How Do You Get Your Child Back From An Evil Witch?

witch dance cover

 

Release day for WITCH DANCE is right around the corner, September 15th to be exact. It’s pretty easy to figure out the tale centers around witches, and the blurb indicates the story is about missing children, so the bottom line is: How Do You Get Your Child Back From An Evil Witch? Let’s ask our heroine, Margaret Speedwell.

Lori: Thanks for joining us today, Margaret!

Margaret: It’s my pleasure to be here.

L: I don’t even know where to start, so why don’t you just tell us what happened.

M: Sure. My husband, Thomas, and I took a weekend trip down to Tupelo with our twins. We stayed at a campground called Witch Dance on the Natchez Trace Parkway, and we visited an old burial site called the Bynum Mounds. Our daughters ran over the mounds and Emily came back alone. Sarah disappeared.

L: That must have been terrifying! Tell me you found her.

M: Yes, it certainly was terrifying, and yes, we did find her.

L: Thank goodness! So, where was she?

M: I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but I guess I can share with you that she was kidnapped.

L: Kidnapped?

M: Yes. Kidnapped by witches.

L: I don’t want to make light of your story, but witches seem a little far-fetched.

M: Before rescuing her, I would have said the same thing, but I saw them, I fought them.

L: I assume, since you got your daughter back, you won.

M: *smile*

L: How did you win? What did they look like? Where did they come from? I’m sorry, those are a lot of questions, but I’ve never heard a story like this before.

M: And you never will again. When it was all said and done, we stopped them.

L: We, who?

M: There were a couple wonderful women who helped me get Sarah back. Miss Myrtle Brooks, sort of an eccentric old dame, and Grandma Ivy, who I knew growing up. Those elderly ladies are the bravest and strongest people I know.

L: So, you say you stopped the witches? Does that mean you killed them? And how would one kill wicked witches?

M: Well, I can tell you they were not all wicked, and they are not all dead. The good ones are still with us.

L: This sounds like an amazing story! I guess we’ll have to read it.

M: I’m sure the author would appreciate it if you did.

L: One last question. How’s Sarah?

M: This morning when I left to come here, she was sitting in front of SpongeBob SquarePants munching on a bowl of Cocoa Krispies, so I think she’ll be fine.

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Witch Dance will be released Sept 15 on Kindle, Nook, and Paperback. It will be release on audiobook at Audible and Amazon on Oct 1. You can pre-order the Kindle today for the awesome low price of $0.99 for a limited time – click here!

Lori Crane is a bestselling and award-winning author of historical fiction and the occasional thriller. Her books have climbed to the Kindle Top 100 lists many times, including “Elly Hays” which debuted at #1 in Native American stories. She has also enjoyed a place among her peers in the Top 100 historical fiction authors on Amazon, climbing to #23. She resides in greater Nashville and is a professional musician by night – an indie author by day.

Lori’s books are available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

 

 

