I’m in the mood for a Valentine’s Day sale

For Valentine’s Day I’m putting my two self-published titles, Fairway To Heaven (the newie) and The Goodbye Ride (novella) on sale exclusively at Amazon. 99 cents folks both books! One day only.

Buy now: Fairway To Heaven
Australia for Kindle
US for Kindle
UK for Kindle

Buy now: The Goodbye Ride
Australia for Kindle
US for Kindle
UK for Kindle

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Amazon Kindle Free Promotions: Doing the math again (mutter, mumble)

My contemporary romance novella, The Goodbye Ride is now in its second period of the KDP Kindle Select goodbye_ride_low-res.jpgprogram at Amazon. This means for 90 days (3 months) you list your book exclusively with Amazon and during that period, you get 5 days where you can offer your book on a free promotion. That’s the upside of Kindle Select. The downside is, you can’t offer your book on any other platform (iTunes or Nook for example, or Smashwords.)

When The Goodbye Ride launched in late May, I took advantage of the free days to promote the book on its release. During that period, 2650 people took advantage of the promotion to download my book. The best ranking I saw it gain during the promotion was #282 Free in Kindle Store. (Read that post here if you like.)

Now I have something to compare that initial free period against, as I’ve just completed today, the second three-day free period for the book.

This time, 3174 readers downloaded my book. The highest I saw it rank was #111 (it was so exciting to think it might have gone Top 100 Free, but given it was late Sunday night at the time, I couldn’t stay awake to see what happened next).

Stop press! The lovely Ana from This Chick Reads says she saw it reach 63!! So it did crack the Top 100 Free on Kindle!

Amazon.com (US, Australia, NZ) had by far the biggest download numbers over the period, with 3068—more than 1000 copies of the book a day, which was great.

The interest this time wasn’t so high elsewhere. In the UK 78 readers downloaded the book, followed by Canada (8), India (7), Germany (4), France and Italy (3), Spain (2) and Japan (1).

I didn’t make such an effort at promoting it as I did when it launched (in terms of contacting promotional sites that offer free opportunities to include your book during its free days). But what I think is worth mentioning is, the first free period I promoted quite heavily with my friends, and within the Facebook Group for Romance Writers’ Australia. This time around, most of my friends and RWA contacts would have already read (or downloaded and not yet read) my book. So I feel, though without proof, most of these readers were in the US.

The big difference I think, is to do with the reviews. The Goodbye Ride has 13 reviews now, compared with none when the book launched. All the reviews for it on Amazon are 4 or 5 stars. I think it’s a fair comment to say, there are a lot of books that go free that may not necessarily be particularly good books. If you have some positive reviews before you offer the book free, I think it really helps your book to stand out.

Readers are spoiled for choice. They are also time-poor. There are just too many good books out there, and much like bad wine, life is too short to read bad books (even if they’re free).

I don’t know if I will keep The Goodbye Ride in the KDP program after this next 3-month period expires… but I am a bit slack at the idea of publishing it on Smashwords, or some of the other platforms. I am also trying to focus hard on writing my next book, Fairway To Heaven.

Hopefully some of the people who downloaded The Goodbye Ride over the weekend will take the time to contact me if they’ve enjoyed it, or write a review, or tell their friends (please! tell your friends!). I’ve picked up one lovely 5-star new review so far.

Perhaps if readers like The Goodbye Ride, they may also buy my Escape Published title, His Brand Of Beautiful.

At the end of the day, as a new author, the opportunity to get my work in readers hands, is – well – it’s kinda priceless!

If You Need An Election Cure-all: I Can Help!

My short, sweet (not too sweet) Aussie novella, The Goodbye Ride, is free this weekend (Friday through Sunday) exclusive to Amazon.

Don’t forget to vote though! I’d hate you to be so engrossed in my book, you missed the chance to exercise your democratic rights!

Here’s the link!

http://www.amazon.com/The-Goodbye-Ride-ebook/dp/B00CV2MGCK/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1

Lily Malone Promo pic

Christina, Olivia and Jenn make a wish (Three Wishes Blog Blitz)

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I’m participating in the Three Wishes Blog Blitz, hosted by author Juliet Madison! From 2nd to 6th September you’ll have the chance to win some awesome prizes at all the blogs participating in the blitz, including mine.

Why is it called the Three Wishes Blog Blitz? Juliet’s new  romantic comedy release, I Dream of Johnny, is about three wishes, a high-tech genie in a lamp, and one very unfortunate typo that proves magic isn’t all it cracked up to be…

The Lily Malone ‘wishlist’ is a bit too x-rated to include in a non-x-rated blog (it includes way too many scenarios with Timothy Olyphant and Charlie Hunnam) so instead I thought I’d let the heroines in my books  rub their own magic lamp today, and tell you what they’d wish for.

