The Benefits Of KDP Select: One Author’s Experience

Here’s an evocative follow-up from Nicholas Rossis and alfageeek on to KDP Select or not to KDP Select.  Thanks for sharing your advice, gentlemen.



In my last post, I mentioned alfageek’s blog, where Joshua, aka alfageek, generously shares his book marketing experience with his blog’s readers. Last week, he returned to KDP Select a…

Source: The Benefits Of KDP Select: One Author’s Experience


I am madly in love with this YA fiction book! “THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR” by NICOLA YOON

Another terrific January Gray review. Thanks, January.



This treasure of a book is pure magic.

It is listed as YA Grades 8 and up, and it certainly fits the bill for grown adults as well.

This book really made an impact on me, and I am still thinking about it, days after reading it.

It really portrays how much happens to us and around us and to others we interact with, in the span of one day.

How one brief interaction with a stranger can change their entire life.

The main characters are teenagers, Natasha and Daniel.

Natasha and her family are getting ready to be deported, and Daniel is struggling with what his parents want him to be and what he wants to do with his life.

Their lives touch for a brief random moment, and that brief random moment changes everything.

Nicola Yoon is an amazing and talented writer.

She writes in a way that…

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Review: Runaway Smile By Nicholas C. Rossis

Review: Runaway Smile By Nicholas C. Rossis



I was kindly sent a free digital copy of this book by the author Nicholas C. Rossis.  Runaway Smileis a lovely children’s book which will really put a smile on everyone’s face, here is my review.

A young boy wakes up to find his smile has run away.  Where could it have gone?  And how will he get it back?

This is such a lovely story which made me both smile and laugh at some of what happens.  The story follows the boy who wakes to find he has lost his smile.  On his journey to school and back home he meets lots of interesting characters who are smiling and asks them to help him.  I won’t give away more of the story as it will spoil it, but there is a lovely heartwarming ending to the tale and it certainly brought a smile to my face as…

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Review: IF NOT FOR YOU, by Debbie Macomber.

A sweet and engrossing contemporary romance with no offensive material.

ifnot4ucvrRated 5 out of 5 stars by Iris Chacon.

This writer received an Advance Reading Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest, objective review.


Debbie Macomber pens another winner with IF NOT FOR YOU. This novel contains all the character depth and smooth prose we expect from the highly adept Macomber, and even exceeds some of her slower works in its action and drama.

Beth and Sam are polar opposites in every way: educationally, professionally, economically, and socially. When they meet (on a blind date neither of them wants), they fall immediately in apathy, and they happily end the evening early. Beth and Sam silently vow never to see one another again. Then, only minutes after leaving the date venue, Sam witnesses a horrific auto accident involving Beth. Instinctively, he races to her aid and virtually saves her life.

In the following days and weeks, as Beth slowly and painfully recovers from her serious injuries, she is surprised that Sam continues to visit her, day after day, sometimes sleeping all night in a chair by her bed. Sam is equally surprised and confused by his inescapable compulsion to be near Beth, protect her, and make her smile.

Too soon, real life interferes with their budding relationship in the form of jobs, parents, friends, and old unresolved family conflicts on both sides. This unconventional couple must learn, grow, accept, forgive, struggle to try and establish a life they both can share. Sometimes they struggle together, sometimes apart. In any case, the reader is in for a swiftly moving stream of emotions, shocks, and surprises before the final resolution of the question: Is theirs a love that will conquer all?


Review: SWEET MISS SEETON, A Miss Seeton Mystery by Harrison Crane, series created by Heron Carvic.

missseatoncvrA cozy British mystery with no offensive material.

Rated 3 out of 5 stars by Iris Chacon.

This writer received an Advance Reading Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest, objective review.


Twenty-first century readers, accustomed to the light-speed communications of social media, movies, and television, will find this cozy mystery slow in comparison. That does not mean the story is boring, however. It merely means the sedate pace and subtle humor may seem so understated as to be assumed nonexistent by impatient minds. If the reader will adopt a relaxed attitude and settle in for a comfortable, entertaining afternoon, Miss Seeton will rise to the occasion and fill the bill admirably.

I have dropped one star from the rating because the murder to be solved does not occur until 75 per cent of the book has passed. I found the character development, dry humor, and references to previous books in this long series were simply not enough to sustain me through three-quarters of the story. I dropped a second star because the British regional vernacular sometimes led to confusion for this American reader.

The writing was skillful and, I believe, would be clear to persons familiar with the Miss Seeton series of books as well as with colloquial British expressions. Since I had neither of those advantages, the novel was sometimes a tough trudge for me. Some readers will enjoy the style and pace of the story more than I.  Indeed, the Miss Seeton series of mysteries has many loyal and enthusiastic fans.

Trying Out Speech To Text Software For Writing Stories

Helpful, down-to-earth commentary on voice-to-text software from author Ruth Ann Nordic. Thanks very much, Ruth Ann, for sharing this with us. Other authors, do you use voice-to-text software? What’s your experience?

Ruth Ann Nordin's Author Blog

speech-to-text-post ID 63365994 © Dimaberkut |

The experiment

This past week, I finally took the plunge and downloaded a software called Dragon Dictation onto my iPhone.  (I don’t remember how much the app cost.  Apparently, I had bought it a year ago when I first heard about it, but I was so scared of the idea of speaking a story that I never used it.)  On Tuesday when I was at the dentist with my kids, I searched  for speech-to-text software and found Dragon Dictation.  Since I saw that I had already purchased it, I downloaded it.  I figured, what did I have to lose?  The worse that would happen was it didn’t work.

The idea behind speaking your book (rather than typing it all) is to increase the amount of words you can get in each day you work.  Has it worked for me?  Yes.  I was surprised.  I…

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BookBub Ads? I’m calling it. The patient is dead.

Thanks to Nicholas Rossis for turning us on to alfageeek and this enlightening post on the efficacy (not) of BookBun advertising.


First test ad First test ad

You may recall that I was skeptical about BookBub Ads when they were first announced. While it’s exciting to get a crack at that population of known book buyers, I didn’t really think CPM advertising (paying for impressions, rather than clicks) made sense, since they count opening the email as an impression. Yet you have to scroll down to see the ad. That means that a lot of those “impressions” aren’t really impressions at all, so we would expect the CTR (click-through rate) to be low. Well I’ve run a lot of tests, and I can tell you that my skepticism was justified. The CTR on BookBub ads is horrible. Pretty consistently about 0.4% for what should have been a very clickable ad. (See above.)

To make sure I was being fair to BookBub, I just ran a Twitter ad campaign. I’m using this tweet, which I…

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