Tag Archives: Smashwords

Smashwords’ End of 2017 Sale!


Trevor’s SongWhat do you think? Does Trevor’s Song need an updated cover?

I always encourage my clients to wait until January or even February in a new year to publish their book, because while the “People get new e-readers for Christmas and need something to read” is a sound strategy, experience has taught all too many of us that indie titles tend to get shoved down on visibility lists in favor of more established authorial names. That can sink a person’s book, and fast.

Count on Smashwords to enter the end-of-year fun and be a disruptor by offering another of their famous site-wide promotions. (Okay, the extent of the promotion is up to each individual author, but they offer every one of us a chance to join in the fun.)

So, yeah. From now until January 1, you can pick up any number of great reads — old and new, within the bounds of familiarity and without — for free or discounted prices. And yes, some books will still be offered at full price.

Some. Not mine. If you’ve ever wanted to read anything I’ve written, my faves of the bunch are Trevor’s Song, Demo Tapes 1, Demo Tapes 2, and Broken.

If you’ve got those four and want more, here’s the link to my profile. Wouldn’t it be nice to see a longer list of books at the end of 2018? That’s one of my many goals.

As always, if you pick up or are gifted a book (any book!) this holiday season, think about leaving a review once you’ve read that book. Reviews help authors in multiple ways — and yes, a well-thought-out negative review can be helpful! (As always, if you need help with a review, holler. I charge $5 per review, and that’s a steal for what you’ll get.)

Here’s to a great 2018.


Read an E-Book Week Freebies!


As is my tradition, I’ve set my entire catalog to FREE this week in honor of Read an E-Book Week, an annual event that just might be at the end of its life as a promotional tool. But gosh darn it, it’s still fun!

When I joined my first Read an E-Book Week five years ago, it was still a struggle to get people on board with digital books. This was, of course, before Kindle. Before Nook. Before Kobo. By promoting our books at Smashwords, we were able to give people cheap or free options and show them this great new world that was waiting to be explored.

But then came the slew of e-book readers. Then the e-reader tablets, the Nook HD and the Kindle Fire. And people began adopting e-books like it was the most natural thing in the world.

Today, e-books make up a sizeable chunk of the book-buying habits of millions. I don’t have the stats in front of me, but I do know, as many authors do, that I sell WAY more e-books than print. (of course, I’ve also doubted my print sales reports for awhile now, and know of other authors who’ve verified hinky things happening on that front.)

Anyway… regardless of whether or not you’ve ever read an e-book or not, Smashwords remains one of the best places to find new books, especially during Read an E-Book Week. Pick up any titles of mine that you haven’t grabbed yet, and then surf around a bit. See what else is out there.

Yes, some of it will be lousy. Go into any bookstore and pick ten books at random. I guarantee you at least one will be lousy, if not more. But I also guarantee you that you’ll find at least one book that is so outside the norm, so cleverly executed or well imagined, that you’ll find yourself hooked.

The best part of working outside the traditional structure is that the rules are different, and in the self-publishing world, there’s room to stretch and break boundaries. To throw traditional formats and genres out the windows and invent new ones.

Come join the ride. There’s amazing books being written.


It’s that Time of Year Again!


Yep, it’s one of my favorite months of the year: The Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale!

Why Summer/winter? Because e-book readers live all over the planet, and on half the planet right now, it’s winter. I’m not sure I could ever adapt to snow in July, but maybe I could. It’d be quite the adventure to find out.

Back to the sale… Head over to Smashwords. Pick up some of your favorite works of Rock Fiction, browse for some goodies, or even have some fun with the coupons I’ve set up for my own books. I know you guys have all seven, so why not take this opportunity to introduce a friend … or five… or ten… to the zany antics of Trevor, Mitchell, and the gang?

Here’s a hint: all it’ll cost you is the time (mostly; you can afford a buck for the King, right?). This month is all about spreading the word, so let’s get that word spread, far and wide!


Odd… but… whatever


I can’t recall how I came about it the other day, but ever since I did, I’ve been gazing at the open tab, scratching my head.

