Amazon to Buy Goodreads

AMAZON-GOODREADS_612x380

I woke up to this news this morning. (Official press release here.) And I have to say – I’m shocked…and worried. Kudos to Amazon, though. It makes me wonder if their competitors are all:

I know I am, a little bit. The problem is, Amazon tends to roll out incentives to those who publish exclusively to them, and punish those who don’t (KDP program and certain royalty rates). It makes me wonder if I, as a self-published author, will not be able to reap all the benefits  Goodreads has to offer because I am not exclusive to Amazon. In fact, I would be hard-pressed to even think about it, considering the majority of my sales now come from iBooks.

On the plus side, I think Amazon can help bring Goodreads into the digital world. So far, Goodreads hasn’t really been integrated into e-readers, and I am sorely disappointed in their smartphone app.  Heck – Goodreads doesn’t allow ebooks in their giveaway section. It is print books only.

Until now, Goodreads has been a wonderful ‘crowd-sourcing’, review generating outlet. I hope it doesn’t lean too far toward its for-profit owner, but how could it not?

If Shelfari (Amazon’s other review site) is any indication of what’s to come, we can say goodbye to Goodreads and hello to whatever new book review platform Google or Apple might roll out. Maybe – just maybe, Amazon competitors are cheering…

What do you think?

In Three Days…

In three days, ‘Fire, Book Three of the Akasha Series’ will be available for purchase on Amazon and B&N.  Shortly after that it will be available for iBooks.  Of the few books I’ve published so far, ‘Fire’ – by far – is the most exciting for me!  Let me tell you – it starts out with a bang. If you are squeamish, the first chapter probably won’t suit you. Whatever the case, make sure to put ‘Fire’ on your Goodreads TBR list now.

Each day until its release, I will post the first chapter of each of the books in the Akasha Series.  You know – in case you haven’t read them yet! Today’s first chapter is the opening to the entire series. Don’t forget ‘Water’ is now free on Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, and iBooks!

 

‘Water, Book One of the Akasha Series’, Chapter One:

There is nothing like an avalanche to put your life into perspective.  I leaned forward and the board strapped to my boots responded.  Slicing through the fresh powder, I made a sharp curve to the right.  A quick glance uphill showed the wave of snow was five times my height, and about to catch up to me.

The avalanche roared like an angry dragon, breath stinking of the earth churned up in its path.  The entire right side of the unmarked back country trail was a thick wall of trees, impossible to break through.  I pulled my toes up, arching back to the left side of the trail.  But I wasn’t going to make it.  Ice pelted me on the back of my neck, sending chills down my spine.  I pointed my snowboard straight downhill and put all my weight on my forward leg, hoping to outrun the beast.

I willed my board to go faster than I ever dared before.  The avalanche was faster.  It opened its mouth wide, closing in on me from both sides and overhead.  Gray blacked out the blue sky above and the trees to the side of me.  The mountain slope cracked and slithered forward, like a monster’s forked tongue.  As the force of nature dropped over me, I closed my eyes and threw my arms around my head.  My screams were swallowed by the creature.

Completely engulfed, I moved with the avalanche.  The whole of the trail had transformed into its body; an agitated, unstoppable river of churning snow and debris.  The world became darker and darker, the snow heavier and heavier.  Flashes of light were few and far between.

When I gasped for air I was sometimes rewarded with a clear breath but more often than not I sucked in a mouthful of snow.  Hacking to rid my throat of the slush, I came to the awful realization that I was drowning on dry land.

My hands, flailing for something solid to hang onto, finally caught hold of a tree.  Small as it was, it held fast against the merciless rush of snow.  I fought against nature, literally holding on for my life.  I wrapped myself around the trunk as two large branches just above me ripped away and disappeared in the churning white waves, along with my screams.  I squeezed so tight the rough bark scratched my cheek.  I inhaled the heavy scent of pine, as though the smell alone would keep me tethered to the tree.  I willed the roots to be strong.

They were, but I was not.  My grip started to loosen as my tired muscles and numb fingers were unable to hold on any longer.  I lost the stable trunk and returned to the tumble of snow.

I came to a halt just like the rest of the debris that used to be the Canadian mountainside.  A small air pocket had formed, allowing me to spit out the coppery taste of blood.  Suffocation couldn’t be too far off, encased as I was in an immobile block of ice.  Feeble attempts at movement proved useless.  Silence settled in on me as I heard the last of the snow come to a halt above me.  I tolerated its crushing weight because I had no choice.

