Reviews aren’t just for writer’s egos…we promise!

One of the hardest things to do as a writer, is to get honest feedback. A lot of times, we are dying to hear what a complete stranger would think about our plot, tone or structure of our story. Do people really get our words or are we just sounding or writing in a bunch of jumbled words like Boomhauer of King of the Hill.

Enter Reviews.

A fellow author, and muse from a far, CP Patrick drop some knowledge on how we really are looking to get honest feedback through reviews to help understand our writing styles, promote our book and hopefully attract new readers. We promise that reviews are not to stroke our egos–ok it may help our egos some if it’s amazing feedback we never thought we would ever hear from a stranger…but that’s not a bad thing right?

Check out an excerpt from her post, A Word on Reviews, which shines some much needed light on why your thoughts are vital for us newbies. And after you’ve read the “why”, help a sister out with a review on one of my books currently on #SpringReading sale on Amazon.

Authors often ask readers to leave reviews, especially new authors. But it’s not for the reasons some people might think. It has less to do with ego and more to do with receiving honest feedback, marketing opportunities and attracting new readers….

Honest Feedback
Publishing a book is an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. There’s the joy of “I did it!” Which is quickly followed by “Oh my God! People are going to read my book!” And we all know how cruel the Internet can be. Certainly, every author receives negative reviews. Go look at some of your favorite books or current best-sellers. There are rave reviews and soul-crushing reviews. Because that’s reality – not everyone is going to like everything…

Marketing Opportunities
What many readers may not know is that reviews are often tied to marketing opportunities for authors. And not just favorable reviews – the number of reviews help too. This is particularly true for ebook subscription marketing opportunities as well as Amazon book pairings. One of the reasons The Truth About Awiti has done well is because of the number of reviews that the book has received…

Attracting New Readers
Another benefit of leaving a review for an author is that reviews help attract new readers. Don’t you enjoy reading book reviews before making a purchase? If you really enjoyed reading a book, one of the most helpful things you can do is leave a review on Goodreads and the site where you purchased the book, such as Amazon, B&N, or even your favorite indie bookstore. Your review just might be the one that influences readers to purchase the book…

Second shameless, but honest plug: I would love for you to review my two books! Untraditional: A Collection of Passion-Fy Short Stories and Like. Love. Lust. A Collection of Passion-Fy Prose and Poetry are both on sale on Kindle for only $0.99–this week only!

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“Scientific Romance”Review from Michael Dirda

I am a true sci-fi geek at heart. I know, I know, I write romance and erotica but one day my worldly thoughts and revelations of a utopian society will come to fruition but in the meantime I love reading, watching and learning more about the genre.

I ran into this article, Michael Dirda on the Evolution of Science Fiction,  by Michael Dirda of The Washington Post where he highlights a term I wasn’t familiar with—Scientific Romance.

The term was used prior to World War I by pioneering authors like Lisa Yaszek and Patrick B. Sharp of “Sisters of Tomorrow”. I haven’t read that one but it’s now on my Goodreads bookshelf.

Here’s and except from Dirda’s article:


 

“The stories included in “Scientific Romance”— and there are a dozen others — all first appeared before World War I. “Sisters of Tomorrow,” edited by Lisa Yaszek and Patrick B. Sharp, focuses on the contribution of women to American science fiction during the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. Like Stableford’s book, this excellent anthology — which first appeared last year — is an important work of rediscovery and reclamation.

Many of these pioneering women are relatively obscure today. But not all. C.L. Moore, one of the giants of the field, is represented by “Shambleau,” the first of her thrilling tales of Northwest Smith, in which the Indiana Jones of the spaceways encounters a most seductive alien. The editors include three evocative poems by Leah Bodine Drake, whose 1950 collection “A Hornbook for Witches ” is among the most sought-after titles published by specialty press Arkham House. In one poem, the female narrator runs with the werewolves; in another, Bodine describes a witchy woman, “a bit more than human/ And far less than good,” who ensorcells a young squire with her red hair and green eyes. This Wesleyan anthology also reprints editorials by Mary Gnaedinger, who oversaw the influential reprint magazine Famous Fantastic Mysteries, and Dorothy Stevens McIlwraith, who ran the even more famous Weird Tales.

