Red Door Reads

One of the fun things that happens at NINC is meeting up with some friends, and catching up on their news. This year, I was talking with Claudia Dain and Deb Marlowe. (Okay, we were in the Tiki Bar and there were drinks on the table!) I knew they had started Red Door Reads a few years ago, but thought there was a local connection to their group (and I’m not local). Well, there isn’t, and they invited me to join them.

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 7.34.22 AMI’m excited to become a “Reddoorian”, not just because it will provide some new promotional opportunities but also that it will ensure that I keep in better touch with these writer friends when we aren’t meeting in person. Wow, do these writers have plans! I’m still catching up, but look for more news about my involvement with RDR.

I have two profiles on their site, one for Deborah Cooke and one for Claire Delacroix. Those pages are done, but my books are still being moved into the various other tabs. They have a newsletter that goes out near the end of each month, as well.

This is going to be fun!

Showcase at The Reading Frenzy

The Renegade's Heart audiobookDebbie at The Reading Frenzy has showcased the audio edition of The Renegade’s Heart on her blog this week, because she loved the audio so much. Here are a few snippets from her comments:

“The narration provided by Saskia Maarleveld is marvelous, her melodious voice is the perfect instrument to portray all the characters females and males, young and old plus those feisty fae characters too. Her pronunciations are superb, her accent is excellent and the whole package allows the listener to be absorbed by the experience and feel a part of the story. I would definitely recommend this audible edition of The Renegade’s Heart.

“The romance is sweet, it’s sensuous and it’s just a little racy too and I love how Claire describes it to us in her typical perfect time period fashion. Bring on round three and thank you so much Claire for giving your fans what we so appreciate.”

Thanks Deb!

You can read all of Deb’s comments, right here.

Amazon and Reviews

Another thing I learned last week at NINC involves posting reviews at Amazon. Many of us have noticed – or been notified of – reviews being removed from the Amazon website, because Amazon perceives that the reviewer and the author know each other. This is obviously an effort to keep people from abusing the review option by having all their friends give their book five star reviews, but is kind of annoying for reviewers who receive copies specifically so that they can post an honest review.

The solution is this: so long as you include the language “I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review” in your review, the review won’t be removed.

I would include this language as well if you win a copy of a book in a contest or giveaway and end up reviewing it. If the book was gifted through Amazon, Amazon will know it, and this will ensure your review doesn’t evaporate after you spend the time to write it.

How simple is that? And now we know!

The Amazon Trifecta

Amazon was in attendance at the Novelists’ Inc conference last week, and they mentioned again several programs of theirs. I know about these, but you might not. They’re excellent programs and bear revisiting.

What’s cool about these two programs is that they come out of Amazon’s understanding that readers like to have their books in different formats and might have one title in several different formats. For example, I know that some of you like to buy a print copy as well as a digital one of the books you think are “keepers”.

Amazon MatchbookAmazon’s MatchBook program can save you money on those keepers. If you’ve bought the print edition of a book from Amazon, the digital edition (if it’s enrolled in this program) will be available to you to buy at a discounted price.

All of my indie-pubbed titles are enrolled in Matchbook.

Here’s the landing page for Matchbook. You can log in and find your books that qualify.

Kindle WhispersyncThe second such program applies to audiobooks. If you have digital editions of books on your Kindle that are also available in audio, you can get the audio edition for jut $1.99. See? Here’s the page for The Rogue – check out that last line:

The Rogue in Audio for $1.99Again, there’s a link on the page to find out what books on your Kindle have audio editions available.

Isn’t that cool?

eReadLocal at Kobo US

eRead Local promotion from Kobo in the USHere’s a wonderful promotion that I learned about while at NINC, which is available to those of you in the US. Kobo wants to encourage you to shop at indie bookstores, many of which sell Kobo e-reading devices. eRead Local also is a drive to get more readers to sign up for Kobo accounts. Here’s a bit more detail:

  • Aug 22 – Nov 29, Kobo is launching an exciting 100-day incentive program for local, indie bookstores, “eRead Local”
  • For every new customer that signs up for a Kobo account affiliated with a bookstore, that store will receive $5 USD. The customer will also receive $5 USD credit towards their first eBook purchase
  • Stores that acquire 100+ new customers will be entered to win a Kobo-sponsored event featuring a bestselling author. Stores that acquire 50-99 new customers will be entered to win free eReaders
  • After a customer’s account is affiliated with a bookstore, a portion of every Kobo purchase they make goes straight to that store

From where I sit, this is totally win-win. You get a credit to buy the books you want, and your fave indie bookstore gets a credit from Kobo.

I don’t need to remind you that ALL of my books that are available in digital editions are available from Kobo. :-)

You can read more about the promotion on the Kobo Writing Life blog, right here.

Review and Feature at The Reading Frenzy

The Crusader's Bride, a medieval romance by Claire DelacroixDebbie Haupt has reviewed The Crusader’s Bride, and posted a feature on her blog, The Reading Frenzy.

Here’s what she has to say about Gaston and Ysmaine’s book:
“Delacroix is back, better than ever with an all-new historical romance series featuring Templar Knights who find true love. Set in the late 12th century her story comes alive thanks to her expressive narrative including some real history mixed with her fantastic fiction. Her backdrops are breathtaking and dangerous as her troupe travels from the Middle East to Europe. Her couple, Ysmaine and Gaston are honorable, believable and both refreshingly innocent. Heading her chapters on genuine Church feast days and her accurate accounting of the historical facts give it that extra dose of authenticity. I can’t wait to see where she takes me on her next Templar tale.

Woo-HOO! Thanks Deb!
You can check out the whole feature, right here.

Home from NINC

Phew! I’m home again from the fabulous Novelists’ Inc conference, which was once again held at St. Pete’s Beach in Florida. It was – as ever – an informative and interesting conference, plus a chance to meet up with good friends and make new ones. I had a lot of good meetings, and will have lots of news to share with you in the coming months. While it was wonderful to spend the time to connect with friends, I could have spent another two weeks there, talking with authors I’ve only met online before.

©Deborah A. CookeThe beach makes this conference special – I tried to walk on it each morning, and again in the evening when the stars were so bright. I didn’t take any pictures this time, but we had the same sunny skies and warm weather as last year. Last year’s pix tell the story.

©Deborah A. CookeI did find some shells. There seemed to be more fighting conch shells on the beach this year. Last year, many were occupied by hermit crabs (like the one at right.) This year, most were still live conchs – and I saw several strike, which I’d never seen before. A little bit of research reveals that the Florida Fighting Conch, which is what I should have seen according to Wiki, looks a bit different. The shells (and conchs) I saw in St. Pete’s look like the West Indian Fighting Conch.

Here are the shells I found: three conch shells, all abandoned by their original residents and without new (hermit crab) tenants:Deborah Cooke's shells from St. Pete's Beach

I also met another visitor to the beach who was looking for shells for her son. While we walked along and chatted, I saw a piece of a lightning whelk that was about 3″ x 3″ that looked like part of a big shell. It was buried in the sand and there were a lot of broken whelks on the beach so I assumed this was another. All the same, I dug out this one, only to discover that it was almost intact – and HUGE! It was about 8″ across. It was pretty much a sphere – although the stem was broken off. I’ve never seen one so big, and gave it to her for her son. (I think she might use it as a planter in her garden. It’ll make a good one for some succulents.)

A friend and I visited the Salvador Dali Museum on the day before the conference began, and it was truly wonderful. The location is beautiful – we had a perfect sunny day – and I loved the design of the building. The visiting exhibit was the work of M.C. Escher, so it was well worth the trip to see it all.

Highland Heroes, a digital boxed set of Scottish medieval romances by Claire DelacroixAlthough I ended up being offline for the week, I found out on my way out the door that an interview I’d done with BookBub about creating multi-book single author boxed sets had been posted on their blog. It’s the result of interviews Diana did with several authors – I talked about my experience with Highland Heroes – and she pulled a tipsheet together from the various authors’ comments. You can read it on their blog right here.

Once the conference started, things got busy! On Thursday morning, I saw Susan E. Smith, who is just the most lovely person. I met her originally at Romancing the Capital in the spring, and will see her again there next year. (So can you, if you register for the RTC reader con!) She asked if she could feature me in her reader newsletter which was going out that day. Of course, I was thrilled to be asked – by the time we’d found each other again to do an interview, she’d written a post herself and sent it out. She’ll be visiting my blog in the next couple of weeks, so you can all learn more about her.

Right now, I’m glad to be home AND pretty much caught up on the laundry. The New Girl danced on her hind legs when I came home, then ran in circles of joy. Of course, Mr. Math spoiled her terribly when I was gone, but she just likes having the pack together again. I think she was too excited to know what to do next, but she’s been following me around ever since. :-) I was very excited to get home and get cooking again – I didn’t expect to miss it so much. I made fish tacos yesterday, then roasted a chicken for dinner. Yum!

Did you have a good week?