The Station Series Readers Are Awesome

If you’ve already read The Station books, return to your coffee or juice. Actually, wait, stay…because I have something cool to tell you. If you haven’t read this series yet – I wanted to remind you that the first book is FREE via all authorized distributors. I’ll drop links at the bottom of this, if you want to check them out. But first, what’s this story about, anyway?

beautiful blonde in a hat. hipster style

The Station books are part of a YA/NA Fantasy series that follow teenage anti-heroine, Piper Willow, after she dies and wakes up in the afterlife at a place called the Station, and is offered redemption – in the form of a job.

For some, the day you die is only the beginning.

After Piper dies, she gets two choices: enter her own personal hell, or go back to Earth and become the voice of conscience inside a boy’s head. Can she save Sloan from meeting the same fate? A tale of hope that will warm your heart.

With almost 600 ratings on Amazon alone, giving the title a 4.5/5 rating overall, readers have loved this book! If you do pick up a copy, please let me know how you felt about the title via a review/rating online, or send me a message on here. I love to hear from readers!

You can find the free ebook here:

APPLE     AMAZON     NOOK     KOBO


Now, for the cool thing I promised earlier…it’s really cool. The kind of cool that makes you so happy you cry. Well, maybe YOU won’t cry, but I did. See, a few years ago a teen reader reached out to me via email. She had picked up Dying to Forget after losing her best friend, Jace, to suicide. I never forgot about her, nor Jace, and she has reached out several times over the last few years for updates or to say hello. She was pretty awesome then, but even more so awesome now. Growing up to be a beautiful young woman, she recently sent me a message with a picture of her new tattoo. As far as I know, I believe this is the first Station inspired ink. Yes, I died. I told you this was cool news. 😀

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She’s right, you know…the Station is in every one of us.

Have a wonderful day, readers!

December Giveaway, Week 4

What will the 4th December Giveaway winner be getting this week?

How about all THREE of The Station books!

Signed. Sealed. Delivered. They’re yours.

Read on for more info about this week’s special Giveaway…

Friends – this is it – the fourth and final December Giveaway for 2015. O.O Hopefully you’ve had fun stopping by each week this month to leave a comment under the Giveaway posts or read the ones left by other bookish friends. This week is different – and not just because of what’s up for grabs (signed print copies of The Station books 1-3). But first, PLEASE go to this post: FOUR FRIDAYS. FOUR WINNERS. FOR REAL. if you haven’t yet, to read the basic giveaway rules (please don’t leave your answer or comments there, or they may be missed) and then return to this post!

And now, it’s GIVEAWAY time! ‘Like’ this post and tell us why you should be this week’s winner! A winner will be randomly chosen and posted here on the blog this Saturday, December 26th, December 31st, as well as on the TMDBooks Facebook page! Don’t forget to return this weekend to see who the lucky winner of The Station book trilogy is!

Happy Holidays, y’all, thanks for being here today, and have a wonderful week!


 

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Like it. Share it. Comment on it. I’ll send some Karma Brownie Points your way.

Four Fridays. Four Winners. For Real.

December is SO close…like…right THERE. Literally tomorrow. We can smell it, taste it, feel it. Actually, that might just be me because I had peppermint in my coffee this am and stepped on an ornament hook. That’s usually how my Monday’s roll. Anyway, totally not the point of this post.

Who wants FREE stuff??

You, right? Of course!

Every Friday of December is going to be a Giveaway day. This month, on Mondays (starting today), I’ll throw up something fun for y’all that won’t take much time or effort, only a post like/comment, and on Fridays a random winner* will be chosen to receive a signed print copy of the newly designed ‘Dying to Forget’! And if I can get the print orders of the other two books in before the giveaways start, there might be more than one book as a prize. Awesomesauce, right?

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Win a Signed Copy of Dying to Forget!

This is totally free – book and shipping totally on me – and should be totally fun. Are you in? Scroll on…

Rules are simple.

Please leave a comment under every Monday Giveaway post, and share the posts on Facebook, Twitter, email, whatever, for your friends to play too. Participants have ALL week to leave their comments (one comment per person, please), so I’ll be sharing the posts a few times from Monday – Thursday on my social media outlets. *Shipments can only be sent to the US, Canada and the UK.

Please return to the blog on Fridays by noon PST (I’m in California, y’all) to see who the winner for the current week is, because if YOU win, then I’ll need to know how to contact you for the address to send your prize. If by chance, a blizzard knocks out your internet, or you had to make ten dozen cookies for your kiddo’s school holiday bake sale, I get missing an announcement post on Fridays. But be sure to take a peek ASAP or a runner up may be chosen. If you don’t win right away, don’t freak out (too much), because there are four Fridays in December, so that’s four chances. Yay! Please don’t post your personal information in a comment because they are public and I don’t want any stalkers showing up at your door. Safety, y’all. Sidenote: because it wouldn’t be fair otherwise, you can only win once, but you can  (and hopefully will) still play, comment and share every Friday. Sidenote #2: the last Friday of December is Christmas. A winner announcement post will still be put up on the blog (most likely scheduled from the day before) but I will not be hovering over the keyboard on Christmas Day, nor do I expect you to be either. Check in that Saturday or Sunday to see who the final lucky winner is.

