Keeping the faith as a newbie author #writing #amwriting #persistence #readers #quote #goodreads #reviews #connecting

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Some days, I wonder why I spend so much time writing. How can I justify spending so much time on it? Time away from all the other important things in my life…

It’s true that I LOVE writing, that I feel I simply HAVE to write. But are there readers out there who will enjoy my work?

It’s hard when you’re starting out and haven’t connected with many readers yet. It can be hard to keep the faith and keep writing. To keep believing in yourself and that people will want to read your words.

This morning I was reminded why I do this. Someone had left two comments on my Goodreads feed in response to a quote from my book ‘Lie to me’. They said:

Emily. I’m from Brasil. Never read any of your books. I almost didn’t know you. But a couple months ago, I was on Facebook and there was a quote that change my future days. “Just at that moment she glanced towards him and saw him smiling at her, his eyes lingering on her with warmth and an indefinable something else. Her heart caught in her chest” It changed me. And I’m here to say Thank YOU. My heart was caught? Yes

Just trying to express my feeling for your quote. But I can’t, it’s not just that, I fele like I spent all my life to feel it. The same thing you wrote. And I searched for it. And somehow I found it. I just don’t now what to do next. Sorry for all of this. And again. Thank you, for making me wait to see something more than special.

How wonderful to create something that has moved someone so much. I am humbled.

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Finding reviewers for newbie authors #books #writing #reviews #findingreviewers #bookreview #freebooks

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I’m a newbie author. It’s not easy finding people to review your books when you’re just starting out, so I was delighted to discover Rosie Amber’s review website. No trick or gimmicks, Rosie has a panel of people who enjoy reading and are happy to share their reviews. One of her readers has written a review of my first book ‘Lover by Moonlight’ and it’s now published on Rosie’s site.

https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2015/10/15/rosies-book-review-team-rbrt-lover-by-moonlight-by-emilyarden9-romance/

There are many other review sites as well – but watch out – some are more ‘ethical’ than others. Some people charge for writing a review and promise to give your book 5 stars. But surely the point of a review is to get an objective viewpoint?

The ideal is to find readers who enjoy your books so much that they are moved to leave a review, but that is not necessarily easy. The majority of readers do not write reviews. It’s going to be harder to get reviews when you are just starting out, but it should be come easier as you build up a following of loyal readers.

Goodreads should be a good site to find people who will not only read your books but also write a review. I know that I need to spend more time on Goodreads finding some more readers to read and review my books.

Given that I am just starting out, I will provide a free copy of my eBooks to anyone who would like to write a review. But that also poses it’s own problems, because I need to find a way to make that free copy available to them. There are technical aspects that need to be sorted – where can I place books for my reviewers to download but which will not be found by everyone else? What formats do people want?

I’m slowly working through these issues, which is why early reviews such as the one above are so precious to me. It shows that I am getting the hang of this self-publishing game.

And if you would be interested in a free review copy of any of my first series of sexy contemporary romances, (Lover by Moonlight, Lie to me, The Gemini Effect, or The Priest’s Seduction ) or indeed a pre-published review copy of the first in my new historical romance series Isabel’s Choice, please let me know. Reviews will help me to learn more about the reader’s perspective (and hone my writing style), as well as to let my readers know what to expect. And of course it’s a vital way to build credibility when trying to become established.

How to deal with a bad review #writers #writing #review #badreview #onestar #criticism #critics #amwriting

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Ever had a bad review? If you haven’t, you probably will at some stage in your writing career. As soon as we put our work out there we are asking for people to provide comment. We hope most will love it of course, but there will always be those who don’t… How you respond to that could affect your credibility and your career. So don’t respond in a way you may sometime regret.

Heather Hill wrote a great post about this – Check it out: http://hell4heather.com/2015/06/08/bad-book-reviews-and-a-folder-called-bollocks/

What struck me most after I read Heather’s post was the frightening train-wreck of an online conversation that she linked us into. It was hard to believe it could be real. You really have to see it to believe it – and once you have you will gain real insight into exactly why you should NEVER try to respond to a negative review. No sooner did this particular author (Dylan) start to attack the one star reviewer than his reviews plummeted. It’s easy to see why when you check out what he said. http://archive.is/rFgtE  (I liked one comment that questioned whether this conversation was some sort of social experiment? You have to wonder about an author who would publish such vitriol. Seriously!)bad-reviews

If you want to know what to do when you get a bad review, I have a few suggestions:

  1. Ignore it and move on. Try not to let it undermine you too much – remember, there will be many who love your book. There will never be a ‘one size fits all’ book!
  2. Craft a response full of righteous indignation or justifications or whatever you feel like and then PUT IT IN THE DELETE FOLDER. You will never send it.EVER
  3. Learn from any constructive comments made. There may be something that will help to improve your writing.
  4. Just don’t respond. Really, not ever…

Susan Noble also posted some ideas on this. https://susanleighnoble.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/handling-a-bad-book-review/

And here’s another great article on the subject of dealing with bad reviews. You are not the only one – it has happened to many of our greatest authors:

http://blog.bookbaby.com/2015/08/confronting-bad-book-reviews

So my take home message. Let people have their opinions, and don’t let it derail your work… DON’T RESPOND TO BAD REVIEWS. Just focus on writing the best books you can, regardless of what anyone says!

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Tips for getting your book reviewed #review #books

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Those of us starting out are always looking for ways to spread the words about our books. And what better way than word of mouth and recommendations from satisfied readers. There are some great practical tips on finding those elusive reviewers in this article from bookbub:

http://insights.bookbub.com/how-to-generate-reader-reviews/

Encouraging the right people to review your book (and avoiding some of the pitfalls) #writers #writing #authors #book #review

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So you’ve published your book – you love it – but what about everyone else? How do you find people to give you a review, and what should you watch out for?

In my case, I’ve only just started indie publishing in the last few months, and I’m stepping warily into to the realm of promoting my books and finding the readers I’ve been writing for. It’s hard when you’re an unknown author to build credibility and find a market, and I’m hoping to avoid some of the pitfalls. Insights such as those in this great (blisteringly honest) blogpost by Terry Tyler are a great help.

http://ukartsdirectory.com/terry-tylers-literary-blog-29/

I have never been good at blowing my own trumpet, so I haven’t solicited any reviews yet (nor do I intend to). However, I would love to get some constructive feedback on my writing, and to find ways to create the best stories I can. I looked first at goodreads as that is where many readers gather. And through the blogosphere I’m trying to find people who write and read in my genre (contemporary and historical sexy romance). I know it will take a while, but at least I know that I have done my best to achieve a professional product (through beta-readers and professional editing). With any luck, readers looking for a good read in my genre will enjoy the fresh viewpoint and not wish to ‘abandon it’. Here’s hoping my books will get the reviews they deserve (and ones that will help me to find ways to improve).

Having said that, it is worth being wary of reviewers or beta readers who just want something different. One of my first beta-readers got back to me with comments like, don’t like the name you used for the heroine, the hero, the villain and the book – all too common… I looked into it, and couldn’t find the evidence to back up her assertions. Turns out Cara, Cameron and Raoul are not all that common in romances. So while it is important to consider all feedback, some may need to be taken with a pinch of salt. Everyone has their own opinion, and no one person will ever be completely right.