RSS

Category Archives: Book Reviews

Prestigious Reviews and How to Get Them

.


USA-Map

.

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.

.
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.
.
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.

.
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.
.

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
.

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!

.

<><><><><>

.

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+

.

Hyper Smash

Pingate

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

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

.

Book-Radio
.

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.

.
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 

.
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/

.
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/

.

<><><><><>

.

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+

.

Hyper Smash

Pingate

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Halloween Read: The Girl With The Scar

.

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.
.

The-Girl-With-The-Scar

.
“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.
.

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

.

<><><><><>
.

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

http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK

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

.

.

Hyper Smash

Pingate

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

We’re on to “those” people – Trolls

ebooksinternational:

.

Book-Reviews

.

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/
.
“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.
.

<><><><><>

.

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…

View original 545 more words

 
3 Comments

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

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Got a 1-Star Review? What Can You Do?

.
Stars-Can't-Shine-Without-Darkness

.

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.

.

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.
.

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.

.

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/

.

<><><><><>

.

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+

.

.

Hyper Smash

Pingate

 
6 Comments

Posted by on September 26, 2013 in Book Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Need Book Reviews?! Part 2

.
In Part 1 of her article Guest Blogger Theresa Braun explained the possibilities to find reviewers and get book reviews.

Here are some tips when soliciting reviews.
Keep in mind that these wonderful people are taking the time to read and write up a review. Many of them are donating their precious time, and sometimes money, to you and your book. Look at their website and find out what genres they are willing to read. That is very important. Don’t waste your time or theirs. Then, include the information in your email that they request. It varies slightly.   I think you should always offer to gift them your book through Amazon. Some will be okay with a PDF-file or will want to buy your book, but let them insist on it.
.

.

An important thing is to be patient.
Each reviewer probably has a long list of books they are already reading and may not respond to your email right away—or ever. I’m still waiting for a few replies. When you do get a response, some will be honest with you and say that they will get to your book a few months out. So, again, patience is key.

I’ve been trying to thank all my reviewers personally.
If you can, that should be on your list of things to do. This seems to differ from traditional publishing where there is a distance between author and reviewer. I have noticed that in the land of author-publishing that it’s a more of a warm community filled with authors trying their best to be gracious. One thing to do to when possible, if you are on Twitter, is to tweet and re-tweet your reviews and the reviewer’s blog. Lastly, if you are better organized than I am, you should probably keep a list of places you have already asked for reviews. You don’t want to solicit someone twice.

In the end if you plant a bunch of seeds, eventually you should have a list of reviews on your book’s page.  Helpful sites to find book reviewers:

www.theindieview.com/indie-reviewers/

http://pippajay.blogspot.com/p/book-reviewers-list.html

http://mariefostino.weebly.com/

http://laurelosterkamp.blogspot.com/

http://lauriethoughts-reviews.blogspot.com/

http://lauries-interviews.blogspot.com/

http://conniesbrother.blogspot.com/

http://honestindiebookreviews.wordpress.com/

http://www.authorgeriahearnsbookreviews.blogspot.com/

http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/reviewsguidelines.html

http://www.nightowlreviews.com/nor/Pages/ReviewRequest.aspx

http://www.facebook.com/groups/reviewseekers/

http://www.authorgeriahearnsbookreviews.blogspot.com/

http://joeypinkney.com/

.
Theresa Braun has always been intrigued by authors and writing, which led her to an almost obsessive study of literature.  Spontaneous poems, story ideas, and observational rants were always scrawled in her notebooks.  She started a few novels; but it wasn’t until her Greek wedding that her passion and focus produced her first finished novel, Groom and Doom: A Greek Love Story, based on a true story and self-published on Amazon in 2012.  Now she’s squirreling time away to pen her second novel set in Renaissance England, the first in a series.

.

<><><><><>

.

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+

.

.

Hyper Smash

Pingate

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 25, 2013 in Book Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Need Book Reviews ???

Guest Blog by Author Theresa Braun

So, your book is posted on Amazon, but your page is a ghost town when it comes to reviews. How do you get people to read and review?

Derek Haines wrote an eye opening blog post called “How to Get Amazon Book Reviews.” He spells out many stark realities—like waiting for paying readers to post reviews can literally take years.

Groom and Doom Good things come to those who wait, but most of us want to get results a bit quicker. I mean, if it’s taken us a year or more to write the book in the first place, we want the word to get out there yesterday.

