Tag Archive | free books

How to redeem a gifted Audible Book direct from the author


If you have followed my career — or at least this blog — for the last few years, you know that I provide as many of my Legendary Women of World History Series titles as possible in audio format.  Audiobooks are fun and they make it easy to read a book when you need to keep your eyes elsewhere, especially when travelling.

What you may not know is that Audible recently made some changes to audiobook gifting.  These changes make it easy to gift individual books and especially memberships, but perhaps makes it a little harder to redeem books gifted directly from the author.

What do you do then when you are one of the fortunate people to be gifted an Audible book directly from the author who wrote it?  The following steps were given to me this morning by an Audible service representative explaining exactly how to do it!

1. Go to the book’s page on Audible.com: https://www.audible.com/pd/[AUDIBLE ASIN]
2. Add the audiobook to your cart.
3. If you are prompted to sign in, please create a new Audible.com account or log in.
4. Go to https://www.audible.com/at/redeem. Enter the promo code and click “Redeem” to receive a credit for the title in your cart.
5. Head back to your cart. Make sure the button that says “1 Credit” is selected and that your subtotal reads $0.00 dollars.
6. You may proceed through the checkout by clicking “Proceed to Checkout” and “Complete purchase” on the subsequent page.

Owen and Catherine: the Love Story that launched the Tudor dynasty

romanc blogfest 2015 small banner

Just then a scream echoed in the forest.  Drawing their swords, Linet and Boudicca charged towards the sound.  By the time they reached the source all that could be seen was Prasutagus, his blood spilling into the ground – as if a year-king killed as an offering to the gods for his people.  Prasutagus looked up, his eyes blurring, “Boudicca?”

Boudicca knelt, weeping, the blood from his chest wound soaking her dress, “I am here.”

“A Roman – scout – I – surprised him.” gasped Prasutagus, trying in vain to tell his wife what happened, knowing the moment he died rage would fill her – rage against Rome.

Boudicca kissed him tenderly, “My love, do not leave me!”  Prasutagus kissed her repeatedly, his eyes fixed on hers until they saw no more.  Feeling his spirit leave his body, Boudicca wept, as if her entire life suddenly passed with him – at least for this moment.  Finally, she rose, helping Linet carry him to their chariot.  With a gentle nudge of the reigns the horses turned for home and the sad work ahead.

—————

Welcome to RomanceFest 2015!  I hope all month long you’ll discover many amazing books from some of the top independent authors in the world.

Complete Series 3D

My contribution to RomanceFest is a bit different.  Rather than offering you the thrilling paranormal science fiction romance of the Peers of Beinan Series, I decided to take a different, much more risky approach.  I decided to make my RomanceFest books CREATIVE NON-FICTION HISTORY for young readers and family audiences.

In the excerpt you just read above and audio excerpt you just heard on the youtube video, you experienced the powerful love between King Prasugasus of the Iceni and his wife, Queen Boudicca.  Boudicca is remembered every year in King’s Cross London for destroying the Roman cities of Camulodunum (originally the capital of the Trinovantes, the southern neighbour to the Iceni in what is now Essex), Londonium, and Saint Albans in the year 61 CE.  Typically she is portrayed as a vengeful shrew getting back at the Romans for publicly flogging her and raping her two daughters (aged 10-12 years old).  I took a different approach with the biography, one intensely grounded in archaeology and one taking a broader look at the cultures of ancient Britain.  Boudicca:  Britain’s Queen of the Iceni is creative non-fiction history for young readers and families at its absolute finest, one benefiting immensely from the dynamic artistry of British voice artist and actor Richard Mann (easily the best English actor you probably never heard of — yet!).

Now I would like to introduce you to Queen Catherine de Valois.  Shakespeare immortalized Catherine in “Henry V,” a play very much taking King Henry’s point of view.  The real Henry and the real Catherine were very different.  In my biography for younger readers and families, you meet the real Catherine de Valois: bright, educated, and religiously devout.  You see her in her historical context as she navigates her father’s mental illness, the French civil war between house Valois and the Duchy of Burgundy, and her brother Charles’ struggles to become king of France — with a little help from Joan of Arc.

But more importantly, you explore her relationships with King Henry V of England, their son King Henry VI, and the true love she found in Owen Tudor.  It is a beautiful, romantic tale to inspire generations of girls and women.

