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New Book Review of Times of Trial

Christian blogger LaTawnia Kintz has reviewed Times of Trial for me, and gave it four stars on Amazon. She reviewed Times of Trouble last year for me too. I could use more reviews for either novel, so if anyone is willing to review the novels, please contact me and I’ll send you a Smashwords coupon to download it for free. Download the ebook directly from my website or buy the paperback/ebook from other online retailers.

LaTawnia Kintz Book Review Blog

‘Times of Trial can be read as a stand-alone or with Times of Trouble. Like Times of Trouble, Times of Trial is about the end-times and persecution of Christians in the United States.

christian fictionThe president of the United States is a hater of Christians and Jews and will stop at nothing to make sure he remains the president. He and his equally power hungry goons implement Agenda 21. (Now if you don’t know anything about Agenda 21 – which is very real check it out here. There are also lots of other listings about it.)

Cliff has again written a very insightful novel involving end-time prophecy and current events. This is a very easy book to read but don’t let the ease of it detract you from the reality of what could actually take place.

All right, now I have a couple of critiques… though Cliff has done better in filling in the plot with detail, his dialog is still a bit choppy and stilted. I only say this, because I know how difficult it is to write dialog. So Cliff, this is just to encourage you to write your dialog more fluidly. That is probably the only thing I can think of that may be a distraction for the reader.

I appreciate Cliff’s dedication to get his work out for the public to read. Since he is a self-publisher, it can be a bit harder to get the word out. So I am more than thrilled to review for him.

Thank you Cliff for providing me with a free ebook copy for me to review.”

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Book Blast: Winter’s End by Rebekah Lyn – Enter to Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Title: Winter’s End (Seasons of Faith)

By Rebekah Lyn

Book Two of the Seasons of Faith Series

Musician Michelle Burton just had the best night of her life. Her band Tangled Web opened for Wonderland in downtown Orlando and the crowd loved them. Too excited to sleep she makes a fateful decision to go to work early. The best night of her life turns into the worst day of her life.

Nearby, at boutique Hotel Lago, Stephen Longbottom, acting concierge manager, is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the board of directors for Silken Pleasures, a multimillion dollar company based in New York and specializing in high end cosmetics, fragrances and lingerie. Their incessant demands before they even arrive are driving him to distraction. Meanwhile Lizzie Reynolds, his boss is on a romantic ski trip in Vermont leaving him to manage his first solo event.

Hope, forgiveness and love are an integral message throughout the book and like a fine tapestry the threads of God’s master plan for the character’s lives are woven into a fabric of great storytelling, conflict and humor.

Readers who came to know and love the characters of Summer Storms will enjoy catching up with Lizzie, Stephen, Michelle, Jeffrey and Ian.

Kindle | PaperbackRebekah Lyn
ScanRebekah is a Christian with a heart for new beginnings. She is a Florida native and a graduate of Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, Fl. A love of history, research and journaling led naturally to a passion for writing. She enjoys travel and has traveled extensively across the United States and Canada as well as Europe and the Caribbean. Her reading taste run from the classics to light fiction. When she is not working or writing, she enjoys cooking,baking and sharing recipes on her blog, http://rebekahlynskitchen.wordpress.com

Her current works include, Summer Storms and Winter’s End, books one and two in The Seasons of Faith series, and Julianne the first book in The Coastal Chronicle series. She is currently working on the, as yet untitled, second book in the Coastal Chronicles set in coastal Florida during the early years of the space program.

Rebekah currently resides in Florida along with her “attack” cat, Mia. They would enjoy meeting with you on her Facebook page.

Follow Rebekah Lyn
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Enter to Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to enter a $25 amazon gift card, sponsored by author Rebekah Lyn!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

This book blast is hosted by Crossreads.

We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

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Novel sales stats for 2012

First off, Happy New Year 2013 to everyone and a big thank you to all those out there who bought/downloaded a copy of one of my novels. I thought I’d blog again this year about how many sales/free downloads my novels had this year. My marketing/promoting consisted mostly of using Twitter, Facebook groups/pages, joining up with a couple Christian author groups to Tweet, and going to message boards. I did some giveaways for ebooks, like on Librarything, and sent some personal acquaintances/relatives paperback copies of Times of Trouble (which actually did help some with visibility), along with a little more than a handful of review copies to a couple of book bloggers, two of which actually gave me a review. I also tried blog interviews early in the year, along with the occasional paid post about my books, but overall, I’d say 99% of my sales would probably be from word-of-mouth. My sales on Barnes and Noble increased by a lot this year, up to 40-50 ebooks sold a month compared to 2 or 3 a month in 2011.  My number one seller is the United States, followed by the UK, Canada, Australia, and then everyone else, mostly Western/Northern Europe, but I did manage to get an Amazon Kindle sale from Japan, which was a borrow for Beyond the New Frontier, and 2 sales on Diesel from South Africa. This is without the updated numbers from Smashwords concerning Apple, Sony, or Diesel from December.

