Showing posts with label free books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label free books. Show all posts

Jun 17, 2018

Free! Free! Free!

Research shows that the word free is one of the most compelling in the English language. Everyone wants something for free, even if they don't need it.
And we know that nothing is really free, right?
Still, if you're a mystery reader, you can get a free e-book right now using the link below. I joined with a group of mystery writers who offer their book free for a very limited time in order to get attention and interest. The "free" books will usually  require you to submit your email address, which means you'll get a newsletter from the author at some point. I don't think that's a huge price to pay, because you can always unsubscribe if you don't want more of them.
I chose KIDNAP(.)org as my giveaway, and I put up 500 copies. They're already half gone, so I think it's going well. I'm at work on the second book of the series (of at least 3), so if you enjoy the free book, it won't be long before you can read further adventures of this "gang" of kidnappers.
NOTE: The second book will probably never be offered for free. That's how we get you!😉


Here's the link for a free copy of this book or a bunch of other intriguing titles:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/limitlessmystery/6huhogahx0


Jun 5, 2017

The Strategies of Authoring

I've been at this for a while now, and I've seen the publishing world undergo drastic changes. When I got my first contract with a traditional publisher, that was the way to go, because books published by an author in what was then called "vanity publishing," were expensive to produce and almost certain to fail.

That changed when two things happened: a few brave authors (e.g. Hugh Howey) began working to understand and use the system to their benefit and Amazon made it (fairly) easy and definitely cheap to publish books.

My time with traditional publishers was extremely valuable. I learned about the need for good editing, good cover art, and good resources for promotion. On the downside, I learned I had few options once I signed a contract, and the financial reward for my work was a long time coming and not nearly as much as people imagine when they plop down $26.00 for a hard cover book.

Now that I'm sort of independent (I've stuck with one of my publishers so technically I'm what they call a hybrid author--which sounds kind of science fiction-y but isn't) I'm learning how books sell in the times when hundreds of thousands of books are added to the possibilities readers are offered each year. Some are tossed into the world like a monkey throwing mud at a canvas, with the naive belief that someone will call it art. Others (like mine) are the result of hard work, dozens of revisions, and many people's input, both paid experts and wonderful volunteers.

All that to say this: One of the ways independent authors attract notice for their books is by giving them away. In this time of free books everywhere, it's hard to get a reader to pay for a book if they haven't read an author before or heard good things about her from someone they trust. Authors like me give away the first book in a series in order to entice readers to buy Book Two, Three, etc.

The Dead Detective Agency is now free through all Draft2Digital outlets, including B&N, Kobo, and the like. I've notified Amazon, so they will eventually price match, though I can't predict when that will happen. If you haven't met Seamus (pronounced shay mus) and don't mind a light-hearted mash-up of mystery and the Afterlife, try the e-book for free, then go back for the rest of the series at only $2.99 each.

Seamus Meets the Mackinac Bridge

Seamus Joins a Theater Group

Seamus Investigates His Own Murder


Oh, and what I'm reading now: Two Days Gone by Randall Silvis. Great scenario, but he'd better not disappoint me when I get to the truth!

May 29, 2017

New Life for a Book

One of the things authors need to recognize is that books don't just take off and become bestsellers. Some lie around for months, even years, waiting to be noticed. We're encouraged not to neglect our backlists, but it's difficult when there's something "NEW! NEW! NEW!" to talk about. That's been the case with the Loser series, which ended a couple of years ago.

Killing Silence is one of my favorites among my books. I love the protagonist, Loser, who is homeless and damaged but not down and out. The idea that homeless people are counted out of society, ignored by most and assumed to be incapable of paying attention, makes her a perfect sleuth.

The publisher of this series has decided to make Killing Silence free on Kindle for May 29-31. I'm really excited about this, since I think freebies are a great way to introduce a book to new readers.

If you've already read the book, you can help by passing the news on to your Kindle-reading friends. If you haven't, here's a chance to meet a unique character. Some get the impression the book is "dark" but that isn't true. While Loser begins in a bad place, the story traces her reclaiming herself as a person. Still, it scares some. At a library talk last week a woman confessed that she'd been reluctant to begin it, though it came highly recommended. "I thought, it wasn't my thing," she told me. "But you really get wrapped up in the story."

