Doughnut Receipts and Book Reviews

 

Doughnut

By Angeldm (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

What do receipts and book reviews have in common?
First, remember the comedy bit about the doughnut receipt?

I bought a doughnut and they gave me a receipt for the doughnut. I don’t need a receipt for the doughnut. I’ll just give you the money, and you give me the doughnut, end of transaction. We don’t need to bring ink and paper into this. I just can’t imagine a scenario where I would have to prove that I bought a doughnut. Some skeptical friend: “Don’t even act like I didn’t get that doughnut! I got the documentation right here…oh, wait it’s at home…in the file…under “D”, for “doughnut.”    Mitch Hedberg (1968 – 2005)

This is how I feel some days about the paperwork at my house. I have too many doughnut receipts, things that I don’t need to save. I’m getting ready to do a big purge.

Have you heard? The spirit of Mitch Hedberg lives on in the receipts of a doughnut shop. His joke involving donuts and receipts is printed right on the receipts. So have a doughnut and a laugh, and remember a comedian  who .

 

Second, I don’t want to do a survey every time I go somewhere.

My grocery store’s receipts always have a survey code at the bottom. As I’m leaving, the employees practically beg me to go complete the survey and give them all fives.

Are we really this desperate for feedback? Let’s think about this again. Self-selection bias. The people more likely to do the survey are the ones who are unhappy, even with a promised entry into a drawing for some gift card. Taking ten or fifteen minutes to go online and do a survey isn’t worth my time. Why bother?

What is the grocery store going to do? Use the results to either encourage or browbeat their employees. My guess is the latter. Because only the irritated customers are going to bother. Hoping results from a biased survey will improve is a pipe dream.

 

So why should you do a review on Amazon?

Having said that, if you really enjoy an indie author’s books, go out and give them a review on Amazon. Reward their efforts with a 4* or 5*. Just write a few words sharing what you liked about the characters, or the setting. Let others know what kept you interested in the book.

Why? What’s in it for you? I firmly believe that in this new world of digital publishing, the good authors will rise to the top if enough readers speak out. If you encourage authors who are publishing things you like, then hopefully they will find the audience that will enable them to continue. While it’s free to publish on Amazon, book covers and editors are not free.

If you pick up a book for free or a cheap 99 cents, think about why that author would sell his or her work so cheaply. They are hoping that, if you like the book, you will buy their next one, and add give them a positive review. Share the love. Tell your friends.

 

Kindle Unlimited Readers beware

There are authors on Amazon who are releasing thousands of books of nothing but garbage. Short novels with 25 pages. Look at author Sam Enrico on Amazon and his “How to” series. Last I checked, he has 11,000 books listed in Kindle Unlimited. I’m hoping that Amazon catches his scam soon, but if someone downloads his books for free and looks at the first 10%, which in his case is usually two or three pages, he gets paid by Amazon around $1.50 a book at last check. Pay attention to the length when you are downloading books. If you don’t want to waste one of your free reads on a short story, don’t. Most of the time Amazon will tell you how long it is. He has probably made thousands because people click on the downloads and don’t even realize it. Be careful out there.

Cover Reveal: Under His Protection

Are you ready? I’ve held onto this one for almost six months. This is the cover that made me change the name from No Time for Love to Under His Protection.

 

 

I am so excited about this book. We continue Lee’s story, and no, he’s no with Deena, the chef he was dating in the first book.

Fox and Laura are in several scenes, and they are getting ready for their wedding.

Lindsey has been at Clemson for a year, and is progressing towards her Master’s degree in mathematics.

Lee has started his new business, as he planned in No Strings Attached, but he’s having trouble getting any traction. No one wants to give a new company a chance. Robert Stephens, his mother’s husband, uses his connections to get Lee an interview with Senator Martin Crowne, who wants to hire security for his daughter.

Elizabeth Crowne (don’t call her Beth) is running for attorney general for the state of Georgia. Someone is threatening her with vicious notes, but she doesn’t think they need to hire security. She has a feeling that her ex-fiancé is behind the threats and it will all blow over. She goes along with the bodyguard for her dad, but she thinks it’s a waste of time and money. When the threats become attacks, she has to admit that someone wants her dead.

