Friday, April 25, 2014

Don't Let the 1-Star Review Blues Get You Down, Says @GeorgiaLeCarre #PubTip #WriteTip

One star reviews are baked in the cake if you write even a mildly successful book and if you write a bestseller you can even expect hundreds and in cases of mega bestsellers than thousands of one star reviews!  Looked at this way one star reviews are actually a badge of honor!
Hence the way to wear them is with pride.  Here is a method of how to wear them.
First and foremost do not read them.
Generally they are badly written and go along the lines of worst book ever, could not finish, I returned the book and got my money back, but still feel so mad and vindictive over the time lost that I have taken the time to leave a warning to all other unsuspecting readers, etc.  There will be spelling and grammatical errors in these damning reports, presumably because the reviewers were so incensed they could no longer think properly.
There is also another variety of one star review that is rapier sharp with sarcasm and wit.  This one is dangerous.  We live in a society where nothing cuts more than derision.  Want to kill off a dangerous opponent.  Invite him on a talk show and pour ridicule on his views.  The viewer will immediately get the impression that he is a ridiculous man to be avoided.  The same with books.
These reviews are usually written by your competitors or in some cases bought by them from as little as five dollars from unscrupulous review sellers.  Unfortunately, your potential readers will read them, but if they are few in number you will survive surprisingly well.  All is not lost.  Watch EL James duck and dive around negative reviews, and swim up the best-seller charts time and time again!
Finally, grow a thicker skin.
A book gets its one star rating when it falls into a jealous competitors gaze or the wrong hands.  When the human mind cannot understand something it is almost a defense mechanism that makes it want to denounce the whole thing as rubbish.  So the more one stars you pick the more intelligent you are…pat yourself on the back and flash a big smile.

Beyond the seductive power of immense wealth lies… Dark Secrets
Devastatingly handsome billionaire, Blake Law Barrington was Lana Blooms first and only love. From the moment they touched his power was overwhelming. Their arrangement quickly developed into a passionate romance that captivated her heart and took her on an incredible sexual journey she never wanted to end.
The future together looked bright until Lana made a terrible mistake. So, she did the only thing she could… she ran.
Away from her incredible life, away from the man of her dreams, but she should have known a man such as Blake Law Barrington was impossible to escape. Now, he’s back in her life and determined that she should taste the bitterness of his pain.
Shocked at how rough the sex has become and humiliated that she is actually participating so willingly in her punishment, she despairs if she will ever feel the warmth of his touch–the solidity of his trust again? And even if she can win his trust, loyalties are yet to be decided, and secrets to be revealed–secrets that will test them both to their limits.
Will Lana be able to tear down the walls that surround Blake’s heart, and break him free of the brutal power of immense wealth?
Can Blake hold on to Lana’s heart when she discovers the enormity of the dark secrets that inhabit the Barrington family?
Lana has always believed that love conquers all. She is about to test that belief…
Buy @ Amazon
Genre – Erotic Romance
Rating – PG-18
More details about the author
Connect with Georgia Le Carre on Facebook & Twitter

Chatting with Leah Rhyne, Author of #Zombie Days, Campfire Nights @Leah_Beth #Horror #SciFi #AmReading

How did you develop your writing?
Honestly? I just started writing, and figured it out as I went. I’ve written four (almost five) books now, and I know there’s something new and exciting that I’ve learned in each one.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everywhere. It started with the horror movies I grew up watching with my dad. Then it turned to the sci-fi flicks I preferred as a teenager. Now it’s everything. Everywhere. I draw a lot from history, from historical situations like the Holocaust and World War II. There’s so much material there to explore, I can’t imagine ever running out of stories to tell.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
Marketing! Oh GOD I’m terrible at marketing. It’s like…I wrote this book, and I know I love it, and I want you to love it too…but to talk about it? No, that just makes me blush and get all weird and tongue-tied. I’m the worst!

What marketing works for you?
Ask me that again in about six months and I’ll tell you. :P

Do you find it hard to share your work?
No. I like to share it. Why write if you’re not going to share it? But just don’t ask me to TALK about it!!!

Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?
Ohmigosh yes. They’re all amazing! My husband reads and edits my stuff; my parents tell all their friends about their crazy author daughter; my daughter writes her own books now; and my friends are so great about buying my books and telling their friends about it. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive group around me.

Do you plan to publish more books?
I surely hope so! Book 3 of the Undead America series will be out in the fall of 2014. That’ll finish the trilogy out. Beyond that…I’ve written two unrelated books, and hope to find them homes this year.

What else do you do to make money, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full time…
I used to have a day job as a computer software tester, but these days I actually am a full time writer. I freelance to help pay bills, writing for literary sites and a local paper, and I work on my books. Also, I’m a full time soccer mom. So there’s that.

What other jobs have you had in your life?
Ha! I’ve been working since I was about 12, starting out with a pretty robust babysitting business (I adored the Babysitters Club books!), moving on to lifeguarding, vet tech, legal secretary, computer software analyst, web administrator…should I go on?

