Somebody’s Darling – FREE Paranormal Romance

Hello!

I am happy to tell you that the first book in my Gettysburg Ghost Series is currently FREE on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iBooks and more. Get your copy today! Also available for sale in paperback

**Please note that this is a paranormal romance story with explicit sexual content.**

Smbdy's_Drlng_Cvr_FNL_v2.1_Amazon (3)

Confederate soldier Jesse Spenser has fallen in love for the first time.
Lucy works in a tavern in Gettysburg and literally doesn’t know he exists.
That’s because Jesse’s a ghost. He died in battle 150 years ago…

AMAZON

BARNES AND NOBLE

iBOOKS

KOBO

SCRIBD

24 SYMBOLS

INKTERA/PAGE FOUNDRY

PAPERBACK

Book Two in the Gettysburg Ghost Series is Now Available!

She was supposed to help him cross over.

She wasn’t supposed to fall in love.

Darling Soldiers

AMAZON

BARNES AND NOBLE

iBOOKS

KOBO

SCRIBD

24 SYMBOLS

INKTERA/PAGE FOUNDRY

PAPERBACK

 

What To Do When You Get a One-Star Book Review

 

sadCam

It’s really up to YOU what you do when you get a one-star review, but I can tell you what I did.

I announced it on Facebook and Twitter – “Just received my first one-star review on Amazon. I have ARRIVED!”

I really try to make it a habit to tell the truth about my experiences, both on my personal Facebook page and on my writing-related social networks. Yes, I will surely post online if I get a great review from a book blogger or if by some miracle I ever become a bestselling author, but I also make it a point to be totally upfront about my shortcomings. I think this is helpful for other writers to know that they’re not alone.

Getting a one-star review is simply a fact of life for writers. Since the day I published my first book on July 9, 2014, I knew that it was inevitable that I would get some bad reviews. I knew that, eventually, somebody was going to hate my book and have no qualms in telling me about it. My biggest fear was that the first review I received would be negative. That fear was unfounded, thank goodness. The first review I EVER got was a five-star review from someone I did not know. Believe me; I’m still excited about that.

Readers sometimes give one-star reviews for no good reason. If the book was well written, but simply not a reader’s cup of tea, he may blame you for it. She may one-star it if there’s too much violence in your book or not enough, or if she’s offended because you used a naughty word or two. Sometimes he just did not like your book, and that’s okay. Not everyone will. You might totally disagree with the reader, or you might even think the she has a point. If the reader is upset because there are typos and grammatical errors in your work, then you’ve got a problem that you really need to address if you’re hoping to succeed as a professional writer.

Some writers don’t read their reviews, and that’s fine. Personally, I do read mine because I think it helps to know what my readers like and what they don’t. Great reviews are wonderful, but critical ones can actually help you improve your writing.

The book in question here, QUEEN HENRY, has a somewhat controversial ending. Although the book does contain a male/male relationship, I never said the book was a gay romance novel. It’s not – rather it’s LGBT Fiction. (SPOILER ALERT) The book has a somewhat bittersweet ending, as the lovers do not end up together due to circumstances beyond their control. I can completely understand that a reader might be disappointed if they read this book thinking it’s a romance. A reviewer for Baltimore OUTLoud (an LGBT newspaper) gave the book a terrific, front-page review. I met the reviewer, Steve Charing, in person and he told me that he had initially been disappointed in the ending, but the more he thought about it, the more he realized that was how the book needed to end.

Madam One-Star Reviewer was ANGRY about the ending. Her review was entitled OMG I AM SO UNBELIEVABLY ANGRY RIGHT NOW! I FEEL LIKE I WAS ROBBED OF MY PRECIOUS TIME AND ENERGY! She even said “I plan to diligently avoid this writer from now on.” (I’m pretty sure she got the book as a free download, so I’m not exactly crying in my beer over that loss….)

