Free Book Alert: Crimson Moon

I decided to wish the mothers out there an early Happy Mother’s day. Whether your children are human or furry, you deserve a treat for all your hard work. So, for the next two days, May 7th and 8th, I’m giving away “Crimson Moon” for #Free! To get a copy, just follow the link at the bottom of the picture that says “Buy On Amazon” and pick it up. (And if anyone wants to give me a Mother’s Day gift, nothing says love like a book review!)

Free Book Alert: Rising Tide by Claudette Melanson

Good afternoon, all! I’m so excited to share this. “Rising Tide,” by Claudette Melanson and one of my favorite books ever just went perma-free!!! If you’re interested, the review I left when I read it for the first time is below the links. Do yourself a favor and go pick up a copy.

Rising Tide is PERMA FREE on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, B&N & Smashwords!

Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner

Clean YA Paranormal Mystery/Romance ☠

166 Reviews & 4.6 Overall

Find it FREE :

Amazon: http://buff.ly/2pD5RAO

Amazon Canada: http://buff.ly/2pD7wpK

Amazon UK: http://buff.ly/2pD7wGg

Amazon Australia: http://buff.ly/2pDmcWb

Amazon Japan: http://buff.ly/2pDa5rM

Google Play: http://bit.ly/1NysHcY

iBooks: http://apple.co/1PWXYwg

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1YzKAjr

Website: http://bit.ly/1DVaL7x

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2oJg8ah

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1XK3guq

My Review posted in 2015:

I just absolutely loved this book! I’m especially happy I found it after the 2nd book, Undertow came out. That way I don’t have to wait to see what happens after the cliffhanger Ms. Melanson left us with. I’ve already 1-clicked the sequel, and I cannot wait to start it:)
I won’t give away the secrets of this book for potential new readers. Discovery of a really amazing book is the fun of reading in the first place. There is one thing I do want to address, though. Several reviews have mentioned how odd it seems for Maura to refer to her mother as Caelyn instead of Mom for much of the book. I found this to be a brilliant touch of ‘showing’ instead of ‘telling’. I got it, I really did. Caelyn had her daughter at a very young age, and in some ways, the two of them have grown up together. Caelyn is fiercely protective of her daughter, but she is emotionally dependent on her too, and in several ways, she’s allowed Maura to take over the role of parent. They have an extremely complicated relationship, and all of the secrets between them don’t help them to understand each other.
I’m extremely impressed by the excellent way this book was written. Good writing is a combination of learned skill and innate talent, and Ms. Melanson has both. I love discovering new writers, and I look forward to watching her career blossom. If you’re wondering whether to give this book a shot, just download the free sample, and see how fast it gets you hooked!

Crimson Moon Blog Tour

Title: Crimson Moon
Series: The Dark Woods
Author: Sherri A. Wingler
Genre: Paranormal
In the old days,

people whispered about the wolf, said he came only at night, and only by the

light of the full moon. They locked their doors and huddled close to their

fires, safe in the knowledge they could prepare for his coming. The truth is, no

one is safe, because the wolf walks in the skin of the man. Always.

Harlow Hayes is a runaway, thief, and failed Southern belle. Forced to grow up

fast after what her mama delicately referred to as, ‘the incident,’ she learns

the hard way not all strangers are kind, real monsters hide in plain sight, and

family can be found in the most unexpected places. Harlow Hayes is about to meet the Wolf.

Sherri Wingler is the author of The Immortal Sorrows and The Dark Woods series. She lives and works (way more than full-time) in Indiana.
Sherri shares her home with her husband, Steve, too many rescued kitty cats, and one co-dependent Shih Tzu named Spanky. When she isn’t writing, or working in the real world, her spare time is spent raising money and awareness for animal charities, in the hopes of saving at least a few little critters.
Sherri is currently hard at work on her next book.
For more information visit www.sherriwingler.com

Presented by
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Crimson Moon Release

I need your help!  Crimson Moon releases March 5th, 2017 and I need a few more people to support the HeadTalker campaign to make the book go viral. Supporting costs you nothing. It just allows the app to post to your social media of choice. Please click the link below, hit support, and pick the icon(s) you want to support from. Media support is possible from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Tumblr. Thank you!