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“Sisters of Tomorrow: The First Woman of Science Fiction,” by Lisa Yaszek and Patrick B. Sharp (Wesleyan)

Though “Sisters of Tomorrow,” naturally enough, looks for signs of female empowerment throughout the period’s sf, it’s hard to view Dorothy Quick’s “Strange Orchids” as anything but an effective weird-menace shocker about a mad scientist with Svengali-like powers. Likewise, Margaret Johnson Brundage’s cover paintings for Weird Tales may sometimes portray women as “strong and fearless, even in harrowing situations,” but their overall aim is sexual titillation. Brundage generally depicts scenes of sadism, bondage and submission, sometimes tinged with lesbianism. For a general circulation magazine her art was remarkably transgressive.

“Sisters of Tomorrow” concludes with a strongly argued essay by Kathleen Ann Goonan, who teaches writing at Georgia Tech. “Challenging the Narrative, Or, Women Take Back Science Fiction” attacks residual sexism in the field while also praising the groundbreaking iconoclasm of writers such as Joanna Russ, author of “The Female Man,” and the important contribution of contemporary editors Ellen Datlow, anthologist extraordinaire, and Sheila Williams, who oversees Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. Still, what really matters is, of course, the future.”

Why I almost gave up writing yesterday

I ALMOST GAVE UP

Yesterday I asked myself, what the hell are you doing? Writing!? For what? Fuck writing. You don’t have enough followers on your social channels. You haven’t heard back from the one agent you submitted to. You haven’t finished any of the stories/novels that you say you want to publish. What in all the hell are you really doing?

And my answer to myself was a plain I don’t know.

Defeated couldn’t describe my mental state yesterday. My soul was dark and my eyes were clouded. I couldn’t see where I was going anymore and I almost gave up writing.
It was like my mind wanted something different but I didn’t know what that “want” was exactly. More results maybe. More followers and likes. More finished projects. Just more. But why?

SOMETIMES IT’S MORE THAN JUST ABOUT THE “WHY”

I’ve been told many times that you have to savor those amazing moments; live in the blessing that you’ve received. One of my most amazing writing moments was the day I released my first book. I was in heaven for that day but by the next day, I was lost in “what the hell is next?”

Honestly, that’s one of my biggest problems as a writer—hell probably as a person—is that I miss out those savory moments. I’m so caught up in “what’s next” or “do more” or “why are you…” that it mentally drains my will and passion.

Some days we’ve got to ask ourselves what have we done to understand why we have and continue to do it.

WHAT HAVEN’T WE DONE!

As writers, in any capacity, we have given the world our words. Words that once they are out, are etched in stone, on the world wide web (remember when we use to say that…ok I digress), or up in the cloud, or in our audience’s mind. We share our thoughts with no real clue how the world may receive our message. As dangerous, scary or rejuvenating as it may be, it’s the biggest and most important what to our journey.

Toni Morrison already told us that “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

We write because we love to do it. If you’re like me, you love to do it so much that you get up early and go to bed late just to get out your story because you have to.

That’s what the fuck we are doing. We are fulfilling our purpose by telling a story that needs to be told. Let’s not lose focus on that. So what if it takes us months or years to get it out, it’s the action that matter’s most. An action that keeps us sane and thriving. An action that is the key to our creative joy.

Push through writer’s block. Push through your doubts and worries about how the audience will receive your message. Push through the unknowns of this journey because it WILL be worth it. God gave us this gift for a reason and we MUST NOT take it lightly.

I almost gave up writing yesterday, until I realized that this gift was directly from God and it’s exactly what I should be doing to leave my legacy.