Sales numbers for February and $.99 ebook sale

First off, I have reduced the prices to all 4 of my novels to $.99 on all ebook formats for the month of March, Smashwords, B&N Nook, and Amazon US, and Amazon UK. I’m also happy to report that I’m nearing the 1000 sold overall mark, which, as of right this minute, I’m one away. So, a big thank you to anyone who has bought any of my novels.

Here are the sales stats for each title and what platform:
sold 3 paperbacks
Amazon US: 24
UK Kindle: 2
B&N Nook: 6
Smashwords: 45
Was also featured this month on: Daily Cheap Reads, No Trees Harmed, Karly Kirkpatrick’s Bookaday, and Kindle in the Wind

Amazon US: 14
Amazon UK: 15
B&N Nook: 9

Amazon US: 21
Amazon UK: 8
B&N Nook: 10

Amazon US: 7
Amazon UK: 1
B&N Nook: 4
Smashwords: 1

For a grand total of (drum roll please)… 174!

Thanks again to anyone who buys a copy, and please share with all your social networking pals… lol

Book review of The Usurper – a political thriller

Here is the newest book review done by Nurture Your Books

“A cold-blooded, Clancy-esque political thriller; The Usurper is sure to entertain.”

As decades of meticulous scheming and planning finally come together, the KGB, an under-appreciated threat, takes the final steps towards the ultimate coup. The terrorist faction exploits idealistic volunteers to do some of the dirty work and utilizes educated individuals, in positions of power, who are more than willing to die for their belief in ultimate control by the government. When a mixed group of terrorists and extremists spend years training for the eventual downfall of the western world, collateral damage and the loss of life isn’t given consideration.

The Usurper starts off slowly, but quickly picks up momentum as the plot thickens and the story unfolds. There are multiple themes in this fictional novel, not the least of which is terrorism, persecution and indoctrinated loyalties; this story painstakingly illustrates a plan for world domination that requires countless willing and blackmailed participants. The main characters are written with the most depth, while supporting characters have very little in the way of a back story. More internal dialog would enhance the reader’s ability to connect with the characters and pull them deeper into the story itself. Some structure and grammatical errors, while few and far between, need to be addressed to ensure a smoothly-flowing story that every reader will be able to enjoy.

Despite the minor issues mentioned, The Usurper is a very fast-paced, political thriller that will keep readers on their toes and offer some thought-provoking twists on historic and future possibilities in the political arena.

Plus.. featured book on Nurture Your Books.

More details on my new services

I just wanted to go into more detail about my new venture, Digital Writing Services.

Having done some research of my own, mostly as an Independent, self-published author myself, I’ve seen what I think are some massively over-priced services for proofreading and editing. I decided on $1 a page because it makes sense to me, anything over $3 just seems like price gouging to me. Then, you get all these convoluted prices when it comes to word count plus page count, with me, it’s straightforward, especially since I suck at math. I also enjoy proofreading and editing, which might be weird, but that’s just how I am. You will know that I’m passionate about what I’m doing and will do my best to offer you the best service possible.

Secondly, for $10 a year per novel, an author can get their novels posted on my website, the link called Author Showcase. You will have a main page, with links to your website, social networks, and bio. It will then link to another page with your novels posted there. You just provide blurbs/summaries, any reviews you may have, and where the novel can be bought online or offline. If you choose to not continue with this after a year, you can unsubscribe through Paypal, since all purchases will be through Paypal. I wanted to have readers looking for undiscovered authors or semi-discovered authors and they can find something new and exciting to read. I am also offering PDF conversion for $10 per book if you need the service, so that you can upload to Kindle, Smashwords, or wherever you want your book as an e-book.

Third, if you know anyone who is a college student that needs essays and research papers proofread and edited, I offer that for $5 per paper. My requirements will be that those essays should already be formatted to MLA, APA, Chicago, or Turabian style.

