Archives for category: Uncategorized

 

 I recently received an promotional email (no personalized salutation) from an indie author saying she noticed I’d reviewed a book similar to one she had just written and if she sent me a free e-pub edition would I be interested in reviewing hers?

 

What interested me was how she went about selecting reviewers? It must be an onerous task to go through reviewers on Amazon, even after applying the appropriate filters in regards to genre, and extract their emails. And once you have them there is no guarantee they’re going to review your book, or for that matter give you a good review.

 

So I agreed to review her book on the condition she tell me how she got my email address and any other tips she might have on marketing. To sweeten the deal I even purchased her book, very uncharacteristic for me.

 

She responded favorably and has been very forthcoming. Here’s what she has undertaken so far in producing and marketing her novel.

 

She says she wrote this book, her second in a series, taking into consideration the requirements and preferences of traditional publishers because she thought she might approach agents and traditional publishers with it.

 

“In the end, after reading several articles and consulting with the other authors in my two writers’ groups, I decided that self-publishing is actually the better option. If you’re interested in my reasoning, let me know.”

 

I am interested and will be asking her why she’d turn down a traditional publisher to become a self-publisher? Her previous book was also self-published so it’s not like she switched.

 

So how did she come up with my name and email address and those of other reviewers?

 

The answer is she bought a Book Review Targeter app for $200 (lots are available on the internet).

 

It works like this – you choose as many books as you want that you feel are similar to yours and receive what’s essentially an excel list of all the people who reviewed those books. The vast majority don’t have an email address but there are plenty that do.

 

So what to do with those email addresses?

 

She down loaded an app called Group Mailer because it makes sending out group emails easy.

 

So how is she doing?

 

“In about three days I’ve had about forty-five people agree to read and review a free version of the book and an additional twenty who declined the free copy and purchased the book to review it.”

 

Now that’s impressive, not the forty-five who agreed to review it, but the twenty who declined a free review copy and bought one. Who are these people?

 

She says she has another three or four lists (from additional similar books) she has yet process.

 

She’ll be running a 99¢ campaign for the e-book edition for two days on Amazon and one day free book promotions on Pretty-Hot Books and Discountbookman, spending ten dollars for a featured promotion on bookreadermagazine and running a giveaway on Goodreads.

 

She also has had no problem asking friends, colleagues and clients to buy her book and she anticipates reviews from about twenty percent of them.

 

She’s asked the other writers in her writers’ groups to share information about her book on their Facebook pages and has started looking for blogs to ask bloggers to mention it.

 

If that isn’t enough, and it probably isn’t, she’s considering spending $720 to have BookBub promote her book. BookBub claims the campaign will sell 2700 books, and the members in her writers’ groups unanimously support these stats saying they’ve received three times the return on their investment with such a promotion.

 

There’s a caveat here – BookBub only accepts professionally produced, error free books. They seldom accept new releases, preferring you have a proven track record with reviews. If you qualify be prepared to cut your price to the bone. Even if you want to promote with BookBub you may not make the grade.

 

To produce her book she hired two beta readers at $50 each and got a book cover artist from her writers’ group to design her cover for $65. No editor was needed as she just happens to be one herself.

 

So far her hard costs have been $375. Results are pending.

 

A lot of what she’s doing I’ve done:

– I have an Advance Reading Team e-mail list of a little over 200 who receive my new books free to stimulate buzz and encourage reviews.

– I have run giveaway promotions on Goodreads, LibraryThing and BookLikes.

– I send a press release to local media offering them a book in return for a review

– I blog, and promote on Facebook and Twitter

– I have three beta readers who read my books free and are recognized on the book’s Acknowledgement Page.

– I edit my own books and design my own covers

 

Some of what she’s doing I’ll never do.

 

I have never solicited family, friends, colleagues or clients to buy my books. In my opinion it’s unprofessional. Besides I want my books to be bought because they’re well written and entertaining, not out some misguided obligation or as as way for someone to ingratiate themselves to me.

 

My hard costs on my last book were zero.

 

And so have the results.

 

Of course, there’s always the elephant in the room – the quality of the book.

 

I’m watching how this book launch does and hoping I can learn something. Maybe you will as well.

