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News, advice and conversation about the Self-Publishing book industry.



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Review of Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption By J L Murphey

A Review of

Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption

By J L Murphey



Here is another review and a further book that has taken me outside of my comfort zone. Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption is the very first zombie/horror story I have ever read and if this is the level of writing this subject achieves then I´ll be reading more. This wasn´t what I was expecting, yes you get the lurching walk, the hunger for warm human flesh and the other things associated with zombies but in this story you get a whole lot more. Donna Cairn, the central character is a research scientist in the field of genetics who converted from general medicine and is now devoting her life to finding a cure for Alzheimer´s disease. She lives (for the most part) and works along with her fellow doctors and scientists looking at cures for the world´s diseases in an unusual facility, a disused missile silo sold off by the government at the end of the cold war. Deep underground the silo becomes a safe haven as the zombie apocalypse takes hold. It starts slowly as dogs begin to attack the population, transmitting a virus which transforms the victims into the living dead. These attacks rapidly escalate until more than half of the world´s population is infected. Can Donna along with a fellow doctor, Kit Steger, find a cure for the incurable or will the earth turn into a human free zone populated only by the living dead?
There are numerous sub plots the main one featuring Hapgood´s theory of Earth Crust Displacement, which to you and me means the entire earth´s surface has been displaced around the globe´s central core. The setting of the story, near Omaha in Nebraska has moved and is virtually in the position of where the North Pole used to be. That means snow and ice, will that help or hinder the intrepid scientists?
I hugely enjoyed reading this book, it was a revelation. Well written with characters you can believe in and root for. I would thoroughly recommend it to anybody who wants to try a different genre. Whether or not it is zombie clich├ęd I have no idea, I just know it was a very good read and I look forward to reading more of J L Murphey´s work.
My rating 5 out of 5.

To buy and download a copy of Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption and see other books by J L Murphey click here: J L Murphey

A Review of How to Draw a cat in Six Easy Steps By Tanya Provines

A Review of

How to Draw a cat in Six Easy Steps

By Tanya Provines


Commercial artist, illustrator, freelance author and licensed art teacher, Tanya Provines, has produced a whole series of books entitles How to Draw..........

At $0.99 a book these very simple guides to drawing various objects and animals represent excellent value for money in these austere times and are a great way of entertaining your kids and perhaps giving a helping hand to any budding artists out there. I´d recommend these books if you want to give your children´s artistic talents a boost.

Tanya is also a serious author and you can see her complete listing of books by clicking here

My rating 5 out of 5.

A Review of Shadows of Suspicion By Ashley Dawn

A Review of

Shadows of Suspicion

By Ashley Dawn


Another book and a different genre to get my head around; since starting booksandnovelstoread.com I´ve read a lot of unfamiliar genre and this is the first romance I´ve ever perused. Boy is it different to my usual type of book, that is thrillers if you don´t already know. I asked Sandra my wife and she confirmed that in most romances there is a lot of thinking going on. “Why has he said that?” “Why did she do that?” This goes on throughout the book. I´m more used to the thinking process being restricted to “Shall I kill him with a knife or a gun.” So once I´d gotten used to the thought process this story jogged along at a good pace. I suppose the yarn was written in the classic romantic style. Boy meets girl, they have many problems and then ...... I don´t want to spoil it for you.

The two protagonists (that´s the thriller side of me coming out) Kerry and Luke meet in extremely dangerous circumstances, she´s been kidnapped for reasons you´ll discover and he is sent to rescue her not realising that she is a feisty, independent woman and from there the story develops. At times I wanted to bang their two heads together as they made such hard work of falling in love, thinking too much for their own good. However the dialogue between the two of them is both realistic, funny at times, antagonistic at others, but always very well written. When God was mentioned early in the book I´ll admit I found it a bit off putting. I am not a religious person and feared He was going to be rammed down my throat but it turned out it was an extremely important and integral aspect of the story which didn´t actually spoil the narrative for me. You can believe in the characters, the book makes you want to know what is going to happen next and you find yourself rooting for them.

Ashley Dawn is a very talented writer. Shadows of Suspicion is an extremely good story which I admit I enjoyed immensely once I had overcome my trepidation of reading a romance. I read books and write reviews about them because authors have been kind enough to send me their works and I believe it is my duty to read every word. Some of the books I´ve reviewed have been very good but I can´t say I really enjoyed reading them. This was different; I ended up truly taking pleasure from this yarn which is a sign that the author knows how to write a good story.
 
I would thoroughly recommend Shadows of Suspicion to anybody and look forward to reading more books by Ashley.

My rating 5 out of 5.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Review of How To Understand The Book Of Revelation, Revelation 1:1 – 3:22

A Review of

How To Understand The Book Of Revelation, Revelation 1:1 – 3:22

By Tanya provines


Being a non believer I don´t know where to start with this book review. First I´ll say that the research Tanya has put into this work is awesome. I´m always staggered at the amount of research people go to in order to compile a work of this sort. Tanya obviously knows her Holy Bible, the King James Version as she continuously, throughout the book, references other scriptures to explain and amplify her message. Tanya states quite clearly.

“Studying the book of Revelation, the reader is lead to virtually every other book of the Bible. All that we need to know about God and about ourselves is in this book; past, present, and future.” Which to me is an extremely bold statement.

Now I´m aware that the Book of Revelations is an extremely important scripture, I know that many works of fiction use this book as a basis for their stories and for believers it can be the very basis of their belief. Tanya has taken the first three chapters of Revelation, perhaps the three that get passed over more quickly than the rest and carries out an in-depth exploration of their meaning. The Holy Bible is to my understanding not to be taken too literally and a great deal of thought is needed to fully comprehend what you are reading. Tanya´s work attempts to explain the first three chapters of the Book of Revelations and to a large extent I believe she achieves her aim. Using her insight as an artist and an accomplished word smith she wends her way through the chapters explaining and clarifying.

I feel however this is a book for a committed Christian to increase their depth of knowledge of the Book of Revelations rather than a work to convert the non believer. I wasn´t moved by the book no matter the high merit of the work. However I will still rate the book 5 out of 5 because I recognize the quality of the research, the quality of the writing and the belief and commitment that comes across in Tanya´s words.

My rating 5 out of 5.

Tanya is also an commercial artist and you can see her complete listing of books by clicking here

A Review of Yes China! An English Teacher's Love-Hate Relationship with a Foreign Country

A Review of

Yes China! An English Teacher's Love-Hate Relationship with a Foreign Country

By Clark Nielsen


A book about China, this should be fascinating and parts of it were, but it´s also about Clark's experience, or should I say lack of experience, teaching English in China. I nearly gave up on Yes China after the first three chapters. They are all about his time in the classroom and I´m afraid to say they were repetitive and dull. Clark then went onto tell the reader about life in China and the book suddenly got interesting.

Unfortunately between every interesting chapter is another about Clark´s life in the classroom. Okay I know the book's blurb clearly states "I was there to pretend like I knew how to teach," but you can have too much of a good thing and quite honestly every chapter about being in the teaching environment felt the same. The incidents might be different but as I progressed it just felt I'd read it all before. Now when Clark writes about his life in China and the people, then the interest level soars. From restrooms to food, travel to accommodation, Clark covers them all. He talks about the Chinese people and the huge cultural differences existing between them and the U.S. Towards the end of the book he even finds love, good reading as you will find out.

In the snippet from the blurb, above, you will also gather there is an attempt at humour. This went over my head, but that´s me. Humour is subjective and I'm sure many people would find Clark's writing hilarious.

The author is brutally honest about his feelings starting with his resignation from the Mormon Church to his thoughts about some of the kids he tries to teach English too. At times I found him embarrassingly open, revealing too much of himself, but you've got to admire somebody prepared to wear their heart on their sleeve in front of the reading public.