As the numbness slowly receded, pain returned to one hand.  I wiggled my fingers.  They were free, possibly above the surface.  I grimaced.  Great – at least the wolves would find me.  Closed casket for me.

 

Hope you enjoyed it! Don’t forget to get ‘Water’ free, now on Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, and iBooks!

Between the Covers – Final Segment!

We are wrapping up the series of talks between me and author Christopher Starr on how these writers write. If you haven’t already, be sure to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. Now – on to the fun stuff!

Terra: How do you handle reviews – the good and the bad?

Christopher: Oh reviews! The joy and bane of every writer’s existence. We write in solitude and then exist for feedback, praying someone loves what we tried to do or an at least appreciate the point we were trying to make. When they do and they grace us with more than a couple stars and give us those nuggets of opinion, it’s fantastic. Until we realize they didn’t like it. And resist the urge to respond.

Like everyone, I just want an honest review on the merits of the story. But it’s always a little more complicated than that; I’m sure you can agree. My subject matter is fodder for plenty of discussion; it’s only a matter of time before I get not-so-savory reviews. I handle negative reviews immaturely—at home. I’ll rant and rave and finger point and curse but I’ll never respond to a review on any medium. I’m pretty adamant about that. If I get a fantastic review from a blogger and we have a relationship, I’ll thank them. If it’s on Amazon or Goodreads, that review, positive or negative, belongs to the consumers. I figure I’m breaking some great author-reader contract by intruding on their playground.

Some reviews I incorporate or might comment more broadly in a blog post, particularly if the point is good. Someone made a comment about why some angels die and why others regenerate. I addressed it in the book I’m working on now. Another person talked about the world I’d created and it spawned one of the most introspective blog posts I’ve written in a while. Reviews have been good for me.

Terra: Reviews were one part of the job I was not prepared for. Of course, I knew I needed them. And of course, I thought I would be receiving nothing but 4 and 5 stars. In my eyes my books are awesome. So when some readers didn’t think my books were so awesome, I was pissed. Some flat out hated my books; and I was shocked. Heartbroken almost. I did the same as you; rant and rave at home. I was all ready to respond to reviewers and maybe explain some things they overlooked in my book. But then I followed the advice of my husband, and I let it go. Eventually, I was able to take some advice from bad reviews, and I believe my writing is better for it.

Christopher: How do you separate yourself from the subject matter you write? You have some pretty tough stuff in your books—did you have to take a shower just to wash it away and be normal? Or was it more clinical for you—just a day at the office? And, once you wrote, how did those closest to you react?

I can tell you I killed a character my wife was very fond of (the character was actually based in part on her). She’s been hot with me for a while, even said I have to add a new strong female lead to fill the gap. I laugh about it now but I cried about it when I did it. I liked her. And that why she had to go.

Terra: Writing is sort of a form of therapy for me. I have all these plots, scenarios, and characters running around in my head – I don’t know how they get there, they have nothing to do with my life, but they would absolutely drive me crazy if I didn’t get a chance to hash everything out on my keyboard.

I do have tough stuff in my books; and friends and family react differently. All are supportive of course, and all have their preferences. My mother-in-law helps me edit – she likes to cross out all the sex scenes. My husband tries to get through my stuff, but fantasy just isn’t his thing. My Catholic grandma calls my books page-turners and when I call her she’s like, “Why are you on the phone? You need to be writing. I have to know what happens next!”

Christopher: My grandmother’s the same way—best advice she ever gave me was “Be good. If you can’t be good, be careful. And if you can’t be careful, name it after me.

So, what’s next for you? New series? Are you staying in the same genre?

Terra: Yep, new series. Mermaids and werewolves! Though I have been experimenting a little with Sci-Fi (short stories and such), so we’ll see where that leads.  How about you?

Christopher: The plan is to finish the Heaven Falls Series before jumping into something else. That’s the plan, mind you. I’m in the middle of the second book right now and it’s going along so swimmingly that I consider a new project daily. Still I’d like to say I finished it and I’d like my readers to have the complete story before I move onto something else. I think I’d be mad if, instead of telling me if Darth Vader was really Luke’s dad, George Lucas did Red Tails.

