Tag Archives: Goodreads

The Bad Review

Goodreads, more than Amazon or Barnes and Noble seems to be the go to place for reviews. I’m not really sure why that it. Is it easier to post? Maybe. But it seems to me that Goodreads reviewers are a little more free with their opinions than others are.

I DON’T read my reviews. I did. When the first few started to roll in I did. Of course! What newly published writer doesn’t want the world to know what they have to say about their baby? But I have stopped reading them. Even the glowing ones, unless somebody sends them directly to me. Why? Because something about them even the good ones always bugs me, crawls under my skin until I can’t think of anything else but what that person has said.

It’s the reader’s right to criticize a book. America is the land of free speech. People have lost their lives to give us that right, but sometimes it seems that people are being too free with their words and not enough with their thoughts.

I was on Goodreads about to rate a book by an author I have met and read and liked, but when I scrolled through the reviews I spotted a one star rating. And the first line of the review said, “I F&^king hated this book.” I read on in horror as this person tore the book to shreds. It was ruthless and just plain mean. I can understand not liking a book. I can understand being frustrated with an author, but being so ruthless is not cool. When I looked at the other reviews by this person I noticed a theme. It was like she took joy in ripping people apart. It was like she couldn’t find a single positive thing to say about anybody.

It made me feel sad for her. That her life was so devoid of joy the only way she could find happiness was gleefully ripping somebody else’s work to shreds. Most of you here are writers so you know how hard it is to write a book. How much work and blood and pain goes into the process. Knowing that I would NEVER rip an author like that, even if I didn’t like their book.

It seems to me that those type of reviewers forget that authors are real people, with real feelings, who work very hard at what they do. It just doesn’t sit right with me. If you can’t leave a thoughtful, concise review without swearing and tearing the author to shreds then just don’t leave one.

What do you all think about this? Is okay to rip some one apart?

Updating Your Web Presence

As you read today’s post, I’m probably on a flight to Atlanta to attend the National RWA Conference this week. I know, I know…we’ve all been buzzing about it for the past several days, but the event is a big deal for writers. And this year should be especially fun since most of our Scribes will be in attendance.

Katy Lee, Vivienne Lynge, and Suzanna Hardy
Katy Lee, Vivienne Lynge, and Suzanna Hardy

PJ here, 30,000 feet up, and there’s something else I think is kind of a big deal.

Have you ever checked out an author’s website and found it terribly out of date? Most of us try to stay current, but with all of the responsibilities of today’s writers, keeping track of what needs updating can be pretty overwhelming. So I thought I would give you a list of sites that I go to periodically to make sure I do my updates, particularly after a new release or a big event (like a conference or a contest award). The links I’ve included below will take you to the site’s information page that will explain what you as an author can do to sell and promote yourself and your books on these venues (except for the ABOUT page, which is mine). If you keep the list handy, it’s really not so bad doing the occasional update. If you have to remember them all, it can be a bit of a nightmare, so definitely create a list of your own with links to your author pages or places you’ve posted a bio.

Website and Blogs-This is an obvious one.  Websites should be updated at least monthly. If you keep a calendar of events, make sure you have correct links and dates posted. And don’t forget to update your ABOUT page. You are constantly evolving as a writer and author, so be sure to share those changes with your readers.

Amazon Author Central-Although the benefits of even having an Author Central page are questionable, most of us who have books there are encouraged to create a page. It’s a place where you can list your books, book trailers, upcoming events, and connect your readers to your recent blogs and social media communications. If someone is checking out one of your books, they might want to know more about you. You can also use this as a landing page for your readers to direct them to all of your books available on Amazon, rather than the individual buy link pages.

Goodreads-Your Goodreads page is an important place for readers to connect with you. Here, you can do book giveaways, get onto listopias, and see your reviews. I’m still learning about Goodreads, but so far, I can see huge benefits in keeping current there so that readers can find and share your books with others. You can also join groups, be exposed to book clubs, and again, have your blogs, tweets, and other social media connections available all in one place.

BN (now NOOK Press) and Smashwords Author Pages-Don’t forget to update any other places you distribute your books. In addition to BN and Smashwords, you may want to create author pages for Kobo, Apple i-Tunes, Draft2Digital, or All Romance E-books (ARe). These are all sites where you can upload your self-pubbed titles and sell books! But just realize that for each distribution channel you choose, you’ll have more to manage. If you have a good system, it’s not so bad.