And, if you are like me, you want to get on with writing your next book instead of spending hours and days on end soliciting reviews.
.

.

Haines suggests that relying on friends or family members to write reviews is a great place to start. If you think that is “cheating,” Haines says that it is not much different than a publishing company paying employees to review it. Obviously that employee will put a positive spin on the book, since the publishing company wants to sell it.

The same thing your friends and family will want for you. If you can, get people you know to read and review. I know this might seem obvious, but I suggest not having them advertise that they are friends or relatives in their review.

You don’t want it to scream, “I’m reviewing this because I know the author.” I hope you have more luck with this than I have had. Not one of my friends or family members has reviewed my book yet. And, it’s not because they haven’t read the book. They just haven’t gotten around to it. That’s okay. They have lives and I’m grateful they at least took the time to read it. It just might not work for you either.
.

There are some pitfalls with exchanging reviews.
A writer friend of mine calls them “incestuous” reviews. He’s actually refused to review my book based on how strongly he feels about review trading. One of the biggest problems with trading reviews is that the other person may not be expecting a “real” review, but a flat out five star rating. And this person is reading your book! You don’t want them to give you two stars just out of spite. You can’t take down reviews from Amazon, so you are stuck with it posted on your book page.
.

Blogs as other avenues for reviews?
Haines says he finds book bloggers useful, but “a bit hit and miss and often too genre specific.” Most bloggers are willing to not only post a review of your book on their blog, but also will post it on Amazon and Goodreads. You really need to look at their sites and where they will post. Some will even do author interviews which can be tweeted or linked to your own blog or website.
.

Paying for reviews is another option.
They can range from $5 to $100, depending on what comes with the review. Joey Pinkney will read and review and make a trailer for you, for example. The World Literary Café discourages paying for reviews and I suppose there are pros and cons. The pro is that you get a review done and the con is that some readers might find out you paid for the review. Is this really worse than relying on friends and family to review? That’s up you to decide.
.

Read Part 2 in tomorrows blog… and get lots of useful links for reviewers.

Guest Blogger Theresa Braun always been intrigued by authors and writing, which led her to an almost obsessive study of literature. Spontaneous poems, story ideas, and observational rants were always scrawled in her notebooks.  She started a few novels; but it wasn’t until her Greek wedding that her passion and focus produced her first finished novel, Groom and Doom: A Greek Love Story, based on a true story and self-published on Amazon in 2012.  Now she’s squirreling time away to pen her second novel set in Renaissance England, the first in a series.
.

<><><><><>

.
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, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK

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

.

.

Hyper Smash

Pingate

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 24, 2013 in Book Reviews, Marketing, Writing

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Why You Need Beta Readers


Why You Need Beta Readers and Where to Find the Best
Guest post by Lauren Sapala
.
Beta-Reader
.

In the tech world “beta” means something that isn’t finished yet; a product that’s still in the testing stage. Authors have now commandeered this term for their own, using it to describe the first circle of readers to review the finished draft of a manuscript. So what’s the difference between giving your novel to a beta reader instead of your friends or family? Well, other than honest, objective feedback (which is one of the most valuable things any writer could ever ask for) the chances of success for your book go up enormously.

The ideal beta reader is usually another writer, and preferably someone who is interested and familiar with the genre in which you are writing. Getting feedback from another writer means you’re much more likely to receive concrete suggestions for improvement, along with comments on what is and is not working. Having a writer as your beta reader also gives you the chance to enter into an exchange. After they read for you, you can read for them. As you examine the weak spots in another’s manuscript with a detached eye, you learn how to logically approach the problems in your own.
.
Bringing on beta readers, in short, helps you become a better writer.
So where do you find them?

Your Own Writing Group
Most creative writing groups focus on critique, and due to time constraints, each member is usually only allowed to submit a few pages at a time for feedback. Beta readers, on the other hand, should be reading your entire finished manuscript.
Ask around within your current writing group to see if anyone else has finished their novel and if they would be interested in doing a beta reading exchange with you. Since it’s a trade, both of you will benefit. And since it can be done in off-hours, make it clear that it won’t interfere with the regular meetings of the group.

Google+
Social media doesn’t have to be all about self-promotion. Google+ offers a variety of excellent communities for writers looking to connect with like-minded individuals. The Writer’s Discussion Group has over 14,000 members, and if that sounds too overwhelming for you, smaller communities like Poets of G+, Aspiring Authors, and Writers, Authors, Bloggers are always open to new people too. You can browse around the different communities to find beta readers, or make a post of your own asking for volunteers.