After Heaven Falls, I have a number of ideas and series that I’m considering. And I’m sure I’ll switch genres—my goal is to be like Ray Bradbury and write some of everything before it’s all over.

Terra: That about wraps it up! Thanks so much for doing this with me, Christopher. It was by far one of the most fun interviews I have done to date. Let’s stay in touch and good luck with everything!

Christopher: This has been remarkably amazing and refreshing to me! Writing is such a solitary endeavor, It’s always good to know you’re not entirely crazy as a writer. That what we do and go through is a bit more commonplace. That helps. In spite of the myriad voices in my head, they all generally arrive at the same sort of consensus. My overall world view doesn’t change. it’s cool to see things from someone else’s point of view. Thanks so much for letting me peek in your head.

 

“Did you ever notice how in the Bible, when ever God needed to punish someone, or make an example, or whenever God needed a killing, he sent an angel? Did you ever wonder what a creature like that must be like? A whole existence spent praising your God, but always with one wing dipped in blood. Would you ever really want to see an angel?”–Thomas Daggett, The Prophecy (1995)

Michael the Warrior.  Lucifer the Fallen.

Gabriel the Watcher.  Raphael the Healer.

For eons, these princes of Heaven have done the Father’s will, His way.  From the war between the angels to the second coming of Christ, the Heaven Falls series is their stories in their words.

From the Beginning.  Until the End.

The Road to Hell: The Book of Lucifer by Christopher Starr

Between the Covers…continued!

This is part 3 of an ongoing dialogue with Christopher Starr and myself. Catch part 1 here, and part 2 on Christopher’s blog here.

 

Christopher: Here’s my other question for you: you’re a mother, a wife, a professional and somewhere in there, a writer. How do you balance all the demands on your time?

 

Terra: And that is the big question, isn’t it? Lots of people want to write a book. A few less eventually start a book. Significantly less finish a book – and very few people keep on writing after their first book. There are lots of excuses to stop writing; discouragement, health issues, work, kids….life. I try to look at it as little pieces at a time. Baby steps. Not to get all self-help on you here, but baby steps really do work. My consistent goal is 1,000 words a day. This comes out to about two pages, depending on how much dialogue there is. It is very manageable. My secret to making sure it gets done is doing it in the morning. I wake up by 5 am, and do it before anything else. Ok, I’m lying. I hit the bathroom and have coffee first. But THEN I do it before anything else.

I won’t even open e-mail, check twitter, or look at news or weather first. I ignore the mess in the kitchen. The dogs have to wait to be let out. I work until the kids wake up (anywhere between 7 and 8). If I hit 1,000 words and can keep going, I do. If I don’t hit 1,000 words I make it a priority to make that mark at another point in the day; even if it isn’t until 11:00 at night. It has turned out to be a good, sustainable habit. Most of the rest of my day is spent at my day job and soccer games or swim lessons for the kids. If I have extra time that is when I’ll do the marketing for my book. But writing always takes priority over marketing, at least until my first series is finished.

Christopher: 5am? Man…I’m having a passionate love affair with my snooze button at 5am. Curiously, given that I’m a night owl and you’re up at the crack of ass in the morning, and that I live in Seattle, I think we’re actually both up writing at the same time. And that, my friend, is synergy!

So for me balance is really about choices. I work at home so my big thing is getting outside at all. When my kids are in school, they get my time from when they come home until they go to bed. My wife does too. So does Game of Thrones. 1000-1500 words a day is pretty good but it’s not always on a book. I’ve learned a lot this year about the value of blogging and maintaining a consistent relationship between my blog stuff and my readers. I’ve been doing a series on villains for the last 6 months and that has really helped me improve readership and make relationships with readers. And provide focus. That gets me writing on a regular basis.

I tend to write in the evenings (well, at night) and am willing to sacrifice being sleepy in the morning for progress at night. But when I’m writing the books, I’m all in. They really do take over and I struggle to turn it off to focus on the rest of my life. This is my long-winded way of saying I have pseudo-balance. The image of balance. I’m still working on the reality.

Terra: That is funny, we probably are up at the same time. I tried writing at night for a month, but I kept falling asleep and my laptop took several falls to the floor. In the interest of saving my stories, I bought an external hard drive for back up, and I started writing in the morning.

