Tag Archives: Free in Kindle Store

#WW I Love Free Readers

17 Aug

What is a free reader? A reader who only reads free books. In a market where millions of books are listed as free across all platforms, free readers have become a common occurrence…and they’ve also caught a lot of flak.

First, I want to clarify that I’m not talking about people who steal books by illegally downloading them or by using the five-finger discount at the store. I’m talking about readers who only read free books they legally received through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, NetGalley, publishers, etc. I think we can all agree that stealing is wrong. But if an author has books listed for free—a common marketing plan, especially in regards to series—I don’t think we should complain that some people are only reading free books. I say this from a platform with two of my five books currently listed as free. I also say this as someone who rarely reads free books nowadays. Since most free books are eBooks, and I have a hard time reading eBooks, I buy paperbacks from Barnes & Noble to read. But I don’t hate “free readers.” Instead, I love them. Why? Because I was one of them.

In college, I couldn’t afford to do anything beyond buy my college textbooks, so I lived off of legally free entertainment, and most days, that art saved me. I raved about their work, I fell in love with their work, I followed them on social media, and complemented them, and told all my friends about them. Now that I have more money in my life, I spend my cash on their work. Today, maybe even as you’re reading this, there’s someone out there just like me, reading my free work, too, and I hope they are having a great day.

Free Kindle Books

Free Kindle Books

A free book is a gift we choose to give. We cannot give a gift and expect something in return. That ruins the entire point of giving. Besides, libraries have allowed readers to rent books forever, but we only seem to debate the eBook 1-click download readers.

As an author with free books, I’m happy when someone takes a chance on my work. I’m happy I might have a new fan. I’m happy my book is out there, and for all I know, that “free reader” could be saving every extra penny just so they can buy the next books ASAP. I can honestly say I’ve been contacted by a “free reader” who—after reading my entire trilogy through a giveaway—saved up enough money to not only buy paperbacks but asked if they could buy signed paperbacks from me. They chose to buy my books with their only birthday money. That “free reader” is now my friend.

Of course, there are bad eggs. The ones who expect everything for free. The ones who leave bad reviews just because it isn’t free. The ones who send emails asking for free paperbacks. The ones who take hundreds of ARCs from book shows when you’re only supposed to take one. Of course there are readers who give a bad name to good readers. Of course there are. But I’m addressing the ones who follow the rules—when free isn’t all that bad.

I get it though. I do. I’m an author. My books help me pay the bills, too. Writing is my second full-time job, and I work my little writer’s butt off to create books, and my publisher busts their butt to edit, format, and print my work. Writing and publishing is time-consuming and expensive, and it would be wonderful if that work then paid for itself and more. But the market is highly competitive, and readers also have bills to pay and a life to fund. If I choose to list my book for free, then that was my choice. I cannot expect the reader to then go buy the rest of my series, even if it is under the price of a cup of coffee. (I can definitely hope though!)

Why Pay For EBooks? was a popular article on Fussy Librarian, and I highly recommend the read. Three wonderful authors discuss how royalties affect their life, and it’s a side of publishing we often forget. I totally agree with all the points made, but we should keep the reader’s side in mind, too. Free readers are not our enemy; free readers are our friend. They are taking a chance on our work. They are sampling new authors and participating in discussions and leaving reviews and entering contests to share the next book, too. They are trying to support you in any way they can.

How can we help authors if we cannot afford to buy books?

1. Don’t steal. Instead, get a library card, start a book blog, enter giveaways, and apply to publishers for ARC (advanced reader copies). If the book you want isn’t at the library, let the library know you want it! Talking to your librarian helps everyone.

2. Leave reviews! Whether it’s a helpful 1-star or a raving 5-star review, let people know what you think. Recommend the book to someone you know will enjoy it.

3. Contact the author. Tell them how much you loved their book. Ask them how you can help spread the word about their books. Maybe they have an upcoming release you can ask your librarians to get. Encouragement and support is priceless. My day is often made by a fan just stopping by to say hello.

Authors are here to write, and authors should be paid, but personally, I’m happy if no one is stealing and readers are enjoying our work enough to share it with the world.