Pinterest, twitter, and FB profile pages-The main thing here is to change up your bio once in a while. Use the cover of your current or upcoming release as your profile picture, and if you have a “READ MY BOOKS” link on your FB page (check out “author app” for FB), make sure your books, descriptions, and prices are updated.

I realize this is a lot of housekeeping and busy work, and might be best left to a teenager in your house to do for a nominal fee, but it’s important to stay current so that readers can find you wherever you may be. Speaking of keeping you all updated, don’t forget to follow our tweets at RWA National by using hashtag #RWA13 or #RWA2013. You can connect with me on twitter @pjsharon or “like” me on Facebook at PJ Sharon Books for pictures and posts about what craziness is happening at the conference.

Have I missed any locations that you routinely find yourself updating? Any questions comments, or hair-pulling and screaming…now’s your chance!

Must Buy Authors by Vivienne Ylang

Happy Saturday Scriblings!  Vivienne Ylang here.  Do you have must-buy authors?  You know, those handful of authors whose books you love so much that whenever a new one comes out you are compelled to buy it immediately (if not pre-order!) and devour it right away?  I know I do. 

Here’s what happened to me this week.  Tuesday morning, I was checking my emails from bed before I got up – aren’t smartphone’s great?  Goodreads kindly informed me that a book I had flagged as To Be Read was available to purchase that morning.  This was bad news for me. 

roses in moonlightSomehow, I had misread Lynn Kurland’s website and mistakenly had the idea in my head that she didn’t have a new romance coming out until September this year.  I knew that was unusual, but figured the vagaries of publishing had pushed her out from her regular spring offering. 

For me, Lynn Kurland is a “must buy and devour” author. 

This was a problem this week because I had an insanely busy week last week.  The kind of insanely busy week that takes two weeks of normalcy to recover from.  Which meant that I didn’t have a day to avoid all other responsibilities and read a book, cover to cover.  And that’s how I read a Lynn Kurland book – start to finish.  I might put it down to use toilet paper, but that’s about it. 

So being informed that an unexpected treat was waiting for me at the break of dawn on Tuesday was a problem.  I made it all the way to Wednesday without buying the book.  And I didn’t finish reading it until Thursday evening.  Honestly, that’s something.  I mean, it shows actual dedication to kids and job.

Roses in Moonlight was a delight.  Wonderful characters as always: a heroine I’d like to be friends with and a hero worthy of a few hours of mental disloyalty to my beloved husband.  It was well worth the $7.99 I spent on it at B&N.  If you haven’t read a Kurland, do yourself a favor and give her a try. 

Today, I want to know your secret.  Do you have must-buy authors?  Who are are they, why do you like them and do you ever have trouble putting real life aside to fall into a good story?

Grab A Hold and Don’t Let Go!

Welcome to another Friday. Casey here. Today I’m switching gears. I’m not going to talk about writing but reading instead.

After I finish a manuscript and send it on its merry way, I go on a reading binge. After finishing Mystic Storm, I’ve become a story glutton. If you’re my friend on Goodreads, it looks like I’ve gone crazy.

And I guess I have! I won’t bore you with all the books I’ve recently completed but I will share a few that really grabbed a hold of me and wouldn’t let me go until I hit the end.

1. The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen – this book was a Kindle daily deal. I tried a sample and within about 8 seconds I was buying it. I am not sure what age group this is really aimed for (Scholastic published it) but it has that same wide audience appeal that Harry Potter had. This book is fabulous and it’s awesome that the sequel is coming out today (March 1st). Yahoo! Seriously if you read any book on my list, read this one.

2. One Good Earl Deserves A Lover by Sarah MacLean – Here I forayed into the realm of historical romance. Omigosh, I love this author’s writing. Immediately after finishing this book I realized that this was book 2 so I bought (and read) – A Rogue by Any Other Name. Both books – Fun and fantastico! I plan on reading more of her books for sure.

Let me break here and say, notice none so far have been paranormal romance or urban fantasy. But I can’t stray too far from the genre I know and love which brings me to  . . .

3. The Woodcutter by Kate Danley. Also purchased as a Kindle daily deal. Thank you Amazon because I may have never found this book. It’s really a fairy tale of sorts. Gritty, lyrical, and poignant. If you like Once Upon a Time or fairy tales in general, you’ll probably enjoy this book.

