Talking about #bookreviews. A collection of great posts on how to get them and how to keep reviewers happy.

Hi all:

Recently I’ve read some great posts about reviews: how to get them, how to avoid things that annoy reviewers, and even posts recommending free books on the subject. You might have read them all, but just in case you haven’t, I thought I’d post them here.

How to Get Good Reviews by Theo Rogers (remember to check the price!)
How to Get Good Reviews by Theo Rogers (remember to check the price!)

The first one that came to my attention was a post by Nicholas Rossi, where he mentioned a free book  (this one ) that was still free when I wrote this post but do make sure that’s still the case, and also some updates on other interesting sounding books on similar topics. You can check Nicholas Rossi’s post here. Do follow his blog if you haven’t as he shares a wealth of knowledge and is a great writer.

That post resulted in a comment by Beetley Pete, a great blogger and a top reviewer in Amazon (do check his blog especially if you like dogs, photographs and pretty good writing too. See here, for instance ), where he provided a review on the said book. He made such great points that Nicholas created a post sharing that comment. Check here.

Book and mugsmall

This morning I read a post with the title Top 7 Book Reviewers Complaints in the blog Indies Unlimited. I’ll share the list but you can (and should) read the full post, and contribute to the discussion, here.

According to the post these are the seven top complaints by reviewers:

  1. “…he woke up and it was all a dream.” Done to death and back as a zombie too.
  2. “She could see the insanity creeping into his eyes.” Not the best way to justify a character doing out of character things. (I’m a psychiatrist and this is a particular bugbear of mine.)
  3. “He asked…” “…she answered.” I’m sure there are full volumes on dialogue tags but…
  4. Lack of Dialog (Can result in a lot of telling and not showing)
  5. Too Much Dialog (This is a bit of a personal taste, but it depends on the type of book. The writer of the post likes dialog and so do I)
  6. Too Much Description. Might depend on the genre but…
  7. Too Much Background. Like before

And Others

Don’t forget to check the full article and comment here.

If after all that, or perhaps after doing more reading on it, you still want to approach reviewers, I got a link to The Book Reviewer Yellow Pages here. Good luck! (I have no personal experience of that page but do let us know if you do).

PS: After publishing this post I just read a post by Rosie Amber about writing reviews, the reasons some people don’t and suggestions as to how to go about it, so I had to share it. Check here (and do follow her blog too for great reviews and also for a great way to get reviews if you’re an author).

Thanks all for reading, don’t forget to visit the blogs and follow the bloggers and good luck finding reviewers. And readers remember that reviews are a great way to share your love of books and to support writers!

Olga Núñez Miret

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

 

 

#BookReview of WOLF by @ProfKellyOliver.

WOLF cover imageWOLF

by Kelly Oliver

Fiction: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Women Sleuths/New Adult. 316 Pages Print. Kaos Press (June 21, 2016)

 

 

 

4_stars_gold

Author Biography

Kelly Oliver was born on July 28, 1958 in Spokane Washington. She graduated from Gonzaga University with honors in 1979 with a double major in philosophy and communications. She earned her Kelly Oliver ImagePh.D. from Northwestern University in philosophy in 1987. She has held teaching positions at various Universities, including George Washington University, University of Texas at Austin, and Stony Brook University. Currently, she is W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.
She has published books on topics ranging from family, love, war, and violence to affirmative action, Hollywood films, and animal rights.
She is the author of THE JESSICA JAMES COWGIRL PHILOSOPHER MYSTERY novels, including COYOTE and WOLF.

Book Review

WOLF is a new adult, mystery, thriller set on the campus of Northwestern University in Chicago, IL, with cowgirl philosopher Jessica James leading the ensemble cast of characters into the reasons for the death of her Philosophy Advisor, the theft of two masterpiece Russian impressionist paintings, and the source of date rape drugs on campus. Jessica must find her way through the twists and turns of her meager existence living in the attic of the philosophy department and falling for a billionaire professor in order to keep her dreams alive to get her degree and most of all to stay alive as someone is out to kill her.

WOLF, the first book in the Jessica James Mysteries series has a great cast of characters. The book has two stories in one, linked together as the book progresses. There is the series main character’s quest to continue her PhD program in Philosophy after the murder of her advisor, and then there is the life and death situation for Dmitry Durchenko, the Philosophy departments janitor who also happens to be the son of Russia’s most powerful mob boss. The two stories overlap through the Titular character, Wolf’s death and missing paintings hidden in his office.

You have everything from the cowgirl Jessica who wants to show the world that she can be a philosopher to Lolita Durchenko who looks like super model, rides a Harley and runs a high stakes poker game. Then you have the local Russian mob leader The Pope and the billionaire professor who comes to the rescue of Jessica after she’s been given a date rape drug. And there is a whole lot more. You cheer for Jessica to overcome the obstacles and her own knack for falling into bad situations. She has to be one of the most awkward young ladies around. She shouldn’t wear heels. Oliver balances the humorous moments of Jessica with the more serious story of Dmitry and his need to find his paintings or suffer the consequences at the hands of The Pope. Somehow through it all it comes together in the end. There are times you wonder how this whole thing is going to work out but ultimately it does.

WOLF is a fast paced and entertaining read. The first chapter was a bit slow for me, but once past that the author settled into the meat of the story and off you go on a joy ride. She handles a serious issue such as college campus date rape in a good manner and just how you would want it to be done. For someone so smart, Jessica can really be a bit out there at times under pressure. But I think that may add a bit of realism to it. Things happen. If you like fast paced and fun reads, this is for you. If you like mysteries and a good cast of characters, you’ve got it here.