I am pleased to announce that in May or June 2015 Richard Mann and I will release the audio edition of Catherine de Valois on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.  So take a listen to the above audio book excerpt, then download your copy of Catherine de Valois on Amazon.com, Barnes/Noble, Smashwords, or Ibookstore.

 

Enter to win a free copy of Catherine de Valois! Winners announced 31st of May 2015

No Excuses: One Star Reviews on Ebooks

permission to walk awayEvery author wants five star reviews.  This is a given.  As human beings we want everyone to love and adore our work, even when we know that is impossible.  Everyone has different tastes in books.  I like non-fiction history, you like a spicy romance.  You want to escape into another world; I want to better understand the one we are already in.  Different tastes make the world go round.

Indeed, critical reviews help authors by offering substance, feedback, and credibility.  No author with more than five or six reviews has a perfect five star average; someone will always find something imperfect about your work.  This is how it should be.  Your work should receive a mix of reviews.

With one exception:  the one star review.

Ghosts of the Past cover webOn books, there is absolutely no reason for a one star review.  Why?  Because all book retailers offer book SAMPLING — try it before you buy it.  The purpose is obvious:  if you like the sample, odds are really good you will like the book and buy it.  If you do not like the sample, odds are equally good that you will move on and not bother to purchase the book.  Sampling helps match books with readers who like and appreciate them so that there is SOMETHING the reader likes before purchase.

If you like a book before you buy it, odds are good you will still like something about the book after you read it.  Yes, there are plenty of examples of books not living up to their promise by the end — those are the ones who receive two star and three star reviews.  But a one star review is different:  it means there is no redeeming quality to the book.  If this is the case, why did the reader download it after reading the sample in the first place?

To this, only one logical answer resonates:  the person did not read the sample before download.  Why not?  In my experience this happens with free books.  A person who pays nothing for a book risks nothing by downloading it (this is often why authors often their books for free).  The flip side to this is that the person who pays nothing invests nothing in the same book; there’s no value to it because no money is actually paid.

When we pay money for something, we value it.  It matters to us.  We are careful about our choices.  We make sure before we buy something that it is something we (or any person we give it to) really want and expect to enjoy.  The more something costs us, the more careful we are to evaluate whether or not we really want it in the first place.  With books, we take our time and read the samples.  We research.  We investigate.  Then and only then do we spend the money and buy.

Every single one star review I ever received came from people who received my book as a gift in some way — a winner in a giveaway, a special sale promotion, or a permafree book.  In paying nothing, the reader invested nothing.  By investing nothing the reader had no inhibitions about trashing my book and hurting its review average with that one star.

That is, if s/he read it at all; I have reviews where it is clear all the person did was skim the sample, then write the review based on a few paragraphs and feign to have read the entire thing.  These too were negative reviews whose content did not match with anything mentioned in reviews written by those who read the books.

Why do people do this?  Give me your thoughts!  Let’s talk about our experiences dealing with negative reviews!  Post your comment here or tweet to https://twitter.com/laurelworlds.

Announcing YA/NA Blogfest

Can you believe September is nearly over?  I certainly cannot!  The final hours of summer are upon us.  Autumn arrives and with it the Wiccan celebration of Mabon, the second of the Celtic harvest festivals.

 

It is a time where harvest is in full swing.  A time to prepare for winter and the possibility, dare I say, of ANOTHER polar vortex.  Could there possibility be a better time for discovering new books?

To that end, Apryl Baker is hosting a special BlogFest event for young adult and new adult books that she hopes will get people reading and discovering some great books across all YA/NA genres.

 

As part of the festival, a total of NINETY authors are donating some great prizes in two separate giveaways — one for residents of the United States and the other for residents in other countries.  On facebook there will be some games, trivia, and special prizes to enjoy all month long.

 

Boudicca audio coverAs one of the participating authors, I am giving away kindle copies (USA) and Smashwords copies (International) of SIX of my books plus for one lucky USA and one UK winner,  a free download of the audio edition of Boudicca:  Britain’s Queen of the Iceni.  Watch this blog for more information about the books I am giving away and be sure to enter on Apryl’s blog for your chance to win.  Up for grabs are FOUR Peers of Beinan Series books/novellas and BOTH of the Legendary Women of World History Books!

 

So come out, enter to win (accepting entries right now!), and discover some great new books to keep you warm when the weather outside is frightful.