So, I found Yes China a very mixed bag of tricks, some very good and others to be honest, boring. I suppose I was disappointed it was not more of a travelogue, which just goes to show I could not have read the book's blurb properly. Having said all that I did enjoy parts of the book and am glad I read it. If you are at all interested in travel or China I believe you should give it a try even though I´ve not given the book a very good review.

If you would like to buy or download a copy of this book click here. Yes China

My rating 3 out of 5.

A Review of Healthy French Cuisine for less than $10 a day.

A Review of

Healthy French Cuisine for less than $10 a day.

By Chef Alain Braux C.E.P.C. C.M.B. B.S. Holistic Nutrition


Once again Chef Alain Braux has written a stunning book. More than just a cook book French Cuisine for less than $10 a day is a life style guide to help you save money, eat good tasty food but most of all to eat healthily.

Alain accepts that in today´s busy world it is not always easy to purchase, prepare and cook the foods necessary to promote a healthy life style but he makes suggestions on how you can ease into a system to transform your eating habits. He gives hints and tips on buying food, what to look out for in the various food shops you’ll come across and suggests bulk buying when possible. He explains various methods of cooking to keep the food you’ve purchased at its best and most nutritional and why certain cooking methods, deep fat frying, grilling etc, etc is bad for the food and ultimately bad for you.

Alain gives a lot of information about the food industry and the government´s part in that industry that will surprise and even shock you. He condemns all processed food because it reduces the nutritional value the processing causes. There are pages of other useful and interesting information surrounding every aspect of eating.
Eat fresh and organic should be Alain’s motto.

Finally there are of course pages of fine tasty recipes, simply explained so you can follow them with ease. We particularly enjoyed his Grilled Pork Chops in Mustard and Sage plus the Spicy Chicken with Basil, two fine recipes that tasted yummy and kept within the budget, you can’t say fairer than that.

My rating 5 stars out of 5.


Click here to go to Alain Braux's website

Books and Novels to Read.com is back!!!!

After problems with my ISP here in Spain, BNR is back on line, hooray.

Whilst offline I've reviewed half a dozen books and those reviews will follow shortly. I´ve also finished the new search facility on the website so you can now search by title and author as well as by genre. I am adding books from Smashwords to the search facility as we speak, but it takes time.

One last thing, have a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous New Year. Let us all hope that the politicians who run this world get some devine inspiration and sort out the mess they got us into in the first place.

All the very best - Terry

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Review of Roofman by John Pansini

A Review of

Roofman

By John Pansini


This is the true story of John Pansini a well qualified and professional librarian with a Masters Degree in Library Science, who happens to be working as a roof repairman nailing on shingles all day in New York. The language comes across very readily as that of a native New Yorker and adds to the story and enhances his description of this work. At times it is funny as the toils of a manual worker in the extremes of a New York summer and winter takes its toll. John also runs his own company Computerized Information Retrieval which does exactly what the name suggests. After placing an advert in the New York Times John is approached by a Russian, Mikhail Katkov, to get some information for him and there the whole story starts.

A patriot I think, John approaches the FBI, this is the 1980s after all, the time of the cold war, and tells them about his Russian ´friend´. They apparently, reluctantly take an interest and the book covers the next four years of intrigue and mystery as the relationship between John, Mikhail and various Special Agents from the FBI develops.
John has more than one motive for accepting the work from Mikhail, money, he´s a patriot, he really really enjoys the thought of being a spy and finally from the start he realises that there is a book and screenplay to be written from his experiences, hence this book, Roofman.

The way things develop in the book have the air of authenticity about them. The relationship between the New Yorker and the Russian grows over time, at least that is what John believes. I gained the impression the author was being played from both sides, the Russian GRU officer and by the FBI, but he feels that he was in control. Near the end when John sees that his spying career is nearly over he makes a desperate attempt to prolong things by approaching the Customs Authorities, you just knew that wasn´t going to work.
This was an enjoyable book to read and even though John Pansini claims it is a true story I am left with the tiny thought that he´s just playing me and the rest of his readers. It doesn´t matter if he is though, you´ll still relish reading the book with the air of reality running through it. Well done John a great read.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

The real world of espionage and counterespionage was not what I expected. An ordinary guy like me, a roofer with a Master's degree in Library Science and with no prior training in intelligence work, nothing in my imagination prepared me for what I faced during the sensitive time when the United States and the Soviet Union were at each others throats.

This true story includes 63 minutes of taped conversations between me and my spy handlers. A reader will see and be part of the real world of spying: of talking to the Feds, the Russians, and always watching one's back.

My rating 4 out of 5.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

About Books and Novels to Read

Hello All

I´ve just completed a new search facility on the BNR website. You can now search by Author or Title as well as by genre. I´ve added all the print books and am about to start on the ebooks.

It is a long job so please be patient if your book doesn´t appear for a while, it will get there in the end.

By the way, I´ve had to purchase a new computer as my old one went bang during a thunder storm. I now have Windows 7, how posh is that? What a swizz though, as soon as I attached the machine to the internet it downloaded 89 updates from Microsoft about 550 Mbs of information. I did the uploads on my Grandson´s ADSL, at home on dial-up that would have taken about 48 hours solid.

Plus I had trouble uploading all my contacts into Windows Live Mail, something to do with my old Windows XP being in Spanish and Windows 7 is in English. I ended up doing this manually, so if I´ve lost anybody I´m sorry but I´m sure you will contact me eventually.

Have a really great day.

Best tregards - Terry

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

John Zunski

I've just added a blog John Zunski to my follow list. You can see his blog at John Zunski Blog it looks good, the content is different and you'll enjoy what John has to say. Have a look.

Here is what John had to say about the Big 6 publishing houses:-

Oct 19 For the past month, we’ve watched or participated in occupy movements across the United States. For those of us who are Indie Authors, I believe it’s time to take a page from the occupy movement’s playbook.  I’ll spare you the details of how the major publishing houses (The Big Six) have monopolized who reads what.
What I’m suggesting will not cost much time or money.  When  considering purchasing  your next read, I ask that you purchase from an Indie Author and spread the word using social media outlets.  Here’s an example:
(Tweet)
Occupy Big Six.  Discontents – @James Wallace Birch   #Occupy #OB6
Include Occupy Big Six, Title, and Author along with hash Tags #occupy and #OB6 and whatever tags you can fit.

If you believe in the democratization of publishing, I encourage you to participate. I believe this is a simple and effective  method to get the word out.  Let’s go viral.

GO FOR IT JOHN, I'M RIGHT BEHIND YOU.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