Here’s the numbers for each book in order of publication:

Out of Time
Kindle(ASIN B006GDO3BC): 1107
Barnes & Noble Nook: 37
Kobo, which includes WH Smith, Angus & Robertson, and Chapters Indigo: 42
Apple: 51
Sony: 4
Smashwords: 2 paid, 64 free
Paperback (ISBN:1453896961) : 8

Don’t Mess With Earth
Kindle(ASIN B005OOKZJI): 52
Nook: 39
Kobo: 2
Apple: 5
Diesel: 1
Smashwords: 2 paid, 47 free
Paperback(ISBN 978-1602643413): 2

The Usurper
Kindle(ASIN B007K9WDA4): 92 paid, 518 Select downloads (January – March)
Nook: 47
Kobo: 4
Apple: 14
Smashwords: 1 paid, 18 free
Paperback (ISBN 1453702725): 12

Shattered Earth
Kindle(ASIN B006M2U3O8) – 8 sales, unpublished it, but will bring it back this year
Nook: 48
Kobo: 20
Apple: 52
Smashwords: 1 sale, 61 free
Paperback (probably only available on Amazon, since I retired it on Createspace): 3

Dust Storm (western short story) – plagued by Smashwords’ meatgrinder, so it wasn’t published to Apple or Sony until later in the year. Sold on Kobo once I uploaded there myself.
Kindle(ASIN B006KH7H4E): 9
Nook: 7
Kobo: 1
Apple: 1
Sony: 1
Smashwords: 2 paid, 12 free

Voyager and the Aliens (sci-fi short story)
Kindle(ASIN B005NK19MU): 14
Nook: 2
Kobo: 5
Apple: 9
Diesel: 1
Smashwords: 1 paid, 27 free

New Frontier
Kindle(ASIN B006ONBPVU): 99
Nook: 58
Kobo: 2
Apple: 7
Sony: 1
Smashwords: 5 paid, 62 free
Baker & Taylor Blio: 1
Paperback (ISBN 1468119540): 18

Times of Trouble
Kindle(ASIN B0075CNFFI): 309
Nook: 343
Kobo: 1
Apple: 0
Sony: 0
Smashwords: 128 free
Paperback (ISBN-10: 1469964791) 43

Times of Trial
Kindle(ASIN B00824G5UA): 99
Nook: 120
Kobo: 3
Apple: 0
Sony (for some reason, not available on Sony): 0
Smashwords: 31 free
Paperback(ISBN-10 147745327X): 5

Final Frontier – published in October
Kindle(ASIN B009ORP5U0): 26
Nook: 22
Kobo: 0
Apple: 0
Sony: 0
Smashwords: 0
Paperback (ISBN-10: 1481192191): 0

Beyond the New Frontier – combo of New & Final Frontier, available on Amazon to borrow for free or buy for $3.99
Kindle paid(ASIN B009NVH76M): 28, KDP Select: 724, Borrows: 2
Paperback (ISBN-10: 1480185590): 1

The total equals 1694 free and 2858 paid sales. My goal for 2013 is to double the paid sales without having to rely on free giveaways as much. I’m also working on a prequel to Times of Trouble, most likely called “Times of Turmoil.” I also re-designed a whole new author website on weebly. I was using webs.com, but it was way too clunky, but Weebly seems to be pretty user-friendly. Please check it out http://cliffball-indieauthor.weebly.com when you have time (waiting for domain name transfer, so it night re-direct back to webs.com). Now, I just have to figure out how to transfer my domain name over to it.