Keep reading, keep writing, and…uh…comment below for free? 😉

~SAT

Here are two of my FREE books:

Bad Bloods: November Rain

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

Minutes Before Sunset

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#SATurdate: The Secret Life of Pets, #1 YA Sci-Fi, Noble My Love, Criminal, & Aerie

13 Aug

What I’m Writing:

Wattpad Ami's Story

Wattpad Ami’s Story

While I’m dutifully writing in Bad Bloods: July Thunder/Lightning, I also had to take a step back and work on some other projects this week, mainly Dreammare, which was awesome. That being said, I’m 38,740 words into July Thunder/Lightning, and hit a bit of a snag (but in a good way). I had to concentrate on making a more precise timeline and will continue to do so. Also, my characters tend to reveal tricky things about 40,000 words in that I never planned, so I might have to go back and change the beginning. I’m looking forward to it! So far, I’m also continuing the Bad Bloods Prequel on Wattpad, so I wrote Ami’s story this week. She is the only bad blood character who was from the Highlands before joining the Southern Flock. What is the Highlands? It’s a fenced-off area in the center of Vendona, notoriously known as the “richer” area of the city. Her story also becomes a bigger deal in Bad Bloods: November Snow, sooooo…read it. 😉

What I’m Publishing:

#1 in YA Sci-Fi

Bad Bloods is now available! In fact, Bad Bloods: November Rain is #1 in the YA Sci-Fi Free Kindle Store (and #130 overall)! Thank you for reading.

November Rain

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow,

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, Goodreads

Bad Bloods Bookstagram

Bad Bloods Bookstagram

I love it when you send me photos of Bad Bloods and The Timely Death Trilogy! This beautiful one is from Instagram’s @frazzledfairybooks. Stop by Amanda’s page and say hello.

This #1lineWed theme was enough, so here is your preview: Maybe it was a strong word. Maybe it wasn’t strong enough.

What I’m Reading:

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray! I couldn’t help myself. I’m still reading An Ember in the Ashes and Sea of Stars, but I just NEED to continue the Firebird series. That being said, I’ve had little to no free reading time this week. As an editor, most of my reading has been during work and I’ve been working overtime…though I did find time to read a stupid amount of conspiracy theories this week, mainly John Titor, the time-traveler from 2036 who posted on web forums in 2001. (It’s a guilty pleasure of mine. I just can’t help myself.)

What I’m Listening To:

The podcast Criminal is my latest obsession. It’s pretty interesting and an easy listen. If you’re interested in crime, this one is a good podcast. It covers various types—like counterfeit money and murderous pigs—and is about 20 minutes a piece, so just long enough to do the dishes. The strangest part of listening to this podcast was stumbling upon Episode 6, which covers the shootings of Glenn Miller in Overland Park, KS. He killed three people in 2014, and if you followed my blog back then, I actually lived close enough to the shootings that I heard the sirens. (Here’s that article: Writing Tips: Dealing with Controversy.) One of the victims even attended the same high school I graduated from. Hearing his family speak was pretty surreal. I definitely recommend this podcast.

What I’m Watching:

While everyone went out and saw Suicide Squad this week, I saw The Secret Life of Pets. What? I want to see Suicide Squad—I do—but I needed something light, silly, and fluffy in my life, so a pet movie was my choice…and I was satisfied. It was pretty darn cute.

The Secrets Life of Pets

The Secrets Life of Pets

I also binge-watched Noble, My Love, which is a South Korean drama about a CEO and a veterinarian falling in love. Don’t judge me. I’ve been obsessed with South Korean dramas lately. 

Noble, My Love

Noble, My Love

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

apple pie bread pudding

apple pie bread pudding

I baked apple pie bread pudding this week, which was awesome. Hard to photograph though.

What I’m Wearing:

Sticky Notes. I’m buried in them. And I need to use more of them, ASAP.

What I’m Wanting:

Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley

Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley

Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley! I LOVED Magnolia, and you can read my five-star review by clicking here. I’ve been looking forward to this sequel since July of 2015. If you haven’t read it, check it out.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

I went to Rome, but forgot that hotels were necessary, so I emptied out a famous fountain…and I slept in it.

That was it.

What Else Is Going On:

I went to a Royals baseball game with my dad and his friends this week…which means I—GASP—left my house…and went out in the sun…and SURVIVED.

Okay. It was fun.

~SAT

#WW When You Shouldn’t Write That Book

10 Aug

There comes a time in every writer’s life when they realize they cannot write that book….and I’m not talking about writer’s block. I’m talking about when you want to write a book, but you know you shouldn’t. Maybe not yet. Maybe never.

Of course, I’m not saying a writer CAN’T write that book. Not forever anyway. But just like a construction project, certain books require particular tools, and if you don’t have those tools, building anything might be for naught…or even dangerous.

