Interview with Rita Stradling

Shruti from This is Lit was kind enough to interview me about my upcoming release Ensnared. Here is the interview, if you want to check it out 🙂

This is Lit

I really loved Rita Stradling’s Ensnared and have been fangirling over it ever since I read it. I asked her a lot of questions and she was kind of enough to answer them.

interview-with-rita-stradlingCan you tell us a little about Ensnared?

Ensnared is an adult, near-future retelling of Beauty and the Beast. In the year 2026, the world’s greatest inventor, Connor Murphy, creates the first humanoid AI robot to be the companion of Mr. Garbhan, a strange recluse who lets no human enter his tower home. The robot, Rose 76GF, refuses to go; she believes herself too important to submit to a life of servitude. As Connor Murphy has squandered the money he was paid for Rose and can neither produce the robot nor repay Mr. Garbhan, he faces a five year prison sentence for fraud. Connor’s only daughter, Alainn, disguises herself as Rose 76GF and goes to live in…

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The final volume is out now!

Hello!

So, I have an update and a new release alert 🙂

I’ll give you the update first:

There’s only one day left to nominate Ensnared on Kindle Scout! If Ensnared is selected by Kindle Press, you’ll be among the first to receive a finished kindle copy from Amazon.

You can check it out: Here

(Thank you to all of you who’ve nominated it already 🙂

Alright, bum, bum, bum, bum…

Volume Six (the final volume) of The Fourteen Day Soul Detox is out now on Amazon!

You can pick up your kindle copy here:

Amazon: Link

volume-6-front

Serial Blurb:

It’s been one year since my husband Logan died.
For the last eleven months, I’ve hated Logan for how he left me.
For ten months, I’ve worked my ass off to get myself and my daughter out of the debt Logan landed us in, and we’re not close to out.
For eight months, I’ve been sleeping with Logan’s best friend, Cameron.

I am a f*cking mess.

On my thirtieth birthday, everything changes. It’s like I wake up, and I don’t want to be me anymore. I give myself fourteen days to fix my life. I commit to one task each day, starting with quitting coffee and ending with breaking it off with Cameron and finding someone who isn’t entrenched in all of the b*llshit, finding a man who’s sweet and safe.

But, my life doesn’t want to let me go. The sweet and safe guy I find isn’t what he seems. The consequences of my husband’s death go deeper than I know. And, there’s a vicious stalker on my trail who believes I need to be punished.

And, then there’s Cameron.
I should have never slept with him.
Starting up with him was wrong because I knew he loved me since high school.
As my life becomes more and more dangerous, he proves he would do anything to protect me and my daughter.
And, unfortunately, I am undeniably in love with him, too.

But, to move on I have to leave him.

However, Cameron has no plans to ever let me go.

Serial Book Trailer:

Nominate Ensnared on Kindle Scout?

Hi everyone 🙂

So, I’m doing something a little different with my newest book, Ensnared. I’ve just posted it to Amazon Scout. If you’re not familiar with Scout, it’s a reader-powered publishing platform. Basically, readers vote for the books they want to see published, and Amazon Press makes the ultimate choice. If you ‘nominate’ a book and it is chosen for publication, you get an early finished kindle copy gifted to you (before everyone else).

The campaign just launched today! I would so appreciate it if you checked it out!! Any comments, thoughts and shares are very welcome. If you like the look of the book (there’s an excerpt, too) and want a chance at being gifted a free early-release copy by Amazon, nominations would be SOOO appreciated, too!

Here’s the Link to the Campaign: Ensnared on Kindle Scout

Here’s a little about the book:

ensnared-cover-rita-stradling

A Near Future Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

 

Alainn’s father is not a bad man. He’s a genius and an inventor. When he’s hired to create the robot Rose, Alainn knows taking the money is a mistake.

Rose acts like a human. She looks exactly like Alainn. But, something in her comes out wrong.

To save her father from a five year prison sentence, Alainn takes Rose’s place. She says goodbye to the sun and goes to live in a tower no human is allowed to enter. She becomes the prisoner of a man no human is allowed to see.

Believing that a life of servitude lies ahead, Alainn finds a very different fate awaits her in the company of the strange, scarred recluse.

 

 

 

Read Now on NetGalley: Ensnared #netgalley

Hello!

So, awesome news! Two of my books are READ NOW on NetGalley through the end of February!

First book is the ARC of Ensnared.

NetGalley Link: Link

ensnared-cover-rita-stradling

Title: Ensnared

Genre: Science Fiction Romance

Expected Publication Date: 12/18/2017 (for the paperback)

Blurb:

A Near Future Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

Alainn’s father is not a bad man. He’s a genius and an inventor. When he’s hired to create the robot Rose, Alainn knows taking the money is a mistake.