An interview with Lorhainne Eckhart author of The Choice



BNR - Hello Lorhainne it's great to talk to you today. I know our readers love to hear the views of different writers.
LE: The Choice is the title of the latest novel. It is the first novel in a series titled Walk the Right Road. I struggled with the title for this novel. But it is about the making the right choice, whether to follow the path of destruction or walk the right road. My character in the novel struggles with her choices made.
BNR - Have you tried getting your books published by the conventional route or did you go straight into self publishing?
LE: My first novel is published through the Wild Rose Press. I chose to self-publish this novel due to changes in this industry. I worked with a Literary Agent and Editor prior to taking that step to self-publish. Because of the subject matter of the novel, I walked away from a publisher when they tried to change the context of the story. It has elements of romance and suspense, but it’s not a romance.
BNR - How many books have you written, what are they and are they all in print or eBooks?
LE: I have two published novels, both in eBook and print. The Captain’s Lady and The Choice. My third novel The Forgotten Child will be released November 1.
BNR - Would you say your writing career has been successful, have you sold many books?
LE: I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished in my writing career. Book sales have been better than what I expected.
BNR - How have you promoted your books, social media, advertising, book fairs? Which method of promotion would you say has been most successful?
LE: Social Media has been my primary focus, although I did pursue print advertising, and features in the local newspaper. But as I was advised by other writers, print advertising and articles in the paper don’t hold a lot of weight in sales. Social Media and book blogs have been the most successful form of promotion.
BNR - Do you have any new writing projects in the pipeline?
LE: Actually I have two. The Forgotten Child, a contemporary romance, will be published November 1, 2011. And A Father’s Love, a young adult short story with illustrations by a local artist, will be published November 6, 2011.
BNR - What do you see in the future for the book industry? Will print books disappear as eBooks take over?
LE: I don’t believe print books will disappear. But the numbers already reflect the steady rise in eBook sales.
BNR - Which authors in particular are you influenced by and what genre do you enjoy reading?
LE: There are a number of authors that have influenced me. Suzanne Brockmann, Karin Slaughter, and the talented authors at Orangeberry Book Collective. As far as genre, I read almost anything, but I gravitate toward crime fiction and romantic suspense.
BNR - In a desert island disc scenario, which book would you want to have with you?
LE: Gone with the Wind
BNR - What age range are you in?
LE: 40 - 50
BNR - Where were you born and where do you now call home, have you had much chance to travel?
LE: I was born in Alberta, but home is now on Vancouver Island. No with children, travelling has taken a back burner. Maybe in the next few years, Ireland is at the top of my list to visit.
BNR - Do you have any inspirational words for all your fellow self published authors?
LE: Keep writing, and no matter what anyone says don’t give up.
About Lorhainne
Lorhainne Eckhart began her writing career in 2008, when she published her first novel, The Captain's Lady, a Contemporary Military Romance. Lorhainne Eckhart is a member of the RWA, Sisters in Crime and Victoria RWA. She makes her home on beautiful Vancouver Island, and lives in the country with her three children. The mother of a special needs child. And one of her greatest gifts was having to learn, organization, structure, and how to stay focused on what's really important in life. She lives by simple rules, the same she teaches her children. Stay honest, be impeccable with your word, never take advantage of anyone, and treat everyone with respect. She's an advocate for children with special needs. Passionate about preserving our environment, wildlife, and protecting what natural resources we have left, so there will be a future for our children. Lorhainne loves her garden, nature and all animals. When she isn't being a busy Mom, working on, and promoting her next novel, you'll find her horseback riding on the trails, working in the garden, or outside enjoying nature. Lorhainne is an avid reader and writer. She writes romantic suspense, but enjoys reading novels from all genres. Her latest novel, The Choice, Book One of Walk the Right Road Series, is a romantic, mystical suspense. And explores an issue most women have fallen victim to at one time in their life. The masterful predator who preys on vulnerable women, and clouds the invisible barrier between right and wrong. What would you do for someone you love?
Reviews from Amazon
"The first quality the reader will notice about this novel is the amount of events occurring and meshing together all at once. The reader will experience a drug bust, haughty and cruel drug lord, dirty cops, dark entities, etc... Marcie, the main character, is smack dab in the middle of all of this. Marcie is being utilized as a mule for her boyfriend, Dan, who turns out to have some magical persuasive powers of his own. Sam, an agent working to nab Dan and stop the operation, sees and instantly wants Marcie for himself. Marcie is one of those odd, but interesting characters who can see dead people. She is a sympathetic character while Sam is the strong, handsome hero. It doesn't take long for this story to get fairly steamy, there is a little bit of sex (for 18+ readers). The novel is predictable in many ways, but there are a few surprising twists thrown in. The ending is satisfying and expected. This novel is recommended for adult readers who enjoy contemporary romance."
"I found this book to be a very interesting read. A bit of magic and romance as well as suspense thrown in. For people who are in to one, two or all three of these things, I would recommend this book. This is the first book I have read by Lorhainne Eckhart and I am hoping to read some more of hers."
"I really enjoyed reading this book. The beginning really brought me in and I got attached to the characters easily. I thought the storyline was intriguing and it kept me guessing throughout the story. It was an overall good read, not one of my favorite books ever, but it was still worth the time to read and I would recommend reading it to anyone wanting a good read."
"From the beginning, I was enthralled with the way the author wove the details of this story together. The incident where Marcie met Sam in New Orleans started a whole chain of events that kept the plot moving. Between witchcraft, police business, marijuana grow-ops and life on a small island, there was a lot going on all the time. The secondary characters were interesting and they added to the overall mystery and to the romance blooming between our hero and heroine. The villain was believable--sometimes slimy and mean-hearted and other times sweet like gooey candy that sticks to your teeth. He brought another level of interest to a complicated intrigue. This author has a wonderful talent of creating people with a depth of emotion, which makes them almost seem like friends rather than characters in a book. Her talent is revealed in lines such as - Her heart pounded when panic licked away her confidence, leaving her feeling shy and awkward. I enjoyed this tale very much and I'm looking forward to the next book from Ms. Eckhart."
BNR: Thank you Lorainne that was an enjoyable and enlightening interview. BNR wishes you the best of luck for the future. Be sure to tell us about all your upcoming plans.
To buy a print copy of The Choice in U.S. Dollers click here.The Choice (Walk the Right Road, Book 1)

Friday, October 28, 2011

An interview with Joseph Rinaldo author of Hazardous Choices


Hello Joseph and thank you for agreeing to be interviewed by Books and Novels to Read.com and taking the time to answer my questions. Are you ready, then we'll begin?
BNR - What is the title of your latest books and where did the ideas for them spring from?
JR: The title of my latest ebook is Hazardous Choices. The idea for it originally came to me simply because I live just outside Nashville, a city where gang violence is rampant and the "collateral damage" is monstrous. I wondered if a young man who was a member of such a gang could escape that life, and if so, how?
BNR - Have you tried getting your books published by the conventional route or did you go straight into self publishing?
JR: I tried for several years to get a book published going the traditional route. The only thing I accomplished by doing that was to make me think I would never be published and that I had wasted a lot of time writing books no one would ever read. Then, I discovered the wonderful world of self-publishing, and using Amazon's KDP program, I have begun releasing the books I've written.
BNR - How many books have you written, what are they and are they all in print or eBooks?
JR: I have written nine books so far, and I released one, A Spy At Home, last year. Sales have been slow but fairly steady. I am still promoting it as well as the new one, Hazardous Choices. These two are in ebook format only, and likely the others will be as well. I am addicted to my Kindle, and I see ereaders everywhere, so I am marketing my books that way, because I really feel that is the future of book-buying.
BNR - Would you say your writing career has been successful, have you sold many books?
JR: That's a difficult question to answer, because I'm not sure what standard to measure the sale of my books by. I have sold books, I feel successful when I sell a book, but am I where I hope to be? No. My goal is to have one (or all) of my books turned into a blockbuster movie that earns millions and makes my name a household word!BNR - Wouldn't we all, although I just want to be rich not famous!
BNR - How have you promoted your books, social media, advertising, book fairs? Which method of promotion would you say has been most successful?
JR: I have promoted my books very heavily through social media, including soliciting reviews from bloggers and others to "get the word out there". I did try traditional advertising: print ads, FB ads, Google ads, and passing out bookmarks at book fairs and putting them in bookstores, but none of those methods brought me the recognition I've gotten by working social media. The important thing about using social media to promote a book is that it's practically a full-time job! You really have to devote time to it every day, and it's not easy to find that time. I am grateful for the many reviewers and bloggers who have read and reviewed my books, and for other authors who give support by encouraging me and by helping me promote my own work through such sites as Facebook and Twitter. Of course, I am happy to reciprocate..
BNR - Do you have any new writing projects in the pipeline?
JR: Yes! I'm very excited about the next book I'm releasing (probably sometime early next year) called Mountain Meadows Aftermath. It's been re-read and revised by me and will very soon be in the hands of a professional editor. Because it is about the Mormon Church, I believe that the story will really resonate with readers in the period leading up to and including the presidential election. For a brief synopsis of the book pre-release, readers can go to my website, www.josephmrinaldo.com.
BNR - What do you see in the future for the book industry? Will print books disappear as eBooks take over?
JR: I wouldn't say that print books will disappear. There will, for at least the next several decades, be readers who prefer the feeling of holding an actual book in their hands. However, I do believe that as the number of younger, tech-savvy readers increases, ereaders will take over a huge portion of that market, and since I'm producing only ebooks, that suits me just fine!
BNR - Which authors in particular are you influenced by and what genre do you enjoy reading?
JR: I have read many books I enjoyed, but I wouldn't say that any other author has influenced me, other than the ones who have made millions off their books! That may sound mercenary, but I do want to be hugely successful with my books, and I do want to make enough money from them to offer my family the lifestyle they deserve. In saying that, I won't deny that I have truly enjoyed some books more than others. Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn is a perfect book, and I would recommend it to anyone. Likewise The Count of Monte Cristo, a classic by Alexandre Dumas. These are two print books I enjoyed very much. I read in a wide variety of genres, and I don't care about the label, only the product. It has been very difficult for me to classify my own books in a particular genre, and there is a tiny glimmer of hope in my heart that at some point, other than the broad division between fiction and nonfiction, the whole obsession with "genre" will disappear.
BNR - In a desert island disc scenario, which book would you want to have with you?
JR: Wow, that's a tough one. Probably The Count of Monte Cristo, because it would take me longer to read than many other books, and would keep my mind occupied.
BNR - What age range are you in?
JR: I am in my early forties. Interesting question.
BNR - Where were you born and where do you now call home, have you had much chance to travel?
JR: I was born in Danville, Illinois, lived most of my life in Kentucky, and now call Tennessee home. I attended The Ohio State University for undergraduate work and Western Kentucky University for graduate work. I traveled quite a bit when I was younger with my parents, but I haven't been outside the U.S. in many years. My family and I like to go south in the summer and enjoy the beach, and occasionally I'll travel out of state for a football or basketball game, but beyond that, I'm pretty happy just being home.
BNR - Do you have any inspirational words for all your fellow self published authors?
JR: I don't know how inspirational these words are, but I would tell all self-published authors that the most critical part of writing a book, in my opinion, is hiring a professional editor to "polish" the work you've done. Self-published books have gotten a bad rap because some authors think they can do all the revisions and editing themselves and get a clean manuscript. It just doesn't work that way. If you have written something, you are far too close to it to be objective, and it is almost impossible to see your own errors. Cost is always a factor, but if you expect people to pay you to read your books, you need to be sure they are as professionally prepared as possible. You don't like seeing mistakes in other people's books, so why would you think differently about your own?
BNR: Joseph I've found your answers interesting.
To download an ebook copy of Hazardous Choices in U.S. Dollers click here.HAZARDOUS CHOICES