Sure, it made me a little sad to get a one-star review, but I really wasn’t too upset about it. I understand why she feels the way she does. She called the book a gay romance novel (again, it’s not, and was never marketed as such). She was not the only one who was sad about the ending, but the vast majority of readers understood the point of it. The story is about a homophobic guy who takes a strange pill and becomes temporarily gay. He falls in love with a man and learns an important lesson in the process, but then the effects of the drug wear off. He and his boyfriend still love each other, but are no longer lovers (Reviewer said just because he’s not gay doesn’t mean they can’t stay together. While this is true, that’s not what my character chose to do. )His boyfriend ends up happy with another man and Henry later has a girlfriend, so it’s not a horribly depressing ending. Some readers were disappointed that Henry turned out to be straight after all. However, I didn’t want to tell the story of a man who was struggling with his sexuality and realizes he’s gay. I wanted to tell the story of a straight, homophobic guy and who becomes temporarily gay so he could undergo a life-changing experience.

The thing is – this one-star reviewer CARED. She cared for Henry and Thomas, and was mad that they broke up. She even claimed to like most of the book until the end when she threw a tantrum and posted her opinion online. It’s nice to know that my book emotionally resonated; that’s better than indifference.

It can actually be a good thing to get a one-star review. First of all, people know that at least some of your reviews are real and aren’t just from people you know. I can’t help but be curious about one-star reviews, and I tend to click on them to see what the reviewer hated about a book that I’m thinking of reading. If a one-star reviewer rants that there’s bad language and too much sex in the book, that’s not going to be a deterrent to me. In fact, it just might make me hit that one-click purchase button!

Whatever the reason, when you get a one-star review (and you will) know you are in good company. Look at any author, even bestselling ones. They ALL have some bad reviews.

When you get a bad review, take a few minutes to think about it. Do you agree with what was said? If not, move on. If you think the reviewer has a point, think about what you might do differently in your next book.

Whatever you do, don’t lose any sleep over it. I know I didn’t.

 

Linda Fausnet

 

 

Romance Novel Addicts Anonymous

shirtless

If the photo here freaks you out, you can feel free to skip this article. If you snapped to attention and said HELLO! when you caught sight of this six-pack packing hunk of male yumminess, then you might be interested in what I have to offer.

As we all know, romance novels aren’t for everyone. Like any fandom, there are hard core followers of the books as well as plenty of people who think they’re stupid. I’m a member of the former group, but it’s not always easy. I for instance, am grateful for the advent of e-readers since now no one can see the half-naked covers of a lot of the books I read. And I’m a romance WRITER. (Or will be come January 2016, when I will publish my fourth book but first in the romance category.)

I reasoned that I wasn’t the only person with this issue, so I created a new Facebook group called Romance Novel Addicts Anonymous.

Description:

Your friends and family might make fun of you for loving romance novels, but here you’ve found a safe place to profess your love for all things romance!

Welcome Message

Welcome to our lovey-dovey, super-sexy romance readers club! You’ve entered a judgment-free discussion zone where nothing is too sappy or sexy.

ALL heroes and heroines are welcome here:

Nice guys, alpha males, bad boys, werewolves, billionaires, vampires, gay, straight, bi, historical figures, aliens, and anything else that can love and/or mate.

READERS – tell us what you’re reading! What do you love? What do you hate?

AUTHORS – please DO post your book links and tell us what you’re currently working on! You might find your next big fan right here.

Life’s not all champagne and roses…but in here it is.

In the first two days of the group’s inception, we had 40 – fairly active – members. It’s a closed group, so only members can see what’s posted there.  Personally, I love the freedom that comes with such a private discussion group. For example, while I may not post a photo of a hot, shirtless guy on my regular Facebook page so as to scandalize my mom, my daughter, past classmates, and current and former coworkers, I WILL post it in RNAA, much to the delight of its members. (My mom does, however, read my blog so she did see Joe-Six-Pack-Abs here. Sorry, mom!)

As I’d expected, romance readers seemed thrilled to have a semi-secret, non-judgmental place to discuss their passions.  What did surprise me was the number of romance writers in need of support. I’m blessed with non-romance reading yet supportive family members, so it’s easy for me to forget that not everyone is so lucky. One writer said she is criticized for writing “that mama porn” and another writer said her family judged her for writing male/male romance. She asked if that kind of thing was welcome in the group (the answer was HELL yes and please post the link…)

It may seem like a silly problem, but nobody likes to be made fun of for the things they like. Of course, we folks in the group have a sense of humor about our obsessions, but we also enjoy talking about them openly in a safe place.

Like a lot of people, I was one of those little girls who loved all those princessy Disney movies and I guess I really never grew out of it.

