Advertisements
M-F: 9-5pm PST

Stella’s Bargain Books Guide

If you are an avid reader like me, it can really have an effect on your bank account. Here are my top places to get bargain books.

  1. The Library– Of course, the library is the number one place to get books. Not only is it free to borrow physical books but most libraries have expanded to loaning out ebooks as well. On top of borrowing books, public libraries may also have a small section of books for sale or for free. These books are typically older books that are no longer being checked out at a rate sustainable for the library. Bonus if the books are for sale you will know that you are contributing to your local library programs and collection.
  • The Dollar Store– Brand New books for $1! Heck, yes! Most of the books are overstock or lesser known titles.  My local store typically carries general fiction, mystery, religious, and self-help titles. Of course, the availability and selection will depend on the store in your area.

Checking Out Titles at the Dollar Store!

  • Thrift Store– Books are generally priced in the $5 and below range. There are books of all genres typically available. The downside is the quality of the book. There is no guarantee that pages won’t be marked up, have personalized stickers and stamps from strangers and occasionally a missing page or two. So while it’s a great place for books on a budget be sure to check the book thoroughly for damage.
  • Grocery Store Clearance Bins– Grocery stores usually only sell best sellers, and there is a high rate of rotation. That means you can generally find brand new bestsellers on clearance from 10% up to 50% off the cover price.

So many Books at the Thrift Store

  • Bookstore Clearance– Brick and Mortar bookstores are fifth on the list because they generally have lower discount rates on their books. You may pay more at a local bookstore than larger chain stores, but I like to shop local as much as possible.
  • The Internet– The internet is last on my list simply because you can’t physically inspect your book before it arrives. Even more reputable dealers like Amazon and Barnes and Nobles can have bad print runs with blurry covers or cut off text.

Where do you get your bargain books? Drop suggestions and links in the comments!

Advertisements

Exciting News!

Serpentine Creative now has an official YouTube Channel! If you love my contributions to this blog check it out for more content straight from me to you! Also enjoy my totally cheesy book trailers and music inspiration for my novels.

Serpentine Creative Channel

What’s in a name?

A pen name, pseudonym, nome de plume, or literary double is an assumed name used by a writer instead of their real or legal name.

Reasons to use a Pen Name

Writing in Multiple Genres – The most common use of pen names today is by established authors who don’t want to aggravate their base readership by producing novels outside their established genre. Examples include Nora Roberts who uses JD Robb to pen her suspense novels and Jessica Byrd who changed her name to JR Ward to publish her highly successful dark suspense The Black Dagger Brotherhood series.

Switching Publishers– Perhaps you have an exclusivity deal with a publisher under your current name, but you have a project they aren’t as excited to publish as you are. Using a pen name would allow you to take that work to another publisher or even self-publish.

Anonymity– Maybe you just want some privacy or a strict separation between your personal and professional life. Much like in the past, many authors have day jobs or positions within their community that would be negatively impacted by their choice of writing. There have been several cases in the news about teachers who were fired or shut out of their community because it was found they wrote erotica or dark romance.

Name too common or complicated– Becoming an author has been made easier than ever with the rise of free self-publishing platforms. Standing out amongst the millions is even harder if you have a common name like John Smith or Mary Johnson. In this case, you want to choose a name that will help distinguish you from all the rest. On the flip side, if you have a long first or last name or a name with more consonants than vowels, you may stand out negatively. Hard to pronounce names mean less word of mouth recommendations and if your name is too long it might not fit neatly on your covers.

Things to consider when choosing a Pen Name

The similarity to famous Authors– You might think it a great idea to choose a pen name like JP Rawling or James Peterson, but it can actually hurt your ability to sell. The literary world is full of diehard fans who will gladly pan your work and spam your books with negative reviews in defense of their favorite authors.

Does the name you chose fit with your chosen genre– A name like Sly Nyx will be more widely accepted amongst Paranormal Romance, and Fantasy readers than Historical fiction.

Can be a variation of your real name– If you aren’t feeling particularly creative or have a name “issue” as mentioned above, it is perfectly okay to shorten your name how you see fit. It will also make filing your taxes easier since it is still technically your legal name.  Example, Elizabeth Marie Johnson could become Eliza Mar or E.M. Johns.

Position on Brick & Mortar Shelves- A much-overlooked factor in choosing a pen name. Depending on the number of items in stock a name towards the end of the alphabet like S-Z is more likely to fall on bottom shelves and away from the valuable eye-level shelf space key to grabbing reader’s attention.

Need a little help coming up with a name? Check out these fun pen name generators!

Pseudonym Generator

Reedsy Pen Name Generator

Kindlepreneur Pen Name Generator

Shifted Into Love

I told you I had a lot of big things coming this year! One of them being a romantic shifter short, featured in the Shifted Into Love Anthology! My short, Coy Wolf is so spicy it’ll knock your socks off.

Shifted Into Love is a hot collaboration by Seven Women Authors of Color. The Release date is set for February 1st but you can reserve your copy today on Amazon!

Blurbs for Shifted into Love

From the sands of Egypt to the decadent halls of Zargobia, these seven stories will take you on the paranormal adventures your heart craves; foiling assassination attempts to shifter speed dating to being auctioned off to the highest bidder or fighting your way through the pack to claim your mate. Every story features the sexy shifters your heart and body desires, they break barriers and definitely some hearts. 

Genesis is here for two things and two things only: free food and shots. Fresh off a devastating heartbreak, the last thing on her mind is dating…especially a shifter.

