Last Chance to Read The Fine Line with Kindle Unlimited!

It’ll be pulled from KU next week!

After years of being exclusive with Amazon (and part of the Kindle Unlimited Program), I’ve decided to begin the process of branching out.

If you’re wondering why,  there are some great articles written by my fellow authors that explain more:

Krista Lakes blogs HERE about KDP Select’s pay decreases.

David Gaughran blogs HERE about how scammers are breaking the Kindle Store.

Derek Murphy blogs HERE about KU’s page flip problem. (Note: Amazon denies that it’s an issue)

There is no doubt that Kindle Unlimited is a fantastic program for readers on a budget, and authors who are looking for discoverability.

Yet, after surveying my reader’s group, Kobishop Korner Cafe, I’ve learned that most (if not all) of my loyal readers do not even belong to the program. This pushed me to act on what I had been thinking about for months…Leaving KU.

You spoke. I listened.

You are important to me. Everyone who wants to read my books should have access to them. That means making them available everywhere, not just on Amazon.

Between the pay decreases, scamming problem, page-flip problem, and exclusivity requirement, I’ve decided to pull my books from the program, (at least for now while I test how they do in other markets) starting with The Fine Line.

To my Kindle Unlimited readers, I am so sorry! My books will still be available on Amazon, but moving forward, they will also be on iBooks, Google Play, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and more.

I hope you understand! And if you’d like to see more of your favorite authors in the KU program, let Amazon know how you feel about their policies!

Please feel free to reply to comment below if you have any questions.

Thank you!

Alicia

P.S. If you do your reading through the Kindle Unlimited program, please know that The Fine Line will be available on KU until next week! If you like romance with a combo of action, drama, passion, and angst, you’ll really enjoy it!

READ HERE:

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Amazon UNITED KINGDOM

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Amazon AUSTRALIA

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End of Summer News + Incredible Book-lover Giveaways!

The summer is coming to a close!

My kiddos go back to school this week and I’ll be back to writing. To be honest, I’m torn between feeling excited about getting back into a writing routine, and missing my kids while they’re at school!

We’ve done a lot this summer, including water park & beach trips, campfires & smores, picnics & park visits, fairs & festivals, and more (see below for pics from our eclipse trip!)

What was the highlight of your summer? Are there any books that you’ve read recently that you can’t stop thinking about? Leave a comment to let me know!

And if you’re looking for something sexy, fun, heartbreaking, heart-mending, and sweet, I invite you to give The Fine Line, or The Fragile Line Series a try (if you haven’t already)!

Until next time,
Alicia

PS, Keep scrolling for the giveaways!

The highlight of the summer was hands down the 2017 Great American Eclipse. My (science-loving) son had been talking about this for 2 years, ever since reading about it in one of his science books. So glad he was able to experience it!

We traveled to the St. Louis, Missouri area for the eclipse trip…about a 6-hour drive from Milwaukee. It was just going to be me and the kids, but I was delighted when my mom asked to join us. We had a great time!


Books by Alicia Kobishop

When love is on the line, would you slam on the brakes? Or put pedal to metal?

What if the only way to have your heart’s desire is to risk losing it all?


GIVEAWAYS!

Win a Kindle Fire HD8 + 80 eBooks! Two runner-up $25 Amazon gift cards are also up for grabs!

Win a $300 Amazon Gift Card! Follow the participating authors on Bookbub to enter!


UPCOMING EVENT!

Join Me and 30+ Authors at the Brew City Book Signing in my hometown of Milwaukee, WI on October 7th. I hope to see you there!

Have You Heard? The Series is Now Complete!

THE FRAGILE LINE: PART THREE
IS AVAILABLE NOW!!!

Please note!  The Fine Line, and The Fragile Line series will be getting a cover overhaul soon!  If you’d like to make sure you get a book with the current cover, now’s the time!  The current covers won’t be available much longer!

CLICK HERE for signed paperbacks!
CLICK HERE to sign up for the upcoming COVER REVEAL and REVIEW TOUR!

Fragile (2)

 “When love is real, you stop being selfish.”

When Logan spoke those words to Chloe months ago, she didn’t understand them. But she gets it now.  She’s in love with Matt and will do anything to make sure he has the life he deserves.  After making one of the hardest decisions of her life, Chloe tries to start fresh.  She wants to be the person that Matt needs but she’s got a long way to go.  Change is never easy.

