“Sold to an Alien” is Free Today Only

Recently, my first sci-fi romance came out on Amazon. This is the same story that has the first two chapters included in an anthology with other sci-fi romance writers. I’m so incredibly proud of this story, and I’ve been amazed by how well it has been selling. As I write this, it has two five star reviews, which absolutely makes my heart swell. (Hey, it’s not about the quantity, but the quality of reviews, right?)

I’ve made the story for free on Amazon today, so check it out here: Sold to an Alien

Or, if you want to learn more about it, here’s the blurb:

Sold to an Alien (Kindle)

Even on a spaceship with her adopted family, Brooke feels alone. But she’s come to accept that in exchange for safety, she’ll never experience true love of any sort. In such a dangerous place in the universe, the most a person should ever hope for is to feel safe. Unfortunately, cold reality strikes when their ship starts to malfunction, and she discovers that she’s in more peril than she ever imagined.

Working for a special unit of the Gremlit’s universal police force wasn’t any easy job. Jace’s life has been overwhelmed with violence and chaos. Now, he wants nothing more than peace and quiet, and yet, he’s troubled by the loneliness that haunts his silent ship. So when a message is sent out, selling a beautiful, young woman with intelligent eyes, Jace decides he must have her. But when she brings danger and conflict back into his life, what will he be willing to give up to keep her at his side?

And, if you want to enjoy the Portals’ book (which is also FREE), with samples from multiple romance authors, you can find it here: Portals

Portals Project

Welcome! You have arrived at a portal to the galaxy.
 
Enter, and you’ll be introduced by award-winning authors to worlds beyond imagining, with heroes & heroines who dare to take it to the edge and beyond. Count on these adventurers to take their best shot … at their enemies and at romance!
 
Contains 10 first chapters, with links to purchase any or all of the complete books, should you wish.

 

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Collaborating

pretty girl- collaborating

I’ve mentioned before that I joined a group of writers who decided to put together an anthology of “first chapters,” in order to give readers a taste of a lot of different stories. But what do you need to know about collaborating?

These are some of the keys, I think, to having a positive working relationship:

  1. Be clear with all expectations from the beginning. (The Portals’ project was always going to be free, so there wouldn’t be the complication of money.)
  2. Share the workload. (No one wants to carry the weight of everyone else. In the Portals’ project, we’re all expected to help with promotion, etc. Even though, there were some awesome ladies who were the definite leaders, Pauline Baird Jones especially.)
  3. Communication is key. (Both with the Portals’ project and with my other projects, I’m in regular contact with the people I’m working with. All the information is laid out openly, so everyone has a chance to view it and ask questions.

Friendship and Collaboration

  1. Working with a friend can be an absolutely amazing experience. You know each other well, so you already have an idea about their skills and personality. It’s honestly like working with a spouse, it could be the best thing or the worst thing, depending how you establish things.
  2. Lay everything out in a legal way. As my partner pointed out, you never really know what the future may bring. When everything is spelled out from the beginning, it helps to avoid problems in the future.
  3. Know your strengths and weaknesses. My partner is better with the business end of things, so I often rely on her background knowledge to help guide me through the legal portion of collaborating. In turn, I have my own unique set of skills I’m bringing to the table.
  4. Have a foundation of trust. Writing is already a “raw” experience. Opening yourself up to another person in such a vulnerable way means that you need to trust that even if your partner tells you something that hurts, that you know they are coming from a good place.

And, honestly, you never know where collaborating may take you. The one Portals’ anthology started coming together and somehow turned into four (and now I hear there may be even more). My work is in Volume #3, which came out this week. Which, given the fact that my first published work came out roughly a year ago, is a huge deal to me.

So, whether you’re working with one other writer or a bunch of writers, weigh the pros and cons, and be ready for a fun and exciting ride. I, for one, am so glad I did!

On a side note, they’ve made the Portals: Volume Three FREE, so if you are interested in checking it out, here is the information.

Portals Project

Welcome! You have arrived at a portal to the galaxy.

Enter, and you’ll be introduced by award-winning authors to worlds beyond imagining, with heroes & heroines who dare to take it to the edge and beyond. Count on these adventurers to take their best shot … at their enemies and at romance!

Contains 10 first chapters, with links to purchase any or all of the complete books, should you wish.

