I hope everyone has had a wonderful Easter weekend! I had a massive spike of visitors on my site, busily hunting for the hidden egg - but only 17 people managed to find it!
For those of you who are still wondering - here it is
- it's a tiny little thing on the right hand side of the screen, about half way down the page.
Thank you to everyone who participated! and another big congratulations to Cristina A, who already has her kindle voucher and I'm sure she's busy searching Amazon for some great reads!
Have a wonderful week everyone! Mine will be spend reading over Alter's manuscript to prepare it for beta reading by next weekend.
A Beautiful Struggle
has had a wonderful three months being snapped up at the rock bottom price of 99cents and today is your last chance to grab it before it moves up to the standard $2.99 ebook pricing.
I like to keep my new book prices low as a thank you to all of my early readers, so book two - A Beautiful Forever
will continue to stay at 99cents until it's first three months are up.
Hope you're all having a wonderful Easter weekend!
PS I finished Alter's first draft last night, so keep an eye out for a couple of teasers over the next week while I read through it!
It's easter weekend and I wanted to give you all a little easter egg hunt!
All you have to do is go through my website and find the page that has a tiny version of the egg pictured here and then enter the page link into the rafflecopter.
Fist name drawn gets a $10 kindle voucher - good luck and have fun!!!
I have just spent hours updating my website - primarily the Books by Lilliana
tab - when you hit that, you will be taken to a page that shows you the goodreads links to all of my listed books.
When you hover over the Books by Lilliana tab at the top of the page, you will be given a dropdown menu that links to individual series and books, in there you will find all of the books I have released as well as what I plan to write over the next two years.
Hope you like it!
A huge congratulations to Jodi, who won a personally signed copy of A Beautiful Forever
by entering A Book Whores Obsession
to check out all of the entries - there were some truly beautiful pics in there.
Well done to all and thank you so much to Cara and Kari for setting this up.
Within the next two weeks I will be ready to send my first draft out to my beta readers - if you are interested in joining my team the please contact me
to let me know. I have a limited number of spots available so please let me know as soon as you can.
For those of you who don't know what a beta reader is, it's a reader who reads over an author's work to give their overall impression, check for inconsistencies, continuity as well as checking for plot holes etc.
As you may well know, I have been making a few changes to Alter's manuscript - it now has a slightly different beginning to the one I've shown you before - here is a bit of a sneak peek!
ROUGH DRAFT WARNING!!!! lol! Enjoy :)
“Oh, before I go, you’ll have your period next weekend won’t you?” Eric Dundas asked his long-time girlfriend Mia Smyth as he stood to collect his things after spending the weekend at her flat.
“I find it very disturbing that you know my menstrual cycle so well,” Mia replied with a laugh as she rose to walk him out.
“I plan my social calendar around it,” he replied, the corner of one side of mouth quirking up and causing his cheek to crease in an almost dimple, his golden stubble shining in the light against his tan skin.
“You’re funny, and to answer your question, yes, I will have my period next weekend – but I still expect to see you at least once, preferably Saturday before your football game so you won’t be hung over,” she insisted.
“Done,” he said smiling leaning down to kiss her on the cheek in good bye before stepping out the door.
Smiling, Mia leaned on the door to close it, sighing happily as she wandered over to her small kitchen and flicked the kettle on so she could make a cup of coffee in preparation for the work she had ahead of her.
As much as Mia loved Eric, she was always happy when he went home on Sunday nights so she could work on her lesson plans for the week ahead in peace. They had been together for a little more than five years and the routine they had going worked well for both of them.
They had spoken of one day moving in together and perhaps marrying before they started a family, but while they were still in their early 20’s, neither felt entirely ready to properly settle down. This arrangement suited them both perfectly.
Flicking on the radio, Mia smiled as she heard Florence and the Machine’s Only if for a Night, she had a deep seated love for Indie rock and hummed along as she carried her freshly made coffee to the table where her work was waiting for her.
Mia taught a small group of deaf teens at a special needs school in Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs, becoming fluent in Australian sign language when she was a teen and her best friend, Louise, had developed a severe case of chicken pox that resulted in her losing the vast majority of her hearing.
Mia had a great love for her work and deeply enjoyed watching the camaraderie between her students as they immersed themselves in the one place where they were fully accepted, because everyone was just like them and understood their language.
First thing Monday morning, she had a meeting between the principal and a fairly new family at the school who were bringing their son’s psychiatrist with them as well. He had lost most of his hearing in a car accident six months before and was being very resistant to learning Auslan well enough to fully participate in the deaf community – preferring to rely on the tiny bit of hearing he had left or not listen at all.
Mia sighed as she looked over the notes she had been making about her observations of the boy, Corey Blackburn – he was very disruptive in class and spent a lot of time looking out the window, not participating. Although she did see more involvement from him when he was in her Art class, he seemed to enjoy working with charcoal and oil pastels and she was hoping that they could somehow use that as a way to reach him. She hoped dearly that they could come up with some sort of plan to help him, she hated seeing one of her students so miserable.
As Mia walked up the path towards the school early the next morning, she was surprised when she saw one of her students arriving at the same time as her.
Waving first, she signed a greeting to her student, Callie, a sixteen year old girl who had been deaf since birth and seemed to really enjoy school.
