Tag Archives: free

Sworn Chapter One Available Now

I asked my Facebook reader group/street team last week whether they wanted me to post chapter one for them. Opinions were divided. Some said “absolutely,” while others felt it would be too frustrating to read it and then have nowhere to go from there.

So I’m posting it here under “free fiction,” as I did with the first chapters of Bound and Torn. If you want to be teased, it’s there. If not… less than a month to wait for the whole thing!

click here

(Sworn releases January 29 on Amazon, Kobo, Nook, iBooks, and other select ebook retailers)

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Sworn Update (and an exciting bonus)

Hey, guys!

I know you’re patiently waiting (okay, some of you not so patiently) for a release date for Sworn. And I’m here to tell you…

That I don’t know yet. *ducks rotten eggs and tomatoes*

I had planned to make the announcement early this month, and to have the book out by Christmas. I planned this based on the fact that I expected it to be back from editing by now. But due to unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances, my editor couldn’t take the book until last week, and I’m not sure when work started. It’s a big book, and I don’t have guarantees on when it will be back.

So first, the bad news:

  • I can’t make promises until it comes back and I see how much work it needs. I’ll never give my readers anything but my best work, and I learned on the last release that setting a release date too early = rush and stress, and I don’t want to risk it turning into a situation where I cut corners to meet a deadline. I’ll tell you that you’ll have a book to cozy up with in the depths of this coming winter (if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere), though. The delay won’t be that huge. It might just mean no Sworn in your stocking.

I know. I’m at least as bummed about that as you are. I’m looking at the opportunities here and staying positive, though, and there is a lot to be positive about (grey hairs are pretty, right?).

The good news:

  • My kids are now able to stay at school for lunch, which gives me a little extra work time every day. Once Sworn comes back from my editor, I’ll be working on that and nothing else.
  • Cover art is ready to roll, formatting shouldn’t be a big issue (knock on wood), and I’m in the process of lining up beta readers who can get this thing back to me quickly. That will cut down on my production time, and hopefully get the book into your hands sooner.
  • I’m keeping release plans, including pre-orders, flexible. I won’t do anything that might delay getting the book into your hands.
  • The book is going to be amazing, and absolutely worth the wait. And I will have a release date for you in the next less-than-a-month. Promise.

And one other thing.

I mentioned last week during my WIPpet Wednesday post that this delay has given me time to work on another little project. That project is a prequel novella for the Bound trilogy that takes place a few decades before. It’s the story of a Sorcerer king and the young woman with no magic who nonetheless enchants him, an ill-fated romance if ever there was one. It answers some questions for readers of the trilogy, and will make for an excellent read while you’re waiting for Sworn. I’m in the process of finding an editor for that one.

And the best part? To say thanks for your patience, this book (when it’s ready) will be available FREE just for subscribing to my newsletter. If you’re subscribed, you’ll get it automatically, and new subscribers will get it (and The Binding) as well.

I’ll keep you updated on that one.

Thanks again for your patience. I assure you that the wait is every bit as frustrating for me as it is for you, and I can’t wait to share the conclusion of this story with you.

-Kate


Last Chance to Enter!

Teri Polen’s giveaway (signed paperback copy of bound, mermaid charm, sea glass, and assorted papery swag) is ending soon! She’ll be announcing the winner July 31, which means there’s only a day or so left to enter. This is a fantastic prize from a generous reader, so be sure to enter!

(US and Canada only for this one, but I’ve got something different coming up for everyone else next month)

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Click here to enter. Good luck!


Want Bound for Free? Read On.

When I look at this blog’s stats, I see search engine terms that bring people here. Sometimes they’re amusing. Sometimes they’re confusing, like the person who tried eight different search terms trying to figure out how to put notes for chapter one of their book into a notebook.

Sorry I wasn’t more helpful with that.

Sometimes they’re people wondering when they next book in the Bound trilogy is out, which is super cool. Still aiming for late winter/early spring (Northern hemisphere), guys.

A lot of the time, they’re people looking for free copies of Bound. They’re looking for BOUND KATE SPARKES (or SPARKS) FREE, BOUND TRILOGY FREE, yadda yadda.

Now, I have no problem with that. I’m glad there’s interest. Ecstatic, actually. And a lot of authors do offer their books for free from time to time. I get the feeling that a lot of these people are looking for pirated/file-shared PDF files, though. That’s less of a good feeling.

I’m not talking to those people, though, and that’s a totally different topic.

No, this post is for the people who have heard good things about Bound but don’t have five dollars to spend on the e-book. I totally get that. I often wait for books to go on sale when they’re $4.99 or above, and almost never spend more than about $6 on an e-book, myself. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. We’re cool. High fives, frugal buddies!

I’m going to tell you a secret. There are ways to get it for less.

If you want a bought-and-paid-for copy at a lower price (bless you), you could wait for a sale. It’s going to happen some time.

The best way to be alerted of that is to sign up for my newsletter here. I don’t spam, only send messages when something of interest is afoot, and share information on sales and events like cover reveals there before I do anywhere else.

Following on Twitter (@kate_sparkes) or Facebook are also options, but there’s a better chance you’ll miss announcements that way. Facebook reach is low. Tweets are fleeting. *sigh*

(The other cool thing about the newsletter is that that’s where I’m going to be making the first offer for advance review copies of Torn. Depending on how many I decide to pass out and how much interest there is, that might be the only place to get them. Seriously, sign up!)