By: Ronovan Hester

Get WOLF at:

amazon logo with link

Connect with Kelly Oliver:

facebook logo with linktwitter logoAuthor Site Image with Link

 

 

How to Add a Bullet List to Your Kindle Book

Here’s a short tip for you Indie writers this week. With a couple of non-fiction books in the pipeline I spent some time a while ago researching how to put bulleted lists in a Kindle book, but came up with the take home that they are a no-no. I know that use of any type of Word auto formatting in an eBook can cause havoc in the end result. It is possible to create a really good looking bulleted list in my paint software and import it as an image without anyone being the wiser, but it is extra work that I’ve just now discovered doesn’t need to be done. The secret is to avoid the auto formatting.

You could have at a bit of HTML coding if you’re so inclined, as per the example below, but I really am not so inclined right now, so I kept looking. Some people use the Styles menu effectively. I prefer a very clean manuscript for Kindle conversion though, with no hidden bits with the potential to put spanners in the works, so I kept looking.

Bullet List HTML Coding

Kindle recognises quite a few of the symbols that you can use with your Insert > Symbol feature if you stick to a common font like Times New Roman – my go to font for Amazon, and one of the symbols to insert is a bullet. All you have to do is insert it before each sentence to be in the bulleted list as you type it out, and no auto formatting will be triggered.

Insert Symbol Menu

That’s not a lot of extra work at all. If going the whole Insert Symbol route before each point seems like a schlep, then just copy the first inserted bullet and paste it in as you go. That way there will be no hidden gremlins to mess up your fabulous book. Happy publishing fellow scribblers.

 

Thursday’s Thoughts

Prompt for Challenge

Please remember, this is for fun and to help get that writing mojo of yours flowing. Thursday is only a part of the title, not a deadline.

Here are the following rules:

  • Word count? Who needs word counts? Maybe you’re using the prompts because you just love writing OR maybe you need help to get through those pesky roadblocks. Either way, just let your fingers write the story and when you’re done, you’re done! (Of course, if you like flash fiction, let’s put a limit of no more than, say…500.)
  • Using the prompt of the photo below, WRITE. What is the bird doing? What is he looking at? What strikes your attention about this photo? (REQUIRED)BirdImage Courtesy: Angela Kay

#BookReview of Waterkill by Mark Donovan.

WaterkillWaterkill

By Mark Donovan

Fiction: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Technothriller/Terrorism. 302 Pages Print. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

4_stars_gold

Author Biography

Mark Donovan is the author of the thriller novels “Nano Surveillance” and “Waterkill”. He has also authored 32 eBooks and 2,000+ articles on a wide variety of home improvement topics through his website HomeAdditionPlus.com. Many of his articles are nationally syndicated. He currently resides in New Hampshire, where he has spent his career working in various high tech engineering and marketing positions. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and an MBA, and holds a private pilot’s license, and seven U.S. patents associated with sensor and communication technologies.

BookReview

Waterkill is the second book in the Dave Henson series and a Terroristic TechnoThriller by Mark Donovan, author of Nano Surveillance, book 1 in the series. In Waterkill, we have Dave Henson going head to head with the Al-Qaeda terrorist Aref Zarin, a techno savvy villain with a new form of terror weapon that makes nuclear weapons obsolete. Along the way Henson runs into an old friend with a new mission and travels from Germany to Iran and around the world. All in an attempt to stop the deaths of over a million innocent people.

When Mark offered the book for review I couldn’t say no. It’s a paperback, not an ecopy and a thriller. How could I say no? The first chapters were a bit slow and hard for me to get into at first. So I stopped. I don’t force myself to read a book or it’ll be a bad review. Then I decided it was time to read and emailed Mark I was getting ready. He told me he had hired a professional editor who spent over a month editing the book and that thrilled me. I read the book, then looked at the edits and I have to say, it was money well spent and Mark has done his work justice.

The story is fast paced after the initial chapters setting up the story. You have the terrorists, the special forces teams, tech gadgets, the beautiful but not helpless damsel in distress. Did I mention gadgets? Mark brings some serious tech knowhow to the storyline. If these things exist, and I am not doubting some do, there is some seriously cool stuff going on in the world. Mark also does a good job of creating a sense of urgency in the story and an ending that just makes sense. He takes the hot topics of today and handles them very carefully and does a great job not overly sensationalizing them to get a cheap punch for his story. You learn a little about people in this book that may help open your eyes just a little bit.

Review by: Ronovan Hester

Get Waterkill at:

amazon logo with link

Connect with Mark at:

facebook logo with linkgoodreads logotwitter logoAuthor Site Image with Link

BatDad: A Parody | Review by ESTyree

I enjoy the BatDad vines and was excited to be sent this book for review. This book is a funny and very quick read.  However, I am highly disappointed with what I received. This is little more than a high quality scrapbook. There was no story, no comic panels, just snap shots that looked almost like polaroid pictures tossed in with sarcastic comments. While the book is made of high quality workmanship, the contents are not up to that standard. Something was lost in the change of format from vine to page.
I wish the book had been comprised of comic panels depicting the moments around those snapshots, a solid look at what was meant to be a humorous outtake on life as a parent.
I would recommend watching the vines and forgetting about the book. I rated this 2.5 stars because of the quality and the 2 pages I found funny.