Audiobooks = press play

TESTING 1,2,3…AUDIOBOOKS
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The first thing you need to look at when considering making an audiobook are the numbers. The Audio Publishers Association reported $800 million in audiobook sales in 2011. The number grew to $1 billion in 2012 and $1.2 billion in 2013. Yes, that’s billion, with a B. Goodereader.com said the audiobook industry was worth over $2 billion in 2014. I haven’t seen any numbers for 2015 yet, but there should be a little bit in there for you.
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Now that I have your attention, let’s create an audiobook. The process of creating an audiobook is completely painless at ACX. This post isn’t a commercial for ACX, but I’ve used them a couple times now, and they are author-friendly. ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange) is the company that links authors with narrators and distributes to Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.
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Your first step in creating an audiobook is to create an account at ACX.com, and then you can listen to some narrators by gender, accent, and style.
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downloadHIRE A NARRATOR
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Once you’re ready to go, you need to hire a narrator. You can narrate yourself, but it you don’t have recording equipment and lots of practice in front of a mic or lots of money to spend in a recording studio, it is a million times easier and faster to hire a professional.
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To find the perfect narrator, just upload a section of your book to ACX and invite auditions. Of course, you can email the actors you listened to when you first signed on. Make sure your uploaded section contains some dialog and maybe some drama in it. You want to hear the range of the narrator. Be ready to move forward quickly because you’ll get auditions almost immediately. Send each narrator a note of thanks for taking the time to audition your sample – whether you hire them or not. It takes a lot of time to record, master, and upload your sample, and they’re doing it for FREE.
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Once you choose a narrator, you then offer them a deal.
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6a00d8341bf73153ef0105359fa532970c-800wi“SO, HOW MUCH IS THIS GOING TO COST ME?”
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Narrators charge anywhere from $100 to $300 per finished hour. This is called a “pay-for-production” deal. Example: If you’re book is 50k words, that’s about 6 hours finished, so the finished cost will be between $600 and $1800. Some narrators opt to do a 50/50 “royalty-share” instead. That’s 50% of your royalties for 10 years with no money up front.
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Take a moment and do the math so you know how many audiobooks you need to sell to break even. ACX sets your price by the length, and the above 6-hour book example would sell for roughly $19.95. The longer the book, the higher the selling price. The shorter, the lower. Read further to find out your share. The range of Audible pricing is 1-3 hours $7-10, 3-5 hours $10-20, 5-10 hours $15-25, 10-20 hours $20-30. Here’s another fun fact: If your book is purchased by a new Audible member as their first download, you get a $50 bounty. That’s fun!
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distributionDISTRIBUTION
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ACX will offer you two distribution options. 1) 40% royalties for an exclusive distribution deal. This is a seven-year contract and you are not allowed to sell the audiobooks yourself to anyone at any time through any avenue in any format (digital, CD, audio tape) during that time. OR 2) 25% royalties for an non-exclusive deal, and you can sell them anywhere you want. ACX distributes to Audible, Amazon, and iTunes, so I don’t know where else you’d want to sell them, unless you want to have them pressed and sell them out of your trunk. But keep in mind, according to the Audio Publishers Association, audiobooks that were downloaded through a website instead of bought on CD in 2009 were 29%, 36% in 2010, and 46% in 2011, and growing, so there may not be any good reason to press your audiobook.
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If your narrator costs $250 per finished hour and your book is 6 hours long, it will cost you $1500 for a pay-for-production deal. If you go with exclusive distribution and are making 40% of the $19.95 sale price, you would need to sell a couple hundred copies to break even. One note here: Audible members which are a huge chunk of your sales pay about half price, so your royalty income and break even number would need to be adjusted for those sales. You’d need to sell about 400 copies to only Audible members to break even. A majority of buyers on Audible are members.
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If you choose the “royalty share” option with your narrator, you would NOT need to pay the $1500 up front, but you would split the royalties 50/50 and only make $4 per copy sold for the next 10 years, and $2 for an Audible member sale.
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So, figure out how long your book will be (roughly 8500 words per finished hour) and how many copies you need to sell before you step up to the plate and ask for auditions and negotiate fees.
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Once you decide on your narrator, make a price/payment deal with them, and choose your ACX distribution option, you’ll need to upload your entire book and give the narrator some deadlines. There will be two deadlines: one for your narrator to upload the first 15 minutes for you to approve and one for the whole project to be completed. If your narrator isn’t too busy, they can have the first 15 minutes to you within a few days and the book completed within a month. They will upload each chapter to ACX as it is recorded, so you can listen to each chapter as it is uploaded and send a message to correct anything you’d like corrected. Be specific about the pronunciation of any strange names or titles up front in the process to avoid later corrections. My book Okatibbee Creek is pronounced Oh-kuh-TIB-bee. That makes it easier.
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When the recording is finished and all chapters are uploaded, you’ll need to approve the recording. Your narrator will then send you a bill if you opted for the pay-for-production deal. If you opted for the royalty-share deal, this step will be omitted. Once you pay your narrator, he/she will let ACX know your audiobook is approved for sale.
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ACX will then take 2-3 weeks to get your audiobook live on the sites. So, the whole process should take about eight weeks. If you opt for a pay-for-production deal, save your pennies first. Do not make the narrator wait to get paid.
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Note
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The size of your cover needs to be adjusted for an audiobook to a square CD shape. You cannot use your ebook cover. Here’s the original ebook cover for Okatibbee Creek and the resized audiobook cover. The needed dimensions can be found on the ACX website.
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okatibbee creek cover front JPEG
okatibbee audio
Note 2
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I don’t know if they always do it, but Audible sent me 25 free download codes to give away. For the above example 6-hour book, that’s $500 worth of freebies, so while you’re waiting for your project to be completed, think of some creative ways to market and give those copies away. Some authors swear by audiobook sales. Give it a shot!
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Lori Crane is a bestselling and award-winning author of historical fiction and the occasional thriller. Her books have climbed to the Kindle Top 100 lists many times, including “Elly Hays” which debuted at #1 in Native American stories. She has also enjoyed a place among her peers in the Top 100 historical fiction authors on Amazon, climbing to #23. She resides in greater Nashville and is a professional musician by night – an indie author by day.

