A tribute to…you, the authors

I was sitting in the Minion’s Mess the other day, enjoying my weekly ration of gruel (a thimbleful! I’ve progressed), when the EM walked in (with his spiced lobster with baby fennel, celeriac purée, saffron beurre noisette and fennel chilli mayonnaise) and joined me. We exchanged a few pleasantries. You know the sort of thing: how was life now that I had a candle to light my quarters, did I enjoy knife and fork privileges, third-world economy, the plight of the polar bear, yada yada. Anyway, we got to talking about what to feature in my future posts, and he suggested I could perhaps write about what authors did that I might find just an eensy bit annoying. Good heavens, I thought, that would set me up for the next twelve posts! O-n-l-y  j-o-k-i-n-g…honest, honest.

But it was food for thought.

People, generally, are not backward in coming forward. We’re rather good at complaining, aren’t we? The British used not to be…stiff upper lip and all that…but we can sit along with the rest of the complaining community quite happily now. You see, it’s so easy these days: pick up the phone, or write a snotty email. No one can see you, you feel you can say what you want. Why wasn’t my fridge delivered on time? Why is there a dent in my new table? You forgot an item in my parcel. Just not good enough!!! Continue reading “A tribute to…you, the authors”

Tell us what you want, what you really, really want…

(…thank you, Scary, Posh, Baby, Ginger, and Sporty…)

It’s funny, isn’t it, how one sentence, just a few words, can stop you in your tracks and make you go…aaaargh!  Let me explain…

I review books; some of you may know this, some perhaps not. How did that happen?

I’ve had a Kindle for a couple of years now, and I was pretty much instantly hooked. I became a bookworm…or rather, an ebookworm. When some Facebook friends started their own reviewing blogs, I had a ‘Eureka’ moment and thought, gosh, what a good idea! In my case, this was a solution to the ‘closure’ I wanted after reading a book, and it was a nice neat way of recording all the ebooks I’d read on my can’t-leave-home-without-it Kindle—an anthology if you like. And if ‘virtual’ passers-by dropped in…well, even better. How nice!

So, armed with a few hints and tips from a couple of review sites for whom I’d reviewed some books, I mapped out what I thought would formulate a worthy review: something I’d be happy to look back at (and not cringe at with embarrassment). I decided long drawn-out reviews with endless analyses and explanations of the plots were just a big yawn…a short synopsis would suffice, I reckoned. Then again, one- or two-line reviews don’t satisfy me either. I’m clearly not clever enough for those punchy, concise, but all-embracing reviews I so admire (viz. Rich Meyer (a learned member of our team), Ed Drury (a frequent flash-fiction flyer—and winner!), so I knew I had to leave those to the smarty pants (Rich Meyer, Ed Drury). Continue reading “Tell us what you want, what you really, really want…”

Give It Away with Rafflecopter

One of the tools in the promotional arsenal of an author (and also companies, websites, and many other organizations) is a giveaway. People love a chance to win free stuff. Many authors do book giveaways on Goodreads which has some positives (lots of people become aware of your book and add it to their to-be-read list), but some downsides as well. Goodreads only allows paper books to be given away, which has financial implications, not only the cost of the book, but shipping costs that could easily get out of hand if you don’t limit entrants to readers from your home country. By using a 100% off coupon code on Smashwords or emailing an ebook file directly to winners it is possible for an author to do a giveaway of ebooks outside of Goodreads at no cost or, if they prefer, at low cost using their promotional dollars for other prizes (Amazon gift cards or some kind of book swag). Continue reading “Give It Away with Rafflecopter”

Get A Group: Critique Partners Make a Difference

Guest post
by Darlene Deluca

They may push you. They may make you rewrite. And rewrite some more. They might ask you tough questions like, “what’s the point of this scene?” They may be brutally honest. You might not like them very much sometimes.

But, relax, they’re making you a better writer, and your book a better product.

They’re called critique partners. And you need them. Why? Because they’ll tell you if something doesn’t make sense, if you need to chop twenty-five pages of backstory, or if you’ve used the word “just” fifty times in one chapter. Continue reading “Get A Group: Critique Partners Make a Difference”