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#SampleSunday – Times of Trial: an End Times novel

Here is a sample from the first part of Chapter 4 of “Times of Trial.” Available at: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple iTunes, Kobo
Chapter 4

A day earlier….
TimesofTrial_frontcover1“I’m starting to fear for our safety, Eric. Some of our neighbors keep calling CPS and the cops on us for homeschooling the kids, our house gets egged, and someone keeps smearing dog or cat poop on our doors. Along with the graffiti on my car and neighbors who slam their doors every time they see us outside, this is the last straw for me. We should take up that offer to move to Wyoming,”
“I think you’re right, Karen. I was hoping that things might get better. It’ll probably take us a week or more to get there if we go by the back roads. Selling the house and moving all of our stuff would take too long, so maybe we should take only essentials, like food and our camping gear,”
“You want us to camp on our way there?”
“Renting hotel rooms would cause too many questions. If we eat at a fast food joint, or buy anything, I’ll pay in cash. We don’t want the TSA to find out where we’re going,”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right, dear. What should we tell the kids?” asked Karen, as she ran her fingers through her hair.
“Tell them exactly what we’re going to do. They’ll understand. Let’s go talk to them about it.”
Their four children were summoned to come to the kitchen table to discuss with their parents what the family was going to be doing. After listening to what his parents wanted to discuss, Nathan, who was the oldest, asked, “What about our friends? Shouldn’t the Tyler’s come with us?”
“They can’t. They have a responsibility to the older members of the congregation to watch out for them, but when I go inform the Pastor about what we’re doing, I’ll ask again. I’m pretty sure it’ll only be us though. Besides, you can make new friends in Wyoming,” answered Eric.
“I guess.” Nathan shrugged his shoulders.
“Here, we have a map of the roads we’re going to travel on,” Eric laid out a map of Arizona, Utah, and Wyoming, “we’ll be going through the Indian Reservations here in Arizona because the TSA doesn’t have jurisdiction there. If we can find out the places to drive through in Utah without being harassed by the TSA, we should make it. We’ll be camping out the whole way, so bring warm clothes and all of your blankets. Everyone understand?”
“Yes, Dad,” the four answered.
“We’re also leaving all electronics here. We don’t want to be tracked. So no cell phones, tablets, iPads, or portable games. Where we’re going will be pretty much off of the grid.” the kids began whining about how that wasn’t fair. “Enough. That decision is final. Ok, get to work packing the essentials; we’ll be leaving in the morning.”
The family spent the next four hours packing their warm clothes, blankets, camping gear, and getting it into their Suburban. The next morning, Karen asked her husband shortly before they left the house, “Do you think we should lock the doors to the house?”
He thought about it for a few minutes before answering, “Probably not. I don’t think we’re coming back, so we don’t need any of that stuff. If anyone is that desperate for a newer TV, mattresses, washer and dryer, and all of that other stuff, then they’re welcome to it. Come on, let’s go.”
Before leaving the driveway for the church, Eric said, “Let’s pray. Dear Heavenly Father, please guide us on this journey. Help us to avoid being seen by government forces. Please help those who aren’t able to make this journey, and please protect them. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Once Eric got back into the Suburban after talking to Pastor Tyler, he asked, “So, where to next?”
Karen looked at the map and said, “Ok. Our route will have us driving up State Highway 77 through Globe, Show Low, and then to Holbrook. Once in Holbrook, we’ll have to travel on or next to I-40 for a few miles, then we’ll turn off again onto 77, which looks like a farm-to-market road on the map. I have us going through Chinle, which is just outside of Canyon De Chelly, and we’ll camp out for the night. Since we have four wheel drive, we can get off the main road to do that,”
“Sounds like a plan. Before I drive away, does anyone need to use the restroom?” Nobody said they did. “Good, because we’ll be in this car for at least two hours before we reach Globe.” Eric put the Suburban into gear and began driving north.

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Sales for the year so far

Now that it’s June, here are my sales numbers for the year so far, from regular sales to when one of my novels was in KDP Select to free giveaways. These are all from mostly just promoting online on Twitter, Facebook, and a bunch of message boards. The novels are listed in order of publication, from 2008 to 2012.

Amazon US Kindle
Out of Time – 34
Don’t Mess With Earth – 13
The Usurper  – (regular sales) – 67
KDP Select numbers for The Usurper – 329
Shattered Earth (which I unpublished on Amazon) – 8
Voyager & The Aliens – 3
Dust Storm – 4
New Frontier – 50
Times of Trouble – 89
Times of Trial – 9

Amazon UK Kindle
Out of Time - 8
Don’t Mess With Earth – 4
The Usurper – 8
KDP Select for The Usurper – 176
Voyager & The Aliens – 1
Dust Storm – 0
Times of Trouble – 4
Times of Trial – 1