So here are three questions to ask yourself while deciding if you are ready to write that novel or not.

1. Have You Researched EVERYTHING Properly?

This is particularly true in historical fiction, but research shouldn’t be overlooked for any type of fiction. This means you are researching your setting, your themes, and your characters thoroughly. If you are writing anything outside of your personal experiences—which is more likely than not—it’s best to read articles, watch documentaries, and even talk to those who do have those personal experiences you’re lacking. If you haven’t done this, you most likely don’t know enough to write about certain topics and people from a respectful and knowledgeable place. You might even add to damaging stereotypes or incorrect presumptions. Take the time to get to know your novel’s needs…as well as your audience’s.

2. Have You Read This Genre?

You should be reading in and outside of any genre you want to write in, but you should definitely be familiar with trends in your market. Being able to recognize writers, publishers, and various novels is key to understanding your audience and what purpose your book serves. What does it add to the market? What does it give to your readers? If you’re unsure where your book would be on a shelf, you’re probably not ready yet. But don’t worry! All you have to do is read more. (And who doesn’t love reading?) I went through this myself recently. As someone who mainly reads and writes YA fantasy, I wanted to tackle a contemporary novel when I wasn’t fully equipped to do so. Though I read contemporary still, I knew almost immediately that I wasn’t familiar enough with the current shelf to proceed. I need to collect more tools. I need to read more. And I am.

Who doesn't love an extra excuse to read more?

Who doesn’t love an extra excuse to read more?

3. Why Are YOU The Right Person to Write This Book?

Listen, I’m not here to tell someone if they are the right person to write a book or not. That’s between the author, their book, and the creative process. But I honestly believe we can get to a moment where we realize a book—while it’s good—might be better for someone else to write. This is going to vary from person to person, and it ultimately weighs on how much you are willing to dedicate yourself to a story. If you’re hesitating to research, for instance, you’re probably the wrong person for that book. That doesn’t mean you can’t overcome obstacles or hurdles in your way, but it’s also okay to move on from something you realize isn’t right for you. If you’re on the fence—and you’re unsure how you’re feeling about this topic—one question you can ask yourself is WHY you’re even writing it. Seems obvious enough, but when you take a step back, you might see that you were, in fact, chasing a trend or a surface idea without the will to dive deeper. That’s okay. There are a million stories out there for you to write, and I’m sure you already have plenty more to chase. It’s a matter of figuring out which one feels right to you.

When you should write a book, it will come to you.

Enjoy the adventure,

~SAT

Read my latest interview on Crazy Beautiful Reads: “Every writer’s life is paved with rejections.” Comment for your chance to win some awesome books!

It’s official! Author Natasha Hanova will be sharing a table with me at Penned Con in St. Louis this September! Check her out, say hi, tell her I sent you, and come visit us in September. We’ll be signing books, talking books, and just having a great ol’ time.

*FREE BOOK ALERT*

Bad Bloods: November Rain is FREE!

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

Bad Bloods: November Rain

Bad Bloods: November Rain

#MondayBlogs Writing Tips: Different Perspectives

8 Aug

I love writing from different perspectives. Both my YA series—The Timely Death Trilogy and Bad Bloods—are written in first POV but from two different speakers. I love using this technique for novel writing, because I enjoy first person, but I dislike how it restricts the storytelling to one character, especially when a scene would be better from a different perspective. So, I have two protagonists, and of course, there are complications that come along with this. What’s the most common question I am asked?

How do you make each voice unique?

I’ll provide a few aspects to keep in mind, but of course, this journey will be different for every writer and every novel. First, know that every character should have its own distinct voice. A reader should be able to open the novel and know who is speaking immediately. This is more difficult than it sounds, but it can get easier over time.

1. Perspective. 

The most obvious change between one voice to another is their unique perspective. What is their background? How do they feel? Where were they educated? Are they affecting the words, or are you? It’s important that characters have their own voice, and that voice will come out in combination with their personalities and backgrounds. For instance, your character who is a fashion designer would definitely use specific colors and fabrics to describe clothes, but your mechanic character might not.

2. Pay Attention to Diction and Syntax

Just like authors have their own “voice,” so do characters. Because of their backgrounds, characters will have different vocabularies. One character may use very flowery language, while another may have less of a need to elaborate. Consider their education, where they come from, and what they might know. The way they speak should differ, whether they are talking out loud or explaining the scene inwardly. Sometimes, syntax can be used to emphasize certain speech patterns, but be careful not to overuse syntax. Too many exclamations or repeated habits/phrases can become tedious and boring rather than unique and fun. Sometimes less is more. Little clues are normally enough.