 

Speaking of book marketing…

 

CreatorCollabs Boosted Tweets

 

So out of the blue I get a promotional tweet about CreatorCollabs (CC) Boosted Tweets. Basically, post a tweet and share it on CC. Other CC users see your Tweet and share it with their online audiences. In-turn, you need to share content created by others to ensure your points stay high to continue to get access for your tweets.

 

There’s a free and paid plan. Of course, I used the free one.

 

For a week I loaded Tweets about my plays, Harry’s Truth and End of the Rope, available free on Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/raglin until December 31, 2017. In return I retweeted content about the books of other authors.

 

They have a stats bar so you can check how many people you’re apparently reaching. Here’s the results of one of my tweets.

– The number of retweets my tweet received from my own twitter followers = 0.

– The number of retweets my tweet received through CreatorCollabs Community = 7

(increase 700%)

– Number of my followers my tweet reached = 50

– Number of followers my tweet reached through CreatorCollabs Community = 10,131

(Increase 20,262%)

 

Increase in books sales in response to this enormous increase in reach = 0

Increase in activity on my website and book sales platforms = negligible.

 

Just another case of nobody being interested in anyone (or their books) but themselves – including me.

 

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

 

Web addresses associated with this article:

 

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/home/overview.php

Book Reader Magazine http://bookreadermagazine.com/

Discount Book Man http://discountbookman.com/

Pretty-Hot.Com http://pretty-hot.com/

Groupmail http://group-mail.com/

Smashwords   https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/raglin

 

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Author Amazon Page

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100013287676486 –

 

 

 

Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1609167/a-book-launch-case-study

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I appreciate the mystery genre has dozens of sub genres with sleuths whose expertise, as well as solving murders, include operating bake shops, book stores, and thrift shops just to name a few. For some the setting is equally as important as the detective with an incredible amount of murders taking place in quaint British villages, on cruise ships and in exotic locales. Still others feature cats or dogs that partner with their owners in solving the crime, and some even get help from gumshoe ghosts.

 

So I was receptive to Yoga for Detectives: Interconnected by A. E. Prero, whose protagonist practices yoga and is the owner of a yoga school in Manhattan, as well as an amateur detective.

 

The term suspension of disbelief has been defined as “a willingness to suspend one’s critical faculties and believe the unbelievable; sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment.”

 

I have to admit I’m a bit of a fanatic when it comes to suspension of disbelief in any type of novel. As soon as I have one of those moments where something illogical happens that belies common sense or the protagonist does something totally out of character the story’s credibility becomes compromised. When the story is compromised so is my appreciation and enjoyment of it.

 

In Yoga for Detectives: Interconnected this began right away. I had pause with the way Jaya, the protagonist and a practitioner of a discipline that’s leads to self-discovery, self-mastery and self-realization, responded to her stepmother with insults, profanity and intense anger.

 

After beginning with the stepmother incident the real story starts when Maria, described as a friend, approaches Jaya and tells her that her brother in Lima, Peru has gone missing after finding something while cleaning out his grandmother’s apartment after her death.

 

On the strength of that Ansui, the yoga master at Jaya’s school immediately boards a jet and flies there. The next day Jaya receives an email from Ansui telling her to round up her crew and catch a flight to New Delhi.

 

Incredibly, Jaya agrees and not only that, she decides to take some young teens and their grandmother along as well. The fact the children would likely be an impediment to the investigation and might even be in danger is briefly discussed and summarily dismissed.

I can’t help but wonder who is picking up the tab to search for a young man his own sister describes as ” a troublemaker”, “unreliable”, “no stranger to the police” and “in and out of their offices many times”, but more to the point, why are they committed to look for him?

 

The why is provided by Ansui once the decision to fly everyone to Delhi has been made, which is kind backwards if you ask me – motivation usually prompts action rather than the opposite.

 

Ansui provides a recording that suggests St. Francis, yes, that St. Francis, is responsible for some dire deed that happened over four hundred and fifty years ago, though no evidence whatsoever is provided.

 

Why, this reader wondered, would Miguel, who is certainly not a religious scholar and maybe not even religious, not an archeologist, indeed he is the only one of his siblings “not to go to university”, take an interest in something that happened nearly a half century ago? Why indeed would anyone other than perhaps some academic who specializes in the field?

 

At this point the plot has lost all credibility and I’m only about five percent into the story.

