Results of my latest free book promotion

On Sept 20, I wrote my 54th post in my writing a novel series. It covered my results from offering my novels for free, usually as part of the Kindle Direct Publishing Select program.

Since my post, I have done another free promotion for Blood Bond.

If you remember from my original post, I have already done one free promotion on Blood Bond. It resulted in 781 books downloaded for free over 5 days. But based on the numbers from a free promotion from one of my previous books (The Heir to Alexandria), I wasn’t pleased with these results.

The Heir to Alexandria had 2740 downloads in just 3 days. I attributed the success of that promotion to my paid advertisement of my free book. Most of my downloads came on the day of my E-reader News Today ad.

One of the ads I posted on Facebook and Twitter.

When I did my first free promotion for Blood Bond, I applied to have an ad in the E-reader News Today, but they denied it, and I went with an advertisement on a different website. But I was able to secure an ad on E-reader News Today for my next promotion.

In October, I decided to run Blood Bond for free for five days. I applied to many of the same websites that would allow me to post (for free) information about my free book. And I applied for an ad in the E-reader News Today for Thursday – the mid-point of my free promotion.

Here is the breakdown of the free book downloads.

Oct 9 – 9 Books

Oct 10 – 3 Books

Oct 11 (day of E-Reader News ad) – 1171 Books

Oct 12– 165 Books

Oct 13 – 19 Books

That is a total of 1367 free books. My book did rise in the rankings but never did break the Top 100 Free list. It got as close as 104. Breaking the top 100 would have increased my exposure. But it did rise to #2 in both Fantasy/Epic and Fantasy/Sword and Sorcery.

Here is Blood Bond at #6 on the Fantasy/Epic charts.

It has only been a week and half since my book ran for free. I have received one new review (5 stars) and sold 2 more copies of my book. And the number of pages read through Kindle Unlimited has soared.

While this is still not as good as my results with The Heir to Alexandria, I consider this more of a success than the first time I ran Blood Bond for free.

I can definitely say that advertising helps with the free downloads, but I am still not sure if there is enough of a benefit in doing a free promotion. The goal is to get people to read your work and love it enough to buy your other books. And while that did work with The Heir to Alexandria, it hasn’t always proved to be the case as you can see with the past two free promotions for Blood Bond. This is why I caution new writers from even offering their books for free. The benefit only comes if you have other books already published.

#Free eBook Alert – BLOOD BOND is free 4/25 to 4/29

From Wednesday, April 25 thru Sunday, April 29, you can download my fantasy novel, Blood Bond, for FREE!

Available only at Amazon.

Don’t have a Kindle? No problem. Download the Kindle App for free here.

Blood Bond: Book Description

Man severed the alliance with the dragons fifty years ago. But now an invading army marches north destroying everything in its path. The dragons believe only together can the invaders be defeated. They need an emissary.

Womanizer. Drunk. Failure. Soren is many things. A leader isn’t one of them. But, Dex, the dragon that saves him from a cliff, believes different. Thrust into an adventure he never wanted, Soren’s life changes forever when during a battle Dex’s blood mixes with his blood creating a mystical blood bond – forever linking them.

As the bond strengthens, Soren must decide whether to return to his old life or accept the bond and embrace his role in the battle against the invading army.

 

Download Blood Bond for FREE here.

Today’s Featured Author – K.M. Hodge

Please welcome author K.M. Hodge to my blog. Her latest book, The Sally Ride Chronicle, is a prequel to her Syndicate Born trilogy. And best of all it is FREE until Saturday March 3rd so get your copy today from Amazon!

Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself:

Award winning and USA Today Bestselling author, K.M. Hodge grew up in Detroit, where she spent most of her free time weaving wild tales to spook her friends and family. These days, she lives in Texas with her husband and two energetic boys, and once again enjoys writing tales of suspense and intrigue that keep her readers up all night. Her stories, which focus on women’s issues, friendship, addiction, regrets and second chances, will stay with you long after you finish them. When she isn’t writing or being an agent of social change, she reads Independent graphic novels, watches old X-files episodes, streams Detroit Tigers games and binges on Netflix with her husband.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

I started my first novel at the tender age of 18, but my own feelings of inadequacy prevented me from finishing the novel. The novel, Red on the Run, didn’t get completed until eighteen years later. The novel eventually got picked up by a publisher and went on to win the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Thrillers. My advice to my younger self would be to complete the book and not give up.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

While it took me eighteen years to write my first novel, the others have gone by much faster. In the last three years I have written almost nine novels and published seven. The fastest book I wrote was my Syndicate-born novel: Black and White Truth, which took me 60 days to write.

Please tell us about your current release.

My latest release, The Sally Ride ChronicleA Syndicate-born Prequel, gives a look at what drove Sally Ride to become a spy and take down the Syndicate. Readers asked me to write more about my characters Sally and Alex. According to the current reviews, I met reader expectations.

If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

I would absolutely be the character Sally. She is a strong, determined and feisty gal. She preservers through intense situations and fights even when it seems like all hope is gone. Her evolution through the series was the most interesting and fun to write.

Book Blurb

The Syndicate doesn’t believe in divorce, but murder is another story.

Sally wants out—out of her marriage, out of the mob, out of Ocean City. An impossible dream. That is until the MDNA, a secret hacktivist group, invites her to join the ranks of their rebellion. The goal? Take down the criminal empire.

She’s no Jane Bond, but no one in her town suspects the quiet church-going mom is a threat, especially The Syndicate’s criminal defense attorney, Michael David, who’s got a thing for mysterious blondes. His love-’em-and-kill-’em exploits, and his penchant for causing witnesses to disappear, make him enemy number one for the hacktivist group. Sally’s mission sounds simple enough—destroy the lawyer’s life and make him pay—but….

Once she starts, there’ll be no turning back.

Follow Sally as she attempts the unthinkable—take down the largest crime ring in US history—in this prequel to The Syndicate-Born Trilogy.

About the Author 

Award winning and USA Today Bestselling author, K.M. Hodge grew up in Detroit, where she spent most of her free time weaving wild tales to spook her friends and family. These days, she lives in Texas with her husband and two energetic boys, and once again enjoys writing tales of suspense and intrigue that keep her readers up all night. Her stories, which focus on women’s issues, friendship, addiction, regrets and second chances, will stay with you long after you finish them. When she isn’t writing or being an agent of social change, she reads Independent graphic novels, watches old X-files episodes, streams Detroit Tigers games and binges on Netflix with her husband. K.M. Hodge truly enjoys hearing from her readers, so don’t be shy about dropping her an email or say hit on social media: Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

You can get The Sally Ride Chronicle on Amazon for FREE through March 3.

#NewRelease – THE JEALOUS FLOCK by Ashley Borodin

Author Ashley Borodin released his debut novel, The Jealous Flock, last month. If you would like to read it for FREE, he is giving away copies in exchange for an honest review.

Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself. 

My name’s Ashley and just to be clear I don’t expect to be called Zim or Zir. My name, in its various permutations, was a popular boys name in Australia in the late 70’s. There were three of us in my highschool year-level, making it the most popular name in the school I think.

Where were you born and where do you call home?

I was born in Australia, in the southern, and least deadly bit called Victoria. At the moment I’m in the process of moving back there from Tasmania, which is even more southern.

What or who inspired you to start writing?

This is a tough one to answer. I’ve always been capable of writing but seldom motivated. In school and later in life various writers with a strong mind, with powerful ideas have goaded me, taunted me into putting my own will to paper. I think the final two voices that lead to my actually writing a novel were Bukowski and Ballard. If you’re reading my work and looking for similarities, for a sort of provenance, then I think those two could be considered the fathers of The Jealous flock. I’m thinking in particular of Bukowski’s poems and Ballard’s Millenium People.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’m not sure I do. And judging by the muted response I get to my pleas to be taken seriously, I’m not sure anyone else does either. But if being a writer means struggling to be heard above the din and persevering in the face of inevitable and constant rejection, then I started to feel like a writer about two weeks ago. That’s when I really started to stop being a writer and start being my own publicist.

