Time to bare  (almost) all.

 Yesterday I had a heart-to-heart with a best-selling thriller writer.  Since we agreed to keep our  candid conversation anonymous, I will refer to her here only as "Madame X". 

Madame X and I discussed my goal of becoming a full-time writer  in 9.5 years.  (I’m six months into my 10 year plan!)  Madame X  strongly believes that maximizing  online reader reviews of One Murder More  is the most important step in that plan; that reader reviews are more important even than books sold when starting out!  She explained this is because my likely "next reader"— the one who is considering my book, but uncertain—will usually make that decision largely based on reader reviews! 

Many of you have  already written  a reader review for me on Amazon—thank you!! If not, please consider this a heartfelt plea to do so. And if you gave  a copy of the book to someone else, would you please forward this request  to them and see if they are willing to leave a review? (You/they don’t need to have purchased  my book on Amazon  to review it there.) 

http://www.amazon.com/One-Murder-More-Kris-Calvin/dp/1941758975/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1463751912&sr=1-1&keywords=one+murder+more

Instructions: go to the above link (or when on Amazon  put One Murder More in the search bar), scroll   to "leave a review", choose a star total and (optional) leave a few sentences about what you like (or don’t like) about  the book. (Please don’t let concerns about "what you might  say" stop you from leaving a review, star totals alone are  helpful!)

(If you are a member of Goodreads, please  choose a star total there,  or copy and paste your Amazon review on GR, that’s a big help, too!) 

I’ve been stalled at 74 reviews for several months and am hoping to get over 80 this week! Would you please help?

Meanwhile, I’m still writing!  If you’re a writer, I hope you are, too. If you’re a reader, happy reading!

Kris   





"In the right light spiders are seductive, all those legs, some furry, soft. But they’re poor suitors, scuttling into darkness, taking me with them." 

I use  social media—Twitter & Facebook—less to promote my books than to exercise my writing muscles in  a gentle way, especially  when I’m  stuck" on a project.  I find Twitter particularly helpful for this, as the discipline required to convey a thought or emotion in 140 characters is great  for  learning to keep prose crisp and clean. (And accomplishing that in a post is sometimes just the confidence boost I need to  go back to work on a difficult passage in my book! ) Also, Twitter has strong real-time analytics that help me to see what "lands" with readers and what does not. I can immediately view the ratio of those who saw the tweet as it  passed by in their feed ("impressions") to those who clicked on it and actually read/thought about it, if briefly ("engagements")! 

Yesterday, I tweeted the headline that you see at the top of this Update. I built it into that 140 character tweet  from a random thought that occurred to me upon waking. 

Surprisingly (VERY SURPRISINGLY) the engagement ratio on that  tweet was  the highest on anything I’ve ever tweeted!!  That’s not to say more people saw it than any other (impressions). When I’ve been fortunate to have  someone with hundreds of thousands of followers  retweet something I tweeted  the # of impressions was sky-high. But for this little scrap of writing, the engagement ratio was >;;;1, that is,  more people  engaged (or some engaged twice)  than were exposed to it!

If you are an author, an aspiring author or an avid reader and don’t already have one I encourage you to consider opening a twitter account.  I find it takes much less time than FB  to keep up with and is more valuable to me. (While you can "like" something  it’s more about you quickly  gaining information than about connecting  with the writer of a post).  If you prefer you can open your twitter  account  anonymously (without using your real name and without a photo). And there’s no need to post any  of your own tweets, yet you can still be active! I use Twitter in my "day job"  account  as my news source on politics, the economy and health care since many who tweet offer a link to an article;  following them provides  timely, concise  headlines and content on things I need to know about. 

Of course, if you’re "building a brand"  as a writer or in some other way you  will want to reveal your true identity to all when you tweet, as I do!  Speaking of which, if you are  on twitter now or if you join I would  greatly appreciate it if you would  consider following me @kcalvinHQ!   The number of followers  I have helps those who go to my account  know that I’m a "real author" and  (presumably) that I have something of interest (at least occasionally) to say! P.S. if you  follow someone  on twitter but don’t want to see their tweets in your feed, you can click on the gear icon above their name and "mute them"; they don’t know you’re doing it and  following them still helps them out!

