Jimmy, Rob, and Greg are an awesome and entertaining crew. At the beginning of the podcast, I was distracted by the fact that my Pokemon Discord app was beeping every few seconds and I didn’t know how to stop it, so I was not as engaged as I had planned to be. I came into the conversations a little late.
We covered some TV series’, movies, the Golden Globes, and a relatively new genre, Rock Fiction, and Moonlight City Drive by author-musician, Brian Paone, which I think is super cool. Then we talked about my books, Red Clay and Roses and Naked Alliances. In the end, I give my five greatest literary influences and why. (Please forgive me, Anne Rice, for calling your werewolves “wolverines,” in a completely live, on-the-air, brain fart.)
I have been informed that a class at UCF is interested in more discussion about literary fiction versus commercial/genre fiction, and we will be doing another short piece exclusively on that topic soon.
Digital downloads of Naked Alliances are available 08/26-08/29
Grab a copy, and a margarita, sit back, relax and enjoy your weekend.
S.K. Nicholls’ family owns and operates one of the oldest and largest nudist resorts in the nation in Central Florida, Cypress Cove. Her experience gives her a deep understanding of the lifestyle choice and how it is extremely different from the sex industry, yet harbors clandestine elements of intrigue and fascination.
Crime, eco, and social issues are at the forefront of her writing. As a former sexual assault nurse examiner she has an interest in the subject matter of sex-trafficking. She is also a member of the Florida Writer’s Association, Writers of Central Florida, Sisters in Crime, and reads frequently to the public at the local Short Attention Span Story Hour in Orlando.
Always accused of being the class clown and a daydreamer, the crimes are heinous but the humorous approach provides entertainment, creating a lighter, softcore crime read with the Naked Eye Series.
I was checking on the possibility of any new reviews on Naked Alliances today and was quite surprised at what I found. Maybe you all have spoken about this before and I just missed it. All 19 of my reviews are there, but when you first arrive at the page, you can only see the 13 “Verified Purchase” reviews. At first, I thought Amazon had removed some of my reviews. Ionia Froment, a TOP 1000 Amazon reviewer, had reviewed my first book, as well as this one, and I suspected Amazon struck her review.
However, on further inspection, with TWO MORE (obscure) CLICKS, one to get to an all in order first to last page, that shows all 13 verified purchase reviews, and another (even more obscure) click to get to “See all 19 Reviews” that show the non-verified purchase reviews. WTF?
Why is Amazon making it harder to see our reviews? Many people don’t know to continue clicking on to get the other reviews and many authors sell more books by hand from a box they carry in the trunk of their car from place to place than they do online. There is no way to prove they are purchases. One would think Amazon would want all reviews to show, especially from their own top reviewers.
Enough about that.
Last Day 99 Cent Sale:
I’m letting you know that today is the last day of the Naked Alliances 99 cents sale, so if you’d like a copy and haven’t grabbed one yet, now is the time to do it. And by all means, be sure to write a “Verified Purchase” review if you do, and help us get the word out.
Quick update on the ENT promo: 120 eBooks sold, 4 paperbacks, and 10 audiobooks.
During peak of promo, we actually got Naked Alliances down below #3000 Kindle books sold in store at about #25-#30 for three categories.
If you don’t have a copy yet, and would like one, you can find it here: Naked Alliances. I highly recommend the audiobook if you like to hear a good storyteller. The eBook is still 99 cents until Sunday.
Not as good as ENT promos once were, before FB changed the algorithm, but not a bad shot at it either.
I was a little concerned when I saw the “Customers who Bought this also Bought”…only because so many also bought cozy mysteries. I can’t count the number of times I have made a point of letting people know that Naked Alliances is NOT a cozy mystery. It clearly sates on the cover and book description that it includes nudity, sex, lies…and murder. The story is about murder and sex-trafficking.
Then, the RS reminded me of the many books he’s purchased and didn’t like…not to further disappoint me, but to say, “Hey, just because they bought those cozy mysteries doesn’t mean they liked them.”
Maybe they are looking for something new. I had not thought about it like that.
Leave it to the RS to point me in the direction of the positives. That’s why he’s my better half.
On to other things:
I have stories to tell you about a Pokemon Go adventure or two.
As I’ve shared, Pokemon Go gets me out of the house and into city parks. I enjoy the sunshine and the people I find out and about. Sometimes, I just have to escape these four walls, get out from in front of the computer, stop the words in my head, and focus on something totally unrelated. The game helps me do that. For a while, when I was building up my pokedex, I would spend from 2 pm to 2 am at a special park in Kissimmee that is a magical place for finding rare pokemon.
