Tuesday, March 29, 2016

New Release, Competing With the Star

I'm happy to share this newest release, by author Krysten Lindsay Hager, Competing With The Star.

COMPETING WITH THE STAR by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Genre: Young Adult

SYNOPSIS – Hadley Daniels’s life seems perfect…
Before the beginning of sophomore year of high school, Hadley and her family move to a beautiful beach town, where she makes amazing new friends and lands the boyfriend of her dreams—Nick Jenkins. He’s the kind of guy every girl swoons over, and it isn’t long until Hadley discovers some are still swooning.
A famous ex-girlfriend makes matters more complicated…
After some time dating, Hadley and Nick form a deep bond. But insecurity sets in when Hadley discovers her boyfriend once had a huge crush on her friend—who just happens to be the beautiful former teen TV star, Simone Hendrickson.
The past is the past—or so they say…
Hadley confronts Nick, who confesses about his history with Simone. Though he claims to only have eyes for Hadley now, it’s hard to believe—especially when she’s blindsided with the news that Nick and Simone kissed after school.
Now Hadley must determine who is telling the truth. Love, betrayal, friendship…who needs soap opera drama when you’re busy competing with a star?

Two days passed and Nick hadn’t called again. I couldn’t blame him. After all, I had pushed for him to be honest and then had bailed on him. I’m sure he was mad at me for telling him he could tell me the truth and then I punished him for it—and he would be right. I couldn’t handle the icky feelings, and instead of being a big girl and dealing with them, I came home from school and retreated into the world of books. A world where people were kidnapped, jewels were stolen, but nobody’s heart ever got broken because in my favorite series, The Raven Chronicles, Raven’s boyfriend, Fernando, was ever faithful and loyal and would never even look at another girl. He was the perfect book boyfriend. In other words, he was fictional and didn’t exist. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

Buy links:
Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.com/1680585495

What readers are saying about Competing with the Star:

From Reader’s Favorite:
Competing With The Star is the continuation of Krysten Lindsay Hager's epic YA drama series, The Star Series. Through a captivating plot, amazing character development, and Krysten's flawless writing, the story captures the true essence of the drama, confusion, and emotional high that is teenage romance. It brings to life the beauty of YA romance with all its uncertainties and possibilities. In the midst of all the drama, confusion, and romance, the story also gives off a beautiful and serene sense of family. I especially loved how the book dived into the story right away, and captured the genuine feeling of the story down to details, language, and interaction between the characters. Lovers of YA romance will definitely love The Star Series.

From Katie’s Clean Book Collection:
Oh, the feels! Krysten Lindsay Hager has a way of drawing me right back to my high school days with her writing--feelings and all. This book is a continuation of Next Door to a Star. Hadley is now settling in and a new boyfriend, Nick, really helps her feel like she belongs. What girl hasn't felt insecure at one time or another when trying to figure out if "he loves me, he loves me not?" Hadley is real. She has real struggles, real strengths, real reactions, and real emotions. Nick once had a crush on former TV star, Simone, and although Simone swears her friendship with Hadley means more to than anything, but oftentimes, actions speak louder than words and Simone is an actress...

Nick is a great boyfriend, especially for a first relationship, as he and Hadley have a lot in common. Many assumptions lead to drama and realizations as Hadley, Nick, and their friends try and navigate the confusing roads of teenage life. I love how this story seems to unfold like a TV show--easy to picture and imagine. The characters and situations are vibrant, almost leaping off the pages and I felt like I was either a fly on the wall or a silent friend, sitting smack in the thick of it. I love the dynamics and can't wait for more to the story!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Box Set On Sale For .99!

Now is your chance to get the first three, full-length novels in my middle grade mystery series, The Samantha Wolf Mysteries, for only .99!

I had my first paid BookBub sale yesterday, on the box set, and I am extremely happy with the results so far! The Samantha Wolf Mysteries is a Best Seller in three genres, and currently #18 on the main children's ebooks list! (#480 over all on Amazon!)

The series is being called a 'Modern Nancy Drew', and the response from readers has been amazing.

