How Important Are Book Reviews?

Thumbs up

 

by Allison Maruska

A few days ago, this article came out on Consumerist.com. If you don’t want to click over and read it right this second, allow me to summarize: there are companies that sell five-star reviews to authors, and Amazon is suing these companies.

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The Puzzling Prologue Problem

Old Book

 

Go ahead, Google something along the lines of prologues in novels. I’ll wait.

Done? If so, you’ll have found links like 7 Deadly Sins of Prologues, The Worst Ways to Begin Your Novel: Advice from Literary Agents, The Dreaded Prologue, Question: the oft-maligned prologue, and so on.

Read these four pages. Did you see the following?

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Seeking Beta Readers

 

Hello everyone!

I’m looking to put together a group of beta readers that will make up a “Launch Team.” I have in mind the goal of around a dozen, but I’m open to more.

A member of the Launch Team will be able to read my books for free before anyone else can, and in return offers feedback on how the read was for them. This reading will occur before the book is published, although when it is, the beta reader is encouraged to leave a review on their preferred online marketplace. The thoughts and opinions of the members will likely help mold not only the current but future books.

The ideal amount of time for a turnaround read of course depends on the length of the book, but generally the ideal beta reader is one who enjoys reading and does so regularly.

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Are Likable Characters Important in Women’s Fiction?

Women

 

When the moderator of a recent women’s fiction panel asked me if I expected to be friends with the protagonists in the women’s fiction I read, I had the oddest reaction: my mind went blank. Madly scanning my mental spreadsheet of great fiction in an effort to be truthful, in front of an auditorium full of avid readers I would have been happy to impress, I could suddenly recall no protagonist in any book I’d ever read. Could I think of characters who were compelling, closed off, quirky, troubled, clever? Sure. But I had never thought to sort any of them into the column titled “friends.”

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One Old Rule to Start a Story

Typewriter

 

by Pekoeblaze

When I was about sixteen or seventeen and getting back into writing prose fiction for either the second or third time in my life, I had a rule for how to begin my stories. It was basically something like: “Write the first draft and then delete the first paragraph”.

Until I got better at writing, this rule worked really well because I’d often start my stories in a fairly boring way, and it’d make sure that they started “in media res”.

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From The First To The Last Chapter – 5 Things To Keep In Mind

Book

 

The ability to write a novel from start to finish doesn’t own any kind of magical formula. Like anything we try to accomplish in life, certain things can hinder the process.  Some of them can’t be avoided, like the condition of your own health.  If you’re coughing, wheezing, taking serious medication that can affect your judgment, I promise that most, if not all writing skills goes out of the window.

The things that can be avoided are usually the same standard problems faced by most writers.  Interruptions during a critical moment of writing.  Too much noise.  The music you listen to in between chapters while taking a break got left at a friend’s place.  Go and get it, your chapter is done for the day.

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10 Reasons for Authors to Blog

Blog

 

One of the questions I’m most asked is “How do you find time to write a blog?” I can answer this quite simply–I find the time in the same way that I find time to do the grocery shopping, read poetry, or stroke the cat.

We all find the time to do the things we consider either essential/non-negotiable or enjoyable, preferably both. But this answer doesn’t always satisfy people. That’s when it becomes clear that the real question they want to ask is “Why do you blog?”

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Writing for Others–Writing for Yourself

Writing

 

Writers are often asked if they write for themselves or for others. In some ways, it’s a meaningless question: most authors wouldn’t have chosen such an uncertain profession if they didn’t obtain personal satisfaction from the process itself, and it’s impossible for a published author to completely ignore the problem of what other people will think. (This can range from writing with a large popular audience in mind to trying to please a particular agent or editor.)

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