SURPRISE!!! Revised Edition of Stitch Available TODAY!

stitchrevisededitionannouncement

Ok Stitch fans, I have a big announcement that I’m very excited to share… I recently invested a little (a lot of) time in creating a *new and improved* revised edition of Stitch and it’s available… today!!

“Wha-wha-whhaatt…” did you say?  I know, you must have questions, considering I totally snuck this project up on you.  So I went ahead and made a little FAQ that will hopefully clarify everything – read on!

— FAQ’s About Stitch (Stitch Trilogy, Book 1) 2016 Revised Edition —

Wait a sec… aren’t you supposed to be writing Stuck??
Why, yes.  Yes I am.  But the thing is, when I release Stuck, I obviously plan to do a huge promotional push to hopefully draw more readers into the series.  And to be frank, the thought of potentially thousands of new readers reading Stitch as it was – and forming their first impressions of me as a writer based on the original version of the book – was making me cringe.  And that icky, knotted-stomach feeling was pervading my enthusiasm for Stuck and for the series as a whole.  So in order to give this trilogy its rightful end, I felt I needed to go back to the beginning and make sure that Book 1 was done to the very best of my ability.

As much affection as I have for the original version of Stitch with all its quirks and flaws, I’ve learned a lot since it was published and have grown a lot as a writer (much of which is thanks to you and all your wonderful – sometimes brutally honest! – feedback, dear readers. I told you I read all the reviews, didn’t I??), and I want the series opener to be the best it can be.  Make sense?

Ok, awesome. So what’s new?
Let’s start with what’s NOT new.  First off, the plot.  Nothing about the storyline, or the characters’ history, or the major plot points have changed.  So if you don’t feel like re-reading it before Stuck releases, that’s no problem at all – you won’t be missing any essential information for the finale and can jump right in when Stuck comes out.

What HAS changed is the storytelling.  It’s faster-paced, more intense, more engaging.  Mostly, there’s less exposition – there’s more showing and less telling, i.e. through flashbacks, conversations between characters, hints in the setting, etc.  So that means… new scenes!  You’ll find LOTS of new interactions between Isaac, Alessa, Janie and the rest of the crew, more of Isaac’s POV, more action, more ROMANCE… and a *bit* less of Alessa blathering on in her head about her feelings or describing inconsequential details of her everyday life (the number one critiques of the original version of the book, which I have to wholeheartedly agree with).

Most of the changes are in the first two thirds of the book, because, well, I pretty much wrote it in the order that it reads – so those early chapters were the first ever chapters of a novel I’d ever written, and I frankly didn’t really know what I was doing.  But as many readers commented, the book really picked up after the twist and I felt I really hit my stride by the climax, so there’s not too much different towards the end.  (And just in case you were wondering, I have NO plans to make any changes to Shudder.)

I want it!! How do I know what version I have?
Check out the copyright page (two pages after the cover). If it says “Copyright © 2012 Samantha Durante” it’s the original.  If it says “Second Edition, Revised 2016. Copyright © 2012, 2016 Samantha Durante” you’ve got the revised version!

Argh, I’ve still got the old one – how do I get my revised edition??
If you bought a Kindle copy: Log in to your account on Amazon.com and go to the Manage Your Content & Devices page – find Stitch and click the “Update Available” button.  (Note that you will lose any existing notes/highlights!!)

If you bought a paperback copy: All paperback copies have been sold through Amazon, and Amazon has a great feature where I can make a discounted Kindle version available to owners of the print version.  So guess what – I made it free!!  Just log in to your account on Amazon.com, go here, and download your free updated Kindle copy.

If you bought an e-book from B&N, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords, or elsewhere: Stitch is exclusive to Amazon for the next few months (more on that in an upcoming post), so you won’t be able to get the update until around March-ish (sorry!).  And to be totally honest, I’m not really sure how updates work at these other vendors…  Worst case, if you can’t get the update from wherever you bought it (or just don’t feel like waiting), just email me and I’ll send you a copy!

If you won a free print or e-book copy, or received a free copy for review purposes: Email me and I’ll send you a free updated e-book copy!  (Honor system!!)