Amazon Germany
Out of Time – 1
The Usurper (KDP Select) – 4
New Frontier – 1

Amazon France
The Usurper (KDP Select) – 2

Amazon Italy
The Usurper (KDP Select) – 2

Amazon Spain
The Usurper (KDP Select) – 6

Barnes & Noble Nook, which is partially through PubIt, B&N’s publishing platform and through Smashwords
Out of Time – 17
Don’t Mess With Earth – 17
The Usurper – 15
Shattered Earth – 19
Voyager & The Aliens – 1
Dust Storm – 3
New Frontier – 12
Times of Trouble – 109
Times of Trial – 7

Apple iTunes
Out of Time – 29
Don’t Mess With Earth – 4
The Usurper – 5
Shattered Earth -25
Voyager & The Aliens – 4
New Frontier – 3
Times of Trouble (only available since May)
Times of Trial (not yet available)

Kobo
Out of Time – 10
Don’t Mess With Earth – 1
The Usurper (Kobo has yet to list it)
Shattered Earth - 8
Voyager & The Aliens – 0
New Frontier – 0
Times of Trouble (only available since May)
Times of Trial (not yet available)

Sony Reader
Out of Time – 1
Everything else – 0

Smashwords paid/giveaways
Out of Time – 1/39
Don’t Mess With Earth – 1/26
The Usurper – 0/9
Shattered Earth – 0/37
Voyager & The Aliens -0/14
Dust Storm (I unpublished it because I couldn’t get the formatting right) – 2/12
New Frontier – 5/41
Times of Trouble – 0/87
Times of Trial – 0/1

Createspace Paperbacks, all of which were sales from mostly Amazon
Out of Time – 2
The Usurper – 7
Shattered Earth – 3
New Frontier – 12
Times of Trouble – 30
Times of Trial – 0

Total between January & end of May: 1423

Overall total since 2008: 26381

I’m posting this because some writers get discouraged, but you just have to keep at it. While I don’t have the money or much in the way of resources to push my novels to greater visibility, I think I’m doing pretty well. I took The Usurper out of KDP Select because my sales were actually worse overall, and I had a grand total of 3 borrows, so I didn’t think that program was worth it. Stay tuned for the sequel to New Frontier, plus a short story anthology based on minor characters in the two End Times novels, and a novel about Michael Evans, the man-behind-the-scenes in both End Times novels.

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Two new reviews

In the last week, I’ve received two new reviews for two different novels, both of which are 5 stars. The first one is for Out of Time, which is my very first novel that I published in 2008 as a total newbie, where I mistakenly used iUniverse as a publisher and spent way too much for a novel that wasn’t really ready for prime time. Two years later, I went back through it, added scenes, corrected grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and fixed dialogue. I decided to do a fresh re-publish of  it on the Kindle a little over a year ago(along with a new version of the paperback on Createspace), since the old reviews reflected all the mistakes I made in it. Now, I’ve received a new review for it:

Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful time travel novella.

You get to go back to some famous events in American and world history: The Wounded Knee Massacre, Sinking of the Titanic, JFK’s assassination, and more with some highly original and unique alternative timelines.

This is well written and compelling, page-turning stuff. Ball poses some interesting thoughts about how government could mess up the world if it ever got its hands on such a time device. It’s fun to read about it, but let’s just hope it never happens.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, just disappointed it ended too soon.

James A. Anderson, Author
London, Ontario Canada”

———————————

Now, here’s a new review for my latest novel, my 7th, Times of Trial. This is from a regular reader of mine who first found out about me by reading The Usurper. Since then, she’s given me very good reviews for The Usurper(which is the paperback version, the Kindle version is no longer linked to the paperback) and Times of Trouble.

“Another winner! May 18, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase

This book can be read on it’s own or with Times of Trouble. The scariest part of this book is that I can see it happening with the upcoming election. The author draws you into the story and never lets go. You can feel the pain of the characters and can picture yourself in the story.
We can only hope that the story doesn’t play out in real life.”

I appreciate all of the readers who have taken a chance on me and have read my novels. Thanks!

 

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Book Review from Christian Book Review

I received another book review, this one from Christian Book Review. They gave it 5 stars on Amazon, which is the non-spoiler version:

TimesofTroubleversion6Times of Trouble novel’s backdrop is on the End Times and all the other events leading to it. It is like a true story as most of the character sketches, circumstances, and plots are familiar and possible to happen in real life.

Honestly, this is the very first Christian fiction novel I have read and reviewed and I appreciate Cliff Ball’s heart to keep on stressing and repeating the importance of God, Bible, prayer, salvation, church, fellowship, close family ties, purity before marriage, and honesty about the character’s feelings and weaknesses.

