Here’s how it supposedly works: You send them a PDF or Word copy of your book, and they’ll read and review it, giving you a 200-500 word review. If your book happens to be on Amazon for $2.99 or less, they’ll buy a copy so you get that “Amazon Verified Purchase” label, “which carries more weight than non-verified reviews.” Continue reading
I thought it was a simple question, just like my answer. Kat Brooks mentioned that while sampling books using the “look inside” feature at Amazon she’d been seeing a lot of books front loaded with reviewer quotes among the front matter before the start of the actual book. Her question was whether the reviewer quotes were going to influence our buying decisions.
I rapidly tossed off my answer, that the reviewer quotes ought to be at the bottom of the book blurb or in the editorial reviews section of the book listing, not in the book, and returned to what I was doing. (Our gruel was especially good that day and I was hungry.) The other minions started chiming in with their thoughts and I listened while looking for a chance to steal some extra gruel from those deep in discussion. (Sorry Rich Meyer, you were eating too slow.) Continue reading
Sometimes I feel like my posts at Indies Unlimited help too little, or maybe that should be they help, but complain too much. Largely, I see that as a difference between my logical role as a contributor here, and the majority of IU’s other contributors. While most of IU’s posts are written by authors, Cathy Speight and I are exceptions. We’re book reviewers. Other contributors can talk about how to craft proper dialogue, their experiences with KDP Select, and various marketing techniques, and all of us can pass on our experiences with social media or (in Cathy’s case), help with punctuation usage, but there are areas Cathy and I can talk about that the other minions can’t. We see the best indie books out there (largely written by IU readers) and the worst (the authors who I’m guessing frequent those other sites instead). When we see trends in those “worst books,” we can point them out. These can be reminders or cautionary tales for those faithful IU readers and, for those other people who stumble in from elsewhere, possibly help them see the error of their ways. They’ll not only become better at their job as an author, but may eventually rise to the level of the faithful IU reader. Raising everyone’s game, helps us all. Which leads to my current criticism. Continue reading
Thirteen bloodlines, The Roshaniya, fanatically loyal to their gods – the Anunnaki - have controlled the planet since history was written. In 1925 Stefano Vasco Terenzio, head of the Terenzio crime family, makes a deal with the Anunnaki to solidify his control over the American Mafia. Stefano’s true goal was to put his family in a position so one day they would be able to turn on their masters.
But, what started out as an “ego trip” turned into a quest to give humanity a choice it has never been given. When allies become enemies, and the tenuous link holding together the one family that can save humankind shatters, can the Terenzios find the inner strength to finish what they started and expose the invisible chains that keep humanity down?
“I’ve always wanted to shoot something that talked about how the impossible is possible…” – Aaron Williams Producer/Director.
Congratulations to author Steven M. Moore on a great review of his science fiction book, Survivors of the Chaos.
Civilization passes through a social singularity. The U.S. and E.U. break apart. China collapses. Companies consolidate and expand around Earth and to the far reaches of the solar system, becoming the glue that prevents anarchy as they contract mercenaries to brutally maintain order and ensure profits.
Three reluctant heroes rise above this Chaos. A mild Midwest rancher becomes a vengeful vigilante in the Big Apple; an aging astrophysicist struggles to save alien artifacts found on one of Saturn’s moons; and a tired and reluctant mob enforcer finds a new life aboard a starship on its way to 82 Eridani.
Pulitzer-nominated reviewer David W. Menefee of Bookpleasures.com says of the book, “Readers steeped in current literature will appreciate the brevity of scenes that burst in front of you with a blinding flash of startling detail and then exit as quickly as a comet streaking through the night sky.” You can read the whole review here.
It’s that time of year…Christmas. You either love it or you hate it. Or you hate the toil and trouble, the trailing around the shops, trying to find something for Great-aunt Alice that isn’t yet another pair of fluffy slippers or that she won’t put in the drawer and try and remember to put on display every time you call round. It’s all a mad silly rush and you vow, yet again, that you’ll be more organised next year and start in May, roundabout when you’re starting to think of your summer hols.
My recommendation? Well, aside from sorting dear old Alice out with a Kindle/ereader and a few respectable books (or grabbing a passport and escaping to Timbuktoo), let me suggest sitting down in a nice comfy armchair beside a pleasantly glowing fire with a cup of deliciously steaming-hot cocoa (or if it’s after six, some mulled wine maybe?), and forget about the festive lunacy and escape for half an hour with a seasonal short story. It’s safe, it’s legal, it’s cheap, (well, depending on the number of glasses of mulled wine you have), but more importantly, it’s a tried and tested (by me) remedy to help prevent loss of sanity.
Two authors and four books spring to mind for this little home-grown cure. Continue reading
In October 2009, I received my first one-star review. The rating didn’t bother me much, because the reviewer’s other one-star reads included two of my favorite books plus an Oprah club pick. But a particular line in the text of the review haunted me for nearly three years: “The writing was so unsophisticated.”
After I read that line, it hardly registered when other strangers described my book with words like “compelling”, “important”, “heart-wrenching”, and “superbly written”, because my brain kept going back to so unsophisticated. I had never in my life strived to be sophisticated–I’m not even sure what it means–but suddenly it became the measure by which I judged every passage I wrote. Continue reading
Just for myself, I really don’t believe an author has any business saying anything to a reviewer in public. Let’s be clear: Readers do not review books on behalf of writers. The function of a review is not to service an author’s ego. Reviews are a way for someone who has read a book to tell people who are thinking of reading it whether or not they would recommend doing so. That’s pretty much it. It is a reader-to-reader equation which, I personally think, the writer of the book in question should keep out of altogether. Continue reading