Aha! That was my plan all along. Once you get to know Loser, you'll want to read the other two books in the series--which will make both me and my publisher happy.

https://www.amazon.com/Killing-Silence-Loser-Mysteries-Book-ebook/dp/B00A87IAQG

It's also available in print and audio. Just not free :(

 

Nov 28, 2016

Free Books and All That

I'm kind of bad at selling things (which is odd because my dad was a used car salesman. He wasn't the stereotypical one, though, and worked hard to find the best car for the money for each customer.)
Anyway, even with years of watching people sell things to other people, I can't make myself tell readers that my books are amazing and will change their lives. Nor can I follow the advice of one writer I met who said, "When people come up to your table at a signing, shove the book at them so they have to take it into their hands. They'll be embarrassed to put it down, so they'll buy it."
Really? I'd be embarrassed to be that pushy.

So here's the deal. It's the holiday season and people are looking for gifts. If you know a mystery reader, you might consider giving one of my books. I've listed below the first in each series, and I'm giving the Kindle versions away over the next month on Amazon. I won't hide my motive: if a person reads one book, this author hopes it will lead to buying the next and the next.

You win. I win. I like it that way.

First Sleuth Sisters Mystery (four so far, another on the way) is free TODAY/TOMORROW on Amazon. (Nov. 28-29) It's called, oddly enough, THE SLEUTH SISTERS. (Written as Maggie Pill).
Link to Amazon

The first Dead Detective Mystery (4 total) is THE DEAD DETECTIVE AGENCY. Link to Amazon

The first Loser Mystery (3 total) is KILLING SILENCE  Link to Amazon.

The first Simon & Elizabeth Mystery is HER HIGHNESS' FIRST MURDER. Link to Amazon

All my books are available in print and e-book. Most are available in audio. Of course I have stand-alone mysteries too. You can find out more about them here on my site, at Amazon, or you can ask any bookstore to order them for you through their regular distributor.
 


Dec 14, 2015

30 Days of Christmas Day 20: What's a Blog-Hop? & Bad Christmas Music

A Blog-Hop is a line of blogs put together so that readers meet new authors. A group that awarded their BRAG medallion to THE SLEUTH SISTERS, IndieBrag, has arranged one for the month of December, and I'm to be high-lighted tomorrow, Dec. 15th. I plan to share a Christmas story I wrote that will remind you of another Christmas tale, and I plan on giving away advance copies of my next book to some who visit either me (here) or Maggie (maggiepill.maggiepillmysteries.com). Be sure to visit!

 Today's topic is Christmas music. I love the classics, both religious and secular, but I have to admit I'm distressed by performers who shouldn't attempt them. Walking through the stores, I hear stuff and think, "Who thought this was a good idea?"

I found this site that demonstrates: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/10/worst-christmas-songs_n_4416509.html

I have a soft spot for George Michael that I can't explain, but the rest? Shouldna done it!

Sep 15, 2015

Saturday, Sept. 26: Alpena Book Festival



Welcome to the Alpena Book Festival!

All visitors who register for the ABF will receive a free Passport. At each panel or participating business they visit, they’ll get a stamp on their Passport. A completed Passport (10 stamps) enters the visitor into a drawing for baskets of prizes donated by authors, publishers, and Downtown businesses.
Visitors who donate to READ* ($10.00 suggested donation) receive a tote bag filled with books and other freebies. Tickets found in the tote bags can be used to enter drawings for additional prize baskets. Tickets can be purchased separately, but the tote bags are a great deal.
Sessions listed below are open to all, but space might be limited. All sessions run 50 minutes, leaving 10 minutes to get to the next one. Authors will return to the bookstore that has their books after their sessions to meet readers and sign.

10:00
Panel discussion: Stories That Inspire-Olivet Book & Gift
Panelists: Christine Johnson/Zachary Bartels/Delores Liesner/Tedd Galloway/Jenna Mindel
Inspirational books are reader favorites: great stories, great characters, and a sense that with the right outlook, the world isn’t such a terrible place.
Panel discussion: The Allure of Mysteries-Blue Phoenix Books
Panelists: PJ Parrish/ Dan Ames/ Elizabeth Buzzelli/ Susan Froetschel/ Douglas Cameron
Who doesn’t love a good mystery? Join 5 excellent mystery writers to discover how they devise those deadly plots!
Children’s Program-Alpena Public Library (10:00-12:00)
Children of elementary school age will be entertained at the library with book-related activities.

11:00
Panel discussion: Non-fiction: Real Books-Art in the Loft
Panelists: Mark Thompson/Elaine Stenger/Tedd Galloway/Delores Liesner
They say truth is stranger than fiction. These authors tell stories they didn’t make up: stories of things that really happened.
Panel discussion: Exotic Times, People, & Locales-Olivet Book & Gift
Panelists: Susan Froetschel/ Peg Herring/Pegg Thomas
Other times and places fascinate readers. Join these authors who write about them and learn how they research to get it right and write it to pull you in.

10:00-12:00
Pitch Advice (15 minute sessions)-Cabin Creek Coffee Meeting Room
Some of our panelists have agreed to meet with aspiring writers and talk with them about their work and how to present it to agents and editors in order to grab that publishing contract.
NOTE: You must register for these sessions before the Festival. Call or email Blue Phoenix Books to set up an appointment

READ is the Alpena Library’s adult literacy program, promoting communication development among those who face reading challenges.

12:00-3:00
The Long Conversation-Thunder Bay Winery Meeting Room
Join the authors for an informal discussion of books, writing, reading, and publishing. We’re sure the Winery won’t mind if you buy yourself one of their wonderful wines as you chat.

1:00
Panel discussion: Creating Memorable Characters-Blue Phoenix Books
Panelists: Connie Doherty/Christopher Chagnon/Zachary Bartels/Colleen Nye
Readers often argue about whether plot or character is more important in creating beloved books. These authors discuss how they create characters you love—or love to hate.
YA Session: The Many Current Choices for Young Adult Readers-As You Wish
Session leaders: Chanda Stafford/Laura Kolar
Dark or sunny, romantic or adventurous, realistic or fantastical: Writers today offer readers “in the middle” some great choices. Join our YA authors to talk about books and get some for free!

2:00
Q& A Session: Comics & Graphic Arts-Bob’s Bullpen
Join owner Bob LeFevre to learn about comics, drawing, and working in the field.
Panel discussion: Local History-Alpena Public Library
Marjorie Brandenburg/Tuffy & Bonnie Cross/ Deloris Law/Gerald Micketti/John Porter/Janet Young
What makes Michigan such a wonderful place to read about? The history, the land features, the people—and more.
What Makes a Genre, & Which One Do You Read?-Blue Phoenix Books
Panelists: P.J. Coldren/Christopher Chagnon/Connie Doherty/Laura Kolar/Christine Johnson
Genres, subgenres—what are they? When you look for a book, it helps to know what the industry calls what you like. Are you a cozy person or a noir fan? We’ll help you figure it out.

3:00
Panel discussion: Series: Continuing the Story-Olivet Book & Gift
Panelists: Peg Herring/PJ Parrish/Dan Ames/Elizabeth Buzzelli/Douglas Cameron
Writers of series face unique problems: keeping it fresh, allowing for characters’ life changes, and even killing off characters (but never the dog!)
Panel discussion: Romance between the Pages - Alpena Library
Panelists: Chanda Stafford/, Pegg Thomas/ Jenna Mindel/Colleen Nye/Angela Aaron
Stormy courtships, intriguing secrets, happy ending--romance is a wildly popular genre with a wide range of heat levels. Join these romance authors for a run-down, from sweet to Oh My!

4:00
Poetry Slam-Fresh Palate
Come and hear the Alpena area’s creative types read their work!
Panel discussion: Publishing in 2015-Alpena Library
Panelists: P.J. Coldren/Elaine Stenger/Mark Thompson/Angela Aaron
What does it take to sell books at this point in time? In some ways it’s easier than ever. In others, it’s much harder.

 5:00 Drawings for many wonderful prize baskets with gifts from downtown stores and books from visiting authors and their publishers.

Apr 15, 2015

An Interruption in Freebies




Winner of KILLING SILENCE was Patti T.
 
Due to the death of my laptop (purchased a scant six months ago) I'm suspending the freebies for this week. I hope the Princess Bride Effect is in play and the infernal machine is only mostly dead, but since I'll be traveling for the next few days, I have to leave it behind. I can't deal with daily updates to this blog on my iPad. Remember, my IT has DIO in the middle.

I've decided to pick the giveaways up again in May, when the third Sleuth Sisters book comes out, so stay tuned!
 
And don't forget to look for DEAD FOR THE SHOW, which will release on Monday whether I'm ready or not!



Are You in Panic Mode Yet?

 It's two days until Christmas. You have someone to buy for. Maybe you forgot. Maybe that person is difficult to buy for. Maybe you feel...