3. Consider Rhythm

Honestly, I think rhythm is often overlooked, but paying attention to subtle changes in sound and length of sentences is important. One character’s thoughts may drag on, so their sentences are longer, while another might make short lists to contain their thoughts. Like everything making up your character, a person’s rhythm will depend on their personality, background, and goals. It could even change from scene to scene, but consistency is key.

All four of these women would tell a different story about this picture.

All four of these women would tell a different story about this picture.

One of my favorite exercises:

Write a chapter in which the two characters are talking. Write it from POV 1, and then, rewrite the exact same scene from POV 2. Check to make sure the dialogue and the physical actions are the exact same, but then, compare the thought process. How did the scene change? What does this change mean? Do they each bring a unique perspective? And out of those perspectives, which one is best to use?

As an example, two people can be talking and Person A could notice Person B is fidgeting. Person A may assume Person B is nervous, but when you tell it from Person B’s perspective, you learn that they are distracted, not nervous. These little bits can truly morph the way characters interact. I always encourage this exercise when starting out, even if the writer isn’t planning on telling from another’s perspective.

This exercise helps me understand the characters, and I feel more confident when I move onto a new scene. (Sometimes, it even helps me choose which scene to use…and worse case scenario, you have an extra scene to release as an extra for your readers.)

Have fun and good luck! 

Original posted March 31, 2013

~SAT

Bad Bloods: November Rain is FREE across all eBook platforms right now! (And I’m dutifully working on the next installment, too!) Happy reading. 😀

November Rain

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow, 

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

Bad Bloods Free Book

Bad Bloods Free Book

 

#SATurdate: Star Trek, Tallulah, Free Book, & Rice Maker Cake

6 Aug

Since last Saturday was my monthly Ketchup post, this one covers two weeks of info.

What I’m Writing:

I’m dutifully writing in Bad Bloods: July Thunder/Lightning right now, and so far, I love working with these characters again, especially the brand-new crew that’s being introduced. That being said, I’m 31,269 words in, and currently writing July 10, 2090. I am considering stepping aside from the Bad Bloods Prequel so I can concrete completely on Bad Bloods: July Thunder/Lightning, but I will let you know before the next Wattpad post is due on August 12. Work is pretty intense right now, so if I can get 10,000 words done a week, I’m pretty happy! We’ll see what August brings!

What I’m Publishing:

Bad Bloods is now available! And SURPRISE! Book one is now free!

Bad Bloods Free Book

Bad Bloods Free Book

November Rain

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow,

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, Goodreads

Photo by BookPrints! (Look closely. You might see Take Me Tomorrow!)

Photo by BookPrints! (Look closely. You might see Take Me Tomorrow!)

What is the latest reader saying? “A powerful work of art. In November Rain, Thompson invites us into a world of secrecy, murder and unlikely friendships that are bound to make your head spin with wonder.”Lena May Books

Thank you for writing reviews! You all are the best. Seriously, your reviews make my day, and I am happy to share them. Oh! And your photos. Send them my way.

This #1lineWed theme was wind, so here is your preview:

What I’m Reading:

I’m currently in a reading typhoon. I’m reading An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir and Sea of Stars by Amy A. Bartol. Both are awesome! But I’m also staring at my copy of Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray, desperately wanting to read it, but also knowing I won’t get anything else in my life done the second I open it up. Ah! #Readerproblems.

What I’m Listening To:

Since I’ve shared what my female protagonist of Bad Bloods: July Thunder/Lightning has loved, this is the first song my male protagonist loved. Fun fact: Silent Rider was one of the main bands I listened to while writing Bad Bloods: November Rain/Snow, though Serena loved them. Daniel didn’t like music.

What I’m Watching:

 I HAD to see the new Star Trek film, and I LOVED it. I actually liked it more than the last one. It was both thrilling and hilarious, though sad to think Anton Yelchin is gone. He’s been one of my favorite actors since Charlie Bartlett (and if you haven’t seen that or Odd Thomas, do so now). I hear they aren’t going to recast his character, which I think is really respectful. I look forward to seeing where this series goes in the future. Definitely recommended.