Someone — and it wasn’t me — tagged Demo Tapes: Year 3 over at Smashwords. Tags are good, right? This should be a good thing.

But… it’s the tag itself that’s a bit… odd…

The tag reads ewwww.

I have absolutely no ideas, especially since whoever did this didn’t bother to leave a few words of review. Yes, even if they had been negative words, at least I’d understand the motivation behind this odd tag. It’s also the only book over at Smashwords tagged like this.

Go look for yourself. It’s … odd.

Probably not worth thinking about except, to be honest… it kinda makes me giggle.


Read an E-Book Week! 2013 style


This is one of my two favorite weeks of the year. Okay, maybe there are three– I have to count the week (or part thereof) that I spend at Boy Scout camp in there, as well. Trees, no Internet, cool breezes, wall tents, that awesome shower, only books to read for review… patrol cooking by the Scouts, and me the only female in sight.

Yeah, okay… those last two make you wonder. At least, they continue to give ME pause.

Those other two weeks of the year are my favorites because they are taken up by Smashwords sales. This year’s Read an EBook week is no exception; all my books are free, except King Trevor. As the new kid on the block, I’ve only (only!) discounted that one to 50%.

Which means you can have ALL of my books — all three Demo Tapes anthologies, both novels, AND the standalone short story, Mannequin — for $1.50.

How’s THAT for a deal??

But other freebies and great deals abound, as well, so don’t be shy. Take a chance on a new author or three. Show an established author your appreciation by picking up that book you don’t have yet (like King Trevor) for a discount. We only get royalties on the books you pay for, so it’s a big help to splurge that whole buck fifty.

Trevor’s worth it… are you game to play in his sandbox some more? He’ll move over and make room, especially if you’re a woman…

(and as always, don’t forget to leave a few words of review. Your blog, GoodReads, directly at Smashwords… you’d be surprised how a few words of constructive criticism are appreciated. And I promise that I do NOT retaliate if you hate the books. Just be professional in what you say and how you handle it!)


Featured New Book: The Rock Star in the Mirror by Sharon E Cathcart


Whenever I edit a book, I make a point of telling my client they are welcome to stop in and do a Featured New Book spotlight. It’s the least I can do to support my authors, since they are, without exception, the greatest group of authors on the planet.

Today’s author isn’t merely a client. She’s also an online bud, one I’ve known for a couple of years now, and one who has so many similar interests to my own that it’s scary. We could be soul sisters. And when you read The Rock Star in the Mirror (and you should!), you’ll see what I mean.

So… Sharon, what song makes you think of your book?

Answer this question: What song makes you think of your book? Wow. Just one? I’d have to go with “Station to Station,” which is part of what inspired me to write the story. It’s this wild allegory, based on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” that kind of implies a psychotic break on the part of the singer.

(For the record, Sharon herself picked that version of the video, as there doesn’t seem to be an official one. She says she loves this one. It’s from a German film called “Christiane F.” Let me know what you think!)

Ready for the blurb? Sure, you are!

Joe is a small-town Oregon guy. He’s madly in love with Lynnie … who has a huge crush on David Bowie. Joe will do almost anything to get Lynnie’s attention, but there are always consequences.

Buy your copy today! Smashwords is the preferred retailer of the day. That works for me; this link is an affiliate link, which means I’ll make a few pennies from your purchase.

Sharon’s website
Sharon’s Facebook


Smashwords July Sale Final Look


Mid-month, I took a look at how the Smashwords Summer/Winter July sale was going for me. The results were interesting, so if you missed it, head on over and see how the month was shaping up.

Now that the month is over, I have even more fascinating facts to report.

First is that even though I have one new title out since last year’s sale, I sold eight fewer books. This is despite having two books for free that had never been free before, including Trevor’s Song.

Demo Tapes 1 and 3 tied for top seller. If you recall, mid-month, Trevor’s Song was tops. It actually came in fourth of my six books, trailed only by the standalone short story, Mannequin, and my non-free title, King Trevor.