Fairytale

So, if you love reading and/or writing romance novels, I hope you’ll join our group.  We have a lot to talk about. And much to look at…..

  • Linda Fausnet

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My Adventures with Learning How to Use Scrivener

Tech Support

Well, I took a few hours to take the Scrivener tutorial and I have this to say about it:

I didn’t cry once.

If you know me personally, you understand why this is a big deal. Six Tips for Writers for Dealing with Icky Technological Stuff 

I am terrible with anything technological, but I’m trying really hard to embrace it. It’s important for any writer who is serious about the business aspect of writing not to shy away from the tough stuff. Like a lot of writers, I’m an airy-fairy creative type, and I find technological stuff quite intimidating. I am generally a patient person, but I freely admit that when I’m learning something techy and complicated, I well, I absolutely lose my shit. However, I know in the long run, technology can often save a significant amount of time. As you know, time is invaluable to a writer.

So! I was fortunate enough to have some down time between when one day job ended and another one began, so I decided to take some time to learn Scrivener. If case you don’t know, Scrivener is a drafting program designed to help writers organize their material as they write. It works for novelists, screenwriters, thesis-writers, and pretty much any other kind of writing that requires research and organization. It’s surprisingly affordable, it’s only about forty bucks and it’s available for both Mac and PCs. Check out Scrivener.

I spent several hours going through the tutorial, and I found it amazingly easy to use. I loved that it was a written manual, not a video one, so it was easy to start at stop at my leisure. I felt my brain getting kind of full at around the 45 minute to one hour mark, so I was able to stop when I felt like I needed a break. The manual is clear and explains things in an easy, step-by-step method. If you give yourself a little time to learn it, you’ll be a master in no time. I am now using Scrivener for both my blogging and my novel writing and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT.

Briefly, here’s what it can do for you:

– You can keep all your research for your project all in one place. Your files are all kept in a Binder on the lefthand side of your screen.

– You can break your work down into as many files as you want. I am currently writing a paranormal romance series, and many of the characters and locations appear in all three books. So, I have my character bios – broken down by each character in a different file – and my research on locations, facts, and more are located in the binder.

– You can easily break your book down into an individual file for each chapter. When you’re done, you simply export the book and it will combine all the chapters into one.

– You can keep your outline (if you’re an outliner/ plotter like me) there for quick and easy reference.

– You can easily split the screen and work on two docs at once. I LOVE this feature when I’m working with a beta reader. I keep the critiqued chapters on the bottom of the screen while I work on the draft at the top.

– You can save all your work on the whole project all at once. I used to painstakingly save all my individual docs that I had open (which was a lot) one at a time, first on Google Drive then on my key as backup. Now ALL the docs are in one place and you get to save the whole project all at once.  ** a word of warning. So far Google Drive doesn’t play nice with Scrivener, nor does One Drive. You DON’T want to save your project on the C Drive because your drive could crash and you could lose all your work. Dropbox is a great place to save your work since it’s a cloud. I use Dropbox then save it on my key once in a while as an extra backup. **

– When you’re done with your book draft, you can export it to another format, such as word. You can even export it to ebook format, though I haven’t tried that yet and I’m sure it would need additional, manual formatting after that.

Believe me, if I was able to use Scrivener successfully and immediately, a blind, deaf, monkey with its hands tied behind its back can do it. The authors of the Scrivener tutorial seem to realize that they are dealing with right-brained, temperamental, writerly types and offered encouragement accordingly throughout. Every once in a while, they encourage you to take a break and enjoy some tea and a biscuit (if you’re in the U.S., substitute with coffee and a donut).

All I can say is that I have found Scrivener to be well worth the relatively small amount of time and money investment. Now that I’m back to work full time while raising two kids and running a household, it’s really saved me time and gotten me organized.

What about you? Have you used Scrivener? Do you love it as I do??

  • Linda Fausnet

**Writers:
Join my WRITER’s email list HERE for Writing Tips and Book Recommendations!

**Readers:
Sign up HERE for my author email list and receive a FREE ebook! You’ll also get the latest news on my upcoming releases and discount on my books.