MeetUp Groups and Workshops
If you live in a metropolitan area, Meetup.com offers a dynamic assortment of options for writers. You can find workshops and writing marathons, as well as gatherings dedicated solely to beta readers. This is a great avenue for those writers who prefer face-to-face interaction, and who are also open to meeting new writer friends. If you don’t see a beta reader meetup listed for you city, you might think about organizing your own.

Online Writing Forums
For writers looking for very specific feedback from knowledgeable readers (in the genre of hard science fiction, for example), online forums are an efficient way to find them. Because participants tend to cluster around particular topics of interest, writers can post their call for beta readers in the area most relevant to their style and content. Writers’ Café, the Next Big Writer, and WritingForums.org or Wattpad.com are just a few of the online resources available that can help writers connect.

After you have found your handful of promising beta readers, make sure both of you have the best experience possible. Be clear on your expectations. Tell your beta readers exactly what you are looking to gain from their feedback, and exactly how detailed you want them to be.

Remember, beta readers are not editors. Their function is not to correct your work, or make any actual changes. The goal of bringing on a beta reader is for you, as the writer, to get a view of your own work through a reader’s eyes.

And that, for every writer, is truly invaluable.
.

About the Author
Lauren Sapala is a writer, writing coach and blogger at www.laurensapala.com. She blogs about writing, creativity, and finding and holding onto one’s inspired passion in life. She currently lives in San Francisco, is working on her fifth novel, and in her free time facilitates the writing group she founded, “Write City”.

.
<><><><><>

.

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

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, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK

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

.

.

Hyper Smash

Pingate

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

1st Book in New Childrens Series: The Sockkids Meet Lincoln

.

FREE TODAY ON AMAZON !!!
New, … and The Sockkids received already 31!!! 5-Star reviews!
“I was intrigued with how a bit of important history was weaved in such a creative and unique fashion. I thought it was one of the most beautifully written, entertaining, and substantial children’s books I have had the pleasure of reading. This book shows history in a way that will plant the seed for learning and encourage kids to expand their minds with creativity.”
.

The-Sockkids-Meet-Lincoln

The SockKids – Solving The Mystery Of Your Missing Socks!
Where do our missing socks go?
Readers find out in our children’s series, “The Sockkids”. We follow the Socker family through many adventures; from encountering the slobbery mouth of the family dog to meeting Santa as he comes down the chimney on Christmas Eve to helping a fireman save a baby to the most shy Socker going to the school dance for the first time.  Thanks to the time-travel opportunities afforded by the spin cycle of the washer, they learn about some of the most important humans in the world.

.
Great Gift and Delightful Read for the Whole Family
What a lovely and encouraging present – at the same time teaching children about US history through this first book in a series.  Everyone loves the delightful illustrations by Sugar Snail Illustrations.
Children two and up and their parents will be drawn to the diversity of the family and the universal and timeless lessons they teach: don’t be afraid of new experiences; treat others as you would like to be treated, and of course, beware of the spin cycle!
The SockKids Meet Lincoln
Kindle edition by Michael John Sullivan, Susan Petrone, Sugar Snail. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The Sockkids Meet Lincoln.
.

Author-Michael-John-Sullivan

Author Michael John Sullivan

Michael John Sullivan is the creator of the SockKids. Constantly searching for his socks, he wondered whether the missing foot comforters had found another pair of feet to warm.
.

About the Authors
Before his interest in socks, Sullivan started writing his first novel while being homeless, riding a NYC subway train at night. After being rescued off the train, he spent much of the past tow decades raising two daughters while writing at home.
Sullivan returned to his subway notes in 2007, and began his first novel Necessary Heartbreak (Simon&Schuster, Gallery Books imprint). “Library Journal” named Necessary Heartbreak one of the years best book for 2010. His second novel, Everybody’s Daughter (Fiction Studio Books, 2012) was named one of the best books of 2012 by “TheExaminer.com”.  In his novella An Angel Comes Home, Michael Sullivan takes the reader on a time travel journey filled with danger, mystery and intrigue. At the same time this book engages the reader in a soul soothing story.

Sullivan has written articles about the plight of homelessness for CNN.com, The Washington Post, the Huffington Post, Beliefnet.com, and AmericaOnline’sPatch.com service.
.

