Category Archives: horse racing

Why I Quit Doing Book Giveaways

UPDATE: Last June, shortly after my books were published on Kindle, I wrote the spot that begins mid page: How Many Stars on Goodreads and Amazon? Since then, I no longer do book giveaways. Why? I did not experience residual sales after promos ended, nor did I receive ANY reviews.  In contrast, when I do 99 cent sales along with inexpensive ads here and there, I sell as many books as when they were free: from a couple of hundred to over one thousand. Residual sales at full price also occur, though not at the same pace as when the books are 99 cents. Equally important: I get reviews!

Why don’t giveaways work? I don’t know. I suspect people don’t value free stuff.  They wonder why no one is willing to pay for it.  After I downloaded several free books, I understood why.  There may be some gems out there — I’m positive there are — but I haven’t found any.  Many of the ones I read had clearly not been edited, formatted, or even properly proofread. Again — before I get a bunch of outraged comments — I’m sure there are some great free books, and I’ve read the Amazon newsletters describing indie success using the giveaway strategy. It just didn’t work for me nor a couple of other traditionally published authors with whom I share war stories.

Here’s What I Wrote Last June:

How Many Stars on Goodreads and Amazon?

I offered free Kindle versions of both my novels in the past month, and about 2,000 customers downloaded them.  My novels only cost $3.99, so I don’t think price is why I had such a spike on free days; I think it’s the free advertising you get on sites that follow free book deals.

The dilemma for the author: why offer something for free when your object is to sell books?  The answer is, to get your name out there, make Amazon aware of you, make readers aware of you and, hopefully, get some good customer reviews.

So far on Amazon, I have received mostly five-star customer reviews. In case you were wondering, there is no way for the author to manipulate or add reviews.  Friends who bought your book can add reviews, but all my reviews, except one, are from strangers. I am honored that people gave me such raves.

On Goodreads, I don’t have many reviews, but they are all over the place.  To be honest, I consider PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, GONE WITH THE WIND, DAVID COPPERFIELD, THE HOUSE OF MIRTH, and other classics to be five-star books.  While I am happy to receive good ratings, I’m not stupid enough to think my books are on a par with Jane Austen’s or Edith Wharton’s.  THEY are 5-star writers.

So for those people who downloaded my books for free, the hope is that you will provide a review, and a nice one.  Please know, however, that no offense is taken if the ratings aren’t five stars.  I’m no Hemingway and I don’t expect to be treated as one.  I’m just grateful that people take the time to read my books.

REGRET NOT A MOMENT amzn.com/B00C3PAR1W

NO MORE LONELY NIGHTS amzn.com/B00CJYQB5S

Blog Tour of REGRET NOT A MOMENT, Nov 18-22

bannerSign up for a blog tour of Kindle romance REGRET NOT A MOMENT.  The tour takes place November 18-22 (that’s next Monday for the start date).  To participate, go to hardcovertherapy.com.

Readers are unanimous in giving REGRET a 5-star rating.  In addition, best selling authors Janet Dailey and Jennifer Blake raved about the book.  To buy the book for $3.99, click here www.amzn.com/B00C3PAR1W

In conjunction with the tour, we’ll be giving away five copies of my second novel NO MORE LONELY NIGHTS.

lonely nights hi resHere’s a brief description of REGRET NOT A MOMENT: The year is 1930.  Beautiful, witty Devon is the daughter of a prominent Virginia family.  Many men have fallen under her spell, but none has captured her heart, until she meets New York tycoon John Alexander.  Their future seems assured: they will marry, raise a family, turn their country estate into the best Thoroughbred farm in the nation.  But what Devon cannot foresee are the conflicts that will drive away her husband or the tragedy that will devastate their marriage. Be transported from lush Virginia hunt country to sophisticated New York and the embassies of Paris.  Travel from the Hollywood glamour of Hearst castle in its heyday to the turmoil of war-torn Cairo, and the enclaves of aristocratic England. Devon’s tale takes you through the decades from peaceful pre-war America to the danger of World War II, and the racial unrest of the South of the 1950s and’60s.

Best-selling author Jennifer Blake called this book, “as warm and spirited as its heroine, as gracious as its Southern background, a tale rich with insight into the enduring nature of love and desire.  I enjoyed it immensely.”

Iris Rainer Dart, author of Beaches (made into a classic movie starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey) called Regret not a Moment, “A bewitching book!  You will never forget the captivating Devon Richmond…”

 

 

 

 

My Book on Sale This Week

Thank you for all your kind comments about this blog.  For those of you who would like to read more, the Kindle version of one of my novels, REGRET NOT A MOMENT, is on sale this week — November 4-10, 2014, for 99 cents/99£.  The usual price is $3.99.

This novel has received reader raves with an average 4.4 star Amazon rating.

Regret - Kindle Format Like A Book[1]The book opens in Virginia horse country. The year is 1930. Beautiful, witty Devon is the daughter of a prominent Virginia family. Many men have fallen under her spell, but none has captured her heart, until she meets New York tycoon John Alexander. Their future seems assured: they will marry, raise a family, turn their country estate into the best Thoroughbred farm in the nation. But what Devon cannot foresee are the conflicts that will drive away her husband or the tragedy that will devastate their marriage.