 

 

CAN’T SHAKE YOU

Wannabe Pride’s Book Pick of the Week is:

Cant Shake You

Contemporary Romance

One thing Carissa Brandt knows: spontaneity always gets her in trouble. Still, she’s gone and jumped head first into an impulsive summer renovation project with her fingers crossed. When her contractor turns out to be a cheat, it seems her only lifeline is the proffered hand of Josh Hudson–the sexy Marine who left her aching for more than their single night together three years ago.

Josh has two hard and fast rules: never mix business with pleasure and don’t look twice at women his friends have dated, much less loved. It makes life in a small town simple–or it would, if he wasn’t harboring a secret with the potential to destroy his good name and the reputation of a woman he can’t get out of his head.

When Carissa finds herself in a bind, Josh’s integrity–both personal and professional–won’t let her fail. Will working together finally extinguish the attraction lingering between them? Or will the smoldering embers of their passionate rendezvous ignite all over again and set aflame the friendships they cherish the most?

Website

Lady of the Shadows

WANNABE PRIDE’S BOOK PICK OF THE WEEK IS:

 Lady of the Shadows

Lady of the Shadows by Saray Gelb

Mystery, Thriller

Based on the true story of the lady of the shadows

Jordan is an intelligence and covert operations agent. She is a beautiful and sensual woman in a world of macho men. Carrying with her the experience of an army commander, she becomes a sophisticated spy. She enrolls in obscure missions behind enemy lines and recruits the dancing skills that accompany her since childhood in order to infiltrate an exclusive men’s club in a hostile country.

After her discharge from the unit, she continues with missions of espionage and surveillance as a private investigator, “a shadow woman”.

Between the more recognized “shadow government” to “shadow war” there is a world of concealed shadow people. The shadow people secretly gather intelligence through observation and surveillance in the covert intelligence world.

In the spiritual world, the shadow people are God’s followers who walk in his shadow.

In the psychological aspect, these people accompany the individual in life’s crises and upheavals.

All of these together are embodied in book “The Lady of the Shadows” and its heroine who went through all the stages, from an intelligence agent through a private investigator, a student and a teacher in the mystical world until she became a PhD in psychology and an Adlerian lecturer. She chose to help people while she herself remained in the shadows.

After reading this book, you would not walk through shadow zones.

Betrayals, dancing in foreign territory, pain and growth, are all leading the reader in a suspenseful and exciting experience that contains insights about love, hate and revenge.

This is a book about a wild and liberating femininity and a sensual and passionate woman in a world dominant by males. Reality and imagination are fused together inseparably and concoct a sweeping and moving story.

Amazon

 

 

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Making Your Book PERMAFREE – How and Why You Should Do It

 

Fiction

There’s no one right way to market your book, and pricing is definitely one of those hot-button issues among writers. Some insist that they wish to charge a higher price for their work, reasoning that they spend months or even years on their book and don’t want to devalue it by giving it away for too cheap. For others, their goal is to get their book into as many hands as possible, and therefore have no problem charging as low as 99 cents or even giving their book away for free. It’s best to determine exactly what your goals are as a writer, and then go from there. As with everything else in self-publishing or even business in general, don’t be afraid to experiment with different prices and it’s okay to change your mind!

The price of your print book is based on the actual cost of production, so you don’t have as much leeway there. With an ebook, you can change the price as often as you like. As a relatively new author, I am embracing the idea of giving some of my books away for free. Right now, my main goal is visibility. I want to get my name out there and I want to find *my* readers – readers will enjoy my specific kind of writing (mainly romance, some bad words, a fair amount of sex). My writing style isn’t for everyone – nor should it be – but I know there are readers out there who would like my books. I just need to find them.

One of the most popular permafree strategies is to give away the first book in a series for free (Which Book in Your Series Should You Discount). This is my plan for my upcoming paranormal romance trilogy – the Gettysburg Ghost series. However, the first book, SOMEBODY’S DARLING, is not slated to come out until January. My other book sales are sluggish now (that’s an understatement. FLATLINED is more like it.) I’m tired of seeing goose eggs for my “sales” figures, and I just want people to read some of my work right now. My plan is to give away my debut novel, QUEEN HENRY, for free for a while to see if I can get some new readers and hopefully some email list signups.

An added benefit to giving your book away for free is that it can show up under the Also Boughts on Amazon, thus increasing your exposure even more.