Rose acts like a human. She looks exactly like Alainn. But, something in her comes out wrong.

To save her father from a five year prison sentence, Alainn takes Rose’s place. She says goodbye to the sun and goes to live in a tower no human is allowed to enter. She becomes the prisoner of a man no human is allowed to see.

Believing that a life of servitude lies ahead, Alainn finds a very different fate awaits her in the company of the strange, scarred recluse.

Link to GoodReads: Link


The second book is Making Bad Choices.

NetGalley Link: Link

making-bad-choices-cover

Title: Making Bad Choices

Genre: New Adult Romance

Publication Date: 1/10/2017

Book Trailer: Here

Blurb:

[Recommended 16 + this is a mature YA or New Adult book]

Culter Fuller came back into my life on the day my mother died, as if losing my mother wasn’t bad enough.

We hated each other since childhood. Well, I hated him. He had a very different story.

When I moved to my dad’s house to finish my last semester of high school, we went from bitter enemies to. . . something else. He was suddenly everywhere, occupying my space, determined to pull me into his life, filling me with thoughts I knew were wrong.

I knew that soon we would cross a line that should never be crossed.

I knew crossing that line could have very serious consequences; because Culter Fuller wasn’t just any irresistible boy, Culter Fuller was my stepbrother.

But, I was always very bad at making the right choices.

Link to GoodReads: Link

Link to Amazon: Link

For authors: The ‘Ways to Get More Reviews’ Experiment. Part One.

Hello fellow authors 🙂

What this is: Basically, I’m signing up for multiple review-seeking services and telling you what worked and what didn’t work. I’ve listed all the sites and prices in this post.

So, as every author-blog across the board will tell you, reviews are huge in the success of a book. It gets you in with Bookbub and other book-making promotional services, ultimately, it can make or break your book. But, we already know this, right?

I’m an author blog-reading junkie, mostly wanting to know about other author’s journeys and what they did right or wrong. But, when seeking information on how to get more reviews, more often than not, unfortunately, we’re told: make sure your book is edited and that you have a great blurb and cover. And, while great advice and important just to get your foot into the door, that’s all it does. The truth is: there are just too many great, well-edited books out there with awesome covers and fantastic blurbs–we’re swimming in a sea of awesome, and it’s hard to float to the top.

So, I’m not going to give you any advice on the production of your book, let’s just assume all of our books are badass.

Sending Books out for Review

So, I’m trying as many review-seeking services as possible (that don’t cost an arm and a leg–or any of my appendages, hopefully). If you’re like me, your book marketing budget is limited, and you want to get as much bang for your buck. I (almost) never pay over $50 for anything that doesn’t have proven results–as in Bookbub, where the data is abundant. (Usually, I’ll actually market months before a book comes out as this has produced the best results, but in this experiment’s case, the book already came out.)

For ‘Part One’ of this experiment, I’m just going to tell you about all the review-seeking venues I chose and why I chose them, along with their price. One month from now, I’ll post Part Two with preliminary results, and then I’ll post Part Three with final conclusions.

First, the basics: How to Make Review Copies for Free

  1. To make review copies, convert your word file to html at this website: Convert document online after your file has downloaded, I suggest deleting it from their database. They only keep it on there for something like 24 hours, but best to be safe.
  2. Then download a program called Calibre for free. You can use it to make high-quality ebooks on your computer in all formats. After you open the program, you ‘Add book’ where you add your html file, then ‘edit book’ where you can upload a cover and edit the information, making all formats of your book.

The Honest Review-Seeking Sites I found, and the Pros and Cons of Each

FREE Places to Seek Reviewers

LibraryThing Member Giveaways

Link: LibraryThing Member Giveaways

Intro: If you don’t know what LibraryThing is, it’s a review site similar to GoodReads. It’s free to sign up but as I remember, you need to jump through a hoop or two (it’s worth it!). You can host a giveaway for 100 ebooks at a time or limitless print books.

Pros

  • As I said, it’s totally free. As in, you can do the whole thing 100% no cost and get reviews.
  • You connect with reviewers directly, and often they will send you follow up emails thanking you for the book if they loved it and asking to Read 2 Review more of your books.

Cons

  • It’s A LOT of work. Say over 100 people enter into your giveaway, that means you need to connect with 100 separate people to send them review copies. (usually it’s more like 30-60 people who enter for e-books, though I once had 120 enter).
  • The readers are asked to review, but they make no promise to. Often people sign up on a whim and have very little interest. I’d say about 10% of people actually review (and sometimes harshly). But still, that’s 10 reviews! Good stuff for free (and a lot of work).

Goodreads R2R Groups

Some good R2R groups (but there’s a lot more too, just look for them):

Good Reviews

Goodreads Reviewers’ Group

Advanced Copies for Review…

Read 4 Review

Pros:

  • Again, FREE! Few things in this world actually produce results for free, but luckily this is one of those rare few.
  • People only apply if they genuinely want to read and review (it’s no guarantee that they will,  but they at least intend to when they sign up).
  • Again, you have a personal connection to your readers where they feel comfortable asking to Read 2 Review more of your books if they liked the first.

Cons:

  • Moderate amount of work. I’d recommend posting on multiple groups and that takes time.
  • Less reviewers sign up. Usually it’s only a couple on each thread, but sometimes you can get 10 + people interested. Sometimes you get none (which is why I recommend posting on multiple groups).

Querying Bloggers Directly

Link: Book Blogger Directory

Pros

  • When it’s successful, it’s amazing. My books have been reviewed on Parajunkie and several other top notch review sites from doing this.
  • Again, FREE! Except for that you might be asked to provide some giveaway material (hint, hint, do it).
  • If the reviewer loves your book, they’ll likely be happy to review again on their big blog.

Cons

  • This is the most work of them all. I’m talking days and days and days. You need to read each reviewer’s submission guidelines and it’s a good idea to read through several of their reviews to know their preferences (making sure you’re not setting yourself up for a 1-star review from a very respected source!).
  • You get rejected a lot! Or, at least I have been for several of my previous books, your books might be different.
  • I want to say this again: it’s A LOT of work, and sometimes you’re rejected by pretty much everyone.

PAID Places to Seek Reviewers

NetGalley Co-ops

These are my two favorite co-ops so far:

Pikko’s House NetGalley Co-op Price: $35/month Why I like this one: The price. Everything is set up for you.

Victory Editing NetGalley Co-op Price: $40/month Why I like this one: You can go into your listing and see how many books people have downloaded and add reviews to your book’s page yourself.

Pros

  • There is a HUGE built in readership of bloggers, Librarians and retail-site reviewers who will see and consider your book.
  • If they chose your book and don’t review it, their ratings will go down on NetGalley and big publishers will be less likely to give them access to big ARC titles (I’m a NetGalley reviewer, I understand this predicament and pressure). This is actually an advantage and disadvantage, I’ll discuss the downside later. But the upside is they’re more likely to send some sort of feedback–likely a review.
  • The movers and shakers in the book world are paying attention here, and there’s a chance (however slim) that your book will attract that attention.

Cons

  • This is where I talk about obligatory reviewing, and the downsides of that. If the reader doesn’t like your book, instead of dropping it at chapter 4 — and never thinking about it again, they feel an obligation to review. This makes for a lot more negative DNF reviews or ‘I finished this, I don’t know why I put myself through this’ reviews–which obviously sucks on both ends (but it’s part of this whole honest review business). Maybe your book won’t get these, but I always brace for a few if there’s a big influx of reviews coming from NetGalley. Though, take heart, there are excited glowing reviews too! I try to take the good with the bad 🙂

Book Tour ‘Review Queries’

The services I’m using:

Xpresso Book Tours Review Query Price $50

Lola’s Book Tours Review Opportunity Price $60

YA Bound Book Tours Review Query Price $30

Pros

  • So this is basically like querying bloggers, except it’s from a source they know and trust and they select the book they’re interested in. The book tour hosts will email their huge list of bloggers + put your book’s listing on their social media.
  • It takes very little work, they do it all for you.
  • It’s the same services as the big publishers are using, and you’re treated just the same as them.

Cons

  • It costs money for something that you could potentially do yourself (though there are advantages–such as legitimacy–that you may not be able to achieve on your own. As far as I’m concerned, I’d much rather go with a respected Review Query than spend days and days working my butt off–and potentially barking up the wrong trees, but that’s just me.)
  • There’s no guarantee that you’ll get reviewed, not that there is a guarantee with any service. But, there’s a possibility you might be paying to get nothing or very little–I seriously doubt this is the case, I guess only time will tell. I’ll tell you in Part Two 😉 😉

StoryCartel

Link: StoryCartel Price: $25 to list your book

(If you want to check out what a listing looks like, here’s the link to my book on there: Making Bad Choices)

This one is new to me, and I’m really just testing the waters with it. It’s a site kind of like NetGalley, only they have no vetting process, everyone can join.

Pros

  • It’s super user friendly and very little work to set up.
  • Every person who downloads your book checks off that they agree to write an honest review.
  • There are pretty neat prize incentives, if people review your book they get points in a monthly drawing that gives away kindle e-readers and gift cards and stuff.

Cons

  • Unless you pay $100 extra dollars (which I’m not going to do), they won’t advertise for you whatsoever. You’re listed on their page but I don’t get the feeling that they have close to the page-view traffic as many of the other review-seeking sites I mentioned above.
  • They basically say that it’s up to you to drive traffic to your listing, which is what it is.

