Monday, 31 March 2014

Should authors review books?

I have been pondering this question since publishing my first book on the 7th December.

Although I have published a book I do still consider myself more a reader than author.  I'm new and my book is self published so I'm just starting my journey.  I used to love reviewing books but have been a little more hesitate since publishing my own book for many reasons.

It first struck me after I read a book that was promoted on Twitter.  It was due to this promotion that I bought the book and whilst I enjoyed it I did not love it. Other Twitter users were praising it and on Goodreads 46% of the ratings are 5 stars.  I however would probably only award it 3. I liked the book but thought it a little unbelievable and did not like the ending. It was warm and had developed characters but did not really do it for me.
I felt reluctant to review the book following so many glowing reviews for several reasons. I didn't want to offend anyone on Twitter as the author seemed to be on friendly terms with quite a few bloggers. As I'm new to the book market I obviously want to appear professional and try to build up a good rapport with the blogging community so disagreeing with their assessment of a book may not be a good start to that relationship.  I also did not want to upset the author or appear unprofessional.  I do not think 3 stars is a bad review. However quite a few people seem too and I was worried after so many 5 stars the author may feel disappointed.

However I do feel leaving a 3 star review would give future readers an honest view. When I look at books I quite often read the 3 and 4 star reviews rather than the 5 as I think they are more honest and well rounded.  It appears this particular book had a very successful blog tour which generated many of the 5 star reviews. I think this is amazing for the author but found I disagreed with many of the comments.

Reviewing books is very individual and everyone has different likes, dislikes and preferred genres. Every book has varied reviews for this very reason.  I have decided for now after much umming and ahhing to cease to review books on Amazon and Goodreads but post a review on here from time to time to share my opinions.  Not many people read my blog so it will not greatly influence people but means I can still review and air my thoughts.

What are your thoughts? Should authors review books?

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Book 2 Update.........

Hiya everyone

Thought it was time for an update.  The sequel to The Awakening (so far unnamed) is coming along quite well.

I am up to 39,729 words. Last night I managed to get another chapter finished and had many more words in  my head but unfortunately my eyes were too tired and I had to turn the lap top off.

A misty walk to work gave me the inspiration for a scene and I have managed to write a large chunk of it and its seems to be going well.
I also had plans for another scene but unfortunately a similar theme has been used in a recent episode of vampire diaries which I love so I've had to abandon it.  My thoughts were to give a new character a bit of background.  I was going to have a flashback where he was being experimented on by a doctor.  However something very similar has just happened to Damon so I've had to have another think.  Luckily I'd only wrote a few brief paragraphs so not much time was wasted.

The most exciting thing is that I know the end. I know what's going to happen. It needs editing but its basically done and I'm really happy with it. Eek!!! I can't believe it.  I'd love to share the details but it would spoil the surprise!!!
I also have a rough plan for two more chapters and then I have two mini chapters that need adjusting. As I have a part time job and 2 children I sometimes get a flash of inspiration when I have no time to write so I jot down as much as I can and then lengthen it when I can. Once this is done I need to have read through as at the moment the friends aren't featured very much and I want them to be included a little more so need to add a few friend scenes/facebook exchanges. 

I'm hoping to get some more done next week as I'm definitely in the writing mood at the moment.  Shame the day job gets in the way.  Do you think they'd notice if I didn't turn up for a few days? ha ha!!!
Hope you are all having a good week. Its nearly Friday. Woo hoo!!!                   



Friday, 7 March 2014

3 Month Update

Hiya everyone

This post is for those interested in my self publishing journey.

The last 3 months have had many ups and downs.I have learnt a lot and hope any aspiring authors may find this helpful.

When I was researching self publishing I found it very difficult to find any actual sales figures so thought I would report mine every few months. After 3 months seems to be an appropriate time for my first report.

My sales figures for my first three months are - 

361 free (promotion I ran in December) The Awakening
44 sold The Awakening
8 sold Origins

Total 413

Whilst I am pleased with these figures I had hoped the free promotion would have resulted in more reviews/recommendations and I'm not sure if it was a successful promotion.

Most of the free copies were in America (272) so I had hoped for some reviews on Amazon.com but I've only had 1 and it was not at all complimentary (Eek!!!) The other review on Amazon.com was from a UK blog review and they very kindly posted the review on Amazon.com/uk and Goodreads.

I've seen various blogs/articles about free promotions and people seem to have varied opinions on the results.  I'm reserving judgement at the moment and may try it again in the future now The Awakening has been updated.  On 25th February I updated The Awakening and 97 proof reading errors were corrected and the acknowledgements page was added which has my contact details on.

I'm hoping to run a kindle countdown very soon to increase sales and awareness and with the updated version hopefully get some further followers on Facebook and Twitter.

One piece of advice I would give any aspiring authors is to get on Twitter immediately.  I have only recently joined and my following on Twitter is already 150 and its only been a couple of weeks, however my Facebook following has stalled although I think partly this is due to notifications not appearing on peoples news feeds. Several friends have told me they do not see my posts unless they actually go to my page.

The other problem I have encountered is getting my book out there. By nature I'm not very good at blowing my own trumpet and find self publicity very difficult.  I don't want to trouble people or annoy anyone with multiple posts. I have emailed approximately 80 book blog people but only had 10-15 replies. I'm not sure if this is due to peoples time constraints or if they do not really like the sound of The Awakening.  I know a lot of book blog sites are run my people who also have jobs,college,children etc and is a hobby or sideline so everyone is very busy and time is precious.

I've also seen on numerous review policies that they do not deal with self published authors.  I'm not sure if this is because they think the finished product will not be a good standard, previous dealing with self published authors did not go well or simply because there is an abundance of traditionally published books to choose from. Any feedback would be welcome.

Since joining Twitter I have been amazed by the amount of authors out there both self published and traditionally.  I think it may take me a little while to find my place and build up some contacts.  I have conversed with a few lovely people who have kindly featured me on their sites and I am very grateful for their time and effort.

Thank you to everyone that has bought and enjoyed The Awakening. Remember you can always comment on my Facebook page or tweet me.

Thank you also to the book bloggers that have helped me spread the word. Happy blogging. 

I hope you have found this post interesting. Sorry its a bit long.

Emma xxx