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Twuffer

I've just discovered www.twuffer.com it's a website that's lets you schedule Tweets (on Twitter) in advance. Living in a oart of Spain where I can only have dial-up internet speed of loading is very important to me amd Twitter can be very, very slow at times. Twuffer is fast, user friendly and very easy to use. Highly recommended.

An interview with Margart Millmore author of The Doppelganger Experiment

Hello Margaret it's great to have you onboard with Books and Novels to Read.com, thank you for taking the time to be interviewed by BNR and answer my questions.
BNR - How long have you been writing
MM: I’ve always made up stories, some of which I even jotted down, but life in general and a demanding career kept me from doing anything serious with it. But when the opportunity to write came up three years ago, I jumped at it and I’ve been working at it ever since.
BNR - Where did the idea for your latest book spring from?
MM: The basic idea had been with me for a long time, so I started with that (a person waking up without any memory of their recent life), but it expanded and turned into what it is today due to something my father-in-law said. He had been dozing on the couch and mumbled in his sleep; he said ‘stay away from the green building on the left’, that one mysterious comment sparked my imagination and stuck with me the entire evening and I woke up with the idea of the Doppelganger Experiment.
BNR - Have you tried getting your books published by the conventional route or did you go straight into self publishing, what are your experiences?
MM: I did query traditional agents and publishers with a vengeance. After many rejections I read an article about ‘small press’ publishers and began to research them, that’s how I found World Castle Publishing (this is a traditional royalty paying publisher of trade paperbacks and e-books for on-line retailers). Being with WCP, I’m not self-published; they edited the novel, and have done the press releases, publisher advertising, etc.
BNR - How many books have you written, what are they and are they all in print or eBooks?
MM: I’ve technically written two books, however I decided that the first book I wrote wasn’t ready to be published and the Doppelganger Experiment was rearing its ugly head in my imagination, so I worked on that, it’s currently my only published novel. Doppelganger Experiment is available in both print and e-book.
BNR - Would you say your writing career has been successful, have you sold many books?
MM: I can’t really say, I certainly hope it will be successful, but only having the novel released for two months, I don’t really have any sales statistics yet.
BNR - How have you promoted your books, social media, advertising, book fairs? Which method of promotion would you say has been most successful?
MM: As a new novelist, I’ve worked very hard trying to promote and connect with an audience, so I may be doing too much in one regard and not enough in another, its trial and error. I have joined several social media groups and have been connecting with other authors in hopes that they will help promote my work (which they have done, I also in turn promote their work). I do know that Amazon.com is a good resource, having reviews and the ‘like’ button hit in Amazon is very helpful and helps guide readers to the book.
BNR - Do you have any new writing projects in the pipeline?
MM: I’m working on a new book now, however it’s very much in the ‘infant’ stage, so there really isn’t much to tell about it yet.
BNR - What do you see in the future for the book industry? Will print books disappear as eBooks take over?
MM: I don’t see that print books will disappear entirely, there are so many people (like me) that need the feel, the smell and the comfort of a printed book. But I do see e-books as a rapidly growing trend. Let’s face it, if you travel a lot, go to the gym, commute on public transportation, all those things make an e-reader very attractive. And of course there are those that love to read but don’t see why paper should be wasted on a book when they can download it.
BNR - Which authors in particular are you influenced by and what genre do you enjoy reading?
MM: That’s a tough one, my earliest love was CS Lewis’ Narnia books, but I’ve been a die-hard Stephen King, Ray Bradbury and Dean Koontz fan for as long as I can remember. I read a great deal, and almost every author I read inspires and influences me.
BNR - In a desert island disc scenario, which book would you want to have with you?
MM: From a practical standpoint, I think I’d want the Boy Scout Survival Guidebook, from an entertainment standpoint, I’d want the Dark Tower Series from Stephen King (okay, that’s seven books… but you really need them all).
BNR - What age range are you in?
MM: Personally? Not telling. But my genre is for ages at least 16 and over.
BNR - Do you have any inspirational words for all your fellow self published authors?
LH: Since I’m technically not self-published (although the ‘big’ publishers do frown a bit on the ‘small’ publishers that do not market directly to bookstores) I would say the same thing to them as I would to any new author. Don’t give up! Write your book, edit and revise as many times as needed until its perfect. Use all the resources around, the internet can provide you with so much advice from how to write, to how to find an agent or publisher. Don’t let the frustration and rejections get you down, it will take a while, but you can do it!
Meet Author Margaret Millmore
I was born and raised in Southern California; I moved to San Francisco in 1991 and currently reside there with my husband. Reading is an addiction for me, and one I’ll never give up. I’ve had an active imagination since childhood and often made up stories that I only told to myself. After ending a successful career, I found myself with the time to pursue those stories, and the floodgates opened. I love just about every kind of story, but especially fiction, throw in some supernatural or paranormal overtones and I’m in heaven. I’ve written two short stories which appear on Bay Area artist, Kenny Mencher’s blog (http://kenney-mencher.blogspot.com/2010/10/flash-fiction-piece-based-on-bunch-of.html, http://kenney-mencher.blogspot.com/2011/02/write-story-about-luke-n-goode-and-win.html ).
BNR: Thank you so much Margaret, whilst you are not truly a self published author we at BNR support all writers trying to become an established author. We wish you the very best of luck for the future.
Amazon Reviews of Doppelganger Experiment
"To Margaret Millmore, the author. Great work. I was paging through my kindle looking for books that were not $15 or $20. I decided to place a limit. My limit was $6.00. I am still learning my Kindle. Anyway, I came across your book and the girl on the cover looked familiar so I clicked, "more info". I bought the book. Wow!! Am I impressed with your writing. Clear, short sentences that grip me. I have a consulting company and it irritates me when I get an email prompting me to do some work because I want to sit in my soft chair and continue reading your book. I hope you write more novels. If you do, I will raise my limit up to $15 or $20. Good luck to you. For a first timer you did great. Thanks."
"I was engaged and entertained from start to finish. I kept being surprised by the twists and turns of the story. It is a great first effort and I'm looking forward to more from this author."
"This type of book is not usually my "bag", but I loved it! It only took me 2 days to read, which is by far a record for me! I can totally see a major movie studio wanting to make a movie out of this. I live in SF and I absolutely loved the details of the city, I have been to just about every place mentioned in the book and the author did a great job of capturing the vibe of this great city. I cant believe that this is the Author's first book, seems like she has been writing for years. I cant wait for her next book!"
To buy a print copy of Doppelganger Experiment in U.S. Dollers click here. Doppelganger Experiment

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

An Interview with LInda Hawley author of Dreams Unleashed.


