Saturday, March 31, 2012

Get Voted Into a Tribe!

Are You in an Online Tribe?

If all you've heard about tribes was on the reality show Survivor, you're in for a big surprise with Instead of voting people off the island and whittling the tribe into an island of one, Triberr is all about connecting islands of people into communities of Biblical proportions.

Upon landing on you find yourself alone as Chief of a single starter tribe called "My Tribe." Much like Tom Hanks on Castaway, you yearn for companionship and wonder if talking to yourself and reblogging yourself will allow you to survive.

Immediately you begin looking for a tribe to join. Triberr provides you with a series of topics of which you may select one. Voila! You're on a tribe. You peek around and look for the Chief. "Oh, great Chief. I landed here but what do I do now?" Your tribemates are equally confounded. "I haven't even figured out how to enter my Twitter account." "Why am I not seeing anyone's streams?"

So you gather around the Bonfire and look for help. There's the FAQ, News, and of course Tribes looking for TribeMembers. So you click on a few, get invited and invite others. You may notice that it costs "Bones" to invite someone through the Bonfire. Not to worry. If you already know someone's Twitter ID, go back to your Home Page and click the Invite button and enter their ID directly. No bones, and a new TribeMember on your stream. Now you have tribe mates aplenty and content pouring into your stream. Do you just sit around the campfire and hold hands?

You can if you want, but the entire purpose of Triberr is to tweet your TribeMember's stream contents to your Twitter stream and extending the reach for everyone's blog entries to the anthill of followers every tribe member has. So go ahead, "Approve" and you will soon be tweeting away.

So, if you have a Tribe, please invite my Twitter ID @AyalaRachelle. If you would like to be in my Tribe "Indie Author Promo", send me your Twitter ID. Be seeing you around the Bonfire, and instead of being voted out, you will be voted in.

Some Helpful Articles on the Triberr Phenomenon:
Use Twitter to drive traffic to your blog: A how-to interview with Triberr co-founder, Dino Dogan

Writer's Window Daily

Ever Wanted to Publish a Daily Newspaper? is a content curator service using Semantic Web technologies to allow users to collect content and publish an online newspaper.

This week I started "Writer's Window," a collection of articles that would educate, edify, and entertain writers and self published authors. I chose ten streams to collect information from, and every morning, at 8:00 am Pacific Time, the service collects articles from blogs and other online sources and puts together a my very own Daily Paper!

All you have to do to get this paper delivered to your inbox is to visit and subscribe. Me? I just hang out until after eight when the paper is generated, cull some content that is off topic or distracting, pin a few other articles I want to present and write an optional Editor's Note. No getting up at the break of dawn and dragging my little red wagon around the blog, tossing papers into the rosebushes, and dodging sprinklers and running from the neighbor's dog. A few tweets later to notify the contributors and I've got a cup of tea and my daily news to enjoy.

Wanna join me? Please subscribe here: and let me know if you, too, have a paper you want me to subscribe to. Be seeing you!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Selling Software and Selling Ebooks

Back in the dawn of the personal computer era, in the mists of time when floppys were really floppy, and PCs ran on command line DOS prompt, people bought their software packaged in pretty boxes off the shelf in gleaming retail establishments such as CompUSA and Egghead. Installation consisted of copying files into arcane locations and hand-tweaking .ini files. A software developer needed pretty big pockets to not only write the software, but get the media manufactured, the user guides printed, and everything packaged and distributed to retail outlets. In other words, a major outlay of cash or a contract from IBM [which was how Microsoft started].

Enter the Internet And Shareware
The Internet changed everything in the early nineties. This was before WWW, but forums such as Compuserve and usenet allowed ordinary people to hook up with developers through newsgroups. People began writing code and sharing it with others, and the "shareware" industry commenced.

Shareware works on the concept of providing code for free, either for a limited number of features, or a limited time period. The user tries the code, and if he or she finds it useful, he'll pay to either unlock additional features or pay to use it after the trial period was over. Shareware allowed developers and programmers to bypass the retail distribution channels and middlemen who controlled the flow of software to retail establishments. Programmers could market directly to their end customers. Many successful programs, games, and applications, too numerous to name, had their roots in shareware.

What about Books?
What is an e-book but a piece of encoded data? So why has it taken the publishing industry so long to transform like the software industry did twenty years ago? Just a year ago, people lounged at Barnes and Noble and Borders, sipping latte and thumbing through massive tomes of dead trees. A would-be author needed the support of publishing companies to upfront the outlay of money required for printing dead trees, distribution and marketing.

In less than five years since the Kindle was released and the concept of ebooks popularized, authors have turned to the shareware concept to market their books. Amazon's "Look Inside" feature is exactly the same as sampling before buying. Because of this ebook revolution, readers can browse hundreds of books, looking inside with a single click and have instant fulfillment to either purchase or delete. The middleman (other than Amazon) is cut out, and authors can spread their wares in front of the customers and let them vote with their "clicks."

And just as Egghead Software, Circuit City and CompUSA retail stores have gone by the wayside, so has Borders, Waldenbooks and Crownbooks. As for the music industry... same story. Information in electronic format will trump physical media in terms of cost, distribution, and direct marketing to the end-user.

What do you think? Do you still love the feel of paper books? When was the last time you bought a piece of software in a pretty cardboard box with a DVD? How about music? When was the last CD you bought? The last time you went to the drugstore to get your photos printed? Are there things too precious to be replaced with bits and bytes?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Importing a CreateSpace Template

CreateSpace is Amazon's application to create print on demand books from your Manuscript. Templates are available for various physical sizes. Changing your Microsoft Word document to the proper CreateSpace format basically involves applying one of the CreateSpace templates.

The template comes with four pre-defined Paragraph Styles:
  1. CSP - Chapter Body Text: Garamond, Indent: First line: 0.2", Justified
    this is the default paragraph.
  2. CSP - Chapter Body Text - First Paragraph: Garamond, Indent:: First line: 0", Justified
    this is used for the leading paragraph of each chapter and section and does not have a first line indent.
  3. CSP - Chapter Title: Font: Myriad Pro, 14pt. All caps, Centered
    this style is based off Normal, but I changed it to base off Heading so I can automatically generate my Table of Contents
  4. CSP - Front Matter Body Text: Font: Garamond, Centered
And that is all.

The following instructions are for Word 2010. Take your existing Microsoft Word document and go to the File tab and choose "Options:
Select "Add-Ins":

Open up the dialogue and select "Template" at the bottom combo-box.
Click on the "Go..." button. It brings up this dialogue box. Click the "Attach..." button.:
Now go through your file system and find the CreateSpace template you downloaded:
Make sure to check the box "Automatically update document styles"
Go back to your document and you will see these new styles.

Now it's all a matter of selecting your text and changing it from "Normal" to the new style.

Friday, March 23, 2012

I've been Tagged by the Lucky 7 Meme

I was tagged by Angela Quarles, Chantel Rhondeau and Melinda Dozier this week to participate in the Lucky 7 meme.  Unlike other games, I thought this one might be fun, if only to find out what random passage of my current WIP would pop up.  Here are the rules:

  • Go to p. 77 of current WIP
  • go to line 7
  • copy down next 7 lines/sentences & post them as they’re written
  • Tag 7 other authors and let them know

Owen advanced and retreated, then advanced again, then threw up his hands. “You’re jeopardizing the case. Reporters probably have Greta’s penthouse staked.”
“I’m surprised they don’t have this place canvassed.” Dave pushed Owen out the door and locked it. He set the GPS on his cell and zoomed out the driveway.
[scene break]
Jen couldn’t sleep no matter how many relaxation exercises she tried. She sat on Greta’s white leather couch and meditated on nothingness. The intercom phone rang.
“You can’t come up here.” Greta’s voice screeched.

Hope you enjoyed this short excerpt from "Broken Build". More fireworks between Jen and Dave to come this Fall!

And if you think seven is lucky, eight is even luckier (Ask a Chinese realtor why). Now I'll tag eight cool and fantastic authors. You won't want to miss their Works in Progress! Visit their blogs and see what's upcoming!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Guest: Mia Darien Hears Voices

Mia Darien Interviews Characters, not Authors. Do you know anyone to send her way? She'd love to hear from you. Visit her at

I hear voices.

No, really. As a writer, I have every character I've ever written - even ones I have killed off - in my head. They talk to me while I write. Sometimes they yell at me when I write something about them they don't like. When I've really annoyed one, they might stop talking to me and make writing very difficult.

The fun part is that I'm not the only author I've ever talked to who felt this way. It makes for entertaining conversations amongst writers. It's also the basis for a somewhat new section on my author website: Character Interviews.

I had seen them mentioned on other people's sites and when talking about blog tours, but I didn't have a lot of experience with them at first. But, since I do hear those voices, it wasn't hard to imagine. Really on a whim, I thought it would be fun to keep a continuous section going on my site and invite authors to let their characters loose on my site for a post.

It's been a learning curve, figuring out the best ways to go about it, but I've had some great authors jump on the wagon and we've put together some fun stuff.

I think it's enjoyable for both the reader and the writer for a variety of reasons. As a reader, you get to learn about the characters in a very "first hand" way, and get to learn about authors' fun sides. You learn about the book, and knowledge is power. It's a way to learn about new stories you wouldn't know of otherwise.

For the writer, it's a chance to step outside of ourselves. We can have fun, let the little voices loose for a while and get to interact with potential new fans in a different way than we usually do, but close enough to the usual (i.e., our writing) that it's not scary either.

Besides, who doesn't want a little time for fun every now and then?

I've now done interviews with all different types of authors with all kinds of books. It's been great for me to get a chance to interact with fellow writers, which I love to do, and to help them out with the ever difficult marketing and promotion, which I also like to be able to do. And I get to bring (I hope!) some enjoyment to my readers as well.

I offer two different kinds of interviews. Out of World interviews are where the character knows they are in a novel and answer a set of pre-arranged questions. This is kind of tongue-in-cheek and particularly light-of-heart. I ask the characters how they feel about being in a book, about the author, and who they want to play them if a movie was ever made of the book.

The In World interviews are where each interview is tailored specifically to the character and novel they are in, without the character 'knowing' they are in a book. This is fun in a different way. We get to see more of the setting and the character in that setting. Some of my authors, when I've been able to read their book before the interview (which isn't always possible, I'm afraid) have let me "play" in their world a little bit.

For example, in the interview with A. F. Stewart's Narwis, I got to write a vengeance-crazy monk training a deadly apprentice and in the one with Graham Stewart's Harry Charters, I got to write a big-shouldered broad in an earlier decade.

These are just a few of the different ways the interviews can happen, but no matter what the format, they're all fun... for all the reasons I've already said, and because it's nice to know I'm not the only one who hears voices!

And Mia's not the only one whose characters have a way of getting their attention. For an outspoken Michal who really rips into her author, check out Mia Darien's Character Interview: Rachelle Ayala & Michal from “Michal’s Window” at

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Author Interview: Terry Long

Terry Long's debut novel, The Notorious Proposal, is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble as well as other distributors. Today I have the pleasure of introducing her to you. She's sort of a secretive person and not at all related to Terry Guiliano Long, at least I don't think so...

Psst... Here are the exclusives I pried out of her.

So Terry, tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get started as a writer?
Like most writers, I tend to do a bit of daydreaming, so about two years ago, I thought it might be fun to capture the scene in my head and put it to paper.  When I found out just how much fun it was, I never stopped writing or plotting...or having conversations with my characters.

Daydreams, yes, I love those, especially the yummy ones. So what sparked the idea for The Notorious Proposal?
It’s no surprise The Notorious Proposal began with one of my many daydreams.  “What would a woman do, and how would she feel if cornered into marrying a man she didn't fancy?...a man who was a sinfully handsome brute?”  And then, of course, I got to thinking, “Well, hell!  How would a man feel, and what would he do?”  Following these thoughts, I had my plot!  

Cool, I wish I could get my plot from a dream. So who is your favorite character?
My favorite character would have to be the hero, Michael Langdon.  I wanted him to come off as fierce and merciless, and I wished readers to believe him irredeemable.  I wanted to expose his true character slowly, so readers could discover at the same time our heroine does, why he is the man he is, and begin to love him, despite his atrocious behavior.

