Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Word Witch Wednesday - the first ad's results

I ventured into the world of book ads recently. My first one came out last week for my Of Blood and Sorrow sale. The novel is usually $2.99, and I put it on sale for 99c. It's highly rated. It has a professionally done cover. And it has vampires.

The sale was five days (12th-16th). I bought an ad with Ereader News Today (ENT) which went out on the 13th. Here's the link to that day's books. It was in the Paranormal section on the site. It cost $35.

I shouted out about the sale on all my social media, and some wonderful friends shared it too. It was easy to keep track of the sales because I've had zero sales with the book in the past two months. I did not make enough to pay the cost of the ad. Perhaps if I get some reviews, it will make it worthwhile.

Here are the numbers:
Amazon - 57
B&N - 4
Smashwords - 2
Kobo - 1

The great majority of the sales came the night of the 13th after the ad went out. Very few came after that.

Would I use ENT again? Perhaps if I had a book that was part of a series and it was free.

And yes, I do think if Of Blood and Sorrow were part of a series, it would have gotten more sales.

Next year (or the year after!) when the next two books in the trilogy come out, I will put the novel on sale again. Oh, yes! There are two more books in the works. Don't worry, Abdiel fans. He will be back!

Next week, I have an ad on the 25th with The Fussy Librarian for Dark Dawning. And a second one with Bargain Booksy on the 31st. This book is part of a series. So we'll see if that makes a difference.

Have you ever used book ads? If yes, what has your experience been like?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Dark Dawning is here with a giveaway!

It’s a dark day when someone murders one of their own.

Shifters across Alaska are going missing. When up and coming interior designer Ametta Dorn rescues the gorgeous Kodiak shifter Lucky Osberg, she comes into the crosshairs of two relentless hunters. While Lucky sets his sights on wooing her, the killers seek to not only capture her in her powerful polar bear form but to also take her skin.

To prevent her murder and the deaths of other shifters, she must work with Lucky to track down and stop these merciless hunters. After all, their enemy’s plan for shifter skins is something much more terrifying than collecting mere trophies.

  Buy it on Amazon.

Add to read on Goodreads.

I'm so excited to share with everyone the world of Totem! This has been my biggest project ever. Nine books. At around 25k words per book, that's almost 200k!

I've been doing giveaways for my newsletter subscribers, but in celebration of today's release, I wanted to do one just for you. The first person to respond in the comments with their favorite type of shifter will win a surprise pack and digital copies of the first three Totem books!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

For the first time ever: Of Blood and Sorrow is on sale!

Buy links:

Erin Driscol works the perfect job consoling fellow demons by feeding off their grief at Putzkammer & Sons Funeral Home.
When fledgling vampire Nicolas Reese comes to Erin for help, she learns the truth behind the legends and hides him from his sire and the vampire hunters who seek him. But when the Putzkammers begin to die one by one, Erin is caught between her act of kindness and the need to save her adopted family. Only by facing her own personal demons can she stop the slaughter and still rescue Nicolas from his dark fate.

"Rains just might make me a fan of paranormal urban fantasy – as long as she's the one writing it... Plenty of humor, plenty of action, plenty of romance, and plenty of F-bombs—Of Blood and Sorrow ends with a satisfying finish. Sure, there's a lot of blood and sorrow leading up to it, but what do you expect?" - 5 stars from H.G. Estok

"Of Blood and Sorrow is an interesting twist on some of paranormal's favorite characters. It constructs an intriguing dynamic and hierarchy of demons and vampires and is a swift-moving read that carries the reader along in its current." - 5 stars from M. Pepper Langlinais

"I am a true fan – great writing – intriguing plot – carefully crafted characters – brilliant!" 5 stars from Yolanda Renee

"Great action. Great emotion! It’s well-written books like this that are luring me into the urban fantasy genre." - 5 stars from Graeme Ing

"It is an easy and engrossing read, and provides an unexpected twist to a story which is rapidly becoming almost mainstream and consequently often predictable." - 4 stars from Elephant's Child

Monday, October 10, 2016

Ghosts of Fire is now here!