Okay, last one.

4. Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey - by the Countess Carnovan. This one’s for you Downtown fans. All about Highclere Castle and Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnovan. For King Tut aficionados - her husband, the fifth earl, is the very same Carnovan who financed Howard Carter’s excavation of the boy king’s tomb. I read this on my Kindle and drank up every fascinating detail.

I could go on and on. But I won’t! Now it’s your turn.

So everyone, what good books have you read lately? Please share!!

Eyes Wide Open

Happy Friday everyone! Casey here.

mysticink_72dpiLast week on my website, I announced the start of my very first Goodreads Giveaway to celebrate Mystic Ink, now in paperback. I was inspired, in part, by Katy Lee’s giveaway back in December. And because, I realized that while the book has been in paperback since late November, no one knew about it!!

It’s still not too late to enter, the giveaway runs until January 31 (open to US residents only, see Goodreads for all contest rules & details).

It’s interesting to me that Goodreads only allows paper books in their giveaways. I’m not sure if that is because of the inherent concern about DRM issues (digital rights management). All I know is that the reader’s world today is vastly different from the one I grew up in.

As a kid, I got my books from two places: the library and the bookstore. That’s it. The format was paperback or occasionally hardcover depending on the type of book. If someone had told me that, in my lifetime, music, movies, and books would be condensed into a digital format accessible on a single device, I would have said, “Awesome. Sign me up!”

Maybe I would have shown a smidgen of disbelief, but not too much. Hey, my reading (and movie/TV watching) of choice has always been science fiction and fantasy. I was one of the kids who watched Star Trek re-runs every day after school and geeked out over Star Wars.

But, because I’m a sci-fi fan, I also know to ask this question: “What is the evil dark side to having everything digital?”

C’mon. We all know there has to be some tarnish on the silver lined cloud of convenience and easy access. As Rumpelstiltskin always says on Once Upon a Time, “Remember,dearie. There’s always a price!”

Here is what concerns me the most. Eventually, maybe not in my lifetime, if all physical copies of books, music and movies become obsolete, who really controls ownership of that content?

Already, courts are working to decide if customers who buy e-books are only leasing them or do they own them? With a physical book, you can give it away, sell it or keep it forever and pass it to your heirs.

Right now, if you buy a book from Amazon or B&N (or whoever), you are only licensing that content. It doesn’t really belong to you, the reader. And someday, if you don’t even have a physical copy of your digital content, that means you have to go through a gatekeeper to buy it, store it, and use it.

A gatekeeper could be a benevolent corporation or maybe a controlling, not so nice, company (or gack – the government!). Today, cloud storage is free, but will it be tomorrow?

Whoa! This all sounds so Orwellian, doesn’t it?

Now with all that said, I do own e-readers (Nook, Kindle), Kindle Fire,and an iPod Touch, in addition to hundreds of physical copies of books, CDs, DVDs/Blue Ray, etc. IMG_1440And, since I’m a writer, I like knowing that my books ultimately belong to me (and I have the control).

I am not advocating that digital content is bad. I love it. If it weren’t for the computer age, I wouldn’t have spent the last 23 years working from home and watching my sons grow to (almost) young men. And my books would probably still be languishing in some slush pile if it weren’t for small presses.

All I ask, dear Scribesters, is keep your eyes wide open and consider the future possibilities.

Hopefully, I haven’t scared you all away. Anyone else see the evil dark side? Or, conversely, the positives of digital content?

The Selkie – Rosanna Leo

Happy Friday everyone. Casey here with a special guest. One day while I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed, I encountered this awesome cover.

That’s all it took for me to stop what I was doing and proceed to Amazon to check this book out. Two seconds into reading the first page, I was clicking the buy button. Shortly thereafter I read the entire book and loved it. This is a great story and a must read for paranormal fans or anyone who enjoys thrilling romances with mythical twists!

Rosanna and I connected through Goodreads where I immediately asked her to do a guest post for the Scribes. As you can tell from her words below, we have something in common – our love for mythological characters and paranormal romance.

Read on and don’t miss the excerpt!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks so much, Casey, for having me here today! What a thrill!

In deciding what to talk about today, I just knew it had to be mythology because Casey and I are both such mythology buffs. I have been since I’ve been able to read. Even as a small child, I gravitated to tales of vengeful gods, fantastic monsters and ancient curses. What’s not to love? Especially since most of those gods are rather dishy, in my opinion!