Love that hot alpha behavior. Was it fun writing him?
Yes, I loved building up Michael’s loutish character, because I knew that my following move would have to be putting him through an ordeal to redeem him!  Ha!

So let me see, you get your plot from daydreaming but you have fun writing it down. Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I should like to think I’m both.  I have tons—ok, not tons, but lots and lots of plotlines labeled by titles, all set to be written.  (My characters are standing by as we speak!)  Once I choose the story I’d like to interpret, I make an outline.  From there, I let each scene unfold and each character develop.

Ha, ha. They're all breathing down your neck. "Me, me! Write about me!" Any reason why you chose the Regency Period to write about? Any authors influenced you growing up?
Julie Garwood is one of my favorite authors.  She is the reason I breathe historical romance novels to this day.

Can't wait to see what you have next. Another historical romance?
Oh yes. I’m really excited about my newest characters. They are not your typical Regency’s prim-and-proper heroine or big, bad, aristocratically-tied hero. So far, she’s making me smirk in absolute approval while he’s making me want to pat his shoulder and say, “There, there.”  I can’t wait to share their love story with everyone! 

Sounds like loads of fun! Thanks for giving us insight on your writing and tempting us with your upcoming story.

You can contact Terry at terrylongbooks @

Monday, March 19, 2012

Holly Michael on Journalism and Fiction

Author Holly Michael
Clare: I'm pleased to introduce my friend, fellow novelist and blogger, Holly Michael. Holly is quite a world traveler and has met and befriended many interesting people. Let's see what Holly's up to.
If you look me up on Twitter—(and by all means, go ahead. Follow me. I’ll follow you. We’ll be friends. It’ll be cool.)—you’ll see that my profile reads: Author, Editor, Journalist, Ghostwriter, Book Reviewer

If you look me up on Google, make sure you click on Holly Michael, the author/blogger and not Holly Michael, the Porn Star. I blog about that here: (Um…Holly Michael, the porn star shares my name. I haven’t been one, just in case there’s any confusion.)

Picture Books
Clare asked me to write about my transition from journalist to novelist. My journey into the published world began fifteen years ago, when I quit writing. Yes, when I quit. My plan, at that time, was not to become a journalist, or a novelist. With no college degree, and three little kids, my goal was to publish a picture book. When the mail delivered another rejection letter (the rejection letter that broke the writer’s resolve), I quit. I even announced my quitting to God, just to make it permanent and binding. An hour later, after returning from a walk, my answering machine was blinking.

At the beep, an editor for Guideposts for Teens magazine said she wanted to publish my essay. The next day, I got a check in the mail from a parenting magazine along with a copy of my first published work. I guess God didn’t take me seriously, and had His own plan for me. Publishing doors began to open. I immediately pitched an essay idea to the Guideposts editor, and I became a regular freelancer for them, while selling essays to other magazines.

To Journalism and Beyond
Years later, in a church bulletin, I read a help wanted ad for a diocese reporter. They hired me as their freelancer and I began pitching some of the same stories, along with new ones, to my local and state newspaper. Then, when I needed a full time job, I got hired as a features writer by the local newspaper to which I’d been freelancing. What a great experience. I had to churn out stories quickly. I wrote weekly 2-3K features stories along with three smaller stories for the weekend entertainment section. What a difference from the longer lead times I had with magazine writing.

To avoid this post becoming a book length biography, I’ll sum up what I learned. While connections led me from one writing experience to the next, I also had to do my part. I jumped on any writing opportunity that dared cross my path, sometimes discovering diverse writing opportunities. Maybe because I didn’t pigeonhole myself as a writer, I was able to grab new opportunities. I wrote a biography for someone, was hired to create a magazine for Wal-Mart Headquarters, edited online stories for Guideposts, did editing for corporations, etc.

Becoming a Novelist
After doing editing work for a company, the president of that corporation asked me to write a script for a seminar series he was teaching. A few years later, he phoned and asked if I’d write a novel based on certain criteria, to go along with the seminar class. I was hooked on fiction.