Hello Linda and thank you for agreeing to be interviewed by Books and Novels to Read.co and taking the time to answer my questions. Here we go.

BNR - What is the title of your latest books and where did the ideas for them spring from?

LH: The series is called The Prophecies. Book 1 is Dreams Unleashed (2nd Ed), published Oct 22nd. On Oct 28th, book 2, Guardian of Time, will be published. The entire series was born from an event I experienced, which is the final chapter of Dreams Unleashed. After the experience, I wrote it down in story form, and my protagonist, Ann Torgeson, jumped off the page and demanded to live in a series. : )

BNR - Have you tried getting your books published by the conventional route or did you go straight into self publishing?

LH: I've never attempted to pursue traditional publishing for my books. I'm an outside-the-box kind of girl, and self-publishing fit me better than any other way, starting out. What appeals to me most is the flexibility, and the legacy that I will one day leave to my children.

BNR - How many books have you written, what are they and are they all in print or eBooks?

LH: I have published two books, the third will be published in two days, and the fourth I am writing now. All novels I published are in both eBook and print, although the print publication dates usually lag one week behind the eBook publication dates. I have also written 10 volumes of poetry, which will be published Spring 2012.

BNR - How have you promoted your books, social media, advertising, book fairs? Which method of promotion would you say has been most successful?

LH: I have been very successful using Twitter to sell books--and it is my most successful marketing tool so far. What I do is take reviews I've been given (with the reviewer's permission), break them down into quotable "Tweet-sized" pieces, and then schedule tweets every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day. I make the tweets interesting soundbites.

BNR - Do you have any new writing projects in the pipeline?

LH: I have 10 volumes of poetry being published in the Spring 2012. Mid year I have a dystopian thriller (stand alone book) that will be published. Then I have another dystopian series that will be published starting in mid-year 2012.

BNR - Would you say your writing career has been successful, have you sold many books?

LH: Here is my marketing plan:

1. Write three books in a series, and publish them in eBook and Print.

2. After publishing book 2, sell book 1 for 99cents, drawing readers into the series.

3. Sell book 2 for at least $3.99.

4. Sell book 3 for at least $4.99.

5. After book 2 is published, begin a massive marketing campaign, participating in as many giveaways of book 1 as possible (to draw readers into the series).

6. Never give away book 2.

7. Never give away book 3.

So...to answer your question...I cannot judge whether my plan is a success, because book 2 won't be published for two more days. But I will tell you that more than 30 people have downloaded book 1 of my series in the past 24 hours. BNR - That's a very interesting concept, I think some people will look at that and say, "Mmmmmm?"

BNR - What do you see in the future for the book industry? Will print books disappear as eBooks take over?

LH: I sure hope not. There is room for coexistance. I believe in balance in all things. Print and eBooks balance one another, and I believe are good for publishing.

BNR - Which authors in particular are you influenced by and what genre do you enjoy reading?

LH: My favorite genre is Dystopian. I love many authors who write it.

BNR - In a desert island disc scenario, which book would you want to have with you?

LH: Easy answer: My Kindle--that way I can have it all--as long as there's a solar charging station somewhere on the island (I'm imagining it to be a high-tech island). BNR - That's cheating and you know it!!!!!

BNR - What age range are you in?

LH: I will always write my novels as "clean reads." What does this mean? You won't find porn, gratuitous sex, or cussing in my books. I find there are so enough words in the English language to describe my scenes, without calling upon the "F." Any age can read my stories.BNR - Nicely avoided giving an answer there Linda, are you a budding politician as well as an author?

BNR - Where were you born and where do you now call home, have you had much chance to travel?

LH: I live in the Pacific Northwest, and have traveled the world. Many of my own experiences were pulled into the adventures written about in The Prophecies book series.

BNR - Do you have any inspirational words for all your fellow self published authors?

LH: 1. Hire the right people to help you. I hired an editor, proofreader, cover artist, and book trailer artist. To give you a feel for what these things cost, I'll share what I paid: Editor $250, Proofreader $200, Cover Artist $30, Book Trailer Artist $30. Listen to these experts--consider that they may be right. There are a WHOLE LOT of bad book covers out there...don't let yours be one of them.

2. Find an original voice. No one wants to read cliche'd work. Find your niche and stick with it.

3. If you don't write very well, hire someone to help you. Don't publish work that's filled with poorly used English or loaded up with grammar mistakes.

4. You can not make a living by publishing ONE BOOK. Aim for writing a dozen books...then you might be able to support yourself.

5. Surround yourself with positive, caring, and supportive people. Let those naysayers fall away--don't listen to them!

Quotes from Book Reviewers.

"A real thought provoker. If you liked the Bourne Identity or Inception you'll love this!"

“Ann is one of the most complex characters I’ve ever read…. The world is dystopian: the government is the evil Big Brother keeping people safe even against their will. Yet, the characters aren’t depressed or desperate. They try to live their normal lives which includes laughter, too.”

“The book really pushed me out of my comfort zone as I’ve never read any other book similar to this…. From the very beginning, the book kept me intrigued by its mystifying plot and excellent narration. I must laud the author for her ability to write her story in the finest detail, which makes the story sound somewhat believable. Everything was described superbly…. Overall, this novel is a real and pure page-turner.”

“The book has some references to current political figures and situations that make it very easy to get sucked into the story. The book is extremely well written and had my attention from the beginning to the end.”

“It's like a present that you are slowly unwrapping layer by layer.”

“If you put Dana Scully and Fox Mulder into a blender and hit puree, they’d make a mean Ann Torgeson. Dreams Unleashed was a great start to what I’m sure will be a fantastic book series. It poked fun at the TSA, and gave a frightful vision into a not-too-distant world where privacy truly is a thing of the past.”

“Linda Hawley blends science and metaphysics well together and creates a thinking story that kept me turning the pages. Action and suspense combined with philosophical discussion makes this book a winner.”

"Linda Hawley crafts a detailed and compelling story with a richly textured and multidimensional heroine."

"This is a suspense-filled journey into our potential future that leaves you hanging for more and eagerly awaiting book two."

Linda Hawley's Bio

At five years old, I fell in love with words. If I were going to clone myself as a writer, I would concoct a cloning recipe which would contain the following ingredients:

• Lots of varied life experience, to give enough flavor

• World travel experience, for color

• Passion, for spice

• A few crazy relationships, to create perspective

• One or two quirks, to add a little crunch

• Deep love, to introduce spirit

• Curiosity, to add a little danger

• A touch of paranoia, to interject alternate realities

• Lots of knowledge about current events, for texture

• Pride and humility, to bring human characteristics

• A touch of insanity, for interest

These characteristics have made their way into the pages that you read. My head is filled with stories, and The Prophecies trilogy is only the first that's on paper. Writing it has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. Many of the subplots and undertones of the trilogy came from my own life experiences. I could tell you all about my higher education, my freelance writing experience, and a bunch of other professional qualifications, but do you (the reader) really care about that? My guess is that you care more that I write compelling novels that take you into a new world, if only for a while. Thank you for reading my stories.

