Posts tagged: KDP free books

Plucky Grandmother Fights Amazon and Loses. And then Wins, Maybe

Those of you who’ve following my Plucky Grandmother series, here and here, will know that I’d scheduled promotional days where two of my Kindle eBooks will be offered free. The promotion is this weekend, October 12, 13, & 14th.

Except that one of my books which is supposed to be in the event, The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy, was/is listed on Apple’s iBookstore. I didn’t know it until Amazon told me about it. If you’re in Amazon’s KDP program, which allows you to give away your Kindle eBooks, you’re not allowed distribute anywhere else.

During a series of supremely unhelpful emails between Amazon and me, I attempted to explain that I wasn’t flaunting their rules, but trying to fix a mistake. Apple was having trouble getting my book off the iBookstore. When I got no answer, I assumed I lost the argument. Then I received the following email from Amazon.

The Angel Is Accepted in KDP!

The email congratulates me on getting my eBook into the KDP Select program. But it’s been in the program since May. It’s already had one KDP Free Promotion. Was that email Amazon’s way of saying, “We hear you, Sandy, here’s a few more days to get The Angel exclusive to Amazon?” I have no idea. Bizarre.

The only way I’ll know is to wait and see if The Angel is free tomorrow. Oh, the surprises of the morn!

Just in case  The Angel is not free,  I lowered the price to 99 cents. I’ve contacted about a million sites  on the Net telling people the book was going to be free. I didn’t want people to be disappointed when they click the page and it’s not free. Ninety-nine cents is as low as Amazon allows a price to be set. I did my best.

Here’s some info about the books in the promotion. I’d give the Tales from Earth’s End Saga, of which The Angel is the first book, an R rating if it was a movie. It contains violence, strong language, and sexuality. I don’t write like a grandmother, but I don’t go over the top, either. The books are about the end of the world, a police state and fight for survival. A long way from Oz.

The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy

The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy

The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy  The first book in the Tales from Earth’s End Saga gets the ball rolling. What’s the ball? The planet Earth. Tomorrow morning, a nuclear holocaust will destroy the planet. Two people carry the keys to survival: A teenage boy and an intergalactic traveler. And a bunch more fascinating characters, too. The book is an ensemble piece where the prize is survival.

Winner of 4 national awards, including the Gold Medal in Visionary Fiction at the IPPY Awards.

This book will be free, maybe, October 12, 13, & 14. If it’s not free, it will be 99 cents. That is still a deal!

 

Lady Grace

Lady Grace

Lady Grace: A Thrilling Adventure Wrapped in the Embrace of Epic Love Tales from Earth’s End Saga, Book 2. Here’s a review that says it all:
FIVE STARS! A MODERN SCI-FI MASTERPIECE Lady Grace was first-rate science fiction and one of the most absorbing page-turners of that genre that I’ve read in years. Author Sandy Nathan exhibits the imagination of Ray Bradbury combined with the whimsicalness of Douglas Adams. That’s high praise, but it’s warranted. The story includes so much action; tense, suspenseful drama; and two charming love stories that it’s irresistible.” J. Chambers, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer (#29 at this writing)

This book will be free October 12, 13, & 14.

 

Sam & Emily: A Lovestory from the Underground

Sam & Emily: A Love Story from the Underground

Sam & Emily: A Love Story from the Underground Tales from Earth’s End Saga, Book 3.The book is a love story; it focuses on a relationship and has a different feeling than the other two books. This is my favorite book. Here’s a review:

5 stars out of 5! A gripping story of life after the world ends . . . fascinating and reminiscent of Stephen King’s epic masterpiece – The Stand.  Sam & Emily is by far my favorite . . . in the series.  It will leave you thinking well after turning the last page.
Todd A. Fonseca, bestselling author of The Time Cavern

This book is not included in the promotion, but will be in future promotions.

 

 

Tales from Earth's End

 

Tales from Earth’s End: The Boxed Set  A giant eBook containing all three books is in production!

This set is not included in the promotion, but will be in future promotions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s it! Until the Plucky Grandmother speaks again–– don’t let ‘em push you around!

