Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Somebody else said this:

 "So If you’ve been angry about the ending, I take that as a huge compliment about the book as a whole." 

Jamie Smart

Photo attribution:  (No, I am not kidding.)


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Reason and Reviewing

There has been lots of discussion about Goodreads reviewers.  I followed a long stream of commenting between a reviewer and an author and it was sad.  It was so obvious the reviewer had an agenda to put this author down.  The author could not understand why this review was so unlike most of hers which seemed fair and constructive.  Then I saw a forum in which the reviewers chatted with each other and said stuff about certain authors.  I felt like I was eavesdropping in the ladies room at a dive bar.  I am really scared of them and try to avoid them.  I also try very hard to remember the good things that are said and not concentrate on the negative remarks, especially when the reviewer can offer no concrete reasons for the review.

I just noted this is available even if a reviewer has you blocked or will not friend you so you cannot converse with her or contact her personally.  Looking at it will help your perspective if someone gives you an out of the ordinary, perhaps mean-spirited review or you get one that sounds like they didn't read the book at all.  This is very generalized, but if you click on any reviewers name you will get to it, even if you click on it and the site says you don't have access.  By their name is a link to this.

So you can be consoled by the fact that you are not likely to get a positive review from this one.

I think the whole reviewing process is so odd.  Before the internet, when did a reviewer ever have such power over book sales?  You would read the book section in the newspaper and the blurb on the jacket in the store or the library or hear about a book from someone.  Now it reminds me of sharks.  If they get the scent of blood they all come running over to feed.  Even some very well-respected sites have gone off the deep end in what I thought was attack mode when a certain author came to her own defense regarding an Amazon Review. 

Visit the Amazon forum called Authors Behaving Badly.  It's like watching the lions tearing the Christians apart.  I stumbled on it and made a passing remark and BOOM.  I never comment there anymore.  I believe it is the New York Times that has a book reviewer who is considered iconic because  no matter who or what it is, she will tear the book and the author to shreds. .  

You have to develop your own perspective on this issue if you present your writing to the public and I find that very difficult. In a grouping of several reviews for one of my books, one person used the word evocative in her review.  Another used the word evocative twice in quite a long and very nice review.  I think strumming a familiar chord in someone's heart is the best thing you could expect from your work.  But a "family member" went  in and said that it must be a very evocative book.  Doesn't she know the public can see that and that those two nice people will never review one of my books again?  Yeow. 

Then don't get me started on the pay for reviews.  Kirkus is considered so credible   But you have to pay to get on there.  I can't even get a neighbor or a friend or a relative to even write a real review much less a fake one to boost my ratings.  Very few have even bought it.  And one of them bought ONE and then waited for another to go on freebie.  I think I may have gotten a review out of that one. The sweet little books  cost less than a nice greeting card.  I have even said, "You don't even have to read it, but the sale will help my rank."  But then what the heck.  What were my expectations?  Once again. . . fuck me.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sauce For The Goose

One of the best parts of putting my writing out in public is, of course, a positive response.  And certainly, a bad review is hurtful, especially when they offer no insight as to what was wrong with your work.  In many instances, I know, it has to be just a matter of taste.

I have a sort of collection of King Arthur books.  Some I have tried and tried and cannot get into them.  One was the beginning  of a saga.  It started when the ship full of people spotted a baby someone had just thrown in the sea.  A sailor jumped in and saved it.  It was, or course, Arthur. (The different spins on the legend are part of the fun.) It was very well written and quite a large book.  By the end of the book, they were getting off the ship after finally  reaching shore and the baby was still a baby.  Sure, there was lots of back history and necessary exposition, but I just couldn't plow through it all.  Other, one in particular that is mostly focused on Guinevere, I have read and reread. I won't deny that a lot of what I write has its seeds in that legend.

One particular review struck me so that I wanted to ask the person to be a beta reader and dissect the book for me.  It is supposedly a no-no to speak back to reviewers, but I am still toying with the idea. Something about her language or style made me think we would understand each other.