How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?

The character of Randall in The Jealous Flock is a thinly veiled version of me. I’m also in all the other characters, especially when they are observing the peculiarities of others – that’s my Outsider’s view on the world.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

I have two ideas in the works. One is a coffee table book of my best poems and the other is a novel about an orphaned boy who is one of the Lost Children:

Here’s an excerpt:

Morris hurried down the crumbling rock. The passageway grew dim and soon the next corner would cut all light, but he dared not use his torch. It was the corner after that, the one with the drop, and only then after a thorough check would he even think about lighting the way.

The dogs were angry. Scurrying eggs catapulted them toward the tunnel entrance and soon they too were slipping awkwardly on the rocks. One hit the wall and yelped. That gave the second pause, but not before he’d already collided with his sister and the two had become tangled on the sharp rocks. Each yelped in turn and tried to get their bearings.

The scent.

But the boy was gone.

As they nosed the air, only silence and dusty breath met their senses. It was over. The chase was at an end.

There would be consequences.

How do you conceive your plot ideas?

Things that have an impact on me emotionally, events or stories I relate to. I suppose I make finding a way through my own grief, my own story through the stories of others. In ‘The Jealous Flock’ I am speaking largely as the boy who said, “The emperor has no clothes!” This experience has been, and still is, a large influence on my thinking and outlook on life.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

Both. However I am going to map out my next project before really getting stuck in this time. It makes life a lot easier.

Please tell us about your current release.

The Jealous Flock is my debut novel and it’s short. A lot of people like it once they’ve read it, which is gratifying. It’s getting anyone interested in the first place that seems to be the tricky part. If you’ve ever watched one of those mini-series that the British do so well about an upper-middle class family going through some kind of crisis – well imagine taking that and putting it on the world stage. Giving that story international, geopolitical context. That’s The Jealous Flock. It relates all the small things to the very large things that are shaping our society today.

What inspired you to write this book?

About 4-5 years ago I could sense a change in the zeitgeist. I come from a deeply religious, indeed Fundamentalist Christian, family and the Gift of Prophecy is something they take for granted. I see foresight in a more prosaic manner but that’s basically what I was doing back then – forecasting the future. I saw a few, but certainly not all, of the emerging trends and tried to commit these revelations to paper as quickly as I could.

How did you come up with the title?

That shall remain an enigma. A good poem, koan or aphorism, a good riddle has to stay and gnaw at you. It’s not my job to spare you the necessary discomfort of allowing it to do its work in the back of your mind.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

I’ve been watching documentaries for ages so I had a lot of backlog of international affairs to wade through. Also there are those British dramas I’m quite fond of. Then there are books of course. I’ve done some reading on Sufism and the Hashashin. I did conflate these in the book in an unrealistic way and there’s a reason for that. The reason is to exaggerate the  hodge-podge of Islam that leads to extremism to show the contrasts within the ideology itself and the varying cultures we broadly label as ‘Islam’ as outsiders.

I watched a lot of interviews and visited websites of people with similar roles to those of my characters. And I did a lot of first-hand reporting. Writing live from the bus, on the beach, in my house surrounded by screeching birds.

Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?

I hate books and films where every character is an idiot. I have to live with these people so I’d better make them somewhat likeable. That was my approach. At the same time I didn’t want to make them archetypes in the way Ayn Rand does with her characters. I’m not a romantic, I’m a Realist. A Realist who also invents things. I think I like Randall the best because he’s the most fully realised of the lot. I had an easy relationship with him. The others I felt a little antipathy towards. Or rather an aloofness. They are entirely foreign to me but I did my best to understand them, generally by bringing them to heel.

If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

I’d be Martin. He’s much more important than me and doing a lot of worthwhile stuff with his life. I envy him.

If you could jump into any book, and live in that world, which would it be?