Matt knows the facts when it comes to his relationship with Chloe.  The timing sucks.  It’s all moving way too fast.  And they’re not ready for it.  But he loves her like crazy anyway.

If Chloe and Matt have learned anything from their pasts, it’s that love isn’t always enough to hold a relationship together.  Will the love they have for each other be strong enough to last?

*It is necessary to read The Fragile Line: Parts One and Two before starting Part Three of this invigorating, three-part, New-Adult Romance series.

Amazon US             Amazon UK

Amazon CANADA              Amazon AU

Paperback

Add it to Goodreads

Author Note: 
The Fragile Line: Part Three has been re-edited as of December 21, 2016, by Eda Price Editing.  This is a newly enhanced, revised version.



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EXCLUSIVE

It’s LIVE!!!

Today is the day! The Fragile Line, Part One is available NOW!  I can’t wait for you to get to know Chloe and Matt…I had so much fun writing them!  Below is a little teaser from Chloe, and keep scrolling down to hear from Matt.  Yep, this book is told from both of their POV’s!  (Then, keep on a-scrollin’ for the giveaway).


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Synopsis

Recommended for ages 18+ due to strong language and sexual content.

Chloe McCarthy thought she had found the perfect guy.  Someone just as detached as she was when it came to love and commitment.  Someone who never pressured her for more than just sex.  But when she gets a little too comfortable with their arrangement, and he rejects her for someone else, it triggers heartbreaking memories that leave her questioning her resolve for a commitment-free life.  In a moment of self-pity, she calls on the one person who she knows will make her smile.

Matt Langston lives a drama-free life, and he wants to keep it that way.  Chloe McCarthy?   All drama.  Which is why he needs to stay away from her.  A mechanic by day and bouncer by night, he tries to focus on work, but the more he tries, the more she creeps into his thoughts and his dreams, until he realizes that he needs to get her out of his system once and for all.

The Fragile Line is a spin-off to The Fine Line, told in an addicting three-part romance novella series, with each part building on the last.  The series may be read alone, however, reading The Fine Line first will provide a further introduction to the characters which may enhance the overall reading experience.

Stockholm


To celebrate the release, I’m holding a giveaway!  Click on the graphic below to enter to win a $10 Amazon Giftcard!

Keep reading for an excerpt!

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I would love for you to share the news of this release!  Word of mouth is truly an author’s best friend!  Feel free to share this post on social media using the buttons below, or simply let your friends know!

LIVE

TEXT HERE

And if you read this book and like it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon and Goodreads.  Even if it’s just a sentence or two!  Reviews are the framework to an author’s success!

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Excerpt from Chapter Six:

“Is it everything you hoped it would be?”  Chloe asked, as I took a bite of the most delicious bread I have ever tasted.

This bread was so good that the garlicy, buttery, orgasmic masterpiece of flavor in my mouth forced a long moan out of my throat.  “Oh, yeah.”  I mumbled with the bread still in my cheek.  “This is fucking incredible.”

The dark wooden table of our window booth was dimly lit by an overhanging lamp with a red shade.  For a small restaurant, Ricci’s had an inviting, casual atmosphere complete with old-time Italian music.  At this time of night, there were only a few other diners scattered about.  I would imagine the place would be closing up soon for the evening.

She leaned in and whispered, “What if I told you I know how to make it?”

That caught my attention…enough to stop chewing.  “Don’t tease me, woman.”

She leaned back and huffed in exasperation. “God, why are you so macho?  The name’s Chloe.  CH-L-O-EEE.”

I chuckled.  “If you say so.  I’ve gotta hear this.  How do you know how to make the bread?”

“I dated one of the cooks when I worked here.” She shrugged and took a bite of bread.

Should’ve known that.  But really?  Was that all she was going to give me?  “And…did the recipe just osmose from his brain to yours on a date?”

She gave me the stink eye.  “I told him I’d only go out with him if he gave me the recipe.  So he did.  And we went on a date.  And that was it.”

“Lemme guess.  He wasn’t your type.”

She shook her head.  “I don’t really have a type.  I like variety.”