The site also has forums that anyone who signs up to be a member, which is free, can go to talk about books, publishing, or anything within reason. The blog has a feature to where anyone who is a member can post their own blog posts. Post about your latest review, talk about what inspires you, etc. Check out the links page where I have compiled a big list of useful websites. Feel free to suggest any I may have missed. I will also offer book reviews at a future date, with the price set at $50. This includes posting the review on blogs, social networking sites, press releases, every online bookstore where your book is sold, and bookmarked on Digg, Stumbleupon, etc

I wanted a website that was interactive, but due to my lack of programming skills, patience, and open content stuff is just above my head, this is about as interactive as it gets for now. Once I think this venture is successful, I’ll get someone to build something on WordPress or Joomla, and hopefully realize exactly what I want. Remember that Digital Writing Services opens for business on May 17th. Hope to see you there!

Digital Writing Services

I am going into business for myself to edit and proofread books and novels for new and Independent authors, for a reasonable fee. I created a website called Digital Writing Services to advertise my services. The website is not entirely functional yet in regards to Paypal, so any purchase you may want to do now will not work. I enjoy proofreading and editing, and I thought that I should finally do something I’m passionate about, instead of trying to find another office job that I’ll probably end up hating anyway, so here is my attempt at doing something I’m passionate about. I will eventually offer affordable book reviews when this is fully up and running smoothly, so please look for that in the future.

Now, I won’t begin doing business until May 17, because I’m graduating with a BA in English on the 15th from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls and I wish to concentrate fully on finals for the next week and a half. I’m also offering an author showcase for authors to showcase their works, along with various links to the stores their products can be bought from, and where they, as authors, are located as far as myspace or facebook is concerned. This is for a low yearly price. I’m also offering proofreading/editing services for college essay and research papers for a low price. Another feature is converting an authors’ word document into PDF for a small fee. Please check out the website if you’re interested in finding out more. The website is about 95% finished, but, all the important areas are all there, and you should have no problems navigating the website.

Writer’s Digest Self-Published Awards

Last year, I submitted Don’t Mess with Earth to the “Writer’s Digest 17th Annual Self-Published Book Awards” and a couple of weeks ago, I received in the mail, the results of entering into the competition. I know it was almost a month ago, but, I’m busy with finishing up my last semester of college. I have to type in the Commentary Sheet because there is no digital copy, which I wish they had, so here goes:

Author: Cliff Ball
Title: Don’t Mess With Earth
Category: Genre
Judge: 57

On a scale of 1 to 5 , with 1 meaning “poor” and 5 meaning “excellent,” please evaluate the following:

Plot: 3
Grammar: 4
Character Development: 2
Cover Design: 3

Judge’s commentary:

What did you like best about this book?

Ball covers a long period of time in the book, from biblical times to present day. He does a nice job weaving all of this human history into a sci-fi story.

The opening scene is compelling and draws readers right into the story. The author does a great job creating interest from the start.

The author’s passion for the story creates a story that entices the reader to keep reading to find out what events he will next tie into the story.

It can be difficult to remain consistent with the point of view. Third-person was the only plausible point of view for this story. This made for a richer story.

The author’s grammar and spelling make for an easy read.

How can the author improve this book?

It’s obvious the author spent time working on the plot. However, covering such a large expanse of time made it difficult to create a protagonist with whom the reader identifies. Readers need a character or group of characters to root for — someone to tie the story together.

The Terrans and Ragnor seem extremely forthright when talking with the humans. They seem extremely trusting of a planet they want to conquer.

The cover image portrays the essence of the story. With a few tweaks or the help of a professional designer, it could easily sit on the fiction shelves with other covers.
Check out the link, and you can find me near the bottom if you do a search/find on your web explorer.

Location of Don’t Mess With Earth Publishing
Amazon paperback
Kindle US
Kindle UK
Barnes and Noble paperback
BN Nook
Smashwords all E-book formats