Why are you here so early? Mia asked in sign.
My mum had the early shift today, so I’m going work on my homework in the library until class starts, she said, falling into step next to Mia as they entered the schools front gates.
Standing just outside the administration building were Corey, his parents and a striking man that Mia assumed was the Psychiatrist.
Mia greeted them all warmly, shaking their hands in greeting. Her breath caught as the psychiatrist took her hand, the simple touch sending a warmth up her arm that both confused and elated her.
“Cayd Donnelly,” he stated with a nod, his jet black hair falling forward slightly and catching the corner of his hazel eyes, causing him to reach a graceful hand up to brush it back.
Mia stared at him a moment longer than was necessary, when she’d imagined the man she was going to meet this morning she had pictured an older greying man, with wire rimmed glasses and a beard. Not a man so young and beautiful that he could have been sculpted personally by the hands of Michelangelo himself.
Heat crept across her cheeks, flushing them pink as she realised she was staring and tore her eyes away, focusing on Corey and his parents.
“Tamara should be here shortly,” she said to them all brightly, before turning to Corey, “Would you like to go and join Callie in the library? We’ll be about an hour.” she spoke and signed to him.
She watched his eyes drift over to Callie who had stopped at the nearby water bubblers for a drink before he nodded his head, walking quickly over to her before she could walk ahead of him.
Smiling to herself she watched the two walk off together, Callie talking and signing simply to Corey. A small amount of hope blossomed inside Mia as she thought that Callie may be that one thing that gets Corey more involved.
“Never underestimate the power of a pretty girl,” Cayd commented, as he made eye contact with Mia. Something passed between them through the air, causing Mia’s body to ignite under his gaze.
“Can I offer you all tea or coffee while we wait?” Mia asked, trying her best to sound professional while admonishing her mind for sending her thoughts that were at odds with her current relationship status.
“That would be wonderful,” Mrs Blackburn replied, beaming as she watched her son walking away. Mia could see the hope in her eyes too and felt that this meeting was going to have a fairly positive outcome after all.
I keep getting asked what I did to get so many reviews as a newbie author - do I have a lot of friends who like to read? Did I pay for reviews? Did I give away heaps of free copies? Am I just really good at social networking? So I thought I'd do a general post to answer that question.
While I did give away perhaps 20 copies to reviewers just before I released each Beautiful series book, not all of them actually put their reviews up - approximately 10-15 of my reviews come from ARCs the rest all come from sales.
At last check, I had sold over 16000 copies collectively of the two Beautiful books. So my reviews have come from them - when you look at it, it's actually a very small percentage of readers that actually take the time to rate books.
Between the two books I have 637 ratings and 134 reviews on Goodreads.com as well as 88 reviews across the Amazon platform. So that is my secret - with sales come reviews, and not very many when you actually look at the numbers.
Now, I'm not very experienced in the self publishing industry, I've only been at it for the last six months. But from what I've learned so far - I really don't think that more reviews equals more book sales. I think they are a consequence of book sales.
That's not to say that you don't need reviews, ARC reviews are a great way to get those first few key reviews, and guage the impact your book may have after release.
My suggestion is to join a group on Goodreads called Making Connections - their sole purpose is connecting writers and readers. You can list your ARC titles there and interested readers will put their hand up to review.
I also suggest taking your book on a blog tour, there are a lot of bloggers who are willing to do an honest review for a free copy of your book and they will cross post that review to Amazon, Goodreads and sometimes, Barnes & Noble.
I believe that reviews are helpful in aiding a customer to buy and they are helpful in sparking discussions about your work - but in the end it's your sales volume that brings the majority of reviews in - and oh how we love them, they validate the message we were trying to get across with our writing and sometimes slap us in the face when the reader isn't happy. They're the thing that keep us grounded and focused so we can write more.
I'm sure now you're wondering what I did to actually gain the sales I did and the truth is, I'm not really that sure - but I will do another post soon that talks about what I do to promote my work.
It could have all been just dumb luck, but I'll tell you all anyway - perhaps I did something you haven't thought of yet.
I was so close to finishing the first draft of Alter but I couldn't stop thinking things like 'It would be better if...' or 'I just want to change...'
So I went back to the beginning to fix all of the things that were niggling at my mind. I'm so glad that I did, because I know feel so much more connected with the characters and the story is flowing out of me.
I'm actually getting my zombie looks happening a lot as I get lost in a scene as it plays in my mind. I'll be ironing and my kids will go, "What's wrong?" and I'm like, "Huh?" as I snap back to reality, torn from the grips of some fine drama going on inside that head of mine! lol
Although, I have to say, my oldest is getting used to it. She saw me in the kitchen the other day, took one look and said, "She's in her book again!"
lol, kids - they're so adaptable!
I was just looking at Goodreads and there are 28 people reading A Beautiful Struggle and 32 reading A Beautiful Forever. Seeing that makes me giggle like a little school girl, I'm so excited that people are reading my work and on top of that, the majority like it! So awesome!
Just want to say, thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm just a girl who loves to explore those amazing feelings of attraction that we all get to experience to briefly in our lives before we settle down and start a family.
I'm so glad that my work is reaching people - I never, in my wildest dreams, imagined that I would be this well received.
Once again, thank you, thank you, thank you!
I love you all so much!