Author Olivia Boler

writing is fun
March 24th, 2014

Underground Book Reviews

I’m happy to report that during the recent Kindle Free Promo last week, almost 3,200 copies of The Flower Bowl Spell were downloaded! Not all of these were from the United States and UK, although those were the two biggest supporters of this little adventure. What’s exciting is the fact there has been an uptick in “real” sales of the e-book version post-promo, not a huge amount, but a bigger surge than I’ve seen in many months.

Another exciting tidbit is that there’s a new review of the book on Underground Book Reviews, an online magazine written for and by indie authors. It’s always nice when someone approaches you about running a review or interview about your book, rather than chasing down the opportunities. I want to thank Candi Sary for shining a light on TFBS. I understand the magazine is pretty selective about the reviews they publish, and only posts one per week, so their site is nice and uncluttered. Check out Candi’s own award-winning novel, Black Crow White Lie, “the story of young Carson Calley who discovers he has the curious ability to heal people.”

Happy reading…and a Happy Monday to you as well.

 

December 31st, 2013

Pop that Cork!

December 31 has always been kind of a big deal in my family. Not only is it the last day of the year—it’s also my mother’s birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!!!

My Mom and Me in Hawaii 2012

My mother doesn’t accept gifts anymore—her rule. She has enough “material possessions.” So as my nonmaterial gift to both of us, I’m making a slight change to The Flower Bowl Spell publishing model.

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select

For the next 90 days, the e-book will be available exclusively on Amazon as part of their KDP Select Program. If you have an Amazon Prime account, you can check out the book and add it to your library for free. There are other promotions through this program that I’ll be doing in the near future post-holidays (read: when my kids are back in school and I can concentrate!), like a Kindle Countdown Deal and a Free Book Promotion Deal. More details on that soonish.

Kindle MatchBook

If you have a print copy of The Flower Bowl Spell that you purchased from Amazon, then you can get a digital copy of the book for the discount price of 99 cents. Pretty sweet, right? The regular price of the e-book is already fairly low—$2.99—but who doesn’t like to save money wherever they can? I know I do.

But What About Non-Kindle Copies?

Already own a copy of the e-book through iTunes, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, etc.? Fear not—your copy is safe. I’m trying this KDP Select dealio out for 90 days to see if I can drum up some sales of the book, and then I’ll likely go back to selling it through other outlets.

So, that’s my New Year’s news. Have a very happy 2014, whether it’s crazy or tame, your birthday or not. No matter what you do, be safe.

January 25th, 2013

Happy Anniversary Giveaway!

 

My Book—My Kindle

One year ago, I uploaded my novel The Flower Bowl Spell to Smashwords. It quietly “went live,” and I was the first person to download it. How thrilling to see it on my iPad amongst my other books! The next day, I put it on Amazon, and bought it a second time, this time for my Kindle. Wow! There it was amongst Little Women and The Passage. What a trip!

To celebrate, I’m hosting a Giveaway, powered by Rafflecopter. One lucky winner will get a $25 Amazon gift card. Answer one question to enter. Like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, tweet about the giveaway, and/or buy a copy of my book for more chances to win. The raffle closes on February 10, 2013, which happens to be Chinese New Year’s day. Click here now to enter for your chance to win.

By the way, this coming year is the Year of the Serpent. “Steady focus and attention to detail” will be the name of the game according to HanBan.com. Sounds like a plan.

April 21st, 2012

Brilliant Review by Pete Denton

Pete Denton is a blogger and writer from Sheffield, England, and we’ve been following each others posts for a few months now. He’s made huge strides with his writing, which he chronicles on his blog, and has garnered all kinds of blogging awards. He’s also been very encouraging when it comes to my own posts about my writing/publishing journey, which culminated today in a lovely review of The Flower Bowl Spell. Here’s an excerpt:

I cannot emphasise enough how much I got sucked into the world of Memphis Zhang. I was totally immersed in her story and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. With all the reviews I have written so far, I find it difficult to comment too much on the story or characters as I don’t want to give anything away.

