Archive for the ‘Ghost Hand’ Category

A Bundle of Fantastic Female Fantasy Authors (and one Token Dude)

By now, you’ve probably heard of “bundling” where groupings of books by different authors are sold together for one amazing price. Often, bundles are organized by a theme or genre, and they usually feature one or two very well known authors alongside some lesser known or indie authors.

Well, today, I’d like to present to you the incredibly awesome Legends and Dreams Book Bundle, featuring eight amazing books, all by fantastic female fantasy authors (and one token dude who can write too).

Legends Bundle

One great feature of this bundle is that YOU, the buyer, get to CHOOSE WHAT PRICE YOU’LL PAY for it, with an extremely low $3 minimum. For that amount, you get five books (a real steal) but at a second tier of $13, you’ll unlock THREE MORE and get all eight books. The full bundle of eight includes a book by best-selling author team, Rebecca Moesta and Kevin J. Anderson, as well as the newly redesigned cover of GHOST HAND by Ripley Patton, the first book of the acclaimed YA paranormal thriller series, The PSS Chronicles.

If that isn’t enough incentive, another great aspect of this Bundle is that 10% of the profits goes to Stories for Students, a non-profit providing books for K-12 classrooms.

So, what are you waiting for? Go grab this bundle now, but don’t delay as this OFFER ENDS MARCH 3rd. 

GHOST HAND up for a Cybil Award

2013 Cybils Bookmark


I am thrilled to announce that GHOST HAND has been nominated for the Cybil Awards, the Children’s and Young Adult Blogger Literary Awards, in the Young Adult Speculative Fiction category. I am honored to be among so many great writers.

Thank you so much to Tanita Davis of Finding Wonderland, an amazing blog and blogger, for LOVING GHOST HAND and nominating it.

Finalists will be announced January 1, 2014, so keep you fingers crossed for me.

GHOST HAND: A 2013 Best Indie Book Semi-Finalist

Ghost Hand cover


I am thrilled to announce that GHOST HAND has been chosen as one of 50 books in the KINDLE BOOK REVIEWS 2013 BEST INDIE BOOKS in the YA category.

It was selected out of numerous entrants based on the strength of its opening chapters, and will now be read and judged in its entirety.  A FINAL FIVE books will be chosen in each category on September 1st, 2013, and a FINAL WINNER in each category will be chosen October 1st, 2013.

So, fans of GHOST HAND and THE PSS CHRONICLES, keep your fingers crossed and spread the news that one of you favorite books is a semi-finalist.

Also, GHOST HAND recently received its 5OTH 5-STAR REVIEW  on Amazon. Thank you to all of you who have read and supported the book.



Thanks to all of you who helped spread the word about the FREE DAYS for Ghost Hand FEB 14-16 on Amazon Kindle. The results FAR exceeded even my wildest expectations.

I was hoping for 5,000 downloads. 10,000 was a pipe dream I’d heard thrown around by those who are considered “made” in the self-publishing industry already.

So, when the final tally was 11,554 downloads, I was kind of blown away. I also cracked every international market Amazon has including: India, the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, Canada and Brazil.

Of course, not everyone who downloads a free book will read it. And not everyone who reads it will like it. But the fact that my book is now in that many reader’s hands is pretty awesome. Sales have steadily increased since the free days ended and Ghost Hand is now ranked #34 in Amazon’s Paid Fantasy Series list.

The Ghost Hand ebook has now returned to the still-economical price of $2.99, and I believe it is worth every penny.  And the paperback will be on sale for $10.99 until the end of February. Please keep spreading the word to friends and family if you’ve read the book and liked it. And don’t forget, you can give e-books as gifts to anyone with an e-reader. It’s as easy as sending an e-mail.

Now, after all this energy spent giving book one a good send-off into the world, I will return to the joyful grind of writing book two, Ghost Hold.

Ripley’s Interview on People You Should Know Radio

Listen to internet radio with People You Should Know on Blog Talk Radio

How to Write Book Two

Planning to write a series or stuck in the thick of it?

A stand-alone book is one thing, but there are some unique questions an author must ask themselves when writing a series.

I’ve only just begun the second book of my PSS Chronicles series, so I thought I would blog about this topic while it was still fresh in my mind.

Now, whether your first book ended in a cliff-hanger or has a full story arc of its own like my YA paranormal thriller Ghost Hand, the fact is, you are continuing that story in book two. You will be using many of the same characters, presumably the same world, possibly the same setting, and many of the plot components of book one will need to be expanded in book two. Here are some questions you should consider before launching straight into that second book.

POV:   Will you use the same point-of-view character or characters for book two?  When answering this, keep in mind that fans of book one may be disappointed if you switch POV characters, particularly if book one was from one POV or in first person. They got to know and love being that character, and they’re probably picking up book two to be that character again. You don’t want to lose readers you gained in book one by changing the POV they loved.

