Tales from the Dark Side of Love giveaway

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Valentine receives a rosary from the Virgin, by David Teniers III

It’s February, that month when the groundhog sticks his nose out of his hole and discovers love is in the air. (Well, maybe that’s not exactly how it works, but I think you get my drift.) Anyway, this year there’s even more reason to celebrate our escape from January’s frigid embrace. That’s because this February brings with it the Tales from the Dark Side of Love giveaway, offering readers a chance to win free books, or Amazon gift certificates, or a Kindle Fire HD.

The event has been organized by romantic suspense author, Bianca Sloane. And the idea for the giveaway tracks back, of course, to the presence of Valentine’s Day halfway though the month. But while many of us when we think Valentine’s Day picture chubby cupids with bows and arrows or red paper hearts with lace, the day’s origin actually stems back to the life an early Christian saint.

But poor St. Valentine. Apparently no one’s quite certain if he was one man or was perhaps a composite of two different people. For this reason Valentine’s name was dropped from the Catholic calendar of saints when revised in 1969. But his memory still lives on and he is lists among the saints allowed to be locally venerated. And for the less church oriented of us, he’s gained even wider recognition for his alleged support of love and loving couples. And our thoughts of love and hearts and flowers care little about his status as an officially sanctioned saint.

And the group of writers participating in the Tales from the Dark Side of Love giveaway aren’t looking at love quite so simply, either. We’re out to present to you the flip side of hearts and flowers.

To learn more about our perspectives and the prizes available to you, the reader, be sure to visit Bianca Sloane’s blog where you can enter the contest and possibly win one of those many, amazing prizes!

Three ways to win:

  • Tweet about the giveaway/promotion using the hashtag #DARKSIDEOFLOVE with a link back to http://www.biancasloane.blogspot.com/

  • Leave a comment on blog posts with email address. No email address means no entry.

  • Email Bianca Sloane at Bianca@biancasloane.com with the subject line “Dark Side of Love.”

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Out of the Blue, a New Cover Strikes

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I’m pleased to announce a new cover for Murderous Decisions. I’m not sure why I changed covers. My book only came out in July. But at a recent sale I found a graphic I liked so well, I simply had to buy it. And once bought, I could not resist using it in a cover.

The Market’s Shifting

I’m old enough at this Indie Author game to remember when a free book pushed sales nearly through the roof. Perma-free, the big boys called it. That’s the free ebook in a series that sells the rest of the line. Golden days those were. Or so I’ve heard.

I didn’t manage to write quickly enough to capitalize on that particular marketing trick.

Or take another old saw (remember with ebooks, nothing is really all that old) that nothing sells the old book quite as well as a new book. In other words, the trick to selling well is to produce, produce, produce.

But the times, they are a changin’. Today, the even some of the best performing ebooks writers are noting that sales are becoming more of a challenge with each passing day. They claim it’s difficult to become noticed these days. And from what I’ve seen, I suspect they are correct.

Anyway, the mantra now is shifting from a strategy of getting your next book out there to advertising your current works under something I call pay to play. This means you buy advertising on popular ebook recommendation sites to push your work. Bookbub is praised widely. And other sites for book promotion are also mentioned in reverential tones. Once you pay. They include your book on their list, and sales result. Or so both writers and the site owners say.

I do not doubt them. Advertising is a widely respected, promotional game. But ebook margins make pricey ads a wee bit off-putting in some instances.

Then. there’s the other side of today’s complex market. Those reports say the book-selling market is fragmenting. They predict the entry of such awe-inducing names as Wal-mart and Costco into the future mix.

If those predictions are correct, this hungry, hairy, crazy market for ebooks is about to become hungrier and hairier and even crazier.

I believe it. I’ve seen changes occur in this business that I could never have imagined on my own.

I started off this journey three or four years ago, when I learned I could write a book and publish it as an ebook for free. When I learned that I sat back in my chair and said, “I’m going to do that.” (I’d always wanted to write and publish a novel, after all.)

And I did. And it was fun. And the book sold. But today’s books sell a little less well because so many people, I believe, are sitting back in their chairs and saying, “I’m going to do that.”

In sort, the ebook world is a crazy world. But I’m glad I’m in it. And I’m glad I’ve had what success I’ve had. After all, I didn’t even put a price tag on my first book for nearly two years. Why? Because, said I, who’s going to buy a self-published ebook by a no-name writer? But they did and it was good, and I had fun, and thank you all so much.

May the future, whatever direction it unfolds, be half as much fun as the past couple of years has been. And to those of you who’ve bought my books, thank you very much, and I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride as much as I have.

WIP Update

In my first attempt at writing a mystery series, I produced very little new content today. Instead, I spent most of my day editing. Editing has become rather interesting now what I’ve invested in a spiffy editing program. It’s amazing the kinds of things I’m learning from using it. I have a tendency to repeat words. This program is marvelous at pointing those errors out to me. Now, if it would only write the revisions for me, life would be a snap. LOL.

I’m at some twenty thousand words in this opus. I’d hoped to put this book out as a novella at around forty thousand words, but it looks as though the thing will extend well beyond that word total. Word count is always a mystery to me. The mantra for success today is to write quickly and publish often. They say doing so will to keep your name before the readers and increase your chances for a sale. To that end, I think a novella looks like a dandy choice. However, other people say longer books sell better than shorter ones. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough books out to test either theory yet.

Which brings me to my last point, my writing commitment. I thought it was fine. I thought I was doing a decent job of plowing forward in this writing attempt of mine, but I’ve begun to suspect I’m a I don’t produce enough words per day. In short, when it comes to book production in this digital age, I’m appear to be a piker.

J. A. Konrath recently posted his statistics for the sales of his titles on his blog. The info was an eye opener for me. Besides the fact he earned some  $1.5 million over the span of three to four years, it was his book count that blew my mind. I only totaled up titles for two years. But one year, he listed ten new titles. The next year, he recorded nine.

So, order to self: Butt in chair. Hands on keyboard. And pick up my pace!

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News, Views and Clues on the Global Ebook Scene – It’s Bigger Than You Think!

I don’t know how many of you consider the foreign book market, but this post should encourage you to have a look. It’s amazing that I can sit here in a very small Illinois town and have books selling in such a wide variety of locations. I hope you enjoy this article.

Mark Williams - The International Indie Author

Welcome to the Ebook Bargains UKofficial Blog.

We send out a semi-regular newsletter to our advertising authors and publishers with news, views and clues about what’s happening in the world beyond the US ebook market, and the feedback has been great. But until lnow there’s been no opportunity for readers to share their views and news with others. Hence this blog, which is aimed anot just at EBUK advertisers but at anyone interested in the international English-language ebook scene.

This blog launch post is a little (okay, a lot!) longer than the norm, but we think you’ll find it well worth reading through.  Please feel free to have your say, ask questions, point out any errors, etc, in the comments section below.

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