Author-Susan-Petrone

Author Susan Petrone

When fiction writer Susan Petrone is not creating an arts or culture article for Cool Cleveland, she writes novels. Her first, A Body at Rest, was published in early 2009 by Drinian Press. An excerpt from the novel and some of her published short fiction are available at http://SusanPetrone.com.

Amazon.com
The SockKids Meet Lincoln eBook: Michael John Sullivan, Susan Petrone, Sugar Snail Illustrations.
.

<><><><><>

.

.

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/ Once you are on this website, click on Seminar to register.

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, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK

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

.

.

Hyper Smash

Pingate

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

How to Prepare Your Book for Reviews

.

Antique-Stamps

.

A great book review can sell hundreds of your books, but it can sell a lot more: an excerpt of the review can be posted on your book’s cover, on your website and even on your Press Releases and on the inside dust cover – when you received it before print – or after, for your future re-prints. Midwest Book Review, Kirkus Review, Library Journal or Booklistonline.com: their reviews all go to the libraries!
.

What is Involved in Preparing a Book Kit ?
A reviewer, who had already agreed to read it, that is.  You need a plan for both, pre-publication and after publication reviews to submit your book to reviewers in an organization, a library, a magazine or a newspaper company.
.
Do your homework and research
Find out which reviewers, journals, libraries, and companies require in order to mail in your manuscript BEFORE the book goes into print. Then, find the reviewers, journals, libraries and companies requiring that you mail in the book AFTER it’s published and read careful their directions. The address list below is for self-publishing authors only.  Assemble a kit which includes: a cover letter, testimonials, book excerpts, a marketing plan, Advanced Copy Review or book copies, but always according to the reviewers submitting-rules.
.

PRE – Publication Reviewers:

Horn Book Magazine
56 Roland Street, Suite 200
Boston, MA 02129
www.hbook.com

Kirkus Reviews
VNU US Literary Group
770 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
www.kirkusreviews.com

Publishers Weekly
360 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10011
www.publishersweekly.com

.
POST  Publication Reviewers:

Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575
www.midwestbookreview.com
.
Midwest Book Review for example, gives priority consideration to small publishers, academic presses and specialty publishers.  To submit a book for review they require:

    • Two finished copies of the book (no galleys or uncorrected proofs).
    • A cover letter
    • A publicity release or media kit

There are certainly many more reviewers, the above mentioned are only a small selection, however they are the ones, recognized by librarians and magazine editors.
.

You have done your homework and selected the reviewers you want to submit your ARC (Advance Review Copy) or finished book (Published).  What is your next step?

.
To prepare ARC’s:

At an office supply shop buy a package of Heavy Duty Report Covers.  These covers come with a front and back side, metal fasteners and holds up to a three inch capacity of paper (part of your manuscript). Make sure that the box indent shows on the front cover. Here you place your author’s information, the book’s title and your name.  This ARC represents you and your book. It’s the first thing that a respective reviewer will see!

Never send out an ARC without a proper cover letter, a letter tells the prospective reviewer who you are, the book’s title, and what you are sending to that particular reviewer. Print out at least three testimonial reviews from (from well-known writers or editors) who had already read the book; each testimonial should be on a separate page.

Include the first three chapters of the novel. Staple them together.  Include a picture of the cover done by a professional graphic artist. A professional looking cover always helps the author. In your cover letter offer additionally a jpeg and TIFF version.
.

It is not impossible to receive a book review from one of the above mentioned prestigious journals!
.

These same steps can apply to well-known libraries, private reviewers and newspaper reviews IF the author does his/her homework done and researched.  Write ahead of time to individual reviewers and make sure they want to review your book and if it is in their favored genre.  Find out if the review is FEE based.  Some reviewers, organizations and on-line groups charge to review. Make sure you understand the directions and follow them to the letter.
.

Always make sure you send them the material as specified in their directions. ARC’s, media kits, cover letters, testimonials, book location, publisher’s name and address, release date, and the ISBN number.

Write into the inner book cover, “NOT FOR RESALE.”  It means that the reviewer can’t sell your book or ARC (Advanced Review Copy). Do specify what you want done with your ARC’s or books. Suggest they give it to the local hospital, charity or a school.  When sending out your books for review, always include your author business card and date and SIGN your book.

Getting your book reviewed is not impossible. However it requires paying attention, planning and following instructions. Keep this in mind and your next book review will turn into a success.

.
<><><><><>

.