Or… there’s another option.

Have you guys heard of the Books Machine?

It’s an interesting concept, and one I’m still figuring out. Authors list their books, and readers browse or search for specific books, then request review copies.

Free review copies.

What does that mean? Well, in this case, you send a message to the author through the site stating why you’d like to receive a copy of the book, and the author accepts or rejects the requests. I haven’t rejected a request yet, but if you send me one saying “I hate Fantasy and love is stupid,” I might just say no. The other reason a request might be rejected is if an author is giving out a set number of copies a month, and that’s already been exceeded.

But mostly, authors like reviews, and it’s worth it to us to share our work through the site. Because…

You have a job, too. You get the book free, direct from the author. In my case, I’ll send you a mobi file via e-mail or direct to your Kindle, since for some reason I can’t gift through Amazon.ca.  In exchange, you agree to read it within a certain time frame and leave an honest review on Amazon*.

Not necessarily a glowing review. You’re not obligated to leave ALL TEH STARZ.

But you as a reader do agree to leave a review, and in a timely fashion.

After you do that, you let The Books Machine know what a keener you are, and the author rates your performance. Again, NOT based on how well-written the review is, or how many stars you gave. It’s based entirely on whether you fulfilled your side of the deal within the specified time frame. If you do that, you get a better reputation on the site, and will be more likely to have other authors accept your requests.

Cool, right? Seems like it to me, anyway. Not everyone is in a position to read quickly and review, but if you’re doing that anyway, this might be something to look into. It works a bit like Read4Review groups on Goodreads, but with one big group.

I’ve only had three requests through the program so far, so no comment or assessment on whether it’s worth it for authors to sign up (we’ll look at that another day). But it seems like an interesting deal for readers. I thought about requesting Unicorn Western through there, but realized I couldn’t guarantee I’d get through it in time.

Curses.

To recap:

WAYS TO GET MY BOOKS CHEAP OR FREE:

-Wait for a sale

-sign up for the newsletter to be informed of said sales (or if you want a chance to get the next book free and in advance of publication, and who doesn’t want that?)

-check out the Books Machine. Bound comes up in their search (click “Books” at the top), but there’s lots more there that’s worth checking out.

 

There you go. You’re welcome, search engines.

 

*Yes, you have to review on Amazon, but you’re also free to review elsewhere. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can read using the Kindle app on a computer, phone, or tablet. Or you might find an author willing to send an ePub file. *ahem*


Free Fiction: Strength 101

Hey, guys! I know I shared this when it was a guest post on A.M. Leibowitz’s blog back in October, but for anyone who missed it, I’ve added Strength 101 to the Free Fiction tab at the top of the page (with her permission, of course).

See it there? Top right? In the drop down menu… there you go! Or click here.

I don’t even know how to describe this one. I set out to write a blog post about how screwed up the definition of “strong female characters” is. But… well, I was on migraine medication, and it turned into a short story about a stereotypical “strong” female character trying to teach a remedial class for characters who just weren’t making the cut. Hilarity ensued, and I met a few characters who were only supposed to be there to play a small part in this story, but who might get their own some day.

Pain meds aside, I like this story, and it still makes me smile. I stand by the conclusion, too.

In the comments on the original blog post, Emily Witt shared this link to an article on overthinkingit.com that sums the situation up pretty well. I hadn’t seen it before, and am SO glad she shared.

Enjoy!

 

 


Strength 101 (Or How to Be a Strong Female Character)

Hey, guys! A.M. Liebowitz invited me to do a guest post on her blog, and this morning she posted my short story “Strength 101”

It’s a fun look at what happens when a bunch of fictional characters attend a class on how to be “Strong Female Characters,” and how things don’t go exactly as planned.

Seriously. Good times for your Friday.

And while you’re there, check out the sidebar links to A.M. Liebowitz’s upcoming release “Lower Education.” I got all spendy and pre-ordered this one. We’ve met the main characters on WIPpet Wednesdays, and they’re amazing. 🙂

Here’s the link to the story.

Enjoy!


Signed Paperback Giveaway

We have so much to celebrate!

Tomorrow is Bound’s three month… um… bookaversary? That works.

Distrgard the Prologue has passed 500 followers (hi, new kids!).

The Facebook page has reached 300.

Even with overlap, I think that means it’s time to have some fun.

I’m giving away a signed paperback copy of Bound to one lucky reader, just to say thank you to all of you for your support. I like you guys. You’re cool.

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Keep it, read it, share it, give it to someone for a gift… whatever you like.

I can’t figure out how to embed this thing, so you’ll need to click on the link below. You earn entries for commenting on this blog post, liking my page on Facebook, and following on Twitter. All of the above, if you want more entries, but just one is fine. Entries are open until October 1.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’ll also throw in a few postcards for you. You can use them as bookmarks, share them with friends, sleep with them under your pillow in the hopes of dreaming of your favourite character… whatever you like.

Just a reminder that I’m also running a giveaway on Goodreads, if you haven’t entered that one.

That’s two paperbacks available! And with Canada Post’s shipping rates, I’m afraid that’s all I can do. Starving artist here, people! 🙂

So there you go. Have at it. Refer a friend. If I did this thing right, you can tweet every day for more entries.

And thank you. So much.

Okay, back to work.


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