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

You Don’t Want to Miss This!

B-and-II’m happy to let you know that these two novels are deeply discounted starting today … but not for long. The Kindle versions of The Brevity of Roses and An Illusion of Trust will both be priced at 99 cents (US) or 99 pence (UK) from 8am, February 18 to 8am, February 22.

If you haven’t read these books, don’t miss getting the best deal you’ll ever get on them. And, if you have read and enjoyed them, I hope you’ll tell a friend about the sale. I’ve temporarily reduced the price hoping to get a few new reviews on Amazon, especially for An Illusion of Trust, which has few. Good ones, but too few.

I’m using a Booklinker smart URL for this sale because it will automatically direct readers to the correct Amazon for their locale. So if you share with a friend use these:

The Brevity of Roses: myBook.to./TheBrevityofRoses
An Illusion of Trust: myBook.to/AnIllusionofTrust

If you follow me on social media, you might see me post the images below. If you see them on Facebook and wish to share, PLEASE include the URL in my original message because the image won’t be click-linked to Amazon as they are in this newsletter.
 Brevity_99_16Illusion_99_16_blue
That’s all for today. I’ll be back soon. I wish for you a wonderful weekend. 
Linda

What Should I Write and Publish?

As an indie writer, decision making is both a blessing and a curse—I get to make them all and I have to make them all. Making decisions at any time does not come easy for me. My current one concerns what I should publish next. And beyond that I’m trying to decide what I should be writing now and in the future.

questionpandaBefore Amazon’s Kindle Press published High Tea & Flip-Flops, I self-published two novels of women’s fiction. The Brevity of Roses once hit #3 in the Kindle contemporary fiction category on Amazon, but that was only because it was FREE during a promo. But I had no hope that it or An Illusion of Trust would ever rank in a Top 100 Paid category.

Though it thrilled me to know people were reading my work, in the world of publishing my books were invisible.  As such, I didn’t feel the need to brand myself as writing a particular genre. I felt free to write whatever I wanted. I figured a few hundred readers would find my books, mainly during free or discount promos, and some of them would eventually get around to reading and maybe even reviewing them.

Those expectations changed with High Tea & Flip-Flops because Amazon has the means to make sure many more than a few people know about that book. Kindle Press published it on 28 July and by the end of August 916 people had bought or borrowed it. I won’t see the actual numbers for a few more days, but I expect that total doubled by the end of September. And because Amazon selected it for their October Kindle Monthly Deal promotion, I predict the number of sales and borrows for the third month will equal the first two months combined.

As I write this, High Tea & Flip-Flops sits at #26 on the Top 100 Paid list in the Kindle Store’s Women’s Fiction > Humor category—not a nothing category. It’s also on the Top 100 Paid in Contemporary Fiction > Romance (#69) and just shy of the Top 100 Paid in Women’s Fiction > Romance (#115) both major categories. Plus, borrows and sales have picked up on my other novels. Yes, I’m still far from being a known author, but I’m no longer a completely invisible one either.

If I’d been thinking like a career-oriented writer, I would have had another romantic comedy written or at least started before I submitted High Tea & Flip-Flops to the Kindle Scout program. But I’d surprised myself by writing one romantic comedy and certainly never intended to make a career writing them. HT & FF was a gift of sorts. One I definitely needed, considering the health problem I faced this summer.

But the truth is I didn’t really expect Kindle Press to select High Tea & Flip-Flops. I figured I’d self-publish it and write whatever I wanted next. So now I find myself conflicted.

To capitalize on the success of HT & FF, I feel I should publish another romantic comedy next—or at least a romance.  As it is, I haven’t even written the first draft of a romance or women’s fiction novel. What I have in the final stages is psychological suspense with romantic and supernatural elements. That’s what I wanted to write.

Would it be smarter to publish another book soon, even if it’s a different genre, or not publish anything for several months while I write and polish another romance, humorous or otherwise?

Do you have an opinion on this to share with me?

