So, before I get to the good part of this contest, the fact that I'm giving away a $100 gift certificate to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble, you're going to have to suffer through my emotional story first! LOL
I guess the best place to start is to explain why I'm hosting this contest--yes, it's true, I'm very fond of giving things away but this contest is especially close to my heart. Why? Well, since July, 2010, I've sold over 100,000 ebooks between my three books, Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble, Toil and Trouble and To Kill A Warlock.
I'm not sure if that sounds like a big number or not to all of you but to me, it's astounding. Especially because I hoped to sell 500 when I first uploaded Fire Burn. Eight months ago, I never would have imagined I'd be writing this post today. And, it's even more special because today is the release day for my fourth book, A Tale of Two Goblins.
Maybe I should go back and explain why this is such a big milestone for me...
I've always wanted to be a writer, ever since I was little. I became an English major at UCLA and dabbled here and there and then life sort of got in the way. Finally, about four years ago, there was a story in me that demanded to be written. So, I did it--I wrote my first book about an average girl living an average life, a girl who wasn't super impressed with herself but was happy enough. Then one day a warlock walked into her life and changed her world. And the girl came to realize she was pretty amazing, after all. That book was Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble. I'm very proud of this book--it took a long time to write, to figure out what my voice was--how I wanted to tell the story. And there is so much of me in it...
I was able to get an agent and I thought the world was my oyster. That is until the rejections started pouring in, one after another. Publishers saying they didn't like this and didn't like that. One would say there were too many paranormal creatures in the book and another would say there weren't enough! Well, needless-to-say, the rejections hurt and after the publishers and my agent gave up on me, I hate to say it, but I gave up on me also.
For four years.
Then I read an article about self publishing and I thought, what the heck, I had nothing to lose and might as well try it and see what happened. So, on July 7, 2010, I uploaded Fire Burn and my second book, To Kill A Warlock to Amazon. Then, in Oct, 2010, I uploaded them both to Barnes and Noble. And, wouldn't you know it, people started buying them. As the weeks rolled by, my sales steadily climbed and I was stunned--amazed that readers actually liked the books. Somehow I hadn't imagined they would, figuring since the big guys in New York thought the books weren't worth anything, no one else would. But, the big guys were wrong!
Once I came out with the second book in the Fire Burn series, Toil and Trouble, in December 2010, my sales spiked and I started getting emails from readers saying how much they loved Jolie, Rand and Sinjin. I can't even begin to explain what an incredible feeling it is when someone loves something that is so close to you--something you really put your all into, something that really becomes a part of you.
After another month or so, I thought hmm, I should probably get an agent again and I managed to land my dream agent, one of the best in the business! And then the unthinkable happened, Random House contacted me after seeing Fire Burn and Toil and Trouble in the bestseller list! I ended up signing with Bantam (a division of Random House) to do 3 books in the Jolie series which will be out in 2012.
Around the same time, I quit my job and decided to become a full time author...
I'm so incredibly happy--I can't even begin to explain what it feels like to live your dream--to be able to write stories that make people happy.
So, to finish, I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you to all of you out there who believed in me and continue to believe in me. Thank you for loving Jolie, Rand, Dulcie, Sinjin, Knight, Bram and Quill as much as I do! Thank you for your emails and your facebook posts. Thank you for taking a chance on a nobody and thank you for giving me the opportunity to be where I am today.
I could never have made it without you, my readers.
Having said that, I wanted to host another fun contest! And this contest is for my readers only.
Here's the fun stuff:
What will you win: A $100 gift certificate to Amazon or Barnes and Noble (if you want to do $50 for you and $50 for someone else, I can do that too!)
How do you enter:
Simply comment on this blog post and because this contest is only open to my readers, please email me at hpmalloryauthor @yahoo.com and tell me what the first four words are of Chapter 15 in any of the four books (Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble, Toil and Trouble, To Kill A Warlock or A Tale of Two Goblins).
To get more entries, you can do the following:
* Have read one of my books (+1 point)
* Leave a comment on this blog post (+ 1 point)
* Follow my blog (+ 1 point)
* Follow me on Twitter (+ 1 point)
* Tweet about the contest (+ 1 point)
* Friend me on Facebook (+ 1 point)
* Mention the contest on Facebook (+ 1 point)
* Mention the contest on your blog (+ 1 point)
Do all of the above and you'll get even more chances to win with a total of 8 possible points. Just mention in your blog comment how many points you earned (and how you earned those points).
A sample comment could look like this:
Hey, HP, enter me in your third awesomest contest ever! I have a total of 4 points for commenting on your blog, friending you on facebook, tweeting about your contest and following your blog!
This contest is open until March 31, 2011 with the winner drawn at random and announced on April 1, 2012!
And, thank you all again for giving me the chance to live my dream!!!!!