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Get to Know Carol McKibben, Author of the Bestselling "Snow Blood" Vampire Series!

  • Oct 6th, 2016
  • by Patrick

When did you start writing as an author in earnest?

I have always been a writer, from the time I was a child. I wrote for magazines in my adult years but turned to being a published author in 2007.

What interesting or funny quirks do you have while you’re writing your stories?

I keep my dogs with me while I’m writing. After I wrote a memoir (Riding Through It) in 2007, I began writing fiction… novels told through the eyes of dogs. So, I keep them handy just to observe them.

You have a series called Snow Blood.  Give us the run down on what that series is about.

Snow Blood is a series based on the original, the first vampire as told through the eyes of his kindred dog, a white Siberian Husky. I have formulated them into Seasons, and each chapter is an episode. The books (there are three with a fourth coming out at the end of this year) are written as paranormal mystery thrillers. Each “season” pits Brogio, his mate Selene, his first blood son, Kane, Snow Blood and his kindred wolf pack against impending evil. Season 1 reveals a sinister plot by the gods against the father of all vampires. As Brogio and Snow Blood unravel the conspiracy together, the love of Brogio’s life may be returned to him to set him free from the lonely existence that has plagued him for thousands of years. The story is filled with mythology, shifters, and monsters.

Season 2 is filled with twists, turns and suspense. When Kane sacrifices himself to save Snow Blood, his vampire family believes he is truly lost forever. After the devastating loss, a new ever-present threat of destruction threatens his kindred. While Snow Blood’s pack of kindred wolves stand guard watching for predators on the outskirts of Brogio’s winery estate, the vampire dog discovers that Selene, Brogio’s mate, is keeping secrets from her husband. This deception and Selene’s rapidly growing strength and independence threaten to create a rift between the father of all vampires and his mate. Snow Blood again helps hold their love together as he tries to protect them from the approaching evil. At the same time, the dog suspects that Nova, the beautiful female wolf that attracts him in the forest, is part of a sinister plot to destroy his master … but he can’t resist her power over him. This one again is populated with mythology, shifters and monsters but adds vampire hunters to the mix.

In Season 3 an even more powerful and daunting evil looms that may separate Snow Blood from all he loves… forever. While fighting for the existence he has grown to love, he is challenged to prevent a plan to enslave his family and the entire vampire nation. Along with myth, shifters, monsters and hunters, this one adds witchcraft.

What is the Vampire Bible and how did you weave that into your series, Snow Blood?

The Vampire Bible is just as its name suggests. In all the vampire legends I had read in the past, none satisfactorily explained how vampires came into existence. At least, not for me. I went to the Vampire Bible to secure the real legend of how the first was originated. His name was Ambrogio, and he was an Italian adventurer. Season 1 of the series reveals how he was turned into a creature of the night, why he was forced to drink blood to exist and how others came into existence. I don’t want to tell you much because Season 1 explains it all. But, it does involve the mythological gods and explains their love/hate relationship with the original vampire.

If a dog can be turned into a vampire, does that mean any living creature can be turned into a vampire?  Or, are there rules?

If a vampire so wishes to make you his kindred, it matters not what species you are. Or, at least, those are my rules. Brogio, however, has tempered his inner monster, and he doesn’t allow his kindred to kill humans for blood or to “turn” them unless absolutely necessary.

What do we see evolve through your series, without giving away endings to ebooks?

Believe it or not, the underlying theme of the books is unconditional love. Snow Blood, a dog, gives his love without question, always putting others before himself. Who would think that a family of vampires could be so devoted to each other? From the first book on, readers will see that love grow among all the characters in the book, each always willing to die for the others. Readers will discover unsuspected secrets and abilities of each character, and, even though they are creatures of the night, they will cry, laugh and be happy for their victories. Many readers who picked up the books thought that stories being narrated by a dog was an odd concept and that they don’t necessarily like paranormal stories about vampires or that it generally wouldn’t be their cup of tea. I have had those same readers tell me that they are hooked!  

Why should readers pick your vampire ebooks over others?

They shouldn’t have to pick just my books. They should enjoy them all. But, as one reviewer said, “This is a must for all dog and vampire lovers!” These are little books with great heart. If you want a fast read that makes you laugh, cry and be in suspense the entire time, then pick me.

What kind of world have you created in the Snow Blood series?  Does it take place on our planet?  If so, is there a particular place?