Ok, I’m re-reading Stitch… Now what’s up with Stuck???
FINALLY – I’m writing it!  For reals!!  Sneak peek coming soon!  And I’ve even got some super sweet revised cover art…  More on the cover reveal coming as soon as I feel confident enough to announce an official release date, hopefully in the next few months!

As always, thank you again readers for all of your support and enthusiasm, for giving me the confidence to keep writing, the courage to make hard choices, and the chutzpah to admit when I haven’t done my best.  I’m really proud of the new and improved Stitch, and I hope you love it too!

PS – Celebratory GIVEAWAY coming soon with some really awesome prizes!!!  Check back here in the next couple days for details, or sign up on the mailing list here to get a notification (I only send 1-4 emails a year tops, promise).

Distribution Updates – Kindle MatchBook, iTunes & More!

Hey Stitch Fans!  Just wanted to let you know about a few quick updates made to Stitch & Shudder’s distribution.

Lots of details below, but here’s the short version: don’t worry if you don’t see Stitch or Shudder available for sale where they should be for a couple days.  And if you bought Stitch or Shudder from Amazon in print, you can now grab a Kindle copy at a reduced price!

Okay, and here’s the long version:

First, it recently came to my attention that Shudder had not been available in the iTunes store for a few months due to a formatting issue (apparently the Apple devices were not respecting the resizing of the image of Stuck’s cover in the back of the book, and as a result the picture was spilling onto multiple pages which breaks their formatting guidelines).  I’ve corrected the issue and submitted an update to Smashwords (who handles my distribution to iTunes), both in the Shudder manuscript and preemptively in Stitch.  Since any manuscript changes require a review and re-distribution to all of the Smashwords channels (including the iTunes store, B&N, Kobo, etc.), you may notice that Stitch & Shudder are not available at these channels (basically any ebook seller besides Amazon) for up to a couple weeks.  Never fear!  They will be back as soon as all that is complete.

In addition, while I was making these changes, I decided I might as well fix the two small typos I knew about in Shudder (changing a “the” to “they” and “overhead” to “overheard”).  You may or may not remember the debacle that was the Stitch update I issued last spring – not sure if Amazon is going to email all of you Shudder owners now with another cryptic email about “significant editorial changes” but hopefully not.  The ONLY changes to the Kindle manuscript were fixing these two minuscule typos.  (Even the Stuck image size didn’t change, since that wasn’t a problem in the Kindle version, only the epub version on iTunes.)  The typos were also corrected in the print version, but alas, I’m not able to issue updates to those… (On the plus side, hey, now your print version with the two tiny typos is a collector’s edition!  And if you’re bored sometime, you can play “Where’s Waldo?” trying to find them!)  While these updates are reviewed by Amazon, you may notice that the print or Kindle versions are not available on Amazon for a short while – this should be cleared up in a couple days at most (and as of this minute, at least, everything appears to be in working order).

Kindle MatchBookFinally, we get to probably the most exciting announcement in this blog post – Stitch and Shudder are now available for the Kindle MatchBook program!  In case you’re not familiar (I wasn’t until I came across the settings on the Kindle Publishing site…), the Kindle MatchBook program allows you to purchase Kindle copies of books you own in print at a reduced price.  I’m thrilled to announce that if you’ve purchased a print copy of Stitch through Amazon, you can now grab the Kindle version for FREE, and if you bought Shudder in print from Amazon, you can nab the Kindle version for only $0.99!  To get yours, simply go here and click the “Find Your Kindle MatchBook Titles” button, then click the “Get Kindle Edition” button next to Stitch and/or Shudder.  (Note: when I published this, Shudder was working but Stitch wasn’t yet – may take a couple days to appear.)  Happy reading!

Shudder LAUNCH & Blog Tour Kick-Off, Woo-Hoo!!