I nodded with raised brows, keeping my mouth shut about the fact that she just fed into her promiscuous reputation.  Was she doing it on purpose?  Did she actually want people to think she was easy?  She seemed okay tonight.  Why did part of me want to believe her rep was BS?

“What about you?” she asked.  “How come I never see you with any girls?”

“I could ask you the same thing.  Why no steady boyfriend?  You’re sexy as hell.  If you dropped the bitch act, you could easily land some dude if you wanted to.”

There went my word vomit.  So much for keeping my mouth shut.  Luckily, she didn’t seem offended this time.

Instead, she forced out a humorless laugh. “Yeah, just not the one I want.”

I cocked a brow.

She rolled her eyes and took a sip of her lemonade.

“Maybe it’s not an act,” she continued.

I nodded in thought.  “Or, maybe it is.  You seem pretty cool now.  Not clingy or—” What’s a nice way to say ‘easy’? “—overly accessible.  It’s a nice change.  You should do it more often.”

Her face scrunched up.  “Maybe I just don’t like you.”

“Or.  Maybe you like me more than you think.”  I winked.

The waiter came with our plates, a Sirloin Marsala for me and a spaghetti with meatballs for her.  After grating Parmesan cheese over her plate, he asked the typical waiter question, “Is there anything else I can get for you two?”

I answered instantly, “More bread.”

The kid, who must’ve been fifteen or sixteen, eyed our full basket of bread, then looked back at me with a quizzical look on his face which kind of pissed me off.  I mean, I would’ve eaten it all up already if he wouldn’t have been so quick with our meals.  And I wanted leftovers.

“Please,” I said calmly.

“O…kay?  I’ll be back with that in a minute.”

Dipshit.

The steak was even better than the bread.  It literally melted in my mouth.  Chloe laughed when I moaned again at the taste, and I smiled, knowing that my mission for the night had just been accomplished.

We savored our meals quietly for a few minutes before she broke the silence, continuing our conversation.  “Maybe I’m not interested in anything serious with anyone.  Maybe taking what I want and being…less than nice…is the best way to make sure they don’t get all googly with me.”

“What the hell does ‘googly’ mean?”

“Come on, you know.”

I shook my head no.

“It’s the lovey-dovey look in someone’s eyes.  Whether it’s a boy or girl, man or woman, we all do it.  It’s the way someone looks at you when they want you to think they’re falling for you.  They look at you with ‘googly-eyes.’”

“Ha!  You seem like an expert.  Maybe your nickname should be ‘heartbreaker.’”

“Yeah, right.  I’ve only gotten that look from one person.  And I’m not the one who did the heart breaking in that situation.”

I nodded in understanding.  It couldn’t have been Logan.  He’s never felt that way about her.  My curiosity piqued.  “First love?”

“Yeah, I guess you could say that.”

She continued stuffing spaghetti into her face as if this conversation were over.  I cleared my throat to get her attention.  It worked because she looked up from her plate with a WTF look.  “Go on, Pink, spill it.  You know you want to.”

She laughed again.  Just a small one, but a laugh nonetheless.  It took her another moment before she finally started to talk.

The Fine Line – Confine Tra Amore e Amicizia

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Now Available in Italian!  Thank you so much to my translator, Erika Arcoleo, for making this possible!

The Fine Line - Italian

Sinossi

Quando Liv Evans,  una ragazza  con la fobia per le relazioni, con una storia segnata dall’abbandono di tutti quelli che la amano, crea un legame con Logan Tanner, un gareggiatore clandestino che è stato tradito da qualcuno di inaspettato, tutte le sue paure sull’amore e la perdita, tornano in superficie. 

La liceale, Liv Evans, segue una sola regola: Niente legami.  Ha perso così tanto nella sua vita ed è determinata a non voler commettere lo stesso errore di sempre, perdere chiunque lei ami.  I ragazzi sono solo una distrazione piacevole, e una relazione stabile è qualcosa che vorrebbe definitivamente evitare.  Ma la sua determinazione nel vivere un futuro lontano dal dolore viene messa alla prova quando incontra–e crea velocemente un inaspettato legame–con Logan Tanner. 

