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Prestigious Reviews and How to Get Them

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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

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We’re on to “those” people – Trolls

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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?
https://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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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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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/
https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/6-things-to-avoid-when-pitching-to-book-reviewer/
https://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.

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Posted by on September 26, 2013 in Book Reviews

 

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6 Things to Avoid When Pitching to Book Reviewers

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

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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?
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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

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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.

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Million Dollar Question: How to Get Book Reviews?

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Not just a handful, but lots of reviews!

They are crucial, not only for Amazon’s algorithms, but also when selling through other online retailers, such as Kobo, Barnes&Noble or Waterstones.  Polls revealed that 70% of book buyers are paying attention to reviews before they make their purchase. They don’t read the reviews necessarily, but check the numbers of reviews a book has accrued.  Book reviewing, in the past a privilege of literary magazines, became mainstream, encouraged by the likes of Amazon and without any editorial controls. There is an ever-shrinking newspaper space for reviews, while the number of books published is increasing tremendously. However, book bloggers and book lovers all over the world become armchair critics at the click of a mouse.
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So, how can a writer find reviewers?

  • paying for reviews, Kirkus Reviews comes to mind, who charges several hundred dollars
  • asking followers and friends in their Social Media network
  • getting to know book bloggers and hobby reviewers

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The worst method is to write an email and send it out to dozens of reviewers, without a salutation and without checking their websites/blogs carefully or reading their submission guidelines. If you would be a reviewer, would you answer a mass mail?
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Always remember that book reviewers don’t do it for a living.
They often have busy lives, full-time jobs, partners, children, ailing parents and other obligations. They barely can keep up with the growing demand for reviews.  Imagine if you would get an email from a total stranger, asking you to do several hours of work for free. Would you be excited?
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Get to know book reviewers and bloggers.
Careers everywhere depend on networking, same with a writing career.  Start making “friends” with reviewers, long before your book is finished: Search on your social media sites for reviewers, reviews, book bloggers, etc. when using the search function on top of Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and Google+ pages. At Goodreads, reviewers are listed, so you can conveniently choose them as friends and follow them for a while, see which book genres they  prefer,  before you approach them.
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Check out the bestsellers in your genre (in bookstores or online) and find names of reviewers. If these reviewers have a blog (and most do), comment on their articles.  Offer them well-written guest blogs, geared to their topics and readership.
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These are invaluable and important contacts, as those readers do not only review books, but post their reviews on Amazon, Goodreads and the like.  On top of that, they often write a blog post about the books they read, which stays there for years to come. They are actually promoting those book reviews to readers and indirectly even to industry decision makers: librarians, booksellers, agents, publishers – like a publicist does it (for money). If compensated it would mean at least a couple of hundred dollars worth, what they provide you for free!
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Again: It takes often months until getting a review, start early with your search.
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If you write non-fiction, it’s a bit more difficult, as most book reviewers prefer fiction books.  Look for magazines that write about the same or similar topics and find out if they review books. You could also offer an article and in your intro at the end of the article, you could offer readers a copy in exchange for a review of your book. For sample, if you write about aviation safety, you search for aviation magazines, but also for history magazines, travel magazines, even more local publications where a certain incident happened in the past. Or if you write about nutrition, check out all magazines of health food stores, women’s magazines, medical magazines etc. to find out if they write reviews.

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Paid book reviewers
are not hard to find, just type into Google: Book Review Submission Guidelines and you will find lots of them. The most famous:
https://www.kirkusreviews.com/
http://www.bookrooster.com/
https://www.forewordreviews.com/

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Free book reviews
The best source are friends and followers on social media site, starting with Goodreads. Offer a print version of your book as a giveaway (you can do this several times a year). In average, half of the recipients write a book review.
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But again: just don’t email them out of the blue, friend them on social media, read their blogs and get to know them, before you make an approach for a review. If they state in their submission guidelines, they will only read print books, don’t tell them to “just print out my pdf or word file”.  If you have e-books only, get a couple of digital prints (bound) from a copy shop or use one of these espresso book machines, mostly located in big cities, but available online, just add the postage for delivery.

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For US writers: The Midwest Book Review (free!) has contracted with Cengage Learning to provide them with electronic copies of book reviews. Cengage Learning then makes their reviews available to library systems nationwide. Read our former blog post, “How to Find Reviewers for Your Book” where lots of reviewers are listed.
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If you are looking for reviews to use in your books blurb (print or e-book) send out galleys, which can be produced by espresso book machines as well, at least 3 – 4 months before your book’s launch, especially for print books, to be sure to receive it in time.

http://www.rtbookreviews.com/magazine/editorial-submissions (4 months before launch!)
http://bookpage.com/content/submission-guidelines (at least 3 months before launch!)

