Number 68 People, Number 68!

Tonight was one of those over-the-top, absolutely amazing, jump up and down and then scream wildly at the top of my lungs moments.  Only, I didn’t jump or scream, I’m still too sick for that nonsense — instead, I called my husband (who was out celebrating his win with is “old man” hockey team) … I told him to buy everyone a round on me, I was number 68 and I felt like celebrating.

I’m still on antibiotics and can’t drink, so I celebrated with some grape gatorade … whose jealous now?!  Watch out, I’m a real wild one.

Here’s how it happened …

My Goodreads giveaway is ending shortly, only three more days and then it’s done.  It’s been fun to watch the numbers climb, watching the trends and lags … tonight when I checked, I had finally broken the barrier into over a 1000 requests, that was my goal — my “wouldn’t be amazing if” when it came to the whole giveaway thing.

I get that everyone likes free stuff, but that was pretty cool nonetheless considering first time giveaways generally net around (according to the e-mail Goodreads sent me) 500 requests.  They, in all their wisdom, encourage a second giveaway where the average peaks to about 800 requests.  I have clearly smashed both of those numbers with my little book.

Then, I started getting curious … with my “1000+” requests … where did I rank in the “most requested” … so I found my novel, did some simple math and it came out to … the 68th most requested novel.

That’s when I got really excited.

The thing is, being an Indie Author is a lot of small accomplishments.  Quiet accomplishments.  More often than not it’s defined by the things you wanted and never got.  I wanted an agent … nope.  I wanted a publisher … nope.  I wanted to be taken seriously … that was lukewarm.  Until tonight, with my own steam and own work this is what I accomplished.

Right now, there are just shy of 1500 active giveaways … and to be honest, I’ve never ranked anywhere near that high in anything.  Not my high school class ranking, not alphabetically … you get where I’m going with this right?

What this had done is bigger than giving me a moment of sheer joy … it’s been the encouragement I needed to continue writing.  I’m knee deep into In The After … sometimes it’s harder to write than others. I’ve been sick, planning for our upcoming trip, distracted by the promotion for The Milestone Tapes … but I’ve been trying.  Now, I can’t wait to sit down to write and I cannot wait to see what this next book will do.

I cannot begin to put into words the gratitude I feel towards these people willing to take a chance on a first time writer.  Now, I know that the copies are free and there is nothing at stake for the people who signed up … but it matters to me that these independent readers even bothered to click on the cover and read the description.  I guess it’s really because of all those agents who considered this novel unsalable, they’re beginning to be proven wrong … I believed that this book would mean something to someone and I wasn’t wrong pushing forward with the project.  It’s validation … in short … of everything I believed in and everything I worked.

So, I’m climbing off my soapbox now … I just wanted to celebrate for a minute.

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A Chance To Win The Milestone Tapes!

I’ve partnered with Goodreads to give away 5 autographed copies of THE MILESTONE TAPES in March.  If you’re interesting in getting your hot little hands on an advanced reading copy complete with name scribbled in black sharpie … now’s the time folks!  Get while the getting’s good!

Direct link to entry

But, don’t worry if you don’t luck out on this deal … I’m scheming up all sorts of sweet swag winning opportunities as the launch draws ever closer.  We’re talking e-versions, print copies, and hey … maybe even your very own Kindle preloaded with the book and shipped with love!

It’s really real … and it’s happening so soon!

December First…I’ll Be Reviewing

Starting on first of December, I will begin taking on a small number of Indie books to review.  Authors, you can use me!  I’d love to read your words and give you honest feedback–honest, being the keyword (please read that word carefully and understand what it means before going any further).

Writing reviews is always something I enjoy.  I love to read–I have a reaction to reading, and yes, it’s a wordy one.  Sometimes books are salt of the Earth good, sometimes they stick in the middle, and others are just bad.  But, every story leaves a mark.  I want to give that back to you–let you know what your writing evoked.  You’ll be free to use the review in publicity campaigns and I will publish the review on both Goodreads, Amazon, B&N and right here!