Logan è sempre stato uno spirito libero, ma da quando un grande cambiamento nella sua vita ha avuto luogo, lasciandolo dubitare dell’integrità delle persone che lo circondano, ha portato quello stato a un nuovo livello.  Imparando nel modo peggiore che la vita è troppo breve per le preoccupazioni–e che non ci si può fidare delle donne–Logan ha scambiato le gare clandestine per un lavoro stabile. Quando Liv entra nel suo mondo, tutto quello che credeva di sapere sulle donne e sulla vita cambia.

In The Fine Line, Liv e Logan scopriranno se è possivile per il vero amore avere un futuro o se la storia è destinata a ripetersi.

“Liv, svegliati,” Logan sussurrò
Disponibile adesso a questi rivenditori:
The Amazon logo is seen on a podium duri      Kobo-Logo      barnesandnoble     itunes     scribd-logo-o
Please share with your Italian friends!  🙂

How to Market Your Self Published Book

I’ve recently taken on a new business opportunity that has to do with helping people reach their goals.  Writing can be such a solitary experience sometimes that I had almost forgotten how exhilarating it can be to work with others and help others with their challenges.  I’m so glad that I have been reminded how important it is and how good it makes us feel to encourage others!

So, I have decided to take the experience to my writing/authoring world.  Since the time I started writing my first book, two years ago, I have had many people ask me about book marketing for the self-published author.  Today, I’m going to share a few things that I have learned from my own experience in self publishing a fictional novel.   If you have any questions about the topic after reading this, please feel free to comment below or send me an email.

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First, it’s important the the book have a magnetic, genre appropriate, professional looking cover (because let’s face it, readers DO judge books by their cover) and professional editing.  (Your mother or best friend do not count!)  After that, the synopsis (or blurb) needs to fascinate the reader to the point where they HAVE to read the sample.  One way to do this is to look at other covers/blurbs in the same genre and see what’s successful and what’s not.  And, of course, the sample has to intrigue and entertain the reader so much that they’ll just have to keep reading (which means, hello book sale!).  With all the competition out there, excelling at these will set his book apart from the millions of other books readers have to choose from before making a purchase.  Also, it is important to research pricing and set the book at a competitive price.

Next, it’s important to be active on social media.  An author website  with a bio and links to his book is imperative.  If readers like your book, they are going to want to be able to connect with you and steer their friends toward you.  You don’t have to participate in every social media outlet, but you should be active on at least one or two…whatever you’re most comfortable with and whatever you’ll be most active on, whether its a blog, facebook, twitter, etc…

Having an Amazon author page is beneficial.  If readers see your book on Amazon, and want to know more about you, they can find out more on your Amazon page.  Your page can be set up through Amazon’s “Author Central,” here:  https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/landing?ie=UTF8&ref_=ntt_atc_dp_pel_1

One thing that has really worked well for me in getting reviews is asking book bloggers to review (or promote) my book.  If they can’t review it, they might do a spotlight, author interview, guest post, or simply share your book on their social media pages.  You should have a “promo packet” ready with the book cover, author photo (if you have one, it should be professional-looking), buy links, links to your website/social media pages, and have excerpts & teasers (photo teasers are more captivating than plain text) for them to share.

If they agree to a review, gift them a free eCopy of the book in exchange for an honest review.  Never ask them to buy it.  It’s important to read their review policies before submitting a request and to follow their policy to a “T.”  Also, the more personalized the request, the better.  For example, if the reviewer noted something in their “about me” section, make a comment about how you relate to it in some way.  Definitely, address each blogger individually, by name.  For example, instead of “Dear blogger,” say “Dear (or Hi) Jane.”  They pretty much pass on copy & pasted requests and mass email requests sent to multiple bloggers.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to ask nicely.  Never, ever be pushy, or make demands.  Be extra courteous.  Remember that they help us promote our books for FREE and do it in their spare time because they are passionate about reading.  They are never obligated to do anything for us, ever.

In your request, tell them who you are, why you are contacting them, the books genre, how long the book is (in pages or word count), and include a super-short (but totally intriguing) synopsis so they have an idea of what your book is about.  They only accept books they think they might enjoy.  Never send the book before they agree to review it.  If they see an attachment, they will most likely delete your email without even opening it.