A little after 2 am I came to the intersection of Hwy. 192 (the road in Kissimmee that runs by Disney’s front gate) and Main Street. I was stopped at a traffic light and the road was empty in all directions, until a car pulled alongside me.
It was occupied by a white guy (the driver) with long, dark dreadlocks and a black guy in a red, yellow and green crocheted hat and wearing a bright green floral shirt (the passenger). I was vaping with my window down.
“Hey, mon, Vape Life!” the passenger yelled at me holding up his personal vaporizer.
I nodded in his direction and gave a little salute with my own PV, and smiled.
He was, it seemed, a bit drunk, and hopped out of the car. The driver called to him to get back in the car and stop acting the fool, but the guy approached my window chattering on about the good life in paradise and tossed a bag of reefer in my car window. “Go home, relax, and burn one on me,” he said.
I immediately looked around for the cops, wondering if I was being set-up.
He hopped back into his car, the light changed and they sped away west down 192. I proceeded up Main St. to OBT, then right onto Osceola, and left onto Orange Ave. heading for Orlando.
Instantly, I found myself paranoid. I know people are pretty open down here with this stuff, but I haven’t smoked it but three times since 1983. Once with my oldest son at a Pink Floyd concert (hey, it was necessary to get Comfortably Numb), once with my daughter at the Salvador Dali Museum (think about it), and again with my youngest son on the back porch of my lake house on Toho, (just because he was jealous).
I proceed up Orange Ave, going the proper speed limit, looking over my shoulder, scared to death that some cop was going to pull me over any minute. Just as I crossed the railroad tracks on the edge of Orlando, not one, not two, not three, but nine police cars came screaming by with their lights on heading for somewhere in a hurry. I nearly shit myself.
By the time I got home I was shaking all over, but slowly, I began to feel like I was in the clear. If you’re wondering what happened to the greenish-gold bud that was in the bag, I’ll tell ya. I kept it and put it in a special place. I started to flush it, but then thought, “Why not just hold onto it….you never know when you might need it and you have no earthly idea where to find it.” So, I locked it away someplace special.
Then my birthday came around. We didn’t have any sort of celebration planned and I was sitting on the lanai thinking I should do something different for my birthday. Why not get stoned? I mean, I’m retired, it’s not like I have to pass a piss test.
I went to the local head shop and bought a small pipe figuring I could burn a few bowls. I didn’t buy rolling papers, because I was sure I’d forgotten how to roll a joint.
I came home and sat on the lanai with my bowl and fired it up. After about four or five tokes I was completely self-aware and self-conscious. No way could I relax. My hair didn’t seem right, it was too short, my skin wasn’t clear enough, my clothes were frumpy, and I needed both a manicure and a pedicure.
It was a horribly negative experience, so I flushed the rest. It made me feel really old and I feel that way already…no need to have something on the menu that reminds me.
On to Pokemon story number 2:
One thing Pokemon Go players do is catch pokemon. The other thing we do is take our games to pokemon gyms where our pokemon battle other pokemon. You have to get into your car, walk, or skate to the gyms. The gyms are frequently located at churches, dining establishments, places where there are murals or sculptures, parks, city monuments, and the like, but you can drive within playing range of most of them…not having to get out of your vehicle. You see the gyms on your phone screen and touch the screen to enter the gym with your pokemon. You line up your six pokemon to battle with and once the battle starts, you tap the screen to move your pokemon and strike the opponent’s pokemon. There doesn’t have to be another player around. They’ve left their pokemon inside the gym for you to come along and battle. If you win, they get their pokemon back and you gain points toward your team winning that gym, or take an opponent’s gym back for your team and leave your pokemon there.
So, it’s 3 am and I’m out battling gyms alone. Sometimes we go as a group to stack gyms. I like to go when there is little traffic on the road, and not a lot of competition. I also like to take a bunch of gyms in the middle of the night and cash out (if you have ten gyms you get max coins and stardust for playing the game with).
I’m parked in a big parking lot next door to a bank at a sculpture. Suddenly two cars pull into the lot at angles on either side of my car to block my passage forward. I’m frightened because sometimes players take the game too seriously and have been known to assault people taking down their gyms, so I back up quickly, and spin the van around.
In seconds there are four people with guns in my face, and I’m holding out my phone saying, “Pokemon, I’m just playing Pokemon.” The cops relaxed and lowered their weapons. (They never turned on their blue lights, so how was I supposed to know they were cops?) They thought I was trying to flee when I backed up. Just as they lowered their weapons one of the cop cars rolled into the wall at the bank because she hadn’t put the damn thing in park when she jumped out of it. I tried really hard not to laugh.
I thanked the officers for keeping me safe and asked if I was free to go. The lady cop uttered expletives as she ran for her car and the other three cops just laughed and said, “Sure, be careful out here.”
Rant: Don’t expect me to follow you back if you don’t have a “Follow me by Email” option on your blog. I read my email several times a day. I never go into my Reader. I love engaging with my audience. Make it easy for me. Rant Over. (Notice the new message in the side bar.)
Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…I have news:
Naked Alliances is going on sale for $0.99 on January 15th. This is coinciding with an ENT promo which will start the same day.
I’ve never promoted a book in this genre. The historic fiction did well with ENT. I understand that FaceBook, where ENT gets most of its traffic from, has a high population of females 35-55 years of age. I’m curious to see how Naked Alliances does there.
Don’t despair if you miss that sale. I tried to get the Fussy Librarian to run their promo at the same time to no avail. The dates were already taken. So there will be another sale February 12th.
I’ve never run two promos so close together, and yet so far apart. Good to see ROI this way, I suppose. Though many people subscribe to both, I may be able to reach a broader audience in this way.
However, if you want a real treat and have the money to buy the audiobook, I implore you to get your copy of that when it goes on sale this week. I won’t be able to set or alter the price of the audiobook for promos. That’s set by the retailers, but it will be available on Amazon, iTunes and Audible.
As his pulse-quickening quest for answers leads from the dark corners of Orlando’s Little Saigon to the sunny exposure of the Leisure Lagoon, Richard Noggin, P.I. will be put to the test. Just how much will this Naked Eye have to bear…or bare?
That will also improve our rankings so the people coming along for the sales will see what a great seller it is and perhaps be influenced to buy.
I’m so excited to have the audio book of Naked Alliances well underway. Steven Barnett has a fabulous knack for voice-overs. Working with Steven on the audio book is great fun. I finally figured out a way to share a sample with you.
Each character has their own unique voice and Steven has just the right amount of animation and enthusiasm for reading to make the book hard to stop listening to. It’s interesting, entertaining, and holds the attention. I’ve bought some audio books that nearly put me to sleep with monotone reading.
Naked Alliances will not do that…I promise.
Through ACX, the audition piece was uploaded. Eight people auditioned and it was interesting to hear the different voices reading. Steven’s audition stayed on the top at all times. This took only a couple of weeks. After my husband listened to a few of the best, he was in full agreement that Steven’s narration had won, hands down.
I made him an offer. I was willing to give him to mid-February, as ACX recommends three to six weeks to complete edits. Steven was confident that he would have the book ready before the end of the year. He declined the offer, not wanting it to drag on that long. After listening to a couple more chapters with varying voices, I felt assured that he could pull this off and made him another offer, which he accepted. I’m delighted to be able to report that this project is working out exceptionally well, and can’t wait to get this audio book on the shelf.
Steven is most professional. He’s uploaded the first four chapters of the book to ACX along with the Intro and Acknowledgments, as well as placed it onto Google Drive to assure we have back-up in case the unexpected happens. I’m also keeping the downloaded files on my computer.
While fiddling around with some software I purchased today to make book trailers, I created a little YouTube video of the first chapter and posted it below. Please bear in mind that I am no expert with this new software and was only able to figure out how to post the cover and sound.
If you’ve any interest in the book, you have probably already read the first chapter. You may want to give it a listen to see how the narrator sounds. Or you may be intrigued enough with his reading to purchase the audio book when it becomes available. I’ll keep you posted.
The audiobook download should be ready for sale on Amazon by December 30th as a digital download. My daughter is also helping me make CD copies through CDBaby. I had to give up my 40% royalties via ACX in order to go non-exclusive with ACX, instead taking 25%. That seems like very little, but the whole point is to get the books out there in as many formats as possible.
For me, it’s not so much about raking in big bucks as it is about becoming a known author, and reaching all possible audiences is a huge part of that. The digital download file will be available on Amazon, but the CDs will not. I’ll have those in hand to sell at book signings and events.
Of course, if you’d like a copy when they become available, I’d be happy to mail you one. I don’t know what the price will be yet. ACX sets that for the digital download. I’ll know more about the cost of the CDs once I get that project underway.
Hope you are having a happy time preparing for the upcoming Holiday Season. My shopping is all done and I’ve got to finish up the tree and snow village. I’m doing a mini blog tour via some very kind author friends who have allowed me space on their sites to promote. I am most grateful to each and every one of you. The guest posts are all out now and I still have some interviews to email out.
Look for some book reviews to pop up here soon. I’ve finally got some time to read while prepping the audio book. I’ve decided not to begin writing again until after the New Year. The outline for Book Two in the Naked Eye Series is uploaded to Scrivener, I’m waiting until after our Vegas trip in April to get the first draft completed.
Do you like listening to audio books?
My husband listens to them on the way to and from work. They keep him from getting too frustrated in the Orlando traffic.
Have you worked with anyone to produce an audio book? What was your experience?
Blog tour is underway. It’s been going on since October 24th. Lots of fun touring around the blogosphere in places I’ve never been before. I’ve been sharing the posts on FaceBook and Twitter. For those that don’t follow my other sites, but know about this blog, I’ve put together a list of these posts so you can maybe go by and show the hosts some blogger/comment love.
One of my favorites is a guest post that was posted on The Writer’s Life eMagazine: “Writing Humor into Your Work”. It will tickle your funny bone and maybe teach you a little something. It was a fun one to write.
The interviews are always fun, too. So many questions that made me think both deeply and lightly on how and why this book came about, my writing process, and some fun facts about myself I wasn’t even aware of until asked.
So many good things happening! The first Press Release went out yesterday on Florida Book News. Happy to report that Naked Alliances already has eight five star reviews.
In other exciting news,…we have a website! Thanks to the talent and creativity of Tonia Brewer at All Ways Write we got that site up and running in time for the blog tour that begins Monday, October 24th. There are ten interviews and five guest posts scheduled to go out with that campaign.
Feel free to visit the website and hang around a while. Lots of good stuff there. It’s a work in progress, and we’ll be tweaking the site and updating content regularly.
We have a live radio interview coming up with Surf’s Up 97.3 Flagler Beach Radio. Owner, Vern Shank, gave us a thumbs up to get that going ASAP. They are really busy over there in Flagler Beach cleaning up after the hurricane.
Lost a good section of the infamous A1A. As soon as I have an exact date and time I’ll post it and you can tune in via the internet link to the station…you don’t have to be in broadcast range…it’s live-streaming from the site. Best rock and roll in the South and awesome beach tunes. There’s even a live camera on the pier so you can watch the surf while you listen.
I’m working with Eric at The Parliament House to set up a launch party and book signing next month. My, how time flies!!!
We have some zany maps of Florida being printed up that will keep you informed of Richard and Brandi’s location, as they traverse the State of Florida over the course of the series. These map/bookmarks will be going out with a newsletter that’s in the works. Stay tuned and I’ll let you know how that progresses.
Meanwhile, grab yourself a copy of Naked Alliances, kick back, pour yourself a margarita, and pretend you’re in Florida as this cold weather approaches. If you are already here, enjoy the familiarity of all things Florida.
In Naked Alliances, Nicholls takes readers on a witty, wild, wickedly fun romp that exposes a side of Orlando tourists rarely see. The debut release in The Naked Eye Private Investigator Series, Naked Alliances introduces lone wolf P.I. Richard Noggin.
About Naked Alliances: When a young immigrant woman and an exotic dancer are forced to flee men with guns and have no place to hide, Richard Noggin, P.I., can’t turn his back—even if helping out makes him a target. Richard plans to impress an aspiring politician by taking on a big white-collar case that could take him from the streets to an air-conditioned office. Instead,he’s handed a cold case and quickly finds himself sucked into a shadowy world of sex, secrets and…murder. Marked for a bullet and stretched thin by his investigations, Richard reluctantly teams up with the unlikely, brassy custodian of the young woman on the run. With bodies piling up, Richard and his companion are forced to go undercover in a most unlikely locale: the Leisure Lagoon, a nudist resort. Going undercover in this instance will mean going uncovered…but lives are at stake—and this Naked Eye will have to juggle to keep his balls in the air and connect the dots before anyone else is murdered. As his pulse-quickening quest for answers leads from the dark corners of Orlando’s Little Saigon to the sunny exposure of the Leisure Lagoon, Richard will be put to the test. Just how much will this Naked Eye have to bear…or bare? The heat is on in this quirky Sunshine State crime thriller.
S.K. Nicholls is author of Naked Alliances, Book One in the Naked Eye Series. Her family owns and operates a nudist resort located in Central Florida, Cypress Cove. She has a deep understanding of the lifestyle choice and how it harbors clandestine elements of intrigue and fascination. Social issues are at the forefront of her writing that is touched with a humorous edge. She lives in Orlando, Florida with her husband, Greg. When she’s not writing, she can be found tracking down Snorlaxes, wandering city parks with the homeless, or sipping margaritas on the bow of a boat.