I love the many prayers included in this novel and many times, at some point of the story, I can readily identify with the lines of the characters and the situations. Times of Trouble ministered to me greatly right now and it inspired me to keep the faith and never to give up in times of trouble knowing that the ending of everything–the world, mankind, and my own troubles are glorious when Jesus Christ returns on the earth and we will be raptured and caught up in the clouds at the trumpet blast.

Also available here:

B&N Nook, Sony, Diesel, Lulu, Smashwords, Kobo, Apple, EBook Mall

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More reviews & the Book trailer

Here is the book trailer I made for Times of Trouble. You do what you can afford….

And I received another review on Amazon, a 4 star:

“scarily prophetic!April 16, 2012

By Dirtboy’s Girl

Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
The way Mr. Ball writes I wonder if he isn’t living as a fly on the wall in the White House. You meet the characters and can feel their joy and sadness, anger and frustration as he tells the story. There were points in the story where I found myself talking to my Kindle telling Brian what I thought he should do next. Fast paced story that has you reading until the end. Another awesome “novel” by Cliff Ball!”
Plus, my parents sent a paperback copy to the late preachers’ wife (Mary Singleton) of a church I grew up in in Tempe, AZ, which was Tri-City Baptist (now in Chandler) and she sent a letter back saying she enjoyed it, she bought 5 more copies, and would ask the church library to stock it. Very cool!

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March Madness – Times of Trouble featured

All the new news related to my newest novel, Times of Trouble.

Featured today as a New Release on the World Lit Cafe: http://www.worldliterarycafe.com/content/books/march-new-release

Featured on the front page of Humanmade.com: http://www.humanmade.net/books/times-of-trouble

Part of a listing of books under $5 on the Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/kindle-under-5.html

Listed here:   https://sites.google.com/site/dvwbooksorg/christian

Flurries of Words
New Christian Books Online Magazine
The Electronic Text & Literature Cloud
Iselfpub

Other places to buy:
E-Books Online
Drive Through Fiction
Songs of the Word epub version,
Songs of the Word PDF version 
Lulu ebook
Lulu hardcover

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Sales for 2011

Now that I’m pretty sure I have all the sales numbers in for all platforms, I’d like to share how many novels I sold or had downloaded last year as an independent author, to give encouragement to those that aren’t sure they can do it. I’ve been doing this for about 4 years, 1 1/2 of which I’ve actually put any effort at trying to promote my novels, since I’ve written three in that time span. Last year, I sold or had D/L’s of 24,151, in 2010 – 520, 2009 – 68, and in 2008 – 37.  Here are the numbers for 2011 for each book and where, from first book or short story published in order to latest:

Amazon (which combines US & UK sales, link to US though)
Out of Time – 2238 (free and paid)
Don’t Mess With Earth – 692
The Usurper - 13,310 (free and paid) (currently free to borrow in Lending Library)
Shattered Earth – 6637 (free and paid)
Voyager & The Aliens – 9
Dust Storm – 0
New Frontier (published December 20, 2011) – 4

Apple
Out of Time – 77
Don’t Mess With Earth – 10
The Usurper – 3
Shattered Earth – 55
Voyager & The Aliens – 2

Barnes & Noble
Out of Time – 51
Don’t Mess With Earth – 175
The Usurper – 180 (currently exclusive to amazon ’til March 7)
Shattered Earth – 81
Voyager & The Aliens -
Dust Storm -
New Frontier – 1

Createspace paperback (which were sold on Amazon or other bookstore sites)
Out of Time – 9
The Usurper – 48
Shattered Earth – 21
New Frontier -

iUniverse (original publisher of Out of Time paperback)
Out of Time – 5

Kobo
Out of Time – 30
Don’t Mess With Earth – 1
The Usurper – 4
Shattered Earth – 7
Voyager & The Aliens
New Frontier

Smashwords (free and paid)
Out of Time – 25
Don’t Mess With Earth – 27
The Usurper – 176
Shattered Earth – 239
Voyager & The Aliens – 151
Dust Storm – 2
New Frontier – 1

Sony
Out of Time – 8
Don’t Mess With Earth – 1
The Usurper – 5
Shattered Earth – 16
Voyager & The Aliens – 18

Virtualbookworm.com (original publisher of Don’t Mess With Earth paperback)
Don’t Mess With Earth – 7

So, with a lot of hard work and determination, this is what I sold. I know, not the #’s of some of the bigger names in indie publishing, but I feel like I’m accomplishing something.

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