To put things into perspective, when I published The Fine Line, I emailed 427 bloggers.  This means I spent time on 427 blogs, reviewing each review policy, and about-me section.  It was time consuming, but SO worth it!  Most of them never responded to my request.  133 of them agreed to review my book.  I sent an eCopy of my book to all 133 of them.  Of that, only 83 of the bloggers who said they would review my book actually reviewed it.  It’s important to accept that not everyone does what they say they will do, and move on.  Never express your dissatisfaction.  Some reviews were phenomenal, and some were absolutely terrible!  It’s important to never ever respond to, or comment on the terrible ones.  Even if it kills you to not give that blogger or reviewer your two cents.  It’s just not professional and it could hurt an author’s career.  🙂

I kept a spreadsheet of all the bloggers I emailed, to keep track, and I highly recommend doing that.  That way, you’ll know for next time which ones you’ll want to contact again.  The header looked like this:

Blog Website Date Request Sent Request Format Response Date Action Review Status Misc Info

And if you are crunched for time, there are many book bloggers that will organize a blog tour for a fee.

Here are a couple of good articles about approaching book bloggers for reviews:

 
 

Goodreads is another place to reach out to readers for reviews.  There are some groups on Goodreads specifically designated to reviewing.  Again, the idea is that the reader is gifted the book in exchange for an honest review.  Always be kind and courteous.  Never pushy, desperate, or demanding.  And again, understand that not everyone who says they will review the book, does it.  It sucks when they don’t do what they promise, but unfortunately it’s just part of “the game.”

 

If your book is already published and you are looking to get more exposure, running a sale or discount on your ebook could boost sales.  If you decide to do this, it’s important to plan the sale at least 30 days in advance, and you must effectively promote the sale.  I wrote a blog post with links to many different websites that help authors promote their ebook discounts, and many times book bloggers will help with promotion. (Aren’t they awesome!  Seriously, I love them!)  Here it is: https://aliciakobishop.com/2015/03/23/promote-your-ebook-sale-or-discount/

 

Lastly, keep writing and publish more books!  If a reader likes your book, they’ll be looking at your back-list to see what else you have out there.  (This is something I, personally, need to get better at!)

 

Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords, has two really good (free) eBooks about how to market your book.  I highly recommend that you read them!  Here they are:

 
 

I hope this helps!  You are welcome to comment below or email me if you have any questions.  🙂

Promote Your eBook Sale or Discount

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In light of my recent sale on The Fine Line, I have become quite familiar with many websites that help indie and traditional authors promote their discounted books.  Today, I’d like to help other authors by providing a detailed list of book promotion websites.  If you know of any other good sites, please leave them in the comments!

If you are planning a sale, it’s always a good idea to contact these sites well in advance.  I advise at least 30 days, but many will accommodate you in a week or even a few days.  My book has been promoted on some of these sites and have seen some really good results!  However, I have not worked with all of the sites listed below, therefore I advise that you do any research you feel necessary before paying for any service, to verify that you will see results.

Please note: These are not book blogs or book review sites.  They are mostly book sale/freebie subscription sites.

These sites will promote your book for free or at a low-cost (many of these websites offer free promotion without guarantee or a guaranteed promotion for a fee):

Sweet Free Books

Booklover’s Heaven

eBooks Habit

Read Cheaply

Reading Deals

Ebookasaurus

The Midlist

Free & Discounted Books

Choosy Bookworm

Awesome Gang

eReader News Today

People Reads

Black Caviar Book Club

The Fussy Librarian

Just Kindle Books

The eReader Cafe

Book Static

eBook Soda ($10 fee)

New Free Kindle Books

Books on the Knob

Addicted to eBooks

Kindle Boards

Book Goodies

These sites will promote your book to a large audience for a fee (ranging from $15 and up):

Masquerade Crew

Free Kindle Books & Tips

BookBub

Free Booksy

Kindle Nation Daily

World Literary Cafe

Bargain Booksy

Kindle Mojo

Book Bear

Book Gorilla

Digital Book Today

Hot Zippy

Good Kindles

Indie Book of the Day

Book Sends

eReader IQ

Ask David

A Completely Random Post About Music that has Nothing to do With Anything (And the Longest Blog Post Title in the History of Blog Post Titles)

Today, on the way home from dropping the kids off at school, a song came on the radio.  This song instantly relaxed every tense muscle in my body, washed away my stress, and gave me a feeling of inner peace.  It brought me into the moment, making my worries about the future move to the back-burner of my mind.  It made me feel like no matter what, everything is ok and it will always be ok.

