Free Book Friday: On Friday this week!*

Writing news:

I started to put together my next poetry collection. Some of the poems have never been seen before (oh, the suspense), others are scattered throughout my blog (so now you will not have to search for them), and I am including my 30 Poems/30 Days as a bonus.

Have I learned anything from publishing 2 books already? Yeah. It’s hard. Want to be on the list to beta read the first draft? Let me know.

Featured Author:

Meet poet Annalyn J. Rasul, a writer, poet, and professional registered nurse. She has a strong passion for helping people with physical, emotional, and mental health problems. It gives her a sense of satisfaction and joy, knowing that she has made a difference in someone’s life. Her philosophy has always been to learn as much as she can from every experience life has to offer. She is currently pursuing her advanced degree as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP).

Click for Amazon page

New Promos (StoryOrigin / BookFunnel)

Free Books

Four new authors share samples

Kindle Unlimited

Sci-fi Available on Kindle

There are a few more new ones, but you can see them here: Discover New Authors and Free Books as I have decluttered the page of all expired links (there were a few…)

Need another? Yesterday I posted some self-promo options. Another blogger does an author spotlight on Fridays as well:

Friday Spotlight – 17th September – Visit Stevie’s Page

That’s it for this week!

Leon

*I tried to schedule my Friday post last week because I was away. It would have posted on Saturday morning.

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.


Contact me:

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Free Book Friday: Oops, I did it again!

What did I do? It’s another week with no new promos. Boo, me.

I’ll give you a writing update instead.

In November, I participated in National Novel Writing Month. I’m not a novel writer. I like the quirkiness of short stories, the challenge of creating an interesting plot and conclusion in a limited number of words. So, when I took on the challenge, I was skeptical that I would complete it.

Guess what? I was right! I didn’t finish my novel in the 30 days allotted. But I kept at it, chapter by chapter, paragraph by paragraph, line by line, word by word, letter by letter. I hit 30 000 words a few months ago. There was only one problem: The story had concluded.

No spoilers here.

The characters had gone through everything I threw at them and may (or may not) have come out unscathed. I described each scene and event to the best of my ability and wrote the dialogue that I thought was authentic.

I write how I read. When I read a story, I tend to skim over details that seem to go on too long and don’t add to the story. I’m not a great conversationalist either, so when I read dialogue that is overly complex and lengthy, it doesn’t seem believable. I’m not expecting the interjections of ums and ahhs because there has to be some elements that we ignore for the story to progress smoothly.

I went back to see if there were any places that needed more clarification, detailed descriptions, and better dialogue. Of course, I took this opportunity to edit and look for any discrepancies or continuity issues.

I put out a request on my blog and to my newsletter subscribers for any readers to do a beta-read. I didn’t get any takers, so I decided to look at paying for developmental/content editing. I put out a request on Reedsy—where I found my first editor, Doreen. I knew it wasn’t going to be cheap. I was right on that one too. Doreen actually suggested that upon review of the sample that I sent her, a copy edit seems to be all that is required.

I still wanted feedback on the quality of the story because, after self-publishing two books, it was time to up the game. I’m still writing for myself. I write what I want to read. That will never change, but if I want to make it as a writer, I can’t rely solely on my opinion.

Both of my books have received positive reviews. That tells me that my writing has worth, that My decision to publish was the correct one. I want to entertain. I try to write something every day that others will enjoy as much as I do.

I have contacted a beta reader to start that process, but the offer still stands if you want to read the longest story I have ever written.

So, I guess it is Free Book Friday after all.

Current promos are here: Discover New Authors and Free Books

That’s it for this week!

Leon

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.


Contact me:

Free Book Friday: Author’s Newsletters- Worth the free book?

What is your experience with free books from authors? Many of the offerings from the promotional campaigns that I are involved with through BookFunnel and StoryOrigin are “reader magnets”, short sample books of an author’s work. Sometimes they are like the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon book pages (the first 10% of a book), often they are the first chapter or selected excerpts from a book. Some authors will give away the first book in a series, in hopes that you will buy the next/rest.

All a reader has to do is give the author an email address. What do I do with these? I send out a weekly newsletter with my weekly blog highlights, an entertaining blurb, all the links to the BookFunnel/StoryOrigin promos, updates on my new writing projects, and any book sale dates.

Many readers have downloaded my free book and unsubscribed immediately, others stick around for a few months, but many keep opening my weekly offerings. Is a weekly email too much? I’ve debated going bi-monthly, but I haven’t decided yet.

Let me know what you think about free books and newsletters.

Here is an earlier post you may like:

Free Book Friday: July 7 – Is free a good thing?