 I’m at 190 followers now, I hope you can help me pass the 200 follower mark this week!  https://twitter.com/kcalvinHQ  

Thanks for everything, happy reading and writing!   Kris

KRIS CALVIN, Inkshares Author of ONE MURDER MORE 

"An irresistible political thriller...reminds me of House of Cards"—Robert Dugoni, critically-acclaimed Amazon #1 best-selling author   

"Crisp and Entertaining...Kris Calvin is a writer to watch" —John  Lescroart, author of 19 New York Times  best-selling mysteries and thrillers, millions sold worldwide!

I’ve got a deal in the very beginning, baby steps; if you haven’t yet reviewed One Murder More on Amazon could today be the day? It might help to move that deal along! You don’t have to have purchased it on Amazon to review it there. 

Log in as you would to buy anything on Amazon, enter my name or One Murder More in the search bar (or use link below), scroll down to "leave a review" & choose a star total. That’s it! 

You can leave a phrase or sentence e.g., "Looking forward to the next one", "Loved Camper the dog!", but it’s not necessary. 

If you gave the book to a friend or family member and are comfortable passing along this request to them to review it, that would be awesome, too. 

Thank you for all of your kindnesses and support! 

Kris

ps cranking on Maren Book 2 now, woo-hoo!

http://www.amazon.com/One-Murder-More-Kris-Calvin-ebook/product-reviews/B00VJQQW60

I’m THRILLED, with a capital "T", to  announce my NEW website at www.kriscalvin.com. If you have a minute,  please click around a bit, and let me know what you think... My favorite is the NEWS & EVENTS page. Stay tuned, it will fill up rapidly due to the  ongoing support and advice Inkshares  provides about how to put myself and ONE MURDER MORE  out there! (If you’re not yet published through Inkshares, keep at it. I’m the only  author I know who raves about his/her publisher!)

Other Updates? Prepping to  crowdfund Book 2 in The Maren Kane Sacramento-based mystery series. The 750 preorder threshold is daunting. Still, I’m happy  a high bar is required, achieving it will represent true democratic publishing. (Especially if a coin flip is involved. Although if you didn’t follow the Iowa caucus results, ignore that.)

Thanks for "backing", for "following"... in short, for being an artist and/or supporting  the arts. 

Life is good.

Kris 

Happy New Year!

So much going on! I hope your year is starting well. I’d like to ask if you would be willing  to take a moment to help me with a design and marketing decision for the second printing (woo-hoo!) of  One Murder More. Very excited that it will be “trade paper”—lighter, less expensive than hard copy & favored by many readers and independent bookstores!  But it does mean that the cover must be redesigned. The distinctive red color and car images of  the First Edition hardback will remain.  But since there is no book jacket (and, thus, no "inside flaps" of the jacket) on a soft cover, all narrative must now be on the front cover, back cover and inside pages of the new format.

Challenge: I’ve been fortunate to receive many generous reviews and quotes about the book.  I’m having trouble deciding which ones to feature in the new format. Any input you have would be greatly appreciated.

Goal: To select *2-3 brief, bold eye-catching quotes for the front cover  and *3-4 strong, strong (did I say strong?) quotes for the back cover. Back cover will also contain the book's synopsis, my bio and photo. 

Your role:  Below are options, in no particular order (not ranked). They are numbered for your convenience in responding, reference preferred quote(s) by number. Which 3-4 are your favorites, the ones that you feel would most motivate a potential reader to pick up and buy the book?  (You may want to consider the content of the quote and whether the person/media outlet that provides it would influence you.)   Any preference for front/back cover placement?  ;

PLEASE SEND YOUR CHOICES TO ME VIA EMAIL at kris@kriscalvin.com or share them in the COMMENTS section above  this Update on my Inkshares page. 

