The Gift of Reading

I will admit openly to stealing this idea from Hugh Howey. He’s one of my heroes in the indie publishing world and someone I admire a great deal.

This post is all about the love of reading. As a child, I was horribly, painfully introverted. Reading, as was writing, was a means of escape. It was my mother who gave me this love of reading. I firmly believe this was the best gift she ever gave me. Without that love and passion for reading, I doubt that I would have developed the love and passion for writing.

My favorite childhood memories were the weekly trips my mother and I would take to our local library. To this day, whenever I step into a library, I am instantly at peace. The world around me falls away. The smell of all those beautiful tomes is more relaxing than any scented candle or day at the spa.

As I grew older I would read read my books and all the books my mother would come home with. While many people go to yard sales to buy knick-knacks or furniture or what-nots, mamma and I went in search of books. Finding books for a nickel was akin to hitting the lottery. 20 books for a dollar? Heaven on earth!

I loved reading then and still do today. Though I have to admit to not being able to read three or four books a week like I used to. I’m too busy writing them — which is also like Heaven on earth to me.

I still love paperbacks and hardcover books and still visit my local libraries as often as I can, but I also love my Kindle. One of the things I love most about my kindle is that it’s like having every library in the world right at my fingertips. We have a lot of cold, dark, snowy winters here in the Midwest, days where you can’t leave the house because the snow is too deep or the windchill factor dangerously low. Instead of having to bundle up like I’m getting ready for the Iditarod, I can make a cup of hot chocolate, curl up in my favorite chair, and open my kindle. I’ve got hundreds of books on my TBR list, but if I want something different, I can visit the Kindle Store and find something new. One click and it’s mine. Hundreds of thousands of books all in the palm of my hand. I get goosebumps just thinking about it!

Because I believe reading is so important and I love the Kindle Unlimited Program, I’m going to do a special giScreen Shot 2015-08-22 at 8.56.54 AMve away. I’m going to give away ONE Kindle with 6″ with glare free touch screen and wi-fi, valued at $79. I’m ALSO going to give away five (5), six-month Kindle Unlimited subscriptions which are worth $60 each. Yesterday, I discussed why I
liked this program — yes I am a member and use it all the time — and answered some common misconceptions about the Kindle Unlimited program.

I will choose five winners from those who comment on this post and tell me why you love to read, what reading meant to you as a child or what it means to you now. What were some of your favorite books as a kid? As an adult? No, you don’t have to answer all these questions, they’re just suggestions. I will announce the winners before I leave for the InD’Scribe Author and Reader event in September.

I was telling my friend, the divine and beautiful author Kathryn Le Veque about borrowing Hugh’s idea. She was so excited about it that she is going to give away five (5) Kindle Unlimited Subscriptions too. So now, you’ve doubled your chances of winning! Just visit Kathryn’s site by clicking here.

UPDATE: The response to this has been amazing! People are asking about hashtags. Please use #giftofreading, #giftofreadinggiveaway, or #suzantisdalegiveaway for tweeting or FB posts. Thank you all!!!

Now let’s share the gift of reading!

Suzan

Kindle Unlimited

Over the past few months, there has been lots of talk about Kindle Unlimited. For those of you who don’t know what KU (Kindle Unlimited) is, think of it as Netflix for books. For $9.95 a month, you can borrow as many books as you can read. As soon as you’re done with a book, you can return it and get another, keeping as many as ten titles at a time to read to your heart’s content.

There also seems to be a lot of misinformation out there on just how it works. Today, I’ll answer some of the main questions and concerns that I hear from readers regarding KU.

But first, let me talk about my own personal experience with Amazon and the other vendors. For more than three years my books were exclusive to Amazon and I was very content and happy with my success there. I had built a great reader base and was able to give up my day job within in a year of publishing my first book. That was until last summer when the bottom seemed to fall out. I didn’t realize it at the time that it was only a temporary set back. Instead, I gave in to a knee jerk reaction and began preparations to make my books available on other platforms. By January of this year, my books were also available at iBooks, B&N, and Kobo.

In all honesty, were it not for Amazon, I would not have been able to give up my day job a few years ago to become a full time author. None of the other vendors treated me with the same amount of respect and level of help that Amazon and it’s KDP people have.

After a seven-month long experiment, I’ve decided to go back to being exclusive to Amazon and making many of my books available through the Kindle Unlimited program. While I had a couple of relatively decent months at the other vendors, the results were erratic and unstable. There was nothing that I could count on and in the case of B&N no one to turn to to ask questions, get support, or strategize with. Simply put, there is no one at B&N to help the indie author. While it was much easier to find an actual human being to help you at iBooks and Kobo, the resulting sales were not anywhere near what I had hoped for. Many indie authors are quite successful on these platforms and to them, I tip my hat. But as in almost all things, results will vary from author to author, person to person. Why one things works for one author and not another, I simply do not know. I can only speak to my own personal experiences.

I know that I will reach more readers at Amazon than I have at the other platforms. That was true in the very beginning of my career and I believe it remains true today. Do I wish I had had the same level of success on the other platforms as I had at Amazon? Yes, yes I do. But I can’t simply keep my books on these other platforms and only gain a few readers a month. And what I want most is readers.