https://headtalker.com/campaigns/crimson-moon/

Judging a book by its cover

There’s the old saying which says, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover.’ Now, we all like to think we don’t, but to be honest, most of us do. A beautiful cover is the first thing you notice about a book. It’s the thing which draws you in, entices you to maybe read the book’s description, possibly crack it open and take a peek inside. Many would argue that it’s the content which sells the book, and there’s a lot to that theory, but it’s the cover’s job to draw you in from the start.
A wonderful friend of mine, Ms. Heather Slaughter of Bookpressed, once referred to the right book cover as wrapping for your present, and honestly, I can think of no better description.
When I first decided to publish, I didn’t want to sink a small fortune into my little project. You know, just in case my book bombed. Indie authors come and go, but if a book isn’t going to sell, there’s no point in sinking your life’s savings into a cover. So I went the cheap, er, frugal route and did it myself to start with.
I knew a few things about cover design, but precious little. One of which was, I needed a royalty free image for the cover. So I found a beautiful picture of a creepy, gothic doorway. It cost me a whopping $15 to make the original cover.
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For those of you who have read “Wings of Darkness,” I think you’ll agree it was a nice nod to the graveyard scene in chapter 6. For those of you who haven’t read it yet, it’s just a pretty picture which makes absolutely no sense if you’re cruising through Amazon’s 3 million books. It’s pretty, but it’s vague.
Then, wonder of wonders, I started getting some pretty outstanding reviews (if I may say so myself.) My book wasn’t flopping at all. It was floating along, holding its own. Book 2 was about to come out when I decided to bite the bullet and have a professional redo the first cover, and I’m so glad I did.
Finding the right person to do your cover takes some work, but that’s for another blog post. I lucked out pretty quickly. A friend of mine introduced me to a very nice lady, Danella Miller of Danella’s Designs. She actually does a bit of everything. A photographer originally, she also designs websites, graphic design, and now book covers.
http://danellasdesigns.com/main/product-category/bookcovers/
I highly suggest, if you’re in the market for new covers, that you go pay her a visit. Her pre-made covers are just gorgeous and start at less than $100. Custom jobs are a bit higher, of course, but well worth the results.
This is the new cover.
WINGS OF DARKNESS - KindleIt captures my main character perfectly. The colors stand out and it does exactly what it’s supposed to do, which is draw the reader in.
Book 2, “Wings of Shadow,” needed a cover, too. This is what she came up with. (Special thanks goes to our model for Izzy, Miss Katie Durant.)
wings of shadows - FINAL
The cover changed in February, and I really should have gotten this post up earlier, but I wanted to see how the cover change would effect sales. A few other authors I know were wondering about how it would change my bottom line, too. Happily, I can report that the new covers have just about quadrupled sales! Yes, I sank some money into professional covers, but they’ve paid for themselves in no time. I was so happy with Danella’s work, in fact, I commissioned her to do the rest of the covers for “The Immortal Sorrows” series. Each cover has come out more beautiful than the last. She not only wrapped the present, she put a giant bow in top!

Book Ratings!

A friend and I were having a discussion on book ratings the other day. I’ve had the same discussion pretty often with other friends who write and thought it might make a decent blog post. What is a rating, really? It’s like a tip you give your author for taking you on an adventure you wouldn’t have imagined on your own.

Amazon has a rating system of 1-5 stars, with 5 being excellent and 1 being awful. I have my own version of this, though. Here’s what ratings look like from the author’s point of view…

5* Excellent, my day was just made so much better because someone out there loved my book. I’m not just shouting into the void. Someone really gets me, and I want to take them to dinner and thank them personally for that validation I needed to get the next book finished. I feel like this about my 5* reviews…she loves her fish  :)  ......one time, I was hanging out with this little 3 year old whose dad happens to fish, and he had given her these two realistic looking plush fish, and the 3 year old, in her little voice told me that one, her favorite, was a trout. The other was a bass. She then looked at the trout, and said lovingly, "He's a good girl..."  Haha...this pic just made me think of that.

 

4* Not bad. The reader had some issues with the story, but I can take constructive criticism. Maybe I’ll take their concerns into account and try to fix a few things the next time I go through and polish my book. If the 4* is gushing with praise (and it happens surprisingly often) I might be scratching my head wondering what it would take to squeeze that last star out of them. Occasionally, you get the snarky 4*. Generally full of praise, but it’s clear they believe they could have done the story better. Good luck with that.

21 Reasons Why “Hocus Pocus” Is The Best And Most Important Part Of Halloween...number 1 being its filmed in my home town.

3* Meh. It’s just ok. Nothing to write home about and tell mother. The people dropping 3* reviews are pretty rare. Getting reviews are hard. I think the average is about every 1000 purchases will get 1 review, and the numbers get even higher if it was a free promotion. The reason 3* reviews are rare, I believe, is because people have to feel passionately about a book to review it. They either love it or they hate it. To them I say…

I asked this dog what his honest opinion was of our political representatives?  I'm thinking I agree with him....just sayin....

2* They hated it, but for some reason just wouldn’t drop the rating to a 1. Usually this type of reader is reading the wrong kind of book for them. Someone who loves sci-fi isn’t going to be happy with a paranormal romance, but if a book is out on free promotion, a lot of people will take anything free and then complain later.

23 Reasons Why "Hocus Pocus" Is The Best Halloween Movie Of All Time....not sure I'd go so far as "all time" but it is one of my favs to be sure

1* They loathed it. Personally, I think these are the people who just like raining on parades. If you go ahead and give into the urge to stalk them, ahem, trace their other reviews, you’ll find they don’t give out much higher than a 2* to anyone. These are the people you just want to grab by the scruff of the neck and ask…

Gladiator - Russell Crowe again! He is such a humble guy, even when kicking ass, and true to his wife. Sad though... he's just a pissed off farmer.

All of this was in good fun, of course, but seriously, thank you to the readers who leave ratings for their authors. The ratings keep us going like nothing else can.