Conventional wisdom holds that novels sell better than short stories, especially short story anthologies, and the Demo Tapes are, I think, marked pretty clearly that they are short stories. Not only are they short stories, they all appeared on The Meet and Greet in a less-edited fashion.

I don’t know. I don’t get it. Maybe the opening of Trevor’s Song is too rough for people; he’s too hard to like. Maybe you really do need that intro of the Demo Tapes to come back for the novel. I’m not sure. Maybe it’s that The Demo Tapes were more visible, since more people write novels than short stories. Maybe it was the phase of the moon, the severity of the sunspots, the colors of the Northern Lights…

In short, who knows? Only the people who bought the books know for sure what they were thinking, and even if they leave reviews, we may still never know what led them to their purchasing choices. We’ll only know what they thought of their reading experience — and so long as that experience is good, that’s ultimately all that matters. It’s those reviews that help power sales. We all know this.

Which means I’ll wrap up with a big thank you to the people who’ve joined the Trevolution for the first time; a lot of gratitude for the repeat offenders, so to speak; and a reminder to leave even a few words in a review. “I liked this because… but I didn’t like…” Fill in the blanks, folks. That’s all it takes, and us authors will be your fans for life.


Smashwords July Sale Update


I know it’s not quite the middle of the month yet, but the Smashwords Summer Sale is turning up some interesting results. (Go visit my profile page, if you haven’t yet)

Not surprisingly, Trevor’s Song is my top seller. This reinforces the common belief that novels sell better than short story collections.

Demo Tapes 3 comes in second, having sold one fewer book than Trevor’s Song.

Demo Tapes 1 is next

then Demo Tapes 2

and finally, Mannequin.

I know what you’re saying: “Hey, Sooz, what about King Trevor???”

Yeah. Exactly.

I know we live in a world where free is the way of life. I noticed that in the early days of the sale, when Demo Tapes 3 and Trevor’s Song, both set to free for the first time since I published them, were outselling the other books, 2-1. It was like people had been waiting to get their Trevor fix until I did the inevitable and set them to free.

Okay. I get that.

But… I’ve got bills to pay, folks.

So here’s what I’m asking, and it’s really no different than what many others are currently asking: If you like what you read, why not leave a review someplace? Leave it on the sale page at Smashwords. Post it around wherever you have an account: B&N. Amazon. Powells. GoodReads. If you have a blog, send me the url and I’ll link to it from my reviews page for each book.

Even if you write, “I liked this because…” (and fill in the blank!) and that’s your entire review, it’s a help. No one said you had to be a professional reviewer. In fact, sometimes, it’s better that you’re not. Your reaction is going to be more honest, more real. There’s an authenticity that I lose when I write for the people who pay me. Take advantage of the power that gives you, friends.

It’s also a nice way to say thanks for the freebie.


July Summer Sale at Smashwords!


Yep, gang, it’s that time of year again — the time when Susan throws convention and royalties to the wind and makes most (well, all but King Trevor) of her books free as part of the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale.

The idea here is exposure, gang. I’m hoping to pick up new readers, maybe some who’ll be kind enough to leave reviews at all the various spots where one can leave reviews.

Yeah, I know. Giving that many books away — last year, I blew past my previous record — means fewer royalties. That means my bank account struggles and it’ll be that much longer before my web guy and I can work on even more site improvements, but … this is Trevor and over and over, the people who meet Trevor love Trevor, once they get past his crusty, asshole exterior. With the editing taking up so much of my time right now (which is both a blessing and a curse, no?), I need all the help that I can help with spreading the Trevor love.

So… I know most of you reading this already have the books. Why not buy a copy (or two) for a friend? Take a few minutes and write a review? (Not sure how? Start here: I liked this because ____. I didn’t like _____. I wish ______. Yes, reviews CAN be that easy!)

Your support now means more good stuff in the future. I promise.

ETA: The link! How did I forget the link?