I absolutely love Game of Thrones! Haven’t read the series, but can’t wait for Season 3 to come out. I’ve been told the TV series follows the books pretty closely, so I may just have to pick up a book instead of waiting until next spring.

Christopher: I haven’t read the series either but I did buy the first book to see if the fuss was worth it. I’m about halfway through it now. The fuss is worth it: it’s amazing. And the TV series does follow the nooks exceptionally well. Gotta give George RR Martin his credit: homeboy can spin a tale.

 

 

Thanks for hanging with us and check back in with Christopher next week to see the next installment!

‘Fire’ Cover Reveal – It’s Hot!

Fire V2

‘Fire, Book Three of the Akasha Series’ becomes available in October. Wanna see the cover?

Beautiful, right?! This, by far, is my favorite cover of the series. Here they are together (with Earth still to go):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I already have the cover for ‘Earth’, which will be revealed in a few months, but I may make some tweaks. It is damn hard to make dirt look magical. I hope that after ‘Fire’, the ‘Earth’ cover isn’t a let down. Maybe I should’ve saved ‘Fire’ for the last book of the series. :)  You really can’t go wrong with flame. For your comparison, here are a few other ‘hot’ book covers I’ve come across:

 

 

Which is your favorite? Feel free to say mine! Haha. No seriously – feel free. I’m so excited, can’t wait for the release – stay tuned for the announcement!

Between the Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

One great benefit to being an indie author is other indie authors. In general, the community is very open and friendly. During the Orangeberry Summer Splash Blog Hop, I crossed paths with Christopher Starr, author of ‘Road to Hell‘. He was kind enough to post his review of my book on his blog, then he started asking questions. I answered, then sent a few questions of my own. The exchange went on for more than a month and thus you have ‘Between the Covers’, a candid conversation in how writers write. Below is the first of five posts; be sure to follow Christopher’s blog to catch the next post later this week!

 

Terra: I wrote the first book not exactly planning on turning it into a series. Once it was complete, and especially after that cliffhanger, I kind of had to continue. I also never expected to enjoy writing so much. The first book was a work in progress for 10+ years, and went through many major revisions. The second book took only two months to write. The majority of the third was written in a month (thanks to NaNoWriMo), and I am now writing the fourth and final book of the series. So far, no breaks in between. How about you?

Christopher: It’s funny, our experience is surprisingly similar. It took me over 7 years to write The Road to Hell. And it went through about 4-5 rewrites, a change in main character, a change in POV, about 150 new pages and some pretty merciless cutting. Writing it was more an “I wonder if I can” process than an exercise in series writing. I do have an advantage though: I know which angels are going to live and the Bible gives me some pretty rigid plot points. I’m lucky in that respect.

Terra: Wow – a POV change must have been rough! First novels are always hard. I feel like I wrote a book – and THEN I learned how to write.

Christopher: I know exactly what you mean about writing a novel and then learning to write. The biggest thing is the discipline for me. I like to think that I’m all creative and the inspiration will strike me at some time and I’ll create this magical treatise the world will unite behind.

But that shit doesn’t happen.

So I learned the disciplined portion of it and the value of the rewrite. Get it out. Put words on the page. Advance the story paragraph by excruciating paragraph. Eventually, my right brain takes over and kicks in, finding pieces of the story I didn’t know existed. I’m learning that’s part of the process too.

How do you manage continuity?

Terra: I am laughing out loud right now because I really don’t think there was good continuity. Even after the first and second book were published, I was going back and making changes in order to fit the storyline of the next books. I really like to come full circle, so to speak, in my books, and make sure there are no loose ends. So in writing the fourth and final book (which has been probably the most difficult to write), I am trying to tie everything up. This means revisiting issues that maybe weren’t mentioned since the first book. And you?

Christopher: Continuity is, for me, a bitch. I figure the first book is set in stone—I can’t modify that story at all. What I keep doing is going back to the original, making sure I maintain the events or words. I never wanted to be one of those “spreadsheet authors”—you know the ones who build character sheets and plots through spreadsheets—but I understand the value of it. I guess it beats flipping back into my old book to try and remember what I said or the color of someone’s eyes. I’m currently working on my spreadsheet…

 

 Please post questions of your own!  Christopher and I will both be available to answer them!

