Category Archives: Reviews and Reviewers

Why I don’t Write Book Reviews

As some of you may remember, I used to do blog posts known as “Friday Five”. I would feature 5 titles from a specific genre each friday. Many of these titles were indie/self-published.

I would simply post the cover, blurb, and amazon/bn/smashword links. No one book got special treatment over any other.

While I was requesting for people to email me their info about said books, if they wanted me to include them, I started getting requests for all kinds of things from book reviews to author interviews, etc. THIS was not my intention…

It was not about reviewing and rating books, merely about spreading the word.

Plus, At the time I was working 40-50 hours/week at my dayjob, still editing and publishing Full Armor Magazine, 2 plus writing my own books and poetry, and apartment hunting. Something had to give…
(To make matters worse, I was suffering from colitis).

I was completely overwhelmed, and took a brief blog hiatus. When I began to blog again I ceased the inclusion of Friday Five. It was just too hard to fit that into my schedule. And, although I regretted dropping Friday Five for many reasons, I was relieved that I was no longer getting requests for reviews, etc.

Which brings me to my point:

It’s often debated whether we authors should or shouldn’t review each other’s works.
I’ve heard and considered arguments from both sides of the fence, and found that I can only speak for myself.

Here are the real reasons why I won’t review any book, indie or traditionally published (at least not in any public forum).

Time management. Between my crappy part-time day job, online courses through the Art Institute, Freelance web design work, writing my own books, and everything that indie publishing entails…I simply do not have the time. I wish that I did, but I don’t. Book reviews should not be written in an off-hand, casual manner. They should be written with a lot of thought, and by someone who sincerely enjoys doing them. Dare I say it, by someone who feels it’s their duty to do them. That is not me. Which brings me to my next point.

I don’t want to be known as a book reviewer, or even a reviewer/author. I just don’t think it’s a hat that I want to wear; even as a dual career of author/reviewer. I already proudly wear the dual hats of web designer/author. I don’t want to divide my goals any further as far as writing and editing, etc.

The Quid Pro Quo/Eye for an Eye Scenarios I avoid these scenarios at all cost. If we agree to review each other’s books in a sort of partnership, we foster the scoffer’s thinking that we are a “mutual back-patting society.” If we bash each others books, we risk being scorned and/or having the other author (or their fans) retaliate.

These are just some of my feelings on the matter. For more insight on this issue check out Kristen Lamb’s Blog!

Also, I’d love to hear your take on things…
Agree or disagree?

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under authors, Blog Hiatus, changes, competitiveness, day job, Friday Five, Goals, Goals and Resolutions, internet, Recommendations, Reviews and Reviewers, schedules, self-confidence, self-discipline, self-publishing/indie publishing, Staying focused, stumbling blocks, time management, Uncategorized, web design, writing

Giving KDP Select Another Shot

Recently I un-enrolled two of my short ebooks Carousel and The Golden Rose from KDP select. Carousel was just a trial run for the most part; and The Golden Rose I thought could benefit from it (It had…but briefly.)

However, I was not thrilled about KDP Select for the following reasons:
The whole “exclusive” thing. This means I have to take my book(s) off sale for B&N, and delete any excerpts I have on this blog and on Elfwood.com. Seems like a hindrance more than a help, and I dislike putting all my eggs in one proverbial basket.
Time limitations as far as “free.” You have 5 days of each 3 month enrollment period to make your book(s) free.
Algorithm issues. Coming off free will make your sales ranking sink like a stone. Again, a hindrance rather than a help.

These reasons (plus a few more) are why I chose to publish a free PDF of Daddy’s Little Girl here on this blog, plus making the entire short story readable on bookbuzzr widget for free. Also, I’m going to be offering it free on Goodreads. I plan on doing the same thing with A Prince Reborn.

However, I am trying to rescue Wishful Thinking from literary obscurity, especially since the sequel will be published (God Willing) by September. Not only that, I would like some more reviews.
So…after much deliberation I decided to enroll Wishful Thinking in Select. I’ve made it free this weekend, and plan on doing so on June 22nd-23rd.

Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Wishful-Thinking-Daughters-Oberia-ebook/dp/B003E485E2/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_1

Also, a contest and give-away will be scheduled for the 22nd free run.
I’ll post the details that week.

REALLY hoping to stir some interest in the Daughters of Oberia Series with this select/free promo run.

Would appreciate any sharing, tweeting, etc. 🙂

Thanks!