I tend to like open world fantasy games so I suppose something like Lord of The Rings would be a pretty awesome world to inhabit. As long as I can save at any time.

If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?

Ayn Rand because I think our fights would be epic and I could retire on the ticket sales alone.

GK Chesterton because I’ve recently discovered Distributism and I would like to start implementing his ideas with his blessing.

Book Blurb

the-jealous-flockForced from their collective comfort zone, all three members of Martin’s family come face to face with the realities that underpin their urbane way of life. Each is faced with a paradox that will test their belief in themselves and their image of the tolerant, liberal society they believe they inhabit.

An epic in miniature, The Jealous Flock takes readers from the cloistered air of Professional London through the harsh realities of the Middle East and on to the culture war simmering beneath the surface in Australia.

Through their interwoven narratives each character tries to grapple with change as they question their authenticity and value as individuals amidst The Jealous Flock.

About the Author

Ashley Borodin was born in Victoria, Australia in 1978, that means he remembers stonewashed denim jackets the first time round. He has been published in a few literary journals and delivers poems into the void daily on Twitter. His début novel is The Jealous Flock but he won’t tell you what the title means.

You can find out more about Ashley on his website or you can follow him on Twitter.

You can get a free copy of The Jealous Flock in exchange for an honest review. It is also available on Amazon.

 

Holiday Sale – #Free or reduced #fantasy books

Welcome all you new e-readers out there. I hope many of you received a Kindle, Nook, iPad or Sony e-reader this holiday season. As my present to all the new e-reader owners, you can get two of my books for FREE! Or get my trilogy for just $2.99! 

Please use the coupon codes on the Smashwords website where you can download these stories in whichever e-book format you need. All coupons are good thru December 31st. Enjoy!

The SearchTHE SEARCH – a fantasy short story

For over a thousand years, telepathic cats known as STACs have faithfully searched for those with power over the elements looking for the one foretold to save the Land. None have questioned their duty to fulfill this ancient task.

But when Tosh’s latest charge is murdered because of his Elemental powers, Tosh considers abandoning The Search. Will a glimpse of the future destruction be enough to change his mind?

FREE -No coupon needed  Smashwords   Barnes & Noble   Kobo Books

SummonedFINALSUMMONED: Book 1 of The Elemental

At the age of four, Lina discovered she could start fires with a mere thought – a trait which had died out long ago. Cautioned by her telepathic cat, Tosh, she kept this Elemental power a secret to avoid being an outcast. That was easy to do growing up in the remote grasslands of Zena.

Now as an adult, she had no plans to leave her beloved homeland. So when a strange urge compels her to travel north to an unknown destination, Lina resists this unnatural feeling. But her plans to stay in Zena are taken out of her control when she is kidnapped by gypsies and wakes in a foreign land. The desire to travel north is as strong as ever. She fears she will have no choice but to give into the compulsion. When a raging fire prevents her return home, she realizes she must find out once and for all what or who is summoning her.

On her journey, Lina befriends an odd assortment of allies. Together they battle mystical creatures and unnatural forces despite the fact that such magic had died out over 800 years ago. Lina reluctantly begins to use her innate Elemental power as she becomes more certain that someone is using magic against her. When she discovers the shocking truth, it will change her life in ways she could never imagine.

FREE – Smashwords Coupon Code: KH73U 

THE ELEMENTAL TRILOGY 

box setGet all three books in the trilogy for one low price. The adventure begins in Summoned (see description above). Lina’s story continues in Quietus and concludes in Destiny.

Quietus:

In the shadow of Ben Dar fortress, Lina learned she was the center of a thousand-year-old prophecy claiming the rebirth of the Elementals – an ancient race dedicated to caring for the Land.

Now Lina and those with traces of Elemental power train in the mountains of South Point in the hopes that they can defeat this unknown danger to the Land. Will her powers be enough to stop the destruction of her homeland?

