Author C. M. Skiera's Blog

Books I like and helpful tips for fellow indie authors.

BookLikes Giveaway Success

 

BookLikes Giveaway Success

 
If you're the sort of author who likes to use giveaways to try and boost your readership, or a reader who enjoys free books, Booklikes has a feature you might be interested in. But if you're not familiar with Booklikes, let me take a step back and explain.

Booklikes is a European website that identifies itself as a blog platform designed for book lovers. Booklikes is similar to sites like Goodreads and LibraryThing, but with its own unique personality. One of the things an author can do on Booklikes is stage a giveaway.

I've held two giveaway events for my epic fantasy novel Crimson & Cream. Although my KDP Select giveaways were more successful in sheer volume, I'm hoping the Booklikes giveaways reach a different audience. And, in fairness to Booklikes, their giveaways are not set up like Amazon's, so comparing them is not really 'apples to apples.' For example, on Booklikes, the author determines the number of books to giveaway and agrees to supply the the winners with books (so you want to keep the number manageable).

I held my first giveaway in April and offered 25 free Crimson & Cream e-books. I had 17 Booklikes members request copies and e-mailed all the winners Smashwords coupons to claim their e-books. I also offered to e-mail them e-books directly (pdf, epub or mobi format), if they didn't want to use Smashwords. The nice thing about the Smashwords coupons is you can track how many people actually claim their books if you use a unique coupon code number, which I did. Fifteen of the 17 winners claimed their books via Smashwords (and I gifted one  on Amazon UK to a winner who asked nicely). Unfortunately, I have no way to track who actually reads and reviews the book, but that holds true for a KDP Giveaway, too.

I held my second Crimson & Cream giveaway in July to coincide with my KDP Select giveaway for Mirrors & Mist (Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy). Unfortunately, the second giveaway paled in comparison to the first. I gave away 9 out of an available 20 books, and what makes those numbers even worse is four of the winners from the second event also won and received the same book in the first event, which leads me to believe some of the Booklikes members enter every giveaway without checking if they already have the book.

Speaking of giveaways, one of my favorite authors, Robin Hobb, recently held a Goodreads giveaway for 20 ARCs of her latest book, Fool's Quest. She had 1,475 people enter her giveaway, if that gives you some idea of what kind of response a best seller giveaway receives. Alas, I wasn't one of the lucky 20, so I'll be buying Fool's Quest in August when it releases.

I plan on holding another Booklikes giveaway for Crimson & Cream, but I'll wait longer than three months between events and see what the results look like. Have you used Booklikes or any other giveaway platforms? I'd be interested in hearing about your experiences.

Author Update:  I'm  writing the first draft of Warlock & Wyrm, Book III of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy and recently passed the 30,000 word mark. I've also completed a draft of the book cover, which turned out significantly nicer than the previous two. If you'd like to try the trilogy, you can get a free copy of Crimson & Cream at Smashwords with this code: JH88U.

L.A. Punk Rocker

L.A. Punk Rocker - Brenda Perlin, Mark Barry, Deborah Hernandez-Runions, Cindy Jimenez Mora, Steven E Metz In the 1980's, I was a teenager in the Midwest, watching MTV and listening to bands like The Clash, U2, The Go-Go's and Billy Idol. This little book was a nostalgic trip back in time for me, offering an inner peek at the world I only dreamed of as a teen. Brenda Perlin's stories are a slice of life that peel off the Hollywood mystique and reveal the real humans who lived and breathed this vibrant scene. Fascinating, funny, and poignant, my only complaint is that it was too short!

Johnny Don't March by Timothy Hurley

Johnny Don't March: a novel - Timothy Hurley

Johnny Don't March by Timothy Hurley is a compelling journey into the mind of a contemporary conflicted warrior. Nelson O'Brien struggles with family pressure and inner demons after shocking his loved ones with a decision he later regrets. Mr. Hurley brings the sights, smells, sounds, and culture of New York as the main backdrop for the complex story (along with Afghanistan). Touching, timely, and thought-provoking, Johnny Don't March is a fascinating page-turner.

 

 

Johnny Don't March: a novel

Johnny Don't March: a novel - Timothy Hurley Johnny Don't March by Timothy Hurley is a compelling journey into the mind of a contemporary conflicted warrior. Nelson O'Brien struggles with family pressure and inner demons after shocking his loved ones with a decision he later regrets. Mr. Hurley brings the sights, smells, sounds, and culture of New York as the main backdrop for the complex story (along with Afghanistan). Touching, timely, and thought-provoking, Johnny Don't March is a fascinating page-turner.

Reading progress update: I've read 79%.

George R.R. Martin Rogues (Hardback) - Common - Gardner Dozois,  Gillian Flynn and Neil Gaiman by George R.R. Martin

Just starting Neil Gaiman's short story contribution...

Reading progress update: I've read 65%.