Linda Hawley

BNR: Thank you very much Linda, I enjoyed that interview and I've got to say you have given all us other self published authors something to think about and consider.

An item from today's British Daily Mail Newspaper about ebooks.

By Nadia Gilani

Last updated at 10:45 AM on 26th October 2011

Comments (45) Add to My Stories Share Their bookshelves may be packed full of classical literature, but readers with high-brow tastes prefer low-brow ebooks, it has been claimed.
It would appear that many are taking advantage of the secrecy that eReaders such as the Kindle afford them.

They can save embarrassment in public by disguising what they are reading, whether it be a pulp fiction bestseller, the latest chick-lit title or an erotic novel.
Guilty secret: Many readers enjoy low-brow books on their eReaders
A poll of British readers found that a third of ebook readers are too embarrassed to reveal the truth about what they are reading.

One in five said they would be so ashamed of their collection that if they were to lose their ebook reader they would not claim it back.

More...Fast-living: Three out of four youngsters 'rely on energy drinks' to keep them going
Our supersize classes: Britain has the worst record in Europe on pupil ratio

But the results also showed that 71 per cent of books on the shelves of those who responded were autobiographies, political memoirs, and other non-fiction titles - but those categories accounted for just 14 per cent of e-books read by those surveyed.
The most popular e-books were thrillers and mysteries followed by romance, humour and fantasy.

Fifty-five per cent said they had read fewer than a third of the books on their shelves while one in 10 admitted they had never read any of them.'
Sales of Mills and Boon ebooks have more than doubled over the past year, with many enjoying the secrecy the eReaders such as the Kindle afford them

Ebooks are proving increasingly popular because they can be easily downloaded and carry hundreds of titles.

The new Kindle can carry more than 1,000 titles, allowing readers to have their own personal library with them at all times.

Though it has only been available in the UK for two years, Amazon announced that ebook sales have overtaken hardback purchases on its website. In the US, Amazon sells more ebooks than all printed books.
Ulric Jerome, executive director of PIXmania group, which carried out the research told The Daily Telegraph: 'It seems that a lot of people are quite glad that when it comes to e-readers you can't judge a book by its cover.
'Perhaps its this combination of being able to keep our literary truths discreet, coupled with the British reserve, that has made the e-reader such a hit in the UK.'
Amazon updated its range of Kindles last month launching a thrifty model in Britain that costs less than £100.
GUILTY PLEASURES: AMAZON EBOOK BESTSELLERS

1. The Sense of an Ending
Julian Barnes
2. Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography
Walter Isaacson
3. Candles on the Sand
Katie Stephens
4. The Help
Kathryn Stockett
5. Locked In
Kerry Wilkinson
6. Resuscitation
D.M. Annechino
7. The Alchemist's Secret (Ben Hope 1)
Scott Mariani
8. The Bestseller
Stephen Leather
9. The Affair (Jack Reacher 16)
Lee Child
10. Snuff (Discworld Novels)
Terry Pratchett

This month, WH Smith started selling the Kobo e-reader at a similar price. Apple has sold 180million ebooks worldwide to iPad, iPod touch and iPhone customers and bookstore, Waterstone's is rumoured to be looking into launching its own, according to The Telegraph.
In March, Mills and Boon, publisher of romantic fiction that sales of its e-books had more than doubled over the previous year and electronic versions of its novels were outselling its paperbacks.

The top two bestsellers on Amazon's e-book chart today were Julian Barnes' Booker-winning The Sense of an Ending followed by Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2053566/High-brow-readers-opt-lower-brow-novels-going-e-books.html#ixzz1bxUUVYJi

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Write What You Know? by Jonas Eriksson

Write What You Know? by Jonas Eriksson

One of my favorite books on writing (aptly named “On Writing“) is written by Stephen King and in that book he regurgitates and then chews on one of the most common rules for writing; write what you know.

First time I read it it made a helluva lot of sense. I mean, it does sound damn difficult to write about space when you have spent all of your life with your feet planted firmly on the ground. Yet, if you can’t write about what you like, doesn’t it take away the fun of it? The reason you write is because it’s fun, right? Then it doesn’t make sense to write about accounting or plumbing (because honestly that doesn’t sound very exciting for a plot).

So the learning from this is that you should write what you LIKE. Whatever it is. Maybe you want to write about Martian plumbers? Knock yourself out. Or maybe you write a story about an accountant and his battle with Microsoft Excel? And maybe that story will be fantastic. Because it’s all about how you tell it.

Let’s say you want to write about an obese man in his upper twenties who’s decided to do what it takes to reach his dream of becoming an astronaut. Chances are you don’t know jack about being an astronaut, you might not be in your twenties anymore, and you’ve always been quite skinny. Then you need to do research, you need to listen, you need to soak up information to be able to make the story as TRUE as possible.

Don’t be lazy with research. Today you don’t have to bog your head down in library books for hours on end. Today you have your friend Google and his father the Internet. You might not be able to feel the sea breeze in the Caribbean by image browsing, but you can get a LOT of information online. Use it to your advantage. You’re going to learn a lot of stuff you don’t need, but they say we’re only using about 10 percent of our brains so my guess is you have space.

For me it works best to mix write what you know with write what you like. I have to feel an interest in the story, the characters, the topic and I have to feel the confidence that I can tell the story in the right way and make justice to it. Otherwise both I and the reader lose.

When I wrote The Wake-Up Call I placed it in a setting I was very familiar with (the advertising world) and placed it in a city I love (New York), but I also went out of my comfort zone when writing about Mexico. I wrote about something I care about (the pace of the world, how to deal with a breakdown, how to face life when it finally catches up with you) and from the viewpoint of a character I’m interested in (the narrator, Jack Reynolds). I didn’t plot it, because I don’t like plotted novels so much, and because there’s a joy in being able to unearth the fossil (another one of King’s phrases) and discover the story as I wrote it. This leads to more editing and plenty more rewrites than a plotted novel, but is a lot more fun and leads to a more creative and original end result (I hope).

The Wake-Up Call is my first published novel, although I’ve been writing stories since I was a kid. It was quite an effort to pull off, because I couldn’t stop rewriting it, but after the tenth or so rewrite I decided this was it. It was time to hit the publish button.

This was in the beginning of September this year. Since then I sold a decent number of books and gotten a good review or three, but I’ve realized that to sell even more I should probably have chosen a stronger niche or genre. It seems like you really need to do your marketing research properly, even as an indie author/enthusiast.

What do I mean by that? Well, you could argue that there’s no point in writing books that nobody wants to read. Or maybe there is? Maybe you just have to get that story out of you, because YOU believe in it and YOU feel the need to tell it?

To be honest with you, I don’t know. Everybody wants to sell or at least for people to read what they’ve written and there’s few things as sad as unappreciated writers who spent years on a book that very few ever read. An extreme example would be John Kennedy Toole and his Pulitzer prize winning book A Confederacy of Dunces. Toole got the prize posthumously because he committed suicide after the book he’d worked on and believed in so strongly failed to get published.

But today in the era of self-publishing and DYI-marketing getting published is not the problem, it’s getting people to like what you write and to SELL (we don’t like that word do we? – me I think there’s a reason it rhymes with HELL).

The general feeling I have about most self-published authors is that they write either science-fiction, thrillers, crime, or romance and that these genres are very popular. Because even if you write for a small niche, the competition will be less tough and the readership more devoted to the topic and by default more interested in what you have to say.

This is what I’ve slowly come to realize. It might be that I’m off, but it’s a strong feeling.

