Better late than never!

Sorry for the late post, I know Oct. is nearly over, and I have yet to post this Month. So what should I post about that is spooky? Well, how about my encounter with a shadow person growing up most of my life. Seriously, a shadow person followed my family around every time we moved! It would poke it’s head in the door to see what I was doing, and I had to close it at night, so I could get some sleep. It ran complete fear throughout my entire body whenever I looked at it when I was a kid. As I grew older, I  still creeped me out, but I was able to put up a barrier on my bedroom door which was why the shadow person was only able to poke his head in. Do you believe in ghosts or the supernatural?

Flash Fiction Saturday: HGC Vampire Candidate- Book 4 Snippet

There was a clicking sound and she pushed the door open, and I followed her down a flight of concrete steps. I could hear her red boots clattering in the stillness of the stairwell. As we hit the bottom Velvet clicked on the lights and we were standing in a large empty room. I had no clue why she’d brought me down here. The room was totally empty. At least I thought it was empty. Until I saw a figure step out from the shadows and I was surprised when I took in his features. He was tall. Possibly 6’7”, He had long black hair, large black bat wings, a muscular upper body, bluish-green eyes, dark pants and black boots. He was really hot.

“Alexa, I’d like to introduce you to your new partner…” Velvet said, and I gave her a puzzled look.

“Partner?” I asked looking back at the winged angel. “I thought you said-”

“I said that none of the other candidates were skilled enough to be your partner,” Velvet said cooley. “I never said that you would be without a partner.”

“What… are you? …” I asked the winged guy. He just scowled at me.

“I’m a Cruxim…” He replied.

“Isabel Castruita, YA Author, Stitched Smile Publications“

Isabel Castruita is a multi-published popular YA author of urban fantasy/paranormal romance Series: Hell’s Guardian Chronicles and Gargoyle Redemption Trilogy out now. She is signed to Stitched Smile Publications, and her vampire books are now re-released under SSP. Isabel has always had a fascination with the supernatural and the paranormal as well as folklore. She enjoys watching creepy ghost shows and is obsessed with anime. A Gemini, Isabel became inspired to become a writer after reading novels like Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale, the Resident Evil series by S.D. Perry, and the Vampire Academy and Bloodline series by Richelle Mead. A lifelong reader, she enjoys watching creepy ghost shows and is obsessed with anime. Born and raised in Colorado, she works on her Hell’s Guardian Series full-time. FaceBookTwitterWebsiteInstagramPinterestAmazon Author PageWordPress

I’m back!

It feel’s good to be back in the book world! A few Months ago I took a break due to health issues and recently decided to come back to books. Being the first YA Author for SSP is exciting and also not really scary but I do have to step up my game in order to hang with the Adult Authors SSP has. SO… The first book in my Gargoyle Redemption Trilogy is re-releasing in a few weeks and I am super excited! This Short story Series is unique to me because when I started writing it back in 2010, not many authors had written about gargoyles. I am a hard worker and am dedicated and driven to be the best author I can be, so get ready to be taken into my world!

Mental Illness in the writing business

I know most people won’t admit publicly that they have a mental health issue in life. You don’t want that to affect your book sales and fan base. But it’s also important for others to know this because it can and does affect your relationships with other authors, editors, etc. Others need to realize that you are different, not in a bad way but in a unique way. You can still write books, promote, and do everything that a normal author does. Except you need to do things at a slower pace so that you don’t get overwhelmed and have panic attacks or whatever happens to you. But it’s important for you to also seek help when you need it so that way you can keep up with your day to day activities. So if you run across an author or anyone who need’s help, please talk to them and make sure they seek the help they need. That will make that person trust you and know that they can depend on you later in life. And if you work with them in the writing business, please be gentle with them because they are going through so much already and need to be dealt with differently but in a good way.

So You Have Been Stitched Now What?

Have you ensured your Amazon book page has a great book description, amazing cover and your book is competitively priced and has plenty of reviews?

Your answer:

Have you looked up similar books to yours on Amazon and noted their Amazon categories and possible keywords? If yes, please input categories & keywords.

Your answer:

Have you placed a back page in all book versions with a request for reviews and a link to the book on Amazon and a mention of other books you have available and a link?

Your answer:

Have you identified prizes to offer readers who sign up for your email list?

Your answer:

Have you imagined a series of blog posts you could write related to the book and started writing them? If yes, please write the subjects you will be covering.

Your answer:

Have you identified people who can share or post your blog posts https://stitchedsmilepublications.wordpress.com/ and asked them will they do so?

Your answer:

Have you identified book advertising sites such as https://twitter.com/ReadersGazette  &  http://www.readersintheknow.com/list-of-book-promotion-sites to advertise your book?

Your answer:

Have you identified controversial, emotional or helpful themes from your book for use in posts, graphics or Tweets https://twitter.com

Your answer:

Have you created animated GIFs for Twitter https://imgflip.com/images-to-gif  and a book trailer http://www.booktrailersforreaders.com/How+to+make+a+book+trailer? (Michael Freeman and Lisa Vasquez can also be a huge help in this department.

Your answer:

Have you sent out review copies far and wide?

Your answer:

Have you reviewed a book at the Stitched Smile Publications Facebook Review group and submitted your book for reviewing?

See: (Work In Progress)

Your answer:

Have you checked your website and blog and Facebook page and Twitter profile and any other sites you are on to ensure they are up to date?

Your answer

Have you added any new social site you might need?

Your answer

Have you created a list building page with an incentive to build your email list?

Your answer

Have you created a Nouncy http://nouncy.com/ or Thunderclap https://www.thunderclap.it/ campaign to get group promotions and have you promoted it?

Your answer:

Have you sought endorsements from anyone prominent?

Your answer:

Have you prepared a press release https://www.standoutbooks.com/book-press-release-template/ and sent it out to media contacts and newswire services?

Your answer:

Have you had a live book party and enjoyed your moment?

Your answer:

Have you put the first few pages of your book on your site and created a Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/upload audio recording?

Your answer:

Have you created #tags http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/creating-twitter-hashtag-7-steps and used them?

Your answer:

Have you a SmartUrl http://authorbookpromotion.blogspot.com/2014/03/using-smarturl-to-promote-your-book.html for tracking hits to your Amazon book page?

Your answer:

Have you posted about your book to Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/user/sign_up?connect_prompt=true  & LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/ or Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/ or Instagram https://www.instagram.com/ , as appropriate?

Your answer:

Have you written anything provocative about your book?

Your answer:

Have you set up Google Alerts https://plus.google.com/  about your book’s themes and are you adding comments to posts about them?

Your answer:

Have you personally thanked ALL your supporters?

How to Build an Email List for Authors

What is list building?

You offer something of value for free in exchange for an email address. You can set up auto-responders which are automatic emails that go out directing the person to more useful information.

This is permission marketing. You have given something to the person and in exchange asked permission to send them more useful information.

List building is NOT list-buying. It’s the growth of your own list over time in exchange for something of value.

What is the point of having a list?

If you have people’s email addresses, and you are a trusted provider of useful information,  people will open and read your emails. This means you can use the email list to market your books (if the list has been set up for that purpose).

Imagine how powerful it is to have a list of 10,000 people and to send an email saying “My book is available now. Click here to buy”. This is the basis of all the Amazon bestseller campaigns which generally use other people’s lists. If you build one yourself, you have a much more targeted list, and you are a trusted provider to those people. Remember, if people know, like, and trust you,  they are more likely to buy your book.

How do you build a quality list? 

You need to have something to give away for free that is:

  • Valuable and useful to people
  • Related to your product/book

Once you have that, you set up an email signup box like the one designed by Mail Chimp People enter their email and then get the free product.

It is very important to use a reputable service that:

  • manages this all for you automatically and is scalable (yes, you could have 50,000+ subscribers within a few years!)
  • lets people to unsubscribe easily (mandated by anti-spam laws)
  • enables you to send out broadcasts when you like as well as setting up auto-responders
  • enables you to manage and download your list
  • allows you to set up multiple lists from one account

What free giveaway can you do?

As authors, we are uniquely placed to offer some great free giveaways as we produce quality information relatively easily. It is also very important that you giveaway something that is related to what you are selling. There’s no point in giving away an e-book on finance if you want to sell romantic fiction on your blog.

Here are some ideas for your free giveaway:

  • First 3 chapters of your book, or a short story, or the first novella in a series of 3
  • Top 10 tips for <insert your niche here> e.g. Top 10 tips for creating authentic characters / Top 10 tips for writing horror
  • Audio of you reading your work or talking about the subject you are writing about

The most important thing to remember:

You want to be a valuable resource to people, either for information or entertainment. You do not want to be seen as a spammer. So give away great information, offer quality on a regular basis for free, and people will be happy to buy from you when you have something they are interested in. Don’t send unrelated offers. Don’t abuse the list or they will unsubscribe. It’s all about respect.

If you are interested in housing your creative horror works with a publishing house that puts the author first contact us TODAY! Stitched Smile Publications

 

We’re Expanding!

Hello everyone!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted and I apologize, there is so much going on and I’m here to tell you about it.

First, I’d like to welcome some new staff members:
Brandy Yassa — Editor
Deanna Cooley — Editor
Sylvia Stein — Editor
Mark Deloy –Aquisitions
Jeff Brown — Jack of all Trades (No official title but he’s ours, damnit)

Welcome to all of our new staff and I’m looking forward to working with you, creating new nightmares, and giving hope to new authors!

Now let’s get to releases. My goodness! We are rolling out nothing but gold (OK, so I’m biased). Below you can get a glimpse of our current catalog. We have several parties happening at the end of the month so keep reading for more details about that.