George R.R. Martin Rogues (Hardback) - Common - Gardner Dozois,  Gillian Flynn and Neil Gaiman by George R.R. Martin

Oxbow Kingdom Giveaway - Free Fantasy e-Books

"The tension created by Mr. Skiera’s words is thick, the energy, heady and the loyalty of allies simply amazing! High adventure, dimensional scenes, sounds, smells and inner turmoil, it’s all here, all riveting, all addictive and an epic fantasy that will engage anyone with an eye for great storytelling." - Tome Tender Book Blog

 

Twenty e-books of Crimson & Cream, Book I of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy are free on a Booklikes giveaway, and Mirrors & Mist, Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy is free today on Amazon.

 

 

 

Mirrors & Mist Review at The Unexpected Path

My epic fantasy adventure Mirrors & Mist, Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, was reviewed by fellow author Jennifer Thompson at The Unexpected Path. I'll be giving the e-book away free on Amazon next week July 14 & 15. And you can get Crimson & Cream, Book I of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, free here at Booklikes. Look for the giveaway.

Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy Giveaway

I've scheduled another Booklikes giveaway for Crimson & Cream, Book I of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy to coincide with the KDP Select giveaway for Mirrors & Mist, Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, next week July 14 and 15 on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UPC2OO8 Get both books for free!

Book Review: Showing and Telling in Fiction

My review of Showing and Telling in Fiction by by Marcy Kennedy.

 

In summary, this concise (88 pages) instructional tome is full of examples and techniques, light on fluff and filler. I'd definitely recommend this book if you struggle with any part of the showing versus telling battle.

Reading progress update: I've read 53%.

George R.R. Martin Rogues (Hardback) - Common - Gardner Dozois,  Gillian Flynn and Neil Gaiman by George R.R. Martin

Several excellent short stories so far.

Going Rogue

George R.R. Martin Rogues (Hardback) - Common - Gardner Dozois,  Gillian Flynn and Neil Gaiman by George R.R. Martin

I really enjoy these short story compilations. They're the equivalent of an all-star team of authors.

Mastering Showing and Telling in Your Fiction

Mastering Showing and Telling in Your Fiction - Marcy Kennedy I finished reading Showing and Telling in Fiction by by Marcy Kennedy a month ago, and have been meaning to review this excellent how-to guide since I put it down. Eliminating 'telling' is an issue I needed a lot of help with to fully understand and overcome in my own writing, and this book has helped set me in the right direction. In a nutshell, the classic argument states that writing that shows the reader what is happening is more compelling, engaging, and descriptive than writing that tells the reader what is happening (or has already happened).

Showing and Telling in Fiction begins by clearly explaining what defines showing and telling, the differences between them, and why showing is (usually) the preferred choice for exciting, engaging prose. If you like to know the reason behind the rule, you'll find this part satisfying.

Understanding the differences between showing and telling is just the first step in addressing the problem. Chapter Two provides practical techniques to easily spot weak writing in your own manuscript. By identifying the 'red flags' of telling, the book teaches you to recognize the signs in your manuscript.

Kennedy states that using telling to write your first draft may help you capture your story, which can then be edited in the ensuing drafts to turn telling sections into showing. If you're struggling to write your draft by 'showing' everything, using 'telling' to get the words out of your head may be a useful technique.

Obviously, writing that is 100% showing is not the goal of this book. In certain situations, telling can be more effective and appropriate than showing. Chapter Four shows you opportunities for using telling effectively to make your story flow cohesively.

An apt finish to Showing and Telling in Fiction provides you methods to attack your manuscript efficiently, and offers a link to print versions of the revision checklists.

In summary, this concise (88 pages) instructional tome is full of examples and techniques, light on fluff and filler, and currently has a 4.8 star rating on Amazon (48 reviews). I'd definitely recommend this book if you struggle with any part of the showing versus telling battle.

The Complete INDIE Editor - 55 Essential Copy-edits for the Professional Independent Author

The Complete INDIE Editor - 55 Essential Copy-edits for the Professional Independent Author - Kev Heritage An excellent little guide that works great as a checklist for polishing your novel. Succinct with just enough examples to get the point across, this book not only tells you how to edit your manuscript, but why you should do it.

C&C Giveaway Ends Today

Last day to enter for a free e-book of my YA epic fantasy adventure Crimson & Cream. Look for it on BookLikes Giveaways. "I absolutely loved every minute I spent in this world. Your heart breaks for Jetsam, his band of orphans will make your heart ache . . ."

Dangerous Women

Dangerous Women - Jim Butcher, George R.R. Martin, Brandon Sanderson, Lev Grossman, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Joe Abercrombie, Sam Sykes, Diana Rowland, Caroline Spector, Melinda Snodgrass, Cecelia Holland, Megan Abbott, Megan Lindholm, Nancy Kress, Pat Cadigan, Joe R. Lansdale, Gardner R. Dozois

A wonderful collection of speculative fiction short stories by some of the genre's most talented writers. Not a dull tale in the bunch.