NEW! Get Stitch from the “Netflix of Books”

Oyster BooksHi everyone!  Wanted to share with you a great new service that I learned about on one of my favorite blogs, Realms of an Open Mind (thanks for the tip, Keely!): it’s called Oyster, and it’s basically the Netflix of books!

Netflix for books?” you say.  “But what ever do you mean??

Exactly what it sounds like: for $9.95 a month, you have unlimited access to a library of 200,000 books, including tons of bestsellers and (you guessed it…) the Stitch Trilogy!  Best yet, they offer a free one-month trial which you can sign up for at www.oysterbooks.com.

Only drawback (at least if you’re an ex-Microsoftie living in a strict anti-Apple household like me – what, no takers?) is that it’s currently only available on iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, and only to users in the US.  Hopefully they’ll expand that to international readers and Windows Phone users sometime soon… (hey, a girl can dream!  My WP8 is the bomb, btw).

In other news…

Super excited about a new YA dystopian anthology that Stitch is going to be a part of!  It will include 10 highly rated YA dystopian books and be priced at only $0.99!  How can you beat that??  More details coming soon…

Also, I know you guys are all dying to know what the deal is with Stuck (Stitch Trilogy, Book 3)…  All I can tell you right now is that it’s in the works and still slated for a 2014 release.  As soon as I have more firm dates, I promise you guys will be the first to know!  Sign up to receive an email notification or follow me on Facebook or Twitter to stay up-to-the-minute on release announcements!

Tried Goodreads Lists yet? Give it a shot!

Hey Stitch Trilogy fans!  I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to an awesome feature of Goodreads that you may not already know about – Goodreads Lists!

Stitch is #1 on a Goodreads List!What are Goodreads Lists?
Goodreads Lists are user-generated lists of books that anyone can vote on.  They’re often themed by genre or subject matter, and can range from broadly helpful and informative (“Best Young Adult Dystopian Novels“) to very specific (“Kick Ass Female Heroines in Paranormal Genre“) to a little out there (“Titles of Only One Syllable“).  You can view popular lists or search all the lists on Goodreads by going to Explore > Listopia from your Goodreads account homepage dashboard (or by clicking this link).

Why should I care about Goodreads Lists?
There are a few reasons.  First, I’m a big fan of Goodreads Lists as reader b/c they are *invaluable* in helping me find recommendations for new books (even with very specific criteria like “Speculative New Adult Fiction“).  Not sure what to read next?  Search the Goodreads Lists database for a genre you enjoy or check out the “Lists with This Book” section on any book’s Goodreads page, and within seconds you’ll have hundreds of options suggested by like-minded readers to choose from.

Secondly, as an author, I love Goodreads Lists even more b/c they help get my book in front of readers who probably otherwise would never have come across it.  As many of you know, I’m about to have a baby and will likely be scaling back my book promotion for the next few months, but I’m hoping that if Stitch and Shudder appear towards the top of some of some lists, new readers will find them even if I’m not shouting from the rooftops for a couple weeks.

So if you’re a reader, Goodreads Lists are an easy (and fun!) way to both find more great books and really help out the writers you love most – and believe me, us authors (especially independent ones!) need as MUCH help as we can get in the marketing department!  :-)

How do I vote on a Goodreads List?
It’s simple!  Here’s an example of how to vote for Stitch and/or Shudder, but you can of course enter a different search term to vote for any book:

  1. Navigate your web browser to the desired list (find one here or see some suggestions below *wink wink*)
  2. Click the Add Books to This List tab at the top of the page
  3. Type “stitch durante” into the search bar and click Search (note: you can search either your own bookshelves or the entire site – switch using the “Add books from: my books or a search” link on the left)
  4. When Stitch and Shudder come up, click Vote for This Book on one or both of them
  5. Search for other books or find another list, and repeat!

I strongly encourage all Goodreads users to take advantage of this feature to help you find new stuff to read, and also to help your favorite authors reach more loyal readers like you!  If you’d like to vote for Stitch and Shudder (I’d be honored!!), here are a handful of lists which could be good options (though a vote on *any* list is always appreciated!):

  1. If You Like The Hunger Games Then You Will Like…
  2. If You Loved The Hunger Games…
  3. Best Dystopian Books for Teens
  4. Best Young Adult Dystopian Novels
  5. Great Dystopian Reads
  6. YA Dystopias Since The Hunger Games
  7. Speculative New Adult Fiction
  8. Best Science Fiction With a Female Protagonist
  9. Self Published Young Adult Books
  10. Best Indie YA/New Adult Books

Have fun browsing the lists and voting for your favorites!  I hope you find some *GREAT* new reads – and of course, I REALLY REALLY appreciate any votes you happen to throw towards the Stitch Trilogy while you’re at it.  :-)

Added Prizes to Stitch Free Days Giveaway! (THANK YOU!)