My difficulty in transitioning from journalism and nonfiction, was learning to loosen up and cease writing in formal AP style. Learn the rules, then break them. Write fragmented sentences and loosen up the dialogue.

What Helped Me Along the Way: 

  • Understanding, helpful editors, who had patience with me. 
  • Critique groups: Internet Writers Workshop is great, but Clare uses
  • A Few Good How to Books: Stephen King’s On Writing, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, by Renni Browne and Dave King, The Complete Guide to Writing Fiction and Nonfiction, by Pat Kubis and Bob Howland. 

And to quote a very good author and friend, Rick Bylina: THE ONLY RULE: WRITERS WRITE! EVERYTHING ELSE IS A GUIDELINE.

My Novels:

  • Crooked Lines (Now being read by an agent)
  • I’ll Be Seeing You (final edits)
  • Another unnamed WIP in the conception stage

New Project:
I just landed a new assignment to write a book about sports and type I diabetes for the parents of children with diabetes. A soon-to-be NFL Player has asked me to write this book during the next off-season and I’m so honored and proud because the athlete is my son.

You can read about that story here:

I didn’t really plan on becoming a blogger, but have discovered that blogging and reading blogs connects me with others in an uplifting give and take learning experience.
Well, there you have it. Holly is an inspiration to us all. When we put our problems in God's hands He has a way of making it straight. I'm looking forward to Holly's story about her son. What a testament to a mother's love and a child's determination.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Best Online Critique Group

Before Critique Circle, I was a lonely writer sitting on the couch with my laptop talking to myself. I had a draft that I sent to a few friends who all said it was lovely. I began to search online for information on how to self publish and ran across a post by Victorine Lieske on Kindleboards recommending that every would-be author get their work critiqued at Critique Circle.

Without looking back, I rushed to CC and signed up. I soon found out that I didn't know the basics of comma usage and that my prose was a deep shade of purple. But more than that, I met and made wonderful friends and grew my knowledge base by both giving and receiving critiques and following up on suggestions.

I learned what filter words are, why dialogue tags do not include "smiled", "laughed", "continued", and when to use italics. I also learned the individual styles of the various writers on CC and profited from each and every one. I had my Sweet Sheriff, my Internal Thought Monitor, my David Defender, my Hot and Spicy Meter Maid, my Macho Manly Makeover, my Emoticon Exploder, my Was-Has-Been Banner, among many loyal and dedicated critters who gave me over 1100 crits.

After exactly one year on CC, I published my first book, Michal's Window. I'm truly thankful for all the help and advice I received on Critique Circle. Nobody should publish before passing through the friendly but firm critters of Critique Circle.

TiaClare on CC

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Don't Go It Alone - Self Publishing

Common mythology among agents and those in the traditional publishing business are that self-pubbers are lonely gunslingers or "does-not-work-well-with-others" mavericks. Wendy Lawton says, "When you make a choice to go it alone, some professionals could see it as a maverick attitude. Does it denigrate what a whole team brings to the process?"

Loner No More
I say, "Absolutely not!" Perhaps there are a few self-pubbers holed up in a mountainside cabin without electricity and running water, scrawling marks in longhand on parchment or impressing wedges on clay tablets, but as far as I can tell, indie authors flock to each other like swarms of hyperactive bumblebees to a field of wildflowers. The father of Self Publishing, J.A. Konrath, runs a blog, A Newbie's Guide to Self-Publishing, with ten thousand followers. He is a big proponent of teamwork and community. He donates thousands of hours of advice to new writers on how to market, hire cover artists, find editors, and social network and has the marketing success to show for it.

Talk me off the Ledge
Resources abound for the independent author. Need support for writing your first draft? There's the annual NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) sprint in November where team members can sign up, track their progress and cheer their friends on. Need critique partners and don't trust your mama to give you objective feedback? There's where writers help each other by earning and spending critique points. Need editing and book cover artwork? Professional editors and artists abound, willing to take work from an unknown writer without agent representation. Need friends to hold your hand and talk you off ledges? Indie authors congregate everywhere from to

Pulse on the Market
But what about marketing? A self-published author must do his own marketing and promotion. And for the most part, so does a traditionally published midlist author--unless you have the name recognition of J.K. Rowling or Stephen King. This is where self-published authors have an advantage.

