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How to Deal With Negative Book Reviews?

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Negative-Book-Reviews

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It happens to EVERY writer and it hurts you to see someone talk like that about your baby, err novel…  At first, you just sit there, stunned. Unable to believe anyone would take such offense. Schock. Anger… Don’t panic. Negative book reviews, especially those that are potentially malicious, are near the top list of nightmare scenarios for every writer. You have been putting your heart and soul into pursuing your passion. So it is understandable when you would like to act first in the face of negativity and have regrets later. Please don’t!  Hold your tongue.

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It makes no difference if you won the Pulitzer Price, or if you teach English in high school classes, or how many books you have sold. Check it out, many negative reviews show up on Bestseller books pages online too! In most cases this reviewer would never tell you the same directly in person. But the anonymity of the internet makes for a different mindset.  Sometimes – or often – the review has nothing to do with the actual book:

  • The reviewer expected a different content
  • The reviewer regrets the purchase
  • The reviewer thinks there is too much violence or sex in the content
  • The reviewer could have a bad day
  • The reviewer could even be a competitor
  • The reviewer is jealous of your success
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How to Deal with Bad Reviews?
It is difficult to be thick-skinned when it comes to someone reading your work. Writers tend to be quite emotional people, that’s what makes them good at what they do, but it also means that they are likely to take a bad review to heart.  Before you plan a strategy for addressing criticism, you need to determine if the review is true. Investigate before taking action. The best way to deal with bad reviews is to ignore them.  If they really hurt, talk with your writer colleagues or friends about it. They can go to your books page and choose the “fair” reviews, and click on: Helpful. This way the helpful reviews climb up to the top and the negative review is not as visible anymore.  Many readers don’t even know how to write a review.  Try to get as many professional reviews as possible, such as Midwest Reviews, Armchair Reviews, ForeWord Reviews, Kirkus Reviews etc. They are trained and know how to write a fair review. Any review, good or bad, is better than no review. Readers who like the genre you write in will give you a better quality review, whether it’s a good review or a so-so review.

Never have any sort of contact with a reviewer. There’s no point in doing so. Everyone has an opinion, and all opinions are valid to the person who has them.
As Stephen King famously wrote: “You can’t please all of the readers all of the time; you can’t please even some of the readers all of the time, but you really ought to try to please at least some of the readers some of the time.”

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Funny, Negative Reviews

Bestseller author Rayne Hall blogged about negative, but funny reviews she received, some are really hilarious. Read her article, sampling some of the stupidities for her highly popular novel Storm Dancer (dark epic fantasy novel).  “This book is too long. I had to spend many hours reading it. I’m busy and have other things to do.”  “The character of Queen Matilda is not believable”. There’s no Queen Matilda in the book.

Digital Book World listed snippets from Bestseller reviews:

“It was one of the most boring and shallow books that I have ever read.” —review of the American classic The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Not nearly enough consistency and far to [sic] little plot.”—review of Harry Potter And the Half Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling

“If I were you, I’d peruse it briefly at your neighborhood library before putting hard-earned money out.” —review of children’s classic A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

“I find myself saying to myself as I read it ‘bla bla bla’ as that is what the author seems to be saying.” —review of National Book Award Winner Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen

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If the Review is Factually Incorrect:
If a statement made is untrue (not just an opinion you disagree with), you have the right to ask for the comment to be removed or retracted. You would have to provide conclusive supporting evidence which shows the comment is factually incorrect. If you can’t provide proof, the sad truth is you won’t get anywhere asking for removal.

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You’ve done your best; you can’t change the book, other than a misspelled word or comma in an e-book. Life is too short to worry about what anyone thinks of your work. You shouldn’t be reading your reviews at all. And here are the good news: Consumers are smart enough to sniff out and ignore one odd-ball negative review in a sea of positive ones. Hopefully you worked hard on getting lots of reviews, so that few bad ones diminish in a sea of brilliant reviews. Read a list of bestseller authors that got hundreds of 1-star reviews. And not only bestseller reviews. Almost all books have a huge variety of reviews, from 5-star to 1-star reviews.  Hope that helps. What Else Can You Do to Increase Your Books’ Success is described in this blog post.
What other advice do you have for handling negative book reviews? Let us know in the comments below.