If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?
I would LOVE to go back in time and major in history, get my masters, a PhD and perhaps teach at a university. I think history has so much to teach us about the future (does that sound cheesy? Possibly, I guess, but it’s true.). There’s no story that’s not already been told, no personality that we haven’t already seen. If we don’t learn from the past, we’ll repeat its mistakes, and we’ve made some pretty big mistakes in this world. You know? So I’d love to study that.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I’d love a house in the mountains of the south (perhaps Asheville, NC) and an apartment in New York City. Plus also London. I love London.

Millions died when the zombie plague swept the country. For the survivors, the journey has just begun. Jenna, Sam, and Lola are still alive. Jenna avoids human contact, traveling East Coast backroads with her boyfriend, a dog named Chicken, and a Louisville Slugger. Sam escapes to the mountains, where he's conscripted into a zombie-slaying militia sent on nightly raids to kill the undead...and innocent civilians. 

Lola's imprisoned in the "safety" of a zombie-free New Orleans hotel, but life grows more dangerous when her brother gets bitten by a zombie. Jenna arrives in the French Quarter, lured by the false promises of New Orleans' drunken leader. There, she's ripped away from her boyfriend, drugged, and dumped in a death camp after refusing Franklin's sexual advances. 

Jenna and Lola's lives collide there, where the dead live and the dying are victims of gruesome medical experiments. Escape isn't easy: release the genetically-enhanced zombies from the lab to create a diversion, slip away, and don't get eaten. When Sam arrives, will he join the right side of the battle?

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – NA-Horror, Sci-fi
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Leah Rhyne on Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Josh VanBrakle's #WriteTip on Turning Rejection into Growth #AmWriting #YA #Fantasy

The Query Blues: Turn Rejection into Growth

You’ve put your heart into writing your first novel: years of your life, uncounted long nights, and even more uncounted tears. Finally, you’re ready. You put together a brilliant, personalized query letter and send it to an agent. Days pass, then weeks. Nothing. Not even a form response.

What a cold, cold thing to do to a writer. You’ve written a masterpiece, and some schmuck in New York won’t even return your email. I know that feeling. My first novel, The Wings of Dragons, was rejected by not one, not ten, but over fifty agents. Most never replied at all. A few wrote me that they really liked my book, but they weren’t confident they could sell it to an editor “in this market.”

Every one of those rejections hit me hard. They made me feel like all the work I’d put in - over two years - was wasted.

Somewhere in the middle of all those rejections, though, I had my epiphany. I could see the rejections as an annoyance, as some suit in some distant agency not giving my book its due, or I could recognize them for what they were: opportunities to improve. These agents, whose job it is to sell books, were telling me something valuable. “Do you want to sell books? Then go back and spruce up this manuscript.”

So that’s what I did. I studied what those agents were looking for: fast-paced plots, a beginning few chapters that screamed “Keep reading me!”, and above all, sympathetic, multi-layered characters. Agents look for these traits, because they’re what make a book stand out. With that knowledge in hand, I knew where to focus my revisions.

In the end, no agent picked me up. I had no credentials, and my only publishing credits were a couple scientific journal articles, hardly gripping reads. No one would take a chance on me, so I took a chance on me and indie published. It’s paid off; my book became a #1 best-seller in its category on Amazon. Even so, I don’t laugh at the agents who rejected my work. I thank them. They were right to reject it. It wasn’t finished yet. If it had been published, or if I’d indie published without trying the traditional route first, I would have been unsatisfied with the result. I would have known I could have written a better book. A big part of why my book succeeded as an indie is because I tried the traditional approach first, and then I used what I learned to make my novel the best I could write at that point in my life.

It’s easy to let rejection convince you that your work is garbage, or worse, that your work is awesome and agents are too stupid to see it. Instead, see rejection as someone in the industry who knows a lot about what sells giving you free advice on how to make your book even better. Kick your ego to the curb and use that advice to grow as an author.

The Wings of Dragons

From fantasy author Josh VanBrakle comes an epic new trilogy of friendship, betrayal, and explosive magic. Lefthanded teenager Iren Saitosan must uncover a forgotten history, confront monsters inspired by Japanese mythology, and master a serpentine dragon imprisoned inside a katana to stop a revenge one thousand years in the making.

Lodian culture declares lefthanded people dangerous and devil-spawned, and for Iren, the kingdom's only known Left, that's meant a life of social isolation. To pass the time and get a little attention, he plays pranks on the residents of Haldessa Castle. It's harmless fun, until one of his stunts nearly kills Lodia's charismatic heir to the throne. Now to avoid execution for his crime, Iren must join a covert team and assassinate a bandit lord. It's a suicide mission, and Iren's chances aren't helped when he learns that his new katana contains a dragon's spirit, one with a magic so powerful it can sink continents and transform Iren into a raging beast.

Adding to his problems, someone on Iren's team is plotting treason. When a former ally launches a brutal plan to avenge the Lefts, Iren finds himself trapped between competing loyalties. He needs to figure out who - and how - to trust, and the fates of two nations depend on his choice.

"A fast-paced adventure...led by a compelling cast of characters. Josh VanBrakle keeps the mysteries going." - ForeWord Reviews

Buy @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – YA epic fantasy
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Josh VanBrakle on Twitter