed now. If nothing else, writing and publishing this book has been a great education. I really love that part of my life.

Just for comparison, here’s the first book cover one more time:

book cover possibility three point seven five

March 25, 2013

Click-able tables of contents for e-books

It's hard to see from this photo, but the progress bar for this book doesn't show any sections. Creating a table of contents using headers could change that.

It’s hard to see from this photo, but the progress bar for this book doesn’t show any sections. Creating a table of contents using headers could change that.

On Saturday I attended a meeting on formatting self-published books. While we worked mostly with Amazon’s CreateSpace, I learned some very valuable tidbits for creating an e-book, as well.

The best piece of information I received was how to make a table of contents that links to your chapter headings. When I upload the new cover for The Night Ones Legacy, this is one of the changes I’ll be making to the text (along with cleaning up some typos).

So just in case you’re interested, here’s what I learned about making a table of contents:

  1. Open your  manuscript in Microsoft Word. 
  2. As you scroll down through your manuscript, center and highlight your chapter headings (I did this one at a time).
  3. With the chapter heading highlighted and the ‘home’ tab open in Microsoft Word, hit ‘heading one,’ kind of on the right side and above the open document.
  4. Right click on the ‘heading one’ area. A small menu pops up. Click ‘Update heading one to match selection.’
  5. Repeat until all your chapter headings are highlighted.
  6. Go back to the beginning of the book. Now is the fun part–adding a Table of  Contents between the first pages (title page, dedication, acknowledgements, etc.) and your first chapter.
  7. Open the ‘References’ tab in Microsoft Word.
  8. The Table of Contents icon is on the far left. Click it. Then choose the style you want and click on that.

If I’ve remembered everything and explained it correctly, your table of contents will be created with each individual chapter showing up as a separate, click-able section. This means that someone heading to your Table of Contents in a Kindle version or other e-book version will be able to click on and move directly to the chapter they want.

I love learning. When it applies to other things I love, such as writing, I like it even more.

Deep thanks to author Roseanne Wilkins for hosting this workshop.

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