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!

Guest Post: “Book Pirates: Not the ‘Arrrgh’ Kind” + Alessa/Isaac Interview, Review & Giveaway!

Nomi's Paranormal PalaceSome awesome new content up today on the Shudder Blog Tour, including an interview with Alessa and Isaac over at Nomi’s Paranormal Palace (plus an excellent review) and a guest post titled “Book Pirates: Not the ‘Arrrgh’ Kind” (plus giveaway & excerpt) at Reading Between the Wines!  Here’s a sneak preview:

From the Alessa/Isaac interview:

Naomi: Hi Alessa and Isaac! Welcome to my Paranormal Palace!!
Alessa: We’re very excited to be here!
Isaac: Thanks so much for having us, Naomi!

Naomi: The pleasure is mine, I assure you! Alright, let’s get straight into the nitty gritty. How are you both adjusting to life now that you are out of the spotlight, not that you realised that you were being filmed before…
A: (big sigh) It’s a relief!  It was SO difficult during Stitch once I realized what was going on.  Can you imagine getting dressed or going to the bathroom knowing there are thousands of people watching you??  It was horrifying.
I: Yeah, we were definitely happy to get some alone time in Shudder.  (gives Alessa a wink)
A: (laughs and elbows Isaac) <continue reading>

From the guest post:

I have a confession to make: at one time in my life, I was a pirate.

No, silly, not the swashbuckling “arrrgh” kind – the digital media stealing kind, of course.  Though I’m proud to say I’ve since reformed my unscrupulous ways and now purchase all of my music and streaming TV legally, in my past life as an internet scalawag I probably acquired upwards of 1000 songs and watched at least 10 or so seasons of some of my favorite shows through shady online “sharing” sites.

I still vividly remember the day in high school when one of my friends introduced me to Napster. The first song I ever downloaded was “Flagpole Sitta” by Harvey Danger, and the experience changed my life.  I never looked back (well, until I graduated college and had a job and realized that a) I could afford to pay for stuff and b) it actually made me feel better to do so, since I would never under any other circumstances condone stealing and I was tired of being a hypocrite).

So I get it.  Really, I do.  Why pay for something you can get for free? <continue reading>

Thanks so much to Naomi and Crystal for hosting 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!)

Guess what came in the mail today!

AHHHHHH!  They’re here!!!!!

Shudder Print ARCsThe print ARCs have arrived!  And I must say, they are beautiful, aren’t they?

Can’t wait to crack one of these babies open and find me some typos!  (Actually, I hate proofreading, but whatevs – needs to be done.)

And if you’re one of the bloggers on the tour, good news: I’ve got the e-ARCs ready to go as well!  Just need to give those one more read-through to make sure they’re functioning properly, and then I’ll be sending them out.  Get ready!!  :-D

 

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!

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!

Stitch *Might* Be Temporarily Unavailable

Hey guys – just wanted to give you a heads up that the Stitch print/Kindle versions may not be available in the Amazon store temporarily over the next 48 hours or so.  I published an update to the files (nothing major, just fixing the 2 typos I found since publication last summer), so while the new files are being reviewed, you might not be able to buy the book.  No worries!  I’d imagine everything should be back to normal by the end of Monday if not before.  :-)

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!