#14!

I missed the screenshot at #13, whoops!

I am so incredibly blown away by the success of the Stitch free days – and so grateful for all the help that so, so many of you have given me in spreading the word – that I decided to add a few more prizes to the giveaway so I can thank more of you for everything you’ve done for Stitch!

This morning, Stitch peaked at #13 on Amazon’s Top 100 Free Books, and though it has since dropped to #24 overall (which is still amazing), it remains in the Top 20 in many free book subcategories, including:

  • #1 in Dystopian Science Fiction
  • #1 in Science Fiction (Overall)
  • #1 in Paranormal Romance
  • #1 in Paranormal Ghost Romance
  • #2 in New Adult & College Romance
  • #10 in Romance (Overall)

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that Stitch would climb anywhere near this high on any of these charts, so this is really surreal.

Even better, even my stretch goals for the number of downloads have way, WAY surpassed my expectations.  As of this moment, 15,500 people (!!) have downloaded a free copy of Stitch since Friday (and we’ve still got 2 more days to go in the promotion…).

I’d heard that some authors get 10,000+ downloads during a free promo, but I thought that was one of those very rare success stories that doesn’t happen to normal people (and especially not to me, lol).  So I thought if I got a couple thousand new readers, that’d be awesome and I’d call this thing a success.  Sure, I had fantasies of maybe being lucky enough to hit that 10k number, but I figured it was unlikely and didn’t want to get my hopes too high.  So you imagine how crazy it is to be sitting here looking at the numbers and realizing that halfway through the promotion, I’ve already beat that fantasy goal of 10,000 by 50+%.  As the ever-articulate Keanu Reeves would say, “Whoa.”

And the thing is, I know I absolutely would never have had a chance at accomplishing this without help from so many different people out there – from bloggers and e-book list organizers, to friends and family, and all of you readers and fans who took the time to spread the word.  I am indebted to all of you.

So to thank you (or at least a few more of you) properly, I’ve added the following prizes to the giveaway (in addition to the original $25 Amazon Gift Card):

  • 1 Signed Print Copy of Stitch
  • 1 Signed Print Copy of Shudder
  • 1 Signed Stitch Poster
  • 2 $5 Amazon Gift Cards

If you haven’t entered yet, please do so!  Here’s the widget:

Enter the Giveaway HERE!!!

Thanks so much again for all of your help!  I really can’t say it enough.  :-)

Big News – Stitch is FREE Today!

Stitch is Free!!I have a very important announcement to make.  :-D  In celebration of the upcoming release of Shudder on June 15th… Stitch is FREE on Kindle!

Wha-wha-whaaaaat??  You heard me!  It’s free!!  For reals!  From June 7th-11th, anyone can mosey on over to the Stitch Amazon page and pick up a brand-spankin’-new copy of Stitch for $0 – that’s zero, zip, zilch, nada.

I know most of you reading this have probably already read and enjoyed Stitch (otherwise why are you following my blog, right?), BUT I’m sure you know at least one or two – or perhaps a hundred? – people who HAVEN’T yet read Stitch and who might also enjoy it… so it would be AWESOME if you could let your friends/family know about the promotion.  (And SOON, since it ends on Tuesday!)

And to thank you for your help in spreading the word, I’m hosting a giveaway for $25 Amazon Gift Card (open internationally) where you can earn more entries by doing simple things like tweeting or posting on Facebook!  Enter here:

Enter the Giveaway HERE!!!

Thank you guys SO much for all of your support in sharing Stitch!  I’m super excited to open up the series to a broader audience with this promotion, and even MORE excited to share Shudder with you in just a few more days!!!  Thanks again and have a great weekend!

Reminder – Shudder ARC Giveaway Ends Saturday!

Shudder by Samantha Durante

It’s almost here! Squeeee!!  (Okay, I’m really not a squee-er, but you get the point.)

So I know my blogging has been a little slow lately (sorry!), and that’s because I’ve been working diligently on finishing up the revisions to Shudder and getting this publishing/promotion train MOOOVIN’!

