Contest, My Books, Writing

A belated anniversary and a giveaway!

This time a year ago, I spent the days swinging from elation to terror. The Brevity of Roses had just been published, and my talent, or any lack of it, was on display to the whole world. One moment I felt proud of myself, and the next I was aghast at my audacity. To be honest, a year later, I still have my swinging days.

One difference is that, now, I’m better at separating the Author from myself, though maybe not in the way you might think. I’m the one that writes, but that person with her name on the front cover—the Author? Well, I try not to think about her much. She’s useless at the keyboard. I let her check the sales stats and reviews.

This separation has made me feel I’m waking from a long sleep. I’m excited about writing again. I have two books in the works—a short story collection and a novel. My Muse speaks to me regularly.

And to celebrate Brevity’s one year anniversary, I’m giving away a signed print copy!

To those of you who know nothing about The Brevity of Roses, you can click the cover photo to read more about it. Here’s the bit from the back cover:

Told in gorgeous, poetic tones, The Brevity of Roses will take you on a journey delving into three unique characters as delicate and beautiful as a rose itself. Lewis’ rich understanding of relationships is phenomenal.” – Michelle Davidson Argyle, author of Monarch

Grief, discovery, anguish, pleasure, rejection, acceptance, atonement, forgiveness—the rhythmic odes of marriage, friendship, family. A fine debut novel that reaches deep into a poet’s beating heart, lays it open, vulnerable to the bitter betrayals, and the joyful loyalties, of this thing we call Love.” – Kathryn Magendie, author of the Graces Sagas, Sweetie and Petey, publishing editor of Rose & Thorn.

Jalal Vaziri has looks, money, women—and a habit of running from reality. When he abandons New York and reinvents himself as a poet in a California beach house, he thinks he’s running from a father who hates him, a career mistake, and endless partying. A fresh start is all he needs. After an intriguing woman enters his life, he believes all his dreams are coming true, but too soon, that dream dissolves into nightmare. Jalal flees again. Only this time, a woman blocks his retreat and challenges him to finally face the truth about what he’s trying to outrun.

The usual rules apply.  You can have up to five chances to win! Leave a comment below to enter your name once in the drawing. If your email address is not linked in your avatar, be sure to add it in your comment. If you Tweet, Facebook, or Google+ a link to this post, your name will be entered again for each mention.  LIKE my Facebook page (click the link in the sidebar) and your name will be entered yet again. (You’ll have to let me know you’re eligible for these other entries.)

The contest will close at 8pm PST on Sunday, April 22nd. The winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced in Monday’s blog post. Sorry, but because of prohibitive shipping costs, this contest is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.

Let the contest begin!

Fiction, Marketing, My Books, Novel, Promotion, Writing

Wow! The KDP Select Giveaway Experience

I’m excited to say my first KDP Select giveaway experience was a success. It thrilled me, amazed me, astounded me, and left me dizzy. If you follow me on Facebook, you might have thought I’d been hitting the wine bottle after reading my frequent updates, but I promise no wine was involved. I was just giddy from following the download numbers for The Brevity of Roses.

I apologize for the length of this post, but some of you may be considering such a giveaway for your book, so I think it’s important to share my experience. Also, some of you invested your time to spread the word or cheer me on, so I thought you might be interested in the results.

I don’t know why I didn’t think to check the rankings at the Amazon stores in other countries, but I didn’t, so all the action I’ll cite was for Amazon US, and all rankings were for free Kindle books. Here’s how it went. The ebook’s price was supposed to switch to free at midnight PST on Wednesday, but I stayed awake until 12:30 am and it hadn’t changed, so I went to bed.

My promo blitz began when my pre-scheduled blog post published at 5:30 Thursday morning. When I woke about 7:30 I announced the giveaway on Facebook and Twitter. I forgot about Google+ until later. I had not arranged to have the giveaway promoted at any free Kindle book sites.

However, I want to say right here that I have the greatest “tribe” of supporters ever!!! So many of you shared my announcement on Facebook, Twitter, and I don’t know where else, that I don’t think I needed any help from strangers. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Seriously, THANK YOU.

I was afraid to check the stats at first, so I didn’t see them until 8:30 Thursday morning. At that time, Brevity had been downloaded 665 times, and I ranked #30 in contemporary fiction and #60 in contemporary romance. (I forgot to note the overall rank.) I thought those numbers were great. Little did I know.

All day Thursday, Brevity climbed in the ranks, taking a big leap around 2pm that first day. From 6-7pm PST, it reached its peak download speed, averaging 12 copies per minute! By 7pm, 6,623 people had downloaded the book. It ranked #5 in contemporary fiction and #6 in contemporary romance. The overall rank was #25, and it sat at #24 in Top 100 Kindle ebooks, and #20 in Top 100 Fiction.

I was exhausted from all the excitement and last checked the stats at 11pm before going to bed. At that time, it had moved up one notch in all those ranks, and had been downloaded 8,014 times! I truly couldn’t believe that.