Linda

Sell More Kindle Books with Better Links

I’ve been reading book marketing tips for three years, but recently I learned something that made me want to do the “V8” forehead smack. If you sell your ebooks on Amazon, but only link to the book page in your own country, do you know you might be missing sales?

linksI live in the US, but if I click on a Kindlebook link that leads to the Amazon UK page, I won’t be able to buy the ebook. If I’m observant enough, I might see a notice on right-hand of the page telling me I can only shop at Amazon.com. BUT if I click on the link provided, it doesn’t take me to the page for the ebook I was looking at on Amazon UK, no,  it takes me to the Amazon Kindle storefront! It works the same for all Amazon stores.

So, if I post only Amazon US links on my blog or social media accounts hoping to entice readers to buy my ebook I’m probably discouraging or, at least, frustrating my friends and contacts who live outside the US. If they are interested in my ebook and click the US link I provided, they might very well think the book is not available for them to buy. Bad news, right? BUT …

Did you know you can easily create a universal link that will direct the potential buyer to the page for your Kindlebook in their country’s Amazon store?

I know of two free services where you can create these links: BookLinker and SmartURL. I learned about these through this blog post by Jason Matthews, which includes step-by-step videos to show you how it’s done. I used BookLinker and in a couple of minutes had a universal link to use on my blog, social media accounts, and my other Kindlebooks.

BookLinker is simpler to use. You can create an Author page link or Amazon Associate links also.  An advantage to using SmartURL is that you can create a link to your Amazon reviews page and use it in your ebooks to encourage readers to leave a review. So, though my new book link is through BookLinker, I’ll also be creating a review page link through SmartURL and updating my ebooks.

And don’t forget to make a universal link for your print version too. Although Amazon may allow you to buy a print book from any of its stores, who wants to pay international shipping if they don’t have to?

The Brevity of Roses: A man discovers himself through the two women he loves.Okay, so how am I initiating use of my new links? By running a book sale, of course. For the next five days (1-5 September) The Brevity of Roses ebook is free! (Remember Amazon has a free Kindle app, so you don’t have to have a Kindle to read Kindlebooks.)

Illusion_2014_widgetWhat’s better than one sale? Two sales! So also this week, I’ll be running a Kindle Countdown Deal on An Illusion of Trust ebook! The price starts at $.99 cents and will rise to $1.99 midweek before returning to its regular price at midnight PST on Sunday. (UK price will be £ .99 VAT-inclusive for the duration, with the sale ending at midnight GMT on Sunday.)

Go ahead, readers, click my links!

 

Linda

 

A Book Cover Designing Problem

If you design your own book cover, you may encounter many problems. Being too close to the story is one of those. If you’re too emotionally involved, you might not be able to envision the best cover design. I know. I didn’t initially design the best cover for my novel An Illusion of Trust. (See the ebook cover in detail and the full print cover here.)

An Illusion of TrustBut today I’m proud to show you the beautiful new cover. Even though I designed it, I can say it’s beautiful without feeling immodest because the photo I chose did most of the heavy lifting.

I found that photo at a stock photo site a year before I published An Illusion of Trust. One look took my breath away because, to me, it portrayed the sweet beauty and fragility of Renee, the book’s main character. I stored the comp image on my computer, planning to buy the real thing when it came time to design the cover.

Fast forward six months. I’d finished writing and editing the manuscript and sent it to my beta readers. This time I hadn’t had the benefit of running the manuscript through a critique group, so I was unusually anxious as I hit that send button. And when the betas returned their feedback, it became obvious not every reader would be as sympathetic toward Renee as I’d hoped.

As I went through more rounds of revision > beta > revision, I also worked on designing the cover. But feeling that I’d written a darker story than intended, I designed a dreary cover. Every day after that, I looked at that cover and hated it. So a couple of months after publication, I changed it a bit. I hated the cover a little less, but it still depressed me. Even when it was nominated for an award.

excovers

I didn’t want to promote the book.  I hated to even think about it. A few times, I decided to unpublish it. But each of those times, a positive review or private message changed my mind. When a reader tells you how much they identified with Renee, or that her story made them cry, or that they stayed up way past their bedtime to finish reading, then you know you wrote a book that deserves to be published.

And if it deserves to be published, it deserves the best cover you can provide.  Now, I’ve done that. And I’m finally smiling.

Linda