E-book AND Print Book; No Versus About It

A few weeks ago, my kids and I were wasting time waiting for a movie to start (Brave – it was great; you should see it), and we came across a small, used bookstore. The experience was, to say the least, awesome. We each found our place in the store, lost among the shelves and shelves of books.

The kids picked a book to buy, and as we checked out the owner commended each of their choices and told them, “great job – keep on reading.”

I’ll say it again, it was a great experience. Compare that with the experience surrounding my e-reader. My Nook is a prized possession. It stays hidden, sometimes even while I’m reading. There is no way I will share it with my kids and their clumsy, dirty hands.

Now, I could choose to get them each their own. But something tells me they will get loaded with game apps, lost, or broken in no time at all. With three kids, it would be an expensive endeavor.

Granted, I would never give up my Nook – and do think it is the future of reading, but why do we have to choose one or the other?  We don’t – it’s all about balance. We can incorporate both into our lives:

Yes, my photo-shop skills need some work. I am sitting on the books while reading my Nook because I couldn’t fit my butt in the tiny purple chair. Also, I am normally wearing shoes when shopping in public…

But to do so, technology – and people – have a long way to go. We need to make content more ‘shareable’: Here’s how, specifically:

1. Allow users to gift their entire libraries. According to one article from SmartMoney Blog, “Someone who owned 10,000 hardcover books and the same number of vinyl records could bequeath them to descendants, but legal experts say passing on iTunes and Kindle libraries would be much more complicated.” Already, my iTunes library has turned out to be quite the investment, at least for my modest salary, so it is definitely something I want to see passed on.

2. Better E-book systems in our public libraries. Along the same lines of sharing, public libraries have lendable e-books, but not a whole lot are available and there are long waiting lists. It is a system worth making the investment to improve.

3. Donate used e-books: When I buy an e-book and am finished reading, it stays put in my e-reader. Why can’t I donate it to a bookstore, school, or a friend? Limited lending programs (two weeks or so) by Amazon and B&N don’t cut it. I don’t own digital rights to the material, so there isn’t a form of transfer that isn’t considered piracy.

Shareable ebook sites are starting to make their debut, but so is the legal department of Amazon. Amazon briefly revoked Lendle’s access, which proves the industry has a ways to go as far as shareable content. Furthermore, most sharing sites are only available in the US.

DRM (digital rights management) is something authors establish with their ebooks when they first publish. No piracy? Sounds great to me. Wrong! My books can still be pirated, and it just makes ‘sharing’ all that more difficult for the reader. Unfortunately, once DRM is selected for a book, the author cannot go back and change it.

So what can we do about it? The e-book industry is largely a customer-driven operation, much more so than the print industry ever was. Let’s use that to our advantage. Give feedback, and lots of it, anywhere you can. Ask for Demand for more shareable content!

I acknowledge shareable digital content may be a difficult thing to accomplish, seeing as how the industry finally has a pseudo-way to control content.  I mean, by sharing and donating hard copy books, were we just committing ‘analog piracy’ all along? Keep in mind, though (and maybe this is something we should remind publishers), they’ve still managed to sell books, despite all the ‘sharing’.   The same would apply to e-books.

On that note, have a great labor day weekend everyone!

One Year Later…

It’s nearing the end of July, with only one month left of summer. Almost a year ago today, I self-published my first short story, ‘Gleaming White, Book One of the Kindred Curse Anthology’. Since then, that short story has turned into five prequels that made up the entire anthology, and I’ve published the first two novels in my Akasha Series, with the third to release in October.

It’s been a whirlwind year, and although sales aren’t quite enough to quit my day job, they are picking up. I’ve learned so much from the community and most importantly, I’m having…FUN!

This summer, I’ve been busy working on the print versions of each book. The formatting is completely different from e-books, and in my opinion more difficult to do. But finally, they are available:

All are on Amazon.com (The Kindred Curse may not appear on their website for another two weeks). So if print is your thing, pass the word along! Don’t forget, ‘Water’ is still free as an e-book.

So, we’ve got one month left, what are you going to do with your remaining summer? For me, it will be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, The Orangeberry Summer Splash Tour, and a short trip to the beach!