More About How to Get Professional Reviews
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/prestigious-reviews-and-how-to-get-them/

Huffington Post Collection of Articles Regarding Bad Reviews
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/bad-book-reviews/.

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,100 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

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Posted by on August 13, 2014 in Book Reviews

 

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Prestigious Reviews and How to Get Them

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USA-Map

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Before you start reading these tips: Be aware that big media reviewers do not even accept 10% of the submissions they receive – and as an independent author you are competing with traditional publishers. However, if you don’t give it a try and query professionally, you will never know.  Book review editors are not the only ones who might accept your books for review, try columnists as well, especially if you write non-fiction. If your book is about an adventurous bike tour in Jamaica, you can send your review submission to both, the travel section editor of a major newspaper or to the sport editor of this publication.

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Always check carefully their submission rules!
Most review sites want hard copies of the book at least 3 months prior to publication. Even if you have planned to publish an e-book, get 30-50 copies printed at a digital printer, at CreateSpace or use any of the new Espresso-Publishing machines that you can find in major cities, but who also deliver via mail or UPS. Having print copies is not only important for reviewers, but also for your book launch or book signings and to sell them to people who prefer print instead of e-books. Other reviewers, especially top book bloggers take books also after their release and more and more accept e-books.
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Create an address database or any kind of list, where you type in the title, name, address, phone/email of the recipient, the date of submission, their guidelines. Never, ever sent your review query “to the editor” or “to whom it may concern…”  Verify that they review your genre of book before you submit. Follow their publication-date deadlines.

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When Should You Send Out Your Review Submission?
January / February for spring and July / August for fall, with less competition from major publishers. Don’t send out your query to arrive at the editors office on a Monday. Time it so, to be there at a Thursday or Friday.
Make sure that you include all your contact info: name, mailing address, website address, phone number, and email address. Use http://about.me to create an appealing info site about yourself and include it in your contact info. Important: Don’t forget the book’s  information: price, ISBN number, number of pages, and genre. Carefully pack your book in airfoil envelopes or boxes. You want them to look professional and brand new when they arrive at the editors office.
Add a media kit, including your biography, high-resolution and professional images, a book trailer link, a blurb, the synopsis of the book and contact information for you in an email.
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Some of the most reputable reviewers

Los Angeles Reviews
Armchair Reviews
ForeWord Reviews
Library Journal
Midwest Book Review
NY Times Reviews
Indie Reader
USA TODAY

Paid Reviews:
Kirkus
Publishers Weekly
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Say Thanks!
Send a thank-you note/email to anyone who reviews your book. They took a long time reading and reviewing your work, writing an article and get back to you,  so take five minutes and write them a thank-you letter!

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,050 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Has Your Book been on Air – At a Radio Show?

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Book-Radio
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The Book Report with Host Elaine Charles is a fun, fast-moving, fact-filled show in 10 major markets across the USA. Check their radio stations and show schedules:

A lively mix of author interviews, audio book previews and chats with those influential in the literary world, The Book Report has become appointment listening for bibliophiles and book clubs alike. It’s a great way to find out who’s hot in the book world and which titles critics and readers are buzzing about.

Like everyone of us, Elaine is a voracious reader, book club member in good standing and book lover from the days of Golden Books on. Elaine received her undergrad degree from Boston University and Master’s from George Washington University. She’s worked overseas, at the Library of Congress and most recently at The Miami Herald.

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STATIONS & SHOW SCHEDULES

Cocoa, FL
WMEL AM 1300
Saturdays 6pm
The Book Report: Listen Live at 1300wmel.com 
Gotta Read It Minutes: Every Weekday

New York, NY
WABC AM 770
Saturdays 6:30-7pm
The Book Report: Listen Live at wabcradio.com

Visit The Book Report channel at YouTube for archived “Gotta Read It Minutes”.
Or listen on iTunes
The Book Report On: iTunes  Listen to popular and emerging authors discuss their latest projects, new books, and the craft of writing. Featured authors in all genres appearing weekly at Book Talk RadioThe Book Report On: YouTube 

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If you have ideas on books you’d like previewed, author interviews you would like to hear, or any sort of feedback, please contact Elaine directly at: elaine@bookreportradio.com/

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Post it on Your Author Pages
Your book sales will certainly not sky-rocket after a radio show, but it will be on YouTube and iTunes archived, which is another possibility to subtle post and tweet about your book and your radio appearance.  After being interviewed by a local radio station: endorsements of traditional media, even if it’s simply mentioning your name, is marketing gold if you are trying to get a book into more readers hands. Don’t miss to let everyone know about it, post it on YouTube and all free video sharing sites and certainly on all your author pages at online retailers.

See also:

http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/how-to-let-publicity-work-for-you/

http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/30-video-sharing-sites-to-upload-your-book-trailer/

http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/01/27/7-errors-writers-make-when-dealing-with-the-media/

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars  Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/ to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,030 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Halloween Read: The Girl With The Scar

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Just in time: William Stadler’s new series THE GIRL WITH THE SCAR.  Book one is the perfect start into the Dark Connection Saga Series, and a great read on 263 pages. If you liked his first three books of the Pioneer Series:  EXTRACTED, INFUSED and REFINED, you will love THE GIRL WITH THE SCAR too.
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The-Girl-With-The-Scar

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“Burned by fate…inflamed with destiny.”
Genevieve Solace, a sheltered 15 year-old girl, lives with her wearied mother, Maria, and her cavalier brother, Edward. All her life she’s been plagued by inexplicable seizures that only seem to be getting worse, seizures so violent that she’s left unconscious for days at a time. 

The king’s Raiders have been hunting her for as long as she can remember. So, in search for safety, she and her family have found refuge in a modest cottage on the outskirts of Kalarn in a small village known as Green Planes.

News of the raids across the kingdom trickle down to Genevieve, however, telling stories of vicious murders where women are slain, children are orphaned, and entire towns have been leveled to ashes. Along with the slaughters, a mysterious apparition has been rumored to haunt the land with tales of dozens of men being massacred before they can even draw their swords.

Terrified of the reports, Genevieve is forced to believe that the king seeks for her due to the scar on the nape of her neck, a circular burn that has marked her for life – though how it came to be she doesn’t know, and her mother refuses to speak of it.

As autumn ends and the cold of winter sets in, Genevieve fears that the raids are growing near. She can only pray to the gods that the Raiders will never find her.
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THE GIRL WITH THE SCAR is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G6KPHHY
You can also Enter to Win THE GIRL WITH THE SCAR as a Goodreads Giveaway https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/70538-the-girl-with-the-scar
Giveaway dates: October 30 – December 01, 2013  - 10 copies available

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 159 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.international-ebooks.com/book-promo to advertise your new book, specials or KDP Select Free Days.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 900 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

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http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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We’re on to “those” people – Trolls

ebooksinternational:

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Book-Reviews

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You might have read last weeks blog: Got a 1-Star Review? What Can You Do?
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/got-a-1-star-review-what-can-you-do/
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“I heard this from many authors, and don’t even want to call them reviews – as these people totally ignore the rules how to write a book review – rather bashing authors and their work. Some people are hoarding free books, without checking them before, they don’t even read the “Look Inside” part on Amazon’s page and then, when it is not the right genre or a book in a series, or when it is too long or too short, they write harsh complaints, instead of writing a fair and professional review. Scathing and destructive reviews can be posted for reasons such as:

  • The review is from a competitor (friend)
  • The reviewer is envious to not be able to write her/himself
  • He/she is an all around miserable person

Carolynne Keenan has written a great blog post about these “review trolls” – and what Goodreads is now doing about it. Don’t miss to also read the author comments.
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Originally posted on One Story Slinger:

Remember in the “olden” days when products sold based on marketing, advertising and word-of-mouth? Well, those days have been long gone ever since the Internet. Now anyone can buy a product on Amazon.com or Sephora or a myriad of other consumer sites and post his or her review of the purchased product. As if other consumers are waiting with bated breath for their reviews.

Reviews have their place, of course. I’d much rather see what others thought of an expensive makeup item Sephora sells before doling out the dough, only to be disappointed. Sites like Steepster.com, in which testers log tasted tea, give participants a chance to review more than just one company’s product. And if you’re investing in a larger purchase – a computer, or a TV - reading reviews from fellow consumers can save you time, money and effort.

The problem is most reviews are on the honor system…

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Posted by on September 29, 2013 in All things Legal, Book Reviews

 

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Got a 1-Star Review? What Can You Do?

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Stars-Can't-Shine-Without-Darkness

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In a former blog you will find out that you are not alone.  I heard this from many authors, and don’t even want to call them reviews – as these people totally ignore the rules how to write a book review – rather bashing authors and their work. Some people are hoarding free books, without checking them before, they don’t even read the “Look Inside” part on Amazon’s page and then, when it is not the right genre or a book in a series, or when it is too long or too short, they write harsh complaints, instead of writing a fair and professional review. 
Scathing and destructive reviews can be posted for reasons such as:

  • The review is from a competitor (friend)
  • The reviewer is envious to not be able to write her/himself
  • He/she is an all around miserable person

Funny, negative reviews
Bestseller author Rayne Hall blogged about negative, but funny reviews she received, some are really hilarious. Read her article, sampling some of the stupidities for her highly popular novel Storm Dancer (dark epic fantasy novel).

“This book is too long. I had to spend many hours reading it. I’m busy and have other things to do.”  “The character of Queen Matilda is not believable”. There’s no Queen Matilda in the book.

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What you can do about it:
Let your readers decide if these negative reviews are “helpful”.  Amazon has this rarely used function: “Help other customers find the most helpful reviews” and “Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No.”  Rating the existing book #reviews as “helpful” or “unhelpful” makes a significant impact! Voting for the most helpful reviews, your friends have the power to move them to the head of the line…

There is also another way to boost your book, in order to get more readers and reviews, which we explained in a former blog: ”HIGHLIGHTS” in your book: A great tool in Amazon’s algorithm list for book popularity.
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Thanks to TaylorFulks ‏@TaylorTfulks20 who posted an article by  we learned too that many authors on Goodreads complaint about these review trolls – and have been heard by Goodreads and hopefully soon Amazon. Goodreads published a note about review guidelines and their full policy regarding reviews.

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Are Book Reviews really THAT important?
In a poll 70% of book purchasers admitted to buy books after checking the reviews. Surprisingly many did not pay too much attention to 5-star or 1-star reviews, rather more about the number of reviews and the average rating. 5- star could be a good friend and 1-star someone from the competition, right? So what I am doing is to check the “history” of the reviewer. How many books does he review. Just click on the reviewers name and go to their Amazon site to find out more.

In “How to Get Book Reviews – Lots of them”  we explained the importance of social networks in gaining followers, friends and eventually reviewers for your books especially if you are creative.

Through social networks such as Twitter, Goodreads Google+ or Facebook, you can find those readers/reviewers. BTW: one of the advantages for our clients, who book the online seminar or promotion campaigns is that they receive regularly contact addresses to reviewers.

If you visit book blogger sites, check the sidebar, links or blogroll on each site you visit, as they may have links to other reviewer’s blogs. You may check their ranking on Alexa which indicates their traffic – the lower the Alexa number, the better.

There are organizations you can access through the internet which conduct book reviews, for sample:
http://thebestreviews.com
http://www.bookwire.com/bookwire/bookwire.html

Don’t forget book networking sites such as Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, Wattpad etc. Especially the many communities on these sites, often sorted by book genre. This way you can meet and be known by book reviewers, before you even pitch your book to them.

Ask local newspapers and publications to review your book. While it is difficult to get a book review by a major publication or newspaper, your local newspaper might be interested in local authors.

Get more tips here:

http://venturegalleries.com/blog/have-you-ever-received-any-negative-reviews-that-were-really-funny-most-authors-have/#sthash.F0yMmfCb.dpuf
http://onestoryslinger.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/were-on-to-those-people-trolls/
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/6-things-to-avoid-when-pitching-to-book-reviewer/
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/million-dollar-question-how-to-get-book-reviews/

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 159 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-Book-PR.com/book-promo to advertise your new book, specials or KDP Select Free Days.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 880+ of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Posted by on September 26, 2013 in Book Reviews

 

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