 

 

#BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Szen Zone, BY AUTHOR @GARYSZENDERSKI

41InsPIbHzL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_

  • Title:  Szen Zone – Reaching a State of Positive Change
  • Author: Gary Szenderski
  • File Size: 644 KB
  • Print Length: 203 Pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN:
  •  Publisher: Finger Touch Books
  • Publication Date: December 16, 2015
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  •  Language: English
  • ASIN:  B019H83NUE
  • ISBN-10: 1500514977
  • ISBN-13: 9781500514976
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Motivational, Teen & Young Adult, Self Help

*The author provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review which follows*

In the author’s words:

“From the author of Book of Szen, Stories and Inspiration for a Changing World. Whereas ZEN is of the moment and what is, SZEN celebrates what could be. The SZEN ZONE – Reaching a State of Positive Change contains lighthearted and positive narrative on life and its possibilities, with stories that cover the gamut from interesting to profound. The general overarching theme is on change and all of the aspects of it – Creating, surviving and managing change with the goal to recognize the power we have to become what we choose, both when we’re feeling in control and how to manage when we’re not in control.

The SZEN ZONE focuses on identifying the lift-off point for creating positive change. Although everyone is different and it’s a very individual and sometimes internalized process, the principles in this book can help you establish the context and right frame of mind to embrace and manage change. After many years of professionally helping individuals and companies navigate change, I’ve observed how some changes seem to take forever while unforeseen change can come right at you and in an instant move your world.”

Recommendation:

The Szen Zone is a collection of life lessons interwoven into short stories which lead the reader into the possibilities of change, and how making changes can open the doors to further growth. A self-help book in nature, it is written in a down to earth style that everyone can relate to.

The book is split into topics which then flow into each short story. At the end of each story, the author follows with his points to ponder. He then ends with a “Szenippit,” a clever play on words with his last name. Each Szenippit is a quote that really hits home with the subject discussed.

For example, Chapter Four is called, “Living in the Present.” One of my favorite quotes from the book is this:

“There is no perfect time, there is only this time, your best first chance. You know that you’re as ready as you will ever become.”

Each chapter and topic are geared at empowering us as individuals to create positive change in our lives. A detailed description of the five essential elements necessary to create positive changes is shared. They are, self-exploration; perspective; imagination; now and energy. The words create the acronym, S.P.I.N.E. which is a handy way to remember that it takes character to change and succeed in life.

It took me a couple of weeks to read the book because the subject matter really made me think about my own goals and ability to change. I weighed the possibilities and not only lived in the now, I also thought about what some of these positive changes could bring to me at this stage in my life.

It would be easy to read the book in its entirety, or split it into a topic at a time. I found myself highlighting and bookmarking many passages that spoke to me. This is the kind of book that I will refer to often. I liked the author’s message of setting goals and allowing myself the freedom to make changes that will facilitate me reaching the completion of my goals.

Are you looking at making some positive changes in your life? Don’t do it alone. Let the Szen Zone guide you down the path of self-discovery. Remember:

“Achievement is not only about reaching the goal; it’s about setting the right goal to reach. We’ll know we’ve set the right one when we can’t wait to get there.”

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 4
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars

4.5 stars

 

 

Gary Szenderski

About Gary Szenderski:

Gary Szenderski is an author, speaker, teacher, and branding specialist internationally acclaimed as an expert on the subject. He specializes in helping people and organizations to navigate change and frequently speaks and writes on the topic of emerging brands, personal branding and companies in transition. Gary is an award-winning writer, author of the Book of Szen and SZEN ZONE. He’s an often quoted marketing expert and recipient of the Distinguished Instructor Award from the University of California at Irvine where he teaches branding. He resides in Southern California and welcomes your comments. Email him at gary@bookofszen.com.

To watch an interview with Gary Szenderski, please click the link below.

Make certain to connect with Gary through Twitter @GarySzenderski

Facebook: Books of Szen

Author blog: Szenzone.com

Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of silverthreading.com

Colleen 5.3.16

Interview | MG Author Chris Grabenstein

Middle Grade Author Chris Grabenstein was kind enough to answer a few questions for me (and here they are!)

Here there Be Dragons!

In the past few months I’ve discovered an author that’s been around awhile, but that I’ve only just discovered. Since then, I’ve read multiple books by this middle grade author and can honestly say that he is my new favorite author.

Chris Grabenstein is a funny, interesting, and intelligent author from Buffalo, New York. He co-writes the I FUNNY, HOUSE OF ROBOTS, TREASURE HUNTERS, and JACKY HA-HA books with James Patterson, as well as writing many of his own, fabulous, works. My current favorite is a three way tie between Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics, and Dr. Libris Library. You can find Mr. Grabenstein at Goodreads and at chrisgrabenstein.com.

I caught up with Chris this past week and he very kindly answered a few questions for me to pass along to you. So, without further ado, here is Author Chris Grabensteins Interview.

1) I stalked your…

View original post 893 more words

The Chip Maker: The Prophecy of the Beast #BookReview

  • Title:  The Chip Maker: Prophecy of the Beast
  • Author: Bridget Collins
  • Print Length: 176
  • Publisher: Origins Publishing Company
  • Publication Date: May 8, 2016
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979093244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979093241
  • Formats:  Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Christian Fiction

Most of us already know by reading the Bible that the antichrist will show his face and essentially rule the entire world. As chaos ensues, people will be looking for someone to lead them. Unfortunately, a great many will be looking in the wrong place. The Chip Maker: Prophecy of the Beast is about a man by the name of Jim Natas. His goal in the story is to insist upon the people of the world to have a small chip be inserted into their body, or they will face severe consequences. This chip will tell everything about everybody from their bank accounts to their social security numbers, to the food they eat.