I decided to write a book I would like to read myself (which I think goes for most writers, otherwise it would be weird) and since I’m not so much into science-fiction, romance, thrillers, and crime – I guess I’ll have to call it contemporary, commercial or general fiction (the categories among e-book sellers like Amazon, Smashwords and Kobo vary greatly).

And now here comes the crunch. Who does this appeal to? Everyone who’s into fiction? No. The problem is that the definition is so broad and the competition so fierce that it’s very hard to reach your ideal reader. Who would like The Wake-Up Call? I hope a lot of people. But how do I reach out to them and compete with established publishers and authors?

People would say social media (twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google Plus, etc), but the problem there is to reach the right person and to win their attention with your story.

I’ve come to learn it’s not easy. But you can’t give up either. You wrote the damn thing and you want people to read it.

Just take John Locke for example. He claims he spent $25 000 on marketing and didn’t get very much out of it. Then he started blogging and twittering and not long thereafter he was in the Kindle Million Club.

So social media might work for you after all.

I’m trying a little bit of everything myself. We’ll see how it goes and I promise to keep you posted on this very blog (and on twitter or Goodreads of course!)

If you want to help me out why not check out my book THE WAKE-UP CALL on Amazon, Nook, iTunes, Smashwords

I know this was long and if you managed to get this far I just want to say…Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Meet Book Blogger Collette Scott! Is She The Right Blogger For Your Book?

About the Author: Collette Scott

Collette Scott obtained her bachelor's degree at Arizona State University where she majored in English literature with a minor in sociology. She is at at the point in her life where she is doing what she wants to do - which is write, write, and write some more.

“This is why it is so important to get your (the author’s) name out there, to create a buzz and make appearances, no matter how badly you would prefer to sit behind your computer and pound out story after story.”

Hello everyone! My name is Collette Scott, and I run a blog.

So what, you say? Well my blog is not just any other blog. Of course, there is a page about my own work for I am an author first and foremost, but I also do other things on my blog that readers may find interesting.

In an age where an overwhelming amount of books are published each year, how hard is it for an author to find an audience? Marketing falls on our own shoulders, where networking becomes even more of a full-time job than the jobs many of us maintain to pay our bills.

"If We Dare To Dream" by Collette Scott

Sales come from word of mouth from our own communities, and nearly every author out there has their own website and blog in order to try to promote their books. Intimidating, isn’t it?

While it’s hard to swim in a pool that’s already overcrowded, some are able to complete the lap. Luck of the draw, fancy marketing footwork, and even really good stories come into play. However, I have read many excellent stories that are even better than some of the bestsellers out there, but unfortunately these are overlooked due to the influx of books and stories already on the market.

This is why it is so important to get your name out there, to create a buzz and make appearances, no matter how badly you would prefer to sit behind your computer and pound out story after story.

Authors do help other authors, and I am proud to say that I have made some wonderful friends who are in the same boat as I am. We help one another as much as we can. There is the lovely and talented Patti Roberts, who I met on Goodreads and who introduced me to ebook giveaways and Twitter. The wonderful Daniel Carter, who found me on Book Blogs and introduced me to Author Central, and Niamh Clune and Brian Bianco, who run Amrita’s Angels and the Orangeberry Book Collective respectively, do their best to keep our momentum going. Last but not least, I cannot forget to mention the exceptional Yamina, who is gracious enough to grant me space to talk about all these wonderful enterprises. I could continue, but in the interest of saving space I should suffice it to say that we are all authors, but we also do what we can to help spread the word to others.

Which brings me back to my blog.

Of course you cannot take without giving back, and that would go against every one of my principles. So what do I do to help spread the word? I love to interview authors. Sometimes there is a book out there that I find interesting without knowing anything about the person who wrote it or what their thought process was behind it. But finding out what was going on in the writer’s mind at the time he or she wrote the book is something that is far too appealing for me to pass up.

In speaking with an author, you may just find that one little thing about the story that seals the deal for you to want to read their book; or maybe that single question you had when you were reading it will finally become clear.

When I have the time, I also read and review the actual stories in addition to the interview.

As I previously said, I have discovered so many authors who should be on the bestsellers list, just from the exceptional quality of the tales they have written. All too often readers stick with the most popular writers, fearful of trying new authors because of the stigma that comes along with it.

That’s unfortunate, because they don’t know what they’re missing! If word of mouth travels well, then Shopefully visitors to my blog can be intrigued enough to try something new.

I am also hosting book giveaways on my blog. Creating a page for authors to showcase their work is a new step for me, but enjoyable nonetheless.

I am currently running a paperback giveaway for author Shawn Lamb, where she is signing three copies of the first book in her series Allon and I will ship them out after the drawing on October 31, 2011.

There is also an ebook giveaway with over thirty authors and three bloggers, once again put together with Patti Roberts in Australia. The quality in these giveaways should not be missed. Though it does not officially start until December, the authors are working hard to get their books in order and their interviews completed so that when the holidays arrive we can all start promoting the giveaway and really make some bloggers happy.

Last but not least, I feature some hot new releases. When an author is trying to get the word out, having their name appear in as many places as possible truly does help in those search engines. Pandora Poikilos schedules these announcements for us bloggers to post. Generating buzz is a good thing, and I hope to see some success come from these initiatives.

And what about me? Well I am working hard on my third book, If We Dare to Dream, scheduled for release on November 15, 2011.

While I read all different kinds of genres, I actually write a mixture of chick lit and romance. Every one of my books has a love story in it, but they also face some real-world challenges. A common theme in my stories is moving on, learning how to pick yourself up after troubles and enjoy life to the fullest.

In the real world, we all face our difficulties head on, but when you have the support of others it can make all the difference between giving up and plodding on to success. I am definitely one to practice what I preach, so in my everyday world I will keep supporting those who struggle daily to have their voices heard. By working together we can succeed, and I am lucky enough to have a great group of people to keep me going.

Thank you for allowing me to talk a bit about my blog. I hope you’ll stop by and take a look at all the wonderful things coming up, and please feel free to contact me at any time.

The Ten Most Common Reasons Book Proposals are Rejected and What These Reasons Really Mean by Marcia Yudkin

My fellow self published authors who have tried the traditional publishing toute will probably recognise some of these, that´s of course you if you were even given a reason for rejection.

1. The Market is too small.
Translation: We don’t know how to make money publishing your book.
Remedies:
Add market numbers to your proposal.
Add specific marketing suggestions.
Try a smaller, niche publisher.

2. It doesn’t fit our list.
Translation: We haven’t published a book in your category, of your format, or for your audience, and aren’t about to try.
Remedy: Try elsewhere.

3. This type of book doesn’t sell.
Translation: Books like this haven’t sold in the past.
Remedies:
Research this assertion through Publisher’s Weekly.
Compare your book to something that has sold.
Try a more specialized publisher.
4. It’s not right for us.

Translation: We didn’t like it.
Remedies:
Get your proposal reviewed professionally — it may be sloppy or unpersuasive in ways not obvious to you.
Keep trying. Tastes differ.

5. It’s too narrowly focused.
Translation: We sell more general books to the general public.
Remedy: Try a more specialized publisher.

6. It’s already been done.
Translation You didn’t convince us your book differs enough from what’s out there.
Remedies:
Re-research your competition.
Differentiate your book better in the proposal.
More carefully define your readers.
Change the angle, audience, approach of the book.

7. It’s an article, not a book.
Translation: You didn’t persuade us that you can fill 150-250 printed pages with meaningful material.
Remedies:
Lengthen the book to at least 60,000 words.
Write it as an article.
Approach publishers specializing in short books.

8. There’s too much competition.
Translation: You didn’t convince us there’s an unfilled niche out there waiting for your book.  
Remedies:
Do/cite market research on the need for your book.
Rewrite your proposal’s analysis of competition.
Try a publisher without any titles on the topic.

9. It’s too costly to produce.
Translation: We can’t make a profit publishing your book.
Remedies:
Reduce requirements for photos, unusual format.
Cite evidence that your market will pay more.