Story Time-Lapse:  How much time has elapsed in the story since book one? Does the story start up the minute after the first book left off? In most series, time has elapsed between books, and the reader must quickly be brought up to speed without the author doing too much telling or info dumping. Try to start the second book in a place of action, and let the characters slowly fill in, through internal thought or dialogue, what has happened since the last book.

Book Time-Lapse:  How much time has elapsed since the writing of the first book? If you are writing your second book directly after the first, then there is much less chance readers will have forgotten anything major from book one. However, if you are writing the second book years after book one, then you must take into consideration that readers may not remember much of it.

Marketing Questions: How is marketing the second book of a series different than marketing the first?

Book Two Covers:  If you’ve done it right, the first book of your series will have a distinct look, style and brand. Be sure to keep this same brand for the cover of subsequent books. Use the same designer, illustrator, cover model, and colors, if at all possible. If that isn’t possible, be sure to have your new cover designer looking at the first book cover and trying to match it. I also think it is very important to clearly mark the second book as the second in a series. Most people don’t want to buy a book or pick it up at the library, only to find, when they get home, that there is a book they should have read before it.

Shelf-Life: Try to imagine yourself as a reader or book buyer going into a book store or library and finding the second book of your series. Book one is all sold out, so all they have to go on as a selling point of your series is book two. What crucial information should be in and on that book for you to sell a book to that person that day? First, there should be clear information directly in the front of book two on where that buyer can get book one for themselves, both as an e-book and in print. Preferably, this would include a short hooking blurb about book one. This makes it more likely that they will buy book two that day, confident that they will like and can get book one soon. Second, the first chapter of book two should have a strong hook, something that even someone unfamiliar with the series would find interesting, rather than confusing. Ideally, you want book two to do much more than sell itself; you also want it to sell book one, and any subsequent books of the series.

Two-Directional Marketing: Most importantly, don’t forget to market book two to all the fans who read and loved book one. You already have an audience, and your job is to keep it, and build it. So, don’t forget to market back towards the audience you have, and forward to the audience you hope to gain.  

Bringing the Reader Up to Speed:  There are several different approaches that can be used in a second book to bring readers up to speed on the story.

The synopsis method: One way is to have a 1-2 page synopsis of the first book at the beginning of the second book, but I do not recommend this. You want to sell your first book, not just your second book. Why would a reader/buyer bother seeking out your first book if they can read a summation of it right there in book two. Plus, this kind of synopsis can’t help but dumb down the wonderful plot and twists of your first book and make it seem dull in comparison. The most you should use in your second book is the hook or cover blurb of the first book, along with some glowing review blurbs.

The info-dump method: This is where the writer uses the characters and the first few chapters to tell the reader what happened in book one. Again, this is not recommended because you want the reader/buyer to need to read book one so you can sell it too. Not to mention that info-dumping annoys the reader and impedes good storytelling.

The integrated method:  It takes skill and some thought, but the ideal scenario would be to integrate just enough information from book one to make book two understandable and interesting. This info should be sprinkled subtly throughout the first few chapters of book two as it builds to its own unique story arc.

If you enjoyed this blog post, be sure to share it with a friend, follow me on Twitter, or Like my Author Facebook Page.


This is my lovely Ghost Hand cover designer, Kura Carpenter of Kura Carpenter Design, with her copy of the book and her ninja cat.


Playing and Promoting with Listopia

Listopia, how I love thee. Let me count the ways.


I have a confession to make. I LOVE lists. I love to make lists. I love to check things off lists. And I love to read lists. I also happen to love books, so when I discovered Listopia on Goodreads, I was pretty much in Ripley heaven.

If you’re not familiar with Listopia it is a feature of Goodreads that lists books by just about every category you could imagine. Listopia also allows you to start your own book lists, vote for books on pre-existing lists, and generally just have a great listy time of it.

There are fairly normal reading lists like Best Biographies, Best Young Adult Book, and Books That Everyone Should Read At Least Once.  But I like to hunt down and peruse the more obscure lists like Misleading Book Titles, Werewolf Mashups, or The Most Polarizing Books of All Time. Honestly, I could waste days just reading all the lists and marveling over how many ways one can categorize their reading.


Now, reading Listopia lists from the perspective of a reader is lots of fun, but reading them from the perspective of a writer is also very informative. It can really help you think about how readers view your book. What lists and categories are they putting it in? If they aren’t adding it to lists, why not? And if they did, what lists would you want it to appear in? And which lists do you NOT want your book on (ie Worst Books Ever Written)?


One of the wonderful things about Listopia is that you can add your own books to a list, either books you’ve read that fit that list or, if you are a writer, the books you’ve published.  I’ve had such a fun time looking for lists that Ghost Hand would fit under and adding it to them.  Here’s a list of categories to look under to list your own books.

  1. By genre and subgenre.

  2. By release year or month.

  3. By topics covered or touched on in your book.

  4. By type of author (ie Indie, unknown, well-known)

  5. By type of main character (ie Alpha Male, Kick-Ass heroine)

  6. By color or content of the cover (ie books with a hand on the cover)

  7. Point of view used (ie first person)

  8. Position in a series (ie second book in a series)

  9. Length of the book (novel, novella, or page/word count)

  10. By author (ie books by Ripley Patton)

And there are so many categories the options are basically endless.


I’ve said it before. I’m an Indie author and as such I have to promote myself. No one is going to do it for me (except some of you amazing friend and fans, of course).  And maybe, at first glance, you don’t see how Listopia can be a promotional tool, but I promise you, it can be.


First, the more places your book is visible the better, and people do peruse the Listipia lists just like I do looking for books similar to the ones they love or even something completely new. I’ve heard it said that a person has to see an unfamiliar book 3-7 times before they are likely to buy it. So, be sure to add your book to some appropriate lists where it will be seen. Don’t worry if you feel like you’re being redundant, because that is sort of the point. The more lists a reader sees your book on the better.

Promotional Pairing

If you’re a new author like me, not many people know your name or your book. They don’t know what it is about or if they’ll like your writing style. But, if they see your book in a list alongside books they’ve already read and loved, they have some context for trusting your book. They will think, “Oh, it’s like such-and-such by that famous author. I’d probably like that.” This is valuable promotional pairing and something new authors hope but rarely get. But on Listopia, all you have to do is add your book.

Gaining the Notice of Book Clubs

You might not be aware, but Goodreads is a treasure trove of book clubs. I happen to belong to several Young Adult Book Clubs, an Apocalyptic Fiction book club, several Indie Book clubs, and so on.  These clubs are great for meeting people who love to read what you read, to discover new books and new authors, and to participate in reading challenges.  The reading challenges and books of the month (BOM) are usually voted on by the club members, but many times these have a theme. For example, in February it is popular to have a love theme or choose a book with a red cover or something like that. And where does one go to find a bunch of books with red covers or love themes? Listopia, of course. Having your book on Listpia in various lists increased your chances of gaining the notice of the book clubs.

Call to Action

Now, if you liked this post, go forth and make lists on Listopia. You can also show your appreciation by Sharing this, liking my Facbook Author Page, adding me to your Goodreads friends, or adding and voting for Ghost Hand on a few of your favorite lists.

Stay tuned for my next post in the Listopia series. “Current Trends and Your Book Cover”


15 Ways to Promote a Writer in 5 Minutes or Less

Traditionally published authors have marketing teams and big publisher money behind their book campaigns. Self-published authors like me have the internet, social media, and word of mouth. So, I thought I would make a list of 15 simple ways readers can help promote their favorite authors, each in five minutes or less. I’ve inserted my new YA paranormal thriller, Ghost Hand, in the list below, but the same list can be applied to other authors and books you wish to support as well.

1. Tweet about Ghost Hand, or follow my twitter @rippatton and retweet my tweets.

2. Like my NEW Facebook Author Page.

3. Like Ghost Hand on its Amazon page.

4. Recommend Ghost Hand to friends on Goodreads.

5. Become my friend and fan on Goodreads.

6. Rate Ghost Hand on Goodreads.

7. Add Ghost Hand to a shelf or Listopia list on Goodreads.

8. Vote for Ghost Hand as best book of November 2012 on Goodreads.

9. Take a picture of yourself with your copy of Ghost Hand and send it to me or post it somewhere. Be sure to send me a link:)

10. Tell a friend about Ghost Hand and lend or gift them a copy.

11. Request Ghost Hand at your local library with their “Suggest a Purchase” form.

12. Talk to the clerks in any bookstores you visit and ask if they carry the book. If not give them a short book report and recommend they order a few copies.

14. Share my website with someone.

15. Suggest Ghost Hand to your favorite local or online book group.

The Ghost Hand YA Short Story Contest

I LOVE Contests.

I love entering them, I love running them, and I REALLY love judging them. So, as a way of celebrating the upcoming November 2012 release of my YA paranormal thriller, Ghost Hand, I have decided to run a writing contest just for YA-ers.

If you READ YA, and LOVE YA, and ARE YA, this contest is FOR YOU.

After all, who better to write the experience of being a young adult than young adults themselves? And now’s your chance to prove what you’ve always known: that you can write better YA than most of the adults out there doing it. Plus, you could win a wad of spending money, a signed copy of Ghost Hand, and get your story published in Ghost Hunt, book two of the Ghost Hand series (coming in 2013).

For more details on how and when to enter go HERE.

Listed at Duotrope


Ripley Patton lives in a 22-foot camper in the woods of Southern Illinois with a cat named Lemmy. Her two young adult children, a daughter and a son, are her favorite people. When Ripley's not out exploring nature and getting her hands dirty, she's usually reading or writing a book.

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