Book Piracy and the Indie Author

So let’s talk about piracy for a moment. Not the cool kind of piracy, either. I’m not talking about scurvy, pegged legged dudes walking the plank. Although sharks are certainly involved. No, I want to talk about book piracy. As in, the theft of someone’s intellectual property. As in, sites giving illegal copies of books away, unbeknownst to the author who spent months, if not years, writing said books.

To be honest, I really never gave much thought to this subject. I’ve heard horror stories of authors getting ripped off, but I’ve always assumed it was the big name authors who were stolen from. As it turns out, it can happen to anyone. It could happen to me, in fact, and it did.

Here’s how my Sunday played out. I have a big giveaway coming up on March 20-24. So I spent several hours setting everything up with various book sites to shotgun the announcement out. One of those sites happened to need an obscure link. I didn’t have it on the top of my head, so being lazy, I just Googled myself. Easy, right? Ha!

Imagine my shock, horror, outrage, boiling fury… you get the idea, when I found my first book on at least three pirating sites! They looked good, too. There, on prominent display, was my book (old cover) offered as a free download, my picture, and my author bio. They’d even gone so far as to throw in some great Amazon reviews, too. It all looked really legit, except I hadn’t authorized any of it, nor was I aware of it until I stumbled onto it by accident.

To say I was displeased is putting it mildly. I’m pretty sure I made some noises only a dog could hear. What’s the big deal, you ask? I was planning on giving it away on March 20th anyway, right? That’s the big deal, in a nutshell. I was giving it away. Me. Because it’s mine. Mine to giveaway. Mine to sell. Mine to delete, should I ever have a moment of insanity. Mine. Mine. Mine. Give me a second while I climb down off of my soap box… there, I’m all better now.

Now that I’ve settled down a bit, what am I going to do about it? Well, turns out I actually have some options. Which is the whole purpose of this post. I want other authors to know that there are options out there and available to them. I also want them to know that even though they aren’t cracking the top 100, they aren’t safe from stuff like this, either. Google yourselves. Go on. I’ll wait. Did you go farther than the first couple of pages? Google your titles, too. You might be surprised at what you find. You might be the one making up super-inventive curse words!

I had no idea that sites like this existed in such abundance. And not just pirating sites, where they can steal your book and hand it out for free! No, there are also scam sites that can get your book. These are particularly nasty little buggers, but between the two, I prefer them to the straight up pirating sites. Scam sites get a credit card number. Whether they actually give away a book, or not, is up for debate. Apparently, the most people get out of these sites is a healthy virus for their computer. Call me vindictive, but if someone is trying to steal from me, I like the idea that they destroyed their hard drive in the process.

I’ve spoken to several people about this in the last few days. The general consensus is, it’s sort of a back-handed compliment. These sites could’ve stolen any book they wanted, yet they chose mine. (I feel so special. I’m thinking about buying myself a tiara, really. Why not?) The thing is, I’m not special. My book has been out less than a year, and while it’s floating comfortably in the upper percentile of Amazon’s rankings, it’s not raking in enough that I’ll be moving to the south of France anytime soon.

So what attracted the sharks? Where was the blood in the water? I have no idea, and that’s the thing which bothers me the most. It pretty much stays on the top 100 list for its sub-genre, but that’s the only thing I can think of. It may be something else. Who knows? It can happen to anyone. The world is a dangerous place, and scruples are getting harder and harder to come by.

There is hope in all of this. A good friend introduced me to a lovely site called Muso. https://www.muso.com/anti-piracy/  For a low monthly fee, they’ll monitor the web for me. So I can get back to writing and marketing, and not have to worry about someone stealing from me.  There are tons of other places, too. Just Google anti piracy solutions and pages of them will pop up.

If you’re a regular reader, and not an author, you’re scratching your head and probably wondering why I’m having this meltdown. Most Ebooks are pretty cheap. Indies seem to hover below the $4.99 mark. It’s not like someone stole my life savings, right? Actually, it is. That book took 8 months to write, a year to market, and 20 years to prepare for. Every spare moment was spent writing, plotting, or dreaming about it. For every practical purpose, it is my essence, condensed down to several thousand words. After all of that time and effort, I have a right to what is mine.

I’m exclusive to Amazon. Which means, I put a ring on it, so to speak. In exchange for that exclusivity, every three months, give or take, I’m able to offer my book free for five days. Which is how I catch readers in the teaming river which is the almighty Amazon. I hook them with the first book, and hopefully they like it enough to read the second, and the third, when it’s finished, and the one after that. I’ve heard horror stories of authors, exclusive to Amazon, who lost their place in the Kindle Select program, simply because of a pirated copy. Hopefully, that doesn’t happen to my book.

I offer “Wings of Darkness” all day, every day on Amazon for the more than reasonable price of $2.99. Here’s a link, and a little shameless self-promotion. Go help yourself to a free sample, and decide for yourself if it’s worth that much. Or if it was worth stealing:)

http://www.amazon.com/Wings-Darkness-Book-Immortal-Sorrows-ebook/dp/B00JX4EP5A/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1425940812&sr=1-1&keywords=wings+of+darkness