Saturday Snippet – OKATIBBEE CREEK

okatibbee creek cover front JPEGOkatibbee Creek takes place in Mississippi during the Civil War and is based on a true story. Our heroine, Mary Ann, has been left alone with the children while the men in her family are off fighting. I don’t think she’s as fragile as the Yankees assume.

*****************************************************************

I can hear Charlie screaming for me as he runs up the road. He flies in the front door of the store, shouting that the Union Army is coming down the street. Oh, no, here we go. Apparently I am now in the middle of this war. Unfortunately, on this day, I have all of the children with me: my three, William’s four, and James’s five.

I order the boys to run to the field in back and chase the hog and the horse into the woods. I order the girls to take every jug, every crock, and every jar of food from the store and the cellar, put them in the attic, barricade the door, and stay there. Then I load my rifle. I’ll be damned if I’m going to let these disgraceful, plundering Yankees ruin my life any more than they already have. And I will kill every last one of them before I let them harm the children. When the Yankees arrive, I will be more than ready for them.

I watch for them out the front window of the store. My palms are sweating. My heart is pounding out of my chest. My breathing is heavy. I can also feel my anger rising like flames from the very depths of Hell. My hands are shaking, though I don’t know if it is from fear or rage. I can hear them coming before I can see them. Their horses are clomping on the dry road and there is a jingling sound from their spurs and saddles. Sure enough, they stop right in front of my store. There are three of them on horseback dressed in their blue uniforms. They are filthy and unshaven and a bit thin and weary. I slowly emerge through the doorway onto the wooden front porch with my loaded rifle in my hands.

“What do you want?” I yell to the Yankees.

“Do you have any food here?” one of them asks, though it sounds more like a demand than a question.

“No, I don’t have any food,” I say, surprised at the sound of the strength in my own voice even though my statement is a bold lie.

“Is your husband home?” the second one asks.

“No. You already killed him,” I reply, with venom in my tone that would scare off any other man, but they don’t move.

“Is there a man of the house here?” the third one asks.

“No, there are no men here, just me.” I raise my gun slightly.

“You need to put that gun away, ma’am. We just want some food. We’re not here to hurt anyone. You have to have some kind of food in that store,” the first one says with a cocky smile on his unshaven face, as he climbs down from his horse. He removes his dusty hat and takes a couple steps toward me.

“I already told you, I don’t have any food,” I say slowly without raising my voice. I do, however, raise my gun to my shoulder and point it squarely at the man’s face. The two Yankees still on horseback put their hands on their pistols.

The man on the ground stops moving and holds up his free hand to the other two to keep them from drawing their weapons. Again, he starts to move toward me.

I cock the hammer. Again, he stops.

We seem to be at a stalemate. But what he doesn’t know is that the rage inside me will have no trouble blowing his damn head off. We stare each other directly in the eye and neither of us moves.

*************************************************

Lori Crane Books at Amazon and audiobook at Audible.

Video Trailer

#Hashtags for #Writers

twitbirdHASHTAGS ROCK MY WORLD!

Here’s a huge list for you authors on Twitter. It was compiled by a bunch of people, and I compiled it further. Print it out and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

BASIC WRITING STUFF

  • #AmWriting
  • #AmEditing
  • #AmRevising
  • #Author
  • #Authors
  • #AuthorLife
  • #BookMarket (Thursday’s at 4 pm ET)
  • #CopyWriting
  • #EditGoal
  • #Editing
  • #ePubChat
  • #IndieAuthors
  • #LitChat (every M/W/F)
  • #MemoirChat (every other Wednesday at 8 pm ET)
  • #NaNoWriMo
  • #PBLitChat (picture books only)
  • #PoetTues
  • #ScriptChat
  • #TenQueries
  • #WordCount
  • #WriteGoodNews
  • #Writer
  • #Writers
  • #WriteChat
  • #WriterWednesday (or #WW or ##WW)
  • #WritersLife
  • #WritersRoad
  • #Writing
  • #WritingBlitz
  • #WritingParty
  • #WroteToday
  • #YALitChat
  • #ZineChat

BOOK GENRE

  • #amreading
  • #Biopic
  • #Book
  • #Comedy
  • #Cookbooks
  • #Cooking
  • #Crime
  • #DarkFantasy
  • #Dystopian
  • #Erotica
  • #KidLitChat
  • #FanFic
  • #Fiction
  • #FlashFic
  • #Food
  • #Historical
  • #History
  • #HistFic
  • #HistNovel
  • #Horror
  • #KidLit
  • #Literature
  • #LitFic
  • #MGLit (Middle Grade Lit)
  • #MemoirChat
  • #Mystery
  • #NonFiction
  • #Novel
  • #Paperbacks
  • #Paranormal
  • #Recipes
  • #Regency
  • #RomanceWriter
  • #Romance
  • #Romantic
  • #RomanticSuspense
  • #RWA (Romance Writers of America)
  • #SCBWI (Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators)
  • #Science #Fiction
  • #ScienceFiction
  • #SciFi
  • #SciFiChat
  • #Short
  • #ShortStories
  • #Short #Stories
  • #ShortReads
  • #ShortStory
  • #SteamPunk
  • #Suspense
  • #TrueStories
  • #UrbanFantasy
  • #WomensFiction
  • #YA

INDUSTRY INFO

  • #AskAgent
  • #AskAuthor
  • #AskEditor
  • #BookMarketing
  • #EBooks
  • #ePub
  • #ePublishing
  • #GetPublished
  • #HowTo
  • #IAN1 (Independent Author Network)
  • #Indie
  • #IndieAuthor
  • #IndiePub
  • #IndiePublishing
  • #IndiePubChat
  • #PromoTip
  • #Publishing
  • #Pubtip
  • #PubWrite
  • #SelfPub
  • #SelfPublishing
  • #VSS (very short story)
  • #WebFic
  • #WebLit
  • #WritingTip
  • #WriteTip
  • #WLCauthor (World Literary Cafe)

 

CONNECT WITH WRITERS

  • #AmWriting
  • #AmEditing
  • #EHFA (English historical fiction authors)
  • #WordCount
  • #WriterWednesday
  • #WritersLife
  • #YALitChat
  • #LitChat (every M/W/F)
  • #MemoirChat (every other Wednesday at 8 pm ET)
  • #BookMarket (Thursday’s at 4 pm ET)
  • #ScriptChat (Screenwriters)
  • #PoetTues
  • #ZineChat
  • #WritingParty
  • #IndieAuthors
  • #WriteChat
  • #NaNoWriMo
  • #PBLitChat (Picture books only)
  • #Tweets4authors

 

CREATIVE JUICES

  • #1K1H (one thousand words one hour)
  • #140Poem
  • #Creativity
  • #StoryStarter
  • #WIP (work in progress)
  • #WordAThon
  • #WriteGoal
  • #WriteMotivation
  • #WritersBlock
  • #WritingPrompt
  • #WritingSprint