Not that I have any serious problems or anything.  But we all have stress that we carry on a daily basis, and isn’t it wonderful when we have those moments where all our worries just float away?

I thought about this song, and realized that out of the millions of songs in the world, there are only a handful of them that seem to lift the burdens of life and just make me feel good.  I’d like to share them with you.

 

Soul to Squeeze by Red Hot Chili Peppers

This is the one from this morning.  *Sigh*

 

Thing for You by Hinder

I don’t know what it is, but that opening guitar and drum in this song?  Damn.

This song makes me think of my early days with my husband–before we were “a thing.”  The life that we’ve built together all started because way back when, he had a bit of a thing for me.  🙂

 

Sleep While I Drive by Melissa Ethridge

I first heard this song as a teenager in the 90’s, when I watched the movie “Where the Day Takes You.”  Loved that movie.  Now, when I hear it, I remember what it was like to have nothing but a car, and that one person who believed in me.  And it reminds me that having ‘stuff’ is irrelevant.  Because all we really need in life is love.

And–I think about road trips.  Road trips are fun when you’re young and free.

 

Rocket Queen by Guns N Roses

Okay…I was “that girl.”  I was the girl who held on to 80’s glam-rock/hair-band music a little too long.  I’m over it now, I promise!  But despite GNR being totally weird and a tad bit uncomfortable now–you know–in present day–I’ll always love this song.  It makes me smile.

 

XO by Beyonce

I played this song on repeat about 50 bajillion times when I first heard it.  It has such a unique sound.  And something about this song pulls me out of writer’s block.  Every.  Single.  Time.

 

Wait for Me by Kings of Leon

I can’t really put into words why I love this song so much.  I know, sucky writer moment, right?  Oh well.  I just love it.  Maybe it’s because it gives a feeling of hope.

 

Waves by Mr. Probz

The final (and most recently released) song on my list.  Such simple, poetic, lyrics with such a deep meaning that I think we can all relate to.

 

That’s it!  What songs make YOU feel like the weight of life is lifted off your shoulders?  Which song do you never get sick of?  Leave a comment with the songs that “do things” to you!

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Synopsis: 

Seventeen-year-old Isis Blake hasn’t fallen in love in three years, nine weeks, and five days, and after what happened last time, she intends to keep it that way. Since then she’s lost eighty-five pounds, gotten four streaks of purple in her hair, and moved to the Buttcrack-of-Nowhere Ohio to help her mom escape a bad relationship.

All the girls in her new school want one thing – Jack Hunter, the Ice Prince of East Summit High. Hot as an Armani ad, smart enough to get into Yale, and colder than the Arctic, Jack Hunter’s never gone out with anyone. Sure, people have seen him downtown with beautiful women, but he’s never given high school girls the time of day. Until Isis punches him in the face.

Jack’s met his match. Suddenly everything is a game.

The goal: Make the other beg for mercy.

The game board: East Summit High.

The reward: Something neither of them expected.

**This book contains language, some of which may be unsuitable for younger readers.

MY REVIEW

I’ve never written a book review before.  This is my first.  Hopefully I can make it sound intelligent.

Why now?  Why the need to express my feelings of this particular book through the written word—when I’ve never felt the need to do so before?  Well, let me tell you…

Lovely Vicious contains some of the wittiest, can’t-stop-reading, most lol-inducing writing that I’ve experienced in a very long time.

Reflecting on this story made me realize something (many things) about what actually makes a good book.  For me, it’s not whether the characters make the choices that I would make.  Let’s face it, I’m 36 and it can sometimes be hard for me to relate to the actions or feelings of a teenager.  But that did not stop me from loving this book.

It’s about the writing.  The absolute best part of Lovely Vicious was the dialogue.  If for no other reason at all, read this book for the clever one liners and witty banter.  The original humor in this story will have you laughing throughout.