Sandy Nathan, Award-winning Author

Sandy Nathan’s writing has won twenty-two national awards. She’s won in categories from memoir, to visionary fiction, to children’s nonfiction. And more.

Sandy’s  books are: (Click link to the left for more information on each book. All links below go to Kindle sale pages.)
Sam & Emily: A Love Story from the Underground (paperback. Kindle coming)
Lady Grace: A Thrilling Adventure Wrapped in the Embrace of Epic Love (paperback. Kindle coming)
The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy
Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money

Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could

Stepping Off the Edge: Learning & Living Spiritual Practice

 

 

 

Visionary Fiction ––What Is It & What Makes It Visionary?

The Visionary Fiction Alliance

I’m so excited! I’m part of a new writers’/readers’/fans’ group, the Visionary Fiction Alliance. I’m linked to the Alliance through the badge to the right. Large badge, you can’t miss it. Our web site is under development, but I needed to write about visionary fiction today.

One of things that excites me about the Alliance is that the members are so smart  and articulate,  as well as being interested in subjects dear to my heart. We’re going to be discussing our individual and collective views of visionary fiction very soon on our official blog.

But I got a question about one of my books today that moved me to write this brief personal examination of the genre.

To me, visionary fiction rests on a core of moral principle. St. Thomas Aquinas’ famous maxim, “Do good and avoid evil,” spells it out about as clearly as it gets. Visionary fiction contains a moral core and a belief in the ability of individuals and society to evolve in a positive fashion, overcoming evil and generally setting the world right.

Does this mean that visionary fiction is by nature a Polly-Anna-ish or The Secret-ish exercise in “Keep up a cheery front and everything will be groovy in the sweet bye and bye, if not sooner”?

Some visionary fiction fits that mold and has been very well received by readers (if not critics). This includes some of the best-known examples of the genre and I think it probably fits the experience and expectations of many readers.

But! What if you aren’t the typical reader? What if you want a message with a wallop? A message with teeth, that addresses the hard issues you face?

I’m like that. I hate anything easy, simpering, obvious, trite, and watered-down. My writing reflects my preferences. It contains violence, sexual situations, strong language, and doesn’t give away its ending until it ends. Happy endings are not guaranteed in my work. I’d give my novels an R rating if they were movies. (Though they’re way, way less violent than stuff I’ve seen on TV and in the movies. Like the TV series 24 and the smash hit book and movie, The Hunger Games.)

So what about this? Is my work visionary fiction? Should I make it sweeter or tone it down? Call it something else?

I’d like to share a story with you. I was at a meditation retreat a few years back. Some of us participants had corralled one of the monks in a hallway between meditation sessions and bombarded him with questions.

Someone asked, “Why do some people have very calm and undramatic spiritual paths, whereas other people have huge spiritual experiences and go up and down and all over the place?”

The monk answered with something like, “They’re different people and have different lives and spiritual needs. Some people live very quiet lives. They have spiritual realizations that are subtle and deep. Their spiritual experiences reflect this. They may be very profound, but they’re not showy. These people are absolutely on a spiritual path. They get what they need in quiet ways.”

On the other hand, “Some people’s spiritual experiences are huge––dramatic lights, visions, voices, feeling like the hand of God has reached down to re-orientate their lives. And more. These experiences fit the lives and personalities of the people having them. Their lives are often tumultuous. They may have had abusive or traumatic experiences to overcome.

“These are different types of spiritual experience which fit the people who have them. One isn’t better than the other.  If you have subtle experiences, you don’t have to long for a whopper. Whatever experience you have is fine. The important thing is that you live in such a way that you have the experiences.”

That was one of the most useful teachings I’ve ever gotten. I am a person who has very large spiritual experiences, usually in connection with trauma. I’ve always wanted to be one of those contained, tranquil, angelic babes that you see floating around in spiritual circles.

But it just isn’t me. Ain’t how my soul operates or my artistic vision, either. Years ago, I produced sculpture. Dynamic, emotion-filled pieces that won prizes in art shows. I longed to produce something gentle. I did, too! One piece. That was it.