 

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Going the Final 10%- Getting Published

Person on Cliff

In the next few months, I’ll be putting out multiple stories in multiple genres. I can’t believe it’s been a year since the first time I published, because so much has changed. But mostly, I’ve come to a lot of new realizations about writers and what prevents them from actually getting published.

Fear. It’s amazing to see all these intelligent, gifted, wonderful people who still have yet to publish a single thing. I look at their work and ask myself, what is stopping them? Perhaps some are waiting to go a more traditional publishing route, which means being published is less in their control. But for the most part, the people I meet are simply afraid. They take their projects 90% of the way, but never go the final 10%.

So what do they need to know?

If they have done some or all of the following things, chances are they are ready to publish:

  • Run their work through a critique group
  • Run their work through alpha and/or beta readers
  • Got an editor

No, they probably don’t want to write something and throw it on Amazon, “just to see what happens.” But if you’ve taken the steps to create a quality story, why not take the chance and see what happens if you let readers see it? Publish your work!

Some people will hate it. Some people will love. And maybe, through reviews, writers may discover some of their areas of weakness.

The process is hard. I feel it’s akin to asking someone on a date or interviewing for a job. You lay a piece of yourself out for the world to respond to, knowing that you have a chance of getting hurt. One of my first negative reviews simply stated that my story was too short. I remember feeling confused, and a little sad. I decided to mention in an additional spot that my story was in fact a short story. It hurt a little to see the negative review, but it also told me that maybe readers need the length of a story very clearly stated, so I did get to learn something from it.

Even the best writers are afraid when they publish. So if you’ve been waiting to take that next step, don’t stop at 90%. It’s time to see your project all the way through.

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King for a Minute- A Free Tale By a Fun Author

 

King for a Minute

I love to stumble across well-written stories on author’s blogs and websites. Amelia DeField wrote a short one that quickly packs a punch. I’m in love with the references to the traditional tales about King Author and his court, but this story takes some really unexpected twists. I don’t want to ruin anything, but I think Steampunk fans will be pleased.

Check out the full, free King for a Minute:

http://ameliadefield.com/KingForAMinute

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Marketing Results

Happy Woman

This past book release has been my most successful so far in many ways. I’m going to logically attribute some of that to the fact that with each book I’m potentially increasing my small, but loyal, readership. However, there were some real surprises this time that I wanted to share. So, I’ll explain what I did and the results of those actions.

  • Amazon Free Day
    • I wasn’t able to figure out a way to make the day of my release of Circe: The Beginning a “free” day through the Kindle Select Program, however, I made the second day a free day.
    • This proved to be an awesome idea that I intend to repeat. In total, I gave away about 6X the amount of stories than I have in the past. I’ve also already had a few reviews trickle in.
    • Additionally, I had consistent sales for about a week after the giveaway.
  • Amazon Promo for “To Kill a Wizard
    • I made my book .99 during the week I released Circe: The Beginning.
    • This was not a “move” I thought would result in many sales. This book is written for young adult readers, verses dystopian sci-fi readers, so the two stories don’t really link.
    • To my surprise, I made the most money off of this promo. In total, I sold nearly as many copies of my book this past month as I did the first month my book was available.
    • I’ll definitely be doing this again.

These two promotional tools gave some unexpected results, however, the biggest surprise to me was the weeks that followed the initial “boom” in sales after the promos. I have sold and gave away less books in the last two weeks than in months. Somehow, I expected that my sales would decrease after the initial release, but I didn’t expect them to go below what I normally sell. I’m interested to see what the next month brings, because I’m hoping for better long-term results.

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To Kill A Wizard

Mel Goethals recently read and reviewed both “To Kill a Wizard” and “Circe: The Beginning.” She gave both books five stars and had some wonderful things to say! I really appreciate her time and effort, and I’m glad to have found such a great book reviewer. I actually plan to pick up some of the other books she’s discussed on her website.

Check out the full reviews!

mel goethals

clip0009

AUTHOR: Lisa Morror
SERIES: The Protectors of Tarak #1
FORMAT: Digital
PAGES: 230 (Just want to clarify when it’s a digital copy I just use the page count that’s on my e-reader, so in epub version but often that’s not accurate to what it used to be, f.e. the Paperback of this is 400+ pages)
LINK: Goodreads
NOTE: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much, Lisa, it was a pleasure to read this.

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION

When eighteen-year-old Rose is chosen to join a mysterious order of women known as The Protectors, she hopes to escape a forced marriage and a miserable life. Instead, she unveils the dark secrecy surrounding The Protectors, and uncovers the horrific truth behind their power source. With her loyalty in tatters and her best friend’s life held hostage, she must learn to…

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Interview with Norma Hinkens

Immurement

You never know what you’re going to find when you pick up a new book. I was pleasantly surprised when I read Immurement by Norma Hinkens. From the first page, you get a sense of a well-thought-out world, rich characters, and beautiful writing.

When I saw that she’d won the Next Generation Indie Book Award for Young Adult fiction, and that she had an impressive 62 reviews on her book, I was afraid to reach out to her. Since stepping out into the writing world, I’ve realized some writers just don’t have any interest in connecting with other people in their field. Norma is definitely not one of those authors! She was so warm and so willing to answer all of my questions.

I thought she’d be a wonderful person to ask for an author interview from. She sent me great answers to questions I sincerely wondered about, like why she chose indie publishing over traditional publishing, how she managed to get so many reviews, and more. So, check out her interview:

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

When you self-publish the workload can be overwhelming at times and it drains the creative side of your brain. It’s really important to carve out sacred writing time in the midst of the mayhem.

Why did you choose this route?

I got the imperial thumbs down from the traditional publishing world after two years of back and forth. I was close to securing an agent on two different occasions, but it never panned out and it took forever to query and get responses

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?

I would avoid most of the smaller paid promo sites as they just don’t move the needle. Concentrate efforts and dollars on the bigger ones.

What do you do to get book reviews?

Mostly crawl on my hands and knees over broken glass to find them! It is very time consuming to research and reach out to appropriate book bloggers who are often inundated with requests. I’ve also done a couple of Blog Tours which have garnered a handful of reviews. I listed my book on NetGalley for a month, and I’ve offered a free copy of my book in exchange for an honest review in a couple of Facebook groups I belong to. Organic reviews are the icing on the cake.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?

Sadly, no. I’ve been mostly throwing spaghetti at the walls and hoping it sticks, meaning I explore every avenue knowing that only a few reviewers will come through for me.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

It’s not a black and white issue. A five-star review can hurt you if it’s obviously someone gushing who has some skin in the game (acquaintance or email subscriber,) and a one-star review can help if it’s apparent the person has either never read the book, can’t spell, or is simply mad at life in general and on a rant. Sometimes the things a hater hates about your book are the very things that make someone else want to read it. The telling reviews are the ones that reveal a common thread. Pay attention if you keep hearing the same constructive criticism over and over again.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

Derry is one of those individuals for whom life is not worth living if you can’t live free. She isn’t some “chosen” one with special powers. Instead, she overcomes her limitations and fears, and reaches deep inside herself in order to lead a rebellion against a regime’s horrific abuse of power.

I love this last question, because her main character is so complex and interesting. If you’re interested in checking out her book, you can find it on Amazon. And, here is the blurb:

The Sweepers are coming. They hunt the young. Earth’s end is her beginning.

Sixteen-year-old Derry and her brother live in perpetual fear of capture. They survive underground on a scorched earth overrun by gangs, clones, and mysterious hoverships. When her brother goes missing, Derry’s only hope of finding him is to strike a deal with a group of cutthroat subversives. Desperate to save her brother, she leads a daring raid to uncover the secrets behind the Sweepers’ hoverships, but she soon finds out the world she knows is a lie.

Keeping her brother alive may require trusting her enemy and opening her heart to something she never thought possible.

Immurement is the first book in The Undergrounders Series, a sci-fi dystopian thriller trilogy. If you like captivating apocalyptic tales, gritty complex heroines, and twists you won’t see coming, then you’ll love this fast-paced, end-of-the-world adventure!

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Book Recommendation- Moonlight

Aeon's Cover

Aeon Igni, who wrote the beautiful sci-fi romance called Salvation, recently came out with a new book in the same genre. I love this story! It isn’t your stereotypical romance with characters that feel like the same ones you find in every other book. There is something special about how everything flows and comes together. It draws you in, and at the end, you feel like the characters truly deserved their happy ending.

Check it out on Amazon.

Blurb:

What’s it like to live on the moon?

Let me tell you, it’s not a damned picnic.

After a personal tragedy struck my life, I signed up for service on the moon. My name is Belle, and I’ve been here for six years now, mining Helium 3 for the Moon Rock Mines Corporation. The other tech and I keep the machines running so we make our quota each quarter. The shifts are long, the work is dangerous, and the freeze-dried meal rations leave plenty to be desired.

Every two years, I get a new tech to help me. And I have to say, Jace is the best by far. Hard-working, talented, good with his hands…and yes, even though I’ve sworn off getting involved with another tech, I’ve covertly checked out his other assets a time or two. What do you expect? I live on the moon.

I’m not looking forward to his contract being up in a few weeks. But maybe he isn’t that keen to return planetside, either. A proposal in the kitchen has me wondering if I can risk my heart with a tech again. And if I do…what will happen when his contract ends?

*Moonlight is a 15,000-word science fiction romance short story. It contains adult language and scenarios.*

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Amazon Kindle Book Giveaways

Amazon Giveaway Page

Starting an Amazon Kindle Book Giveaway was exciting and confusing. I knew absolutely nothing about how to make one, so I played with it more than anything else, while I figured out how to use it as an effective marketing tool.

      After I ran various contests, I learned a lot, so check it out:

      • Things to know about running a giveaway:
        • YOU pay for your own books as prizes.
        • YOU select how many prizes will be given away, so you know the cost of the contest before it runs.
      • Giveaway One:
        • I found a section on the bottom of my book product page that said something like “run a giveaway.” I clicked on it and started the process.
        • Initially, I chose two books as prizes.
        • There is a section where you can “require” participants to do something in order to enter the contest, for example: follow you on Twitter, follow you on Amazon, etc. I didn’t make any additional requirements.
        • The one thing I did do was this:
          • You are allowed to type a very short, 250 character response, to the people who win and lose your contest.
          • On both messages, I included a link to my email newsletter sign up.
        • There are two other major sections:
          • The first section, requires that you decide how people will win:
            • First come, first win
            • Random
            • Or something like, every third person wins
          • The other area actually isn’t that confusing, but I was confused the first time I tried this contest. You get to select a number.
            • I chose 1000, because honestly, I had no idea the response I would get.
            • My assumption was that no matter how many people entered the contest, two people would receive free books.
              • I was wrong.
            • At the end of the seven day contest, I had around 350 people enter.
            • And NO winners…
            • It was more than a little disappointing, so I jumped right into the second contest.
          • Giveaway Two:
            • This time, I setup the contest the exact same way, but I made two changes that had a hugely different outcome.
            • I made the contest out of a couple hundred, instead of a thousand. (My thought process being that I KNEW I could get 350 people entering my contest in the same amount of time.)
            • And, I required people follow me on Amazon.
            • So, after the same seven days, I had ZERO people enter the contest.
            • Again, no prizes given away.
          • Current Giveaways:
            • I’m currently running giveaways for “To Kill a Wizard” and Circe: The Beginning.
              • Circe: The Beginning has two prizes available, NO additional requirements (like following me on Amazon), and will have two winners out of two hundred.
              • To Kill a Wizard” (which has had two unsuccessful giveaways) has two prizes, no additional requirements, and will have two winners out of fifteen.

The last thing I want to mention is that I couldn’t find the giveaway dashboard anywhere, initially. So, here is a link to it::

https://www.amazon.com/giveaway/host/dashboard?

        And here is a screenshot of the page:

Amazon Giveaway

        I’m not sure how my final giveaways will pan out, but I learned a lot about the process. Hopefully, my fumbling exploration of this marketing tool will help all of you with your own giveaways.
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“Circe: The Beginning” is Available on Amazon

Circe: The Beginning is available on Amazon today. So if you haven’t checked it out already, view it here: http://www.amazon.com/Circe-Beginning-Dystopian-Sci-Fi-Adventure-ebook/dp/B01EBIH0ZE/

circleN-my changes5

Blurb

Impressions can be deceiving. The world has taught Connie that. Monsters don’t hide in shadows or under beds, like she believed as a little girl. Instead, they walk in broad daylight with handsome faces and warm smiles. What’s worse, the nightmares they awaken within her are memories rather than creations of her own imagination.

But, what if it didn’t have to be that way?

Connie and The Revolutionists think they have the answer. An idea that will finally make things fair.

Unless they’re wrong. Will the new world be any better than the old, or will Connie find she’s made the worst mistake of her life?

*** Circe: The Beginning is meant as a prequel to the True Souls’ series. At around 3,000 words, it is a short story. This dystopian, science-fiction novel contains some cursing and violence.

I read all my reviews, so feel free to let me know what you think!

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