New Promos

Featured Author

My Patchwork Heart is just that! It is a heart that has known love, anger, pain, loss, hope, faith and survival. It is a heart that has known many sleepless nights. The result of attempts at picking up its broken pieces, while working desperately to mend itself back together again…all the while, learning and growing. The poems that make up this collection of original poetry, have been written and collected for more than thirty years by the author. As much as possible, they are displayed throughout the pages in the same order in which they were written. A word-map, of sorts, of the author’s journey throughout life, and no doubt a reflection of some of life’s obstacles that many readers of My Patchwork Heart can deeply relate to. 

Current promos are here: Discover New Authors and Free Books

That’s it for this week!

Leon

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.


Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Bad Luck Free Book Friday the 13th?

Are you superstitious? Did anything bad ever happen to you on Friday the thirteenth? I’m not superstitious, but I won’t walk under a ladder – that’s just dangerous. Here are a few common ones:

  • The Number 13: With the exception of the horror movie(s), nothing bad happens in Friday the 13th, does it? Some hotels don’t have a 13th floor, but will have the pool there instead. Isn’t that inviting disaster?
  • Itchy Palm: Shouldn’t have picked that poison ivy, right?
  • Walking Under a Ladder: Like I said, just not safe.
  • Breaking a Mirror: Bad luck? Well you do have to buy a new one…
  • Finding a Horseshoe: Bad luck for the horse.
  • Opening an Umbrella Inside: Not wise because how are you going to get out the door?
  • Knock Twice on Wood: Always funny when you knock on your buddy’s head.
  • Tossing Spilled Salt Over Your Shoulder: Just a waste of good salt.
  • Black Cats: Cats are just jerks anyway.

Onto the books:

I gained 50+ newsletter subscribers through my BookFunnel promotions. So far, so good. Most downloaded the free sample of my sci-fi book, and one downloaded my poetry book.

I decided to put my sci-fi book on sale for the week:

Featured Author

Current promos are here: Discover New Authors and Free Books

That’s it for this week!

Leon

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.

Speaking of free, do you want to review either of my books? Drop me a message telling me why (and the format).


Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Tuesday Tidbits: Book Updates and Sale

Reviews, sales, newsletter subscribers, ads, blogs, cross-promotions, marketing…no wonder I feel I don’t have time to write.

It takes time and effort after you have written and published your book. I recently added BookFunnel to my toolbox, and so far I have added 50+ subscribers to my newsletter. Like my blog, I try to keep my newsletter short and entertaining while giving readers access to the cross-promotions that I am involved in.

Last month, I worked with Itsy Bitsy Book Bits which despite not netting any sales for my poetry book, did increase my reviews on Amazon, BookBub and Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50612811-lines-by-leon. I remember not so long ago getting my first review and now I’m at forty 3 to 5-star reviews.

I’ve connected with many wonderful authors and readers during my short tenure as an author and even sparked an interview segment (Music Monday: In Conversation With Abigail de Niverville) that I hope to continue (Want to be interviewed?). Blogging has helped hone and stretch my writing skills, and thanks to the Olympics, put me on a 23-day writing streak.

Oh, yeah. The sale.

Since over 50 readers downloaded my free sci-fi book through BookFunnel and StoryOrigin, I decided to put the full collection on sale for a week (US/UK regions were the only two I could schedule). Save the link for tomorrow! https://amzn.to/3uvcJxo

Final update: I am still working on my sci-fi novel, which is looking more like it will be a novella, and compiling my newest poems into another collection. Stay tuned.

-Leon

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Free Book Friday: BookFunnel makes its debut!

Similar to StoryOrigin, BookFunnel allows authors to advertise their books to each other’s audience. I decided to give it a try because all exposure helps. I have connected with some authors through StoryOrigin and have already done the same on this new platform. Coming on Monday, don’t miss a conversation with poet/writer/composer Abigail de Niverville.

I hope you take a look at them and find something you like. You can let me know what your experience is between the two.

Reads From BookFunnel:

Searching for your next favorite story? August – Big Fiction eBook Extravaganza – clean eBooks, any genre, $4.99 or less

Discover New Authors

Free Books

Sci-fi Kindle Unlimited: StoryOrigin

Current promos are here: Discover New Authors and Free Books

That’s it for this week!

Leon

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.

Speaking of free, do you want to review either of my books? Drop me a message telling me why (and the format).


Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Free Book Friday: The Olympics – Part 5 Records

I remember reading The Guinness Book of World Records as a young boy. Now, many of the records that fascinated me were the weird ones (some aren’t allowed anymore for obvious reasons), like the guy who ate an entire bicycle, the longest fingernails, and many others.

Physical records are often broken during the Olympics, but are the athletes reaching the limits of potential? The 4-minute mile was once thought to be impossible, now the record is around 3:43 I believe. The 2-hour marathon is the next breakthrough, although it was broken, but not recognized because it was not under race conditions (indoor, climate controlled, pacers, and drafting behind other runners). How much weight can one person lift? (A lot).