10. You’re not an expert in your field.
Translation: We can’t book you credibly on talk shows.
Remedies:
Find a co-author with the credentials you lack.
Get more credentials.

Copyright 2001 Marcia Yudkin. All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Book Marketing: ‘Do You Know Where You’re Going To’ Is Not Only A Diana Ross Song

Guest Author: Emily Hill

Whether one is a traditionally published author, or an IndieAuthor, the realization is soon reached that ‘nowadays’ book marketing lies squarely in the author’s lap if one is going to reach their readership potential. Any time I use the word ‘nowadays’ I enclose it in quotes because the original mention of ‘nowadays’, relating to publishing, came about when Lisa Gardner (author of Alone, Hide, and many other crime thriller titles) keynoted the 2010 Pacific Northwest Writers Association conference. At the time of the conference Ms. Gardner was shopping her ‘Love You More’ title and admitted, in response to a question from the audience, that she had found the going – even for an established author –slow ‘nowadays’. ‘Nowadays’ was being designated a time, place, and situation bookmark for changes in the publishing industry. It was at that same conference that Robert Dugoni led a ‘raise your hands’ exercise by asking for a show of how many writers had found an agent that year. FIVE of the five hundred attendees raised their hands. It was a combination of those two strikes of lightning that caused me to bolt to the dark side of publishing.

Over the past two years the publishing industry has been ravaged by the economy. Many services that authors took for granted from publishers are just not available. The downturn in the economy hasresulted in the red-lining of book marketing by so many traditional publishers. Long gone are the days when even mid-list authors enjoyed book release parties, New Yorker magazine spots, Los Angeles Times slick-ads, and the like. ‘Nowadays’ the model for all authors is DIY – do it yourself!

Bowker (the entity that dispenses ISBN numbers) released statistics this past June indicating that ten times more titles are being published by independent publishers than traditional publishers. (A wild statistic, isn’t it?) Add to that, the projection that as many as six hundred thousand titles will be traditionally, and independently published this year, and this question arises: How in the world is The World going to know that you have written, and have published a book, unless you get out there and market it! With book marketing firms asking up to $600 per week in marketing fees, marketing will need to be done by one person – You!Most emerging, self-published authors, will sell five books over the life of their title. Five. Unless they get out, beyond their comfort zone, and yell it from the roof tops, “I just wrote a book! It’s Great! You should add it to your reading list!”

Of course, book marketing has to include certain elements. It has to be balanced against your writing time, be effective, stay within current trends, and excite – and attract – your readers! Whew! That’s asking a lot. Let’s see how this all might be accomplished. First, one must analyze how much time can be devoted to book marketing by backing out – on a weekly basis – time mandates for basic needs: employment, the need to sleep, family obligations, and the like. For me the formula works out to my having eight hours a week that I can spend on book marketing – sixty to ninety minutes a day. I recently revealed to a friend, and book reviewer, that I had hooked up with seventeen social media platforms, and their support platforms, and their cousin-platforms. I was feeling overwhelmed. I was dashing between social networking engagements like a puck in a pin ball machine!

At that point I had to ask myself: Is my social media networking time actually at odds with my book marketing time. They are two different animals – social media networking and book marketing. You absolutely MUST ask yourself that question if your book sales are at an all-time low, but your social media networking time is at an all-time high. If this scenario sounds like you, I’ll ask the million dollar question, “Do you know where you’re going to?” Remember, your objective as an author is book marketing – not social media networking. Here’s how to test whether or not your social media networking efforts are actually introducing your writing to new audiences. Pull back, for ten days, from each networking forum you are using. Sales? Up or down? No effect? Make sure your test period includes sales from Sunday afternoon shoppers. (I would say that 80% of my book sales appear on Sundays.) If there is a site that is not deriving a larger audience for my publishing efforts then – what the heck am I doing there? Ask yourself that same question.

Authors who find that their book marketing efforts need an over-haul, or an update , or a re-design, are well advised to look around for sites where book lovers actually congregate. Look for book sites that offer advertising, as well as author profiles, entertainment, and promotions! These are the book marketing elements that you, the author, should be looking for. How about a book site that features ‘Buy Now!’ buttons, book news, blogs, and tips? Wouldn’t that be wonderful? A site that is fun, and friendly, for you the author, and equally fun for your readers to visit. That would be exciting, wouldn’t it? How about a site where you could make new friends, and renew old acquaintances? Wouldn’t that be sweet?

Gosh! A light bulb has just gone off in my mind. In discussing book marketing, the trends, the constraints, the possibilities, I’ve discovered something. I’ve somehow talked myself into re-discovering BookBuzzr as my centerpiece book marketing site. And, really, I didn’t know that is how my story would end.

Emily Hill is the owner of A.V. Harrison Publishing, a coaching service for self-published authors. A.V. Harrison is a micro-publisher registered with Ingram Book Distributors. Ms. Hill is also the author of the historical novel, Jenkins: Confederate Blockade Runner and the series, All Smart Cookies Can Self Publish! Her website is at www.avharrison-publishing.com.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Review of M. O. D. by J C Allen

M.O.D.M.O.D. by J.C. Allen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Review of M.O.D by J.C.Allen



This thriller is my type of book so I was really looking forward to reading it, and I wasn’t disappointed. The basic premise is a super computer hacker, Eric, uses his skills to attempt a revolution against the U.S. Government who he believes is corrupt, doesn’t do the peoples wishes and generally carries on like most other elected governments. Does that sound like anybody we know? As a Brit I can identify with that concept totally, our democracy is in fact a five year dictatorship. Leading up to the elections the political parties promise the earth and fail to deliver on most things. A party’s manifesto should be a legally binding agreement with the electorate not some airy fairy wish list that the party uses to get our votes and then forgets every word. Back to M.O.D.



Pitted against M.O.D is the F.B.I in the form of Sheelia a sassy no nonsense special agent and her partner Scott, characterisation that is a bit predictable perhaps but necessary and totally believable for the story to flow. Every time the F.B.I think they have cornered M.O.D in the form of Eric they find they have been outwitted until finally Scott given the opportunity, decides to go undercover to infiltrate the ‘terrorist’ organisation. What he finds astounds him and you are quickly left to wonder has he been turned or is he just playing along for the sake of the case. What Eric and his organisation M.O.D has achieved in the wild mountains of Wyoming does push the reader’s credibility to the limit, but that is a writers job, to push the boundaries, and I don’t know the area so aren’t aware if what he has done is possible.



This is a very good story and in light of what is happening around the world, The Arab Spring and even the Wall Street demonstrations, it is very much a story of our times, bang up to date and as bright as a new pin. You will enjoy the story telling and the author’s view of a brave new world and without giving anything away I can tell you that the good guys won, but who are the good guys?



My rating 5 out of 5.





View all my reviews

Friday, October 7, 2011

The BNR compendium of Short Stories

Hello

Here is how I see The Books and Novels to Read Compendium of Short Stories working.

All stories must NOT have been previously published.

Stories should be a maximum of 7,500 to 8,000 words long or there about, but I won’t be counting. There is no minimum length.

At the end of your story please add a page about yourself, your other books and anything else you would like to say.

Please avoid profanity and sexual explicitness; we want this suitable for adult family readers.

Please submit your entry by email to terry@booksandnovelstoread.com with your story as a Word 97 - 2003 doc attachment.

Write the story in your favourite genre, or something different as you wish.

I will compile the book and have it printed via Createspace with their Expanded Distribution Channels. I will also do a Kindle version and Smashwords version.

Please submit all entries by 31 December 2011 or earlier if possible.

I will distribute any profits equally amongst all contributors.

If any contributor would like copies to take to a book signing, I will get the cost from Createspace, let you know what that cost is for the printing and carriage, you can then send me the cost to my PayPal account and I will order the books for you and arrange carriage to your home address.

It is all pretty simple really, but if you have any comments or thoughts on how it could be achieved better please let me know.

Take care - Terry