Monday, March 19, 2012

The Lady of the Rivers

Right now I'm about 3/4 of the way through the book "The Lady of the Rivers" by Philippa Gregory, author of "The Other Boleyn Girl" (an excellent book) and so many others.

I think Philippa Gregory is a master at historical fiction, but The Lady of the Rivers is falling a little flat for me.  It's a good book, but not a top book for me.  Why?  Well, it's just not full of as much "action" as I'd like.  It has too much narrative about, well, a lot of boring "war" stuff between France and England and their monarchs.  I prefer a LOT more private life information.  I like following the people far more than the history.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE history in all forms, but in this story, it feels particularly heavy on the side of circumstances rather than individuals.  Read it and discover for yourself.  You may feel the exact opposite. ;)

I've just cracked open another book called "The Secret Lives of Dresses" by Erin McKean, so it's too soon to comment, but I will share my thoughts when I finish.  Yes, I tend to read 1 or 2 books at a time.  I read one in the car while waiting at the school for my youngest son, and the other in the evening if I get a break. 

I love knowing I have a book to read at all times.  I feel off center when I don't have any reading material on hand either hard copy or through my kindle. It's the same with my novel writing.  If I don't write for too many days in a row, I'm a mess.  I feel "low", but as soon as I get back to the writing, I feel on top of the world.  Like a drug!  A writing drug!! lol 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Generate reviews for newly published book

Good morning!  This week the topic is on generating reviews because that is exactly what I'm working on at this time.  Reviews, as any reader knows, are very important.  They aid greatly (for me) when I'm deciding to buy a book I've never read, or not buy it.  So, of course, I want them for my own book as well, and I'd really love for them to be 5 star reviews!!  ;)

My best advice so far is that authors approach as many reviewers as they can each week.  Take one day a week and spend your time soliciting reviewers for reviews.  How?  Well, there are hundreds of bloggers out there who do just that, and it's FREE!  You simply provide the reviewer with your book for free, and they will read and review it.  How wonderful is that!?

Keep in mind, not every blogger reviews every genre, so you will need to research each blog to make sure it's a fit before you approach the reviewer.  I like to use the Step-by-Step-Self Publishing site (  They list reviewers and their requirements to narrow the number of blogs you bother to visit.

So, I've shared ONE way to generate reviews of your new book, but as I discover new, successful ways, I'll post them here.

I'm all about authors helping authors, especially self-published authors. ;)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Self publishing tip #3

Time to dive in to the social networking world.  Now before you turn off your computer and run as far from this post as you can get, hang in there with me for just a minute.

Social neworking started off as a dirty word for me since I wasn't familiar with the ins and outs (I'm still on a learning curve!), but I've picked up a very helpful piece of information over the months.  You do not have to join every single platform or network (few! Right?).  Just pick 1 to 3 that you can manage and build, and go with them.  The goal is to get your name and/or book(s) in front of as many eyes as possible, you decide how you'll do that.

Right now, I'm on FB, have this blog, I'm on LinkedIn, and I have my author pages with Amazon and Smashwords(of course).  That's it, and that's plenty.  In the future, as I get more savy about social networking, I may branch out, but for now, I'm good.

I have to add that, for me, LinkedIn has been a huge help in launching my FB author page and I plan to tap in to it for launching this blog.  The writing groups are wonderful with a lot of like minded (and like-situation) people to connect with who are willing to help you along, looking only for you to reciprocate. 

So, I suggest you get connected to LinkedIn and make your author FB page to begin.  I'm always open to questions. 

Until next time, happy social-networking!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Self Publishing tips/advice continued

Okay, so you've done your homework and read all about how to self publish and how to market once you are "live", right?  I thought so. ;)
I'm going to backtrack just a bit to make sure you are covered to go ahead and SP (self publish).  I published on first, because Mark Coker (founder) offers a free download of his formatting guide, and let me tell you, it's fantastic.  He does a great job of walking even the most tech challenged individual (such as myself) through everything step by simple step. Really wonderful. If you read his book and follow his steps, you'll do just fine formatting, and you won't have to pay someone to do it for you (though it's not that expensive to do that).  Publishing on Amazon for the kindle is a little different, but after formatting  for Smashwords, their are few tweaks to be made.

So, you did all that and now you want to know how to get your book in front of as many people as possible in order to actually make money on it.  Well, I'm going to share everything I know (and even share what others know, with their permission).

First, tell all your friends and family. Use the phone (oh my, the horror!), use Facebook, and e-mail to get this message out there.  They are you initial fan base, so tap into them.  You may find, as I have, not everyone you know and love wants an e-book in any form, but they can still help out by passing your book links and info. to THEIR friends and family.  And the chain begins...

Go with that, and meet me back here for the next step/tip.
Until next time my friends...