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 $159 for three 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, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 970 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+

.

Hyper Smash

Pingate

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 1, 2013 in Book Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Got an Unfair Book Review after Your FREE KDP Days?

.
13631119544a3db
.

Then 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. 

.
Just one example:
A great novel with 91 customer reviews, almost all in the 5-star range, received these negative “reviews”, after having the book up for two days on Amazon’s KDP Select.

1-Star Review
“I really can’t complain about this since it was a free book, but it…
By the end of the book, I didn’t like any of the characters….”

3-Star Review
“This was a “borrowed” book that I was able to get for being an Amazon Prime member. In a nutshell, this book entertained me for a few days, but I would not recommend it to a friend.”

90% of this books negative reviewers had not bought the book, one reviewer borrowed it through Prime Membership, the rest got it for free at Amazon’s KDP days, obviously without even reading the books description, nor the title headline (where the series was mentioned).  These reviewers just took their frustration out via an Amazon “review”, bashing the free book they had received on their Kindle.

Another example:
A #1 bestseller book in its category, with almost 5,000 !!! reviews. From the 281 “reviewers”, who gave 1-Star, only three of them had actually bought the book! It really seems to be a pattern that people, who download the book for free are very often writing negative reviews.

5 star: (2,802)
4 star: (1,023)
3 star: (554)
2 star: (278)
1 star: (281)
.

Let your readers and friends decide if these negative reviews are helpful
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…

Amazon has this rarely used function: “Help other customers find the most helpful reviews” and “Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No”  

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.

Laura Miller is a senior writer for Salon wrote: “Unless such a review is a spiteful slap-down written to gratify the un-examined resentments of the worst sort of reader, how welcome (let alone “useful”) can it really be?”  And think about it: “…it seems the more success you have, the harder some people are on you…”

.
Funny, negative reviews
Bestseller author Rayne Hall just blogged about negative, but funny reviews she received, some are really hilarious. Have a look at 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.

Read more here: http://venturegalleries.com/blog/have-you-ever-received-any-negative-reviews-that-were-really-funny-most-authors-have/#sthash.F0yMmfCb.dpuf

.

<><><><><>
.

If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book heavily promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only a “token” of $1 / day for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/  Once you are on this website, click on Seminar to register.

Please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 785 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, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK

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

.

.
Hyper Smash

Pingate

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

What Do You Have Friends For? Part 2

.
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA
.

Last year I wrote this article, and shortly after it was published, Amazon made one of their infamous “experiments”, removing the LIKE function on their website. It took only a couple of months, until they started to remove the TAGS from their websites, at least in North America. In the meantime these TAG function is gone on the UK sites as well… As Amazon stated this move as an experiment, I did not change the article, always hoping that they re-instate these great ranking and sales tools.
.
But I guess it is safe to say, these features are gone forever, and therefore have now been deleted from the article. However there are more possibilities for your friends to help you to improve your Amazon ranking, and the article got two functions that can be used by your fans: Listmania and review-ratings.
.

How friends and family can help to improve your Amazon Ranking will be a reminder how they indeed can help you so much – they even don’t need to buy your book (again), only signing up on Amazon is required. Amazon can give a great book a big boost to “be discovered”.
.

These Amazon features will take only seconds, but they can make a huge difference in your books ranking – and for sure subsequently in the success of your work.   Ask all your acquaintances, fellow writers, friends and family to:
.