The Chip Maker reminds me a lot of the Left Behind saga. We start into the story with various Christians vanishing, as told in the Bible. Then, starting in the second chapter, we jump a few months back to the beginning, where Natas is introducing the chip to the public. Throughout all of the chip talk, we hear of behind the scenes where planes crashes, car crashes, etc.

The dialogue can be a bit tedious and long at times, but it tends to give important information as to what’s going on. At times, the conversations between certain characters appear unbelievable. In the narrative, there was a bit of telling, rather than showing. However, at the same time, it explained in explicit detail what we needed to know.

Jim Natas’ entire demeanor was built quite well. It’s easy to see why so many of the other characters were eager to follow him, but as a reader, knowing the kind of man he is, we dislike. Most of the other characters appeared one dimensional or “out there.” One thing that bugged me the most was a man who decided to go by his given name rather than his rapper name. The narrative continued to call him the stage name whilst the character is upset when everyone does the same.

It is a short book, slow, but steady, and somewhat of an entertaining read, considering everything that’s going on in real life today. Bridgette Collins wrote a message in the pages of her story, telling us the time is coming, and we need to start paying more attention to what’s God-like and what’s Satan-like.

Readers who enjoy the Left Behind series would stand to enjoy The Chip Maker.

Overall rating: 3 of 5 stars

Connect with Bridgette Lachelle Collins at thechipmaker.com.

#Author. Should you think about translating your book? 2. Lost in Translation. Adventures when translating your book for China

Hi all:

You might remember that last week I wrote a post asking the above question and listed a few reasons why authors might consider translating their books. (In case you missed it, here it is. As I translate from English to Spanish and vice versa I had prepared a talk about the subject and it occurred to me that I could sample some points of it here). I found the discussion that followed the post interesting, and Teagan Geneviene (I recommend her blog if you love great stories and recipes, check it here) reminded me of a story I had told her about some of my experiences when using Fiberead to get my book translated for the Chinese market.  And I thought you might find it interesting. I surely did.

It brought to mind how I had started originally the presentation about translations…

Here it is:

What does the word ‘translation’ bring to your mind?

In my case, it always makes me think of a scene in Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation. Bill Murray plays an actor filming a spirits’ advert in Japan (I think it was brandy) and the director is giving him instructions. As he doesn’t understand Japanese, there is an interpreter. The director talks for several minutes, gesticulating, quite intensely. He eventually stops talking and the interpreter just tells him that he wants him to say the lines looking at the camera. ‘Is that all he said?’ Yes, we’re never quite sure. (By the way, you can watch the scene that goes on, here:

Of course, that’s interpreting (rendering live and orally a conversation, conference, speech…) whilst translation implies a written piece of work, but there are connections.

It also makes me think of the risks of mistranslating texts. In the case of the Bible mistranslating a Hebrew word and instead of rendering it as ‘beam of light’ it ended up becoming ‘horn’ and we have poor Moses depicted with horns (and not only in Michelangelo’s famous sculpture, that judging by the small size of the horns, makes me think that he wasn’t that convinced about the translation). Oh yes, if you’ve used Google Translate (that seems to be improving, to be fair) you know all about that.

And now, I wanted to tell you a bit about my experiences with Fiberead, that is a website that offers you to get your books translated for the Chinese market. If they are interested, you give them the rights to the translation for a number of years, and you spilt the earning with them and with the translating. Yes, team…

What happens is that a team leader or manager decides that your book is worth translating, and then they set about getting a team of translators to translate the book. I’m not sure how the division of work is made, but I know you get notifications when evidently translators provide a sample translation and the team leader decides if it’s good enough. Once they think they have a big enough team, they start the process. The beauty of it is that they contact you with questions if they have them. In general in my case it’s been mostly the team managers but sometimes also other members of the team.

I realised when they started to ask me about my YA novella Twin Evils?, asking me if Lucifer and Satan were the same, and asking for the meaning of references to angels playing harps or being dressed in white, that of course, although the novella is not religious, such content would not be understood in a mostly non-Christian country. And although I tried to send them links to images of angels playing the harp, I am also aware that some links to websites might not work there. We might assume that certain things are common knowledge, but the world is huge and people’ s beliefs and lifestyles very different to ours.

Some of the other questions showed extreme literalness. It might be to do with the language, but when I tried to explain that I prefered to allow the readers to make up their minds as to why characters might say or do certain things (whatever I thought the reason was) they wanted a full explanation. I suspect ambiguity is not a well-received quality.

I had some interesting and curious exchanges too, like a policeman who told me he was translating one of my thrillers (so far, although not published yet as they’re still in production, they are working on both of my Escaping Psychiatry stories and have also translated Family, Lust and Cameras, so they seem intrigued by my thrillers) and really enjoying it, and I had the manager for the translation of one of my books asking me for help understanding a couple of pages she was trying to translate for a different project.

Ah, and to give them their due, they caught a mistake that neither I, nor quite a few readers and editors of both my Spanish and my English book had seen, so, kudos to them.

Here I leave you the cover of the other one of my books available so far (and that although it hasn’t been out very long, it seems to be doing much better than Twin Evils? and for sure much better in the Chinese version than in Spanish and English).

Family, Lust and Cameras by Olga Núñez Miret version for the Chinese market
Family, Lust and Cameras by Olga Núñez Miret version for the Chinese market

Thanks very much for reading, and if you’ve found it interesting, please, like, share, comment, and CLICK!

Olga Núñez Miret

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

 

Help an Indie Author out.

We have several authors that work here on LWI. We’re all Indie Authors and you know what that means. Out of our own pockets for everything.

First time Author,  Angela Kay is trying to raise funds for her novel The Murder of Manny Grimes. But she’s doing something I’ve never seen before, although it’s probably been done. She’s giving away stuff at each level of donation.

Click the link to check it out and if you can’t donate at one of the levels, any amount helps. We all know that if everyone that saw this gave just a little then it would be done in no time.

You can see a mock up of her cover below.

Now back to editing her book.

Ronovan

https://www.gofundme.com/manny-grimes-novel

Manny Grimes Cover

Planning for the Holidays

Whether you have a new book coming out this year or are just concentrating on marketing your already published backlist, now is actually a great time to ponder your end of year sales campaign. I know that some authors keep at it all the time, but I find that three or four times a year is a good way to give your books a bit of publicity without irritating the daylights out of your followers. It’s also always a good idea to have a comfortable plan in place for the event all ready to go in plenty of time. Get as many goodies in your Christmas bag as you can.

First decide on a budget. It is very, very hard to sell books with a zero advertising budget, but even a little will help. When it comes to presents and bookmarks though, I’ve seen some fabulous homemade ones, so you don’t have to break the bank. Rafflecopters and events with prizes don’t always have to be about Amazon gift cards. You could have something a little more special to win – something related to one of your books or characters. And one thing’s for sure – fans absolutely adore getting something personal from a favourite writer. So – on your holiday campaign to-do list—

Pick your dates.

Allocate a budget if you can, and decide what you’re going to spend it on.

Choose one or a couple of paid book advertising newsletters and pay in advance if you can to avoid price increases. Get a list together of free sites too.

Open a new word document and copy and paste all the links you’re going to need – get your Global Amazon Links there so you don’t have to post separate links for each site, making it easy for readers to use one easy click to buy your book. Shorten your URLs in readiness for your Twitter shoutouts, and get your book covers or artwork all stashed in a file ready to go for the same thing.

Collect some fabulous short excerpts from your book and zoom over to Picmonkey to add them to images that are going to make people want to share.

Set up dates on your list to remind you to go to Amazon and create free days or countdowns for your books. Remember, that as well as your own advertising, Amazon always has a page for countdowns that a lot of readers regularly check.

Set up your swag early. Order or make bookmarks. Get your paperback giveaways ready for posting with personal notes all ready to go. An absolutely fabulous idea is to go to Zazzle and order mugs or just about any other thing on the planet with images of your book covers on them.

Best of all, boost that celebratory excitement by heading over to TSRA Book Trailers and getting yourself an awesome trailer made. These really are attention grabbers, and another wonderful way to find new readers. We all love retweeting cool trailers on Twitter.

I suggest that you do all this well before the actual celebration days begin. There are a lot of people buying books after getting Kindles for Christmas – that’s true, but you’re going to sell a lot of books when people are still in shopping mode too, so try and at least begin before the big bang and let your event zoom through till the end.

Once you have your plan in place you’ll probably find yourself so hugely inspired that you just might not be able to stop yourself from making sure that it’s going to be a brand new book that you’ll be throwing a party for. In that case, get to scribbling scribblers! You’ll find it a lot more fun having everything ready to go in December, rather than having a mad dash at the last minute.

Party

@FTThum #BookReview ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ by Anthony Doerr

This is a Christmas gift which took me three months to read (yep, been extremely busy) and another four months to review…

all the light

Title:          All the Light We Cannot See
Author:          Anthony Doerr
Publishers:     Scribner, Simon & Schuster (2014)
Format:          Hardback
Website:         www.anthonydoerr.com
Pages:             530
Genre:            Literary fiction; Thriller

What’s it about?

This is a story of morality – of doing and not doing, of being and non-being – and science set in Germany and France during WWII. It tells of how the two protagonists’ lives intersect in the lead up to the German occupation of France.

I was introduced to Werner a 7-year old German boy gifted in science who lived in an orphanage with his sister, Jutta. Marie-Laure was 6 years, blind and much loved by her father, a locksmith and the keeper of keys at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle. And there in the museum was hidden an accursed gem, which would be the thread running through both Werner and Marie-Laure’s lives.

From 7 to 18 years old where the story ends, Werner knew he had a calling, to repair and build radios. This brought him to the attention of the Nazis and subsequently sent to a school that produced elite cadre for the Third Reich. There, Werner’s friendship with his best friend Frederick was tested repeatedly as he experienced the conflict between his love for science and his love for his friend. Jutta’s voice rang as his conscience until he chose not to listen. Ultimately Werner’s fate was tied to the accursed gem, with which his commanding officer was obsessed.

During these years, Marie-Laure had a happy life deciphering puzzles her father built, and learning about her sightless world through the delightful miniatures her father had constructed. It was because of them that she managed to survive when she was brought to live with her great-uncle’s home in the town of Saint Malo, on the coast of Brittany after escaping Paris when her father was entrusted with the accursed gem. Her great-uncle, Etienne, a former soldier suffering from psychological distress, had been using his radio transmitter for the Resistance.

How do all these lives intersect? I suppose you can see the obvious connection, however there are many more. I will leave you to discover what they are.

For me, the only character that seems to be predominantly two dimensional is von Rumpel, Werner’s commanding officer. The  book’s approach to Nazism fell short of the realism that was conveyed throughout other parts of the book. The other secondary characters were fascinating and I almost wished they had their own words for their experiences.

Would I recommend it?

‘All the Light We Cannot See’ is thriller and literary fiction, rolled into one. A delightful book with detailed descriptions of the towns and well-presented characters – Marie-Laure more believable than Werner, nevertheless entirely absorbing.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 3.5/5
Made Me Think:                   3.5/5
Overall enjoyment:               4/5
Readability:                           4/5
Recommended:                     4/5
Overall Rating:                  4/5

Buy it at:

Amazon Kindle USD 11.30
  Hardback USD 16.39
Booktopia Paperback AUD 39.25
Bookdepository Paperback £8.87

 

~ FlorenceT

florence-2

@FTThum
MeaningsAndMusings

© 2016 LitWorldInterviews

Mysteries – Reader Survey!

If you haven’t answered the Survey Questions yet, we still need more responses. It doesn’t take long.

Here we are on LitWorldInterviews with our first of many Genre oriented surveys. The success of our previous survey “Why do people stop reading a book?” and the response in the comments prompted a more detailed evaluation of the topic.

Please reblog and share this with as many people as you can so we have a lot of responses to make the data we share as accurate as can be expected.

We need at least 100 responses or there’s no reason to post the results.

This month’s survey is the genre of Mystery.

Thank you to the following 19 bloggers for making our previous survey such a success by reblogging the survey:

James Glenora

Aurora Jean Alexander

Juliette King

Stevie Turner

Linda G. Hill

Vanderso

Wendy Anne Darling

Adele Marie Park

Woebegone but Hopeful

Lori Carlson

Colleen Chesebro

E.S. Tyree

Ravenhawks’ Magazine

Sally G. Cronin

Gipsika

Tricia Drammeh

Susan Gutterman

Kate MacClelland

Jo Robinson


by Ronovan Hester

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 © Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterview.com 2016

#Author, should you think about translating your book?

Hi all:

As some of you may know, apart from blogging here and in my own blog , I am a writer and I translate books from English to Spanish and from Spanish to English. A few months back and as part of a book fair I was asked to talk about translations and I prepared a few notes. Although the full speech is a bit lengthy for a single post, I thought that in preparation for further interviews with author translating their books (and by the way, any authors who’ve had their books translated to Spanish, I’d be more than happy to share them in my blog after the summer. Just get in touch)  I thought I’d share some of the thoughts I had on possible reasons to get one’s books translated.

Why would anybody want to have their books translated?

  • We all know how big a competition we face to try and sell books. Making it available to a wider audience is always a great idea. In the case of Spanish, it has 518 million speakers across the world, 427 as a native language. It is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations. It is also used as an official language by the European Union, the Organization of American States, and the Union of South American Nations, and by many other international organizations.
  • These new markets are also less crowded. Although the offer in Spanish is increasing, the number of e-books available in Spanish is much smaller than that in English. And of course there are retailers that will be more interested in Spanish books.
  • The same as is the case in English, there are blogs, Facebook pages, reviewers, reporters, critics, writers and readers looking for books in Spanish. I can say that with regards to other writers, I’ve found it easier to get in contact with writers who are best-selling authors, even across the whole of Amazon, in the Spanish language, than it is getting to know the big sellers in English. (Of course, some markets like Amazon Spain or Mexico are smaller, but still…)
  • One never knows when chance of pure luck might strike. I know a Spanish writer called Enrique Laso, whose books have been translated to many languages and who told me that although he has no idea why, his books translated to Greek have been great hits there. It’s impossible to know what might strike a chord with readers in a particular market.
  • I’ve read many posts by writers talking about how exciting it is to see your first book published and, in the case of paperback, have it in your hands. Well, I must confess seeing one of my books translated to Chinese made me feel equally excited. (Although you won’t be able to buy it in Amazon.Chn is also available in Amazon.com…) And I had to share it here.

    Twin Evils? Chinese cover. Of course it's also available in English and in Spanish as 'Gemela Maldad'
    Twin Evils? Chinese cover. Of course it’s also available in English and in Spanish as ‘Gemela Maldad’
  • I know of authors who are working on the idea of publishing their books in bilingual editions and indeed they might provide a good option for marketing as an aid to language learning.

Thanks to you all for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed the post, I might share some more bits of the full original, and please, share, like, comment and CLICK! 

Olga Núñez Miret

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

Making Dreams Come True

As most of you know, I’ve been working toward publishing my book. As I said in my last post, I’m starting with independent publishing. Here is a tidbit of my debut novel, The Murder of Manny Grimes:

The Murder of Manny Grimes CoverWhen three young boys stumble into Lieutenant Jim DeLong’s  life one night during a winter storm, they claim they’ve seen a dead body by the swing sets of the Columbia County Elementary School. After he investigates, DeLong sees no evidence, not even a body.

But were the boys telling the truth?

With the help of his oldest friend and mentor, former Naval investigator Russ Calhoun,  DeLong sets out to find whether Manny Grimes is alive or dead. The further away he gets to the bottom of the mystery, the closer he comes to realize that his own marriage is falling apart.

Delving deeper into the murder of Manny Grimes, Lieutenant DeLong begins to unravel, losing his sense of control, falling into old temptations he spent years to overcome.

Will he be able to move past his own demons and untangle the web of lies before it’s too late?

I’m excited to be talking to a publisher already. However, I’m trying to raise money to offset the costs of publishing my book. As of right now, it’s a major risk for me because I’m unemployed and haven’t been able to find a job. At the same time, I want to start shooting for my dreams. During this difficult jobless time, the thought of my dream beginning to come true is what’s keeping me going.