Be transported from lush Virginia hunt country to sophisticated New York and the embassies of Paris. Travel from the Hollywood glamour of Hearst castle in its heyday to the turmoil of war-torn Cairo, and the enclaves of aristocratic England. Devon’s tale takes you through the decades from peaceful pre-war America to the danger of World War II, and the racial unrest of the South of the 1950s and’60s.

Enjoy the thrill of Thoroughbred racing with one of the first women to break into the male-dominated sport and one of the first African-American men to become renowned as a world-class trainer.

Buy the book here: REGRET NOT A MOMENT amzn.com/B00C3PAR1W

Animal Lovers, Discovery Channel Watchers, Gather ‘Round

With the third leg of the Triple Crown — the Belmont Stakes — coming up Saturday, June 8, the Wall Street Journal has two fascinating articles on the subject of Thoroughbred racing.

Those of you who want a good laugh should read HANDICAPPING THE WILD KINGDOM, a hilarious article about how a Thoroughbred would fare in the Belmont Stakes against various animals, including cheetahs, rhinos and tortoises.   http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323844804578527580481457410.html?mod=WSJ_ITP_RightColumn_2 …

On a more serious note, animal rights activists worry about how Thoroughbreds are treated.  Are they drugged? Forced to run injured? Overworked?  True, there are certain trainers racing today who have sketchy reputations for running horses in iffy condition, but Thoroughbreds generally lead a far more pampered life than even Paris Hilton’s dogs.  Today’s Wall Street Journal has a marvelous article describing the perks of retired elite Thoroughbreds like Zenyatta and Big Brown: special ventilating systems, extra-large stalls, their own private pastures for grazing, special fences to prevent injuries, daily baths…the list goes on. Find the article at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323728204578517270320339266.html?mod=WSJ_ITP_mansion_1

Those of you who have read my blog or my books, know that my first novel, REGRET NOT A MOMENT, is set in the world of Thoroughbred racing (see blog entry RACISM AT THE RACES).  It begins in the year 1930, and spans three decades. In the book, my owner’s horses are beloved and pampered, just as many Thoroughbreds are today. I address racism and sexism in my book, but not animal rights.  I did a lot of research on my book.  It is historically accurate. Today, just as in the era of my book, it is still of note when a black or female races in the Triple Crown. As to animal rights and Thoroughbreds: that’s a whole other sticky wicket that I am not qualified to address.

My book was originally published by Little, Brown in hard cover and paper. The rights have reverted to me, and is newly available on Amazon Kindle http://www.amzn.com/B00C3PAR1W

Link

Black jockeys used to be the norm, dominating Thoroughbred racing in the 1890s.  But 1902 was the last year a black jockey won the Kentucky Derby, and no woman has ever won.

That’s why the 2013 Derby was notable:  Not only did a black jockey — Kevin Krigger — ride in the Derby, but so did Rosie Napravnik, who came in fifth.

My novel, REGRET NOT A MOMENT, is all about racism and sexism in horse racing.  My heroine, Devon, re-builds a horse-breeding/racing operation destroyed by the Great Depression.  One of the stable’s black grooms, Jeremiah, evolves into a world class jockey and trainer.  Devon’s daughter becomes a jockey.  As the story progresses from the Gatsby era through three decades, Devon must face prejudice against women in the male-dominated world of horse racing.  What’s more, she has a run-in with the Ku Klux Klan after Jeremiah fires a white jockey.  It’s a delicious, highly satisfying scene that I hope my readers will enjoy reading.  I certainly enjoyed writing it.

To purchase my fiction for $3.99

REGRET NOT A MOMENT amzn.com/B00C3PAR1W

NO MORE LONELY NIGHTS amzn.com/B00CJYQB5S

 

The Kentucky Derby

As some of you know, my first novel, REGRET NOT A MOMENT, is a romance that takes place in the world of horse racing.  This past weekend, some of my characters seemed to come to life in the Kentucky Derby.

The heroine of my book, Devon Richmond, is one of the first women prominent in the world of horse racing.  The book begins in 1930, when horse racing was dominated by men.  In the book, a black stable hand, Jeremiah, advances to become one of the world’s leading jockeys and, later, a trainer.  Well, this weekend, Kevin Krigger, a black jockey, became the first to ride in the Kentucky Derby in modern times.  In the 19th century, most jockeys were black, but that changed, and the Thoroughbred world hasn’t boasted a major black jockey in a century.

What’s more, a female jockey, Rosie Napravnik, came in 5th in this past weekend’s Derby.  In my novel, the heroine’s daughter, Francesca, races in the Derby.  I won’t spoil the story by sharing the outcome.

The world of horse racing is very exciting.  It has its own lingo, traditions, and etiquette.  If you want a fascinating inside look at that world, I urge you to check out the series, JOCKEYS, on Netflix.  Or you could read my book, available on Kindle for $3.99.

To purchase my fiction for $3.99

REGRET NOT A MOMENT amzn.com/B00C3PAR1W

NO MORE LONELY NIGHTS amzn.com/B00CJYQB5S