  • Write a REVIEW 
    Even if the book already has lots of reviews already. As more reviews as better for the author and as more potential buyers can see the popularity of the work. Amazon rules are against family members’ reviews.  So ask only the ones with a different name/address for a review. They need an Amazon account and at least made previously one purchase of a physical or digital item.
    .
  • LISTMANIA:
    Amazon allows all account holders to create a “list” of their favorite things…such as books, and it is called, Listmania!  So if you have written a book, your friends and even you can create a Listmania! list, and certainly include your own book.
    .
  • “Like” Button
    This popular feature was taken down by Amazon, first on Books in the States and Canada, then on Amazon books in Great Britain and Ireland – and now appears to be coming back, not on the books’ sites but on Authors Pages, along with Twitter and Facebook buttons.
    .
  • “HIGHLIGHTS” in your book
    They are another item in Amazon’s algorithm list for book popularity: If you friends have a Kindle, let them highlight some wise or fun quotations from the book. Or any information they find useful in a non-fiction book for sample. If enough people share their highlights, they will show up in your e-book. Amazon will then display these so-called “Popular Highlights” by combining the highlights of all Kindle customers and identifying the passages with the most highlights. Which in turn ascents your Amazon ranking.
    .
  • Good old-fashioned word of mouth
    Let your friends and family brag about your books, or mention it in their blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+ sites or in their emails with a link to your site or your Amazon page. To help them send regularly images and info about you or your books that they can copy/paste into their social media sites.
    .
  • Help with “blurbs”
    Your friends or family members might have websites and blogs. Ask them to consider sending out a short note about your book, which can help you sell more books. If they allow you to use their words in your “praise” section on your author website.
    .
  • Rate useful reviews:
    Amazon asks readers “Was this review helpful to you?” YES or NO?  Rating the existing reviews as “helpful” or “unhelpful” makes a significant impact. Reviews with the most “helpful” votes appear on the BUY page  “Most Helpful Customer Reviews”.
    By voting for the most informative and helpful reviews, your friends have the power to get them moved to the head of the line. Raising the position of the most descriptive reviews is especially helpful if the publisher missed to give the book an effective blurb.
    .

How many reviews did YOU write recently?
It’s a give and take…
Compare two books with identical sales numbers: the one which has been promoted with these features is much higher in the (intern) ranks, which means it will be more featured on Amazon and subsequently will sell better in the future. If you write a review for another authors’s book, remember:  Anything less than 4-stars means: NOT recommended to the Amazon algorithms, and  2-star or 3-star reviews are going to hurt the author’s sales, no matter how much you rave in the text.  Also: a review is not an essay about your personal taste, e.g. if you liked the hero or not.  It is all about the book, not about you. Get tips how to write a review, and maybe let your friends know about it ….

.

<><><><><>
.

If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book heavily promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only a “token” of $1 / day for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/     Once you are on this website, click on Seminar to register.

Please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 785 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, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK

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

.

.
Hyper Smash

Pingate

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

6 Things to Avoid When Pitching to Book Reviewers

.

Reading
.

First of all: Let’s keep in mind that almost all reviewers are volunteers. They gladly write reviews because they enjoy providing a service to fellow consumers, and to support good writers. They love to read good books and are passionate about evaluating books. They spend their valuable time to write a review for YOU. Some are published authors themselves, working on their own writing projects – often on top of working full-time jobs, being parents, pet-owners and on top of it all are running a household – which means they are very busy!
.

Here are some tips that will help you not to waste the reviewers (and your) time and hopefully get a review of your book:
.

Read the submission guidelines!
Follow their directions carefully. Don’t give reviewers a reason to disqualify your book right off the bat. Not everyone reads e-books. Often reviewers prefer hard copies of the book. 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.
.
Don’t put time pressure on reviewers.
See the introduction above! Book reviewers love to read and if they have a bit of time, they will grab the next book and indulge in it. Please don’t try to push them to read your book ahead of the pile of those who wait much longer in sequence.  They are doing you, a total stranger an (unpaid) favor and don’t want to be pressured and annoyed.  The sheer volume of review requests that reviewers receive can be staggering.
.
Research the reviewer’s interests.
Don’t pitch romance to a children’s book reviewer. Don’t pitch a self-help book to a mystery reviewer. Investigate at least 20-30 books reviewed on Amazon or the reviewer’s blog to find their preferred genres and read the reviewer’s biography, in order to learn about the kind of books he/she likes and reviews.
.
No mass mailings please!
Don’t pitch via a DM (direct message) or tweet or mass email that reads “Hello, I’m looking for someone to review my book. You can read about it on my website at …. Thanks!”  When the reviewer checks the writer’s Twitter timeline, they will find out that you just pitched dozens of reviewers…. Not only is it unprofessional but it will not get you into a reputable reviewer’s book list. Pitch professional via customized email, just like you would pitch an agent, editor or publisher.
.
Don’t address your query “Dear Reviewer”.
Would you write to an editor or publisher “Dear Publisher”? Be polite an use the reviewer’s name…and please: spell it right! Nothing ticks off more than to receive a letter with your name wrongly spelled.
.
Don’t make reviewers buy your book.
They “work” for free for you, read and then write about your work. Most important: reviewers help you to sell more of your books and climb up the rankings on Amazon, the least they can expect, is that you provide them with your manuscript. If a reviewer states in their guidelines, to read print books only, don’t offer the digital version and suggest that they print it out for reading.  There are digital printers (e.g. Espresso Book Machines) who will do this job for you and even ship it to the reviewer – in case you have only an e-book version of your novel.
.
No attachments please.
Don’t send an attachment of your book with your introductory email. Most reviewers won’t open any  attachments from people they don’t know.