You may not know me, but I would like to ask for your help in making this as easy and worry-free as possible. Any amount of a donation helps. Beginning at $25, you get a copy of my book (I know, I know…$25 is a lot, but it’s for a good cause!). I also have other giveaways, depending on how much you pledge. When you click the link below you will see all of them!

I have a goal, which includes some funds for marketing for my debut novel, but I hope to earn at least $2000 as soon as possible to get what needs to be done now. My publisher is a trusted indie publisher a personal friend has known for years and is involved in the Southeastern Writer’s Association.

Ronovan can vouch for my authenticity, for those of you who are unsure of giving to a complete stranger. You may contact me for more information (and if you’d like, ‘like’ my FB page, Angela Kay’s Books.) Thank you for your support!

Angela Kay

Click Here: The Murder of Manny Grimes Fundraiser

© Copyright-All rights reserved by Angela Kay 2016

The Dolan Girls by @SarahMallery1 #FREE!

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Starting today, 7/08/2016 through 7/12/2016 you can get

The Dolan Girls by S.R. Mallery

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“The Dolan Girls by S. R. Mallery has it all. Set in Nebraska during the 1800s, whorehouse madams, ladies of the night, a schoolmarm, a Pinkerton detective, a Shakespeare-quoting old coot, brutal outlaws, and a horse-wrangler fill out the cast of characters. Added to the mix are colorful descriptions of an 1856 land rush, Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show, Annie Oakley, bank/train robberies, small town local politics, and of course, romance. Two, in fact!”

“The Dolan girls will pull at your heart, …”-5 Stars

“A great and exciting read. I always like a good first line.”-5 Stars

“Do you like westerns? Romances? Then The Dolan Girls is your book.”-4 Stars

https://www.amazon.com/Dolan-Girls-S-R-Mallery-ebook/dp/B018Y063XA?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc

The Dolan Girls

Sarah Mallery

Publisher Shopping

With my first manuscript finished, it’s time for me to start shopping around for ways to get my novel published. Originally, I wanted to go the way of an agent. I thought it’d bImage result for shoppinge so cool to actually have an agent to want to represent me. I still think so. However, I’ve slowly realized, even before published authors told me, that the publishing world changed drastically from ten, or even five, years ago.

The worse part of it all is that it always depend first on who you know, then it depends on whether you’ve published anything already. It’s a disheartening process. I’ve thought many times that I need to figure out a new direction for my life. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the only problem with that is I’m 33 years old, and the only thing I feel I know to do is write. Maybe I have other talents that others see and I don’t. But the fact is, becoming a published author is my dream. I want it so bad, I can almost taste it.

Luckily, I’m not starting completely empty. Even I know that to succeed, it takes time. Stephen King or Nora Roberts had to work on getting names for themselves. Look at J.K. Rowling. She was rejected by agents countless of times until finally, one gave her first manuscript a chance. She didn’t give up, so why should I?

After nearly ten years (it really hasn’t been that long, but close enough to round up), I finally finished. I spent weeks trying to decide if I want to self-publish or find an agent. Whatever I did, I wanted to do it right. I decided that it’s hard to make money as a writer when you’re first starting out, so I’m not completely in It for the money. Although making money would be great! No, I just want the world I created to be published one way or another. I want people to read what I’ve done. I also want to learn how to become a better writer.

It’s a dog-eat-dog world in the publishing industry. It’s brutal. Agents get thousands of queries each week. New writers get rejection after rejection on their story for many reasons. Maybe the genre is difficult to break into (J.K. Rowling and her fantasy Harry Potter books) or your passion is in a genre where male readers prefer the book to be written by a male (again I will mention Rowling, hence the use of her sons’ initials). As a female mystery writer, I write in a very popular genre. People love a good mystery. The only thing I have against me is that I’m female. BUT I think that we’re moving into the time where people don’t care anymore whether you’re male or female.

Because I haven’t completely found my footing in the publishing industry, I decided that I should find an independent publisher. Right now, I feel it’d be less stress, quicker, and I’d be able to show published work for when (and if) I searched for an agent. I could publish myself and save a little, however, working with an independent publishing company helps save a lot of grunt work.

A writer recently told me that although several publishers wanted him, he chose to remain independent and that he sold about 50,000 of his books within a year.  After reading his debut novel, I can see why. I would love it if one day that’s me. It can be a grueling process, but one I’m eager to put myself through.

A girl from church recently published her book through an indie publisher, and I kept the company in the back of my mind since they appear trustworthy, and she has had success. However, it’s important (if you want a chance to succeed that is) to not settle. Image result for self publishSo I asked other writer friends if they could offer suggestions. I was given a few choices, and I’m thinking that I may have possibly found who I want to go with. I’ve felt comfortable speaking with him via email. It’ll cost me a pretty penny, but I already knew that. The girl from church raised her money, so I’m thinking I can try doing the same thing.

The whole experience is nerve-wracking, kind of scary, but at the same time, exciting. Sometimes the best things in life come when you work for it. I don’t think God brought me this far with my writing talents to let me just set my hard worked manuscript on my desk as a dust collector. I’m a believer in meeting God halfway. If you do the work, He’ll bless you in some way.

Now that the hard work is over with, it’s time to extend my knowledge and move forward…while working on my sequel, that is!

