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!

Announcement: Stitch is $0.99 & Coming Back to Nook! Also, Giveaway WINNERS!

Winners of the Stitch Free Days GiveawaySo the Stitch free days are officially over and what a whirlwind it was!  Almost 25,000 copies were downloaded across the globe, and it reached as high as #13 on Amazon’s Top 100 Free Books (and stayed at #1 in its sub-categories the entire promotion).  I honestly could not have imagined better results than this.  THANK YOU so, so much to everyone that helped spread the word – it just goes to show you much how loyal readers and  fans can impact a book’s success.  You guys really are the best.

As promised, to thank you properly (or at least a few of you!), I’ve drawn the winners of the Stitch free days giveaway – see screenshot at right.  If you’re one of these people, you should have received an email from me this morning with details about how to claim your prize.  Congrats!!

I also have a few other announcements that I’m very excited about.  As of this very moment, Stitch is now only $0.99 on Kindle!  So if you know anyone who missed the free days, please let them know that they can still grab it for *just* about free.  Here’s the link.

AND now that my KDP Select enrollment is ending, that means I’m no longer under an exclusivity agreement with Amazon, so Stitch is coming back to Nook!  (And iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords, and pretty much everywhere else e-books are sold, all at the same low price of $0.99.)  Once I give the order to Smashwords to distribute the book to all these retailers it usually takes 2-3 weeks for it to propagate through the system and become available for purchase, but I’m expecting that Nook/etc. users should have it at their disposal by the end of the month, early July at the latest.  (And yes, Shudder will be available too!)

Okay, and now I’m heads down for the next few days prepping for the Shudder Blog Tour launch THIS SATURDAY, June 15th!!!  I’ll be in touch with more updates this weekend once the festivities begin.  :-)  (And if you’re itching to begin reading Shudder NOW, you can get started with the Sample Chapters.  Only 3 more days to go!!)

LAST CHANCE to Grab Stitch for Free!

Stitch is Free!!Just wanted to post a quick reminder that today is the LAST DAY that Stitch will be available for free on Amazon!  If you haven’t gotten a copy yet (or haven’t told someone you think should know), do it now please!

Also remember to enter the giveaway so I can thank you for all your help in sharing the news!

Enter the Giveaway HERE!!!

And in case you or someone you know does happen to miss the free days, I’ve got some good news: I’ll be dropping the price of Stitch to $0.99 this week (so *almost* free!).  AND since my exclusivity agreement with Amazon is over, Stitch will also become available again on Nook, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords, and likely any other e-book retailer you can think of in the next couple weeks, all at the same low price.  :-)  So lots of goodness all around.

Thanks again for all your help spreading the word about Stitch!  As of right now, over 21,000 copies (!!!) have been downloaded since Friday.  Couldn’t have done it without your help!

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: 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!

 

New Prize Added to the Big Giveaway: Authorgraphs!

25 new prizes added to the HUGE November Giveaway today – Authorgraphs!  If you haven’t heard of Authorgraph before, it’s a really neat mechanism for an author to “sign” an e-book.  Here, take a look at this one I sent myself:

There are 25 of these babies up for grabs in the HUGE November giveaway – enter below for your chance to win!

Enter the Giveaway HERE!!!