~K. Crumley

Leave a comment

Filed under Daughters of Oberia, Faerie, faerie tale, Fantasy Fiction, free ebook, Goals, Reviews and Reviewers, self-publishing/indie publishing, Wishful Thinking, writing

Friday Five: Horror

For today’s FRIDAY FIVE I’m featuring five cool, creepy horror reads:

FRIDAY FIVE: HORROR

1. Mental Shrillness by Todd Russell

Review
“Very twisted and I question my sanity for enjoying it so much!” –SeattlePI.com
Product Description
The Mental Shrillness ward will shock with six twist ending horror tales:

Memorial Day Descent – experience a showdown between an old mansion and a soldier’s painful, recurring war memories. A first place story contest winner.

Pains in the Glass – Tim and Wanda love each other but neither sees the cracks in their flawed marriage looking glass. Today is the day one learns of betrayal so powerful that it will shatter, cut and bleed the other to pieces.

Dead Warmed Over – learn if it’s possible that a tortured man can love his wife too much. Ben’s intense love for wife Jackie is realized in a haunted bathtub. Another first place story contest winner.

Falling the Bobbitt Way – Tracy and John’s sweet marriage vow warps into sinister sadomasochism. Find out if they can break the vow and ever be the same.

Dueling Eyes – GAZE upon an unmoving glass eye compelling its host to entertain self-mutilation tendencies. WATCH as Madison tries to save Killroy in the dark, dirty alley from the glint of a malevolent mugger’s blade. STARE helpless as the cold steel and the glass eye attempt to complete a shocking mission.

The Illusion – There are things Damon Brooks wishes he could change about his life. He thinks he has it bad until a dying, misshapen creature shows him that the other side wants much more to change their deaths. Prepare for a nightmarish struggle at a carnival between good and evil.

At the end of Mental Shrillness author notes are provided for readers interested in each story’s history and what motivated the author to pen these strange, dark tales.

BONUS MATERIAL
– Includes four additional stories written during the same era:

Father Knows Winners Best
The Clock Called Fate
$$$ Knowledge & Power $$$
Politically Correct – exclusive e-book story!

– Bonus Mental Shrillness Author Notes

Available at: Amazon US
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004U7FI6A/?tag=kmrenterwebsited

Amazon UK
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004U7FI6A/?tag=kmrenterwebsited

Amazon DE
http://www.amazon.de/dp/B004U7FI6A/?tag=kmrenterwebsited

Amazon US (paperback)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1461170303/?tag=kmrenterwebsited

Barnes & Noble (eBook)
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Mental-Shrillness/Todd-Russell/e/2940012295460?r=1&itm=1&usri=mental+shrillness&if=N&cm_mmc=VigLink-_-k244266-_-j12871747k244266-_-Primary

Apple iBookstore
http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/mental-shrillness/id433814981?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Smashwords (all e-formats)
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/49957?ref=toddrussell

2. The Damned by William Ollie

It came on a Friday afternoon, wiping everything good from the land. It came, followed by Hell on earth, bands of brutes and nightmarish creatures, the hopeless and… The Damned.

Scott thought it had to be a joke when a raving lunatic heralding the end of the world broke onto the airwaves. Then an incident of bullets and blood left him in a place devoid of light, where rasping screams and whispered moans bubbled up from the darkness.

Now Scott has woken next to a bloated corpse in a deserted rehabilitation center. Outside, the world is dust and ash. People are screaming, people are dying.

And Scott Freeman’s nightmare has just begun.

Available at:
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/THE-DAMNED-ebook/dp/B005BFW5AM/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1

3. Threads of Darkness by J.R. Leckman

Threads of Darkness is a collection of 4 horror stories by J.R. Leckman. Starting with an old fashioned ghost story in “They Don’t Exist,” Threads then explores the mysteries of the “Anasazi”, the end of the world in “Bucketheads,” and ends with an old west ode to H.P. Lovecraft in “The Quick and the Unholy.”

Availabe at: http://www.amazon.com/Threads-of-Darkness-ebook/dp/B005C6CF2I

4. The Kult by Shaun Jeffrey

Review
“Shaun Jeffrey hits one out of the park with this creepy, character-driven thriller that starts with a jolt, stays in the fast lane, and plunges into the darkest territory of the human mind.”
–Jonathan Maberry, author of PATIENT ZERO

“Part mystery, part police procedural, part horror story, it’s one thrilling ride.”
–Nate Kenyon, author of THE REACH and THE BONE FACTORY

“The Kult is a creeping stalk through a shadowy labyrinth of thrills and terror. Shaun Jeffrey delivers a pulse-pounding novel of superb skill and unequivocal horror.”
–Jon F. Merz author of PARALLAX and the Lawson Vampire novels.
Product Description
People are predictable. That’s what makes them easy to kill.