CONNECT WITH READERS

  • #99c
  • #99cents
  • #Amazon
  • #AmazonKindle
  • #AmazonLikes
  • #AmazonPrime
  • #AmReading
  • #BestRead
  • #BookBuzz
  • #BookBuzzr
  • #BookGiveaway
  • #BookMarketing
  • #BookReview
  • #Books
  • #BookSpotlight
  • #BookWorm
  • #Borrow
  • #eBook
  • #eReaders
  • #ff (Friday Follow)
  • #Free
  • #Freebie
  • #FreeBook
  • #FreeDownload
  • #FictionFriday
  • #FictionFridays
  • #FridayFlash
  • #FridayReads
  • #GoodReads
  • #GreatRead
  • #IndieThursday
  • #IndieTuesday
  • #iPad
  • #KDP
  • #KDPSelect
  • #Kindle
  • #KindleBargain
  • #KindleBooks
  • #KindleeBooks
  • #KindleFire
  • #KindleTouch
  • #KindleTweet
  • #Kobo
  • #LendingLibrary
  • #LitChat
  • #MustRead
  • #MyWANA (We Are Not Alone writer’s group)
  • #New
  • #Nook
  • #Novel
  • #Novelines (to quote your own work)
  • #Novelists
  • #Novels
  • #Paperbacks
  • #Poetry
  • #PoetryMonth
  • #Pubit
  • #Read
  • #Reader
  • #Readers
  • #Reading
  • #Reviews
  • #SampleSunday
  • #SeriesBooks
  • #ShortReads
  • #Smashwords
  • #Sony
  • #Special
  • #StoryFriday
  • #StoryTelling
  • #TeaserTuesday or #TeaserTues
  • #GreatReads
  • #WhatToRead
  • #WriteQuote
  • #WeekendReader
  • #WLC (World Literary Cafe)
  • #WLCbookbuzz
  • #Wordathon

PROMOTE, NETWORK, MARKET

  • #ASMSG (authors social media support group)
  • #AuthorRT (author’s retweet group)
  • #BYNR (book your next read)
  • #CR4U (clean reads for you)
  • #FollowFriday
  • #free or #freebie
  • #FreebieFriday
  • #FreeReads
  • #HSFCA (historical fiction authors retweet group)
  • #IAN1 (Indie author network)
  • #IARTG (indie author retweet group)
  • #RT
  • #Share
  • #WLCauthor (World Lit Cafe)
  • kinds of books – #Kindle #Nook #ebook #paperback #epub #amazon #kdp #audiobook #audible #trailer #excerpt #pdf1

Saturday Snippet – Okatibbee Creek

okatibbee_cover frontIt’s been a while since I posted a snippet. The following is from my book Okatibbee Creek. The heroine of the story is my 3rd great grandmother. She barely survived the Civil War and typhoid running rampant through her family. In this scene, the war is over and disease has passed, she is older and having a discussion with the slave who raised her.

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I look up and see Bertie slowly walking up the road toward daddy’s house. She’s wearing a dark blue dress and a floppy straw hat covering her eyes.

“Hi, Miss Bertie,” I yell to her as I wipe away my tears and put a smile on my face.

“Hi, baby girl.” She waves back.

“What brings you out on this lovely morning?” I ask when she finally reaches the porch and plops down on the step. She takes off her hat and reveals her gray hair tied in a bun. She sets her hat next to her and wipes beads of sweat off her forehead with her handkerchief.

“I was just on my way to your house to see the babies and to see how you are doing,” she says as she tucks her handkerchief back into her sleeve.

I can tell by her demeanor that there is something more on her mind, but I figure she will tell me when she is ready.

“Well, it’s nice to see you. We are all doing fine at home,” I reply.

“That’s good to hear, baby girl.”

“Bertie, I’m forty-one years old. How long are you going to call me baby girl?” I tease her.

She laughs. “You have been my baby girl since I came to your daddy’s house when you were six years old. You will always be my baby girl.”

“Aw, you know I love you, Miss Bertie.” I reach over and pat her bony hand.

“And I love you, too, baby girl. You know, you have always been the smartest and most beautiful of your momma’s children. And with everything you have been through, you have become the strongest and most courageous woman I have ever known.”

She pauses and looks out across the yard as her mind wanders to another time and place. After a moment she adds, “Your momma and daddy would be very proud of you, but it was a blessing they were not around to witness all the pain and loss we went through.” She pauses again and looks out across the yard. “You’re also a wonderful mother.”

I can tell she’s leading up to something.

“I don’t know what I would have done without you, Bertie. You helped me through so much.”

“I know what you went through, baby girl. I witnessed it all. I have seen you stand strong in the face of disaster and death and sickness and hunger. You have faced every adversity with courage and every defeat with dignity and grace. I’m very proud of you, more than you’ll ever know.”

My eyes well up with tears as I feel a mixture of being touched by her kind words, and trepidation that she is going somewhere awful with this talk.

“Bertie, your love has been one of the reasons I have been able to be strong and steadfast. Together, we have laughed and cried through so much,” I say as I stare straight ahead at the field.