This wasn’t a decision lightly made. Do I worry about all my eggs being in one basket? Nope, not at all, because, as Hugh Howey says, “they’re my eggs.”  I can always take my eggs and put them in other baskets. It’s my decision.

You can read more of Hugh Howey’s perspective on Kindle Unlimited here. I could not agree with him more.

My own personal results with the new KU 2.0 as we call it has been amazing! In July alone I had more than 800,000 pages read. By the 20th of this month I had surpassed even that number and if things continue on the current path we will hit the million pages read mark within the next 48 hours. That is a lot of new readers being introduced to my books and that makes me exceedingly happy.

I want my readers to have the best possible reading experience. I believe they get that with the Kindle. I have a Kindle and an iPad and personally, I find it much easier to find new authors and new books on my Kindle. And with B&N in its current state of not knowing where it is going with ebooks, not being able to service Nook readers, it just makes more sense to me to have a product I know will be around for a long time. Just my two cents.

Now I would like to address some of the common misconceptions about the Kindle Unlimited program.

  1. I’ve had readers express the concern that authors don’t get paid for the books they have in KU. That is false. We do get paid, just a little differently. How much we get paid depends entirely on the length of each book and how many pages are read.
  2. Readers tell me they won’t participate in KU because they want to own the books they read. I think we need to look at KU like we’d look at Netflix or your local library. With either of those places you can rent a movie or borrow a book. You don’t own the movie you rent or the book you borrow. For a nominal fee, you get access to thousands if not hundreds of thousands of books and movies. And if you stumble across something you just have to add to your personal library you can simply purchase a copy.
  3. I’ve also had readers tell me that none of the authors they like to read are in KU, so why bother? I look at KU this way: it’s a great way to discover authors you might never have known before. Because I’m an independently published author — meaning I don’t have a major publishing house behind me — you can’t find paperback copies of my books in regular book stores and those major retail online store fronts give more visibility to traditionally published books. Major book stores tend to look down their noses at the indie authors and it is a shame. There are a lot of really great indie authors and KU is just another way to be introduced to them.
  4. Some people think they’re only allowed ten books a month with Kindle Unlimited. Not true. You can have as many as ten titles at a time in your Kindle Unlimited library, but as soon as you’re done with a book, you simply return it and get another. You can read as many Kindle Unlimited books as you want. There is no monthly limit on books read.

Kindle Unlimited can be a great resource for those people who have ‘book budgets’, like I used to have when I got my first Kindle in 2010. Back then, I could read three or four books a week and that could get quite expensive. KU gives those readers the opportunity to read as many books as they wish without worrying about going over their budgets.

It’s also great for those readers who don’t have book budgets. Whether you’re on a book budget or not, KU offers all readers the chance to explore new authors, discover new fictional worlds without having to break the bank.

For those of you who do not have a Kindle, you can get the Kindle app for free on your smartphone or tablet. Moving forward, all of my books will be DRM free, allowing those readers the chance to read on whatever device they choose. You can learn more about the Kindle Unlimited program at Amazon.

I always try to keep the price of my books as low as possible because I do remember the days of book budgets and having to add two cans of water to a can of chicken soup to make it feed all three of my kids. Most of my books can be had for less than the price of a greeting card, cup of coffee, or pound of hamburger.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be giving away more ebooks and audio books, via my FB page, website and here on my blog, along with a few other prizes, so stay tuned.

As always, I thank each and every one of you for your support and encouragement. I really do have the best readers anywhere.

Hugs,

Suzan Tisdale

Secret Project REVEALED!

The King’s Courtesan

Last fall I received an email from a Kindle Worlds representative asking if I had time for a telephone call.  (For those of you who might not be familiar with Kindle Worlds, it is a place where people can write fan fiction based on favorite books, movies, comics and music.) I had no idea why they wanted to talk to me. Intrigued, I said yes and am so glad that I did.

Turns out that the awesome and talented NY Times & USA Today Best Selling Author HM Ward asked her Kindle Worlds rep to call me. Yes, the HM Ward author of the legendary “Arrangement” series. She wanted to know if I would be interested in writing in her Kindle World The Arrangement Series. I had to ask him three times if he was certain he had the right person. I knew her, but how on earth did she know me?

HM requested that I write an historical romance that would explain how the Ferro men in her contemporary romance series became cursed. Although I wasn’t at all familiar with Kindle Worlds I knew this was a tremendous opportunity and felt more than honored to be asked.
You can read more about HM and her books at her website.

This all happened last fall. I was fully prepared to write the story at that time, but then my mother became ill and passed away. I’m about a year behind where I wanted to be, but that is okay. I’m quickly working to get back on track.

Needless to say, I’m super excited about this project. The research has been quite intense but lots of fun! Political intrigue was rather abundant in 18th century Sicily, which fits in perfectly. My story, The King’s Courtesan, is a combination of real-life people and events blended with my fictional characters.

Our tentative release date has been set for October 20, 2015! Unfortunately, Kindle Worlds does not allow for pre-orders or paperback editions at this time. We’re hopeful that will change in the future.