Forced on a weekend getaway to the Inn for her friend’s twenty-first birthday, Crimson finds herself unable to obey the Inn’s one rule. Hands off the shifters! Sebastien, the infuriatingly handsome Pack leader and the Inn’s star attraction.

In the world of glitter, Death is handsome. He walks the world as a large wolf dog by day, a blood drinking vampire by night. Then he meets a guardian angel. The two share a poignant love breaking all boundaries giving in to their passion.

Protection assignments when the target wasn’t aware of her protection weren’t Cora’s usual fare but when someone tries to kill the prince with her nearby. She’s more than up for the challenge.

Tarnished by scandal, Jade is abandoned by her Pack, family and friends also trying to escape the taint of the scandal. Jade, with nowhere and no one to turn to, finds herself at the infamous, After Market searching for protection and a safe shelter from the storm of scandal following her.

Akil takes one look at her wild beauty and claims her as his own. But Sabra bows to no man, and she vows to never yield. Their passions topple one another in a battle of wills that threatens to claim them both.

On the hunt for a mate, the gathering is the perfect place to start. Armed with a plan and a modest list of qualifications she sets out to find her ideal match. Tyr checks every box on Sequoia’s list except the most important.

Book Swap!

I am a big promoter of Authors Supporting Authors. We were all readers once and most of us still are. This year in an effort to put my money where my mouth is. I have been chatting it up with some of my contemporaries on social media and low and behold, a book swap happened. Author Ursula Visser is my new book buddy and she sent me the most fantastically wrapped books I have ever received. Check out this evidence of her packaging mastery.

Yes! That is wooden confetti!

Carefully wrapped in paper and tied with gold laced thread, I was almost to amazed to open it. Of course, she was gracious enough to send some promotional material as well as provide me with delicious tea to relax and read. So what was inside the wrapping, you ask?

Not One but Two Books!

I am beyond grateful for the generosity of the writer’s community and I hope to be able to participate in more book swaps in the future! In the meantime, I will be diving right into Ursula’s Dragon Queen Series.

Want copies of your own? Both books are available on Amazon Here If you would like more information about Ursula Visser and her work check out her website and social media:

www.ursulavisser.com

www.facebook.com/authorursulavisser

New Beginnings!

The New Year Is Upon Us!

I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season! I know I did. I love spending time with family and friends, especially when it involves copious amounts of decadent food and drinks. Even with all the parties I still managed to be somewhat productive.

If you are a follower of this blog, you may have noticed our recent changes. After several years of back and forth, I have decided to take the leap and make things official. Welcome to my brainchild Serpentine Creative LLC.

Keep tabs on this blog for updates and sneak peeks at what else I’ve been up to during the holiday season. I have so much in store for the New Year but don’t want to ruin the surprise! Let’s make this a happy and productive 2019!

Peace, Love, and Happy Reading!

Stella Williams

New Giveaways!

Shane’s Redemption is available now! In honor of this very special occasion Serpentine Creative is hosting several giveaways for fans of Stella Williams!

Enter at the following links for a chance to win:

A Signed Paperback Copy of Xander’s Claim: A Maura’s Men Novella

A Signed Paperback Copy of Claude’s Conquest: Maura’s Men Book 2

A Signed Paperback Copy of Shane’s Redemption: Maura’s Men Book 3

The Complete Maura’s Men Trilogy Signed by Stella Williams

Winners will be announced on the Author Talk Blog as well as the Stella Williams Facebook Page December 18th by 5PM EST!

Don’t forget to Join Stella on her  FB Fan Page for the Shane’s Redemption Launch Event!  December 15th, 2018 2PM-4PM PST

Welcome Back!

IMG_20181126_102256_928

I took a brief holiday from my social media over the weekend. It was mostly due to some technical glitches that prompted me to get some much needed maintenance done on my laptop. Now that I’m back up and running I can resume my normal activity. In my down time I spent plenty of time with family while also taking the opportunity to catch up on my increasingly large ‘To Read’ list. It is so easy for me to get caught up in writer mode and I often forget that the joy I get in writing can also come from reading. While my Fiction list is substantially longer than my non-fiction selections, I decided to tackle some personal growth this weekend. Did you get any reading/writing done this weekend? What books are on your ‘To Read” List?

Here’s What I Read and Where to Buy

Under Fire by April Ryan

A critical look into life as a White House Correspondent and being under a microscope during the Trump Administration.

Amazon: eBook & Print 

Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman by Michele Wallace

Social commentary/analysis of the plight of Black Women in American Society.

Amazon:  Print

You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero

A fun but swift kick in the You Know What that will inspire you to take charge of your life and connect with the Universal Energy around us.

Amazon: eBook & Print

 

NaNoWriMo Day 8

pexels-photo-1061135.jpeg
Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on Pexels.com

Eight days in and I’m a little burnt out. I’ve put up some good numbers so far so I can afford to take a little break. Despite today being Distraction Free Day it was anything but for me. I did manage to find a little time to add 700 more words to my novel. Any progress is better than none!

Total Words By End of Day

25, 974

NaNoWriMo Day 2

Streak-Badge-Square-1080-02

Day 2 of NaNoWriMo wasn’t as productive as I’d hoped. Maybe I expended too much energy the first day. I managed to get in one writing sprint for about 30 minutes and used the prompt “Write 100 words for every cup of coffee you drink today” which was simple considering I only consumed one cup of coffee this morning.

Word Count at end of Day 2

5,682

%d bloggers like this: