Recommendations

5 Book Review Rules Which Could Make Writers Hate You Less

 

Book reviews are the cod liver oil of the writing world. Writers need them, and they can do an awful lot of good, but they can also leave an incredibly nasty taste in the mouth.

You can’t switch on the Internet these days without seeing an author giving out about book reviews and how unfair/mean/reprehensible/soul-destroying they are.

Read the entire blog here.   cat

This is a timely blog post I want to share.  It’s about the rules for writing reviews.  It lumps the troll reviews in with negative reviews, which is fine in this context since it is specific on what is not allowed.

I’m not sure about the reviews written by friends.  I haven’t experienced a personally known friend who was willing to do a review, but I don’t ask.  I do have acquaintances, through social media connections, cat-fish bowlwho are willing to review for a free copy.  Sometimes we exchange copies.  It’s usually a matter of authors supporting authors, especially Indie authors who get no respect or consideration outside their circles.

I have added my own cats expressing their ideas of how readers, writers and reviewers often see this situation.

As they say here in East Texas… Have a blessed day.

Categories: About Social Media, Recommendations, Reviews | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Mother’s Day Reading Blitz

Banner - larger

There will be a live Giveaway event on Facebook for
the Mother’s Day Reading Blitz

It’s hosted by Indie World Publishing & Author Services
Put the whole three-day weekend on your calendar
Allow Mom to sign up for awesome gifts,
then shop for her next book, or stock up for her summer vacation.

Also note on your calendar the three day Mother’s Day weekend, from May 9 – 11. During those three days be sure to visit the Indie World Publishing & Author Services website to search through the 72 books by over 60 fantastic female authors which will be available for only $0.99! That’s 99 cents! Participating books can be found here so start looking now: http://www.indieworldpub.com/#!mdrb-books-by-genre/c1f28

On Saturday, May 10th, there will be a giant giveaway of lots of fantastic books written by female authors ~~ some on the book sale lists and some not. All these books have strong female lead characters.

There will also be other items available for giveaway. The great news is you don’t have to be a mother (or even a female) to join in the fun! Just mark your calendars and get ready to enter each contest for your chance to win! Oh – and invite all your friends and family! We’ll be expecting to see you there!

For my part, I have 7 of my books posted for sale at the amazing low price of 99 cents. I will also have two others to be given away. Visit the site today for my listing of books in the variety of genres so you will know which ones you might be interested in purchasing.

For the giveaway I’ve chosen my two children’s books (see below) since they have no Kindle equivalent. Click on the link below the picture to visit the Amazon page where you can read about them and see the reviews.

If you win a book, or decide to buy one, please be considerate of the author and make a comment on the book’s Amazon page about your reading experience. It’s not difficult. Just scroll down the page to the write a customer review button and click. There is even a Tips and Guidelines link highlighted on the review page if you want some hints on what to do.

DON’T FORGET TO MARK YOUR CALENDAR. REMEMBER MOM AND WE’LL SEE YOU THERE.

 

 

 

 

Categories: About My Books, About Social Media, Fun, Introductions, Marketing, On Sale!, Recommendations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Cover. Same Story. On Sale.

New Cover. Same Story. On Sale.

From my sister blog — It’s All About the Books!  Ariel’s Cottage is on sale through Easter Sunday for only 99 cents.

Categories: About My Books, Introductions, Marketing, Recommendations | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Have you noticed changes on Amazon?

amazon-review-changes

While my support group for those who have been trolled and survived has reported that known trolls, or stalkers (a more appropriate term), have had their reviews deleted, another issue has come up and I wonder if the two might be connected.  You decide.  Have you had reviews removed?

Chris speaks of a select group being subject to a different circumstance on Amazon than usual and may possibly be part of some marketing research. You might have experienced this.  If so, maybe you can shed some light on it for the rest of us.  I’m sure Chris won’t mind hearing from you after you’ve considered the experience he and others are reporting here.

http://chrismcmullen.wordpress.com/2014/04/11/amazon-experimenting-with-review-changes/#comments

Categories: Marketing, Recommendations | Tags: , | Leave a comment

How Characters Die

After reading How to Kill off a Character on this site – http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2014/01/kill-a-character.html – I had this to say:
These comments contain spoilers so proceed at your own risk if you haven’t read any of these books.

In my latest novel, On Unicorn Wish, the main character is recovering from a horrific accident that could have killed her, and she had setbacks, while at the same time reliving in memory (or is it real?) a magical time when she was ten. She was invited to Evernow, a placBest Unicorn Front BookCoverPreview.do copybetween time and no time where only those with a pure heart go when they die. On her return to her grannie after her adventure , as the child, she is having trouble remembering it. She is to meet someone from there she already knows who will help her forget, and it has been set up he visits her in that world as an adult to help her with her memory. At that point she, as the adult dies, because she was doomed from the beginning, but she returns to Evernow where she is a very special person, so her life goes on a little differently. Reviewers, so far, think the story okay for their children. I have recommended it only for older readers through adult, so the physical death of the main character doesn’t seem to be a big issue since she continues to live in the alternate reality.

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In the first novella of Painted Tree: Two Novellas, one of the character’s dies. He has to in order to show his remorse – lack of will to live – BLOOD Front BookCoverPreview.doBookCoverPreview.do PT frontfrom what he has done because of the vengeance he felt. His death affects all other characters since he was a charismatic character, and had his own story line. In the second story about the victim recovering she dies in the end, but as a old lady who found a way to fulfill her life in spite of her handicap from what happened to her.

In Ariel’s Cottage/A Price for Love the main character was a victim of a horrible crime, and is dealing with the psychological demons resulting. But physical problems are hinted at, and another important character returns after many years to see her, only to find she has died from an injury created during her horrific experience. The character who cared for her during those years found he could A'sC caps & smug FrontBookCoverPreview.donot live without her and commits suicide. A reviewer remarked of the emotional roller coaster ride, but that it felt in the end like she’d read the story of a real person’s life.

In my trilogy, Where the Horses Run, I have a character in Book I, connected to the main character and who plays a very small role, get murdered. The crime investigation, though mostly done by others out of scene in Book II, helps the main character and her companions make some discoveries. Also her grandparents’ deaths are spoken of and information left behind also helps. A major character dies in a car accident in Book III. It was a shock to me when I realized I’d have to kill him. I thought about it for a long time. But it’s his death that helps them learn some things they need to know, and spurs them on along their path of discovery even though a lot of time is spent learning to deal with his loss. His memory and what he had to offer is ever-present, so he’s not really out of the story.

In one of the stories in TREE & SKY: The Secrets of Meshyah’s World the grandfather is remembered at one point, having died, though the death is never spoken of, only what the main character, being a child, feels for her grandfather and his BookCover4T&Smemory. They had been very close and interactive in the prior stories. This is a children’s book and there have been no comments about how awful it might have been to read it. He was very old, and it happens.

I have an anthology of short stories and poems where characters die, mostly when they are old. One is a story with a child as the main character, so I also published it separately as Miracle Belle, A Horse with a Secret. The main character grows up when, later on she and her Miracle Belle Front BookCoverPreview.dohorse go to a special place without dying. It’s a spin-off of my trilogy.

My two children’s picture books are the only ones where no one dies. In fact, in both, someone/something is saved.

I have a middle grade story, only as an ebook for the first part of a series that will become a book, where only one is expected to be killed, but eventually someone else will die. Even in Harry Potter, a children’s book, many good characters die.

Of all the stories I have in the works I can think of only one where there is no death of an important character (so far), but rather a major life change, as is also the case in another middle grade children’s story. In another there are serial murders and a suicide; another with sword battles, and another adult spin-off of my trilogy where I don’t know yet if anyone dies, but a main character disappears never to be heard of again. In that series it the “other place” they are seeking to go to for safety from an expected earthy catastrophe. It’s not a heaven, they don’t die, though those who you think of as having died are there. I just can’t tell more without spoiling it all entirely.

I had someone say they couldn’t read any more of my books because they were tired of dealing with death. I find that it’s a rare book where a death isn’t at least mentioned.  Maybe there could be one where the story only takes place within a few hours of a day and the character is focused on an issue that doesn’t involve death. But death is part of life and it does happen so it makes sense to kill off characters, even if they are favored. It’s a natural progression of the story and I didn’t worry about doing it so much as how to do it properly for the story.

Unless I write the story spoken of in Ariel’s Cottage/A Price for Love (Murderous Intent) that involves her horrific experiences, I haven’t had a lot of mayhem involving the main character physically suffering. It’s mostly psychological, and dealing with memories of the pain and New PfL FrontBookCoverPreview.dosuffering that’s already happened.

If you want to review synopsis of any of these or my other books you can see them on my Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Judith-Victoria-Douglas/e/B007KCUA2Y

Categories: About My Books, About Writing, Random Thoughts to Share, Recommendations | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

One and Two-day Free Kindles

TODAY FOR ONE DAY ONLY, FREE KINDLE
ONE UNICORN WISH – an adult fantasy  Just click the picture.

Best Unicorn Front BookCoverPreview.do copy

For all those who downloaded the free copy of Where the Horses Run, Book I, Mass Extinction last weekend, on Saturday and Sunday only, December 21 & 22, the FREE copy of BOOK II, SACRED HILLS will be available.  Click the picture.H2FrontBookCoverPreview.do copy

Categories: About My Books, Fun, Marketing, Recommendations | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

FREE in Celebration of the Horse

In celebration of yesterday’s National Day of the Horse.
TODAY & TOMORROW ONLY – DEC. 14-15 – FREE
LOOKING FOR REVIEWS
IF there is a good number interested then Book II will be available soon.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A8WB518

BookCover4H1

Categories: About My Books, Marketing, Recommendations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Newest Release

JUST IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS!

Best Final Pony FrontBookCoverPreview.do copy

The Carousel Pony is now published.  It is immediately available from the publisher – https://www.createspace.com/4015776.  Check it out there.

Because it’s a children’s book and not the standard size it won’t be available through bookstores or other online retailers, other than those connected to Amazon.  It’s expected to be available on their site by the weekend.  It does not have an e-book equivalent.  It will have a glossy cover.

This is a story to be read to pre-schoolers and young readers.  By third grade children may be able to master it themselves.

Last Pony Back BookCoverPreview.do

Categories: Introductions, Marketing, New Release, Recommendations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Literary Giveaway Blog Hop

literarybloghop_november real

WELCOME to the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop!  This hop is hosted by Judith@Leeswammes (http://leeswammes.wordpress.com – English book blog; http://boekblogger.wordpress.com – Dutch book blog), in the Netherlands, and open between Saturday, November 9, and Wednesday, November 13.  You can hop almost 40 different book blogs, all offering one or more giveaways of books or bookish items.  All books are literary fiction, nonfiction or something close.  Follow the links at the bottom of the post to find the other participating blogs.

MY GIVEAWAY, as part of this blog hop, is a copy of my novel, Where the Horses Run, Book I, Mass Extinction (http://www.amazon.com/Where-Horses-Run-Book-Extinction/dp/147010251X).  This link opens in a separate window if you want to look it over.  The Kindle edition has a “Look Inside” with the prologue and first four chapters, plus part of chapter five for review, because it’s a thick book.

This blog hop giveaway is open to worldwide entries, but remember the book is published in English only.  If chosen the book will be sent directly to you from the publisher, CreateSpace Independent Publisher.

Some lucky winner can be introduced to my idea of a catastrophic world event as told by Elle Whitlock recounting her story from the journal notes she kept.  This is only the beginning as many mysteries are to be solved throughout the trilogy.  Elle must first accept the lose of her beloved species and rediscover her life’s path.  It was lost by her early death in a previous life.  With support from her close-knit family of friends and help (through dreams and visions) from those who knew her in that previous life, she must step back onto her path and complete her life’s task.  She must explain what is meant by the disappearance of all the world’s equine species.  She hopes their findings will help them discover the safe haven where the horses run and how to get there before an expected disaster hits the Earth.

To Enter, Read the Rules:

1. Anyone worldwide can enter (unless elsewhere noted).  You do not need to have a blog .

2. You need a post office recognized address, anywhere in the world, where you can receive a package.  This book is 420 pages thick, so keep that in mind if all you have is a small postal box.  Be sure you will get a notice to pick it up.

3. You do not have to be a follower, or become a follower, although you are welcome to follow if you like my blog.  Following by email is easy, just click on the word “Follow” in the upper right to be given an opportunity to enter your email address.

4. TO ENTER leave a comment below.  All I need is your name, email address or link to an email connection where I can leave a message. For my own curiosity I’d like to know what country you are located in.  You can give a city, state, county, parish or other designated location if you wish, or think it might be hard to find on a world map.  If you should win I will request your mailing address when I notify you, so you don’t have to leave it now.

6. I will notify the winner by email, so be sure what you’ve left in your comment is written clearly and correctly.  The winner will need to respond to my email within 3 days or I will choose a new winner.  Once the winner is contacted and the package on the way I will announce it here, on this page on this blog, as an addendum.  You will have to check back to learn who won and what country they live in, and possibly a little about them if the winner is willing to share.

7. You have from 4 a.m GMT or 11:00 pm Friday, November 8th , U.S. Central Time, until 11 p.m., U.S. Central Time, November 13 to enter.  GMT at 4 a.m. November 9th is  5 a.m. in the UK, 6 a.m. in  Amsterdam, midnight in New York, Friday November 8th and 9 p.m. in California, and November 9th 3 p.m. in  Australia (Sydney).

8. Note that double or invalid entries will be removed, and not considered eligible.

9. My book will be sent directly from the publisher.  I will also notify the winner of its shipping date and expected time of arrival.

GOOD LUCK to ALL and THANKS for playing.  Now start blog hopping for more giveaways. (I’m #10 on the list, and it’s corrected now to get a link.)

PARTICIPATING BLOGS

Linky List:

  1. Leeswammes
  2. Ciska’s Book Chest
  3. Sam Still Reading
  4. The Things You Can Read (US)
  5. Col Reads
  6. Guiltless Reading
  7. Love at First Book (US)
  8. Maurice On Books (US)
  9. Mythical Books
  10. Books by Judith
  11. Bees Knees Reviews (US)
  12. River City Reading
  13. Too Fond
  14. Exurbanis
  15. Curiosity Killed the Bookworm
  16. Book’d Out
  17. Roof Beam Reader
  18. Books Speak Volumes
  19. The Relentless Reader (US)
  20. Under My Apple Tree (US)
  21. Booklover Book Reviews
  22. Nishita’s Rants and Raves
  23. Ephemeral Digest
  24. Julia Crane Author (US)
  25. Melissa Pearl Author (US)
  1. Read Lately (US)
  2. Readerbuzz
  3. Lucybird’s Book Blog (Europe)
  4. The Misfortune of Knowing
  5. Bibliophile By the Sea
  6. The Novel Life
  7. Kinx’s Book Nook US)
  8. Dolce Bellezza
  9. Nose in a book
  10. Book-alicious Mama (US)
  11. Words for Worms
  12. Wensend
  13. A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall (N-America)

ADDENDUM 11/14:  The winner has been picked and an email sent, but still waiting for a reply.  If none is received by 11p.m. CDT, Saturday, November 16th, another will be picked.

I haven’t received an email so I’m assuming I haven’t won any of the books I tried for.  But it was fun to visit all the blogs included and spread over the world.

ADDENDUM 11/15:  Maricris Dimia of the Philippines won the copy of Where the Horses Run, Book I, Mass Extinction.  With the recent disaster there I was worried I wouldn’t hear from her, but today I received her acknowledgement and mailing address.  A book is now on the way to her.  I hope any turmoil in the lives of her friends and family are repaired by the time it arrives.  And I hope she enjoys the book.

Categories: About My Books, About Social Media, Introductions, Marketing, Recommendations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Yes, Roy, Writing is Hard

Though I could also say writing is hard, I have B.J. to thank for making it easier.  Her sudden loss put me on my own after working through that first book with her, Where the Horses Run.  She’d only started the second of that trilogy.   She’s mentioned in the acknowledgments.   I’m still writing, as you know.

I didn’t reach out to a publisher because my point of self-doubt, which Roy mentions, continues to some degree.  That and age put me on a faster track to publication by doing it BookCover4H1myself.  It has given me more jobs to do than I intended and made the work that much harder.  But it’s also been a road of discovery, both of my likes and talents.  And a decreasing budget forced me to take on parts of the requirements for publication I never intended to be faced with.  I have felt all alone though all of it.

We writers crave self assurances to keep going.  I haven’t had the contacts Roy has to keep me going, but keeping on going is what I’ve done.  Why?  Because once something’s discovered inside that has to come out you just can’t quit.

With a deadline of age I am focusing on finishing as much as I can before I can not longer do the work, then maybe I can focus more on the marketing end.  While I do some of that now it is frustrating to have work I’d rather be finishing.

Enjoy Roy’s road to success.  I did and it’s always good to know it can still happen…and to some of the nicest people.

Thank you, Roy, for your easy friendship.  All the best, always.

The kindness of others…

.. Posted September 19. 2013 by Roy Dimond

I’m going to state the obvious  – writing is hard.  But hang in there with me, I might surprise you, as well as myself, and share something insightful.

But first, back to my original premise, writing is hard. When I originally sat down to write my first novel, I had sweet naïveté sitting upon my shoulder.  That carried me for 6 months.  Then enthusiasm carried me for another 6 months.

Into the second year of my first novel, I began having an odd feeling.  I heard it first, then felt it in the pit of my stomach.  It came from over in the dark corner of my writing cave.  I even remember the date, July 6th at precisely 9:40AM when I stopped pounding the old keyboard and said out loud, “Who’s there?”

Silence was the response, so I started again, ready to tap out 2,000 words of great prose.  With 500 done, several of the brilliant variety, well, I had at least a comma that I was fifty percent sure was in the right place, when I heard it again.  It sounded like a snicker, but I knew it for what it was — self-doubt.

That was the day I became a writer — my naiveté had been replaced by doubt.  I took my year’s worth of work and rewrote the entire manuscript.  Another three years singing-bowl3passed and finally, I had my first novel, The Singing Bowl.

Next, I learned about query letters, publishing houses, and agents.  Believing myself to be prepared, I made the leap and sent out my manuscript.  I leaped naked into the great River of No…rejections came and writing was not only hard — it hurt — a lot.  Most rejections were polite, many were form letters, some were encouraging, and one or two had an attitude.  And not the spunky, you can do it ‘tude,’ that would have been so very much appreciated, but a sniffling, looking down one’s nose attitude.

But I love writing, so I started a second book and then one day — THE CALL came — a publisher wanted to see the entire manuscript of my first novel!  Then the follow up… they want it!  Eventually, more book contracts were signed, I found an agent, and the writing world became a little easier — not writing itself, just the world around it…

So here is the insight I promised.  People who are in this profession are REALLY… REALLY nice.

I have talked with dozens of publishers, scores of agents, and writers uncountable, and I can honestly say, the more successful, the more respected, and even revered, the nicer and more approachable they are.

So if you are just starting out, take a risk.  The icons of the industry will try to share the little time they have, they will laugh with you, and they will respect you.  They will freely share their experience, and they will be, most importantly — helpful.

Yes, even in this cold, hard, and harsh world of writing, there is kindness.

Thank you, to all those who have been so generous.  It is sincerely appreciated.  Especially now, as I turn back to the keyboard, and my self-doubt sits patiently smirking in the dark corner of my writing cave.

http://roydimond.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/the-kindness-of-others

Categories: About Writing, Introductions, Random Thoughts to Share, Recommendations, Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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