Detective Chief Inspector Prosper Snow is in charge of an investigation into a serial killer called The Oracle who turns his victims into macabre works of art. But Prosper harbours a dark secret of his own. He and his old school friends were members of a group called The Kult who made a pact to dish out their own form of vengeance on bullies. Now a member of the group puts their friendship to the test when he makes a far darker request: that they murder someone that raped his wife.

To get away with murder, the friends decide to blame it on The Oracle, but events take a chilling turn when the instigator turns up dead, his body fashioned into a disturbing work of art. Now, one by one, the members of The Kult are being hunted down.

Just when Prosper thinks things can’t get any worse, his wife is kidnapped and he knows that if he goes to his colleagues for help, he risks his dark deeds being unearthed. If he doesn’t, he risks losing all that he holds dear.

Available at:
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/The-Kult-ebook/dp/B004TGT3S6/

5.The Act of Laughing by Patrick Walts

Summary:
Evan Barnes and his wife Audrey have just moved into their dream home, located within the exclusive gated community of Blackwell Estates. As they begin to delve deeper into the lives of their strange and somewhat eccentric neighbors, however, dark secrets are uncovered that will quickly transform their dream into an unimaginable nightmare as an ancient evil, resurrected from the sands of the Tunisian desert by retired archaeologist Dr. Donald Raines rears its ghastly head in the suburbs of Chicago.

About the author:

Patrick Walts currently resides in Oklahoma City with his wife, Kara and their ever-expanding menagerie of dogs and cats.

Available at: Amazon http://www.amazon.com/The-Act-Of-Laughing-ebook/dp/B0059XFPFS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1311509180&sr=8-2

B&N http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-act-of-laughing-patrick-walts/1104144812?ean=2940012823335&itm=1&usri=act%2bof%2blaughing


Thanks to all the participants in this week’s Friday Five!

Please check out my blog each Friday for more great selections.

If you are an author and would like your book to be featured in a future edition of Friday Five, please respond to: karenlynn1@verizon.net with “Friday Five” in your subject line.
Please include title, author name, genre, brief blurb, and info as to where your book can be purchased.

Thanks for checking us out!

KC

Leave a comment

Filed under Friday Five, Great Reads, Recommendations, Reviews and Reviewers, self-publishing/indie publishing, Uncategorized, writing

Blog tour has begun…

Today, I am guest blogging over at Tracy Falbe’s blog Her Ladyship’s Quest.

I wrote an article about word building in fantasy writing, and how to keep your world(s) believable.

Feel free to check it out: http://www.herladyshipsquest.com/2011/01/fantasy-fiction-writing-believable.html


Leave a comment

Filed under internet, Reviews and Reviewers, Wishful Thinking, writing

Goals and resolutions for 2011.

My writing & publishing goals for 2011 are:

  • To break into the top 100 (finally) in either the fantasy or horror category (or both).
  • To join the ranks of indie authors selling over 1,000 ebooks a month.
  • To release three books this calendar year.

My resolutions for 2011, which I hope will help me achieve the aforementioned goals:

  • I will stop procrastinating!
  • I will meet my deadlines, including the quarterly deadline for Full Armor Magazine.
  • I will not waste my time doing things that do not produce good results.  IE, as Terri (my former LP manager) used to say I will stop “spinning my wheels” by continually doing things that don’t work for me.
  • I will write a minimum 3,000 words per day.  And, read a minimum 1 chapter (or 1 short story) per day.  May be hard to do with the schedule of my “night job” but I’ll manage.
  • I will not cease in good marketing and promotional efforts.  This includes but is not limited to:  Participation in #SampleSunday, posting on blogs and message boards, in short developing a strong web presence.  Paid advertising. good monthly promotional campaigns. just to name a few…
  • I will finish all of my current projects in a timely fashion, at least the ones that I deem “worth finishing” …the other stories can be reworked, and revised into something “publishable” at a later time…

These are just a few of the things that will help me get where I need to go.

Sure, everybody “breaks resolutions.” hahahaha!  But I’ll do my best not to break mine 😉

 

I wish everyone luck, and prosperity with their own goals and resolutions in 2011!

