Tag Archives: Goodreads

A Day in the Life…

So, I’m a day late with posting to the Scribes, but when I’m through, you’ll see why. PJ Sharon here, and I thought it might be fun to share the short list of to-do’s in the days before indie-publishing two projects at once–Christmas week.

Box set cover1) Complete third and final round of edits for SAMI’s CHRISTMAS WISH LIST, a holiday novella releasing on December 19th as part of The GIRLS of THOMPSON LAKE box set. (Done)

2) Format box set prior to sending off for professional formatting. (I don’t want any surprises!) The box set includes HEAVEN is for HEROES, ON THIN ICE, and PIECES of LOVE, which means I had to go through all three novels, combine them into one document, and assure that formatting was consistent throughout. Being that my brain is in edit mode, you can imagine I was catching things right and left that needed fixing. (Done)

3) Final round edits for HEALING WATERS, Book Three in the Chronicles of Lily Carmichael Trilogy. (Done!)

PJSharon_HealingWaters_8004) Prepare/format HW for final upload to Amazon by…um…tonight. (In order to offer pre-orders, the final product must be uploaded ten days prior to December 23rd release.) (In-progress) If you pre-order it now, you’ll have it on your Kindle on release day! 

5) Set up FREE run for WANING MOON, Book One in the trilogy. December 22-26th. (Includes listing book on as many FREE e-book sites as possible…there are probably hundreds these days. This takes hours and requires a personal assistant or an all-night spree in the next few days. (In-progress)

6) Ordered print proofs/advanced copies for Goodreads giveaway. They arrived today. Yay!!! So cool having the book in hand. If you want a chance to win a signed ARC, you still have a couple of days to enter. Giveaway ends December 15th. (Done) Mail signed ARCs to winners on December 16th.HW Arc pic

Oh, and did I mention, I’m participating in a group blog hop from December 12-31st? My Addictive Reads friends and I are chatting about a “Few of our Favorite Things.” You can read mine here. We also want to show our appreciation to our readers by offering $50, $20, and $15 gift cards, and a grand prize of a Kindle Fire HD Tablet that we’ve front loaded with a bunch of our books, including PIECES of LOVE. Estimated value $239! Check out the EVENT page, fill in the rafflecopter, and visit each author’s site to find more goodies.AR-2014-Giveaway

Once I’m done uploading HEALING WATERS tonight, I’m determined to take tomorrow off to breathe and hang out with my CTRWA writer pals at our annual Margarita Awards Holiday Party. This year’s bash includes a luau and a pool party. I can see some margaritas in my near future! Maybe even of the “awards” variety.

The one part my multi-project launch I haven’t been able to manage (secondary to limitations in time, budget, and brain cells) is preparing a release party or setting up any major advertising. Since past efforts (FB parties, paid ads, and social media blitzes through blog tours and such), have all shown minimal success, this time, I’m focusing on getting the books out. Now that I have the third book in the trilogy completed and I have the box set to work with, I’ll take a bit of time off from new fiction projects and focus my first quarter efforts on promoting.

2015 promises to be an exciting year. I have a non-fiction project in the works and plan to teach some workshops at conferences. I’ve already been invited to appear at the New England RWA chapter’s April conference. I’ll be presenting a workshop on Self-Care and Ergonomics for writers entitled…”Is your writing killing you?”

Yes…I am an expert, LOL.

Miraculously, I seem to be able to juggle all of this and plan a little time with family and friends, despite my slight grumpiness and fatigue. If you’re wondering if there are two of me, there aren’t. But it is on my Christmas wish list.

Best to you all through the holidays! Wish me luck.




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 CentralAlthough 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.

GoodreadsYour 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!!