.
Read more tips on how to get book reviews:

  • Most sites publishing reviews have a procedure for receiving requests. Abide by the blogger’s requirements and show respect for the reviewers time.
  • Find a way to convert the book into the format, most convenient for the reviewer.
  • Send an email with a query first. You are competing with other books so be professional. Don’t be pushy as reviewers are doing you a favor, reading your book.
  • Send customized requests to your prospective reviewers: A reviewer receiving a request that looks like mass mailing has no incentive to review your book.
  • You certainly have to offer a free copy of the book, reviewers will not fork out the money to buy your book, and then invest time in reading and reviewing it.
  • Not all books are for all people. The reviewers opinion is required and that includes the risk that the review will be scathing, if that is the reviewer’s opinion.

Be courteous, professional, thank them for their review and reciprocate the favor, making sure you credit the reviewer and provide them with publicity in return for their book review. Write more reviews and you will get more reviews of your own book!  So, when did you write your last book review?
.
Read more about how to get book reviews:

Million Dollar Question: How to Get Book Reviews?

Tips to Get National Media Book Reviews

How to Get Book Reviews – Lots of the

Bestsellers with More Than 150 1-Star Reviews

Need Book Reviews?! Part 2

Are Book Reviews really THAT important?

Review Tip: Send a Query to Los Angeles Literary Reviews

.

<><><><><>

.
If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book heavily promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only a “token” of $1 / day for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/seminar

Please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 780+ 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, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK

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

.

.
Hyper Smash

Pingate

 
 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Interview With Award-winning Author Lisa Costantino

.

Lisa-Costantino

Lisa Costantino

Lisa Costantino’s novel Maiden’s Veil, winner of the Chanticleer Reviews’ Best Indie Historical Fiction for 2012 award is today’s interview guest. Her book, which receives constantly rave reviews, is not only available in digital form, but also in print.

Lisa, thanks for this interview and congratulations for your award!  How would you describe your book to someone who has not yet read it?

The alternating timelines of Maiden’s Veil entwine the lives of two women coping with love and risk. In 1733, tapestry weaver Clarinda Asher was the last Maiden to perform the Veil before the ancient fertility ritual was banished, and she along with it, for the ensuing cataclysm that nearly destroyed her remote English village. When present-day weaver Jess Barlow unearths evidence of the ritual during the village’s May Day celebrations, she and Owen Calder reenact the rite, resurrecting the ritual’s power. Although she too is banished and Owen ostracized, Jess is determined not to suffer the same fate as Clarinda.

Is there a message in your book that you want your readers to grasp?
If there’s any message, it’s about forgiveness. Each of the four main characters — Clarinda, Benjamin, Owen, and Jess — is tormented by the blame they have placed on themselves for disastrous events both within and outside of their control. Whether they find forgiveness determines their future.
.

Chanticlee Book Reviews

Chanticlee Book Reviews

.
What inspired you to start writing?
I spent many months during my childhood bedridden from a number of surgeries. When you’re stuck in bed, you read. If you read enough, you want to write.
.

How did you get the idea for the novel?
Originally I planned to write a guidebook to Europe’s oldest continuing celebrations and traditions. Finances put that project on hold, but I was inspired to create a fictional story around the events I did attend, ones believed to have pre-Christian origins. So I created Maidenvale’s May Day celebrations out of a conflation of these festivities, and the Maiden’s Veil from historical and anthropological sources.
.

Does your book have any underlying theme, message, or moral?
If the reader has read Arthurian literature, she or he may recognize an underlying framework based on the Lady of Shalott: the lady Elaine, who is cursed to remain in her tower and weave in isolation for the crime of falling in love with Lancelot.
.

Novel-Maiden's-Veil

Novel Maiden’s Veil

.

Who is your favorite character and why?
My favorite character is the most problematic one: Owen, the male lead in the contemporary story line. He’s in love with one woman while unhappily married to another, and it’s tearing him up. To me he epitomizes the emotional struggle between duty and heart. He genuinely wants to do the right thing, but he’s also desperate for some happiness. I feel for the guy.
.