 

***Update 1/27/19: I’m on Story Cartel’s mailing list, and they included my book on their newsletter without me paying anything.***


My Experiment

So obviously a lot of factors may affect the success of my book that won’t affect yours, as in genre, blurb, cover and intended audience. Also, I’m not going to be paying for huge amounts of additional advertising to drive up any of these services. A little social media, but that’s mostly it. Also, I’m giving you only the Amazon Reviews that were produced directly from one of the services above (they have to note it in their review for me to know, which most will), the number and star-rating, because Goodreads is too hard to track. The book I’m using for this ‘Reviews Experiment’ is Making Bad Choices

Genre: New Adult Romance

Released 01/10/2017

Amazon Reviews that Came Directly from a Review Seeking Source Listed Above (not much yet):

LibraryThing Giveaways

One – 5-star review

Making Bad Choices is Read2Review on StoryCartel!

Hi guys!

I don’t know if I’m super out of the loop and everyone has heard of StoryCartel, but I just discovered this super cool read to review website. It’s a little like “Read Now” books on NetGalley, but anyone can join StoryCartel. After you sign up, you can browse through books in different genres and download them right away (for free) with the agreement that you plan to review them. Sounds neat, huh? And, I was really impressed with the books on there, too!

So . . . Making Bad Choices is up on there for 21 days, starting today!

Also, if you download the book, it seems you’re eligible to win awesome prizes!

This is from their FAQ:

“Every month, we give away Kindle eReaders, Amazon and Barnes & Noble gift cards, and bestselling print books to the Story Cartel community. Our giveaways are just a small way we say thank you for reading and reviewing books on Story Cartel. It’s easy to enter:

  1. Download the book you’d like to read and review on Story Cartel.
  2. Read the book and review it on Amazon. You can also choose to review Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, or your blog.
  3. Every reader who downloads a book gets one entry. Each additional review counts as a new entry.
  4. Once a month, we randomly choose the winners from all the reviewers on Story Cartel.”

If you want to check it out, link: here

For the people who don’t know about my new release, Making Bad Choices, here’s some info:

MAKING BAD CHOICES cover.jpg

Blurb

[Recommended 16 + this is a mature YA or New Adult book]

Culter Fuller came back into my life on the day my mother died, as if losing my mother wasn’t bad enough.

We hated each other since childhood. Well, I hated him. He had a very different story.

When I moved to my dad’s house to finish my last semester of high school, we went from bitter enemies to. . . something else. He was suddenly everywhere, occupying my space, determined to pull me into his life, filling me with thoughts I knew were wrong.

I knew that soon we would cross a line that should never be crossed.

I knew crossing that line could have very serious consequences; because Culter Fuller wasn’t just any irresistible boy, Culter Fuller was my stepbrother.

But, I was always very bad at making the right choices.

 

The Fourteen Day Soul Detox, new blurb, Volume 6 and Complete Serial info

Sorry for that whopper of a heading, ha ha!

So, I just wanted to announce that the preorder for The Fourteen Day Soul Detox, Volume Six and The Complete Serial are now both live. Also, The complete serial has a shiny new blurb that I’m going to be providing below.

So . . . bump, bump, bum . . .

Here are the release dates and links:

Volume Six Release Date: February 28th, 2017

Preorder here: Volume Six

The Complete Serial Release Date: March 28th, 2017

Preorder here: The Complete Serial

By the way, the paperback version of The Complete Serial is going to be something like 1,000 + pages. I’ll be holding a giveaway for it soon and if you win I’ll pretty much be sending you a book-brick.

Okay, so here’s the new blurb!

the-fourteen-day-soul-detox-tcs-completeIt’s been one year since my husband Logan died.

For the last eleven months, I’ve hated Logan for how he left me.

For ten months, I’ve worked my ass off to get myself and my daughter out of the debt Logan landed us in, and we’re not close to out.

For eight months, I’ve been sleeping with Logan’s best friend, Cameron.

 I am a f*cking mess.

 On my thirtieth birthday, everything changes. It’s like I wake up, and I don’t want to be me anymore. I give myself fourteen days to fix my life. I commit to one task each day, starting with quitting coffee and ending with breaking it off with Cameron and finding someone who isn’t entrenched in all of the b*llshit, finding a man who’s sweet and safe.

But, my life doesn’t want to let me go. The sweet and safe guy I find isn’t what he seems. The consequences of my husband’s death go deeper than I know. And, there’s a vicious stalker on my trail who believes I need to be punished.

 And, then there’s Cameron.

I should have never slept with him.

Starting up with him was wrong because I knew he loved me since high school.

As my life becomes more and more dangerous, he proves he would do anything to protect me and my daughter.

And, unfortunately, I am undeniably in love with him, too.

But, to move on I have to leave him.

 However, Cameron has no plans to ever let me go.