I’ve now got an almost-final ARC manuscript ready to send to the printer (and to myself for e-book formatting, ughhhh), 80+ bloggers signed up for the tour (and more on the way!), and a looooong list of fun guest post ideas for once the tour begins on June 15th!  So we’re making progress, people!

Excited yet??  I know I am!

What can you do to make sure you don’t miss the boat?  Here’s a short list of ideas:

Oh, and don’t forget…  Doing any of the above will earn you entries into the GIVEAWAY for a SIGNED ARC of SHUDDER!!!  I’m not gonna lie – there are already over 4,300 entries into the giveaway and only ONE prize up for grabs, so your chances aren’t exactly great… but miracles happen, right??  Someone’s gotta win this baby!  Who says it won’t be you?

Anyway, be sure to enter below if you haven’t already.  The winner will be selected this weekend, so hold your breath until then (or maybe not – I definitely don’t need any lawsuits…)  I wish you all the best of luck!  :-D

Enter the Giveaway HERE!!!

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: Shudder is coming!!! Cover Reveals start TODAY

So… Easter weekend got a *bit* in the way of my progress with the Shudder drafts the past few days, but never fear – the release train is still on schedule!  In fact, starting today and continuing for the next few weeks, you may notice some Shudder buzz popping up at your favorite book blogs…

And that’s because it’s time to reveal the Shudder cover!  So without further ado, here ya go:

Shudder by Samantha DuranteTa-da!  What do you think??

Here’s a little more about what you can expect to see in Shudder:

It’s only been three days, and already everything is different.

Paragon is behind her, but somehow Alessa’s life may actually have gotten worse. In a wrenching twist of fate, she traded the safety and companionship of her sister for that of her true love, losing a vital partner she’d counted on for the ordeal ahead. Her comfortable university life is but a distant memory, as she faces the prospect of surviving a bleak winter on the meager remains of a ravaged world. And if she’d thought she’d tasted fear upon seeing a ghost, she was wrong; now she’s discovering new depths of terror while being hunted by a deadly virus and a terrifying pack of superhuman creatures thirsting for blood.

And then there are the visions.

The memory-altering “stitch” unlocked something in Alessa’s mind, and now she can’t shake the constant flood of alien feelings ransacking her emotions. Haunting memories of an old flame are driving a deep and painful rift into her once-secure relationship. And a series of staggering revelations about the treacherous Engineers – and the bone-chilling deceit shrouding her world’s sorry history – will soon leave Alessa reeling…

The second installment in the electrifying Stitch Trilogy, Shudder follows Samantha Durante’s shocking and innovative debut with a heart-pounding, paranormal-dusted dystopian adventure sure to keep the pages turning.

Add Shudder to Goodreads

Yay!  Can’t wait to share Shudder with you guys!!!

If you’re excited too, make sure you don’t miss the release – currently slated for June 15th, 2013 (assuming all goes well with the revision/publication process).  Here are a few simple things you could do ensure you’ll get notification when Shudder is available:

Oh, and even better news…  Doing any of the above will earn you entries into the GIVEAWAY for a SIGNED ARC of SHUDDER!!!  Enter below!  :-D

Enter the Giveaway HERE!!!

Planning for the Blog Tour (coming this summer!) is underway, so stay tuned for updates…  And if you or someone you know would like to host a tour stop, sign up here!

Announcement: Stitch available to borrow FREE from Kindle Owners’ Lending Library

I’m very excited to announce that Stitch is now available in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library!

What does this mean?  In short, if you’re an Amazon Prime member (and come on, who doesn’t want free 2-day shipping on everything?), you can borrow Stitch for FREE!

More info about the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library available on Amazon.com here.  Happy reading!

 

Milestone: 1,000+ Adds on Goodreads & NEW Giveaway Prize!!

Ahh!  Another milestone reached this morning!  Drum roll please… OVER 1,000 PEOPLE have added Stitch on Goodreads!!!  Here’s the proof!

1,000 Adds on Goodreads!

Screenshot of my Goodreads Author Dashboard – 1,000 Adds!

So exciting!!  Thank you to everyone for your support!

To celebrate, I’m adding another AWESOME prize to the HUGE November Giveaway (I’m giddy about this one!  It’s so cool!!): a Stitch Litograph poster!

What is a Litograph, you ask?  Well, friend, you are in for a treat!  A Litograph is an image that’s actually composed all ALL OF THE WORDS of an ENTIRE BOOK!  Look how neat this is:

Alice in Wonderland Litograph

When you zoom in real close, you can see that the colors are actually really tiny printed words!