From USA Today, Amazon bestselling and popular science fiction and fantasy authors comes Ghosts of Fire, a supernatural anthology of ten thrilling tales. Meet paranormal detectives, imprisoned dragons, dark demons, cursed jewels, and handsome prophets. Explore shifting realms trapped in mirrors, and a disturbing future where a president aims to rid the world of Otherkind. Ghosts of Fire is the third, long-awaited Elements story collection from the dynamic and inventive Untethered Realms group.

I'm so excited about this collection. My fellow authors in UR just keep getting better and better. I'm so lucky to included among them. If you haven't checked out the previous two anthologies - Twisted Earths and Mayhem in the Air - be sure to do so. They're only 99 cents! The final book in our Elements series will be out next year.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

#IWSG for October 2016

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. A kind word goes a long way.

The awesome co-hosts for this month are: Beverly Stowe McClure, Megan Morgan, Viola Fury, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Angela Wooldridge, and Susan Gourley!

October's IWSG question: When do you know your story is ready?

This differs from story to story for me. Sometimes I am so madly in love with a story, I think it's perfect when I finish the first draft. Thankfully, I've learned to put it aside and come back to it later when I feel this way. That cures me of my endorphin goggles, and I can come back to chop it into bits.

Other times, I never feel the story is ready. I keep picking away at it, pouting and growling and eating way too many cookies. When I feel this way, I rely on my awesome critique partners.

Good critique partners will let you know when a story is ready for the world. It's their job to rein you in when you're going too fast or give you encouragement when you feel like your story isn't good enough. I'd be lost without my CPs. I might write good stories, but they help make them great.

I can't wait to read your answers to this month's question! 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Sharing a little bit of excitement!

Guess who I met on Saturday at Sci-Fi Central?

I met the awesome Tara Tyler!
She did wonderfully on her panel about sci-fi films and books. She's one fun and smart woman.

There were tons of people dressed up and lots of Star Wars stuff. My little guy had tons of fun exploring the museum. (Yes, the convention was in the children's science museum!) Tara had a table beautifully set up. I got her to sign my copy of Broken Branch Falls. Did you know the sequel is coming out in a few months? I've been lucky enough to read Cradle Rock already. Check out my review on Goodreads!

* * *

Only two weeks until the release of Dark Dawning (Totem #1)!

If you've subscribed to my newsletters, you've been getting Totem tidbits, excerpts, and giveaways! You can subscribe right now by popping your email address into the handy little widget on the right there. I'll continue to share all these goodies through to the release of the third book in November.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Word Witch Wednesday - the same images again and again

Earlier this year, I spent a lot of time looking at images for book covers. When I say a lot, I mean dozens upon dozens of hours. I went to bed those nights with achy eyes.

Being well acquainted with the pictures on a huge stock image site, I have seen them all over. It seems what draws my eyes does the same for the majority of people. Unless it is an original piece of artwork created for a book, most covers I see use the same images.

It stunned me at first. Then it made me panic. The models I picked have been on hundreds of other books! Maybe even thousands. Some have been poorly photoshopped and others have been beautifully done, but it's still the same models. Sometimes it's the same pose too.

I see this particularly in the urban fantasy and paranormal romance genres. (They are the ones I focus on, after all!) There is a little more variety with the female models, but the male models are much fewer and thus seen more frequently on covers. The same beefcakes over and over again. I'm rather tired of them.

Seeing the same male models used so often has made me reconsider what I want to do with the covers of books #4, #5, and #6 in the Totem series. I was going to put the heroes on the covers, but the models I chose are extremely popular. Yes, my covers as a whole are different from everyone else's but not those male models.

I had already been considering keeping the women on the covers before this started to bother me. Now I'm leaning even further in that direction.

I'm curious to know whether you notice the same models on different book covers. Does it bother you to see the same ones used over and over?