We’ll soon be doing a cover reveal. Newsletter subscribers will get to see the cover first.

The King’s Courtesan

Isabella Di’Lorini  led an ordinary life until one summer day in 1727 when her entire world was turned upside down by one tiny spark. That small spark destroyed life as she knew it, but it also gave birth to another…

Fate and circumstances take Isabella to Sicily, where her life once again changes. From the simple life of a scullery maid to life as a courtesan—-until she met Charles Emmanuel, Heir Apparent and Prince of Piedmont.

No one ever plans on falling in love. But life rarely goes as one plans. Is their love strong enough to transcend a curse?

before anyone else.

A Cover Reveal For My Author Friend K.M. Hodge!



I am so please to bring you the new cover for Seasons by KM Hodge. Seasons is Book#1 in the Syndicate Series. 

New! Series Logo





Book Blurb: 
Special Agent Alex Bailey is trying to put his sordid and traumatic past behind him. Looking for redemption, he takes on a new secret mission and partner, Katherine Mitchel. On the eve of their partnership, Katherine uncovers damning evidence against a crime ring working out of Richmond, Virginia known as The Syndicate.They control the Police, Congress, even the FBI and will stop at nothing to protect their interests. With her life on the line, Katherine is forced to put her faith in Alex  as she flees from Washington D.C. and is placed in the Witness Protection Program.  But you can’t run from The Syndicate. In what becomes the most dangerous investigation of their careers, Alex could ultimately prove to be Katherine’s last and only hope.


What Authors and Readers are saying about Seasons: 
Domestic abuse and addiction can be pretty tough topics but K.M. Hodge delivers in a debut novel that is fast-paced and very suspenseful.” By Gail Ward Olmsted Author of “Guessing at Normal” and “Jeep Tour” 


A fantastic, fast-paced thriller. Well done to KM Hodge, a brilliant debut. I literally can’t wait for the second in the series. The characters were beautifully drawn out and Katherine, Alex, and Doc were all so likable. I’m curious to know who is going to feature in the second book and if any of this book’s characters will reappear. Looking forward to it!” By Kate-Beth Heywood, Author of Anti-Social Media 


Nicely done blend of passion and suspense, it’s a well-constructed first novel and a thoroughly engrossing story.” 4 stars


Could not put this book down! Exciting read from beginning to end, twists and turns made for a spell-binding story. K. M. Hodge is definitely an author I will read again. You want to read this book!” 5 stars 


Absolutely fantastic! Move over Baldacci Prepare for competition from this new author! Spell binding – hard to put down. Had me captured from chapter one through the end! Thank you KM Hodge!” 5 stars


About the Author

KM Hodge is a stay-at-home mom of two energetic boys, who does fundraising events and grant writing on a part time basis. When she isn’t busy trying to feed all the starving children of the world, she enjoys reading books by indie authors, catching up on tv shows, playing board games, and trolling the internet for X files Season 10 spoilers. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter as well as on her blog, The Land of Hodge. The second novel in her Syndicate Series, Blue Season is going to go live on Amazon September 20th. Sign up for her mailing list to get up-to-date notifications of sales and book releases. 

Texting The Cheeky Wench!

Texting the Wench

If you would like to receive updates on new releases, contests and other book related Cheeky Wench information:

 Inside the US: Text CheekyWenchUS to 24587

Outside the US: Text CheekyWenchOS to 447797800851

FAQ’s:

Q. How does it work?

A. I will send messages regarding new releases, release dates, contests, and other book related information to readers who ‘opt in’ to receive these messages.

Q. How often will you text?

A. Maybe two or three times a month. It depends on how many contests I’m running, number of new releases, etc. But I promise it won’t be every day. 

Q. How much does it cost?

A. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero pennies. It is free to sign up for this feature. HOWEVER, you are subject to your normal phone provider charges. Some people have unlimited texting, others don’t. With most plans, incoming messages are free, but check with YOUR PHONE provider if you have any questions in that regard. If you’re not sure, then don’t opt in. 

 Q. How do I stop receiving messages?

A. You can opt out at any time. Just reply STOP to any message you receive from me. 

If you have additional questions, please send me an email: suzan@suzantisdale.com

Kindle Unlimited Reader Poll Winners!

Hello! Yes, I’m a few days late posting the winners of my Kindle Unlimited Reader Poll. :(  It has been a crazy few weeks here. I have sent emails to the winners.

Heidi M.

MJ B.

Bettina A.

Congratulations everyone!!

Thanks again for participating. Note: Stay tuned because I’ve got another poll in the works!!

Hugs,

Suzan

McKenna's Honor
Book Four in The Clan MacDougall Series

The Infamous Muse…

The muse. Sometimes it sings to you, sometimes it whispers. Sometimes it’s silent. Sometimes it hits you like a ton of bricks.

Click here to watch a video of me explaining one of the funniest or oddest (depends on your perspective) moments a muse hit me. :D

So what was one of your odd or funny moments a story idea hit?

McKenna's Honor Book Four in The Clan MacDougall Series

McKenna’s Honor
Book Four in The Clan MacDougall Series