When I began writing, my work was illuminated by spirit and filled with light. Also some of the nastiest bad guys and most hideous situations you’ll ever see. Jungians call that working on the dark side, and prize it. Some of my critics haven’t been so kind.

The thing is, we write what we’re given. I have lived through some situations so horrifying that I will never talk about them. Directly. My fiction is a way of working through their emotional detritus. It’s not always bright and shiny. It doesn’t seem to show humanity pointing in an upward direction.

But the moral core is there, and so is my abiding belief that at least some of us are on the good road. The road of spirit and light.

Some people need the grittier type of material I write. My work is for people who have been impacted by alcoholism, drug abuse, or mental illness. This could be their own illness, addiction, or disease or what they’ve had to face due to evil perpetrated upon them by others. My writing is not just for those lovely, blissful souls who have the smooth path, it’s also for those of us who know the other side.

It’s for those who know what can happen, and also know that the scars can be erased and the trauma overcome if you’re willing to work.

So that’s the source of my stories.

Lady Grace: A Thrilling Adventure Wrapped in the Embrace of Epic Love is FREE as a Kindle AUGUST 5 & 6, 2012

If you read this in time, my Lady Grace will be free as an Amazon Kindle on August 5th & 6th, 2012. That’s this Saturday & Sunday. Lady Grace has been called “A Modern Sci-fi Masterpiece” by Amazon top 50 reviewer J. Chambers. (If you can’t relate to my stuff as visionary, call it sci-fi!)

Glad to get to know you,

Sandy Nathan

Sandy Nathan, Award-winning Author

Sandy Nathan is the winner of twenty-two national awards for her writing. She’s won in categories from memoir, to visionary fiction, to children’s nonfiction. And more.

Sandy’s  books are: (Click link to the left for more information on each book. All links below go to Kindle sale pages.)
Sam & Emily: A Love Story from the Underground (paperback & Kindle available)
Lady Grace: A Thrilling Adventure Wrapped in the Embrace of Epic Love (paperback & Kindle available)
The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy
Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money

Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could

Stepping Off the Edge: Learning & Living Spiritual Practice

I Survived Amazon’s KDP Free Day Program and Am Even Doing It Again

The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy

The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy

When I wrote my last post on Your Shelf Life, I was preparing to launch my first “free day” campaign with Amazon’s KDP program. Since my track record on such promotions has been miserable (check out this article in which I explain how my Amazon bestseller day yielded sales of thirteen books), I was concerned about how the days would go.

I wasn’t worried about the book, my The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy,  a sci-fi thriller with a dystopian, though romantic, twist. The Angel won four national awards, including a Gold Medal at the IPPYs, and has stellar reviews. The Angel wasn’t the problem, my ability to get it in front of people was.

I leaned on my friend Cheryl Kaye Tardif’s eBook How I Made Over $42,000 in One Month Selling my Kindle eBooks (known at $42K hereafter). Making $42K in a month is good enough for me. This is a really good guidebook outlining what Cheryl did to make a small fortune doing exactly what I’m going to be doing. It’s all there, step by step.

The major, major leaning I gleaned from $42K, is that while Cheryl is a marketing whiz and really loves doing it, I am not. I am a writer. I love to write and produce highly imaginative fantasy, sci-fi, visionary fiction, and even nonfiction about horses and spirituality. I’m not a marketer.

What happened when I applied Cheryl’s techniques in $42K to my ineptitude?

Holy macaroni! The Angel SOARED. Let’s see if I can find some screen shots. (Always take screen shots. My book Numenon once was #1 in 3 categories of mysticism and flew at about the 1,000 in paid sales level on Amazon for, oh, a year or so. I didn’t realize that this was good. Didn’t think it would ever change, either. I didn’t take any screen shots. Now all I have is a memory.)

Here we go. I began the promotion with many trepidations, vastly lowered expectations, and a promise of hari kari if I did not achieve my goal number of downloads, which was three (3). Yes, I promised publicly to off myself if  The Angel did not have three (3) downloads.