Since I got in early and contributed to the company’s Kickstarter fund, I was able to arrange to have a CUSTOM Litograph designed for Stitch!  More details about the design coming soon, but you can get in NOW by entering the November Giveaway below for your chance to win!  (One caveat – this prize is limited to US only for shipping cost purposes, sorry!)

Enter the Giveaway HERE!!!

Took the Twitter Plunge

There I am on Twitter!Hey Stitch fans!  Just wanted to let you know that I FINALLY took the plunge and joined Twitter.  Yes, I know, I was a holdout for far too long… but your pestering convinced me!!  I opened an account last week, so score one for peer pressure.

I plan to use Twitter much like my author and Stitch Facebook pages – to post updates and get the word out about new promotions, giveaways, blog posts, and of course, Stitch Trilogy release dates.  And if you tweet me, I will do my best to respond!

Click below to follow me on Twitter:


I Heart Book Bloggers!

I’m in the process of planning Stitch’s upcoming blog tour, and I just wanted to say that I am flat-out floored by the outpouring of support and enthusiasm in the book blogging community.

I started late last week emailing YA book bloggers that I had come across online and I have to say, my expectations were low.  After spending hours searching for potential blogs to review Stitch, I was a little discouraged by the number of great blogs I saw that were not open to reviewing self-published books, and even though I ended up with a list of around 100 blogs that I thought would be good candidates, I wasn’t very hopeful about my chances of getting any of these people to actually read my book.

After all, I am a new author, completely unknown in the writing world (at least beyond my network of business writing clients), and since I’m self-published, I don’t even have the backing of a reputable publisher or agent to lend me any credibility.  Yes, my book is good and my synopsis is fairly intriguing and I’ve got a pretty cover (at least in my opinion!), but when it comes down to it, from the perspective of a blogger I’m basically a completely random stranger begging you to spare some of your incredibly limited time to read my potentially crappy book.

So you can imagine my surprise when it took all of 4 DAYS to completely book a 30-day tour with one (and sometimes even two!) bloggers per day.

Did I mention that I love book bloggers?

I started out by emailing 30 people off my list to see if they would be interested in participating in the tour.  I was really excited when 4 or 5 people that I’d emailed responded within only a few hours (some of them minutes) saying they’d like to be a part of it.  A few people even very kindly suggested some other bloggers I should contact and gave permission for me to drop their names (thank you!).  And then one person (and as much as I’d love to give her a HUGE public shout-out for being awesome and the coolest person ever, I’m deliberately withholding her name for privacy since I feel like if I put it out there, she would get flooded with requests from other authors… Sorry guys!  Not my place to share) was kind enough to offer to forward my request on to 200 OF HER BLOGGER FRIENDS.  All I can say is, O.M.G.

Within 72 hours, I had 37 different people lined up (and miraculously, there were only a handful of conflicting date requests) and my blog tour schedule was filled.  As a result, I’m now planning to extend it by a month to accommodate all the new requests that are coming in (and I still need to email all the other people on my original list!).

But even beyond the sheer numbers – which way surpassed my expectations – was all the enthusiasm and excitement for my book.  In case you’ve never met one, book bloggers are INCREDIBLY NICE – just like, the nicest people in the entire world.  Every single person I emailed was SO sweet and so flexible with their schedules (even though I know most of them are jam-packed), and everyone was just generally willing to do whatever I needed to help me out.  It was amazing.  Just, amazing.

And even better were all the compliments!  I’m tickled!  Here’s a little sampling:

  • Your book sounds fantastic! I’m really excited to read it.
  • Hoping you have a few open spots left because I’d love to participate! Dystopian is my favorite genre and Stich sounds good, so I jumped at the chance :)
  • This sounds like an awesome title and I can’t wait to present it to my followers.
  • I love the summary for your book and would absolutely without a doubt love to review it!
  • That synopsis has me suitably intrigued, I would love to participate in your blog tour.
  • The synopsis pulled me in but the cover grabbed me! I absolutely love the cover and I am a sucker for YA and Post-Apocalyptic… I am extremely booked up but I can’t pass this book up so I will fit you in lol.

And these wonderful people haven’t even read the book yet!!  I’m just praying that Stitch lives up to their expectations…

I guess we’ll find out soon!  Check back for more information about the blog tour coming in a few days…