Destiny: 

Destroying Quietus should have stopped the destruction to the Land. But it hadn’t. Slowly, the barren areas continue to grow destroying everything in their path. None of Lina’s Elemental powers can repair the damage while the Land remains contaminated by magic.
But there is an ancient scepter created by a Learner that may lift this magical barrier. Before Lina can claim it, the scepter is stolen. Now Lina and Val must race to find the scepter and end the destruction to the Land once and for all.

Reduced Price – NOW $2.99 – Smashwords Coupon Code: SL92A

In honor of my birthday – Fantasy Book Sale

My birthday is this week and I thought I would give you, the reader, a present to celebrate.

For one week, I am offering my fantasy trilogy for just $2.99! That is right – you can get all three books for the price of one book!

If you are a cat-lover, I also suggest checking out The Search, which features Tosh, a telepathic cat from my trilogy. You can get this fantasy short story for only 99 cents on Amazon.

But I will let you in on a secret – you can get The Search from Barnes & Noble, the Kobo Store, or Smashwords – where it is available in all e-book formats – for FREE! That’s right. It is FREE every day!

So for just $2.99 this week you can get FOUR fantasy stories. (Sale ends Tuesday, Sept. 16)

Enjoy!

The Elemental trilogy

Amazon                Smashwords (Coupon Code: HN44P)

box set

Summoned:

Lina was born with the power to start fires with a mere thought – a trait which died out long ago. She had no plans to leave her beloved homeland. Then gypsies kidnap her and take her to a foreign land. There a strong urge compels her to travel north.

On her journey, she reluctantly uses her innate Elemental powers as she battles mystical creatures that have not existed for 800 years. When she discovers the shocking truth behind the calling, it will change her life in ways she could never imagine.

Quietus:

In the shadow of Ben Dar fortress, Lina learned she was the center of a thousand-year-old prophecy claiming the rebirth of the Elementals – an ancient race dedicated to caring for the Land.

Now Lina and those with traces of Elemental power train in the mountains of South Point in the hopes that they can defeat this unknown danger to the Land. Will her powers be enough to stop the destruction of her homeland?

Destiny: 

Destroying Quietus should have stopped the destruction to the Land. But it hadn’t. Slowly, the barren areas continue to grow destroying everything in their path. None of Lina’s Elemental powers can repair the damage while the Land remains contaminated by magic.
But there is an ancient scepter created by a Learner that may lift this magical barrier. Before Lina can claim it, the scepter is stolen. Now Lina and Val must race to find the scepter and end the destruction to the Land once and for all.

The SearchThe Search

For over a thousand years, telepathic cats known as STACs have faithfully searched for those with power over the elements looking for the one foretold to save the Land. None have questioned their duty to fulfill this ancient task.

But when Tosh’s latest charge is murdered because of his Elemental powers, Tosh considers abandoning The Search. Will a glimpse of the future destruction be enough to change his mind?

Amazon                 Barnes & Noble               Kobo Store        Smashword  (every ebook format)

Free E-book: Waves of Change – July 2-4

Get Waves of Change: How Tennessee’s Thousand-Year Flood Changed the Lives of a Survivor, a Rescue Professional, and a Family Grief Counselor for FREE on Amazon.

Here is an interview with one of the authors – MJ Plaster.

Author Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself. 

I’m freelance writer, editor and accidental author. I’m also a chaos magnet, and every time something unusual happens, family and friends have said, “You ought to write a book about [fill in the blank]. Tennessee’s Thousand-Year Flood provided an opportunity I could hardly refuse.

How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?

What you see is what you get, and that comes through in the book. The other authors are equally genuine. We bared our souls for others who will travel our road because no one should feel alone when disaster strikes.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

Yes. One of my clients commissioned a piece based on my experiences at TWA and then encouraged me to write a book. I’ve started the project, a travelogue featuring some of the recipes that I begged, bought with a gargantuan tip, or recreated after many failed attempts. Seasoned travelers know that food is a window on the soul of the people and their culture.