What I will say is that I BELIEVED the main protagonist. I felt she came alive on the page (of my Kindle) and I cared about what happened to her throughout the story. One of the character names in particular was a stroke of GENIUS and everyone we met on the journey was well drawn…

I enjoyed the story line and the humour that’s injected into the narrative is spot on. I even broke my “not reading my Kindle on the bus” rule (I know it’s a stupid rule) as I HAD to keep reading this book. I’ve said before I judge a good book on whether the story keeps popping into my mind, well days after finishing The Flower Bowl Spell, little snippets keep doing just that.

Olivia Boler is an author I *met* blogging. I read her posts on self-publishing her story and watched with interest as the cover design was unveiled and the publication drew ever closer. This is a journey that so many people are on and it is a journey I hope to make myself one day. This makes reading a book like this more important to me. It also inspires me to make sure I write reviews and help spread the word.

This was a top professional job. Great cover, well-edited and no errors to speak about. This book gives self-publishing a HUGE pat on the back. If every self-published book was to this standard then maybe the stigma attached to going it on your own would end right here and now.

Thank you so much, Pete, for your thoughtful review. I can’t emphasize enough how touched I was by it!

To read the whole review and to learn more about Pete, click here.

March 14th, 2012

Kobo Readers, anyone?

Thank you to all who downloaded a copy of The Flower Bowl Spell from Smashwords last week during Read an E-book Week. I really hope you enjoy reading the book, that it keeps you up at night thinking, Well, just one more chapter…

Since then, things have been quiet. I probably shouldn’t share this because it’s kind of negative, but I haven’t had one sale on Amazon this month! And I have no idea how things are going over at iBooks, B&N, etc. I do know the book is finally up at Kobobooks, so if you have a Kobo Reader, go for it! And to buy one, click here.

In the meantime, I am nearly done getting the book ready for the paperback version. So, so close. I hope to have it done before heading out with the family for Spring Break, but there’s also a giant freelance project looming over my head…and a little one…Ah, life!

March 4th, 2012

My e-book FREE for a limited time!

Happy Read an E-book Week! OK, I just learned about this too. But it’s a really cool thing because from March 4 to 10, you can get The Flower Bowl Spell for FREE from Smashwords as part of the celebration. Considering the price went up last week to $2.99, this is an amazing deal. And remember, you can download the book from Smashwords to your Kindle, Nook, eReader, Kobo, iPad, laptop, phone, and I don’t know what other device. Possibly your brain? So, to those who have paid full price, thank you, and spread the word to your friends that they can download The Flower Bowl Spell for absolutely no cost. But only for a limited time. USE COUPON CODE RE100.

2012lady

And here’s something that made my day, counteracting the fact I haven’t had even one download on Amazon since the end of February: I received one of the nicest, most thoughtful reviews this morning by a reader, Sara Smolarek, on Smashwords, which you can read if you go here. Sara, I don’t know you, but I thank you for writing up such a fantastic and honest review!

Another cool bit of news: Smashwords announced it has signed a distribution agreement with Baker & Taylor, a major book distributor to libraries and bookstores. That includes distribution to the Blio e-reading app, which is often pre-loaded on computers and laptops by Toshiba, Dell, and HP. There’s also a free Blio app for iPhones and Androids, and a Blio bookstore. My book should be up there soon.

My friend Debbie and I were just talking about how I could get my e-book into libraries. I’d put it on my to-do list, which is oh so very long. Well, this new Baker & Taylor deal means public libraries that use Axis 360 (I’ve also seen this written up as Access 360, so maybe someone can fact check that) could make The Flower Bowl Spell available for checkout. Huzzah!

OK, so I’ve done my happy dance, and now it’s back to the trenches. These days, the trenches means formatting my book for the paperback version on CreateSpace. It’s not as easy, to put it very kindly, as I had hoped it would be. I think they are trying to crush my spirit so I will just give in and pay for the professional services they offer. But, oh no! I won’t cave. And I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s just say right now, my mortal enemy is the Section Break function in Microsoft Word.