Sound Bites by Rachel K. Burke


Since the hack caused my Rocks ‘n Reads blog to be lost, I’ve come up with a new way to post my book reviews. You can access them from the Rock Fiction page — once I’ve got them all up.

Down the road, one of my goals is to come up with really cool templates for each page. Yes, each review will have its own sidebars!

(Buy my books and hire me to edit yours so I can afford this project, okay??? Yes, I’m eyeing Kickstarter, too.)

Since there won’t be an RSS feed associated with the new reviews, I’ll take this space to notify you of the reviews I post.

Which means I’ve got a review to tell you about! It’s for Rachel K. Burke’s Sound Bites, a really cute beach read that is totally worth your time. Once you read my review, use this link (my Smashwords affiliate link) to pick up your own copy. You won’t be disappointed!


Merry Christmas!


I’ll share the saga of a week mostly without Internet (and the 150 mail messages that got nuked. Not good. Very very not good) later, but for now,

to celebrate the holiday season and to entice all you e-reader users, new and old, I’ve dropped some prices around town.

The Demo Tapes triplets are now 99c each.

Mannequin is now FREE (at Smashwords only for the time being).

If they sell well, I’ll leave ’em low, especially if they stimulate sales of Trevor’s Song. This is a good time for you already familiar with the Trevolution to gift some e-books to your friends, as well. King Trevor is still slated to be released on April 12, 2012.

Because Smashwords is my favorite retailer, here’s the link to my page there.

You Kindle users can use this link. Or the Smashwords one; you CAN get Kindle format from Smashwords, you know.

Here’s hoping you all had a great day today, regardless of what or how you celebrate.


Rocktober! Go!


So WHAT if today’s the last day of September. Rocktober begins in less than 24 hours, and I am EXCITED. I’ve got posts scheduled to go here and over at Rocks ‘n Reads.

Come join the fun, will ya? Celebrate the collision of music and books however you see fit. Come on back here or over to the West of Mars Fans page over at Facebook and share what you’re up to. If you’ve got a link, leave it and I’ll add it to this post. No link? Who cares, so long as you’re rockin’ with me!

Oh, and since I’m nice and kind and stuff, check out the price discounts on my books, at Smashwords and Amazon. All month long — just to make sure YOUR Rocktober rocks along with mine.

Friends Rocking with me:
Misty at The Top Shelf hosts Jeremy Wagner for a guest blog post.
Jill Elizabeth at All Things Jill Elizabeth is giving away a copy of Voice.
Mary at BookHounds found a book called Metal Rules the Globe. I think these authors are smart.
Not out yet, this is one to covet. A graphic novel about the Sex Pistols. Mary at Bookhounds brings us this goodness, too.
My friend Maria Savva is joining the fun.
Necromancy Never Pays reviewed Trevor’s Song. And what a review it is!
More from Mary at Bookhounds — a mystery box giveaway!
Misty at The Top Shelf has decided to interview musicians about their favorite books. Check out the first in this new series, featuring Derek Martinez.
Julia Smith at A Piece of My Mind does a Five for Friday with a shoutout to me and Wylie Kinson.


So my timing sucks. Sue me.


You know how when you upload a digital book to a service like Smashwords or Kindle, it takes a few days for it to get approvals and for the book to go live. That means if you’d like your book to come out on, oh, say the 15th of the month, you may want to upload it on … oh, say the 12th.

And because you have never lost blind faith that it’ll all work out, you announce this date of the 15th and don’t waver, even when it becomes obvious that the print copy won’t be ready in time.

So… when you upload the book to Smashwords on a Sunday night and less than five minutes later, it goes live, what do you do?

Announce it at Twitter, of course. And on Facebook. And THEN come over here to the blog and tell folks to head over to Smashwords to get their hands on Demo Tapes 3.

Or wait a day or two, and it’ll be up on Kindle. But why wait? I get better royalties over at Smashwords, after a. ll. And it’s already selling over there — that took maybe five minutes from my Tweeting about it. (You guys are amazingly devoted and I am amazingly lucky to have you.)