I read one Harry Potter, the first.  It was okay.  I galloped right through it, but for some reason I have no desire to read another. I was insulted by one of my relatives when I asked her if she had read my book and she replied, "No.  But did you read Fifty Shades of Gray?" Please.

I will not be reading the Hunger Games.  Instead of Woody Harrelson  I will be picturing Richard Dawson and instead of Peeta, I will see Arnold Schwartenegger.  I just bought a trilogy of Edith Wharton's work.  She is very acerbic which I love, but I find it slow going so far.

I visit this site called Algonquin's Table.  I don't know how I found it, but I have put a few things up there.  The little story about the lamb was reviewed by someone who lived in that area and he said I got the sense of place right. That was cool since I have never been there.  The nice thing about Algonquin's Table is they love to comment and start convos about everything and they nag you in email if they haven't heard from you.  I recently submitted the same excerpt from The Maze that I have put up here. Here is a snip of some of the responses I have received:

I had made it clear that it was not classified as Erotica, but it is nice to hear someone somewhere enjoyed it.  Now I have to go back and thank him and mention the whole book costs last than a fancy greeting card.


Some of you peeps that visit my blog, here is the deal.  Wordpress hardly ever lets my comments through.  The sign in for my blog works but the same sign in flashes wrong when I go to comment on a blog.  I have been farting around with this for about a year.  I don't want to get a new password as they suggest because it took six months to figure out how to sign in to my own dashboard and now that works fine.

I appreciate your stopping by, and if it won't let me comment I usually give you a tweet.  If I can sign in with twitter or facebook or disqus, it seems to work fine.  But if it is a disqus sign in on a word press blog, not so much.  I feel awful about it cuz I would like to return the favor of your visit.  I hope I at least show up in your traffic sources.

Thanks again for coming by.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Amazon Rank

If anyone knows how to interpret this, please comment.  I think it must mean that, if no one else sells a book in my category, I get my rank back because I haven't had an Amazon sale since 2/22/13. I don't see why my rank would go up otherwise.  I can't bump anyone if I didn't have a sale.

I have heard they have complex algorithms, but I don't see how freebies and cash sales on Smashwords would even get in Amazon's data. 

If you don't know, look at your rank and tell me what you think.


It is so pale.  I am sorry.  I don't have time to work on that.

"God Willin' and the Creek Don't Rise"

As a rejoinder to "See ya", the title phrase is a regional euphemism used largely today in an attempt to be cute or friendly or humorous.  I am sure there are areas of the United States where it is still in general use. God knows who lives back in the Smokies and the wilds of Western New Jersey (Yeah, there are. . .) But being raised a big city girl, I never heard it until I dated a person who had been raised rural and traveled many parts of the world.  He used it to be cute, I am sure. I married him.

Anyway, today, as we near the Vernal Equinox, the temperature hovers around 47 degrees Fahrenheit, (she adds this coyly, knowing the world-wide breadth of her blog audience) the ground is still covered with several inches of snow,  and it has been raining lightly for about 24 hours.  My little creek is already over its banks.  This should be interesting.  The carp flopping around under the play gym was a memorable sight.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

"BORING" and I do quote. . .

In a local library-type amateur critique group we were talking about slow sales and some one said re:  Sacred Sin.  "Don't you think that story's been told enough?  Like Gone With the Wind?"  I mentioned I was well aware it has been told and retold but I was working more in the Arthur-Guinevere vein.  I wonder if anyone told Margaret Mitchell her book was too derivative of the King Arthur Legends?

And a baker (!!!) in England found my sex scene excerpted here, "Sex in the Shower"  (most hits of any post ever) introspective, (Bad?) human, (Bad?) and somewhat boring.  He said he felt a little sad for me if I thought it was racy.  I think he was looking at some of my other book blurbs cuz I didn't use the word "racy" on Algonquin's Table.  He probably didn't find enough references to "shaved pussy" which he mentions a lot in his work,  and which I think sounds a little crude.  And anyway, my heroines can all afford laser treatments for that issue. Well, maybe not Deanie.