So, tell your friends: The Flower Bowl Spell is FREE on Smashwords until March 10. COUPON CODE RE100. If you download it, let me know. Thank you, and happy reading!

girlreading

 

 

February 14th, 2012

Hey, all you Nook & iPad peeps!

It’s my duty to tell you on the blogosphere that The Flower Bowl Spell is now available through Apple’s iBookstore and/or iTunes. To answer my aunt Deetje, yes, you can buy books through iTunes. Movies, TV shows, and podcasts too, as well as other stuff that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with tunes, but there you go. If you are an iPad or iPhone or iPod user, go crazy! It is also available in the Barnes & Noble online store for all you NOOK fans out there. And yes, it’s still just $0.99 in both stores. As my author colleague, the talented Tina Boscha, would say, “WOOT WOOT!”

Sooooo…FYI, I’ve received some feedback from friends and family who have finished the book. And of course all the things they say are very nice. Some have even written reviews on Amazon. OK, two have, plus there’s another review on Goodreads. Thank you, readers! I know I’m starting to sound like the dreaded broken record, but please do post your thoughts about the book after you’re done because the more reviews there are, the more new-reader interest there will be. Yay, fun! And if it helps, I’ll tell you something sad: I haven’t had any new Kindle sales in days. Days, people! Clearly, I need to do more promo work, I hope without spending any money or as little as possible. Is this possible? Must I break those eggs to make an omelet?

Well, before I get out those eggs, let me wish you and yours a Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 7th, 2012

Olivia’s author interview with Dina Santorelli

Blogger Dina Santorelli, who is a fellow freelance writer working on a novel, posted her interview with me this morning on her blog, Making ‘Baby Grand,’ the Novel. I have been following this series of author interviews as well as Dina’s weekly writing tips, which I think are just so helpful. You can read my interview by clicking here. Cheers!

February 3rd, 2012

Premium Status and Kindle Love

The good news: The Flower Bowl Spell got Premium Status approval from Smashwords. Whoo hoo! [fist pump] That means they will ship it to Apple (iBooks/iPad/iPhones), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Sony (Sony eReader), Kobo, and Diesel for purchase through those channels.

The bad news: It won’t be up for sale at those places for two to three weeks. Boo hoo! [pout] Smashwords has the book in its shipping queue, they only ships on Thursdays and Fridays (today is Friday, and it didn’t ship), and then it takes another one to two weeks for the book to be available with those purveyors of fine e-lit.

The good news: You Nook, Kobo, and iPad users can upload the book NOW from Smashwords‘ website. You can then download it to your readers. You can find directions on how to do this here. Even Kindle users can do this, although I did upload it separately with a different ISBN (actually, it’s just Amazon’s ASIN, but what do you care really?), so Kindle users can get it NOW on Amazon.

Did I mention it’s 99 cents everywhere! That’s $0.99, in case you missed it the first time.

Next on the agenda: Uploading the paperback version to CreateSpace, wrestling with my website, and drumming up interest from readers/buyers other than my family and friends. Oh boy.

 

January 31st, 2012

Flower Bowl Spell up on Kindle

Mission accomplished! My goal back at the end of 2011, was to get The Flower Bowl Spell up for sale as an eBook in January, and I did just that. (Pat on the back.) The book went live on Amazon yesterday. I downloaded it, noticed a couple of glitches (e.g. my author photo wasn’t showing up), and got some help on the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) forum. People  in the community were really great, patiently walking me through how to create a zip file on Word (I’ve often opened zip files, but never knew I could make one without special software. Sometimes I’m an unintentional Luddite).

Anyway, my next goal, to be accomplished in February, is to get the book on CreateSpace so those who don’t have eReaders can buy it. I’ll look into the Expanded Distribution plan, which means bookstores and libraries could order it too, as far as my understanding of it goes. Also, I’ll need to start promoting it, looking into book bloggers and reviewers who might give it a chance. If you know of a reviewer, website, blogger, etc., who might be interested, please share!

In the meantime, if you have already bought a copy, thank you so much! That’s $0.99 well spent, to be sure!

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