That’s it – like I said, easy! If you already have print copies of The Station series, they are most likely not the new ones, so please still play. If you aren’t that interested in YA Fantasy, surely there is a YA person in your life, and books make fabulous presents, so you can still play too. *hint, hint*

Bloggers: if you would like to participate in December’s weekly Giveaway posts by sharing them via link on your own site, please send me a private message and we can work something out. *big goofy grin*

The first post is going up live in just a few minutes, so be sure to check it out and leave your comment! Good luck, everyone, and thank you for reading! XOXOXO


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Like it. Share it. Comment on it. I’ll send some Karma Brownie Points your way.

The Perma-Free Conflict

Say you are browsing the Top Free category on Amazon and stumble across a couple of books that look good, but you wonder if they really are. Because if so, why would they be free? You take a peek at some reviews, decide to grab the first book in a series, read it and actually ENJOY it. But then you find out the next book in the series isn’t free, it’s $3.99. And the third book is also $3.99. In fact, all the books after the initial one actually cost money. WTF?! You feel cheated. Sort of like the author scammed you. How dare they write a book that caught your interest, offer if for nothing, then expect you to pay for the rest?! It’s not fair! WHY would they do this?

Today I’m going to explain why authors do this. And don’t worry, I’ll be nice about it. *wink*


I have two perma-frees (the first book in a series that is free everywhere, all the time, and will be unless Amazon accidentally bumps the price up or I decide to change my mind).

IHYFM CoverI HOPE YOU FIND ME is free – and clearly listed in the sales title that it is the first book in a series. I know not everyone likes series. That’s totally okay. That’s why I have it listed in the title, as said before, so it’s pretty much impossible to miss. But some readers do like to keep reading! And as the author, there are obvious benefits to having more than one book out there with the same characters.


91BazxEclvL._SL1500_And DYING to FORGET is also free. Not only does the title mention it’s the first book of a series, but it’s on the cover too. Like the above mentioned book, it’s really hard to miss that this is the FIRST book from a SERIES. There should be no surprises for the reader here. Can you see it – the little text at the top of the cover? “The Station Series, Book 1” – nice and straight-forward, right?


I posted those two books as examples, not necessarily as plugs. And the covers link back to their Amazon pages. Take a peek at the reviews (the lower rated ones that I’d rather avoid, lol) and I bet you’ll find a comment or two about how the book was free, and the reader still “paid too much” or felt “cheated”. Those are the most confusing reviews for me, as the author. And when people complain about having to pay for the follow ups, it confuses me even more. So, let me explain the reasons why I offer these two books to readers for FREE.

Exposure

I’m relatively unknown in the book world outside my own dedicated following of readers. So, for me, offering up a free book is a great way to attract new readers to my brand and that book series. There’s nothing nefarious about this marketing tactic – and many companies give things away for free simply for exposure to new clients and customers. Book authors should be allowed to do the same thing, no? Having a perma-free book is the best way to do this – on top of paid ad’s for marketing the book/series.

Taste Test

Now, please don’t lick your Kindles or eBook readers, people…that’s not the kind of ‘taste’ I’m talking about. With SO many book titles available now on Amazon alone, how does one book series stand out above the rest? Great cover, editing, etc…all those things matter, but let’s be honest, so does price. Which are you most likely to download if you’re looking for a new series to get into – the FREE title, or the one listed at $4.99? If both series are previously unknown (NOT The Hunger Games, for example), and you have nothing but price to help you decide, chances are high you will go for that free book first. I’ve done it and I know a ton of others who have as well. The Taste Test is my way of putting a book out there for readers to have, free of charge, to see if they want to continue on with the series. In both of my perma-frees, the titles are an appropriate length version for their genre and match the rest of the series’ word counts. So, the reader is getting the whole first part of the story for free, to see if they want to continue on. It’s a great way to save the reader some money before they choose to invest in the whole series. That’s money in the reader’s pocket! *KA-CHING*

Sales

Obviously, I don’t publish books just for myself. I write them for me – because I want to, I have to, I need to. But I publish them for the readers. However, the time that goes into constantly thinking about the plot, fighting with the muse and characters in your head over the twist or close of a story, the actual hundreds of hours it takes to write, edit, market, design covers, or outsource…all of that is time working. Being an author is my career choice. This is my job, and even though I love it and this is my dream job, I have bills to pay just like my readers. It would be awesome to give all my books away for free, but um, that’s never going to happen because my books are my income. It actually does cost money to write a book, believe me. Even if you are one of the lucky ones (and I’ve been blessed, I admit) to have friends or family to help you with the things you can’t do, it still costs money. And I have to make that money back, as well as extra to live. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, but I’ve read complaints more than once, from readers who seem to be genuinely upset that ALL of a series is not free when the first book is. Here’s the thing – to offer up that free book, I’m taking a gamble and yes, I’m losing sales for that particular title. I need to make enough money back from the rest of the series to make that freebie worth it, and people are more likely to buy book #2 if they didn’t have to pay for book #1. So yes, this can be a marketing score for authors. It helps propel a series forward with sales, especially after advertising the first book as free with big (and expensive) places like BookBub. But just because we have a perma-free doesn’t mean we will get sales for the second, third, fourth or tenth books in a series. Because readers want to stay entertained and happy with the work – so quality is still really important here. You can’t just throw a free book out there and expect readers to return to the rest if it’s crap. Just like anything else in the world – quality matters.


