What’s up with Linda Cassidy Lewis?

Do you have long, quiet periods where nothing much is going on followed by bursts of activity? It seems to work that way in my life. Also, that sort of describes spring where I live, except that this year we had an abundant rainy season preceding the burst of bloom occurring now. I’m in the midst of a burst of spring activity too, so I thought it would be a good time to let you know what’s going on in my wonderful world of writing.

First, The Brevity of Roses and An Illusion of Trust, books 1 and 2 in my women’s fiction series The Bay of Dreams, got a facelift. I’ll be writing Book 3 this year. This week, the cover of my supernatural suspense novel Forever was also updated.

    

Next, the lovely Darlene Foster, author and world adventurer, interviewed me. She’s a Canadian, now living in Spain, who incorporates her adventures into her middle-grade fiction Amanda series. You can learn more about Darlene and read my interview on her blog. If you’re into learning more about me, check out my other interviews.

Then, Amazon took the stage. I got word that Kindle Press will be publishing my humorous romance Love & Liability! This is the second book in my High Tea & Flip-Flops Series. They haven’t given me the publication date yet, but I expect it will be sometime in early April. (Amazon moves quickly in their publishing divisions.) When it’s scheduled, you’ll hear me shouting the date.

As you may know, Kindle Press is also the publisher of two of my other ebooks—High Tea & Flip-Flops and Forever. And since the two-year anniversary of the Scout program is coming up, they’ve decided to celebrate that by putting all their publications on sale. The sale will run from March 20 through April 3, and all Kindle Scout books will be priced at only $.99 … yes, 99-cents! Mark your calendar now!

Also, beginning in April, Forever will be part of the Amazon Prime Reading program, which means that if you’re a Prime member, you could read it absolutely free.

Is anything exciting happening in your life?

Linda

It’s all about exposure, baby!

Some of you may have wondered why I would give The Brevity of Roses away for two days last week. It was exciting, to be sure. It’s amazing to think that thousands of people can now read it, of course, but that’s not all I expected. I knew the giveaway would increase the book’s visibility on Amazon while it was free, but what about after that period?

Some of you may have wondered why I would give The Brevity of Roses away for two days last week. It was exciting, to be sure. It’s amazing to think that thousands of people can now read it, of course, but that’s not all I expected. I knew the giveaway would increase the book’s visibility on Amazon while it was free, but what about after that period?

I believe Brevity is a good story and its reviews confirm that, but only a limited circle knew about it. People can’t buy a book they don’t know exists. As an independent author, specifically one with no influence or marketing budget, I’ve had a major challenge getting Brevity noticed, so when I heard about the KDP Select program, I had to consider it.

In the first three months after Brevity’s publication, 74% of e-book sales were through Amazon, and that increased to 91% during the last seven months. That fact weighed heavily in my decision because to enroll your e-book in the KDP Select program, you have to remove it from all other distributors. Obviously, for me that restriction was practically a non-factor.

Also, enrollment in the program makes your book available to the Amazon Prime lending library, and each borrow earns the author a percentage of a monthly pool of funds. I would earn less for a loan than for a sales, but far more than zero.

So, did the giveaway give my book more visibility on Amazon? Heck yeah! It rose to #4 on the Kindle contemporary fiction chart. Did the promo result in increased sales after the free period? You betcha! It maintained a rank of #22 in all fiction sales for eighteen hours. It’s also racking up borrows.

From others experience in the KDP Select program, I expect my current sales rank to gradually lower over the next few days, but not return to what it was before the giveaway. As people read Brevity, they’ll tell their friends about it. Some of them will leave reviews at Amazon. Word of mouth will continue to give the book exposure. I deem this experiment a success!

The Brevity of Roses is free on Amazon!

Today and tomorrow, February 23 and 24, the digital version of my novel The Brevity of Roses is FREE at Amazon. REMEMBER, you don’t have to own a Kindle to read a Kindlebook. Amazon provides a free Kindle reader app for your PC, Mac, smartphone, or iPad.

If you haven’t read Brevity yet, here’s your chance to get it free. If you have read it, PLEASE spread the word about this promotion. I’m excited. Brevity is all dressed up in its beautiful new cover and waiting to be read. I want to see the book rise to the top of the Amazon ranks in its categories. If you tell your family and friends, on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and anywhere else you can think of about this giveaway, I will be eternally grateful.

Am I being melodramatic? Yes, I am. I really need this promotion to work. There are millions of books for sale on Amazon, so even though mine has a 4.6 star rating, it’s virtually INVISIBLE. With this promotion, I can make its existence known to thousands of readers who would love it.

Deep breath. Here we go!

Bluegrass, Super Secret, and Select

I’m happy to report that I haven’t posted since Thursday because I’ve been writing fiction. If you follow my Facebook Author Page you know that I was working on one of my “down home” stories, with a bluegrass accompaniment to set the mood.

I’m happy to report that I haven’t posted since Thursday because I’ve been writing fiction. If you follow my Facebook Author Page you know that I was working on one of my “down home” stories, with a bluegrass accompaniment to set the mood.

That story is one I’ll include in my story collection (yes, that project is back on the table) and eventually will be part of a larger work, probably a novel in the form of connected stories. The house pictured here inspired the concept. My great-great-grandfather, or maybe his father, built that house. It grew from the original settlement, a log cabin in a little holler beside a crick. I’m imagining the stories of some of the people who called that place home.

A couple of other writing-related projects occupied me. One is Super Secret … and Super Cool. Yes, I know that’s a tease. 🙂 You’ll hear all about it in time, but I’ll give you a hint: it involves a new face … of a sort.

The third writing-related project was researching the KDP Select program recently implemented by Amazon. In short, authors can enroll one, some, or all of their e-books in the program to have them included in the Amazon lending program. In that program, Prime Members can borrow the book to read on their Kindle. Also, through the KDP Select program, the author can mark a book FREE for a limited time.

I think the real benefit of that option is potential sales of an author’s other books after someone downloads their free book and likes it. Since I have only one book published, this program would not benefit me now, but I’m watching how it’s working for others. So far, I’m definitely undecided whether I should take part in the future.

The downside to the program is exclusivity. While your e-book is enrolled in KDP Select, it can’t be available anywhere else—not for sale, not for free. (This refers to e-book only.) So, each author has to consider how this might affect their sales. In my case, so far, 85% of my e-book sales have come through Amazon. Since the free Kindle app is available for PC, Mac, most Smartphones, and the iPad, the KDP Select exclusivity eliminates mostly those who own the Nook reader.

So there you go, my essay on how I spent the last five days. What have you been up to?

I know you are, but what am I?

My friend Kayla Olson brought something to my attention this morning. She pointed me to a rant, posted anonymously by someone at a book review site, screaming at DIY authors like me using the term “Indie,” as in Indie author or Indie publisher. Their contention was that Indie was a term coined by vanity presses to scam would-be clients into believing they were legitimate independent presses.

So, what’s the definition of independent press? Traditionally, it applied to a small trade press. Now, that definition has been muddied because vanity publishers have adopted the use of the term and self-published authors refer to themselves as “Indie published.”  Am I self-published, then? Well … not if the definition of self-published means you only sell your books directly, which is how some define the term.

I don’t want to insult anyone by usurping a term I’m not entitled to use. I also don’t want to slap an unwarranted negative label on my work. I am the author, publisher, book designer, and cover artist for The Brevity of Roses. It’s a first-class job on all levels. Label it how you will. I don’t think readers care. So, for clarification—I’m an AUTHOR.

Update:  You’ll notice in my sidebar over there —> that my book is now available in digital formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. The print version will be available at Amazon within a week, I hope.

Support your local indie, self-published, DIY author!


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