 

Write and Publish with Pride,

KC

1 Comment

Filed under competitiveness, Goals, Goals and Resolutions, Reviews and Reviewers, self-publishing/indie publishing, writing

#SampleSunday, Page 99 of Wishful Thinking

Page 99 of my fantasy/mystery novella Wishful Thinking. Book 1 in the Daughters of Oberia Series.  I hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt.

“No wait. Wait…and talk to me a minute first!”Lylah began.“I have something to tell you to um…show you before you see Queen Mummy.”

“Sorry, Aunt Lylah.” Xandria said. She could
read her thoughts, thanks to the Sharana. She could tell
that Lylah never intended on letting her see her
Grandmother. “I’m not interested in hearing what you
have to say.” Xandria said as she walked unhindered
across the throne room. She headed straight toward the
large wooden door in the back of the room partially
hidden behind a velvet curtain.

“We used to be so close, dear.” Lylah said, with
her head tilted. Smile bearing her horse teeth. “We use
to be friends…”

“You ruined that, Lylah.” Xandria said, “You
ruined that by siding with them, against me and my
family.” Xandria pointed behind her, indicating the two
frozen faeries.

“But, I’m family too!” Lylah whined, “We all
are…”

“What a sorry excuse for a family,” Xandria
ranted. “When my parents were dying we trusted you
to help us take care of them.  But, you bid your time, and
gave us the cure at the very last minute. How
convenient your timing was. You waited it out just long
enough to end their lives, before coming to us with
Yasminea to look like a caring sister. You knew that it
would be too late and they’d die anyways! Traitor!”
As Xandria turned towards the door, Lylah
raised her hands and muttered “Trelijah! Oceana!”
Right as Xandria opened the door a tidal wave rushed
towards her.

Xandria held up her hand, palm out toward the
tidal wave. It stopped before her as if she was standing
behind a glass dam, changing its current. Then, she
gestured with her arm in the opposite direction. With
just that simple movement, Xandria reversed the
water’s flow so the wave burst forth towards Lylah. It
swept her off her feet and carried her off with the force
of its current.

Xandria grinned, “You forget, Lylah,” She
called out to her aunt as she was swept away, “that I have
the power to wield water to my whim. Mermaid magic
intermingled with my own. It saved my life, you know.
Bye now, Auntie. I’m off to see grandmother.” She
strode through the door, shutting it behind her.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wishful Thinking (Daughters of Oberia Book 1) is available at Amazon.com, bn.com, and at our homepage dragondreamzpublications.info.

2 Comments

Filed under Reviews and Reviewers, self-publishing/indie publishing, shameless self-promo, writing

…is the new…

Interesting. So “All self-published authors are buying each others’ books…”
is the new “they only sell to friends and family.”

That is the new excuse the nay-sayers are using, in order to discredit best selling titles by indie authors on Amazon.

And, trying to explain how the top 100 in amazon’s kindle store is full of indie titles. “they’re all buying each others’ books…” and because “there’s so many self-publishers out there…” that’s why there’s such high book sales.

Oh really? well first of all, there is no way to prove that.; nor is there a way to disprove that. Amazon does not disclose who bought your books (via kindle or hardcopy). Yes, people (maybe other indies) comment and post reviews over books being read. STILL: there is no way to prove or disprove that this is true. I think sales for popular indie titles have a fair mix of readers who are other authors; and readers from the general (non-writing) public.

Furthermore: If it is true that we are buying each others’ books it’s only further proof that there are a lot of good indie titles out there.  Writers tend to be very picky readers, myself included.  Indie writers are aware that there are some bad books out there…but we don’t buy them.  We don’t post reviews for them; we neither endorse nor cross-promote with them.  We hope the writer either works harder to make a better book, or that the book just fades into obscurity.

Many non-authors are buying indie kindle titles.  Do you know why?

a) Price.  Traditional publishers (even smaller presses) are STILL pricing their kindle titles even higher than the paperback editions.

b) Originality.  People (thankfully) are outgrowing stories about abducted/murdered children’s bones and sparkly vampires. Not to mention all the LOTR and Pern copy-cats that line the fantasy shelves.  When they want something fresh and original–not the same old, same old–they turn to indie authors.

c) Discovering somebody/something new.  Amazon is like a mine.  If you dig deep enough, you might just find a hidden gem.  People like discovering new talent, and telling their friends about it.

A sale is a sale.  Any sale is a good sale to me, regardless of who bought it.  And, if fellow indies are buying my titles too I consider that an honor.

Publish with Pride,

K. Crumley

2 Comments

Filed under Reviews and Reviewers, self-publishing/indie publishing, Uncategorized, writing