Christina Clay is the eccentric, hat-wearing, clay-pigeon shooting, horse-riding, winery executive, city girl, who stars in my Escape Publishing contemporary romance, His Brand Of BeautifulHere’s what Christina would wish for, if she discovered a magic lamp in the op-shops she regularly visits:HBOB

  • A world without snakes or lizards or scaly things that might slither beneath the timber slats of an outback camp shower
  • A bottle of champagne that never ends, and never loses its fizz
  • Legs as long and luscious as those of her best friend, Lacy Graham.

goodbye_ride_low-res.jpgOlivia Murphy is the Ducati-loving viticulturist who features in my contemporary romance novella, The Goodbye Ride. This is what Liv would wish for if she found a magic lamp in one of her vineyards.

  • That her brother was still alive
  • That jeans and a pink beanie counted as ‘smart-casual’
  • That cooking salt and pepper squid was as easy as making baked beans on toast.
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The shack on the beach where Jenn goes to retrieve her missing mojo in my new book, Fairway To Heaven. (Picture is for illustrative purposes only!)

Jennifer (Jenn) Gates is the golf-playing, freelance writing, mother of a toddler son, now coming to life in my new book, Fairway to Heaven. I am about 20,000 words in and Jenn is trying to get her mojo back (after discovering her golf-pro boyfriend cheating on her with one of his golf students) on a long weekend stay at this beach shack.

If she discovered a magic lamp in the shed at the back of the shack, this is what she’d wish for:

  • That her cheating ex-boyfriend, Jack, develops a massive case of the putting yips and never sinks a putt again
  • That her 14-month-old toddler will wake up tomorrow toilet trained
  • That Brayden Culhane doesn’t consider the kiss they shared at this beach house eight years ago as “the biggest mistake of his life.”

Giveaway:

Follow the instructions below to win my prize, and then you can click over to Juliet’s blog to enter her prize draw, and see the list of all other blogs taking part and enter their giveaways as well. How cool is that? 

My prizes include your choice of: a copy of His Brand Of Beautiful, a copy of The Goodbye Ride, and (because it’s so new) the opportunity to have a character named after you in my new book, Fairway To Heaven!  I’m also offering a world-exclusive! Like my Facebook page to read my 3000-word short story Fairway To Heaven, on which this new book is based. (You’ll need to send me an email at lilymalone@mail.com for that one too).

My question: If you could be the heroine of a movie or a book, which heroine would you wish to be and why?

You can answer in the comments. (If you ‘like’ my Facebook page during the Blog Blitz (2 September to 6 September) www.facebook/lily.lilymalone I’m sure I’ll come up with something special for you too!)

Remember: Once you’ve entered my giveaway, visit Juliet’s blog & enter her giveaway too, and visit any or all of the other participating blogs to enter more prize draws. You could potentially win a whole heap of prizes! Good luck! Visit the official Blog Blitz post here: http://julietmadison.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/3-wishes-blog-blitz-official-post/ 

The Goodbye Ride – Free for 2 days

It’s my birthday, but you get the present!

On July 5 & July 6, (timezones willing) my contemporary romance novella, The Goodbye Ride, will be free exclusively at Amazon through the Kindle Select program. You can get your copy here with one click.

If you enjoy it,  come on over to my Facebook page, like my page, and leave me a comment, I’d love to hear from you. http://www.facebook.com/lily.lilymalone

Lily Malone Promo pic

Pruning time. An army of buzz cuts

My two favourite seasons in the vineyards are pruning, and budburst. There’s something special about a row of neatly pruned vines… a bit like neatly pruned roses in a rose garden. Order is restored!

P1020151Vines (like roses) get very straggly at the end of the growing season. The leaves die, which can be spectacular as they range through red, orange and yellow before they fall, and the canes are unwieldy and wild. Once they’re pruned, they remind of me a line of schoolchildren with lovely neat Number 5 hairdos… or perhaps you could make that a military image and think of rows of soldiers with buzz cuts. It’s a similar type of thing.

I have been lucky enough to live in wine regions all my life, in Margaret River, then the Adelaide Hills, and I’ve spent a lot of time in the Barossa in between. I picked grapes in Switzerland when I was 20, staying with a host family who were relatives of my landlady in London at the time. I worked for two weeks on the hills above Lausanne, looking out over Lake Geneva to the hills of France. It was absolutely scenic, and absolute hell on the butt, knees and back. Note to future self: Lily Malone will drink wines and eat grapes… she will not pick them! Life lesson learned!