Guess I'm having one of those bitter days here. Don't know why. Ben's team won again and last night I felt like I was back in that writing place after a long time.  So on with that boring, introspective, human stuff that's already been told.  And retold. Gonna tell it again!!

Photo attribution:  www.shavingstuff.com (I am not making that up.)

Monday, March 04, 2013

NON-NEWS re HIV testing

This is from an ACLU news  letter from January 2001: Emphasis mine.

           " When an infant is born to an HIV-positive mother, HIV-antibody tests on the newborn will always be positive because the baby has inherited the HIV antibodies of its mother.  This does not necessarily mean, however, that the infant is infected.  Not until the mother's antibodies disappear from the infant's system - which takes a few months at least - will HIV antibody tests on the baby show the baby's own status rather than the mother's."

What is today's news saying that is different?
I am tweeting the article separately. 

You have to paste this link but it works. 


Sunday, March 03, 2013

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Smashwords Promo

From 3/3 though 3/9, Smashwords is having a site wide promo where you can put your books on sale.  Sacred Sin and The Maze are free.

Sacred Sin


Photo Attribution:  blog.retrofitrepublic.com

Friday, March 01, 2013

Considering Blogness

I am so stuck.  Inside my head is an old phonograph.  There is a recording on it playing at medium volume. It is "Rags to Riches".  I think it might be Tony Bennet singing.  It is stuck in the groove  and keeps saying,  "My fate is up to. . . My fate is up to. . . My fate is up to.. ."

There is this thing about money.  I have lived the kind of life that has taught me to enjoy money when you have it and don't worry about it when you don't.  This lesson, learned  by having the information shoved brutally down my throat, has not over ridden my natural tendency to be conservative, even in madness.  But sometimes I wish I had enough money to fool around with.  I would use it to help me figure stuff out.  That would be why I would have it, the reason for having it. It would be frivolous, like buying a new winter parka when you already have a winter parka because I can figure stuff out on my own.  But sometimes I don't want to bother.  That is where the money would come in handy--when I want to know something right away and don't have the patience or the desire to figure it out myself.  I would pay someone to figure it out for me.

I do not remember what set me off when I started to write my first novel.  I do know I was manic and needed to be distracted from some stuff that was going on around me in my life, stuff I couldn't dodge or hide. I don't know why my attempts to distract myself took the form of writing. But one person somewhere said, "Crazy good read" about my first effort, and it was a male reading a kind of chick-lit type story, and that was it.  I was sunk.  I couldn't stop. I can't stop.  But the needle is kind of stuck on that old phonograph record.  It just needs a little nudge.

I seem to have taken on something that I cannot comprehend.  I was unprepared for this and I cannot understand it.  Maybe I don't want to.  I used to struggle to post on my blog.  I used to blog surf just to see what was going on.  I don't remember why I started to blog or how I first heard there was such a thing, but this thing has taken on a life.  Lately I have been feeling like all I have to do is walk by its cage every few days and throw it a piece of raw meat. Still, it is flattering.  It is addicting.  "Stats" are addictive.  I just wish I knew what happened.  Maybe I could transfer the knowledge to my Kindle works.

There was a certain blog that used to send me so many hits.  Then they started to taper off.  I knew why it was happening.  I was down in the corner of her home page along with my picture and my link, saying I liked her blog and apparently she got lots of traffic.  That started to taper off and I was a little worried.  I even checked, and I was still down there in the corner.  So maybe her traffic slowed down, but my blog traffic grew instead of dropping off.

Someone else I used to visit with blog-wise recently wondered who all these people are that follow her on twitter.  I don't know who these people are visiting my blog, but, hey, you guys, feel free to say hi and to come back when ever you want.  I just kind of wish you were part of the book buying crowd.

Thanks for stopping by.  Really!

Attribution of photo:  Posted on razzarsharp.com by Doug B.