Ritter Ames — USA TODAY Bestselling Mystery Author of the Bodies of Art Mysteries series and the Organized Mysteries series

Archive for June 2016

I posted a fast contest yesterday over on my FB Author page. Winner will be announced tomorrow. Only criteria to enter is that you must LIKE or have already LIKED my FB author page and have a U.S. mailing address. See all the details here:

https://www.facebook.com/RitterAmesBooks/

 

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I’ve been trying (fruitlessly, for months) to get a particular Amazon service tied into my website. Now, I love computers, don’t get me wrong, and I love geeking out on all FP&OF memethe new bells and whistles everyone makes available. But as a one-woman business I don’t have the luxury of sitting around and reading the masses of detail sent every day to help me “market” my business–if I want to get any writing done that is. What goes through quickly gets read and used. What makes me sigh in frustration gets set aside for when I have more time (you know what that means).

So, when everyone kept talking about how authors could access the Amazon samples, tying early chapters of our books back to our websites so readers simply clicked from my webpage to start reading the first few chapters before they bought, I thought, “How cool!” Especially when I saw the format that comes up is much cleaner and more functional than the Look Inside option on the Amazon website. I happily dived into the idea.

Until I tried actually getting it to work with my web provider parameters, blog options-limits, and the other idiosyncrasies that make “It’s good, you’ll like it!” actually translate into “Do not throw your laptop out of the window!” The idea was tabled for more data.

Then yesterday, a wonderful post I read daily called The Passive Voice published a segment about something else–but which also included info on this elusive option (if you don’t already read The Passive Voice, I heartily recommend them.) By playing around with the code available through that newsletter, I finally figured out how to make my web page work so early chapters of my books are available via my website. How cool is that?

Look on my banner above and you’ll see a new option for Chapter One Excerpts. Actually the excerpts are longer than one chapter, but since I write really long chapters, only the first chapter may be complete–hence the page name with the conservative wording. I’ll be adding new links as new releases come online. Anyone can access all the early chapters of my books from the banner link (with the much nicer format I mentioned earlier) or by clicking the link below:

https://ritterames.com/take-a-sample-chapter-one-excerpts-of-my-books/

 

Do you love outtakes as much as I do? One of the things about being an author is I write aFP&OF meme lot of scenes that don’t always appear in their original title. Case in point: I received ARCs this week for Abstract Aliases, the third book in the Bodies of Art Mysteries series, and it starts with Laurel & Jack at a New Years Event. But originally, I was going to set the story around Halloween. I wrote up some really fun scenes, had an exciting phone call scene in particular that set up some scary potential, then I decided I needed to give a time break between books 2 & 3, so it made for a more natural investigation, and the story wasn’t bogged down in a lot of day to day activity that could be summarized much quicker if I did a time shift.

But I still had those lovely scenes set in October. There wasn’t anything wrong with them, and I didn’t want to waste them. So, I’m going to finish it all off as a Halloween short story and give it to my newsletter subscribers as a “treat” this year. Want a sample taste? Here’s a brief scene where Laurel is regretting her decision to put Cassie in charge of their costumes.

Currently untitled Freebie Peek–

Cassie crossed her arms and raised an eyebrow. “Trust me, Laurel. No one will recognize either of us in the Halloween costumes I picked. And mine coordinates with yours, so don’t think you can talk your way out of dressing up now. Besides, Gerald is going to meet us at the show, and we have no way of contacting him ahead of time.”

One of my longtime friends, a con man disowned by his upper crust family, had called the office the day before asking to rendezvous with me. That was his word, “rendezvous.” He had a touch of drama queen in his soul, and told Cassie he had something he needed to share.

“What did he say exactly?” I asked.

“He had some information he needed to give personally to you, and wanted to know when you could meet with him tonight.”

“And he couldn’t just call me?”

“No, said it had to be in person and he wouldn’t have his phone for a few days.”

“More likely, he’s looking to get a free meal out of me, and doesn’t want to give me any means of canceling.”

Cassie furrowed her forehead and frowned. “He did invite himself along pretty quickly when I told him what show we were seeing. Then I mentioned who was doing our makeup, and he said he knew Lila.”

“I don’t doubt that at all. Gerry knows everyone, whether they want to know him or not,” I said. “So you told him what we’re wearing?”

“He wouldn’t have been able to recognize us otherwise.”

Everyone knew but me. “I’d better not be the back half of something horrible like Godzilla that makes people scrunch their eyes closed.”

“Trust me. People are going to keep their eyes open wide.”

Great! We’re probably going as hookers. “Okay, no promises, but I’ll go with you to Lila’s to check things out. If I’m sufficiently disguised, and if Inspector Whatley agrees that it’s not a dangerous idea, or at least not too stupid, we’ll keep to our original plans.”

“Plus, if we are followed, it will tell us that my phone was hacked since you don’t even know Lila’s address or what performance we’re going to see tonight.”

“If you’re trying to reassure me, you’re not succeeding,” I said.

 

The rest of this story will appear in my newsletter in late October. If you already subscribe, you’re all set. If you haven’t yet subscribed and want toClick Here

So, tell me, do you like seeing deleted scenes as much as I do? And do you like to see what authors do with them later?

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW OVER. PRIZES HAVE BEEN AWARDED.

Don’t forget to check out the amazing celebration today for the 100th published book HP World Giveaway TODAYreleased by Henery Press. It’s a Facebook Page Hop that runs until midnight tonight. You can start by clicking here to get to my FB Author Page, and then move on to the next stop, and the next, and the next. In total, $4200 in prizes from 100 authors and a grand prize from Henery Press. Look for this contest graphic to get all the details on each page.

There is always something fighting for my dollars–especially as the weather warms up, the schools let the students loose, and we’re all traveling more. So, I love it when I can report on a way to save or win merchandise–especially when it relates to reading. Here are a couple of goodies!

Until June 30th, Amazon is offering a $3 discount on an e-title. Just click this link and you’ll go to a landing page that says your Summer discount offer has been applied–then Amazon 3-dollar-off credityou only have to shop for the Kindle copy you want, and the title will head for your ereader, and you’ll keep an the extra $3 in your wallet. Easy peasy. And my publisher would ask me to remind you here that this particular discount would cover the entire price of a copy of either Counterfeit Conspiracies or Marked Masters. Not that I’m trying to suggest how to spend your money or anything 🙂

If you look at your receipt at the time of purchase, it will show the full price of whatever Kindle book you choose, however it will include a boxed note that says:

Your order is being processed. The total, including promotions and Gift Certificates, will be available when it is complete.

And when I received the email copy of my invoice the $3 credit had been subtracted from the total (it took several hours before the credit was processed and I received an the invoice confirming the lowered price after the discount, so don’t panic if you don’t get it right away–my credit card was not charged based on the invoice at order and was only charged the discounted amount). The offers it runs until June 30th–but who can wait to buy a new ebook, right? This is free book money. Am I right? And I want to thank Jeanie Jackson for posting about this and giving me the scoop so I could share it with y’all!

Next, on Monday, June 13th Henery Press is celebrating it’s 100th published book by hosting an AtW Prize package from HPFB Blog Hop with 100 authors (Yes, I’m in that group). We’ll all be giving out prizes at our own stops, but Henery Press is Giving a Very Grand Prize of airline miles, a roomy Coach tote, designer sunglasses, and a Kindle Fire–all going to one very lucky recipient. All the entry details will be posted on early Monday morning and go on all day.

And this is just one prize. Remember, there will be 100 other authors who will all be giving stuff away on their pages, too! To enter, join the blog on Monday. I’ll have a post pinned to the top of my FB Author Page, click here to reach my Author page. If you’ve already liked my author page, you should get a notification by FB when I post in the early morning hours on Monday–but if you haven’t yet liked the page, feel free to do so now and get the news as soon as I post.

This is a one-day event that you’re going to want to set aside time for. Mucho, mucho fun and mucho, mucho prizes being given out (remember, there are 100 authors sharing in this so lots and lots of fun). Follow the instructions to enter at every page for every author you love or think you might like to know better 🙂 You’ll see a link to the next stop on the blog at the end of each author’s post–and if you want to make sure you hit them all, go to the Henery Press FB page and the authors’ list will appear in order there (don’t worry, I’ll post it on my page). Look for this happy chickie pic on Monday, June 13th to know where to enter on everyone’s pages. All winners will be posted Tuesday the 14th. Good luck!HP World Giveaway TODAY

 

Confession time: I try to stay away from Kickstarter because I like just about everything that hits the site. While I love encouraging and supporting entrepreneurship and innovation, I also like to eat and pay my electric bills (my laptop appreciates when I pay that bill too). So I tend to ignore a lot of the enticing emails Kickstarter sends my way–they’ve already pegged me as a soft touch. But when one of the guys at Litographs sent me an email saying they were starting another Kickstarter project earlier this spring, I opened it. And yes, I contributed (in about 0.5 seconds–told you I was a soft touch).

I already adore Litographs. The company takes the words from a published book and creates a picture on a t-shirt using just the words. I’ve loved this company for many reasons:

  1. The shirts not only have great designs, but they’re high quality and very comfortable to wear.
  2. I love wearing my favorite books (yes, the text is clear enough to read, though I usually just stick with the paper or Kindle versions for my nightly reading).
  3. Every time Litographs sells a shirt (they also sell totes and posters) they give away a book to an under-served community. The exact wording on their website is: “We’re committed to promoting literacy all over the world — to make a direct impact, we proudly partner with the International Book Bank to send one new, high-quality book to a community in need for every order placed on Litographs.com.”
  4. And my very selfish reason for loving Litographs is that their products help bolster my side in all the arguments I’ve had–okay, heated debates–with some rather egotistical graphic designers who’ve tried fruitlessly to convince me the picture or design is much more important than the words (y’all know I love visual art, but I’m not going to back down when someone disparages the written art of creativity). In the case of Litographs, it isn’t just that the words create the book that inspires the picture–yes, it does that–but more importantly The Words Are The Medium Used To Actually Create The Picture. So, from two different directions (or points of evidence if discussing this as a debate), the t-shirt (or tote or poster) could not Happen in its sell-able form without the words. The words don’t just come first, they are necessary to completely conclude the project. Okay, I’ll step down from my soapbox now.

Then there’s the new Kickstart project they launched and I contributed to. The offer? I could not only use of my own books for my “reward” for helping in the effort, but I could choose between either a t-shirt or a scarf (long scarf or infinity scarf). Wow, Litographs is already one of my favorite “gotta buy this because” companies, but now I’m offered a brand new choice to showcase my own words.

The Kickstarter campaign ended–it was a success–and I’ve been waiting for my followup email to give my choice in what kind of wearable art I want them to use for my word art. I picked…The Infinity Scarf. I already have two of their t-shirts (Don Quixote and The Princess Bride, and I want many more) and I don’t need another tote (yes, I have several from VistaPrint with my book covers printed on the canvas). But I love the idea of throwing on a plain tee and jeans, then adding the infinity scarf to any outfit.

For the book of words to use, I chose Counterfeit Conspiracies, since it was my first published novel. And for the color I chose a light green to go with the lovely new book cover. I won’t receive my prototype until sometime in August (hurry faster, Litographs, faster), but here’s what the sample looks like–just envision my words in light green instead of this text in dark pink.

If you’d like to check out their products, the website is http://www.litographs.com/ I highly recommend them 🙂

Litographs scarf sample


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