Exposure, Taste-Testing and Sales are MY main reasons for making the two books I have free on a permanent basis. They may not be the same reasons for every author who chooses to do this, but I know they meet the criteria for many of my writer friends because we talk about this often. There’s nothing sneaky about this. I’m not trying to trick readers – I’m trying to share stories that readers will fall in love with. Which is what all of us authors truly want.

So, please, if you grab up a free book, and discover the rest in the series are NOT free, keep in mind that there are multiple reasons for this, from the author’s perspective, and that spending $10 on five books is still a ridiculously GREAT deal for you. We live in the time of ‘I want it now, and I want it for free!’ But literature is still a form of entertainment, which means us authors are artists – most struggling to get by in this life just as the reader is. Even those that are lucky enough to make it ‘big’ have taxes and employees to pay, work-related travel to schedule and budget for, therapy to deal with the one star reviews on their work (just kidding…lol) and everything else that comes with life.

Be kind to authors. Enjoy their work. Remember that reading is a form of pleasure, not a platform for spewing negativity. And appreciate those free books, y’all. *double wink*

eBook Pirating…Gone Mad?

*clears throat…taps mic* Do I have the floor? Alrighty then. Let’s start, shall we?

This post is a direct result of the moronic move on behalf of the git that decided to upload ‘Lost and Found’ to a questionable eBook file sharing site (no, this title is not free to share in such a way ANYWHERE online) and then didn’t have the brains to get my author name correct, though my name is clearly on the book cover image they listed, rather, they posted ‘Lee Child’ as the author, and ‘Transworld’ as the publisher. Let’s all take a nice long giggle at that, before I move on…ready? No? Still laughing? Okay…calm yourself now. This really is a serious matter. *shoves chocolate in mouth*

LF DMCA

Surprise!! I am not Lee Child (say whaaaat??), and I’ve no doubt he knows nothing of my existence though I’m sure he’s a lovely guy. But ‘Lost and Found’, the second book of the Find Me series, is most definitely mine. Um, I know this, because I wrote it, not Lee Child. And Transworld – um, that’s another nope. From what I can gather, it is a UK based publishing division of Random House. They probably haven’t heard of me either. *GASP* I published this book myself. *DOUBLE GASP* Book pirates – just a note – If you are going to pass off an eBook file to someone else, without the author’s consent, can you at least get their name and publishing info right on the page? I mean, it’s the least you can do. You’ve gone through the effort to upload the file or image already. Might as well go alllll the way.

It seems that I’m getting more and more email alerts about my files ending up all OVER the internet. eBook pirating has gone mad, people, MAD. I am all for sharing my freebies, loves. That’s why they are free. I want you to tell your friends and them to tell their family…however, I only want my titles listed on sites I deem appropriate for distribution. This isn’t only for my protection, but yours, as well. I don’t want someone downloading what they think is a free file of one of my books from some random site run from someone’s basement , then uploading a virus to their computer. Or worse, a phishing scam. Not to mention the fact that I have two free books – no one has to ‘steal’ from me. And that’s what file sharing for ‘Lost and Found’ would be. It’s not free on Amazon or B&N. So unless you got a copy from me directly, or those two places, you could be getting the file from somewhere shady. Just, you know, FYI.

Please be respectful to the people who write, format, design, edit, and publish books. We WANT them to be read, but we also have bills to pay, just like everyone else, and we also have a reputation to build in the writing world. Be part of the solution, not the problem, by getting your eBooks from reputable places. Support your favorite authors by legitimately buying their books, or borrowing them from valid lending programs (Amazon’s KU program, for example). My books are not in each of these programs, but there are many others which are. And if you are a rabid fan of mine (which, I don’t know, I guess could happen…*cue crickets singing along to the Misery soundtrack*) and truly can’t afford to continue on with one of my series after reading the first for free, send me a PM and I’d love to shoot you over a book or two. Why? Because I want you to read them. I know I already said that, but it’s true. It really is.

I love writing and sharing my writing with you. Honestly, I do. Which is why I don’t bash in my computer and throw in the towel when I find things like this online – however – with that being said, it still bothers me to see that someone, anyone, took the time to share a file that didn’t belong to them, online in a place it shouldn’t be. It’s about respect, lovely people. Respect. Please treat your eBook files with the respect the authors deserve, so they continue to publish more works for you to read. Or you know, buy a library card, I guess?

Much love to those who legally download books. I appreciate you. I want to hug you. Kiss you, even. Together, united, we can stand up and support the ever evolving digital world of books! Because in the end, we all love to read.

Now, I’m off to shove more chocolate in my mouth (don’t judge, it’s just been one of those days), while writing more DMCA notices (!@#$%^&*), while doing laundry and packing the kids up for an errand. *double winky face*

Happy Hump Day!