 

I persevere to the end of the book but, this question, the crux of the plot, is never answered to my satisfaction and the solution to the “mystery”, seems irrelevant.

 

Prero’s characters are extremely fond of using wise sayings, adages, aphorisms, parables, riddles, axioms or whatever you want to call them. Everyone from the Yoga master to the cab driver to the children use them and for every situation. Subsequently they have no significance. Since real people don’t talk that way, at least none that I’ve met, it hurt her characterization.

 

The author interjects words and entire passages in foreign languages. I for one could not understand them, but not to worry since she usually translated them in the next paragraph. What that is about I have no idea except perhaps it’s the author trying to

appear “learned”.

 

Much of the book doesn’t advance plot or develop character, instead it is a history lesson, travelogue and a food guide. For example I would guess more than half the chapters include a meal with the menu items explained in some detail. I suppose this this could appeal to some readers but I would suggest substantial editing could have been done in these three areas.

 

The writing randomly jumps from one character’s point of view to another’s and even frequently uses third person omniscient. There’s no rule against doing this except it’s confusing for the reader and a bit of a cop out as a writer. There are also frequent dumps of unmotivated backstory as well as character description.

 

I never did understand the relationships between Jaya, Daniel, Rose, Tal, Arielle and Yardin. I imagine all these characters were all introduced in the previous novel, Yoga for Detectives Lesson One, but it might be a good idea for Prero to consider not every reader is going to read every one of her novels and if they do, maybe not in the order they were released so these relationships need to be explained in every book.

 

For this reader Yoga for Detectives: Interconnected was more disconnected than interconnected.

 

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Amazon Author Page: https:www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100013287676486

 

           

 

 

Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1607749/yoga-for-detectives-interconnected-more-disconnected-than-interconnected

BalloonCrop

Steven Spatz is an author, marketer, and the President of BookBaby. He writes the bookbaby Blog at http://blog.bookbaby.com/

It’s a thinly veiled promotional blog that encourages self-published authors to use the services of BookBaby to prepare and publish their manuscripts. I compare it to the weekly newsletter I get from a local realtor where despite rising interest rates, falling house prices and any other economic calamity that might be happening “it’s always a good time to buy or sell property”.

Here’s my response to his most recent blog entitle “Book Reviews: The Ultimate Word Of Mouth Promotion”.

 

Hi Steven,
Let’s crunch some numbers shall we. You shouldn’t mind because they’re ones you provided.

You write in your recent BookBaby blog that book reviews are critical to promoting my book. I agree. You write ” “There are literally thousands of book reviewers and bloggers online, and most of them review books even though they aren’t paid.”

I’d be doing a little more research before making a statement like that if I were you. I’ll bet you’ll find the majority of these bloggers and reviewers though online aren’t active.

After making this unqualified claim about thousands of bloggers and reviewers who want to review my work at no charge you then “recommend the following sites:

Midwest Book Review that charges $50 a review;
The Indie Reader at $255 a review: and,
The Self-Publishing Review at $119 a review.

If I was to “purchase” one review from each site it would cost a total of $394.

What happened to the thousands of unpaid book reviewers and bloggers? Why didn’t you list a few of them?

You can purchase an e-book of mine from Amazon for $3.99 of which I get 35% royalty or $1.35. I’d need to sell about 291 books to pay for these three reviews.

And what if they’re bad reviews?

According to your 2017 Self-Publishing Survey

https://www.bookbaby.com/…/official-self-publishing-survey-…

of the 4300 authors who took part only 5%, or about 215 authors, made $5000 a year from their writing. The other category you draw comparisons from which is obviously significantly larger, is the one you call lower earning authors who earn less than $100 a year from their writing.

The inherent conflict of interest of “paid for reviews” aside, how in good conscience can you recommend to the majority of indie authors, making less than $100 a year from their writing as indicated by your own research, that they spend that kind of money on reviews?

So which is it, Steven? Are either totally out of touch with your own research and our plight, or part of the pack who prey on naive and delusional new indie authors who are prepared to throw money away chasing that elusive dream?

 

 

 

Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1600874/bookbaby-prez-says-thousands-want-to-review-your-book-free-then-suggest-three-that-would-cost-394

 

Tree Therapy

Most days I get ahead of the morning. I’m up and busy with the mindless tasks that paradoxically fill my mind. It’s good to be engaged, interested, anticipating the challenges and rewards of the day unfolding.

 

Then there are days I awake anxious and for no particular reason. I don’t indulge these moods but despite my best efforts they prevail. I become disconcerted and irritable. Little things seem difficult, difficult things seem insurmountable.

 

On days like these I’m more keenly aware of intolerance and bigotry, of ignorance. I despair at people’s motives and am appalled by their actions. Frustration gives way to anger, gives way to cynicism, gives way to a feeling of hopelessness.

 

I’m running out of optimism. I know for a fact that everything is not going to be all right.

I would surrender, but to whom? I would retreat, but to where?

 

Nothing constructive or creative will happen until I shake this pall of despondency. I gear up and head out.

 

Even as I approached them my mood begins to lift.

 

The Maples of Kensington. Eight stately giants – so huge, so proud, so magnificently impersonal.

 

These are Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum), the largest of the Maple family perhaps 300 years old, maybe 50 metres high. Being tightly clustered they have developed a narrow crown supported by a trunk free of branches for about half its length.

 

I stand beneath them, I press my palms against their bark, I take a deep breath and listen.

 

And they speak to me.

 

High in their lofty branches the leaves rush and whisper and their sound soothes and reassures. Slowly their benign energy renews my confidence and restores my vitality. The desolation passes, and I feel unburdened, at peace and prepared.

 

 

 

 

Indian Summer

 

The summer had inhaled
And held its breath too long*

 

A strange mood ascends on me as summer slowly draws to an end.

 

The days have a listless quality, time seems suspended. There’s a feeling of deja vu – though not of an experience, rather an emotion, a dream sense, vague and inarticulate.

It’s like a lost memory – tinged with warning.

 

It’s about ending – something good, something sweet and easy. It’s about something approaching – new, different, challenging. The anticipation of change sends a ripple of foreboding, but I feel resigned, accepting.

 

One afternoon I find myself at Trout Lake, the local swimming hole.

 

When I was a kid the entire family would walk here from our home on East 4th. Sometimes I’d go with my neighbourhood buddies. It was a different world then, no structured play dates, we roamed free seeking and finding adventures. Most of these people are gone now, yet standing on the shore I can hear their happy voices, catch glimpses of them splashing into the green water.

 

This lake was witness to many rites of passage and figures prominently in my writing. The beach is small and less crowded than I remember. The raft I nearly drowned trying to swim to is not so far. Could it possibly be sixty years since I swam here?

 

Suddenly I’m enveloped in a sense of longing for a phantom life that almost was, but never will be.

 

I run across the hot sand, splash through the shallows and dive in.

 

The water is cool, slightly murky, exactly as I remember it and for brief seconds it washes the years away. I kick hard, go deeper, then roll over. Up through the depths the sun sparkles, shards of diffused light. I’m eight years old until I break the surface and look back to shore.

 

They’re gone.

 

And I’m still here.

 

 

 

*From Coming Back to Me, written by Marty Balin,
On Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow, 1967

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs

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Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6HEU

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Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1600863/tree-therapy-indian-summer-facebook-vignettes

 

East Van Saturday – four short stories and a novella, has just been sent out to three more Canadian publishers.

 

The process began in November of last year when I decided that self-publishing another work (currently I’ve self-published eight novels and two plays) wasn’t going to achieve what I wanted.

 

What do I want?

Critical, serious consideration for my writing and you’re not likely going to receive that as an self-published author.

 

Why? Because it’s now dead easy to self-publish and guess what, everybody’s doing it. In 2015 alone, 625,327 ISBN numbers were issued for individual indie books.

 

In the past six months I’ve submitted to five publishers. If you think sending out submissions is easy, well, I guess it depends on what you’re comparing it to.

 

Consider:

– publishers are obsessively specific about how your manuscript should be presented: what font style, what type size, margin widths, headers, etc.

– part of the submission package is to explain why you think your work is a good fit for them,

– you must provide details on how you’re prepared to market your book,

– in most cases they will not accept simultaneous or multiple submissions,

– they won’t let you know they received your submission,

– you are under no circumstances allowed to contact them in any way,

– they won’t let you know if they reject your work, they’ll just shred it, using “a secure process”.

 

Okay, so it’s not that difficult, it’s just extremely annoying to have to deal with their arrogance – and that’s without ever having the opportunity to speak with any of them.

 

To make it even more galling, in 2014-15 these guys (and gals) received $30 million dollars in Canadian government subsidies – that’s my tax money.

 

And what exactly do they do for this money now that all the services: editing, cover design, production, marketing and distribution can be done by the author or purchased from experts relatively inexpensively?

 

One thing.

 

They’re the gatekeepers to literary acceptance. If you’re an indie author you’re a joke, if your traditionally published you’re accepted by the literati.

 

Not that I’ll make any more money. Emerging authors are lucky to receive a fifteen percent royalty on traditionally published books.

So here we go again.

 

East Van Saturday Night – four short stories and a novella, are to some degree autobiographical and impart to the reader why you can take the boy out of East Van, but you’ll never take East Van out of the boy.

Though the stories are all set in East Vancouver (with the exception of Hitchhike, which is a cross Canada misadventure during the “summer of love”), the themes have universal appeal and the music, the fashions and the culture are distinctly familiar to “boomers”.

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

 

Amazon Author Page   https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

 

Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1580255/east-van-saturday-night-submissions-round-two

Characters & Viewpoint (Elements of Fiction Writing) - Orson Scott Card

There’s nothing new in books about writing fiction, only on how they’re presented.

 

Some are written by academics and you need to be one to understand them. Others are written by authors who use them as a means of self-aggrandizement constantly quoting examples from their own work. These may not necessarily be good examples of what they’re trying to demonstrate, but they’re not about to let an opportunity to promote their work slip by.

 

In Characters and Viewpoint, author Orson Scott Card uses straight forward prose and not a lot of examples from his own work and gives good insight into these two important aspects of writing fiction.

 

This is a solid book about what is stated in the title.

Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1575160/goods-insights-into-two-important-aspects-of-writing-fiction

Review:

Crying for the Moon: A Novel - Mary Walsh

 

 

Maureen comes from a working class family in St John’s, Newfoundland. She’s a senior in a Catholic parochial high school.

 

Even though she can’t sing she fakes her way into the school choir so she can travel as part of the group to Montreal and perform at Expo ’67, the world’s fair taking place there in 1967.

 

As soon as she arrives, her and a girlfriend go AWOL and hit the Montreal nightlife.

 

 

Before you can say ” G’wan with cha” she gets drunk and wakes up in a strange hotel room having lost her virginity as well as her girlfriend.

Evidently not big deal.

 

She goes back to the hotel, don’t know that she ever performs at Expo, but the next night is out looking for her girlfriend in the same bars and has sex with another, more or less anonymous guy all the while not enjoying it one bit, which makes this reader wonder why she does it?

 

Not wanting to hang around with someone she hardly knows she ends up at yet another bar, gets dead drunk and has sex with an “old man”.

 

Back home and back at Catholic school in St. John’s she throws up on a nun’s habit and is announced pregnant and kicked out of school.

 

Her mother, “the Sarge” tells her she isn’t going to sit around so she gets a part time job in a discount store where all the other employees hate her.

 

There’s more, but none of it has any motivation, there’s little character development – it is just one grim situation after another.

 

Why would a “good” girl attending a Catholic school, suddenly go on a sex and drinking binge just because she’s away from home?

 

I never found out because I abandoned Crying for the Moon after three chapters. Blame it on a really unsympathetic character and an inability to suspend disbelief.

 

This is a good example of a “celebrity book”. The publisher knows the author’s fame in other endeavours, in this case author Mary Walsh being somewhat of an comic icon in Canada, will sell enough books to make a profit.

 

Maybe stick to comedy, Mary, or was this book supposed to be a joke and I just didn’t get it?

Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1575158/crying-for-the-moon-a-dreary-tawdry-series-of-events-lacking-in-motivation

ButtercupFieldH_IMG_0073

The Rocker and the Bird Girl (RBG) is a novella I wrote on Inkitt, more as an experiment than a serious piece of writing. I wanted to see if I wrote something YA oriented if it would generate for me any of the response this site boasts about. I’d have been happy with comments and criticism, but wouldn’t have turned down a publishing deal.

Here’s the blurb for the story.

If someone called Mattie a bird brain she’d take it as a compliment. She loves birds, has spent her entire twenty years surrounded by them and believes they are more intelligent, loving and loyal than, well, most anything else in this world.

Mattie’s grandfather spent all his retirement, time and funds, establishing a sanctuary for homeless, imported, exotic birds. Now granddad was gone and so was the money to support the sanctuary. In her desperate search for funding to keep the refuge open

Mattie had read that lead guitarist and lyricist Bodine, of the notorious rock band, Seditious, owned a Macaw as a pet. The guy was obviously fabulously wealthy. Maybe he’d like to spend some of that money saving these beautiful, precious creatures instead of on drugs and expensive toys?

He wasn’t answering her emails so she guessed she’d have to try to get his attention at the Seditious concert that was coming to town. She’d never been to a rock concert and wasn’t looking forward to it, but desperate times called for desperate measures.

***

Sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll have taken their toll on Bodine, lead guitarist and songwriter for Seditious, the chart topping, outrageous rock band. He’s just playing the part until something better comes along. The problem is what’s better than being a rich and famous rock idol? Certainly not helping some over zealous young woman save exotic birds, even if his best friend is a Blue and Gold Macaw.

 

I’d knock off a chapter about once every three days and upload it to the site then promote it on Twitter and Facebook. I kind of got caught up with the characters and the plot and before I knew it they were having their way with me.

Once completed, it’s a novella, only 20,000 words, I left it up for awhile but had become too attached to it to let it languish among all the dreck. Besides after four months it had received no comments or criticisms and accumulated only about two hundred and fifty reads and eleven downloads. I’m not sure what that means in terms of success on Inkitt, but it was obvious to me nothing was happening.

And so, more or less to keep my hand in, and as an offering to my ART members (Advance Reading Team) I’ve self-published it and even have some ideas about developing it into a series. It was fun, easy to write and I got to addressed some issues. You can become an ART member and receive a free copy of The Rocker and the Bird Girl by clicking this link http://eepurl.com/cj5wjj

I’m seriously considering turning RBG into a series. Apparently, novellas are very popular (easily read on your cell phone during a commute), and the characters and story ideas are still resonating with me.

All the while I’m still waiting for a traditional publisher to pickup East Van Saturday Night – four short stories and a novella. So far not a peep, one way or another.

When it came to self-publishing the e-book edition of RBG I went with Smashwords and Kindle Direct (Amazon) and this time added Draft2Digital (D2D), more so I could pass along the experience to you and the participants of my workshops and creative writing circles since D2D has limited distribution which is more than duplicated by the coverage Smashwords offers.

If you think making it even easier to self-publish is a good thing (I’m not sure it is) than you’ll love Draft2Digital (D2D). I found uploading my manuscript along with the pertinent details extremely user friendly. They’ll even provide front and back matter for your e-book from the information you provide.

However, after uploading RBG I received an error message via email from D2D. My book was blocked from being distributed because I inadvertently hit the public domain button when uploading my file. I followed the instructions, went back and made the correction – nothing changed. My book was still blocked.

I sent an email message explaining my dilemma on June 1. Two days later after receiving no response I tried to de-list my book. It wouldn’t go away. I then decided to reload my book making sure to not hit the public domain button and bingo it went through and got distributed.

Now two listings for The Rocker and the Bird Girl appear on my D2D dashboard – one blocked and one published. Compare this to Amazon’s Create Space and Kindle Direct who always resolve my issues within twenty-four hours.

Three things I didn’t bother with in this launch were Kindle Select, Kindle Scout, and Smashwords Pre-order. These highly touted services have generated nothing whatsoever in response for me.

My email list continues generate response and I’m getting quite creative with MailChimp about using free copies to increase the membership, like using Instafreebie’s one month free introductory offer. Make sure you click the option to have Instafreebie members “opt in” by giving up their email address for a free book.

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

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Links to websites referenced in this blog.

Link to become an ART member http://eepurl.com/cj5wjj

Draft2Digital http://draft2digital.com/

Inkitt http://inkitt.com/

Instafreebie https://www.instafreebie.com/

Mail Chimp https://mailchimp.com/

Smashwords http://smashwords.com/

Kindle Direct https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/

Create Space http://createspace.com/

 

Find reviews, blurbs and buy links to my seven novels and two plays at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

Facebook for writing news, my experience as a writer as well as promotions, contests, giveaways and discounts regarding his books

https://www.facebook.com/Rod-Raglin-337865049886964/

 

Video book reviews of self-published authors now at Not Your Family, Not Your Friend Video Book Reviews:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH45n8K4BVmT248LBTpfARQ

 

Cover Art of books by self-published authors at

https://www.pinterest.com/rod_raglin/rod-raglins-reviews-cover-art/

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Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1568839/experiments-in-self-publishing-with-the-rocker-and-the-bird-girl

Reblogged from: Rod Raglin

Review:

 

In a dystopian future with civilization all but destroyed, Emperor Donovan, a wicked, evil, despot rules an area that includes London Ruins. His DRT (?) agents control the impoverished subjects with ruthless violence and the help of digital implants embedded in each person at birth (?) that identifies who they are and where they are.

 

Jacks is a homeless, pickpocket in her early teens. Her parents, branded as rebels, were murdered before her eyes when she was just a child. Her hatred for the Emperor and his agents is only slightly less than her will to survive.

 

When she is asked to see what has happened to a friend she stumbles on a roundup of subjects by DRT agents looking for rebels. To save them from execution she creates a distraction only to find she’s not the only one on a rescue mission.

 

Members of The Flames, an underground movement fighting against the tyranny of the Empire, are there as well and their members and Jacks form an uneasy alliance.

 

Gradually Jacks becomes accepted by The Flames, which consists of only five members all in their teens. However, the group’s leader, Zira, feels uneasy about the new recruit.

 

As the rebel group fights to save innocents as well as themselves from the malevolent Emperor Donovan and his henchmen, Zira’s apprehension comes to the fore as she is forced to reveal secrets of her own that involve Jacks.

 

As dystopian fiction goes Ignite is not very original but it does have potential. Unfortunately, that potential is squandered by lack of craft including amateur writing, lack of plot structure, one dimensional characterization and chapter after chapter that do little or nothing to advance the plot or develop character.

 

For example, the Emperor and his agents are without exception evil, nasty, cruel and stupid. The Flames are without exception good, nice, friendly, and exceptionally smart especially for teenagers living in a society that has collapsed.

 

They are constantly one up on the bad guys even though there are a lot more of them and they have unlimited resources including weapons.

 

Hold on, two of The Flames are from a wealthy “shiner” family. Their father was thrown into the dungeons for consorting with rebels but apparently the Emperor forgot to confiscate the family wealth and throw the wife and children into the street, so now the kids use their father’s money to undermine the Empire.

 

If you think that’s dumb, the DRT agents of the Empire are so stupid they don’t even think to have paid or coerced informants in the general population considering everyone is starving and they’d likely sell their mother not to mention The Flames, for a meal.

But no they wouldn’t because in Rogland’s dystopian future everyone poor is honest, noble and loyal to The Flames, starving or otherwise.

 

In addition to attaining more writing (and reading) experience what author Danielle Rogland desperately needs is a good editor. Someone who can tell her that using adverbs to describe the delivery of almost every sentence of dialogue she’s written is the mark of an amateur. If your dialogue needs to be described it likely is weak and needs to be rewritten using a stronger verb.

 

A good editor would cut back on the tedious descriptions of setting suggesting she leave it to the readers imagination. Most importantly, her editor would tell her to delete or significantly cut the chapters that are basically redundant chit chat and do little or nothing to advance the plot or develop character.

 

In the end, Ignite would be tight, entertaining and about two-thirds as long as it is now with all the superfluity eliminated.

 

I received this e-book free from Inkitt in return for an honest review.

 

Inkitt says its  mission is “to ensure fair publishing and objectivity for authors. Who are we or any editor in the world to judge whether your book is worth publishing? We don’t think that we or any so-called “expert” is in a position to judge your work. You write your book for your readers, and the most important factor is whether your readers like it or not. That is what we measure at Inkitt.”

 

And how do they do this?

 

“We built artificially intelligent algorithms that have the ability to analyze reading pattern data and engagement levels. This allows us to make objective and data-driven decisions regarding a novel’s potential to become a bestseller. “

 

Apparently none of the above, as copied from Inkitt’s site, has anything to do with good writing, but hey, who am I to argue with artificially intelligent algorithms, or how many people you can persuade to click on your online book and add it to their “reading list”.

 

All the same, and despite being approved by artificially intelligent algorithms, I’m giving Ignite two stars.

 

 

 

 

Source:
www.rodraglin.com

Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1558412/lack-of-craft-and-editing-extinguishes-the-potential-in-ignite

Review:

 

In a dystopian future with civilization all but destroyed, Emperor Donovan, a wicked, evil, despot rules an area that includes London Ruins. His DRT (?) agents control the impoverished subjects with ruthless violence and the help of digital implants embedded in each person at birth (?) that identifies who they are and where they are.

 

Jacks is a homeless, pickpocket in her early teens. Her parents, branded as rebels, were murdered before her eyes when she was just a child. Her hatred for the Emperor and his agents is only slightly less than her will to survive.

 

When she is asked to see what has happened to a friend she stumbles on a roundup of subjects by DRT agents looking for rebels. To save them from execution she creates a distraction only to find she’s not the only one on a rescue mission.

 

Members of The Flames, an underground movement fighting against the tyranny of the Empire, are there as well and their members and Jacks form an uneasy alliance.

 

Gradually Jacks becomes accepted by The Flames, which consists of only five members all in their teens. However, the group’s leader, Zira, feels uneasy about the new recruit.

 

As the rebel group fights to save innocents as well as themselves from the malevolent Emperor Donovan and his henchmen, Zira’s apprehension comes to the fore as she is forced to reveal secrets of her own that involve Jacks.

 

As dystopian fiction goes Ignite is not very original but it does have potential. Unfortunately, that potential is squandered by lack of craft including amateur writing, lack of plot structure, one dimensional characterization and chapter after chapter that do little or nothing to advance the plot or develop character.

 

For example, the Emperor and his agents are without exception evil, nasty, cruel and stupid. The Flames are without exception good, nice, friendly, and exceptionally smart especially for teenagers living in a society that has collapsed.

 

They are constantly one up on the bad guys even though there are a lot more of them and they have unlimited resources including weapons.

 

Hold on, two of The Flames are from a wealthy “shiner” family. Their father was thrown into the dungeons for consorting with rebels but apparently the Emperor forgot to confiscate the family wealth and throw the wife and children into the street, so now the kids use their father’s money to undermine the Empire.

 

If you think that’s dumb, the DRT agents of the Empire are so stupid they don’t even think to have paid or coerced informants in the general population considering everyone is starving and they’d likely sell their mother not to mention The Flames, for a meal.

But no they wouldn’t because in Rogland’s dystopian future everyone poor is honest, noble and loyal to The Flames, starving or otherwise.

 

In addition to attaining more writing (and reading) experience what author Danielle Rogland desperately needs is a good editor. Someone who can tell her that using adverbs to describe the delivery of almost every sentence of dialogue she’s written is the mark of an amateur. If your dialogue needs to be described it likely is weak and needs to be rewritten using a stronger verb.

 

A good editor would cut back on the tedious descriptions of setting suggesting she leave it to the readers imagination. Most importantly, her editor would tell her to delete or significantly cut the chapters that are basically redundant chit chat and do little or nothing to advance the plot or develop character.

 

In the end, Ignite would be tight, entertaining and about two-thirds as long as it is now with all the superfluity eliminated.

 

I received this e-book free from Inkitt in return for an honest review.

 

Inkitt says its  mission is “to ensure fair publishing and objectivity for authors. Who are we or any editor in the world to judge whether your book is worth publishing? We don’t think that we or any so-called “expert” is in a position to judge your work. You write your book for your readers, and the most important factor is whether your readers like it or not. That is what we measure at Inkitt.”

 

And how do they do this?

 

“We built artificially intelligent algorithms that have the ability to analyze reading pattern data and engagement levels. This allows us to make objective and data-driven decisions regarding a novel’s potential to become a bestseller. “

 

Apparently none of the above, as copied from Inkitt’s site, has anything to do with good writing, but hey, who am I to argue with artificially intelligent algorithms, or how many people you can persuade to click on your online book and add it to their “reading list”.

 

All the same, and despite being approved by artificially intelligent algorithms, I’m giving Ignite two stars.

 

 

 

 

Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1558403/lack-of-craft-and-editing-extinguishes-the-potential-in-ignite

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