I also watched Tallulah on Netflix, and it was the best! I cried a lot—like A LOT, a lot—because Tallulah was perfection. There are so many discussions to be had about this film, and it was nice to see an almost all-female cast for once (and to see women depicted as round, complicated characters with rich histories). Great movie!

And…I’m binge-watching Playful Kiss, a Korean drama based off yet another manga I’ve read. Although I liked Good Morning Call a lot more, I cannot get over these guilty pleasures of mine.

Star Trek, Talulah, & Playful Kiss

Star Trek, Talulah, & Playful Kiss

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

rice maker pancake cake

rice maker pancake cake

I FINALLY got my hands on a rice maker…and the first thing I made in it was a cream cheese raspberry swirl pancake cake. Not going to lie, this was the best dessert ever. I did make rice later though, and it was awesome! I’ve been wanting one of these gadgets forever. My life is now complete. I also made cheesecake swirl brownies…but nothing compares to that pancake cake.

Recipes: pancake rice maker cake & cheesecake swirl brownies

What I’m Wearing:

Black cat coffee mug

Black cat coffee mug

Fogged-up sunglasses, because the humidity is so intense here, no one can see a thing. But really, I’ve been wearing anything that matches my brand-new cat coffee mug. (Okay, so not literally, but isn’t it cute?) I have three cats: one black one, one brown one, and one white one…so I’m thinking I need to get two more coffee mugs to represent my little cat family. (Though everyone around me has told me my coffee mug collection is getting out of hand, I just can’t stop loving them.)

What I’m Wanting:

The Black Key by Amy Ewing

The Black Key by Amy Ewing

The Black Key by Amy Ewing. I LOVED The Jewel and The White Rose. (Click those links to read my five-star reviews on Goodreads). I’m super excited to see how this trilogy ends in October.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

So, I lived on this icy landscape, but honestly, it looked more like the world was frozen over, because we were in the middle of a city. Think about any apocalypse setting in a movie—scattered cars all over the highway, nobody around, eerie silence—that sort of thing. But we had a camp of people living in the mountains…then, no one started coming back after scavenging and hunting. So, my brother and I set out to find them…only to stumble across a bunch of messed up corpses. That’s when my brother shouted, “POLAR BEAR!” And sure enough, he was eaten. I ran away though, and I managed to get inside the flappiest tent I’ve ever seen, which apparently, was safe from this man-eating, crazed polar bear. I probably should’ve been eaten in this dream, too, but surprisingly, I woke up after falling asleep in the tent peacefully.

What Else Is Going On:

I officially have new author photos! Special thanks goes out to Huntress Photography for the lovely shoot.

~SAT

Website Wonders

28 Sep

Every month, I share all of the websites I come across that I find helpful, humorous, or just awesome. Below, you’ll find all of September’s Website Wonders categorized into Reading and Writing and Publishing. (Nothing crazy this month, but these articles are AWESOME.)

If you enjoy these websites, be sure to follow me on Twitter because I share even more websites and photos like this there.

Enjoy!

Writing and Publishing:

Why Are Readers Punishing Authors for Free Books? By Nerd Girl  I loved this. As a book reviewer myself, I’ve been startled to see the increase in comments about free books being “evil” in its intent.

Can a Novelist Be Too Productive?: “No one in his or her right mind would argue that quantity guarantees quality, but to suggest that quantity never produces quality strikes me as snobbish, inane and demonstrably untrue.”

Top 3 Reasons Censoring Your Writing is Holding You Back: There will be cursing today. Run away if that bothers you. I don’t mind.

11951363_10204817510865391_4391703898183308504_n

Reading:

A Literary Landscape of Ireland: This was sent to me by the creator, but it’s seriously cool.

20 Soul-Stirring Passages From Shinji Moon’s Poetry That Are Hauntingly Beautiful “You were the one that I wanted to feel the earth rotate with.”

A List of 100 Books Everyone Should Read and fun checkmark list with it.

Tattoos only a book nerd could love: They are lovely.

And that’s all for September! More to come at the end of October. Next post is September’s Ketchup. See you then. 🙂

~SAT

After Minutes Before Sunset #12 in Overall Free Kindle, Seconds Before Sunrise hit the top 100 for Paranormal & Urban fantasy.

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Thank you for reading!

 

On October 19, the paperback of Death Before Daylight releases! Two days later, on October 21, you can come see me at Headrush Coffee and Tea Roasters in Kansas City, Missouri for a paranormal talk and book signing.

It will be tons of fun!

Minutes Before Sunset: book 1

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

Death Before Daylight: book 3

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

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