I’ll let you know when the print copy is available. In the meantime, go pick up the ebook versions, will you? And help spread the word, too!


Susan’s Promo Tales: Merry Christmas!


How is a Merry Christmas post considered a promo tale?

Well… I’m the one bearing gifts. For you, for your friends, for your family, for anyone who woke up this Christmas morning (even in a metaphorical sense) and found a new e-book reader under your Christmas tree.

From now until January 1, all three of my books are 50% off at Smashwords. And yes, at least 50% of my royalties will be donated to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.

Here’s the link: Susan’s Page at Smashwords

And here are the codes:
Demo Tapes: Year 1 — UN55K
Demo Tapes: Year 2 — UC87W
Trevor’s Song — zk52R

And yes, the coupon codes are NOT case sensitive. Why do you ask?

Merry Christmas, gang. If you got anything good, talk about it in the comments. And stay tuned for YOUR chance to Meet and Greet, coming in January.


Giving you some Gratitude


As the blog world continues to evolve and change underneath my feet, I’m doing my best to adapt and grow and change with it. It’s not always easy — after all, when I first started blogging, posting fiction was a rarity. Now there are multiple prompts and Twitter hashtags devoted to it.

Many of you guys have stuck with me from the first. With your support, I’ve been able to put out three books, with more on the way.

And now it’s time for me to give back.

As part of the Gratitude Giveaway over at I am a Reader, Not a Writer, I’m offering one print copy of each of my books: The Demo Tapes: Year 1, The Demo Tapes: Year 2, and Trevor’s Song. Each book will be autographed to the winner (or whoever the winner specifies).

I’m going to have to limit my shipping to the US and Canada only; right now, at least half my reported royalties until the end of the year are headed to charity. That means I’m only recouping half of what I’m spending!

Entry is easy. Tell me which book you want to be entered to win. Join the Google Followers (this is really important, as there are some future events that say I have to have x-number of followers before I’ll be allowed to join in!). And sit back and wait for me to announce the winners on November 29.

And if you’re an International friend and are willing to read an e-book and post a review online, let me know. I’ll hook you up with a coupon code for a freebie of any of my books at Smashwords (heck, any of you who’re willing to read an e-book and post a review can ask for this, in addition to winning an autographed print copy for your shelves!)

Go visit more of the 180 or so blogs joining in. See what else they are giving away. Have some fun, meet some new folk.

And remember, if you want to support me AND a charity all at once, at least 50% of my reported royalties between now and the end of the calendar year are headed to help kids make music. If you make a direct donation to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, you will be entered to win some pretty nice books.


Susan’s Book Talk: And GO


If you saw my Facebook status last night (If Any Idiot can self-publish a book, I clearly need to change my name), you may be able to figure out I’m hung up on getting you guys the print version of Trevor’s Song.

BUT you who like e-books are in luck. It’s now available for sale at Smashwords (oh, how I love them!), and since it’s the Summer Sale, I’ve discounted it. No, not down to free, like The Demo Tapes are, but half off. Which is a whopping $2.50.

Go. Spread the word. You’ve waited a LONG time for this.

And as soon as I get the ISBN up and running (if you are planning on keeping the book on your shelf and don’t care about an ISBN, I believe you can pick it up at Lulu right now), I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, if you’d like to get an autographed copy of the book direct from me, holler. I need to know how many copies to order… It’ll be $12.99 plus shipping.


Summer Sale!


Yep, boys and girls, it’s time for the Summer Sale over at Smashwords. Which means that once again, I’ve put the two Demo Tapes anthologies on sale — you can get them for free!

Seriously. Free.

Just like I did during Read an E-Book Week. I’m doing it again ’cause I made a lot of new converts to the Trevolution. And with Trevor’s Song finally about to come out (if I ever finish the formatting for Smashwords, and put the ISBN graphic on the back cover of the print version), this is the perfect time to help spread the word.

Here’s the link:
And here’s the Coupon: SW100.

Share the coupon. Spread the love. You know Trevor would!