Two jaded loners find a connection, but nothing is as it seems.  As Lee digs deeper, looking for answers, he only raises more questions, uncovering a conspiracy that goes deeper than they suspected. When those closest to you betray your trust, nothing is sacred.

Originally I envisioned this series as connected books, meaning that they share characters and not much else in terms of story line.  However, I found unresolved issues carrying forward into this book, and the plots are becoming more entwined than I planned. For this reason, I recommend they be read in order, and put the order number on the cover. My editor has the complete book now, and I am hoping for a release date in June or early July.

Today I dropped the price for No Strings Attached to $0.99, to celebrate its birthday. I’m planning to run the sale through the end of May. I’m not sure how long the different retailers will take to lower the price, but you can find a direct link to your preferred ebook seller here.  All-Romance ebooks also sells the book in pdf format if you don’t have an ebook reader. The book is now available in iTunes, Kobo, and the Nook. You can also download a kindle reader app for your tablet.

Everyone who signs up for my new email list between now and the end of May will be entered for a drawing for a $5.00 giftcard to Starbucks. You can choose either the monthly newsletter option, or the email on new release only option. Either way, you’re eligible for the drawing.

The first newsletter will go out June, and the contest will reset. So be one of the first subscribers and have a chance to win. Newsletter subscribers will also be the first to read the new prequel that I’m coming out with in August or September, that explains tells some of what happened in the first book from Lindsey’s point of view. What really happened in that casino with Ric? Sign up for the nesletter here

Happy Birthday to No Strings Attached!

The official birthday for my book is May 25, 2013, because that’s when it went live on Amazon. But on May 24th, at about ten o’clock at night, I clicked publish.

2013-07-08 11.00.55It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year. One year ago today, on May 24, I clicked publish on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program. We had checked and checked and made changes, and as I stared at that screen, I was terrified. What if I had some stupid error? What if everyone hated it? What if? What if? What if?

It’s scary as a writer to Let it Go. (Cue the Frozen song, because that’s what we do at our house).

But I knew that I had put too much time and effort into that book to let it languish on my computer. So I hit publish. Since no one knew me from Adam, and I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on promotion, I’m pretty proud of my results. In it’s first year, my book has sold over 500 copies.  The most interesting thing for me is that I have developed quite a following in the UK. For the past two or three months, I have sold more books over there than in the United States.

I have had strangers email me and tell me how much they enjoyed it. People regularly harass me as to when I’m releasing the sequel. So, to celebrate the one year anniversary of No Strings Attached, tomorrow I’m going to reveal the cover for Under His Protection.

I struggle with titles. The working title for the first book was always A Corporate Affair. The sequel was to be called A Political2013-12-07 11.46.15 Affair.

Then I decided to start each book in the series with the word No. So, following No Strings Attached, I planned to have No Time for Love, which was the working title for the second book. Tomorrow you will get to see the cover that made me change my title to Under His Protection.

If I wasn’t using the title to tie the series together, I needed a series name. I liked the idea of the city background for all of my books in this series, so I decided to name the series City Lights. While we travel to the Caribbean a good bit in the books, much of the action takes place in Vegas, Miami and Atlanta in the first book, and Atlanta in the second. Plus using the city background ties the covers together. Here’s the new cover for No Strings Attached with the series name.

Tomorrow I will celebrate the first book by starting a week long sale, and we’ll have a big cover reveal for the second book.  Everyone who signs up for my new email list between now and the end of May will be entered for a drawing for a $5.00 giftcard to Starbucks. You can choose either the monthly newsletter option, or the email on new release only option. Either way, you’re eligible for the drawing.

The first newsletter will go out June, and the contest will reset. So be one of the first subscribers and have a chance to win. Newsletter subscribers will also be the first to read the new prequel that I’m coming out with in August or September, that explains tells some of what happened in the first book from Lindsey’s point of view. What really happened in that casino with Ric? Sign up here

Amazon Takes Down Monster Porn

Amazon is removing some books from its virtual shelves, namely books that have been reported as offensive, including non-consent sexual acts with monsters, sexual acts with Sasquatch, and aliens.

http://www.businessinsider.com/monster-porn-amazon-crackdown-sex-fantasy-bigfoot-2013-12

The quote that I found fascinating is this, from the literary agency that represents E.L. James, who parlayed her 50-Shades trilogy into millions:

A representative from Valerie Hoskins Associates in London, the literary agency that reps E.L. James, was apparently so opposed to being included in a story about the genre that they responded to requests for comment with “We know nothing about self publishing or erotica.” (You read it here first: “Fifty Shades of Grey” has absolutely nothing to do with self-publishing or erotica.)

This, of course, continues the age-old debate that pits pornography against freedom of expression.

What do you think? Take my short poll here.

Are you an American Goddess?

Are you an American Goddess?

Today on my blog I’m featuring Gary R. Henry, author of American Goddesses. I have been twitter-friends with Gary, who tweets by @LAmerican Goddesses by Gary R. HenryiteraryGary, for several months. I read his book, American Goddesses, and was hooked. I think if you give it a chance, you will like it too. Here’s the blurb from Amazon:

When two small-town women find themselves with nearly unlimited powers of mind and body, their lives get complicated. Things turn nasty as a shadowy organization attempts to use Megan and Trish for their own evil ends, and destroy them, their town and the USA in the process.

Here’s my review, 5/5 stars: When I first saw this book, I didn’t have a lot of interest for the superhero theme, but this book is so much more than “Can (insert name of superhero) save the earth from death and destruction?” What would your life be like if you gained unlimited powers? Would you still have a job, working with people who you worked with before you were indestructible? How would they feel about your bizarre powers? Would you still be married? How would your relationships change? These are all deep questions that none of the superhero movies delve into, especially where the superheros are women. Gary Henry attacks these issues and questions with gusto. I loved seeing the characters grow and become more fully human, even as they had all of these fantastic powers. Well done!

GaryGary, tell me a little bit about yourself.

I love stories – Seeing, hearing, reading, telling them. In my trail-running club, the Lawrence Trail Hawks, we’re each given a special “hawk name” when we join. You can’t name yourself. The name must be bestowed by others. They called me “Story Hawk.”

This story is different. How did you stumble across this idea?

I’ve always worshiped women. You are like water. Strong and life-sustaining.  There’s nothing sweeter when you’re thirsty. Yet water  — and women — can also grow angry and violent, and when they do – watch out. AMERICAN GODDESSESS is my love-letter to women. You’ve always seemed mysterious, magical and a little intimidating to me.

Sometimes when you create something different, it’s hard to find a classification for it. Currently, this book is listed under action and adventure, but it also has some romance. Who do you think would like this book?

I originally thought superhero fanboys would be the audience. Surprisingly, at least to me, many middle-aged women have reacted positively to AMERICAN GODDESSES. But I hope anyone who liked a good story will enjoy the tale.

I struggle sometimes when I get inside the head of my male characters. You’re facing the reverse problem, being a man writing from the POV of women characters. How do you get inside your female characters heads?

I read romances authored by women. NO STRINGS ATTACHED by  Lily Bishop is on my list, as a matter of fact. I also ask women almost exclusively to beta read for me.

Romances I’ve read – and enjoyed – include THE MERRY GO-ROUND by Donna Fasano and SUMMER WINDS by Wanda P. Smith. Also, THE GOOD DR. GRANT by Karen Einsel, TWIXT by Diane J. Reed and THE SELKIE SPELL by Sophie Moss.

I also try to pay close attention during my interactions with women, including my spouse Karen.

Are you thinking about a follow-up? How far along are you?

I’m a touch beyond halfway on the sequel ROGUE GODDESSES. For a preview, visit my book review website Honest Indie Book Reviews at http://honestindiebookreviews.wordpress.com/rogue-goddesses-preview/

Lily, I hope you will allow me to add how honored I am to be asked on to “Don’t Call Me Sugar.” I love that title.  Happy New Year, my dear friend and fellow author. Go Tigers, and see you in the Orange Bowl!

Give me the buy links so I can include them, and a link to whatever else you want to share.

AMERICAN GODDESSES at Amazon – American Goddesses

AMERICAN GODDESSES at Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/168834

Gary, thank you for stopping by, and best of luck in the new year. Now get to work on that sequel, darn it!!! Gary can be found on twitter (@LiteraryGary) and blogs over at http://honestindiebookreviews.wordpress.com/

If the book sounds good to you, check it out and tell your friends. If you don’t want to miss any of my future book recommendations, follow this blog.