What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)

The best advice I have ever received about anything I have ever wanted to do or be was, “You can do anything you want to do if you set your mind to it.” Thanks Mom. People have learned not to discourage me once I’ve made up my mind. I might talk about something for years, but eventually, I will do it. I don’t have time for negativity. The flood helped me winnow a lot of dead wood and negativity from my life. Who would have thought!

Please tell us about your current release.

Waves of Change is a nonfiction account of Tennessee’s Thousand-Year Flood as experienced by a survivor (me), a rescue professional (Melissa Riley) and a family grief counselor (Pam Hernandez-Kaufman). Our lives intersected during the aftermath of the flood, and we have remained friends. The reader will alternately laugh and cry, but none of it is by design—the story wrote itself. Much of the book reads like a story, but it’s all true. We’ve received comments that it’s really a manual on life. I suppose that’s because you can apply the lessons learned to any crisis. Ours just happened to be a flood.

What inspired you to write this book?

Certainly not a publishing a credit! I had just lost both parents. Sixteen months before the flood, my mother died unexpectedly. My father died four months to the day before the flood. So the flood was the final straw. Losing everything that remained of my life in the blink of an eye was devastating. I wrote as therapy. When Melissa and Pam suggested that we should write a book, I said, “My part’s already written,” or so I thought. I rewrote my portion twice as the anger dissipated—and it did—completely, thanks to writing.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

Not a scrap. I researched my options before the book came on my radar. The same is true for Pam and Melissa. They’re trained professionals, so they had the background to deal with this professionally, but you’ll learn that they were affected emotionally just like everyone whose lives were touched.

Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?

It was the moment the rescuers pulled me into the canoe and I realized Miss Fluff, my cat had bolted and drowned. It’s in the first chapter, and you can read it on Amazon.

If this book is part of a series, what is the next book? Any details you can share?

The next version will include interviews from other survivors, rescue professionals and grief counselors.

What was the most difficult thing/scene to write in this story?

The first chapter, which describes the morning of the flood up to the point where my rescuers drop me near the main road that runs through our condo development. I cry every time I read it. If you’ve ever seen one of those scenes where you’re in the front car of a roller coaster, that’s what the first chapter does. You’re right there in that rescue canoe, dodging lightning bolts on the way to safety, sobbing your eyes out, knowing that if you had only prepared properly…

Did the story turn out the way you planned from the beginning? If not, what change happened that you didn’t expect?

You touched on one of the major themes of the book. We can’t know what’s going to happen to us. It brings to mind the quote attributed to Dwight D. Eisenhower, “Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” Nothing illustrates that quicker than a natural disaster. Beyond that, you either use an experience such as the to grow—or not.

Book Description

Waves of Change: How Tennessee’s Thousand-Year Flood Changed the Lives of a Survivor, a Rescue Professional, and a Family Grief Counselor

WOCDo you wonder what it would be like to live through a natural disaster, to survive a flood, hurricane, tornado, or other weather event?

In the early morning hours of May 2, 2010, Tennessee experienced the worst and most costly non-coastal disaster in the history of the United States, dubbed the Thousand-Year Flood.

Waves of Change portrays the struggles and triumphs of a flood survivor, a rescue and recovery professional, and a family grief counselor as their lives intersected during the aftermath of the flood.

You’ll laugh at their tales, weep at their frustrations, and leave with a sense of empowerment, secure in the knowledge that natural disasters, in all their fury, are just a milestone along the path of life.

About the Author

mjMJ Plaster spent more than two decades traveling throughout Europe and North Africa, and she’s at home wherever she lands. Today, she spends her days spinning yarns as a brand journalist and weaving tales out of whole cloth, based on her experiences.

She became an accidental author when she co-authored Waves of Change, the story of Tennessee’s 1000-Year Flood from the perspective of a survivor, a rescue professional, and a family grief counselor.

When she’s not researching, writing, or editing or hounding editors, clients, or authors, you can find her practicing alchemy in her Nashville kitchen and garden, pretending to work out on her Total Gym, or chasing her next adventure somewhere between here and Timbuktu.

You can download Waves of Change for FREE from Amazon July 2-4, 2014.