Thursday, September 24, 2015

Blog Tour for "VOCAL CRUSH" by Lisa Swinton

Welcome to the Vocal Crush Blog Tour! Now for the fun!
Can you ever out run a broken heart?
Lexi Court spent seven years traveling the world, living the nomadic Broadway life, in an attempt to outrun the broken heart Nick Rivers gave her. Now, there’s nowhere left to go.
When she accepted a position as a high school drama teacher in Las Vegas, Lexi hoped to get over Nick, find a nice guy, and settle down. But what should be a quiet summer gets turned upside down when Lexi's best friend, Taffy, drafts her to be an emergency replacement coach on a televised vocal competition.
Feeling out of her league among the other three celebrity coaches, Lexi fights for the most promising contestants to be on her team. One note from a single voice shatters her summer. Nick unexpectedly auditions and joins Lexi's team. With her vocal crush on him raging as strong as ever, she has nowhere to run from Nick’s dreamy looks or siren voice.
Lexi has no doubt that Nick can win the competition. The question is does he want to win her heart as well or will he damage it beyond repair? 
GET IT ON AMAZON! Get her other books. Ring on Her Finger and Fallen Angel, are also discounted for a limited time. Grab those too! Ring on Her Finger on Amazon Fallen Angel on Amazon Find me on Goodreads Be sure to enter the GIVEAWAY!!! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 18, 2015

How to Review an Author’s Book, the Correct and Non-Trolling Way

Image result for public domain book images

Authors love reviews. Please, once you read a book, by all means, write that review. Especially if Amazon is kind enough to prompt you. It takes 30 seconds to 3 minutes.

This helps indie authors. By leaving a review, it says, this book is worth the time to read. This author didn’t spent months or even years writing this for your pleasure, only to have you devour their creative masterpiece in a few short hours and leave it forever in the dust. Let them know you appreciated their hard work.

Authors also need reviews so they can promote their books on various websites. It’s a pain that, in order to get the word out, you have to have at least ten reviews on some sites. (Sometime thirty, sometimes fifty!) But if you can’t get the word out, you can’t get the reviews. See what I’m saying? It’s an endless circle of annoyance for a newly released book’s author. If you happen to stumble upon a new release, or even an old release, write that review. The author will love you for it.

Now, how to do it without stabbing the author in the back.

Amazon and Goodreads have a one to five star rating system. I’m not going to hash out what each of their stars mean. I’m going to hash out my system. A kind system. A non-trolling system. Nobody has the right to make a deliberately offensive or provocative online posting with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them. Yet, this happens to authors all the time.

They get that one star review, and it’s mean.

Why? What vendetta did this reader have against the author? And if you took personal offense at something the author wrote, maybe you should stop reading—like altogether.

Okay, so back to my method. Anything you write should be constructive.

Five stars is easy to rate. You’ll know it when you read it. You might find yourself exclaiming, “I loved this book! It changed me. Oh baby, I can’t stop thinking about it. Oh, wow! I became the characters. I felt every twinge of emotion. I want to read all the author’s books. Give them all to me—now, now, now!”

Let that expression show. Review this everywhere. Proclaim it on Facebook. Write a blog post. Recommend the book to all your friends. Give them as Christmas gifts.

Four stars. “This was a good book. There are a few things I wished were done differently. Maybe the writing could have flowed better. But it was still awesome. The story was amazing. Great idea. Amazing concept, but it just didn’t make me scream. I didn’t quite connect with the characters. I might check out the rest of the author’s novels since the ending left me wanting more.”

So the book wasn’t perfect. It doesn’t have to be to find enjoyment in it. Very rarely will a book end the way we want it to, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t laugh or cry or want to throw the book across the room during a dramatic moment. Share the love regardless.

Three stars. “I can tell the author really tried with this book, but it just wasn’t for me. I got bored halfway through, but someone out there might like it because it was a well-written story. Or, the story had merit, but there were too many structural errors. If the author made a revision and took a few writing classes, this could be fantastic, because the story is there, it’s just lacking in execution.”

Three stars means, just because you didn’t stay up all night finishing it, doesn’t mean that someone else won’t. Everyone has different tastes. (And reading levels. Someone might not notice those glaring errors that a seasoned author would. Gulp. Yes. Indie books come in all experience ranges. It’s a learn-as-you-go thing. The more you write, the more you learn. Duh. That’s how life is.) Recommend the novel to someone who would love it.

Now the touchy two and one star ratings. Be kind if you have to use these, because sometimes a book does call for it. But it’s rare. If you must rate this way, try holding off and sending the author a kind personal message, saying how they could fix their novel instead of rating it one star. Use encouraging words. Tell them what they did do well. We are in this world to help and uplift.

Two stars. This story made no sense. It was well written grammatically, but I had no idea what was going on. Or, this novel had too many errors that distracted from the story, making it impossible to enjoy. (Don’t go here unless you actually didn’t know what you read, and believe me, I’ve been there. I said that, once, after reading a novel.)

One Star. This novel is an abomination. It’s unreadable. It made no sense and clearly had no editing. It reads like a first draft. This author has no business writing. (Notice, I did not put these words in quotes. You may think this in your head, but you are not typing it out. Please, just don’t. Only rate this way if that is absolutely true, or better yet, don’t rate it. Send the author that personal message. OR, just because you didn’t enjoy an expertly crafted novel and took offense over it, doesn’t mean it’s crap. And rating it one star is just rude.)

There you have it. I’m sure I didn’t cover all the bases, but this is a good jumping off point. The more you rate, the more you tweak to your own style. I even found myself saying, that if I can’t get into a novel in the first few chapters, I’m putting the book down. And I don’t bother rating it. For the love of everything—don’t rate a book it you don’t finish it!

Any questions? Now go out there and review.