Online selling tips · writing

Is Book Reviewing Still Worth it?

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Image Credit: Pixabay

 

 

“61% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase decision.”-eConsultancy.com

How competitive are consumer sites like Amazon, Banes and Noble, Kobo and others- as it concerns your blog?

Now, I read somewhere(can’t think of the site!) that most consumers just read reviews on Goodreads and Amazon before making their purchases. This makes sense because social media basically drives the internet now and people congregate where “groups” are and Goodreads in particular, have discussion groups, quizzes, and book giveaways daily.

Amazon is also a huge consumer site where many people will see your book review.

The question is, will people read the review on your blog?

Depends.

For years I have reviewed books and other online writings via my WordPress blog, but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago, that I finally took my blog seriously by revamping SEO, using images more, engaging more with other writing communities and book bloggers.

There was even a time I got tired of reviewing because it takes time and energy and it is done for free!

Connecting with other bloggers, having great images and design on your site and even using SEO in creative and strategic ways, can earn you a decent following and revive a dead review blog.

Another idea would be to direct people to your blog from consumer sites.

When I review a book on Goodreads and Amazon, I put a little note at the bottom asking the consumer to join my blog if they want more reviews.

In fact Kimberly Grabas wrote an excellent article about authors looking for reviews on their book, however her information is perfect for book bloggers wondering if book blogging is slumping in a coma.

In sum, book reviewing itself is not dead. People still want to know if a book is worth their dollars so they will look at reviews. In this fast scan generation they may only look at the star ratings and pass though…

Oh well.

If writing reviews is your passion, don’t give up. People still like reading your opinion of a book!

~The Write Web

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Creative Writing · writing

My Protagonist Took Off Without Me, #NaNoWriMo2017, #27K

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Image Credit: Luizclas

 

You can guess from the title what just happened at the 27k mark.

My well designed well oiled, well constructed character. Built from a profile of the gods, have been magical, wonderful so far.

She took off, took the notebook, paper, all my notes and took her strong legs to the other side of the hills. Wrote her own story.

True, when you are a panstser, it happens quicker than you can imagine, but somewhere down the line, at 27K words, you wonder if you are truly the architect, or just the builder going off the Architect’s blueprint.

With an outline, things may be easier, but will it?

I’m a rebel and I barely follow rules….

Ok, I follow them but I study to see how I can bend them.

My protagonist, is already born into a supernatural world. The story does not center on the fact of her not knowing she is an ancient, supernatural entity, it begins with her knowing this.

It is the human side she wrestles with. It is the history she is unaware of that curtails her valiant efforts to just BE.

In an effort of just BEING, there are some surprising things happening to her biologically and socially. That part is beautiful.

I think it is beautiful and necessary when the protagonist surprises you. At this point, I wouldn’t say it is complete smooth sailing, but I yearn for what the conclusion will be. That anticipation stirs your gut because you are past the halfway mark.

If you are not at the 25K mark at least, let me tell you something.

Don’t stop.

There was a time when I made it to 22K and would fall into a slump. I never hit 50K in the last three years because of this.

Now that I am over 25K, I see a change in my story, but I chug along anyway because I know I will do a full edit later.

Editing is another great way to find hidden gems in your story or excavate and obliterate the rubble you need to toss away. More on that later.

~The Write Web

*P.S. How are you doing this month with your writing? Share you woes, your challenges and your joy here.

book review · mystery novels · relationships

The Wife Between Us Blog Tour Has Begun

WifeBetweenUs_BlogTourBannerr1

Imagine you are about to get married and your fiancé’s crazy ex begins to show up, send letters and call to bug the heck out of you.

Imagine that you are the ex wife, doing all you can to end your ex husband’s new relationship.

Imagine being the husband, wishing that your ex would just leave you be.

As you read the book, you suddenly realize something….

Things are not always what they seem. I promise that as you read this your mind will latch on to one bendable truth, naturally but prepare for the twists!

The Wife Between Us centers around the theme of not always knowing who you marry. That fact alone is humbling enough and in reality, many of us experience this, however the authors made sure to keep us on one plane of thought while systematically, twisting our mind around in the middle of the book.

The secrets, the mystery, the psychological torture is only the tip of the iceberg and I can honestly say I was not ready for the many revelations.

At least two revelations, surprised me, but the biggest one of all towards the end shocked the mess out of me.

For those used to linear storytelling, however, do not fear but I do warn you. The true gem of this work lies not only in storytelling and pacing, but how the story is told. It may give you whiplash if you are not paying attention.

“We think we’ve entered into a union with another person when, in fact, we’ve formed a triangle with one point anchored by a silent but all seeing judge…” (from The Wife Between Us by Hendricks and Pekkanen, 2018)

All in all I highly- and I do mean highly recommend this book to you. If there is one you pick up this Winter, let it be The Wife Between Us.

**This book was received for my unbiased review through Netgalley.

Thank you for reading my blog and please subscribe or like this post if you can. It will surely make my day!

Creative Writing · writing · Writing gigs

Submitting to Publications, the Real Story

paper note
Photo Credit: Pexels.com/Bich Tran

 

Ever thought about submitting your writings?

I used to think it would be easy and that there would be keen competition, but darn it all it is difficult trying to squeeze my creative pieces in someone’s eyesight!

I will be submitting my writings to various places. Like, really committing to it— like a job. I already write more than I work, but I keep flailing along with submissions.

One thing I realize, and this is something I did not understand until now, is that before submitting any piece of writing, you should take a look at the publishers’ samples and even subscribe to their publication.

Now what about that did I not understand in the past? Self explanatory, right?