Wordbuilding – Keeping Track

I’m a big fan of sticking things on the wall behind my desk when I’m working on a plot for any of my books – convoluted or not. Sticky notes and project paper abound in my world. Real paper, right there in front of you, can be a whole lot more satisfying than having to dig around in a Word document. Worldbuilding is a lot of fun, whether you’re writing action, chicklit, or the wildest science-fiction fantasy, but if it’s not “believable” our stories are going to end up on the receiving end of some one star clangers. It’s a lot easier for mainstream fiction, but still, it’s always best not to head too far out there, and always essential to do your research, and take notes – don’t rely on memory. Most people know quite a lot. We all have various interests, some of them rather odd and unexpected, and there will always be some reader out there who will catch you out if you take just making stuff up to unacceptable heights. Thanks to Google though, you can find out seven almost reasonable ways to infiltrate most royal abodes before breakfast, as well as instructions on how to take apart, clean, and reassemble any sort of sniper’s weapon chop chop. So there’s no need for excessively wanton making of dodgy stuff up, and if you note all you need as you go along on your project page you’ll be amazed at how smoothly your writing goes.

When it comes to science-fiction, rules also apply. Generally it’s accepted that the only possible way to get anywhere faster than the speed of light is by using a good old warp drive, worm holes, or the power of the mind – some kind of mind at any rate. It has lately been discovered that a galaxy far, far away is actually zooming along faster than the speed of light – what with the universe expanding so speedily and all that lovely stuff, so anything probably is possible. Still, it’s a good idea when worldbuilding in these fantastical cases to keep proper notes as you go along with your creation of your creatures and the worlds they live in.

As well as keeping a proper list as you go of each character’s name and physical attributes, species and so on, when you’re working on a series especially, it’s a fabulous idea to buy yourself a nice big piece of project paper, stick it to your wall, and draw a map of your world on it. This way you’ll never have to dig back through pages and pages to find out forgotten particular details, like the name of a river or a species of tree. I did this with the first book in my sci-fi series, and then had to have a big sit down with pen and paper, go over the whole book very carefully, and take notes while writing the second and third books because I’d forgotten just about everything.

So you’ll mark in rivers, groves, names and attributes of trees if applicable, and areas of habitation for various alien species as you write them. You can also pencil in your heroes at the various points of their adventures. If you leave a nice broad strip to the right of your big world map blank, you can make important notes right there too, all to be got at simply by having a squiz at your wall. As well as being extremely helpful along the way, with a bit of tidying up, you could have a fabulous map to put into your actual book to delight your readers. Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonrider series had maps of Pern in them with the situations of all the Weyrs and other places of importance in them that were really great ways to bring the stories to more vivid life than her awesome storytelling already did.

Write everything down when you’re building your worlds – preferably somewhere instantly visible to you as a big picture, and you’re not likely to ever slip up enough to cause suspension of disbelief overload. Doodle pictures of your starships with notes on their modes of travel, drives and so on. Scribble in all the information that you need to know right there on your project paper map, whether it’s an actual map of your alien world, or a story map of your mainstream fiction book, and it will save you lots of possible future angst about little or large details.

Spaceship

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

 

#BOOK REVIEW BY @LRWLEE OF RITE OF REDEMPTION BY SARAH NEGOVETICH

RiteofRedemptionRite of Redemption is the third and final book in the Acceptance dystopian trilogy by Sarah Negovetich.

SUMMARY (from back): Rebecca escaped the PIT, found a family among the Freeman…and watched too many loved ones die. All she wants is the Cardinal to leave her in peace, but he’s made it clear that’s never going to happen.

When the Cardinal attacks other Freeman villages, she finally understands that no one is safe from his wrath. As the only one who’s stood up to the evil that is the Cardinal, it’s up to her to convince the others that they can’t hide forever. It’s time to fight.

The Machine predicted Rebecca would become the Cardinal’s enemy. It may have gotten that one right.

In the conclusion to the Acceptance series, enemies become allies and old friends emerge, but in the end, sacrifice may be the price of freedom.

WHAT I THOUGHT: I will be the first to say I am not a huge dystopian fan, but Negovetich’s writing hooked me in the first book and kept me buying the subsequent books in the series.

Plot – As with all dystopian books, the world as we know it has been reorganized after a cataclysmic event. The Cardinal is the epicenter of power in this society. In this book, Rebecca, the central heroine, is after taking him down. And of course, only she, as the face of the resistance, can do so. I thought the stakes were set high and Negovetich delivered on suspense, obstacles, and distrust among characters/entities. One thing that drives me crazy with some authors is that they set these elements up then make the resolution way too easy. This was not the case in Rite of Redemption for the most part. I won’t give away the ending, but I would say all but the absolute end where Rebecca “just happens” to run into the guy and it resolves rather easily, gave me a great “ride”.

Characters – I loved Rebecca! I loved how she matured throughout the series based upon everything that happened to her. She becomes the one to save that world by default as a result of who she is and what she values rather than some artificial “nomination” by outsiders.

Her now-husband, Daniel, I didn’t appreciate so much in this book. I thought he bordered on the whiny, petulant side and while I suppose his behavior could have happened in real life, I didn’t care for the change in this guy who used to be so supportive of Rebecca.

Pacing – I liked how the story unfolded. I loved how the Cardinal’s move triggers the beginning of events that must play out. And the author created a logical progression of events, visiting various Freeman villages, etc. I particularly loved how Rebecca’s childhood best friend appears once more in the final installment to wrap up that connection.

Overall, I give this 4.5 stars!

_______________________________________________________

Final_395x391

Review by YA fantasy author L. R. W. Lee
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST I also invite you to download the free ebooks of the award winning Prequel and Book one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

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