Memories come flooding back, along with the sadness and the happiness. Rice, Daddy, Momma, Monroe Franklin. I shake the memories off and look back at Bertie.

“I have the feeling you weren’t headed all the way to my house just to tell me you’re proud of me.” I stop and wait for her to speak.

“Well, baby girl, like I said, you have always been the smartest of your momma’s children.” She takes a deep breath and exhales. I wait patiently as I watch her build up her courage. “Well, I have not been feeling very well lately and I saw the doctor. He said he can’t do much for me and I may not be around much longer. You know I have raised Tony as my own since his parents died of the fever. He’s only thirteen and not quite ready to face the world on his own just yet.” She looks away. I can tell she is trying to get through this speech without crying. Finally, she turns to me and looks me straight in the eye. “I want to ask you to take care of Tony when my time comes. I can rest easy if I know you will do that for me.”

“What? Bertie, of course I will take care of Tony. But I don’t want to hear anything about you being gone. We’ve been through too much together and everything finally seems to be turning around for the better.” I pause, wondering if that is really true. Is everything going to be all right?

I continue, “We’ve walked straight through the midst of hell and we are just now starting to find our way back.”

“I hope you’re right, baby girl, but we can’t control what the good Lord wants to do. We just have to handle it the best we can when it comes.”

I nod and quietly say, “Bertie, I will do whatever you need me to do.”

“I know you will, baby girl. I just thought it would be nice to ask.” She winks at me.

Using both arms to lift herself, Bertie slowly rises from the step. I stand up, too, and she gives me a long hug. She puts her hat on and carefully steps away from the porch, heading toward the dirt road. I yell “goodbye” to her and she waves her hand behind her head without turning around. She walks very, very slowly, favoring one leg more than the other, and I watch her until she shuffles out of sight.

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Lori Crane Books at Amazon and on audiobook at Audible.

FREE FREE FREE AUDIOBOOK

Hi everyone!

Last month, I released my book Okatibbee Creek on audiobook at Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. It was narrated by the talented and fabulous Margaret Lepera. Audible has granted me a few FREE copies and I would like to give them away to you!

Please read the blurb below and and check out the sample at Audible – click HERE. If you find the story fits your taste, shoot me an email at LoriCraneAuthor@gmail.com and I’ll send you a FREE download code. I have ten to give away, so hurry up and be the one of the first ten to send me an email. I only ask that you rate it on Audible when you’re done listening. I only have one rating over there so far, and it looks pretty lonely. 😦

51QeOBe26zL._SL500_AA300_PIaudible,BottomRight,13,73_AA300_Blurb:

In the bloodiest years of our nation’s history, a young mother was left alone to endure the ravages of the Civil War and a typhoid epidemic that threatened the lives of everyone left behind.

Okatibbee Creek is based on the true story of Mary Ann Rodgers, who survived the collapse of the Confederate dollar, food shortages, and the deaths of countless family members to war and disease. As she searched for a way to feed her children and her orphaned nieces and nephews, Sherman’s Union army marched through Mississippi on their way to destroy Meridian, and Mary Ann found the distant war literally on her doorstep.

Help arrived just in the nick of time in the form of an unexpected champion, and Mary Ann emerged on the other side a heroic woman with an amazing story.

Okatibbee Creek is a tale of historical fiction that brings the Deep South vividly to life and will have you cheering and crying through a real-life story of loss, love, and survival.

UPDATE FEBRUARY 11: I still have one more copy if you’re interested. LoriCraneAuthor@gmail.com

Help! I have FREE audiobooks to give away!

 

51QeOBe26zL._SL500_AA300_PIaudible,BottomRight,13,73_AA300_I have a dilemma, and I bet you amazing people have the answer.

In December, I released my book “Okatibbee Creek” as an audiobook at Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. (If you want to know anything about the process, drop me an email, and I’ll fill you in on the details. It was fun and painless.)

My dilemma is Audible just emailed me a bunch of download codes to give away FREE copies.

I need some ideas on how to give them away. Any thoughts on sweepstakes, contests, etc.? Even the simplest idea could spark my imagination, so please let me know what you would do with these.

Thanks in advance for your brilliance and insight!!