I’m interested in the following genres:

-Young Adult

-Women’s Fiction

-Chick Lit

-Literary Fiction

-Biographies/Memoirs

-Horror/Ghost Stories

I’m not interested in the following genres:

-Erotica

-Epic world adventures (think steampunk, sci-fi, and the like.  That’s pretty vague, I know, so if you’re stuck wondering if you fall in this category, e-mail me)

-Fantasy

This is nothing personal, I like to read what I like to read, right?  To give this the best effort possible, I’ll stick to the comfort zone.

In order to submit your book, please e-mail me labellanovella@gmail.com.

Please include the following:

1. Your Name

2. Genre of book

3. Title

4. Length of book (pages or words will do)

5. A blurb about what you wrote, tell me your story…

6. Is your book currently for sale?  Please include the vendors…

How I decide which books to take on:

If your book is for sale on Kindle, I will order a sample.  I’ll read it.  Then, and only then, I’ll decide.  It goes back to being able to find myself drawn to your story.  Let’s face it, you want good reviews and I want to give you good reviews…so we should start on a high note.  If, for whatever reason, I don’t take on your book–it’s nothing personal.

If your book is accepted to be reviewed, the following things will happen:

1. A copy (Kindle version only, please!) will be provided to me by the author.

2. I will e-mail a series of questions for an interview after finishing the book–they will be book relevant questions…that’s right folks, you get the spot light on my homepage!  Not only will I review your book, but I’ll feature you on the La Bella Novella blog as well (win/win…right?)

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The fine print (’cause there is always fine print):

*Reviews will be written and submitted to author prior to publishing on any format (including, but not limited to the above listed outlets).  If you’re unhappy with what I have to say–we can part ways.  You are under no obligation to use my review if you feel it doesn’t capture the best of you and your book, by doing so you will opt out of any publishing on this blog.  I will, of course, respect that and in turn, please respect the fact that I read with an open mind–where it goes, it goes.

*I make no promises of bigger and better sales.  I’m one person. I will publish the review in the above listed sites, I will also entertain publishing in other locations in accordance to requests.  Your interview/review will receive an outgoing tweet to my followers on Twitter as well.  I encourage you, the author, to do your own marketing–including Facebook announcements, Twitter, blogging and the like to let your readers know where you’ll be.

*Please be understanding that I am not a professional reviewer…I have a job, I write, and I have a family.  Unforeseen circumstances and life may delay the review process or halt it all together at any time.  I’m a good communicator, and I will let you know if anything stops me from pushing through to the end.

*Not every book will be queued, I cannot take all submissions for multiple and various reasons.  I reserve the right to kindly say “no thank you”.

*I will not read through your mistakes.  I’m not an editor.  I’m not even a beta reader.  Consider me among the hordes of readers clamoring to read your story.  What you’d expect of them, expect the same from me.  If the book is full of errors, just like any other reader, I’ll close the cover and return it.  I’ll, of course, let you know that I can’t continue.  If you choose to make the corrections, you’re more than welcome to resubmit. No bridges burnt here.

*I’ll read as quickly as possible, but I am aiming for one book every two weeks (give or take–sometimes more on the take side).  I will not continue to queue into the great abyss, forever and ever amen.  Once I reach a daunting number of “to-be-read” books, I’ll close for submissions until I can catch up.  During that time, you’re encouraged to send me feelers to blimp on my radar, but I make no commitments.

*One review will not break your book.  My opinion is just that…only my opinion.  It doesn’t really mean anything–so if I don’t review favorably, remember…I’m just one person–and many, many more will love your book!  Don’t be discouraged!

OOOKKKKKAAAAYYYY…

Now that we have all of that out of the way…I’m excited to get to interact with you all.

Check out my previous reviews and my style at:

www.goodreads.com/AshMP