Pick up your box set today, for less than a dollar, and discover this new series for you OR your kids. Don't worry, it's a series you can read together.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Update on My Experience with Kindle Unlimited

Back in July, I wrote a BLOG ARTICLE about the new algorithms for Kindle Unlimited,  with pages read, and what my experience was with it to date.

Here we are, about eight months later, and I thought it was about time for me to check back in.

I have to say, that I'm a little surprised myself, after reading back over my own words. Feel free to follow the above link to my original article, where I describe the program in detail. Rather than reiterate everything here, I'm going to paste in the short version of what KENP is, from my original blog:

What is it?

The Kindle Edition Normalized Pages, is a new way of measuring pages read in the Kindle Unlimited Program. The Kindle Unlimited Program is offered through Amazon to readers. For $10 a month, they gain unlimited access to over 800,000 books and audible books. I think it's a great program, and for avid readers, it is certainly worth the money. How does a book become part of the program? By being offered exclusively through Amazon, or the KDP (Kindle Direct Program). This is where it gets a little more complicated.

That's it in a nutshell. So instead of being paid a flat rate once someone reads the first 10% of your book, you get paid a variable amount per page read. (I believe this past month was .049 per page) Again, read my original blog to get the low-down on the changes last summer, and what the concerns for us authors were. (and still are)

Even with the amount paid per pages read going down a bit since this was implemented, I am still very happy with it, and the choice I made to put all of my books into it. The general consensus that I have read from other indie authors, is that they make as much (or more) from pages read, as they do from sales. That's big. The flip-side, is that successful authors (I consider making enough to live off sales as successful...so over a couple thousand a month) have also seen a general decline in sales, because of (they believe) the program. SO...I think the big question, is does the KENP program make up for the decline?

Here is a current graph from my KDP page, showing pages read for this month:

This has been a slow month for me, too. I have to come clean on the fact that my numbers might be skewed, because I have had a couple of BookBub ads run in the past six months. Sales have a MAJOR impact on the pages read. I can't emphasize that enough. If you have a big sale, you will likely make MORE (eventually) off the pages read, than you do sales. But you have to be patient. It takes a few days to a week or more before you really see the uptick.

However, even with this being a slow month, compare that to my first graph I shared this past summer:

I now measure my numbers (pages read) in the thousands, vs hundreds. I've made around 50$ this month so far in the KENP program, which is about even with my profit from sales. I have seven full-length novels out and a short story. Not an incredible amount of works, but I'm certainly not a newbie. But let's be real. Those of you reading this. If you are an indie author and have been published for less than two or three years, chances are your numbers aren't any better than this, or you might even dream of the day that they reflect this. Just a year ago, I made less than fifty in a month. Not long before that, I made about ten dollars a month. Even with a completed trilogy, I averaged about one download a week...and there's a good chance it was one that I GAVE AWAY.

This is a tough, and sometimes seemingly impossible market. It's very easy to get beat down, and it's stuff like Kindle Unlimited, KENP, and going exclusive to Amazon that rob us of our sleep. What is the right choice?

I think the answer is a bit different for all of us. For me, I have a MG mystery series and a YA scifi trilogy. I have found these to be tough markets to break out in. Especially the YA market, which I am still drowning in. My middle grade books are the ones that were accepted by BookBub, and that are doing the best as a result of that. Aside from having decent writing/editing, I think the cover is perhaps the biggest issue. If you don't have a unique, professional cover yet...make this your priority. Seriously. You HAVE to. Look at my Amazon author page. While I like all of my covers, I think you will agree that the kids books are the best, and most unique. This is in part because I took my own custom photos of the girls and my designer worked the images into the covers.

Make it a priority.

My bottom line on KENP is that for me, it is a GOOD thing. A very good thing. However, I think that a whole lot of it has to do with the genre, length and number of books that you have. If you are already in the KDP program, why not try it? I really don't think you have a whole lot to lose, unless you are already incredibly successful and selling hundreds of copies a month. Most likely, you are like me. You are excited to have more than one sale a DAY, and 50-100 dollars a month in KENP would be a huge step forward for you.

So why not? Just do it, and see what happens. You can always pull your books out of it if things don't work to your advantage.