During all the months of critiquing and social networking, a self-pubbed author has already built a network of relationships--real people she has connected with who went through the blood, sweat and tears of creating a full-length novel, people who have torn apart her work, and shared tears over a dead pet or sipped coffee at a cafe, or attended an ice-skating event with. She has been sharing experiences, finding out what worked and what didn't work, and mostly what changed. Last year it was giveaways, this year it's Kindle Select and this month the thing to do is grouping Free days together for cross-promo.

There's Strength in Numbers
So how is an indie author to keep up with the trends and catch the wave of new social avenues? Join one or two groups and be active in them. One of the best is the Its mission is to promote great literature by bringing readers, authors, reviewers and bloggers together into a vibrant online community.  Another one is the Indie Book Collective, a group more oriented towards marketing and promotion. Many more abound, but the key is participation. Better to stay close to a few groups than spread yourself amongst too many and fail to build meaningful relationships.

There has never been a better time to self-publish than the present, with all of the resources and wonderful people out there giving their time to lend a helping hand to a new author. So are indie authors loners or social butterflies? What do you think? Where are some of your favorite watering holes? Do you agree with "some professionals" that indie authors are bad bets for traditional agents because they are too used to having their own way?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Keeping Great Company at Amazon

I love these authors! And to have my book right next to them? Amazon is the great equalizer!

Top 40 Historical Romance

Top 20 Family Saga

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tracking Kindle Select Free Promotion

Tracking Page
Amazon allows you to easily track how many books you are giving away. Log into your KDP account and hit the Reports Link.

Reports are tracked separately for the various Amazon sites. You will find yourself hitting this page very frequently as the numbers pile up!

The biggest benefit of giving books away free is the exposure you receive. People who have never heard of you before are willing to take a chance at investing the one second it takes to take a peek and click. Even better, you will be aggregated with other books that are currently being downloaded by those people.

In my case, another book of the exact same Bible Character was being promoted at the same time. What a stroke of luck.

Even better - Amazon maintains separate charts between Free and Paid books, and these are updated every hour. And since the displays are arranged side-by-side, your book, if you hit the top of the chart, will be placed alongside the top Paid books, which are likely to be very popular.

Here I am at the top of the Family Saga charts right next to the PAID bestsellers "Top 100 Paid" and next to the "Hot New Releases" and the "Top Rated":

Translation to Paid:
When you go off Free, you are still associated with your cohorts. So if they continue to do well, so might you. One of the things I did was to ask my tweet team at WorldLiteraryCafe to tweet the both books on Queen Michal.

After a day back to paid, 140 sold, 26 borrowed, current ranking:
I will report back in three days to see how this tails off. But in any case, as a new author, the Kindle Select program has been a boon.

3 days later, Michal's Window ranked above #750 with 251 sold, 37 borrowed.

Michal's Window stayed in the top 1000 until March 9th, with over 550 sold in 6 days after going off free.

Publicizing Kindle Select Free Promo

The Kindle Direct Publishing Select program has been a true game changer, especially for new authors. By signing an exclusive deal with Amazon, authors can promote their book free for five days per quarter.

How It Works
Enrolling your book is as easy. Go to your Bookshelf and select your book, or multiple books.

Go to Promotion Manager and fill in the form. The fields are self-explanatory. Type in anything you want for Name. It is a private field for you to keep track of your promos.

Notice the small print. The promos do not always start and end exactly on time.

I would advise a few days lead time to contact kindle book sites, blogs, and add your promo information using their contact form, or follow the instructions. Many sites will not post books with only a few reviews or with low ratings. These were the links I found for Michal's Window.

List of Sites to Contact:

I'm sure there are a lot more sites, facebook pages, twitter handles. If I missed any, please let me know in the Comments. Thanks!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Queen Michal's Big Day - Kindle Select Blowout

Or how Queen Michal Made it to the Amazon Top 30.

What are the odds that two novels written about the same Bible character would go FREE on the same day on Amazon?

Here's what happened from my side. I uploaded Michal's Window last Thursday and elected to be in the Kindle Select program. Initially, I wanted to go out free the same day I uploaded. However due to system latency, I was unable to set my Promo day immediately. Of course I asked my friends at for advice and they told me to give a few days lead time for EReader News Today and other Kindle content newsletters to gather data.

I thought about going out on Leap Day Feb 29th, but decided it would be easier to read the Amazon reports at the monthly cut-off, so I selected March 1-3 for my free days. Then I went and advertised it to all my friends and on my blog. After all, I didn't want my friends to pay 99c for my book. My friends on posted this great link on websites I can add my promo to. Immediately I noticed the advice not to go out on the first of the month and not to go out without any reviews.

Too late to change plans. I had already told people. Well, they were my friends, but still, I figured they would have set alarms on their cell phone to download at midnight March 1. Fortunately, I had enough lead time for two of my leading critters to write a review. After all, they knew the story inside out and left and right and had pulled up my training pants and wiped up all my boo-boos. Whew!

The big day arrived. I stayed up past midnight, but Amazon still showed 99c. My friend in Australia was getting impatient. I mean, it was already March 1 for her, and had been for some time. I could not stay up longer so I went to sleep.

Going into my big day I had exactly 14 sold in the US and 1 sold in the UK for a whopping total of 15. All friends, no doubt. Imagine my surprise when I woke up in the morning and saw 328 downloads! Yay!  Meanwhile, the friendly folks at have been diligently tweeting this promotion all week and I had high hopes.

March 1st got better and better. At noon I was at 650 and happy. At 1:00 pm I was at 1256 and someone mentioned I got mentioned in Ereader News. At that point I hadn't even gone to look at the other free books. I was just so happy that more than 1000 people downloaded.

Then I noticed another book named "Michal" on the top of the Historical Romance list. Jill Eileen Smith is a writer with over twenty years experience and she was leading me to the top. At 5:00 pm she was #1 and I was #4. At 7:00 pm, she was #1 and I was #3. Finally at 10:00 pm, she was #1 and I was #2.

Meanwhile I snuck to the top of Family Saga category where I would stay for the rest of the three days.
I ended March 1st at over 6500 downloads and ranked #55 overall. Michal was #1 and Michal's Window was #2 in Historical Romance and we would stay there until March 3rd.

Things got really exciting on the second day, March 2. Jill Eileen Smith went to #7 or so, and my highest ranking overall was #26. We stayed at #1 and #2 in Historical Romance the entire day and night. I ended the day with over 10,000 downloads and ranked #28. The entire WorldLiteraryCafe tweet team tweeted for both books with this tweet: RT @AyalaRachelle MICHAL, KING DAVID'S WIFE: both books #FREE AND #WLCAuthor #amazon PLS RT!

The third day, we started to slip. #2 and #3, and then #3 and #4 before we parted ways. Newer books intervened and we ended March 3, #5 and #10, respectively in Historical Romance. Jill retained the #1 spot in Religious Historical Fiction, and I retained #1 spot in Family Saga.

At 10:30 pm with an hour and half left, 12,953 downloads from US, 342 from UK, and 17 from the rest. My overall ranking slipped to #55.

I don't know how many Jill Smith gave away, but it must be a lot more than I did. She was mentioned in Pixel of Ink whereas I was not. But honestly, having her running with me helped bring my book to more people's attention. And being on the same page with her most of the time was invaluable exposure. All I can say is I had no idea she'd go free the exact same day. I give all the glory to God who orchestrated this cross-promotion and am glad that Queen Michal's story will continue to educate and entertain more readers in the upcoming months.

List of websites that listed Michal's Window:

Thanks to everyone who downloaded, my friends at for supporting me, the three blogs I was featured on [Jennifer Comeaux, Cherie Reich and Melisa Hamling] and all my friends at for the tweets.

I will post final results tomorrow morning and the winner of my $50 Amazon Giftcard Drawing.

Update (3/4/2012): Winner is Entry #15.

Results of the three day promo period (March 1-3) (# of downloads): 14185
UK 438
DE 17
FR 5
ES 1
IT 0
Total: 14646