I felt pretty safe. I was actually safe by about 470%. How did it go? Here is a pictorial story. Click each image to enlarge it so you can read the tables:

INITIAL SUCKY RANKING OF 388,885 in the PAID KINDLE RANKINGS

I told you I wasn’t a marketing whiz. This, for a book with four national awards and a 4.6 star rating on 22 awards. A book about which bona fide reviewers said things like:  “5 Stars! Blends the paranormal, science fiction, and Armageddon styles well for a riveting read.  Midwest Book Review” We won’t get into that.

RISING IN RANKINGS

Things are moving. By 7:29 AM its first free day,  The Angel has climbed to the 4,573 level and is #80 in Science Fiction > Adventure. (They don’t say Free here, but they do later.)

# 1 SCI-FI ADVENTURE; #199 OVERALL FREE

Oh happy day, and getting happier! #199 in the overall free store and # 1 Sci-fi > Adventure Free.

THE ANGEL IS UP THERE WITH GEORGE R.R. MARTIN

Here The Angel is, flying high next to Ol’ George R.R. Martin. Only difference is, he got paid.

KINDLE-AUTHOR BOOK OF THE DAY

I took out one ad for my “day,” for David Wisehart’s Kindle-Author.com. Isn’t this a pretty presentation? David was kind enough to name The Angel Book of the Day, so it was beautifully featured. I wish space permitted me showing everything the ad contained. Synopsis, reviews, a letter from my mom. It was great.

* * *

What happened after the free promotion? I did not make $42K on my books. Sales of The Angel have stayed pretty high, certainly way higher than the book’s original sucky 388,885 ranking. Sales of Lady Grace, The Angel’s sequel have increased.

Basically, you gotta keep pushing. At least I’m off the chewing-gum-mottled basement floor in sales. I noticed something funny on a Tweet Team I’m on. Cheryl Tardif was tweeting her books WHILE SHE WAS ON VACATION. That’s how dedicated you’ve got to be to rake in the big bucks.

I haven’t pushed The Angel since the big free days, because I’ve been tooling up for my NEXT free days.

Lady Grace: Sequel to The Angel and one enthralling book.

YES! You will be able to download The Angel’s sequel, Lady Grace: A Thrilling Adventure Wrapped in the Embrace of Epic Love, FREE! FREE! FREE! on August 5th and 6th, this very upcoming Sunday and Monday. I really think you should download it, because August 7th is my birthday and it would make me very happy. Downloading her book is a good way to say Happy Birthday to an author. In this case, you’ll get really terrific book for nothing. (Alternatively, you can wait until my birthday on August 7th, when the book won’t be free. That would make me even happier. But suit yourself.)

Lady Grace is better than The Angel. It’s the kind of book that causes top reviewers to say things like:

FIVE STARS! A MODERN SCI-FI MASTERPIECE!
Lady Grace was first-rate science fiction and one of the most absorbing page-turners of that genre that I’ve read in years. Author Sandy Nathan exhibits the imagination of Ray Bradbury combined with the whimsicalness of Douglas Adams. That’s high praise, but it’s warranted. The story includes so much action; tense, suspenseful drama; and two charming love stories that it’s irresistible.” J. Chambers, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer (#46 at this writing)

Two weeks ago, I gave away an Angel. This week, I’m giving away Grace.  The mystical kind of grace is the bestowal of unmerited favor. That grace is free all the time.

The Grace I’m talking about is a Lady.  She’s irresistible. And will be free August 5 & 6!

Sandy Nathan

Sandy Nathan, Award-winning Author

Sandy Nathan is the winner of twenty-two national awards for her writing. She’s won in categories from memoir, to visionary fiction, to children’s nonfiction. And more.

Sandy’s  books are: (Click link to the left for more information on each book. All links below go to Kindle sale pages.)
Sam & Emily: A Love Story from the Underground (paperback & Kindle available)
Lady Grace: A Thrilling Adventure Wrapped in the Embrace of Epic Love (paperback & Kindle available)
The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy
Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money

Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could

Stepping Off the Edge: Learning & Living Spiritual Practice


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