Are your plots based on your real-life experiences?
Only to the extent that most writers use moments from their own lives to add authenticity to their stories; in this case, details about England’s May Day festivities gleaned from my own observations and from conversations in the local pubs.
.

Give us an excerpted quote from your favorite review of this book:
“…like her main female characters, both of whom are artists of the loom, Ms. Costantino has done some expert weaving here herself. The two stories ultimately support and reinforce one another, and all the threads come together in an ending that I found very poignant yet satisfying. With lush evocative descriptions, rich textures, great character development, and some surprising twists and turns, the overall result is a piece of art rather like one of her character’s fine tapestries.”
.

What would/could a reader or reviewer say about this book that shows they “get” you as an author? Another of my favorite reviews got it: “The author weaves stories that are full of tension that resist standard story lines. Rather than common characters and situations, she introduces real-life dilemmas that seem true and honest.” This was especially welcome insight after another reader had bemoaned the lack of heroes. Heroes are for romance. I don’t write romance.
.

Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you have learned as a writer from then to now?
Always keep going. Don’t let any sticking points render you stuck. Put unresolved issues in the back of your mind and work on what you know. Resolutions to most of my issues arose during long walks with my dog Lucy.
.

Considering a book from the first word you write to the moment you see it on a bookstore shelf, what’s your favorite part of the process? What’s your least favorite?
My favorite part is when the story is solid and I can take my time massaging the language until it flows seamlessly. Least favorite? Marketing, I’m afraid to say. I’m a very private person, not at all comfortable with blowing my own horn in the Twittersphere. But you do what you gotta do.
.

What scene or bit of dialogue in the book are you most proud of, and why?
The Midsummer’s Eve bonfire scenes, because they were the hardest to write. The scenes appear twice, from Clarinda’s viewpoint in one chapter, and from Benjamin’s in another. I wanted them to echo but not reproduce the same imagery and action, nor the same responses from the two characters.
.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about your book?
I’d probably make Sharon Calder a bit more sympathetic. But I try not to dwell on it!
.

What genre have you not yet written but really want to try?
Science fiction, for sure. I love the idea of creating an imagined future, but one within the realm of possibility. I’m fascinated by the sciences and would likely have made a career in one discipline or another, had I any aptitude for math. And I’m a Trekkie at heart.
.

If your book would be made into a movie, who should play the main character?
Rachel Weisz would be great as Clarinda or Jess. Clive Owen would make an awesome Owen or Benjamin, and I can easily see Brendan Coyle as the farmer Daniel. (Who wouldn’t want a Downton Abbey tie-in?)

How did you get published? Please share your own personal journey.
Impatience, more than anything, led me to self-publish. I went through several cycles of querying agents, and each time I received compliments and positive feedback but no takers. I figured I could continue that game until someone bit, or I could just jump into the self-publishing pool and not wait for representation, a sale, and production, the sum of which would likely take several years.
.

Lisa-Costantino-Facebook

Lisa Costantino Facebook

.

What general advice do you have for other writers?
Always, always, use an editor or a proofreader before submitting or self-publishing. I can’t bear to read self-pubbed authors who say they don’t care about a few typos. That’s lazy thinking, because plenty of their own readers will care. Poor grammar, incorrect punctuation, bad formatting—all this shows not only a lack of skill in your trade but a disregard for your readers.
.

What do you find is the best part of being an author?
Having both the motivation and the justification to sit for hours doodling out ideas and doing research.
.

What is ONE thing that you have done that brought you more readers?
Winning an award for best indie women’s fiction from Chanticleer Book Reviews & Media.
.

What’s one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you?
I’m intensely jealous of scholarly authors who can bang out cogent and insightful non-fiction on politics, the environment, and world affairs. I wish I was that smart!

Where can people learn more about your writing?  On my website: www.lisacostantino.com
Read also:
From Corporate Editor to Indie-published Historical Women’s Fiction Author

http://editordevil.blogspot.ca/2013/04/from-corporate-editor-to-indie.html

Follow Lisa Costantino here too:
FB: http://www.facebook.com/#!/LisaCostantinoAuthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/lisa_costantino
Google+:  http://bit.ly/11nCUk5
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/lisacostantino/ 
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=44988916&trk=tab_pro

 

 

.
<><><><><>
.

.

If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book heavily promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only a “token” of $1 / day for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/seminar

Please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 770 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, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK

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

.

.
Hyper Smash

Pingate

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 22,486 other followers

%d bloggers like this: