Posts Tagged With: Reviews

Dear ARC Reader

Let me state up front, that as a writer, I enjoy sending out ARCs and opening on release day with reviews. To those who read and review for me so I can hopefully open strong, THANK YOU!

You get a free book, hopefully one you enjoy, but you give so much more than the $2.99 list price.

  • You give the writer your thoughts and ideas. Speaking personally, I have altered things in future books because of reviewers.
  • Amazon may even noticed a book, if only for a fleeting moment, because of reviews.
  • Someone out there may  discover a new author or book solely because of YOU. Remember that fluttery feeling when you found a book or author that just spoke to you? You can help someone else get that same feeling.
  • Your fellow readers get valuable information to make a book selection that best suits them.
  • ARC holders are envied a little bit. Yep, there are people out there who would love to get ARCs. Some I’ve met can’t afford books, and this is how they are able to read new stuff.
  • You have a good chance to get the next ARC, and the next, and the next. Also, authors talk, a lot. They might even recommend you to another author who wants to put ARCs in the hands of people who will review them.

That is some pretty amazing shit when you think about it. So much power contained within roughly 300 electronic pages, your opinion, and you willingness to share your thoughts.

A book that has a set number of reviews on Amazon can get better placement, recommendations, and get noticed by potential readers, while books with few reviews are sometimes buried and never seen by anyone not specifically looking for it by title or author.

So hell yeah, writers love ARC holders.*

*When they do what they agreed to do.

Lately, there seems to be a trend of people signing up for ARCs simply for a free book. Hell, I love free books as much as the next person, but there is a spirit to the exchange that isn’t being honored. Now that I’ve told you what is to be gained by ARC holders who follow the spirit of the exchange, let me show you the other side.

You get a free book, hopefully one you enjoy, but you give so much less than the $2.99 list price.

  • Other readers get nothing from it. Nothing!
  • The writer, who gave you a book that others have to pay for, before its released, gets nothing for their months of hard work. Well, this is not entirely true, we get acid reflux, heart palpitations, and sore fingers searching and praying and waiting for something we never see. Something we trusted you at your word to do.
  • The ARC was taken from others who would have followed the spirit of the exchange. I send out a limited number, not everyone who asks, gets one. Like I said, I have met faithful ARC readers/reviewers who only read ARCs because they can’t afford to buy books.
  • Someone new doesn’t get that fluttery feeling by discovering a new author/book simply because of your opinion.
  • Amazon doesn’t recommend it.
  • You threw away power! Never wielding it for good, or even evil. You just tossed it aside.
  • Future ARC distribution is impacted negatively.

I am sorry if this seems harsh, but for me personally as a writer, when I see less than 10% participation in a program, I drop the program. It’s not worth it at that point. It’s not a good enough return on an investment to continue to invest. As I have limited resources, I need to put my energy and other resources, where it can impact me most as an author. While there is a financial aspect, I am speaking in a non-financial sense also. But as with finance, if an investment is tanking, you pull out and find a more suitable one.

So please all you ARC holders out there, if you just want a free book to read at your leisure without the pressure to review it, go to the library, or hell, even the book store and read it there. But please do not take a “free” ARC that ends up costing others.

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Categories: arc, writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

AUGUST NEWSLETTER

COVER REVEAL, RELEASE BLITZ & REVIEW
★★★BLOGGERS & READERS WANTED★★★

The sign-ups (Cover Reveal, Release Blitz & Review) for Irrevocably Mine (Imagine Ink #3) is officially open!! Please help a gal out and sign-up to help spread the word about this ‪#‎HOT‬ cover/book coming your way! 🙂

 

REVIEW OPTION is available! Irrevocably Mine CAN be read as a STAND ALONE!! HTML and easy post will be provided. Please feel free to share to anyone/everyone! THANKS SO MUCH in advance!

DETAILS & SIGN UP HERE ——-> CLICK ME!

BOOK NEWS

 

Meet the guys & gals of Imagine Ink tattoo parlor.

The Imagine Ink series centers around a small parlor in the Florida panhandle. Each book can be read as a stand alone, you won’t be lost if you skip one. However, you’ll have a richer experience by reading in order. There are Easter eggs and answers to curiosities popping up all the time.

INDELIBLE YOU

E-book is available from Amazon for under a dollar. (FREE to borrow for KU subscribers.) Paperback is also available from Createspace & Amazon for $10.99 or, grab a signed copy for only $12.99 from my website.

BRAND ME

E-book is available from Amazon for $1.99. (FREE to borrow for KU subscribers.) Paperback is also available from Createspace & Amazon for $10.99 or, grab a signed copy for only $12.99 from my website.


AUGUST JUST FOR FUN
(and a prize)

Just for fun, take a picture of one of my books or e-books on a table, by a pool, skydiving with Elvis or anything else you think is fun. Post it to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Make sure to tag/@ me. Post before August 25th.
(If you mention you’re a subscriber, it will count toward FotM also.)

Use the links in this newsletter to connect with me & don’t forget to mention you’re a subscriber at least once, so I can keep count of your interactions for FotM.

***To be eligible for any Newsletter prizes, you have to be a subscriber.

JULY FAN OF THE MONTH

 

Teresa A. Chapman
(Facebook Name)

This beautiful lady interacts with me regularly, and has since the release of my first book. Teresa to claim your prize, message me on Facebook, from the account above within 72 hours of this newsletter time stamp. Thanks for being a loyal reader and a social media friend.

 

To be in the running for FtoM, simply follow, friend, & interact with me on social media. The more interactions, the better your chances. And the prizes aren’t too shabby. Last months winner claimed this t-shirt for being FotM.

PSST, You will also be 1 of only 12 (or fewer) entrants in the FAN OF THE YEAR drawing for an awesome prize package. (This year it will be fewer as I want to have the drawing before winter holidays & didn’t start until late in the year.)

See, I told y’all there would be perks.

JULY JUST FOR FUN WINNER

 

Jennifer Herman
Facebook Post
“Just read newsletter – saying Hello!”
Jennifer, to claim your prize, message me on Facebook, from the same account you posted from within 72 hours of this newsletter time stamp. Thanks for playing along, and I hope you will continue to play along!


LOVE AND FIFTY
February 10, 2017 – Sacramento, CA
BOOKS IN BOURBON COUNTRY
August 19, 2017 – Louisville, KY
Apologies for typos, poor word choice, and butchered grammar. I have an amazing editor for my books, but not for my newsletter.

Please do not mark this email as SPAM.
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THIS IS A COPY OF THE AUGUST NEWSLETTER

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Categories: writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reader Shaming! (And it’s not who you think.)

Yes, reader shaming is a real thing. When most people see those two words they conjure an image of an over-inflated, red-faced, angry, asshole of a writer, shaming his or her sweet & meek readers for daring to criticize their work. Sadly, that does happen on occasion. I’ve even heard tales of writers messaging readers and hounding them about reviews and opinions, BUT…that is not what I’m referring to.

Remember what I’ve said before about reviews being gold, even not so glowing ones? That is sofuckingtrue. They are not only great feedback for the writer, (providing he/she is open to it) but a powerful tool for other readers. I personally try to read 2 5 star, 2 3 star, and 2 1 star reviews when making a book purchase. So ALL reviews matter…in more ways than you think sometimes.

I notice a trend, not on purchase sites as much as book reviews site, thank God, of some elaborate, meme & gif filled reviews, both good and bad. Some are so hilarious, that sometimes I am so entertained by the reviews, I’ll read a book simply in spite of or because of them. While sometimes, I am so upset with reader shaming, for lack of a better description, that I feel like I just want to scream at the screen and toss my Mac at the wall.

And NO, it’s NOT their opinion that bothers me. I get that not every book is for everyone, hell I’ve read books that no one liked that I loved the hell out of, and on the other hand, I have loathed books that the entire country is flipping the fuck out over. It’s opinion, plain and simple and every single one of us is entitled to ours, and to share it with the world if we so choose. My problem is when at the end of a laugh meme, eye rolling gif, review—or even just a word filled one—the reviewer then proceeds to heap shame upon any reader whose opinion differs from theirs. If they FLOVED the book, they announce that anyone who didn’t, wouldn’t know a good book if it bit them on their trailer park, high school dropout, ass. Or, when they HATE the book and everything it represents or comes in contact with, they finish with stating that anyone who liked the book is a complete and utter moron, that the writer must have passed out free blow jobs to get the 4 & 5 star reviews, because anyone with even a hint of taste wouldn’t dare read it, much less pay for it and give it multiple stars.

Luckily, I haven’t had that trending on my books. But let’s be honest people, you probably have a pretty good idea of the power in those parting words. You know that no one wants to be the person that you just called a jackass for their opinion, so they either jump on board the love/hate train, or they don’t review at all, and that’s a shame because EVERY honest review matters.

And the ones shaming other readers, matter way more than you will ever know.

You can share your opinion, both good and bad, WITHOUT shaming other readers for theirs.
Just sayin’.

(PS, I have no editor for my blog posts, just my books, so forgive my mistakes.)

Categories: writing | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Second Chances & First Impressions

You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

We all know that old saying, right?

While I agree with it in fact, I don’t feel it is truly factual, or wholly factual? I should say. I have broken this rule myself, and let’s face it, an up and coming writer has to bank on it being broken.

While I agree this saying holds true for say, a 32 year old interviewing for the CFO of a muti-billion dollar company, I think (and pray) there are cases where this is, well, not the case.

As much as I agree with the once-a-dick-always-a-dick kind of thing, there are circumstances where I think; no, not really.

Like the dick I dated at 17 with a black Trans Am, Member’s Only jacket, and bad boy attitude in full bloom. He was a HUGE DICK back then, and if you would’ve ask me at 17, or even at 25, I would’ve said he was a pox riddled dick that needed to masturbate with a chainsaw. However, he turned out to be a really great guy later in life. Faithful husband (as far as I know), devoted dad and not the party favor prison bitch I killed a chicken and danced naked in the moonlight, while praying to unseen forces he’d become.

Same with actors, writers and other artists. I hated some of their early work. There were times I wanted to jump through the movie screen and strangle the fuck out of an overacting, wooden bastard, whom I now go all gooey eyed and wet Victorias over. No, I will not mention specifics, but I said more than once that they would never become anyone and I would never spend a dime on their work. WRONGO – Same with some of my absolute FAVORITE authors, again, I will not name names. I will say that one book was so bad, (IN MY OPINION), some passages are still a running joke in my house, but I read every word they’ve written since then faithfully, and stalk them creepily on social media.

Why?

Because like Trans Am dick, they grew. And as they did, they changed. In the case of artists, got better in their craft. So while that first impression is there, and it’s true that it will never go away, I do not believe that is always all she wrote, fat lady singing, and curtain closing type final.

When it’s an arena where you can grow, whether literally or metaphorically, I think this saying shouldn’t apply.

While I like to think I am the greatest author in the world, the truth of the matter is,  I’m not even close. BUT, what I am, is growing. Growing with every sentence and I hope I never stop doing so. Just reading the 2 books I’ve published, I see tremendous growth. And that’s saying something considering I think I’m the Muhammad Ali of authors. LOL (actually I don’t, I’m very insecure in that arena)

The problem I face as a just starting out, independent author, is getting people to know when to apply the first impression thing and when to fucking throw it out the window.

I’ve heard that many authors (even some big ones) go back and entirely re-write their first books because they personally think they are awful. Now, if authors themselves find them horrid, then why should little ole me expect all the readers in the world to find my first book brilliant?

The truth is I never did. I was so blown away by the people who enjoyed it, I cried, yes, me who only cries over fictional characters and my kids, cried over real people. While the bad reviews stung, still do. (I’m being nice by saying sting, they fucking burn like a bitch.) I expected them, prepared for them, the best I could anyway, but I never prepared for people to say nice things, so when they did, my soul ate that shit up like warm Krispy Kremes at 3am. And in doing so, it made the bad so much worse. I got a taste of something sweet that I never anticipated, making the expected more bitter.

But even worse than the taste in my mouth, is the fact that some people will never know that I can do better, am doing better.

As long as we grow and learn, we are better. And that applies to EVERYTHING in life.

So, I have a proposal for anyone with who (whom? I never know which) I made a bad first impression.

  • If you wrote a review before this date and didn’t enjoy my first book, zip me an e-mail. Verlene.Landon@gmail.com
  • Let me know you left an I-Was-Not-Impressed review and why, (the why helps me grow) and I will send you my second book FREE, to see if maybe we just got off on the wrong foot and if I’ve grown as an author in a way you might appreciate.
  • If you’re still not a fan after you read book 2, at least you gave me a second chance and I thank you for that. That is more than some people ever get.

Well, I’m off to work on book 3 (which by the way will be better than 1 & 2) and maybe save the citizens of Solstheim from the evil Miraak.

Categories: books, contemporary romance, creative writing, fiction, indie author, indie writer, modern romance, reading, romance, romance book, romance novel, self publishing, writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Peek Into The Imagine Ink Series (and my head-aaahhhh)

Where to start, where to start. I guess somewhere in the middle, that’s logical.

NOTE: People said similar, yet story appropriate things about Indelible You, but since no one but me knew it was intentional, and there was only one book out, I didn’t even address it. Now that I have 2 of the 4 books out and more people are reading and reviewing and sharing their thoughts, I decided it is a good time to share some things running through my head while writing this series, and maybe give you a bit of an insight into the people of Imagine Ink.

I hate that I may lose readers because of my approach, but I am still committed to the continuity of this series. (Not all my work will follow this track.) I am learning from my readers though, and the things being mentioned that were not intentional on my part, are noted and will make the next book better. So please, keep commenting and reviewing, it matter so much, especially to me, as I am learning as I go, so to speak.

I wrote/am writing this series to be 4 books that you can read in any order or just 1 and still be able to enjoy it and not feel completely lost in a story that makes little sense without the previous one. However, I am also writing it to have a richer texture if you chose to read them in order. Rather than make them dependent on each other, or on the other side, treat the main characters of previous books as simply window dressing for the rest of the series, I took a different route.

As with Walker and Erika’s story (Book 1), I tried to tell it in a unique way, as unique as one can be in romance anyway. But, just because six letters appeared on the last page of the book, their stories didn’t end. I promise I will not take anyone’s HEA away down the line, but I will shake it up a bit from time to time. Why? Because one person’s story doesn’t end just because they find their soul mate or simply because someone else’s story begins. Not to mention, we are a part of the story of those we are close to, so it seems natural to me.

With Book 1 the main characters weren’t together for the majority of the book. Some people hated it, some loved it. I took the risk. I didn’t address Walker’s past in detail, again, there was love and hate for that. I also included a touch of everyone’s point of view. This was a cardinal sin apparently. Some people have expressed how much they love it, but the majority were not impressed. (FYI – I am working on a different version of book 1 that eliminates the additional POVs, but I will add it as a point-something maybe, rather than replace the original. See, your reviews can impact a book.)

Book 1 took place over a 5 – 6 month span with the mains having a history. Book 2 is condensed to 3 – 4 months and overlaps Book 1, and the mains had not met prior. So I did tend to put them (Tori & Michael) into sexual situations a bit quickly, for more than one reason. Love me or hate me, I did that on purpose, and you will see some effects of that play out in the future. Some already have on my Scrivener document.

If you read Book 1 you will notice that there were things seemingly omitted from that book, like Walker’s history for example. I hate to tell you, but I did that intentionally too. I wanted to add to people we think we know as we go. Because, let’s face it, no one peels back their layers all at once and exposes themselves completely. It happens gradually. People do not grow in a one season like tomatoes or peas, but over time and continually. So while you do not need to read the rest of the series to enjoy any one book and understand the general bent of the characters, it will give you a few ah-ha moments if you do, and hopefully bond you with them a bit. Some of you were left wondering at the end of Indelible You how Tori would feel about her mom making the executive decision not to bring her home during the shit storm, why is Walker so black and white on marriage, etc., however, it didn’t detract from the Book 1 story line for every reader, or so I’ve been told. Hopefully though, it added to Book 2, and even down the line as people continue to work through their issues and grow as individuals.

Wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, the thought that prompted this long winded blog post. It is one of those things, like Walker’s history, that had already been addressed in my head and Books 2, 3 & 4, just not that a reader would know yet. While some of these things, and others, are starting to be noticed by observant readers, if what they say is taken at face value, it isn’t a huge detractor from their enjoyment of the story, and that’s a good thing. But I do hope as the series moves along, readers will feel a bit more connected because of the way I did things along the way.

I knew the risk involved in doing some of the things I did. I know that some readers will give up after not finishing Book 1 or 2. But if I’m lucky, some readers out there will embrace the oddity and stick with Imagine Ink through it all. While some might not even notice what I’ve done, some may hate it. Others, like analytical readers, note it and either accept it at face value or wait with bated breath to see if it is addressed or not. And others still may feel a bit of a kinship with a character because that’s exactly what they would’ve done in that situation, even if it’s not typical. People deal with trauma in different ways. People deal with relationships in different ways. People deal with parents in different ways. People deal with death or near death in different ways. Not all of them healthy, mature, or socially acceptable. But, they all must live with the butterfly effect those choices create, just like us mere mortals. It is my hope that by the end of Book 4, every reader closes the covers (or powers down), holds it to his or her chest and just sits there for twenty minutes realizing all the little things that have come to light through out this journey, and enjoy the depth it added to their experience and relationship with the people in a little tattoo parlor on the Florida-Alabama line.

And of course if they think I’m fucking brilliant, that would be excellent.

NOTE TO READERS: MY BLOG HAS MOVED. You can now find it on my website at verlenelandon.com – I will slowly stop posting here.

Also, there is a GIVEAWAY on my site too. Check it out!

Categories: books, contemporary romance, creative writing, fiction, indie author, indie writer, reading, romance, romance book, romance novel, self publishing, writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

INDELIBLE YOU Overhaul

book3d

I have listened to the readers, and am working on a complete overhaul of Indelible You.

I am doing away with the extra POV’s and hopefully delving deeper into the H & h.
The bones of the story will be the same. (If that was your biggest yuck, well, it still will be unfortunately.)

But if you were one of the people that liked to story idea, but hated the constant POV switching, then I hope you will be pleasantly surprised.

Brand Me – Imagine Ink 2 is almost ready to hit the shelves, and it is much smoother with just the 2 POVs.

Live and learn. It took me a bit to swallow my pride and realize that my baby wasn’t as pretty as it could be in this self publishing pageant.

I hope to have that completed before April.

If you left a review of Indelible You, (retailer or Goodreads) and would be willing to give me another chance, I would love to get a revamped copy to you when it’s available. Email me at Verlene.Landon@gmail.com – add your email address (the one you use for Kindle books) and point me to your review.

Readers can, and in this case, did, make a difference.
When you review a book, you change things.
Reviews can be powerful. They not only let other readers know what to expect, but help authors improve. I am new to this and what I like may not be what you like. Without a review how am I to know if there are changes that could make my book better for you – the reader?

So, if you like a book, let the author know what you liked about it. If you didn’t, let them know that too. But please always remember, just as every reader is a person, so is every author. We may kill characters you love, put some through some heavy shit and even make you cry, but as hard as it may be to believe, we do have feelings.

Categories: books, contemporary romance, creative writing, fiction, indie author, indie writer, modern romance, reading, romance, romance book, romance novel, self publishing, writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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