Shudder is here!  Get your copy today!BIG day today, ladies and gents!  :-D  First off, I’m SUPER excited to announce that Shudder is FINALLY here!  <Happy Dance!>

Here’s where you can grab your copy:

  • Amazon: Kindle ($2.99) or print ($9.49) formats
  • Smashwords: all other e-book formats ($2.99)
  • Coming soon to B&N Nook, iTunes, Kobo, etc. in e-book format, expected by early July

(And for anyone you know who hasn’t read Stitch yet, it’s available in all the same places for just $0.99!)

To celebrate Shudder’s arrival, today we’re also kicking off an EPIC 12-week Blog Tour running from now until September 1st with 150+ stops at amazing blogs featuring reviews, author/character interviews, guest posts, excerpts, and lots and lots of giveaways!  Check out the full schedule here.

Shudder Blog Tour - June 15th to Sept 1st

About the Tour

To give you a quick rundown, the first two weeks are being host by my buddy Laurynne over at CBL Tours, and she’s got a blitz of blogs lined up between now and the end of the month.  All of the blogs participating through CBL will be hosting a MASSIVE giveaway for one grand prize winner of the Stitch & Shudder Prize Pack (open to US+Int’l) featuring:

  • Signed Print Copies of Stitch & Shudder
  • Ebook Copies of Stitch & Shudder for 5 of Your Friends (signed via Authorgraph!)
  • $10 Amazon Gift Card
  • Signed Stitch Litograph Poster (includes full text of the book in tiny print!)
  • Signed Shudder & Stitch Bookmarks

There’s tons of ways to enter every day and the giveaway is open through early July, so swing by any of the CBL Tour Host blogs for your chance to win!

After that, we’ll have 8 more weeks of blog tour goodness featuring many of your favorite stops from last year’s Stitch Blog Tour plus a bunch of new blogger friends that I’m excited to introduce to you!  Many of these stops will be featuring smaller giveaways of their own (which means better chances to win!), along with TONS of great extra content from guest posts and character visits to author interviews and excerpts.

And closing out the tour in late August will be a super-fun interactive two-week activity hosted by the amazing Laura of Prism Tours!  More details coming on this later in the tour.

So how do you make sure you don’t miss any of the action?  Follow along all summer long through the following links to my and/or Stitch Trilogy‘s Facebook pages (remember to select “Show in Newsfeed”), my Twitter account, or the blog RSS.  I’ll be posting near-daily to update you on all the latest happenings.  :-)

Today on the Tour

Whew, so now that we’ve got the background out of the way, let’s get this thing rolling!  To start you off today, we’ve got one great stop at Joana In The Sky With Books!  (No CBL bloggers today, so you’ll have to wait until next week to enter that big giveaway, sorry!)

Joana In The Sky With Books is featuring an excellent 4 star review and an awesome author interview!  Here’s a preview:

From the review:

“This one definitely moves at a faster pace than the last one and it’s more action packed as well. … this series is great both for lovers of dystopian fiction and for people who, like me, had never ventured into the genre.  All the other elements from other genres (paranormal, sci-fi, even a little horror) make this book absolutely unique!”

 

From the interview:

Is there any character in the trilogy based on someone you know in person?

Actually, almost EVERY character in the trilogy is based on someone I know, or more likely a combination of people I know.  Alessa is a lot like me, for better or for worse, and Janie is a combo of a bunch of my good friends (Joan’s good sense and keen observation, Vanessa’s bubbliness and charisma, Diane’s courage and undying loyalty, amongst others).  Certain aspects of Isaac were drawn from my husband (his analytical-mindedness and just overwhelming kindness and thoughtfulness), and the Engineers (the bad guys) are based on a variety of people I’ve met and disliked over the years…

Plenty more at Joana In The Sky With Books!  Thanks so much to Joana for kicking off the tour this weekend!  Check back Monday for more great stops and plenty more tour excitement.  :-)

One More Announcement…

Now that Shudder is released and includes a sneak preview chapter from the final book in the series, it looks like the cat’s out of the bag… In case you were curious, the title of the third and final installment in the Stitch Trilogy is Stuck.

But no cover yet!  If you want to check that out, you’ll have to grab a copy of Shudder and see for yourself in the back of the book.  :-)  (But DON’T peek at it until you’ve read through Shudder, otherwise you’ll spoil the ending of Book 2!  You’ve been warned!!  Seriously.  Don’t do it.  Trust me.)  Happy Reading!!!

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.  :-)

Stitch Reaches #19 on Amazon’s Top 100 Free!

WOW.  Wow wow wow.  Thank you so, so much to everyone who’s grabbed a free copy of Stitch in the past 24 hours.  Apparently it’s been a lot of you, b/c somehow Stitch has made its way into the Top 20 Free books on Amazon!!

Look – here it is at #19!

#19!!!

Only in my wildest dreams did I dare hope that Stitch might make it into the Top 100, let alone the Top 20, so this is really an amazing surprise!  I feel SO grateful that so many people (just about 7600 at this point according to my KDP reports…) have taken an interest in Stitch.  Really hope you guys are enjoying it!!

I’ll keep you updated on further developments as the weekend progresses.  :-)  Thanks again for all your support everyone!

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!

Clarifying the Cryptic Amazon Email

If you own a Kindle version of Stitch, you may have received an email from Amazon in the wee hours of the morning that went something a little like this:

An updated version of your past Kindle purchase of Stitch (Stitch Trilogy, Book 1) by Samantha Durante is now available.

The updated version contains the following changes:

–     Typos have been corrected.

–     Significant editorial changes have been made.

Since that email is entirely cryptic and makes the changes I made sound completely overblown, I just wanted to post some clarification.  To be clear: NO EDITORIAL CHANGES HAVE BEEN MADE TO STITCH.

In case you’re curious, these are the actual changes I made:

My reaction while reading Amazon's email

My reaction while reading Amazon’s email

1. Fixed two typos

In Ch 12 when Alessa is reflecting on how mortified she is about running away from Nikhil, one sentence had read, “She couldn’t imagine how she would face him tomorrow, or whenever she happened to see him next, if he even wanted to her see again.”  I fixed it to read “see her” as was intended.  (Shout out to reader Brianna for bringing this one to my attention!)

In the Acknowledgements, I somehow misspelled Stephenie Meyer’s name (used “Stephanie” with an “a” by accident), so I fixed it while I was in there.

2. Added a Note to Readers

Since publishing the book almost eight months ago, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to succeed as an author, and the one thing I’ve relied on almost completely is help from my readers.  Whether bloggers or just plain bibliophiles, you readers are the only reason Stitch has sold any copies, because you’ve all been SO supportive in posting reviews, telling friends on Goodreads and Facebook, blogging/tweeting/shouting from the rooftops about Stitch.  So I wanted to take a moment to say, “Thank you!” and explain to readers just how much this really means to us authors, since as a reader, I never knew!

In case you’re interested and don’t feel like updating your Kindle, this is what the note says:

Dear Reader,

Thank you, thank you, thank you for making time in your busy schedule to read Stitch.  It is an absolute honor to share Alessa and Isaac’s story with you, and I’m thrilled that you chose this book out of the millions of incredible books at your disposal.  Truly, I cannot thank you enough.  You are a dream come true.

If you enjoyed Stitch and are interested in reading the rest of the series, I encourage you to join the Stitch community at www.samanthadurante.com to sign up for notifications of future Stitch Trilogy releases and to keep up with the tons of exciting extra content that’s published on my blog, Facebook pages, Twitter account, and Goodreads page almost every day.

I also wanted to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude to all of the fans who have so graciously spread the word about Stitch on their blogs and social media.  This book could never have succeeded without your help, and I am utterly in your debt.  You guys are amazing – I really can’t say it enough.

I’ve been reading books since I can remember, but until I began writing professionally, I never understood how truly dependent authors are on their fans.  As a reader, I always assumed that a good author would get picked up by an agent and publisher, and that those allies would use their arsenals of marketing and PR tools to ensure that the author’s books would reach their rightful audience.  And perhaps things used to be like this, once upon a time, but the publishing industry is changing, and unfortunately this is no longer the case.

The traditional publishing model just isn’t working anymore, and as a result, up-and-coming authors are often passed over altogether in favor of proven sellers.  And even those authors lucky enough to find a publisher are not afforded the same amount of support in the marketing department that they once could expect.  That means authors now have to know not only how to write but also how to market their work effectively.

As an author, I’ve since learned that my number one ally in the challenging endeavor of finding an audience for my books is not the marketers and PR people I once thought, but the readers themselves.  Every review on Amazon and Goodreads, every recommendation to a friend, every mention on a blog or Facebook post or tweet has been absolutely invaluable towards Stitch’s success.  So thank you a million times over to everyone who has done this for Stitch, or for any book – you have no idea how important (and appreciated!) you truly are.

As a reader, you hold so much power to aid the authors you love.  If you enjoyed this book – or any book – I encourage you to write a review, tell someone about it, post about it online, and reach out to the author to let them know.  Take whatever steps you can to share your love with the world, because your words really do matter.

Thank you so much for all of your support!
Samantha

Again, to be clear, this was the only “editorial change” made.  I did NOT edit the story in any way, so PLEASE don’t go updating your Kindle and hoping for a “new and improved” version of Stitch, b/c it’s NOT THERE!

I wish Amazon had been more clear about this in their email, but alas, there is little transparency in their policies when it comes to these things, and even littler power allowed to us authors to control what happens with our book once we hit the “publish” button.  I actually knew this was a possibility when I was considering publishing the changes, but after repeated emails to Amazon asking for clarification about what would happen came back with a form response that basically said “it depends,” I decided to just go for it.  If I knew they were going to make it sound like I’d rewritten the ending or something, I might have reconsidered… But what’s done is done, I guess.

In case you’re wondering, there was a motivating factor behind these changes.  With Shudder coming out in June – and therefore upcoming promotions for Stitch (details TBA!) to help get more readers into the series – I wanted to make these changes before a lot more people (hopefully) owned the book, on the off chance that Amazon ended up doing exactly what it did.  So I apologize to those of you who currently own Stitch and who were the unwilling guinea pigs in this experiment, but I promise it was for the greater good.  (Haha, now I’m starting to sound like the Engineers!)

Anyway, sorry for any confusion and I hope this helps clear things up!

Announcement: Last chance to get Stitch on Nook & iTunes!

Last Chance to Grab Stitch on Nook, iTunes, & Smashwords!Hey Stitch fans!  If you’ve been meaning to grab a copy on your Nook, iPad, or other non-Kindle e-reader device, now is the time!

In the coming weeks, Stitch will become exclusive to Amazon as part of the KDP Select Program (making it available to borrow – for free! – in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library), which means that it will no longer be available through other channels, including Barnes & Noble Nook, iTunes, Smashwords, and other e-book retailers.

I know this is a bummer, but it’s not forever – per Amazon’s rules, it will only be for as long as Stitch is part of KDP Select (though that requires a minimum of 3 months).  During that time, you’ll still be able to buy copies on Kindle or in paperback format through Amazon, but not through the other e-book channels that Stitch is currently available on.  So the short story is, if you were planning to recommend Stitch or gift a copy to friends/family who use Nook, iPad/iPhone, or other e-book readers/retailers (e.g., Smashwords), please get your copy now!  By mid-December, Stitch will be available exclusively at Amazon.

Thanks so much for all your support and I apologize in advance for any inconvenience!  More details about how to get Stitch through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library coming soon!!

Announcing New Pages on SamanthaDurante.com – More Stitch Content & Writer Resources

Just wanted to take a minute to announce a couple new pages on the site:

First, we’ve got a new More Stitch Content page with links to all the great spinoff stories, character interviews, and other Stitch trivia available online!  Much of this content is originally from guest posts on the blog tour, so if you’ve been keeping up with the tour there might not be too much new, but if you’ve missed any of the stops, you might find something fun!  And, of course, I’ll be keeping this page up-to-date whenever new Stitch-related content becomes available.

The next page I’d like to announce is a dedicated to Writer Resources and includes handy links to my posts on the self-publishing process, marketing advice, formatting tips and tricks, and more.  Again, if you’ve been keeping up with the blog there might not be much new there, but if you’re a recent visitor to the site and are a new author looking for help, this should be your first stop!