7 Tips on Writing a Review

I wrote this post a while ago, but have procrastinated in posting it. Truth is – I looooove reviewers. All of them. Book bloggers, wannabe book bloggers, occasional readers…my mother-in-law.  As an Indie author, I am extremely grateful for any review posted of my work, good or bad. Both of which I’ve had my fair share of lately. The fact that someone took the time to read my book is incredible. When they go one step further and share their opinion of my writing with the rest of the world, I am ecstatic.

Just to be clear, a bad review really does sting deep down inside. But after the initial blow, I come to appreciate them. They can provide constructive feedback and they offer a certain authenticity to the book. Besides, any publicity is better than no publicity…right? In fact, reviews I’ve read of other books rant and rave about the decisions a character made. Often, this can mean the reader became emotionally involved, and that is a good thing.

But there are reviews, and then there are good reviews. In my perfect world, this is how reviews would be done:

  1. Be honest, and write the review in your voice.
  2. Don’t start with the books blurb.  On sites such as Goodreads or Amazon, chances are the reader just read the blurb – they don’t need it repeated.  I do see the value in book bloggers including the blurb first on their site, however the review on your site doesn’t need to be a straight cut and paste into Goodreads.
  3. Start with the good.  Many of the reviews on my book start with the bad.  And don’t get me wrong – do include everything you want to say, just say something nice first.  On many sites, just the first few lines of the review is shown unless the reader clicks to expand.  That means when they are just skimming through all the reviews (which is very often what I do), only the first few lines have a chance to make an impression.
  4. Do say something nice.  The book has a pretty cover, the main character’s name is awesome, the author has good use of punctuation.  Pick one.  There has to be something nice you can say – especially if you finished the entire book.  To be honest, a review filled with snide or snarky remarks and nothing at all good to say will often be dismissed by your audience.
  5. Be a grown-up about it.  And this goes both ways – I’m looking at YOU, authors!  Chances are, at some point you are going to write a review that an author or someone else won’t appreciate.  If they choose to respond in a negative way, then they chose poorly.  Be the bigger person – don’t feed the fire.  Let it go; move on.  You have a lot of books on your TBR list anyway.  I have to mention a one-star review I received because of how much the reader hated my antagonist. I just wanted to respond – THAT’S THE POINT . Another reviewer gave me a low rating because the rape scene just wasn’t hard core enough. Wow, just wow, people. To each their own. It took a minute, but I didn’t respond. I moved on.
  6. Give the reader of the review something on which to reference.  Is this book like any you’ve ever read?  Which one?  Does this character remind you of someone?  Who?  If you want the reader to really connect with your reviews, give them something to connect with.
  7. If you are book blogger – get visual! Including the book cover goes without saying. But I love bloggers who take it one step further and include relevant pictures or even action emotions. Make the review fun! It should be as entertaining as the book was.

So there you have it. Bloggers, authors, and reviewers – what do you think? Have anything to add?

Indie-Pendence Week Blog Hop

This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to winner: Kassandra!  Thanks to all who entered!

I am getting this post up late due to my usual inability to plan, and a pesky derecho that wreaked havoc in the Mid-Atlantic.  I seriously didn’t even know what a derecho was up until now – sounds like a cowboy movie to me. Anyway, on to our July 4th celebration and the Indie-Pendence Week Blog Hop hosted by Grave Tells.  Thanks for stopping by!

Some of the best experiences I’ve had so far as an indie author is the support of the community, and other indie authors specifically. Thus far, they seem eager to share their experiences, their time, their statistics – anything I may have a question about to help boost my own sales.  Some of the great authors I have come across include:

Scott Marlow, author of The Five Elements
Pavarti Tyler, author of Shadow on the Wall
Ashley Barron, author of Ava, a Priya Novel

Follow the links above to check out their books, then enter the contest below. I am giving away one free book of the winner’s choice out of the three above mentioned novels, or one of my own. Please keep in mind ‘The Five Elements’ and ‘Shadow on the Wall’ are physical books that will be mailed to you, and ‘Ava’ is an e-book only.  Be sure to click on the Indie-Pendence banner above to follow the blog hop for more great prizes!

Happy 4th of July!!!

To enter the contest, complete the form below. For extra entries, please complete the following tasks;

1. For 3 extra entries, follow my blog by clicking on ‘Follow via e-mail’ in the right sidebar.
2. For 1 extra entry, ‘like’ me on Facebook.
3. For 1 extra entry, follow me via Twitter.