The second day, I started tracking stats at 7:00 am. The first stats I recorded were 9,023 downloads, it ranked #5 in contemporary fiction and #5 in contemporary romance. The overall rank was #17, and it was #16 in Top 100 Kindle ebooks, and #14 in Top 100 Fiction. That meant Brevity finally appeared on the first page of free downloads. Yay!

In all, Brevity maintained its ranking at #5 in contemporary fiction and contemporary romance for nineteen—19!—hours! I can’t tell you how unbelievable that was to me. Trying to wrap my little brain around that literally made me dizzy. By 2:30 PST on Friday, the book had been downloaded 10,733 times! And then, in the next hour it took a mystifying leap to #3 in contemporary fiction and held that spot for five hours.

As the timer ticked off the final hours, Brevity descended a bit, settling back in the #5 spot in contemporary fiction, dropping to #12 in contemporary romance, then rising again to #8, and staying there to the end. The final tally for US downloads was 12,604. Add to that 1,184 in the UK, 58 in Germany, 2 in France, and 1 in Spain for a total of 13,849 downloads worldwide!

Since these were free downloads, I earned no royalties from them, but the EXPOSURE, oh my! I feel like Brevity finally got a chance to be a contender. Of course, the lure of FREE means that not everyone who downloaded Brevity will actually read it. But even if only 30% read it, that’s nearly 5,000 more readers! Can you imagine?

One thing I’d been warned about beforehand was that I might see a few bad reviews after the free promo, I don’t know why that should be, but on Friday morning when I saw that my review count had increased by one, I was afraid to look. My fear was unfounded; it was a lovely 4-star review. A bit later, I received an email from that person saying she’d bought the book on Thursday and stayed up until 2am Friday to finish it. Now, wasn’t that just the cherry on top?

Writing

A conference, a contest, and a cry

If you’re looking for a good conference to attend this summer, might I suggest the Nebraska Summer Writers Conference? The Nebraska Summer Writers Conference joins the Prairie Schooner literary journal and the American Life in Poetry series as part of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln creative writing program. The Conference’s registration is open to the public, and includes creative writing workshops and panel discussions.

The weeklong session runs from June 12th-17th and the weekend session is June 11th and 12th. If you sign up now, you can get in on the discount offered on the Poetry and Novel Master Classes.

Remember that I have a contest running. On May 19th, I’m giving away a softcover version of my novel The Brevity of Roses on Goodreads. You can’t win if you don’t enter!

Not that anyone cares, but I cried with James Durbin last night. In case you’re not an American Idol fan, James was a contestant on the show. James pegged himself at the beginning as just a heavy-metal screamer, but somewhere along the line, he revealed he could truly sing with tender emotion. I started rooting for him to make the final three. Alas, he didn’t. I’m sure his career will do fine without an Idol win, but I’ll miss his performances.

Comment, if you care to, otherwise run along and have a good weekend.

[tweetmeme source=”cassidylewis” only_single=false]

Book Reviews, Contest, Fiction, Marketing, My Books, Novel, Promotion, Social Media, Writing

Shameless? Shameful? Whatever, I’m doing it!

Yes, I’m promoting The Brevity of Roses again. I’m going to ask you to help me out and it won’t cost you a penny! That’s right, we’re talking FREE.

If you’ve read the book, please rate or review it any bookish place you frequent online … particularly Amazon, and while you’re there, please scroll down to the Tags Customers Associate with This Product section and click the appropriate tags to help Brevity rise higher in the search results.

I’d also like to invite you to follow me on Twitter,  and like my Facebook page, and be my fan on Goodreads … because you can never have enough of the real Linda. Cowbell, maybe … Linda, never.

If  you’re really dedicated, you could also sign up for my Brevity Insider Newsletter, which you’ll receive sporadically. And if you’ve already done all these things, my goodness, don’t you have a life??? Seriously, thank you for your support.

Now, today’s big news! This new giveaway begins today and ends May 19th. Click below to find out more and enter to win.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Brevity of Roses by Linda Cassidy Lewis

The Brevity of Roses

by Linda Cassidy Lewis

Giveaway ends May 19, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

You say you couldn’t care less about me and my book? Well, that’s just rude. 🙂 Seriously, even if you don’t, or can’t do, anything more to help me promote my book, come back Saturday to see the gift I have to give to you.

Until then, do you think we could use more cowbell around here???

[tweetmeme source=”cassidylewis” only_single=false]

Author, Author Interviews, Contest, Fiction, My Books, Promotion

Another interview means another free book!

Cathryn Grant, author of the psychological thriller The Demise of the Soccer Moms lured me to her blog for more questioning. She’s extremely intimidating, as you can tell by her photo, and she soon had me confessing to writing poetry and other strange habits. Please visit Cathryn’s blog to read the interview. And if you do what she says, you could win a digital copy of my novel The Brevity of Roses.

Did you know? You don’t have to own a Kindle to read Kindle books? You can download the free Kindle app to your PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, Android, or Windows phone and read all the ebooks you want.

So, now you have no excuse not to enter Cathryn’s giveaway. Go. Go now.

[tweetmeme source=”cassidylewis” only_single=false]