To make your book permafree on Kobo and Smashwords, you simply set your price to zero and go along your merry way. For Barnes and Noble and Amazon, it’s not quite so simple. For B & N, I never did figure out how to do it. In fact, it may not even be possible. Amazon is still king when it comes to self-publishing, so you gotta get your book free over there if your plan is going to work. There are two ways to get your book permafree on Amazon:

  • Enroll your book in Kindle SELECT (different than KDP which is Kindle DIRECT publishing. That one just means you’re published on Amazon). SELECT means you can ONLY publish on Amazon and nowhere else. If you’re enrolled in Kindle Select, you can do a free book promotion for a total of 5 days for every 90 days you are enrolled in KDP Select. I did this, and got about 400 free downloads of QUEEN HENRY. Not bad. I hit #9 on the free list category in LGBT fiction, which was exciting!
  • If you are NOT enrolled in Select (I’m not anymore) the only way to get your book free on Amazon is to get them to price match when you’ve got your book free elsewhere. Put your book for free on Kobo and/or Smashwords, then get someone to report it to Amazon by clicking on Tell Us About a Lower Price on your book’s Amazon sales page. Sometimes Amazon will price match right away and sometimes it might take a while. If you need someone to report your book to Amazon for a price match, you can shoot me your Kobo/SW free links and I’ll be happy to do it for you. Also, the friendly folks on KBoards are usually willing to help. I had someone from KBoards and my wonderful mother report my book for me to Amazon. It took my book about three days to get priced to free on Amazon.

Though not for everyone, making your book permafree can be a great strategy to help new authors break into the publishing scene and it can be an excellent way for established writers to launch a new series and get some new readers. I’m amazed at the number of highly successful authors who continue to use this strategy long after they’re making good money.

What about you? Have you tried giving your book away for free? What were the results?

– Linda Fausnet

 

 

**Writers:
Join my WRITER’s email list HERE for Writing Tips and Book Recommendations!

**Readers:
Sign up HERE for my author email list and receive a FREE ebook! You’ll also get the latest news on my upcoming releases and discount on my books.

 

 

 

THE LONELY WOLF

THE LONELY WOLF by Monica La Porta

The Lonely Wolf

 

Paranormal M/M Romance

The archangel and the alpha werewolf, two men from rival species, an everlasting forbidden love.

A father and a son, estranged for eighteen years and reunited by fate.

Amidst bigotry and racism, Ludwig and Quintilius have been in love for almost two thousand years. Yet, their relationship is put to the ultimate test when Ludwig is named archangel, and he must decide between Quin and his brethren.

Lupo is a young, misguided werewolf in search of an identity and full of anger. Seeking to secure his position among the Reds, the most feared street gang in Rome, he commits himself to a life of crime, only to find love where he least expected.

One morning, after rescuing a vampire from a vicious werewolf attack, Ludwig makes a discovery that will link Quintilius’s and Lupo’s lives forever. But despite their good intentions, love and happiness aren’t in sight for the three men, while vampires, werewolves, and angels plot against them.

Amazon 

Website

Science Fiction

WANNABE PRIDE’S BOOK PICK OF THE WEEK IS:

 

 

SCIENCE FICTION by Scott Lawrence Alexander

Science Fiction, Fantasy

On September 24, 1958, our planet was invaded by beings from another world. Their huge ships hung motionless over all the major cities of the world for a week. What happened next did not seem real. It was more like– SCIENCE FICTION! Now, if that sounds a bit familiar, somewhat simplistic and perhaps a tad over-used, that’s fine. We all got used to this theme a very long time ago, starting in the 1950’s. SCIENCE FICTION does not pay homage to those stories that have become classic (and not so classic…), rather it is hoped that it can simply be accepted and placed among those cherished titles from that era! Guaranteed to entertain, the story has wonderful characters, Einstein-based pseudoscience, dire situations and a classic science-fiction twist at the end. Standby to watch the world destroyed before your very eyes in a book worthy of becoming the last classic sci-fi movie from the 50’s! 

AMAZON 

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How to Run a Facebook Ad for Your Self-Published Book

 

FB image

 

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been learning a lot about the process of running Facebook ads for my books. I am by no means an expert on the subject, but I’ve come a long way and I thought I would share with you what I’ve learned. There’s definitely a lot of trial and error involved, both with preparing the actual ad and tweaking it to maximize the results.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned:

Basic Facts About Facebook Ads

  • Boosted posts are not as effective as actual Facebook Ads. A boosted post is simply an ordinary Facebook post that you promote with advertising money.
  • You hand-select the audiences that see your ad. This info is gleaned by FB from people’s profile information: age, location, education, relationship status, interests like favorite movies, music, etc.
  • Facebook offers both CPC (cost per click) and CPM (cost per thousand impressions) ads.
  • You can select a right-hand column or the newsfeed ad. It’s best to go with newsfeed because the ads on the right are too easily ignored.
  • You can run an ad just to advertise that your book is available, but you might get better results if you run it while your book is on sale or even free.
  • Ads are always accepted, not like BookBub who rejects a large percentage of ads from writers (including yours truly).
  • You must pick a goal – common ones are to add to your email list (called conversions) or simply to sell more books. Your goal could also be to simply get more Likes on your FB Author Page, but this is not really recommended anymore. Due to changes in Facebook’s algorithms, much of the content on pages is hidden from view. You’ll want to choose to track website clicks if you’re trying to send people straight to your Amazon page or other site.
  • If your goal is website conversions (I did this when I ran an ad to try to get email list signups) you’ll need to insert a conversion pixel. A conversion pixel is a web landing page what you can track. (I had my webmaster/sister do this because I have no clue about such things…)
  • Facebook ads work like an auction to bid for the attention of your target audience.
  • You choose your budget and how long you want the ad to run. The ad will end on your chosen end date or whenever the budget is exhausted – whichever comes first.

How To Create Your Facebook Ad

  • Video Tutorials from Facebook can be found HERE.
  • Go to Ads Manager on the lefthand side of Facebook to get started.
  • You can either use Power Editor (more advanced but is better) or Create Advert (simpler). Power Editor only works with Chrome.
  • Each time you go to create, update, or tweak an ad, be sure to click on Download to Power Editor. This will save your changes and ensure that you’re working with the most up-to-date information before you begin.
  • Make your ad visual. Facebook algorithms like visuals and guess what? So do human beings. Make it look good.
  • Canva is a free program to help you format your ad so it fits with Facebook. You can use your own art (your book cover and related photos). Canva has some cheap photos and graphics, many are just one dollar each. You can also find other websites with stock photos for sale (such as http://depositphotos.com/ and https://us.fotolia.com/ )
  • You can also use Microsoft’s PAINT program to develop your ad.
  • Make sure you have a clear Call to Action. Facebook makes it easy – you can choose an action button from their dropdown menu, such as SHOP NOW, SIGN UP, LEARN MORE, DOWNLOAD, BOOK NOW, WATCH NOW, or DONATE NOW.
  • You want your ad to show in both Mobile and Desktop.

Target Your Audience

  • Select age, gender, interests, location, etc.
  • You can even customize your audience with an existing customer list, such as an excel spreadsheet of names and email addresses/ phone numbers. You can Expand Your Audience and reach people who are similar to those on your list.
  • Facebook can give you an HTML code to put on your website to track visitors so you can market directly to those who have visited your site.

Setting the budget

  • You can set a per day or lifetime budget ($5.00 per day, or $50.00 total budget for example)
  • If you select per day, the ad will stop when budget is exhausted. Otherwise, it will run continuously.
  • You can pause or change your ad at any time.
  • It’s important to track your results. Be aware of what’s working and what isn’t, and don’t be afraid to tweak your ad frequently. You also might want to pull an ad that’s underperforming, and you can add money to an ad that’s working well. There’s definitely both an art and a science to running successful advertising, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to take me quite some time to master it.
  • Speaking of masters, you’ll want to check out Mark Dawson’s thoughts on the subject. The man has made a small fortune on his books from running Facebook ads, and nobody knows more on the subject than he does. Take a look at his FREE three-part video series HERE.   Dawson also runs a paid Facebook course. I really can’t afford to take it right now (and I think he only offers it at certain times) but a lot of people have said that’s it really worthwhile.

What about you? Have you tried Facebook or other ads for your self-published books? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section of the blog.

  • Linda Fausnet

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