The series starts in Oregon but moves around to Brogio’s various wine estates. He’s fabulously wealthy and has multiple wineries. The last several books have settled in on Wolfville, Nova Scotia. The action always takes place in a vineyard surrounded by forest, lakes and mountains… near a small town.

The Snow Blood series is also a bit of a romance story, right?  How does that take form?

Absolutely! But that’s all part of the legend… so I don’t want to say too much. When Brogio was human, he fell in love with Selene, a virgin in the Temple of Apollo. Unfortunately, Apollo had designs on Selene. To make a very long story short, Artemis, Apollo’s sister, tricks Brogio and takes Selene away from him. Season 1 details her potential return to him. But, it’s more than that. It’s a love story between Brogio and Snow Blood and between a dog and his human/vampire and wolf/kindred families.

In book two of the Series, Brogio (the father of all vampires) faces the prospect of the end of all vampires.  Can you tell us how all vampires can be ended?

Brogio is the original vampire. All other vampires were created with his blood. If he were to die, they would all die. No vampire can survive the true death of his maker.

Is the Snow Blood series done, or can you tease readers with something else that you are working on?

Oh, my, no! Season 4 will be coming out in December of this year. Season 3 introduced a new character named Seth, a white witch. Season 4 will reveal a secret about Seth and also introduce Mathias, a winged horse and guardian to Seth. It’s filled with witchcraft, vampire hunters and probably more humor than in any of the other three. I’ve already started thinking about Season 5.

Many of your ebooks have canine characters.  You also give away a portion of the proceeds from all of your ebook sales to dog rescue services.  Where did your drive to help dogs arise from?

Well, I am pretty sure I was a wolf in another life. Probably a dog as well. Many of my readers wonder how I can get into a dog’s head as I do. That’s probably why! Since I was a small child, I have loved and adored dogs and horses. I have had many dogs and horses that have had great, wonderful lives with me. It breaks my heart to see ones who aren’t having a good life, and I try and fix that. My husband Mark is a pilot, and we work with a group called Wings of Rescue. Pilots volunteer their time and money to fly endangered dogs and cats from kill shelters in California or from rescue groups to other states that have a need for dogs. So far, Wings of Rescue has saved more than 16,000 animals this year alone. Mark and I also foster animals for and contribute to LA Animal Rescue.

Besides being an author, you have also been involved on the marketing and publishing side of books for decades.  How has that helped you be a better author?

I don’t know if that has helped me be a better author. It has certainly helped me promote my books. As a writer, I honestly write what interests me and hope that it captures the attention of others. Good marketing suggests that I go out and figure what people want to read and let that dictate my writing. Unfortunately, I can’t write what I don’t love, so I’ll just keep writing what I love and enjoy the relationship with readers who like what I offer them.

Many of your clients have given you praise for being so determined and detail-orientated when it came to editing their writing.  How do you think that gives you a leg up in a world where there aren’t many barriers to someone creating an ebook and publishing it?

Any book marketer will tell you that one of the top worst mistakes you can make as an author is not having a good editor. Putting out books filled with incorrect grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. is a killer. Readers don’t want that. But, a good editor can help you realize the real potential of your book and assist you in reaching it. My editor always makes my books so much better. People may be able to crank out a hot mess and toss it up on Amazon or other distributors, but unless it can really capture readers’ imaginations, it won’t go anywhere.

Just in case someone might be able to take advantage of your services outside of your own writing, what have you helped people with over the last several decades?

I’ve worked with numerous authors as an editor. I’ve served as a ghostwriter at times. Often, I work with them to develop the book further than the original manuscript. I have a knack for getting at the heart of the inciting incident in a book so that the reader is thrown into the action on the first page. I try to point out both the strong and weak areas of each manuscript. I often give my authors advice about publishing and marketing their books, and I try to keep up with all the latest info. To learn more about what I can do, anyone interested may visit

Thank you!

Click HERE to get Snow Blood: Season 1!

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Marketing Insights One Year Plus Into Operation

  • Mar 15th, 2016
  • by Admin

We frequently have the opportunity to do two things.  First, talk to authors regarding results, strategies, and trends they see in ebook marketing.  Second, to analyze the data we get in terms of clicks and sales from our Daily Deal emails.  What we wanted to bring you was a synthesis of those two things, over a year into our existence as a company.


The first important thing to note is that free ebooks reign supreme.  For the last year, our marketing to subscribers has featured free and discounted ebooks.  Our landing page has both types of ebooks highlighted all over it.  In spite of this, our click through stats consistently show that our free ebooks perform very well and growth in clicks for those free ebooks is robust.  Our click through stats also demonstrate that while clicks for discounted ebooks are growing, they are not on the same pace as free ebooks.


This leads to our second conclusion.  The authors who are performing best have one or more series, and they use their free days with Amazon to constantly stay in front of readers.  This should not come as a surprise, as authors with more inventory do have more opportunities to market and should typically generate more revenue from sales.  We don't need to get onto a soap box and tell you all to write more.  You gals and guys are some of the hardest working, passionate people we know.  The reason we bring this conclusion up is that many of these successful authors we speak to do not view an advertisement's success based solely on how many sales they generate.  Sure, number of sales is objective, tangible, and is a component of return on investment.  However, the intangibles these authors also consider include: (1) getting reviews, which are the most valuable form of marketing for an ebook, and the hardest thing to come by; (2) getting readers hooked on a series; and (3) the age-old marketing principle of primacy and recency.  The more readers see your name, the more credibility they give you and the more likely they are to give your work a chance.


Phew--long paragraph.  The next conclusion is shorter, promise.


It shouldn't come as a surprise that the most successful authors are also the most dedicated marketers.  We're talking about lists of 200+ ebook marketing websites that they have culled down to the best.  We're talking about intense rankings and time-sales analyses.  And, it truly comes down to the fact that even with the best product on the planet, if people don't know about it through marketing, all you've got is the best low selling product on the planet.  So, this conclusion is for the less seasoned authors.  Seasoned authors---we know you understand the tremendous amount of work it takes to properly market your ebooks.  But, we think that reality is something that newer authors have to come to grips with.


Let's wrap it up (this is starting to feel like it may be multi-part).  First, realize that free ebooks are the best way to get more eyes on your ebooks.  Second, don't give up on discounted ebook advertising, but consider the intangibles that come with both free ebook and discounted ebook ads.  If you get one sale from a $10 discounted ebook ad but you get a five-star review from that ad, how much was that worth?  $50, $100?  Your other option is to write 500+ book reviewers who have waiting lists longer than a Stephen King horror novel (all respect to the master).  We promise you that a $10-$30 ad with us is a shorter and less time-intensive path to more reviews.  Finally, acknowledge that until you have built-in name recognition, marketing (a lot) is a must.


Perhaps if we get time away from our own marketing, reviewing submissions, constantly working to improve our website, and managing our email list, we will post a Part II that gets more granular with respect to results we see.  Stay tuned.




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Amazon to Pay EBook Authors Like Spotify Pays Music Artists

  • Jun 23rd, 2015
  • by Admin

Authors, this impacts how you will be paid in the future.  This is the text taken directly from  All credit to them for authoring the article:


"Amazon is overhauling the way it pays royalties to self-published authors on its e-book platform, by rewarding them based on the number of pages of their book that have been read.


The e-commerce giant's move applies to books published via the Kindle Direct Publishing service –which allows authors to set prices and make changes to their work at any time – and follows the pay-per-track model of music streaming services like Spotify.


Previously, self-published authors would be paid by the number of times their book was borrowed from Amazon's e-book store. Amazon's latest change to its policies applies to e-books read by people signed up to the Kindle Owners' Lending Library or Kindle Unlimited service and will come into force from July 1.


"We're making this switch in response to great feedback we received from authors who asked us to better align payout with the length of books and how much customers read," Amazon said in a statement on its website.


To ensure authors get paid an appropriate amount, Amazon is using a complex calculation to work out royalty payments. Authors won't be able to cheat either by making books with huge fonts. Amazon has developed something called the "Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count" – an algorithm that standardizes elements of a book such as font size and line spacing.


The page counting begins from the first chapter rather than the contents pages.


But some authors have expressed concern over the plans.


Hari Kunzru, the author of The Impressionist said the Amazon model "feels like the thin end of a wedge".


"Now Amazon want to pay writers only for pages read. Feel like I'd be best off retraining now, before the rush," Kunzru said in a tweet.


The ability to self-publish books has changed the industry and many independent authors have embraced platforms like Amazon's. But the e-commerce giant has had a tough relationship with larger publishers.


Last year, Amazon clashed with Hachette over who had control of the pricing of the publisher's e-books on Amazon. Both companies eventually reached an agreement in November."