It’s about getting lost in the pages and forgetting everything that’s going on in real life because I want to find out what the characters are going to do (or say) next.  I had a hard time putting Lovely Vicious down.  I had to force myself when it got too late and I had to get up super early the next morning.  When I wasn’t reveling in the creative dialogue and inner monologues of Isis Blake, I was basking in the angst of it all.  Why does Jake do what he does?  Why is he the way he is?  When will they stop trying to hurt each other?!  All are questions that forced me to keep reading.

It’s about living vividly through the eyes of a character whose motives I may or may not fully understand.  Whether or not I accept a character’s choices doesn’t matter because in life, a single event could affect each of us in a different way.  Who am I to judge?  I go into a story hoping to enjoy it.  And how can I fully enjoy a story if I am judging the characters choices, or the authenticity of a scene?  I like to just roll with it and let the author take me on a ride.  When the writing is good like it is in this book, the ride is outstanding.

It’s about accepting the book and its characters for what/who they are.  Everyone has had their heart broken in one way or another.  Do we all react in the same way that Isis did?  Of course not.  Most of us internalize the wounds, pushing the pain deep inside while pretending to be fine on the outside.  But not Isis.  She started a war.  Instead of being passive, or passive-aggressive when it came to love, she got aggressive-aggressive.  Closed off, yes, but in a completely different way than most.  In a vicious-mean kind of way with someone just as vicious.  And that’s what makes their story so interesting.

It’s about the feeling I get when I read.  This book made me happy (sometimes giddy).  And frustrated.  And scared and sometimes sad.  Isn’t that the best thing about reading?  FEELING things?  For me it is.  And this book made me feel lots of things.

Sara Wolf, you have nailed it.  Can’t wait to read book 2.

Five (out of five) Stars

Review: Lovely Vicious

7 Ways to Help an Indie Author

Most of my previous blog posts have been about my personal journey, or have promoted my book.  Today, I’d like to try something a little different.  Something a little more informative.

Since writing and self-publishing The Fine Line last year, I’ve learned a great deal about book marketing.  My friends, family, and acquaintances–people who are not familiar with the book reading/publishing/blogging community–have been incredibly supportive and have frequently asked what they can to do help promote me and my book.  I have come up with several ideas on how supporters can do just that.  Most are quite easy, most are FREE, and most would only take a few short minutes.

(If you can think of more, I’d love to hear from you.  Feel free to comment at the end of this post!)  

1. Buy the Book–On Release Day

Okay, this one isn’t free.  But it’s the most meaningful.  We all know how important it is to support your favorite authors by purchasing their book.  And with most self-published eBooks being at a reasonable price of $3.99 or less (sometimes even FREE), purchasing your copy can be more affordable than a movie ticket, a Frappuccino at your favorite coffee chain restaurant, or even a pack of gum.  And what’s more rewarding–a stick of gum that runs out of flavor in 10 minutes, or 5-10 hours of a great read?  Also, with the help of Amazon’s “one-click” resource, the purchase itself can be easier than–well–breathing.

Let’s take it one step further.  Sure, we know you’ll buy the book because doing so is the best way to support your favorite author, and you’re excited to read their next masterpiece.  By pre-ordering your copy (when available), or buying it on release day, you can help the author move up in the rankings of lists such as Amazon’s Best Sellers, hence making their book visible to other readers who may not have ever heard of said author.  High rankings bring buzz and attention.  Of course, if you missed release day, don’t let that stop you from one-clicking.  🙂

One MORE step further you say?  Awesome!  How about buying it as a gift for a friend?  And if you can get it signed first, even better.  Many authors will sign books that are mailed to them as long as you include a return (postage paid) envelope.  I know I will!

(Please check with the author or representative before sending a book to them.  And don’t forget the prepaid return envelope!  Without it, you may not get the book back).

2. Recommend the Book to Family, Friends, Acquaintances, the Mail Man, etc..

Social media is amazing (see #3).  You know what’s better?  Face to face communication.  Having lunch with friends?  Going to a wedding shower?  Bachelorette party?  Family reunion?  Try making a quick mention of this awesome book you just read.  It will not only “plug” the book you’re trying to promote, it’ll also be a great conversation starter.

Checking out at the grocery store, or post office?  Browsing the book section at your local Target?  Why not make this time a little more interesting?  Talk to someone.  Even a *gasp* stranger.  Participating in friendly small talk with strangers can make everyone involved feel good.  Try asking the cashier this: Do you read?  Or fellow book-browsing-customer this: Do you like (book’s genre)?  Then continue with something like: I just read this amazing book by (author’s name), and it’s only available online.  If they seem interested, write down the name of the book & author for them.

3. Spread the Word on Social Media

If you haven’t followed the author on their Blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or whatever other social media networks you like to participate in, please do so!  If you haven’t signed up for their newsletter (if they have one), go for it!  “Like” their pages and recommend them to your friends.  It’s a great first step.

When the author posts information about releases, sales, contests, or anything else interesting, the best thing you can do is to share their post. Share it on Facebook or Google+, re-tweet it on Twitter, re-pin it on Pinterest.  Every little bit helps.

Want to make it more meaningful to your friends or followers?  When you share the content, include a small personal note about why you like the book, or author, or why they should click on the post.  A short message from you makes a huge difference!   

          (Note: Facebook is weird.  In order to make sure you see all of the author’s posts, click on the “like,” “follow,” AND “get notifications” buttons on their page.  Feel free to ask me if you have questions on how to do this.)

          (Note #2: Because of Facebook’s algorithms, page posts only get shown to 5-10% of page followers.  This means the likelihood of you NOT seeing a page post on FB is 95%.  So when you DO see it, “like” it, share it, and comment on it.  Interacting on the page in this way will make the post visible to more people.)

4. Spread the Word on Goodreads

Goodreads (GR) is a fabulous resource for authors and readers.  The reason I separated this from other social media networks is that there are so many awesome ways you can spread the word on GR.  A few are listed below.  If you can think of more, please feel free to comment at the end of the post!

Become a fan or friend of the author

Nominate or vote for the book on Listopia

Personally recommend the book to your GR friends (Click on the book you wish to recommend, then click on “recommend it” on the top right side of the page. Finally, choose the friends you wish to recommend the book to.)

Nominate the book for a “Group Read” in the related groups that you belong to

Talk about the book in your groups.  Just talking about it brings exposure to the book.  Recommending the book in your groups is great, too!

“Like” the 4 & 5 star GR reviews (Ignore the other ones.  Everyone is entitled to their opinions.)

Haven’t read the book yet, but want to?  Look for someone on GR to do a buddy-read with you!

Post book status updates.  How far are you in the book, and what do you think so far? (And link the updates to your other social media networks)

5. Leave a Review

One of the best things you can do to support ANY author, indie or traditional, is to leave an honest review.  It can be posted on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and/or anywhere else the book is sold.  The more places you post it, the better.  If you wish to include a description, or plot-points, feel free.  However, it’s totally fine for a review to be short, sweet, and to the point.  Simply including what you liked and/or what you wish would’ve been different in a few short sentences is wonderful.  I can’t say it enough…if you liked the book, please review it!

 6. Request or Reserve the Book at Your Local Library

If an indie author chooses to utilize “expanded distribution” with their print books, they make their books available to brick and mortar stores like Target and Barnes & Noble.  That being said, print on demand books are non-refundable in most cases which means the likelihood of a Barnes & Noble stocking an indie book is slim to none.

However, if you request an indie book at your local library, the chances are very likely that your library will order the book (if the author makes use of the expanded distribution option).  If the library is able to order it through their book vendor, they may just do so at your request.  Why not try it?  The library is a great place for readers to discover new authors (like the one you want to promote)!  And if you’re short on cash, or don’t have an e-reader, the library is a fabulous option.

Browsing your library’s website is great way to find out which books they have available before you make the trip.  If the library already has the book, place it on hold to make sure it will be ready for you when you get there.  If they don’t have the book yet, send an online request.  It’s easy and quick to do from the comfort of your own home.

7. Attend Author Events

Whether it’s a release party, a reading/signing, or multi-author event, you presence and support is what makes the sleepless nights, the time away from family, and the absolute terror of releasing your heart and soul to the world, all worth it for many authors.  Grab a friend, grab your book to be signed (if you have it) and go…have a great time.  It will mean everything to the author you want to support.

 

***Wow!  You made it to the end?  Thank you!  If you liked this post, I’d be ecstatic for you to share it! ***