World records may not be as important as personal bests. If an athlete can better their previous achievement, you can’t really ask for anything more.

-Leon

Free Poetry Offering:

Kindle Unlimited Titles

Current promos are here: Discover New Authors and Free Books

That’s it for this week!

Leon

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.

Speaking of free, do you want to review either of my books? Drop me a message telling me why (and the format).


Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Free Book Friday: New giveaway platform

After waffling for months, I finally decided to join BookFunnel. The biggest obstacle was price. It’s not expensive, buy I’m am already using StoryOrigin, so It’s kind of like paying for cable and Netflix. And I’m cheap. Well, maybe thrifty, or money-conscience.

The main reason to bite the bullet was to reach new readers (along with connecting with other authors). I joined my first campaign and created my first poetry promo which immediately received 2 participants. I’ll do a comparison between the two platforms in the future.

Anyway, time to pour a second cup of coffee and finish watching the Olympic athletes procession.

Free Sample from Shane Shepherd

Featured author

Current promos are here: Discover New Authors and Free Books

That’s it for this week!

Leon

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.

Speaking of free, do you want to review either of my books? Drop me a message telling me why (and the format).


Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Free Book Friday: The Little Library that Could

Neighborhood Lending Libraries

You have seen them. Those little houses on posts with the glass doors next to the sidewalk. There are several around that I frequent. Since many public libraries were closed during the pandemic, they did come in handy. I always wonder about the etiquette though.

Do I:

  • Return the book to its original home?
  • Put a different book in its place?
  • Put it in a nearby library?
  • Sanitize?
  • Spend some time and organize into genres? Alphabetical order?
  • Leave a note complaining of the lack of reference books?
  • Write a review and leave it in the inside flap?
  • Use them as a dumping place for all the books I don’t read anymore?

Do you make use of these book depositories?

Free Samples from Various Authors

Current promos are here: Discover New Authors and Free Books

That’s it for this week!

Leon

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.

Speaking of free, do you want to review either of my books? Drop me a message telling me why (and the format).


Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Free Book Friday: July 7 – Is free a good thing?

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.

Don’t give away the farm.

Despite information that free books is a good marketing strategy, I still struggle with the thought of giving away my hard work as a writer. Oh, I’ve done it, but my finger hovers over the button for a long time before I make the commitment.

Book royalties are not very high with self publishing unless you are able to sell directly. I make more/book if I sell my paperback directly to a reader. Much more. And you get it signed by me. Oh, and you get a free bookmark that I designed. Even with shipping – which isn’t cheap, if I sold all my books that way, I’d be happy.

So, most indie authors are making a small amount with each sale, and it is hard to give up that amount when every little bit counts. But if you want to there are several options:

Free books for reviews: There are many ways to get your book into the hands of readers that will hopefully leave a glowing review that will boost your credibility as and author. I’ve had limited success with most, although my review rate I have discovered is typical. I recently started a two week promotion with Itsy Bitsy Book Bits which includes making my book available to their pool of reviewers. My previous forays can be read about in this post: Review Platforms: Take my free books, please.

Free days on Amazon: If you publish with KDP (Amazon), you have the ability offer your book for free. The benefit? If enough readers download your book, it can catapult it into the Best Sellers lists, which in turn increases exposure. I’ve done this as well as $0.99 sales.

Reader magnets: If you have never heard of these, I’ll let you in on a secret— [Tap on shoulder] “What’s that? I can’t? OK. you can leave now.” [footsteps]

Most authors offer up free samples of their books to readers, usually in exchange for their email address. It’s a win/win really. The author gets their writing into the hands of a potential reader (hopefully a potential purchaser), and the reader gets a chance to discover a new author and use their “junk” email address so they don’t have to deal with constant spam from authors. Yes, I know you have one. I’m talkin’ to you doodlepoodle57_hahaABC@yahoomail.crom. I only send out a weekly email that hopefully entertains and informs the subscribers of sales and free offerings that I am participating in. It is also the only way I can direct my parents to my blog without fielding a call like an IT call center. So yeah. Win/win

Writer’s platforms: There are various platforms for budding writers to post their creations. Last month I wrote about them: Free Book Friday: June 18 .

Nothing is guaranteed in the publishing business. Free books do not always equal more sales, and many readers will not leave reviews even if that is the expectation.

I appreciate everyone who has reviewed my books. I get excited when I see a new review posted. I don’t expect everyone to enjoy my writing, but most readers have always said something positive. For the readers who have purchased one of my books, I thank you for supporting me on my writing journey. I’ll leave you with this question: Where do read for free?

Current promos are here: Discover New Authors and Free Books

That’s it for this week!

Leon

Speaking of free, do you want to review either of my books? Drop me a message telling me why (and the format).


Not ready to purchase yet?

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!