Credit to Arjun Kharpal of  Link to original article here:

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Readers, Why You Want Free Ebooks From a CURATED List

  • Mar 12th, 2015
  • by Patrick

There are a healthy number of websites out there which provide free ebooks to download.  We frequently scan for those websites and for their offerings--it's a natural part of being both a consumer of ebooks ourselves, as well as checking out our competition.  That consistent research is what prompted us to write this blog, as there is truly a significant difference between a free and discounted ebook website such as eBookHounds, and other competitors such as


You Want a Curated List of Ebooks


The boon of ebook creation is something we embrace.  It allowed tens of thousands of authors to access markets previously foreclosed to them.  Free enterprise.  However, with that free access has come a glut of ebooks which, quite simply, are not good.  They are hastily thrown together, not well written, not well edited, and not worth your valuable time.  Some of these websites we scan on a daily basis do a fine job of getting you ALL of the potential free ebooks out there, but then you have to spend that time (still valuable) sorting through a clutter of subpar ebooks.  


Our service combines the free ebooks that you want to be able to download with curation of what you will be sent, and what you can access on our website.  So, when you sit down to read that free mystery or thriller or contemporary romance ebook you just downloaded, you will know that at least you have good quality in your hands.


We Want to Promote the Best of Free Ebooks


Some authors lament the fact that there are so many free ebooks available out there.  They believe it drives down the prices that readers are willing to pay for ebooks overall.  We understand that concern, but don't believe it is that valid, in the end.  We know that you are willing to pay more for quality.  That's just human nature--it doesn't take that long in life to learn you get what you pay for.  We also know that what drives you absolutely giddy, bonkers happy is getting excellent quality for FREE.  So, websites like eBookHounds and some of the others that focus on getting you only quality, bestselling ebooks are actually helping to maintain proper pricing by focusing on what matters most--a good read.


In Short? We Get You the Best Free Ebooks in the Market


Our goal since inception was to deliver only quality ebooks to your email inbox everyday.  That will never change, regardless of how much more money we could make if we made our expectations more lax.  When you sign up to be one of our pack members, you will save money, time, and be guaranteed quality free ebooks.

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Sell More Ebooks...Whatever it Takes to Win?

  • Feb 17th, 2015
  • by Patrick

"Whatever It Takes to Win."  -- Pat Riley


Not to wax too philosophical, but there's a point we fear too many authors miss.  Selling ebooks is a competition.  It would be wonderful if selling ebooks were some utopia where everyone sold the same amount, and everyone could quit their day jobs to write.  But, we all know, that's not the case.  Instead, what exists is a cadre of authors who sell tons and tons and tons of ebooks, and then the rest of the author pool that sells enough for the dream to persist or not even that.  


Make No Mistake About It, You Are Competing to Get Ebook Sales


At eBookHounds we promote free and discounted ebooks.  So, why would we even want to stick our nose into this conversation?  It's because we see the impact of competition on a daily basis.  When we send a daily email out and there are four ebooks, we are fighting to get our subscribers to open the email.  Then, we are fighting to get  them to click on one or more of the ebook links.  Then, hopefully, you have done your job to seal the deal at the major retailers to get your sales.  But, the point is that you, as an author, and your ebook are immediately in competition with other featured ebooks when you advertise with eBookHounds or any other promotion site.  


If you are in a daily email with an author that spent several hundred dollars on a beautiful looking ebook cover and that's one place where you skimped, who do you think will have the leg up in this competition?  If that same author has a 4.4 star average review on Amazon and you have 3.8, doesn't that get taken into account?  Finally, if that author has priced their ebook aggressively for free or for a discounted price such as $0.99, while you are at a discounted price of $2.99, you're toast.  The reader goes with the other author.  There's no other way to view this than you were just in competition, and the other author won.


How Far Should You Take This Competing Thing?


This entire "competition" thing is unsettling for authors...we understand.  A big reason to become an author is to avoid competition, to revel in the relatively introverted (to completely introverted) life an author joyously leads.  But, at the end of the day if you want to make authorship your career, then you're gonna have to sell some ebooks.  Lots.  Which is why we wanted to bring up the fact that you are in competition with thousands of other authors--in your genre alone.  If you look at the entire landscape of publishing, you are in competition with hundreds of thousands of authors and millions of ebooks!


So, we wanted to embue you with a little bit of Pat Riley in this post.  In our hearts at eBookHounds, we are not Machiavellian enough to say, "Yes, do whatever it takes to win."  However, realize that to win in the world of ebook sales, you have to compete--and compete hard.

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