Sunday, April 26, 2015

Fantasy paperback book giveaway - Union of Renegades

Open to U.S. residents, the Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I giveaway offers a free paperback copy of the book to one lucky winner on May 3rd.

Giveaway closed.

On May 3rd, I will randomly select a winner. I will follow up with the winner for a shipping address at that time. Thank you for entering.

Everyone worldwide can get a free ebook copy of the novel right now if so desired.

Brave Luck Books
Google Play

About Union of Renegades

Have you ever looked at the facts of your life and realized your dreams won't come true? Have you ever looked into the unknown and seen opportunity? For Dreibrand Veta, a young officer in the Horde of the Atrophane Empire, these questions explode from his spirit in a fit of rage and launch him into an epic struggle. After he encounters a rare super race, the rys, he is forced to choose sides between passionate rivals and navigate his way through a foreign culture all while plotting to seize his own wealth and glory.

In this opening novel of The Rys Chronicles you'll meet a man scarred by bad deeds who answers the call of a heroic cause. An unconventional heroine will tug at your sympathies as she bravely faces adversity with all the strengths and vulnerabilities of her womanhood. And overarching it all are the rys. Their magic makes them superior to humans, but they are not above employing humans in their deadly schemes.

See feedback about my books from my fans right here. 

Enter the book giveaway 

for your chance to win this book on May 3rd. (Prize ships to U.S. residents only.)

Giveaway closed.

Everyone worldwide can get a free ebook copy of the novel right now if so desired.

Brave Luck Books
Google Play

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Springtime Smashwords sale - Save 30 to 60 percent on select fantasy titles

I'm having a spring coupon sale at Smashwords on three of my fantasy books. Use the coupon codes on this page when you checkout at Smashwords to save 30 to 60 percent, depending on the title you select.

If you've become engrossed in one of my fantasy series with the free first books for Werewolves in the Renaissance, Rys Rising, or The Rys Chronicles, then you'll want to take advantage of the $2 Book 2s sale. 

With these coupons, the second novel in each fantasy series is only $2 through May 31st. That amounts to a 30 percent savings on Journey of the Hunted, and 60 percent off Savage Storm and The Goddess Queen.

$2 with coupon code HV93V

$2 with coupon code NJ73B

$2 with coupon code GD88Q

Smashwords sells ebooks worldwide in all the popular formats. It is one my preferred places to buy ebooks because if I ever need a different format of an ebook I bought, I can go to my account and download what I need. It even has a handy "read online" version when I want to read on my tablet and not trouble myself with downloading anything.

A note from Tracy Falbe: Be the first to know about my new releases and special sales at Brave Luck Books. Join the Readers' List. Ebooks and audiobooks available worldwide. Print in select countries.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

When will library patrons get to enjoy indie authors?

Last year when my ebook distributor Smashwords announced its deal with Overdrive, a supplier of digital content to libraries, I was excited to finally have my ebooks available to libraries. With some estimates showing that indie authors enjoy 20 to 30 percent market share among ebook buyers, it was high time that library patrons had their chance to discover works by independent talent.

The Author Earnings Reports published by well-known indie author Hugh Howey who analyzes sales data at ebook retailers, particularly the Amazon Kindle store, showed in July 2014 that indie authors were the publishers of 25 percent of the Kindle bestsellers. As for daily sales volume of ebooks at Amazon, 31 percent were titles authored by indies.

Some self published authors enjoy enormous success and have thousands of loyal fans. Then others, like myself, have impressed modest audiences who have left good reviews at online retailers and come back to buy more of my books year after year.

My ebooks within the Overdrive system, however, are segregated into a “self published” section, which reduces the chance of library buyers finding them. Even the president of Smashwords, Mark Coker, said in a recent interview that we authors refer to it as a dungeon.

Despite proven track records of happy readers and several years worth of sales for many self publishing authors, Overdrive adheres to the view that self published works don’t deserve placement alongside works from publishing companies. This attitude probably derives from the fact that indie ebooks cost much less than ebooks licensed to libraries by major publishers.

Will Librarians Consider Us?

Despite Overdrive's financial motive of keeping affordably licensed digital content hidden from buyers, I can hope that some library professionals might be interested in the self published content now available to them. Indie authors in general offer an excellent value, especially to budget-conscious librarians who must get as much quality content as they can for the money they have to spend.

I was heartened by this news report about a library in Ohio that actually held an indie-author oriented event. Authors are book lovers and know that libraries contribute greatly to a literate culture. It would be natural for libraries to support authors in their geographical service areas.

In March, the Cuyahoga County Public Library showcased indie authors and presented workshops on marketing. The event was public so even readers were allowed to interact with local indie authors.

With a large segment of the ebook buying public choosing to read indie authors, it would be nice if more library patrons could have the same opportunity.

What could be some reasons that libraries have been slow to embrace self published authors, even the successful ones?

1. They may not know about them! Self published authors rarely get any shelf space in a bookstore. They are discovered by readers browsing online book stores like Amazon, Kobo, Google Play, Nook, Smashwords, and iBooks. The internet marketing efforts of indie authors also earn them readers bit by bit, but all of this is likely invisible to librarians who depend on marketing materials from mainstream companies.

2. Some people are prejudiced against self published authors. They think that if a publisher did not produce a book, then it’s not any good. The fact is most authors have no way to even have their work seen by a publisher. Also, as the legions of indie authors show, there are thousands more writers with talent than publishing companies apparently have capacity to produce. Furthermore, business interests require publishers to focus on highly commercial work similar to what has already been successful. They typically cannot take a risk on anything new or different. This creates a literary culture driven by an accountant's ledger.

3. Librarians probably have to focus their limited budgets on popular titles that their patrons are requesting. However, the low prices of indie ebooks could allow libraries to buy some and therefore broaden their selection of digital titles. Because it’s usually only the buying public and not the library audience that is exposed to independent authors, library patrons may be largely unaware of these popular independent authors in the marketplace.

I know that my distributor Smashwords has prepared curated lists of its top-selling ebooks to help librarians choose titles with proven track records for pleasing readers. I urge acquisition librarians to consider this content so their digital collections will fully represent the literary scene.

Libraries by their nature allow readers to discover new entertainment and information free of the need to pay for it. This is a profoundly important service and has helped me personally learn a great deal over the years as well as enjoy books even when I didn’t have money to buy them.

In the spirit of making literary works available to everyone, librarians should take a look at indie authors and incorporate them into their purchases. Failing to do so would deny their patrons access to a large portion of modern literature.

A significant portion of talented writers are self publishing. Their talent competes alongside authors produced by major companies. Many of them, including myself, earn thousands of dollars and more every year from their efforts, and libraries have no reason to ignore them. 

To being exploring self-published titles from Smashwords within the OverDrive system, librarians need to find the self published section. It is outside the main catalog at OverDrive. Once within the indie ghetto catalog, you can search for titles. Please enter a search for me, Tracy Falbe, to see the fantasy novels I have available.

A note from Tracy Falbe: Be the first to know about my new releases and special sales at Brave Luck Books. Join the Readers' List. Ebooks and audiobooks available worldwide. Print in select countries.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Goodreads Giveaway in progress for Union of Renegades paperback

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Union of Renegades by Tracy Falbe

Union of Renegades

by Tracy Falbe

Giveaway ends April 18, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to Win

Now through April 18, 2015, Goodreads members in the United States can enter to win a paperback copy of Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I. This fantasy book is 319 pages and many people over the years have enjoyed it immensely.

Although Union of Renegades sets up a series, it contains plenty of action and adventure to engross you. A diverse cast of characters face daunting challenges in an epic landscape. You'll get to know the fantasy world ruled by the rys, a rare race of magical beings that use humans as pawns in their power struggles.

For readers who enjoy ebooks instead of print, Union of Renegades is free ebook almost everywhere.

Brave Luck Books
Google Play

About the fantasy book:

The epic begins as Dreibrand Veta and the conquering Horde of the Atrophane Empire reach a mythic Wilderness that beckons with a magical call to glory. But Onja, Queen of the rys, a race far more powerful than the greatest human state, guards this land. She has the power to imprison souls and her genocidal rage is legendary. Everything is at risk for her desperate enemies, the union of renegades.

A note from Tracy Falbe: Be the first to know about my new releases and special sales at Brave Luck Books. Join the Readers' List. Ebooks and audiobooks available worldwide. Print in select countries.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

What readers get from Google Play and Kindle mobile book apps

Applications to ebook retailers make it easy for people to read on their smart phones and tablets. Two popular ebook apps come from the mega retailers Google Play and Amazon Kindle.

Both have nice features, and a user's decision on which one to use usually boils down to which retailer they generally shop at.

Like the Borg from Star Trek, Google is well equipped at assimilating humans into its content ecosystem. The plus side of this is that you can access your content through your Google account on any mobile or desktop device.

Its Google Play Books app works on any devices with browsers, including iOS devices. You can also upload your own documents (PDF or Epub) to the books app, which is handy for people who select independently produced content or have other documents to review for work or pleasure. For example, I load raw manuscripts onto my ereading devices so I can read them and consider them before entering an editing environment.

Of course you can purchase ebooks from the Play Store with app and download freebies.

Other features are:
  • Bookmarking
  • Adjustment of screen to light and dark
  • Change fonts and font sizes
  • Text-to-speech when available

The Kindle books app is largely the same except it enables access and purchasing at the Amazon Kindle store. For people who already use a Kindle, the app lets them pick up books and continue them on other devices. This app also lets users upload books borrowed from their library accounts.

Other features are:
  • Dictionary look up of words
  • Font and font size adjustment
  • Various screen color and brightness options

Source: Android Epic App Battle: Google Play Books vs Amazon Kindle

As an author, I publish my work for both Google Play and Kindle platforms. Free ebooks are available that introduce my three series: The Rys Chronicles, Rys Rising, and Werewolve in the Renaissance.

Want some exciting historical fantasy to read on Google Play or Kindle?

Then try Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale. It's free on Google Play and only $0.99 at Kindle (Amazon doesn't let me give it away but you might get it to price match to free.)

About Werelord Thal:

Thal embodies the ancient magic of the pagan past. He challenges a world conquered by a spiritual system that denies the flesh and forgets the Earth.

Although wanted for Devil worship and shape shifting, he still boldly walks the streets of 16th century Prague. Jesuits hunt him. Mercenaries fear him. Musicians sing his praise, and women are captivated by his alpha swagger.

Check out some gripping epic fantasy for grown ups in the Rys Rising series.

Rys Rising: Book I is free on both Google Play and Kindle.

About Rys Rising:

A young warrior ruined and near death is saved by Onja a mysterious rys female. Forsaking all that he was, he will take the name Amar and serve his new magical mistress. A lord among outlaws he will become, feared by kings and called the dro-shalum or curse demon by the common folk. Indulge yourself and read this sumptuous epic told from many angles.

Year in and year out my first novel Union of Renegades entices people to enter the world of the rys alongside Dreibrand Veta.

This epic fantasy is free on both Google Play and Kindle.

In Union of Renegades you'll meet Dreibrand Veta, an officer with the Atrophane Horde. And yes it's a big deal to be part of the horde conquering the known world. Dreibrand is young and ambitious. He's out to rebuild his family's fortune. But at a critical moment, he realizes he's just never going to get what he wants working for his boss, the Hordemaster Kwan Chenomet.

Dreibrand does something rash. He ends up wanted and in the company of an escaped slave, Miranda. With her two young children, she is fleeing the brutal onslaught of the Atrophane. Together they enter the Wilderness. No one ever comes back from this place.

And so Dreibrand and Miranda are ensnared by magic and pass into the world of the rys where the Goddess Onja has ruled the western tribal kingdoms for over two thousand years. She sits upon the greatest treasure. Every year it grows as warring tribes deliver their tribute. Her rival Shan lives at her side, waiting for something to change so he can destroy her.

See where this epic series takes you.

Union of Renegades is free on:

Google Play
Brave Luck Books

A note from Tracy Falbe: Be the first to know about my new releases and special sales at Brave Luck Books. Join the Readers' List. Ebooks and audiobooks available worldwide. Print in select countries.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Plunder the palace and celebrate - An excerpt from Savage Storm

This excerpt from Savage Storm: Rys Rising Book I lets you see into the character of Demeda. Born a princess of the Sabar'Uto Tribe, she goes onto betray her people. She does it for the love of two things: Amar the Overlord of the Kez and the power he can give her. She consents to anything he asks because she must remain important to him. Her power arises from being part of his entourage.

Her choices take her far. She will become the Handmaiden of the Goddess and travel to the other side of her world in the holy war that is to come.

In this excerpt from the novel, the rys Onja has used her magic power to conquer the Sabar'Uto capital. Her faithful warriors have taken control in the name of spreading the worship of her. They intend now to celebrate their success.

Amar leads Demeda into the newly seized palace of her family... 

Upon entering the middle ring of the palace, Demeda quickly noted the disorder of recent sacking. Tapestries were torn or missing, shelves that had displayed art were empty, and the occasional gouge or scrape of a weapon was apparent on woodwork or a chipped fresco. Most of the damage was superficial and it was still the same beautiful palace built by master craftsmen, but Demeda had never been able to travel through the men’s circle so openly before. She had either been rushed through with her face covered or she had been sneaking about. But now her face was uncovered, her black hair flowing free, and she felt for the first time that the place actually belonged to her. She had just looked into the eyes of Onja’s supreme power, and Demeda gushed with confidence. She strutted boldly next to Amar and reveled in her sense of possession. She was royal born and this was her house, and for the first time, she could walk its halls freely.
Never had she mounted the steps of the grand lobby outside the throne room. As she walked, she looked up and often turned in circles as she admired the high windows full of light and the painted ceilings.
Amar took her into a banquet hall where no female of her family had ever eaten. She noticed that the crowd behind Amar had thinned to his closest warriors. Worried about Luci, Demeda asked Amar if he would assign lodging to her companions, and he dispatched a man to see to it.
In the banquet hall, a broad table draped with yellow cloths was surrounded by ornately carved chairs gleaming with gold leaf. This room was used for morning meals of State and was situated so that morning sun streamed through the glass windows near the high ceiling. Three fireplaces blazed and sculptures lined the walls. Demeda recognized a bust of her father that was knocked over in a corner.
Amar hopped onto the table and strode its length. He laughed and asked his warriors if they were hungry for breakfast. They cheered and piled into the chairs and shouted for the servants.
As Amar approached the head of the table he beckoned Demeda. When she came to the edge of the table he grabbed her and pulled her up. She laughed a little deliriously as he spun her around to show her off to his men. She recognized them all. Kym, Vame, Cybar, and all the warriors who served the lieutenants closely along with Urlen, who always looked out of place.
“Dance for us, Demeda,” Amar said.
Demeda stopped laughing. She glanced down the table and the Kezanada men looked back at her with lascivious twinkles in their eyes. She blushed with fear.
Amar removed her cloak and lifted her shoulder bag away. He tossed them onto a chair and gestured for her to perform. The other men shouted encouragement, but she cringed with uncertainty. It was ingrained in her that such a display would be degrading, yet the new experience tempted her outlaw heart. And she guessed that it would please Amar to see the daughter of the vanquished Sabar’Uto King perform. Demeda even conceived of it as a mighty revenge upon her father, but she was not just any female plaything.
Looking Amar in the eyes, she said, “There’s no music.”
Very slowly Amar smiled, in admiration of her little defiance. “A dancer does need music,” he granted and then jumped off the table. He scooped Demeda down into his arms and slouched into a chair at the head of the table with her on his lap. Servants were coming in with pitchers of water and wine and trays of sweet breads, cheese, and dried fruit. Amar hollered for them to fetch musicians and dancers and pulled Demeda close. He liked her small frame, perky breasts, and delicate natural scent free of Loxane’s enticing potions. He touched her face and ran a hand through her long hair, but he did not kiss her. He moved her into her own chair and poured himself a cup of water.
Warmed by his teasing embrace, Demeda looked down the table at the rough crew of Kezanada tearing into the food and drink. She knew that she should feel outraged about the plundering of her family’s wealth, but none of it had been her birthright and she honestly was amused. This unthinkable transformation was the work of Onja, and Demeda smirked as she beheld the crazy work of her Goddess. Demeda poured herself a goblet of wine to brace herself for the licentious abandon that she felt coming on.

Savage Storm: Rys Rising Book II is sold as an ebook worldwide.

Three formats are available at my website Brave Luck Books

Or you can find it at your favorite retailer:

Google Play
Kindle UK

Paperback available too at Amazon.

A note from Tracy Falbe: Be the first to know about my new releases and special sales at Brave Luck Books. Join the Readers' List. Ebooks and audiobooks available worldwide. Print in select countries.