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Stalker (available now on Amazon.com)
5.0 out of 5 stars  “Lightness at the end of a dark tunnel”

Carl is a good man who was dealt a bad hand. He has a stressful job, and he struggles with his wife, Gloria, a successful woman who likes to play games that she may not know how to handle.
Gloria begs for attention from her male clients. She gives them what they desire, and they bury her in expensive gifts, dinners, and sex. They always used the same hotel. She even used her real name. A drunken one-night stand leads her to a stalker who has killed before, and he watches her on a daily basis from her shadows.
Most of the citizens of their small town have reported what Gloria gets up to while John is at work. He shrugs it off as he walks by them, but inside, his heart is black. She killed him and his spirit.
John is at a loss; he doesn’t want to divorce her, but he doesn’t want to have anything else to do with her. Separate rooms make them more distant. He has his life and friends. Then the stalker steps from the darkness, and John has to deal with a different kind of loss.

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Collision Course (available now on Amazon.com!)
5.0 out of 5 stars  “Read this Thrill ride and be swept away into action, bloodshed and intesnsity”

Wylderness: A powerful, mysterious corporation with the desire to play God. Gerald: An unpredictable sociopath they thought they could keep chained, but who, by his very nature, is uncontrollable. Gwen: a dishonored cop craving redemption, beholden to the company for her recovery.

Gwen and Gerald are polar opposites. He’s Welsh, built like a Rugby player and wired like a lunatic. His interests? Fast cars, dirty hookers and sharp knives. She’s the all-American golden girl who loves hiking, educational TV and the perfect cup of coffee, but has fallen head-first into a bottle of vodka.

When Gwen’s drinking becomes an addiction, she makes a fatal mistake at work, costing innocent lives as well as her career. At the same time, Gerald has lost the ability and the desire to maintain any façade of obedience to his employer.

Be forewarned, Gerald’s exploits are not for the faint of heart, or stomach; even Gwen’s courage has its limits. If you’re ready for a barely controlled, action and horror-filled apocalyptic joyride, buckle up. You’re on a Collision Course. It’s not going to end well.

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Granville (available now on Amazon.com!)
5.0 out of 5 stars  “A worthy read filled with absolute horror and revenge on a level rarely read.”

Stanley is a typical high school student trying to find his way through the hierarchy of study and popularity. Nobody wants to spend time with him and even his crush turned him down nine times. He spends most of his time alone in the house, cursing his mother and blaming her for driving his father away. He has a preoccupation with all things horror and his love goes beyond just watching the movies; he wants to be the star of the show.

Making masks started as a hobby that soon becomes a practiced ritual and finally, when he has the right mask and slips it on over his head, he realizes that he is transformed. He is no longer Stanley but Granville, a masked warrior who intends to get payback for all the wrongs done to him and he will hold no punches.

The town is on lock down, the people terrified of this hideous killer, all the while he waits and plans his final masterpiece before taking off.

 

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Strigoi: The First Family (available March 30th)

Not all monsters are made. Some are born. And sometimes, history gets it wrong. A freelance writer is invited to an elderly man’s home to witness his telling of the family history to his sons. The patriarch’s reason for requesting a stranger into his home as he shares his tale is a simple one. He wants the young man to write the true history of Family Dracul, to trace the lineage back to the very first member of a family cursed. But, the old man has another agenda. He wants to warn humanity; what happened in the past was nothing compared to what is to come.

“The vampire legends died soon after [Elizabeth] Bathory’s demise only to reemerge in the early 1970s with book after book and movie after movie. If only those stupid humans knew the truth.”

 

 

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Strychnine (available March 30th)

What if the Zombie Apocalypse was man made, but not the way we think? It wasn’t some virus that started with patient zero resulting in an accidental outbreak. It is true, it was a bio-weapon that when released failed to accomplish what scientists created it to do, and it had an unintended side effect.

And, what if werewolves really did exist, but they haven’t been our enemy for years until one ruthless man bent on domination is turned?

Strychnine is the story of two brothers torn apart by an experiment forcing them fight against one another. It is also the name of a metal band made up of another set of brothers and their girlfriends.

Life for Thorne, his girlfriend, Blaze; his brother, Seminole; and Seminole’s girlfriend, Spaz, is about to be flipped on end as they find out zombies are real, werewolves have always been real, and certain werewolves are mankind’s saviors and its enemies at the same time. After being bitten by a werewolf fighting for mankind’s survival, Thorne unwittingly creates his own small pack to continue the fight over the worst kind of terrorist, one with large fangs and claws.

“Many years ago the Lycans roamed the earth. When they were discovered by your government, a deal was made.”


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Hell’s Guardian Chronicles (available March 23rd)
Zyra Falls, is a latent vampire known as a Stregoni Benefici, who is struggling to survive after. The Red system attacked her again. She has to learn to become a Hunter as well as learning to control her psychic powers. Will Queen Velika take her revenge out on Zyra and the innocent Lugat? Or will Zyra do what she has to save them from her grasp?

 


 

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