Of course, any myth lover will know the stories of ancient Greece and its pantheon of sexy gods. These were the tales that first inspired me to put pen to paper. My first 2 paranormal romances For the Love of a God and Sweet Hell are reinterpretations of the gods of love and wine, respectively.

However, I don’t draw the line at the Greeks. I love the mythology of ancient Britain too. My new release The Selkie draws upon one of these myths. They say in parts of Scotland that if a mortal woman is unsatisfied with her love life, she need only cry seven tears into the sea to call an immortal selkie man. He will love her as no mortal man can. Selkies are seal shape shifters who have the ability to shed their seal skins and walk as humans for great lengths of time on land. They are love genies, in a sense. If you manage to find and hide a selkie skin, that selkie is obliged to be your love slave! Not a bad deal, huh? This is the myth that forms the basis of my novel The Selkie. I hope you will get a chance to take a peek at it and explore this evocative mythology for yourself.

Blurb:

This was supposed to be her year. However, after losing her job and discovering her fiancé cheating, Maggie Collins has her doubts. When her grandmother dies, she hits rock bottom. Maggie travels to her grandmother’s home in Orkney, Scotland to sort through her gran’s things, only to discover the old woman has left her a seal pelt as her inheritance. She also learns that others are after the pelt.

To add to her frustration, Maggie’s dreams are filled with luscious images of a long-haired man, images that draw her to the magical beaches in Orkney. Although she’s lost her trust in men, this dream man inspires her with a lust she’s never known before.

Calan Kirk has also been dreaming. Dreaming of Maggie, the mortal woman who arouses him as no other woman ever has. Meeting her in the flesh when she arrives in Orkney is nothing short of spontaneous sexual combustion. But she is a human, and not to be trusted. He needs the seal pelt, not a red-haired temptress.

As a thief ransacks Maggie’s grandmother’s house, Maggie and Calan are thrust together. They must search for the animal skin, a mythical relic which once found, will either bring them together or rip them apart forever.

Excerpt: The Selkie

She continued to meander down the beach, taking the odd swig from a flask of brandy she’d pilfered from Nora’s stocked liquor cabinet. However, Maggie soon realized the real seal was following her. With each step she took, he glided through the water as if in step with her.

She nodded toward it. “You’re sweet, but I’m probably not the best playmate for you right now.”

She’d seen seals on the beach before with her gran. The locals were always pointing out spots where one could glimpse the sleek animals, or “selkies” as they called them. But this one seemed persistent. He seemed to stare back at her, with intensity. As a human would. As if he knew her.

As if he knew every inch of her skin, as well as its feel.

Maggie swallowed. Had she turned against men so definitively that she was turning to the animal kingdom?

And then she laughed at the ludicrous thought. She was grieving. For a lot of things. No wonder her brains felt just as scrambled as Liz’s breakfast eggs and just as dark as the black pudding she’d plopped on the plate next to them.

“Okay.” She relented, smiling at the seal. “Maybe some company might be nice.”

The animal bobbed in the water, as if in agreement. Maggie stared out at the beast, and was lost for a second in his brown eyes. She felt comforted, protected, by his vigilant presence.

For some reason, she felt she knew him, and that she was meant to be in this exact spot at this precise time. For a quick moment, she had the impression she was standing on the edge of a huge cliff, destined to tumble from its heights into the welcoming waves below.

For the first time in her life, Maggie experienced a peculiar sense of destiny.

Buy Links:

http://www.lsbooks.com/the-selkie-p698.php

http://www.amazon.com/The-Selkie-ebook/dp/B0095M6R7O/ref=la_B007X5P4I8_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347123491&sr=1-1

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-theselkie-930496-140.html

 About Rosanna:

Rosanna Leo is a multi-published author with Liquid Silver Books. She loves it when the geeky girl ends up with the hot guy and has made it her mission to see this happen as much as possible in her books. Her favorite things are her family, dusty libraries and Nutella. She is the author of For the Love of a God, Up In Flames, Sweet Hell, The Selkie and the upcoming Sunburn.

www.facebook.com/rleoauthor1

www.twitter.com/LeoRosanna

www.goodreads.com/author/show/5826852.Rosanna_Leo

Thanks for being our guest today Rosanna! Scribes fans if you have questions or comments for Rosanna -Fire away!

Also, what is your favorite tale from mythology?