Well, here is what I used to do:

  • Select writings I’ve done in the past or recently.
  • Go to the library to check out Writer’s Market books.
  • Sit down for hours and look for publications that will take what I wrote.

The result?

Got accepted to none.

Well, one of my Christian poems made it to an online site(that no longer exists) and the University of Maryland magazine Constellation, picked up my coolest poems in 2008.

But did I receive bigger recognition and awards? Nope.

Nada.

From what I researched, the Right way to submit to places is to:

  • Check the web(specifically Pw.org, love that site!)
  • Look at small presses, open contests, etc. Really take note of what they are looking for and take special note of the deadlines.
  • Many websites/publications, now have samples you can view FREE! For example, I will be resubmitting my haiku to several publications that have samples and free downloads of past accepted work.
  • Pick out the publication/contest you are interested in: science fiction writing? Poetry? Experimental?
  • Now, get to work!

In this way, you have a kind of rubric of what’s expected of you and you write your piece, tailoring it to what they are looking for.

I am on both sides of the fence though because would it stifle my creativity? Not sure. Chime in and let me know what you think.

Have you thought of submitting some work? Which methods have you used? Do you have links to your work?

What is your advice?

**Thank you for reading and if you like what you see, subscribe to The Write Web today and get connected with serious writers, and bookworms!

~The Write Web

 

Creative Writing · writing

Hitting the Sweet Spot…of a Story #NaNoWriMo2017 #19K

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Image Credit: Pixabay

 

You know what I’m talkin’ about.

You’re writing that book, getting it in good with the dialogue, you’ve introduced a hot character into the mix.

Your worldbuilding skills is tight…

You have soft music or hard music playing, your coffee or Sprite is next to you. Your loving furrball is gazing at you with respect (or seething anger at this point.)

You don’t care. You are happily clicking away, chugging along. It feels as if the Muse is giving you all the right stuff and you know at least an hour has passed.

Still good.

You clench(I mean click, sorry!), as every nerve, every fiber in your moment pulls taut, you see stars, you hear them.

The choir is singing.

You pull in that final word and then…

And then…

Nothing.

Everything was going fine until you wrote  a paragraph that you think may not belong, but during NaNoWriMo, you can’t go back! You have to keep going. Get it all in there good, you know?

I think my story is exactly at that point.

I placed my characters in a setting they don’t need to be in right now.

I gave up this morning.

Don’t be me.

Don’t give up.

Keep sticking it(er, oh Gosh. Blush much!) to the page. Ok? Alright?

~Ericajean

**Feel free to—-you know, share this and subscribe, ok? I promise I will not be mad 😉

writing

#NaNoWriMoCheckIn #17K, Plus Ishiguro Advises Writing from Emotion

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Image Credit: Pixabay

 

Hi Voracious, fearless writers!

At this point you are probably clicking away on your story or taking a much needed break.

Not to jab at you, but hopefully you are at least at 10K or higher. If not, get moving, soldier! Just kidding, sometimes it is hard to keep up the pace as I’ve stated in a previous  post, I never hit 50K and I know why I don’t.

Right now I am at 17K and that is better than previous years. My story at this point has the right amount of action(in my opinion) and several sensual moments. I am happy.

I attribute it to my dedication to plan before November. Get my characters straight in my head and understand the story.

No outlines, but the journey is interesting.

Meanwhile, over on Lithub.com, there is treasure trove of information that I think will encourage you at this time.

Author Kazuo Ishiguro, has been interviewed by different media outlets and I am in love with his responses to how he writes.

Ishiguro suggests writing from emotion, not morals. He’d rather highlight  “some aspect of being human” than tell a moralistic piece.

Another great piece of advice is to not build character profiles.

I do this all the time.

Ishiguro states that letting the relationship between the main character and others take course naturally, is enough to build character.

Maybe these work for him and it is his opinion, but during NaNoWriMo, this is a brilliant time to just let the Muse guide your story. Let the chips fall where they may. Edit later.

For those of you who did not plan and have not reached at least 10K. Don’t fret.

This is a time to let the story flow naturally. You’d be amazed at what you create.

~Ericajean

Creative Writing · cyborgs · writing

Let’s Chat About Falling…

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Photo Credit: Pixabay

 

This time of year I bring out the cinnamon sticks, baked apple aerosol sprays and buy Apple pies and Sweet potato pies.

For real though. Those Seasonal Yummy Febreeze sprays are nothing but the truth! I own the Baked Apple scent.

Cinnamon sweetness permeates the air and the days are shorter than the sleep I get on longer nights.

I found an article online that was quite interesting. Ever wonder why there are two names for this season? Fall and Autumn?

You’d be surprised.

According to Dan Nosowitz for Atlas Obscura,

“Autumn coexisted with “harvest” as a loose description of the season.”

Fall is fairly new to us. Autumn and Harvest existed way before Fall’s 16th century appearance.

The catch is that Fall caught on hard for us Americans…

In fact, the article quotes a passage from H.W. Fowler’s 1908 essay which argues that “fall is much superior to autumn.”

It is simply easier to say and actually sounds like what occurs: the falling of leaves, the fall of the sun earlier than before, etc.

So Fall is the norm in the U.S and the U.K, however in the U.K. autumn is common.

What does this have to do with anything?

If you have not already done so, you can download the first 15% of The Fall of Autumn short story collection on Smashwords now for free.

I guarantee afterwards you’ll want more.

Enjoy the fall inspired stories of falling in love, falling for a stranger, for a ghost, for a cyborg.

Fall is about more than crisp air and anticipation of the festive holidays.

Fall into Hope.

Fall into Change.

Fall in Love.

If you enjoyed this post, show it some love! Share, like, comment and subscribe if you like what you see.

~Ericajean