Thank you SO MUCH, as always, for your wisdom and support!  Kris

SHORT CLIPS:

1.     “Crisp and entertaining…Kris Calvin sets herself apart as a writer to watch…”—John Lescroart 

2. “Gasp-worthy twists...a real treat of a debut…”—Catriona McPherson

3. “An irresistible political thriller that reminds me of House of Cards.” —Robert Dugoni

LONGER:

4.  “An emotionally rich and gripping novel that tracks through intrigue, missteps, and false leads to the credible solving of a brutal murder... Meet Maren Kane, and hope you get to see her in action again.”—Kirk Russell 

5. “From the first page to the last sentence, I was enthralled with this book… it really delivered. One Murder More is truly a great start to what will no doubt be an amazing series by Kris Calvin.” Victoria Colleti, Art Books Coffee

6. “Read One Murder More for Kris Calvin’s details on political life. Read it for the characters that all stand up in an emotionally rich and gripping novel that tracks through intrigue, missteps, and false leads to the credible solving of a brutal murder. And meet Maren Kane, and hope you get to see her in action again.” Kirk Russell, author of John Marquez mystery/crime fiction thriller

7.“A political thriller with an edge… Kris Calvin has the background and know-how about politics, and will keep readers guessing with every page.” —Woman Around Town

8. “Kris Calvin’s debut novel One Murder More will captivate fans of murder mysteries and thrillers alike. With her natural ability to weave an intricate and intriguing storyline, she has established herself as an accomplished and talented addition to the world of murder and suspense…” Skin Deep Exposure Magazine

9. “In One Murder More, Kris Calvin gives us a front-row seat in California’s capitol and exposes the underbelly of the state’s political machine. An irresistible political thriller that reminds me of House of Cards.” Robert Dugoni, New York Times Bestselling Author

10. “I’d have read One Murder More for the setting alone—who could resist such a detailed peek along the corridors of power? ... Totally satisfying.” —Catriona McPherson, Multi-Award-Winning Author

10. “One Murder More investigates the lengths to which some people will go in the pursuit of money and power, while never forgetting the human element of its large-hearted protagonist as she navigates the treacherous, even life-threatening terrain of state politics... a standout amongst political mysteries.” —Criminal Element

11. “A smart, fast-paced mystery… will keep you up reading all night.” —Eileen Rendahl, National Bestselling and Award-Winning Author

12. “In One Murder More, Kris Calvin gives us a front-row seat in California’s capitol and exposes the underbelly of the state’s political machine. An irresistible political thriller that reminds me of House of Cards.” —Robert Dugoni, #1 Amazon and New York Times Bestselling Author of My Sister’s Grave

13. “One Murder More investigates the lengths to which some people will go in the pursuit of money and power, while never forgetting the human element of its large-hearted protagonist as she navigates the treacherous, even life-threatening terrain of state politics. The well-drawn setting makes it a standout amongst political mysteries, lending authenticity to the proceedings and providing fascinating insight to the workings of state government.” —Criminal Element

14. “I’d have read One Murder More for the setting alone—who could resist such a detailed peek along the corridors of power? But add a complex and engaging protagonist, a crisp plot with a couple of gasp-worthy twists, and a fully realized set of relationships and you've got a real treat of a debut. Totally satisfying.” —Catriona McPherson, Multi-Award-Winning Author of Dandy Gilver Mystery series & multiple stand-alone suspense novels

15. “One Murder More is a smart, fast-paced mystery. Calvin's insider knowledge and keen eye for detail make for a heady combination, one that will keep you up reading all night.” —Eileen Rendahl, National Bestselling and Award-Winning Author

16. “Kris Calvin’s debut novel will captivate fans of murder mysteries and thrillers alike. With her natural ability to weave an intricate and intriguing storyline, she has established herself as an accomplished and talented addition to the world of murder and suspense.” —Skin Deep Exposures Magazine

17. “Debut author Kris Calvin so skillfully writes One Murder More that readers might expect her characters to escape the pages and be found in the actual avenues and halls of California’s capital!” Spring Warren, Award-Winning Author

 

 



BIG NEWS!  

I've taken a brief leave from my day job to finish the manuscript of the second book in the Maren Kane Mystery Series. The working title is A Timely Murder! Without revealing too much, I can share that one of the main characters from One Murder More (Book 1) runs for office, one is shot (no!) and Maren finds herself in deep trouble  on the strip in Las Vegas.