My novella, The Goodbye Ride, brings my hero, Owen, and heroine, Olivia, together as they set out to prune Owen’s aunt’s vineyard over a holiday weekend.

Here’s an excerpt where Liv is giving Owen instruction on how to prune a grapevine.

She switched the Felcotronic on and moved to the start of the vine row. As she talked, she demonstrated. “These vines are about twenty years old, I’d reckon. So they’re still teenagers, but they’ve been around a while and some need taking down a peg or two. See?” She indicated a spot near the end post where there was a cluster of crossed canes.

“It’s a bit like pruning a rose bush. We want to clean everything out to let air circulate. Cut out any dead wood and make lots of room for the new buds to grow. Grapevines fruit on new wood.”

Owen’s boot nudged hers as he leaned around her to watch and the contact sent butterflies cartwheeling through her stomach.

Focus, Liv.

“We want to pick the healthiest spurs and cut them back to two buds. Here,” Liv moved the electric pruners into place and touched the trigger. Shining blades sliced through the vine as if it were a stick of soft cheese. She moved to the next spur, squeezed: “And here.”

Canes swished to the ground.

“When do I get a go with that thing?” Owen asked.

“You don’t.” Liv moved down the row, snipping as she went. “If you come across knotty bits like this where there are no new spurs growing at all, you can cut that section back completely. That’s where those loppers come in to it.”

“Okay. It looks simple enough. I’ll give it a go.”

She pointed him to the row of vines behind her so that they would be working back to back. It was safer that way. He couldn’t accidentally chop her finger off, vest or no safety vest.

P1020158Have you ever noticed vineyard seasons? They can be very dramatic. There’s nothing like green vineyards in summer when all the paddocks around them are dry and brown.

Then this time of year, as you can see in the photos, it’s the vines that are brown, and the grass around them is green. The picture on the right is the first pruned vineyard I’ve seen in Margaret River this season.

Lily Malone Promo pic
The Goodbye Ride is available exclusively on Amazon, buy it here with one click. 

Lily everywhere

It’s been a busy few weeks in the Malone household, and this is going to be one busy weekend! Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend in eastern Australia (not here in WA where I’ve now moved. No holiday for us but we had ‘WA Day’ last weekend and a Monday off work.)

I have way too much news at the moment and way too much to say, which isn’t unusual for me. In no particular order, here’s a little list of what’s going on for me, and for my characters:

  • WordPress sent me a little note yesterday that it was one year since I opened the account to start this blog. My first post was on June 12, 2012. It was called “Hello world” and if you’d like to see what was in my brain when I started blogging, take a look here. Next week I think I’ll have to have a recap of what’s happened for me in 12 months!
  • My second  published work, The Goodbye Ride novella is set on the Queen’s Birthday Holiday Long Weekend in the Adelaide Hills in the tourist mecca of the town that is Hahndorf. This means, in real time, this morning Olivia and Owen are currently steaming up the vine rows of Owen’s aunt’s vineyard.
  • Later this weekend, I’m a guest at the website www.justcontemporaryromance.com where I’m writing about the pieces of ourselves that we share in our books. The idea came from a post and discussion at Cate Ellink’s website recently, after author of The Yearning, Kate Belle, was asked whether the sex scenes in her novel were based on her own experiences. (I am sure erotica authors want to slap  interviewers who ask that question!)
  • Escape Publishing’s managing editor, Kate Cuthbert, sent me a lovely note during the week with an introduction to another West Aussie author, Eliza Redgold (author of Black Diamonds) to invite Eliza and I to write an article about how we use wine and food as inspiration for our books. This is for the Escape blog, sometime soon. (As soon as we can finish it!).
  • It’s pruning time in the vineyards. My favourite time of the year. I went for a walk yesterday on a track that goes past some of the Margaret River vineyards. They’re almost bare – all straggling and crazy trailing canes just crying out for a good haircut. Very few leaves remain and those that do are golden, so close to falling. Another few weeks here and the pruning gangs and mechanical machines will be out in force.

And meantime, The Goodbye Ride and His Brand Of Beautiful keep on keeping on. The Goodbye Ride is hovering between the 20,000 and 40,000 mark on Kindle Paid on Amazon, and His Brand Of Beautiful seems to be getting a little sales spike to, under the 100,000 this morning. Both books have had some lovely reviews and I feel like the luckiest woman in the world, doing what I do.

Life is good.