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Another question is the quality of book reviews, not only on the internet… I think about an extremely unfair review, a good friend of mine has received from a “Librarian” at Goodreads! She wrote about a book that has amassed more than 90 percent 5-star reviews. The “reviewer wrote: “I tried to like the book, really. But I just can’t.” That’s it, this was the whole review! No description what the book is about, no mentioning of the writing style (excellent!), not about the plot, the characters, nothing. And gave it a 1-star. So much for the quality of reviews…  Check out the reviews for world bestsellers and you will find some of them with more than 150 of these 1-star reviews!
And then there are those people who are downloading tons of free books on Amazon – without even checking the content, just because they can get something for free – they are also infamous for writing scalding and unprofessional book reviews. What about the writers’ competition, who could theoretically write an unfair review?  In all these cases, just keep your cool, and work even harder to get more reviews to “bury” those unfair ones.

Take reviews always with a grain of salt. Sure, reviews, and lots of them, are important for writers. But keep in mind, they are always subjective!  And don’t forget to thank a reviewer for their work, no matter if 3 or 3 stars. They will be more inclined to do another review for you when your next book is finished.

Kate McMillian compiled a great number of articles about book reviews, check them out.

BTW: How many books did YOU review recently???

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If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are almost 700 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.

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Posted by on February 27, 2013 in Book Reviews, Social Networks

 

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Interview with Patrick Jones, author of “The Wolf’s Moon”

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Patrick   thank you so much for taking the time today for this author interview. Let’s dive right in:

What inspired you to start writing?
I have written since I was a kid.  I wrote a mystery novel in High School.  My classmates liked the story but it, like everything else, wound up in the circular file cabinet.  Mrs. Ruth Morrisey, an English Lit teacher, encouraged me to write, while my family said I would starve.
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How did you get the idea for the novel?
One day I sat with a pen and paper and just started writing.  Sandy, my wife, was giving a lecture at a seminar so I decided to kill some time.  The more I wrote, the more it took on its own life.  “The Wolf’s Moon” went from a doodling, to a short story and ended as a novel.  I only wrote what I saw in my mind.
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Author Patrick Jones

Author Patrick Jones

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How would you describe your book to someone who has not yet read it?
The story is an action suspense thriller that intertwines love, loyalty and in the end, redemption.  Mark Lansdowne wants to be left alone to grieve the loss of his wife to illness but instead is pulled into uncontrolled circumstances which narrowly cost him his life.  Although he knows he and his lifelong pal, Warren Skruggs, should leave it to the proper authorities, things continue to happen causing Lansdowne to take matters into his own hands.
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Does your book have any underlying theme, message, or moral?
Loyalty and Love: The loyalty between Linden and Skruggs: Trusting each other even if it caused their death, never questioning their motives.  True love that Linden has for his deceased wife:  Linden made a commitment and took a vow.  He loved her completely in life, so her death is only a temporary separation.  Love and friendship do not die.
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Who is your favorite character and why?
Skruggs.  The reason I like Skruggsy is because he would rather see humor than the bad in life.  He always smiles, but when the smile fades he becomes a very controlled, violent individual.  He deeply loves his wife.  He would help anybody at the drop of a hat that needed help.  But he would kill just as fast.

Are your plots based on your real-life experiences?
For a writer to convince the reader that a character is real, he must believe each and every one of them is real.  While one is writing the story he or she lives with each character as though they actually exist.  Maybe they are fictional but life experiences, what the writer sees, feels and hears must be the same for them.  I think this is true regardless of genre if the writer expects their readers to identify with the characters.  Each reader should think of someone they know or have met.
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Give us an excerpted quote from your favorite review of this book:
Thriller fans will rejoice at the well-paced vignettes and spiking tension.”
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If Oprah invited you onto her show to talk about your book, what would the theme of the show be?
I would think that I could get on stage and Oprah would say, “How in the world did you write a book and have it made into a movie at this time in your life?” Adele would then sing the song she made for the movie!!
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What would/could a reader or reviewer say about this book that shows they “get” you as an author?
The Kirkus Review has captured the essence of the book by the following description of their interpretation:  “Jones’ novel confidently lays the groundwork for future books, with romantic and thriller subplots tightly interwoven in the service of a propulsive narrative. No time is wasted in introducing the characters or the creature, yet nothing feels rushed. Fans of romance may feel shortchanged by the surprisingly chaste nature of Lansdowne’s interactions with the nurse. However, thriller fans will rejoice at the well-paced vignettes and spiking tension. Jones doles out information with care, providing enough history to make things clear without overwhelming exposition. This same care is evident in the novel’s resolution, which ties up loose ends without shutting the door on further developments.”
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Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?
Years ago, before Indie Publishing, it was hard, if not impossible, to get a book on the market.  Now if a person is willing to pay people (that a publisher pays) it’s not as hard.  What I have really learned is writing the book is easier than selling the story.  When I received my first proof copy, I was satisfied that I completed what I had set out to do.  I have learned literary agents are tough people who have to say, “no,” a lot.  They cannot take too many chances.  Books are their bread and butter and they have to maintain a good rapport with publishers.  If a publisher, after spending time and money promoting a book and it doesn’t sell, he or she is on the street.
I don’t think of a rejection letter as a bad thing.  It just tells me I need to sharpen my skills.  It is like getting a bad review.  I smile knowing I did something they probably did not – I wrote a book.
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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?
Since my book has not been in a bookstore yet, I suppose my favorite part really is working with my wife.  It is fun.  We work well together.  I have not found anything I don’t like, except trying to find new ways to sell my book.
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If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about your book?
No, I like it the way it is.  The editor said the first chapter sounded like a travel log.  Maybe, but people who have read the book tell me it helps to understand the Ozark Region. Stephen King wouldn’t have liked Chapter One but I don’t think he has read “The Wolf’s Moon”.  I haven’t heard from him…YET.
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What genre have you not yet written but really want to try?
A children’s book.  I think it would be fun but I can’t visualize anything yet.  One day, perhaps.
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If your book would be made into a movie, who should play the main character?
The guy who played the part of the scientist in the TV program SG1, Michael Shanks.  He looks much like I imagined Linden to look and I think he could pull it off.
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How did you get published? Please share your own personal journey.
We self-published.  Sandy and I shopped around to find someone and decided on Create Space.  We were actually able to speak with a person that advised us.  The rest sent emails.  Yes, most everything had a price tag.  They were not the cheapest nor were they the priciest.  The people at Create Space were easy to talk with.  When we ordered books, they usually arrived before the scheduled delivery date.  They mentored us through all of the steps we needed to go through to get the book published.  We learned that the process does not end there.  There are a multitude of other steps that are necessary to traverse through the self-publishing adventure.  We have met wonderful people along the way who have mentored us throughout the entire process.  Sometimes it is frustrating, but with each baby step we move ahead in the journey.

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Don’t miss the book trailer for The Wolf’s Moon on YouTube and give it a thumbs up!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18LUT5eyAjE

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What general advice do you have for other writers?
If there was any advice I would give to an aspiring writer, it is to write.  Read other people, not for story content, but to see how they put the story together.  Don’t read just the King’s or the Patterson’s but also the Twain’s, Spillane’s and Fleming’s out there.  Then develop your own style.  Anyone can copy a style but to be unique to you, it must be your own style.

When they have what they feel is their style – let a few people read something.  They should be people that will tell the truth and give an honest opinion.  If it’s not what you wanted to hear, don’t get discouraged, get determined.  Don’t quit.
Remember:  There are a great many people out in the world wanting to sell their work.  Whether you sell only one copy or make the New York Times Bestseller List, you did something that many want to do and never do – you wrote and completed a book.
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What do you find is the best part of being an author?
That is a hard question.  I think meeting, talking, or emailing people who have said they enjoyed the book and they want to know, “when is the next one coming out?”  It is fun to know they enjoyed the story enough to want another.
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What is ONE thing that you have done that brought you more readers?
Blogging has done a lot but my wife continuously gets me involved with social media.  She says that it is important for people to know that I am no different from them.  I still cut grass, work in my wood shop, go grocery shopping.  I do all the same things that they have to do.  Where they may work in a factory, my job is writing.
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What’s one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you?
My personal world is a simple, comfortable place, as my immediate family makes life wonderful.  Sandy (my wife) and I like flowers, so we have several gardens around the house.  Our house is like one from a fairy tale.  At the end of a day, sitting with her on the deck having that last cup of coffee, watching the sun set and the moon rise give me great satisfaction and contentment.
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Where can people learn more about your writing?
To know more about me they can go to the website:  http://www.thelindenchronicles.com .
There readers can see pictures and my blogs.  I like to blog about everyday things.
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Thank you so much Patrick to get to know you better and to hear about your journey of writing the first book and the first year as an author-publisher.

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