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

 

Kindle Unlimited and Other News

If you haven’t heard, Amazon has started Kindle Unlimited, a new ebook subscription service that some are dubbing “Netflix for books.” Right now, they’re offering a free 30-day trial. I’m anxious to see how this works out for authors whose books are part of this new service. Since my books are enrolled in Kindle Select, they’re automatically available to Kindle Unlimited subscribers. So if you haven’t read The Brevity of Roses and the sequel An Illusion of Trust, take advantage of the free trial and download them now.

The Brevity of Roses: A man discovers himself through the two women he loves.    AIT_welcome_14

And speaking of those books …

You know those times when you think a task will be simple and quick to accomplish? Yeah, I don’t usually have those. It seems I operate under a different rule—Murphy’s Law maybe? About ten days ago, I got this bright idea to update the interior files for my published books. I wanted to update the cover designer’s name in one book and correct a typo and a punctuation error. No big deal … except.

Except that I can’t take the html that Word creates and upload it directly to KDP or even convert it as is to mobi or epub because I like to use my own CSS style sheet, which has to be fiddled with for each book. Except that I chose a new program to convert my customized html to epub, and I had to learn how to use it first. Except that I couldn’t get the table of contents to work the way I wanted in either ebook. Except that, after conversion, I decided to substitute a different scene break “ornament” in the ebook version of one book. Except that … nah, I’ll spare you the rest. Eventually, I completed the task.

Now that I’ve updated already published novels, it’s time to get back to work on the ones I’m writing now. I had hoped to have the first draft of my romantic comedy completed by the end of this month, but that would take a miracle to accomplish. This month has been more family-focused than usual. I don’t know about you, but I’m at my most productive when I have long stretches of time to settle into writing mode and then keep the story simmering on the back burner during breaks. My usual daily life supports that, but when my routine changes every few days, as it has this month, my creative side retreats.

And since we’re playing hoteliers to three dogs (plus our Maggie) this weekend, I doubt I’ll get much writing done, but for the last few days of July and on into August, I’ll be playing catch up. I believe I said in January that I wouldn’t publish anything this year, but that may not be the case. I might be ready to publish one book before the end of 2014 and then another (or two) in 2015. Maybe I’ll publish some short stories, too. It’s time for me to make a louder noise in this publishing game.

I hope your July has run smoother than mine.

Linda

A Year of New—or How I Hope to Stay Sane This Year

I believe 2014 may be a year of new for me. We’re only a week into the year and I’ve already started writing a new book—in a genre I’ve never written before. I don’t want to jinx it by telling too much too soon, but I’m excited about it, even though I know how much work I have ahead me. And I don’t mean just the writing, editing, and revising. I’ll need to maintain a different mindset to write in this genre.

KG_crocus That’s all right, though. I need a new mindset for this year. A positive, I’m-going-to-enjoy-life-no-matter-what outlook. I need to focus on what I CAN do, who I CAN be, and build my self-esteem. And that requires changes in many areas of my life.

In my writing life, that means I must STOP comparing myself to other writers. Bye-bye, tons of frustration and disappointment. And I can’t afford to waste time like I did in 2013. I now have two books to write and edit this year. (The book I hoped to revise will have to wait for 2015.) I absolutely have to get organized and assign priorities.

I’ll elaborate on some of these points in future posts. Being a writer in the digital age is both a blessing and a curse. Maybe if we talk honestly about it, we’ll help each other enjoy more of the first and suffer less of the second.

So, that’s my plan to make it through 2014 saner than I did in 2013.


But first, I have to finish up one “old” thing—it’s coupled with a new experience, though, so that’s good. I’d planned to stop actively promoting my first two books, but I’d forgotten that a few months ago I requested to be put on the waiting list for a promotion with eReader Buddy. My name finally came up, so I decided to pair that promotion with a new tool for books in KDP Select. So for the next couple of days, The Brevity of Roses ebook will be on deep discount at $.99 and then rise in price twice over the next days until it’s back to the regular price. That’s called a Kindle Countdown Deal at Amazon. I’m interested to see how it works.

Linda

Image courtesy of Karpati Gabor / Morguefile.com