I also want to share that although I’ve been fortunate to have several agents wooing me, I am staying with Inkshares!  I could not imagine a more reader and author-friendly environment in which to write. But it does mean I need to have sufficient pre-orders to meet the threshold for Inkshares to publish me again—there is no “free pass” for sequels; each work must (appropriately) stand on it’s own. So I will be asking you soon to consider preordering the 2nd book in the Maren Kane mystery series, and to encourage others you know to do so. In particular, the system has changed—for  One Murder More, money could be contributed without being linked to additional books to the backer. Under the new system only money  to purchase books will be accepted, and 750 books total must be preordered to qualify for  full publishing via Inkshares.  This is  true democratic publishing in action—you "vote"  to secure the future of the book by purchasing copies  in advance.  

While all backers in the new system will receive special insider updates from me, I want to ask your input now on recommendations for a special incentive for individuals  who order 10 books.  (Upon request, I’ll arrange to have any books  that a backer  does not personally wish to receive  donated to reputable charitable organizations. One I have in mind is the Downtown Women’s Center for homeless women in LA http://www.downtownwomenscenter.org.  I welcome your suggestions for organizations that would similarly benefit from books for adult literacy efforts and for resale for their  fundraising.) 

Your Ideas for Incentives?  In particular, what fits the “Maren Kane Mystery” gestalt?  Also, I will need to be mindful that any incentive will be at my cost for production and shipping. In a general post Inkshares suggests " a t-shirt, mug or coloring book".  Not sure any of those fit though...One idea I had is writing a special short story that would go only to  “super-backers”, prior to being submitted to mystery magazines for publication.

 Finally, I would appreciate your assistance in coming up with a better name than “super-backers” for those who are able to offer more support.  

Thanks again for everything! It’s been quite a journey so far.

Kris   

www.kriscalvin.com

ps Thanks for the  great audiobook  development suggestions! Will keep you posted...

 

 

Field trip! 

I'm so excited to fly to Seattle tomorrow to visit a friend in grad school, where at her suggestion we plan to hit the one and only Amazon physical bookstore to see if One Murder More has been rotated off the shelves to make room for other stock, or if it's still there. 

"If I want to learn more about the books that are currently driving the cultural conversation, I can go to Amazon Books..." (Billboard, Nicole Dieker) 

Not sure One Murder More clears that bar, but honored to be in the less than 1% of Amazon's print books selected for it's physical store. 

Also,  a reminder, last chance to "order and get one free" for any of 19 fabulous books in Inkshares  "inaugural class": https://www.inkshares.com/holiday_promotion  The quality is high and the  variety is fabulous!  If you would like me to sign and ship  the First Edition hardback of One Murder More to  your friends/colleagues as  gift(s) via this promotion, plz use 1211 Spruce Lane Davis CA 95814 as the shipping address when you order on Inkshares, then message me at  kris@kriscalvin.com with the  gift-recipent's address(es) and what, if anything you would like in the note. In this "2 for 1" deal each autographed hardback will cost you $10.50 with free shipping included, not bad.  

Thanks, as always, for your kindness and support!

Kris   

www.kriscalvin.com


I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving, I did!  Now, in case you're doing the Black Friday thing, here's my pitch: if you're trying to check friends/family/colleagues who are readers off your holiday list, but aren't able to get to your independent bookstore (the best choice), you can "buy one/get one free per order" of ONE MURDER MORE  directly from Inkshares, which cuts the cost to $10.75 per shiny, new hardback copy! https://www.inkshares.com/projects/one-murder-more
This offer expires at Inkshares Dec 11th or when First Edition copies sell out, which could be soon... For more on the book (and me), go to www.kriscalvin.com 
To have the book signed,  2 (relatively easy) steps: (1) Put Kris Calvin at 1400 K Street Suite 212 Sacramento, CA 95814 as the "ship to" address when you order from Inkshares. (2) Email the name(s) and address(es) of  to whom the book(s) should be shipped and your message to the recipient (s) to kris@kriscalvin.com. (I'll do the rest, sign and mail (at no cost to you) anywhere in the U.S.)

Thanks to many of you, ONE MURDER MORE  now has over 60 reviews on Amazon, averaging 4.7 stars!  As always, thanks for everything!
Kris 






Twitter profile pic Richard Saunders · Author · added almost 3 years ago
Congratulations Kris! That is probably the biggest honor any Inkshares book has achieved to date!

Portrait 21 dave Dave Barrett · Author · added almost 3 years ago
That.  Is.  So.  Cool.
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