Writer, Reader, Reviewer

3starsSometimes I hate being an author.

No, that’s not true. I never hate being a writer or an author. I love writing; I love reading. I love supporting other authors and especially, obviously, my friends. What I hate is writing critical reviews. Recently my buddy, Yvonne Hertberger, wrote about a similar situation where she was called on to assess a book. It wasn’t pretty.

Case in point. Recently I read a friend’s latest. I wanted to like it; I really did. But I didn’t. I didn’t have a lot of sympathy for most of the characters, I found the pace slow and therefore frustrating, and there were many things that it seemed I was supposed to implicitly understand but did not. Whenever I read a book that affects me like this, I have to wonder: is it not grabbing me because I’m not giving it enough time and concentration, or am I not giving it time and concentration because it’s not grabbing me? Continue reading

Newsbites: Men Don’t Read

NewsBitesGreetings from the IU news desk in the prestigious but entirely fictional BlackBox Tower Complex. It’s our job to track down the news, grab it by the ankles, and hold it upside down until the truth drops out of its pockets.

It’s a dangerous job that takes our staff to far-flung corners of the internet. Our crack team of reporters wade through a digital jungle of pop-up ads and 404 errors to get to the bottom of whatever it is that got their undies in a bunch in the first place.

Remember, NewsBites is the official news snack of the junior auxiliary astronaut team, whose proud motto is: We may not have been in space, but we are willing to go. Continue reading

My Year of Reading Indie

At the end of 2012, I mentally perused the books I’d read in the previous twelve months and realized that except for revisiting Anna Karenina and enjoying The Maltese Falcon as part of my community’s Big Reads program, not a single traditionally published title sat among them. That was quite a revelation for this bookworm who once got herself kicked out of a library at closing time and feels a magnetic attraction toward bookstores. Continue reading

Do You Trust Your Readers?

Must have made a wrong turn at that last interjection…

When I learned to drive as a teen (yes, they had cars back then, shut up), one of the more puzzling statements in my DMV-supplied manual was: “Passing is a cooperative venture.” This didn’t make sense until I was in a situation where a guy in front of me kept speeding up to avoid my attempts to pass him. I don’t know what his problem was, maybe a little too much testosterone in the bloodstream, but that’s when I realized that the act of passing is a team sport. I have to speed up, and in a legal, safe place, he has to let me pass him. Continue reading

Rapid Fire Releases

As a reader, I really don’t like having to wait for a continuing book in a series, especially if it’s a year or so. I get frustrated for two reasons: one – I’m usually desperate to know what’s going to happen and I can’t find out. And two – by the time the second book does come out, I’ve totally forgotten what’s happened in the first. I either have to re-read the first book or I just give up on the series altogether. More often than not, I chose the latter.

One of the beautiful things about being an indie author is that I get to choose when and how I will produce my work. For the two reasons above, I decided that I would go for rapid-fire releases for The Elements Trilogy. I didn’t want readers to have to wait and I thought it would be an intelligent marketing strategy. I made the commitment to release the books June, July and August of 2013, saving up my big marketing campaign for September. I decided it was a wise move to save up the marketing budget of three books and throw it all into one big trilogy campaign. Hopefully my plan will work. Continue reading