Do Read-and-Review Programs Really Work?

Please review my bookBy L.A. Lewandowski, Laurie Boris & Lynne Cantwell

As authors, we all know book reviews are important for many reasons. They are also critical to readers when they visit our book’s page. There are many ways to go about getting reviews, and read-and-review programs are one of them. These programs are technically not the same as getting a paid review. A paid review means a reader (or a publication) is receiving payment specifically to review your book. Yes, an author participating in a read-and-review program might be charged a fee, but that’s generally for the website’s administrative services. A read-and-review program offers readers a free copy of your book in exchange for an honest review, and they require that the reviewer include a statement to that effect in the review they post. In the case of Story Cartel, a little extra incentive is provided, but that’s as a giveaway prize for readers who participate in the program—not direct payment for services. Continue reading “Do Read-and-Review Programs Really Work?”

Cursive’s Connection to Creativity

Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino

What do the creative processes of Truman Capote, Joyce Carol Oates, Vladimir Nabokov, JK Rowling, Jackie Collins, and Quentin Tarantino have in common? Each of these brilliant writers prefers, or preferred, the slower process of writing by hand. Truman Capote wrote lying down, très louche. Joyce Carol Oates is never without a pencil and a small pad of paper. Vladimir Nabokov wrote on index cards, and then moved them around to test the flow of scenes — a sort of cut and paste. JK Rowling prefers to write her first drafts by hand, as does Jackie Collins: her last manuscript topping out at a whopping 2000 pages of cursive. And Quentin Tarantino, the uber-talented creative genius, writes his screenplays by hand. Continue reading “Cursive’s Connection to Creativity”

Planning for Author-Entrepreneur Success

Jeff Bezos' iconic laugh does not endorse this post.
Jeff Bezos’ iconic laugh does not endorse this post.

I’m starting this post with an embarrassing admission. My original post — brilliant, ground breaking, and written late at night after several days working my day job at a local luxury retailer — has gone missing. I would like to say that I suspect nargles, à la Harry Potter, but more than likely I deleted it when I powered down my computer.

You probably wouldn’t have wanted to read it anyway. It was my business and marketing plan for 2015 and some of the more creative highlights included: Continue reading “Planning for Author-Entrepreneur Success”

Bacon Aporkalypse: The Cookbook

Bacon Aporkalypse by L.A. Lewandowski, cover by K. S. BrooksOne of the writing projects I assigned myself in 2014 was a cookbook. I love cookbooks and have collected them for years. The last time I counted them I had seventy-three, not including the over-stuffed binder and the pile of gourmet magazines. I’ve cooked from all of them at one time or another, and often a dish I prepare is a combination of several recipes. I have also maintained a food blog since 2009, which has been a labor of love.

The best cookbooks combine stories, whimsical or factual, with the recipes. One of my favorites, Italy — A Culinary Journey, contains many classic recipes organized by region. The photography of the food and the landscapes, cities, et cetera, is breathtaking, and the historically based stories that accompany each section are charming. I have read that cookbook countless times and dreamed of seeing the coast of Puglia where my grandparents were born.

I did not have the energy or resources to take on a project of this magnitude. I decided to do something a bit quirky — to combine my newfound affection for flash fiction with recipes I’ve prepared. Better yet, because I love bacon, I included bacon or pork in as many of the stories as I could, and attached a link at the end of the story to a yummy recipe. Sounds easy, right? Um, no. Continue reading “Bacon Aporkalypse: The Cookbook”