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.  :-)

“What’s In a Name? How I Titled Shudder” + 2 Reviews & Big Giveaway

Books & SuchThe tour is kicking into HIGH GEAR today with 4 great new stops, including a guest post on how I came up with the title for Shudder, 2 fantastic Shudder reviews, and 3 new spots you can enter to win the big CBL Tour Prize Pack Giveaway!

First, swing by Books & Such for the guest post, “What’s In a Name? How I Titled Shudder” along with an awesome review.  Here’s a sneak peek of both:

From the guest post:

You’d think that writing a book is the most difficult part of the process, but for me, that’s generally not the case – coming up with a decent title once I’ve written the thing is *infinitely* harder.  After all, a good title is as important as a good cover – it’s just reality that readers are going to make snap judgments about your book based on the title.  A solid title can make all the difference between a quick dismissal and a potential sale, regardless of the quality of the book itself.  As a result, I find the exercise of naming my books to be a generally daunting and stressful endeavor.

So how do I know when I’ve got a good title?  Besides satisfying a number of criteria (concise, memorable, simple, upbeat, and goes well with the other titles in the series), I also look for titles with depth – some word or combination of words that convey multiple levels of meaning.  For Book 2 of the Stitch Trilogy, I knew I’d found that with “Shudder.”  Here’s why: <continue reading>

From the review:

When does part three come out?!!!  Part two in this trilogy doesn’t disappoint. … As with Stitch, just when I thought I had the plot figured out, I was once again surprised. … More is learned about the Engineers, Alessa and Isaac’s relationship undergoes some new developments, there is a good amount of action/adventure involving life and death situations, and the epilogue promises major conflicts in the third book of this amazing trilogy. <continue reading>

Book Nerds AnonymousNext up, we’ve got another great reviews PLUS opportunities to enter the CBL Tour Giveaway at all of the remaining stops on today’s schedule.  First, from Book Nerds Anonymous:

After reading Stitch, I was really excited to see how this series would go. So many twists and turns happened in that novel, it could only get better. Plus, secrets were revealed, and it’s always fun to watch what happens after that. And it was definitely more than fun in this case. It was emotional, tense, and exciting. <continue reading>

And finally, two more stops where you can enter the CBL Tour Giveaway – Bookwyrming Thoughts and Sweeping Me!

Thanks so much to Teri, Brianna & Ava, Sophia, and Mary for hosting the tour today!!

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!!!

Surprise! Shudder Sample Chapters!!

Shudder by Samantha DuranteGot a case of the Mondays?  Well I’ve got just the thing to cheer you up…

Here it is, hot off the presses for your reading pleasure – TA DA!  The Shudder Sample Chapters.  :-D

Inside you’ll find 31 pages of BRAND NEW, never-before-seen Shudder content.  (Well, okay, if you read the sneak peek Epilogue in Stitch, then you’ve seen the Preface, but the rest is new!)

Can’t wait to hear what you guys think!  Be sure to let me know in the comments.

So what are you waiting for??  Head over to the Shudder Sample Chapters page now to download a copy and get reading!  Only 5 more days to the release!!

(And in case you haven’t read Stitch yet, now is the time!  Grab a copy while it’s free on Amazon – ends tomorrow, June 11th!)

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!

Thank You Brewster High School for an Absolutely Awesome Visit!

BHS - Class of 2003!I just got back from an INCREDIBLE visit to my alma mater, Brewster High School in Brewster, NY, and I was SO thrilled… until I realized I’m a turd and completely forgot to take any photos. :’-(  It was an awesome, awesome time and I wish I could show you all, but I guess you guys will just have to make do with a nice stock photo of the school and our bear mascot (sorry).  –>

Anyway, I got to meet with the Humanities club which is run by two of my favorite teachers, Ms. McLeod and Mrs. Fine (shout out also to Mr. Stack for organizing!), and 20+ AMAZING students showed up for the discussion.  I was SO blown away by these kids, seriously – they ranged from freshmen to seniors and were just so incredibly thoughtful and bright and well-read, and had so much to say about a great variety of topics.

We touched on everything from my inspiration for Stitch (particularly the twist), to the merits of 1st vs. 3rd person point-of-view, the pressures of writing a trilogy, what it means to be an indie author, our favorite dystopian reads, how to market a book (including a great suggestion to try a Reddit AMA which I’m totally looking into!), what the students like to read and write, thoughts on book-to-movie adaptations, and more!

Brewster High School also got an exclusive sneak peek at an excerpt from Shudder (Chapter 8) which I’m very excited to share since literally no one up to this point has seen that except my beta readers.  (Hope you guys enjoy!)  Ch8’s not even going to be in the sample chapters, so the only way to get your hands on that is to track down someone from the BHS Humanities club… or wait until the book comes out on June 15th and buy a copy, wink wink!  :-D

I’ll likely be making a return visit in the fall, and I’m looking forward to it already!  In the meantime, BHS definitely keep in touch – please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions/comments and I’d LOVE to hear what you guys have to say about Shudder!  And if you *really* miss me, you can find my photo hanging in front of the auditorium…seriously (perks of being a valedictorian, haha).

Thanks again to Brewster for letting me invade for an afternoon!  It was super fun to be back.  :-)

PS – Go Bears.

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!!!

Pre-Release Jitters – Guest Post @ Reutreads

ReutreadsEver wonder what goes through an author’s mind leading up to the release of his/her book?  Well, it’s not pretty – basic a chaotic jumble of anxiety, stress, self-doubt, and of course the ever-present hopeful glimmer of excitement that drive an author to put him/herself through this process, again and again.

In a new guest post up today at Reutreads, I’m offering a glimpse into the handful of things that are keeping me awake in these nights leading up to Shudder’s release.  Here’s a quick preview:

1. How do I make my book NOT SUCK?

Okay, I’ll be straight with you – I don’t think the current draft of my next book sucks. I actually think it’s pretty good. But I thought that about my last book, too, up until the day I released it, and then almost immediately after I realized that I hated it. And then I loved it again, and then I hated it, and so on and so forth, until one day I finally saw it for what it actually was: a book – and a pretty decent book at that – but one that, like most books, has its flaws.

So what I learned after my experience with Stitch is that it’s really not for many months after the book has been released that I can actually see it clearly. The problem is that in order to make the book the best it can be, I need to know what’s wrong with it before I publish it.

I’m still not quite sure how to accomplish this, but I can promise you one thing – I’m TRYING. Really, really hard. I’m thinking about my book constantly, before I fall asleep at night and first thing when I wake up in the morning, in the shower, while I’m cooking, when I’m supposed to be doing my day job… it’s always on my mind. Where are the problems and how do I fix them?

LOTS more neuroses where that came from!!  Lol.  Check out the rest of the post over at Reutreads today for more.  :-)

Big thanks to Reut for making time in her busy school schedule to host me!