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How to write a review: Part 3.

Step 5. Always be honest. A good review doesn’t mean that you have to love the book, but always try to be fair. Readers can tell if you’ve written a review to falsely build up a books rating and they can tell if you are intentionally beating a book down out of spite. Also keep in mind the average person isn’t going to be as thorough in their reviews as other writers and bloggers. This is a good thing. A distinctive credibility is what you want to display when writing a review. It should help set you apart as a writer and a professional. A good review comes with clear explanations of why the book was loved, liked, ignored, or hated; without clear explanations, reviews worthless.

After writing all this, I’ve decided to challenge myself to write more reviews. I also invite you to write more reviews, maybe even one for my new book Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel.

Aside from that, I think I’ve just about figured out what to do with my Review Challenge and am pretty sure it will help some Indie Authors get more reviews. I think it will be a nice gesture just in time for the holiday season, whether you have something to celebrate or not. I know it won’t be a huge thing, but each day I’m more determined to try it. After receiving my first ever customer review, and not knowing when another will come, I just feel like I need to give back to the indie literary community somehow.

How to write a review: Part 2.

Step 3. Summarize the book in one of two ways.

a. The blurb-explain what you feel the book was about providing some plot points in 100 words or less. If you are a master blurb writer, go for 100 to 200 words.

b. The Spoiler- explain exactly what happened in the story, beginning, middle, and end. So as not to lose your audience, try to keep your spoiler around 500 to 800 words. (Always indicate whether your review will contain spoilers as a curtsey to other readers)

Step 4. Then explain why you gave the book its overall rating. If you are not sure how to do that, simply answer the following questions. (There is no preferred word length for this)

a. What was the overall theme of the book and did you like it?

b. How did you feel about the pace of the plot and the plot development?

c. How did you feel about the character development?

d. How did you feel about the finale of the book?

There are many more questions that could be included in your assessment, but these are the basic points I think most people look for in a good review…I’m still working out the details of what I’m now calling, A Review Challenge.

How to write a review: Part 1.

This post, and series to follow, will be a joint venture between this blog and my other blog, http://ecsuniverse.blogspot.com/. I will be attempting to host a review challenge at the end of this little series. We’ll just see how it goes.

As many of you may know, I am not the best review writer. I lack the confidence to praise a good work and to criticize one that could have used some more work. I also have had trouble trying to be consistent with my reviews, making sure to be fair and uniform for all the books I review. So, I’ve decided to write out a plan or instructions for writing reviews in hopes that it will make me a better review writer…and if you have been reluctant to write a review of your own because you weren’t sure how, maybe this will help you. Just know that I’m new at this myself, so if you have or find a better method, by all means, use it. The important thing is to just WRITE THE REVIEW.

All authors, but especially INDIE authors, need reviews!

Step 1. Indicate the title and edition of the book if applicable. If the book is part of a series, mention the series title and which installment the review book is. Indicate the Author’s name. If you are familiar with other works by this author, mention it briefly, other wise move on.

Step 2. Give the book an overall rating. Use a system that makes sense to you and is easy to understand by others. For example, on a scale of 1 to 5, five being the best, “I give Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern a solid 5.”

I must admit that these are things that I have tried to do consistently in the past, but haven’t always succeeded with. Now that I’ve written these principles down, maybe I’ll be better at carrying them out.

I want to do something to help Indie Authors get reviews. So far, I think I’m leaning towards doing a challenge that will involve people voting on their favorite reviews. As much as I’d love for people to review my book, I think it would only be fair to keep the review selections open to the readers.  I’m still working on the details, but I’m excited about the possibilities and hope you are too.

Meet Rebecca

Her name means knotted cord, captivating, or servant of God, but truth be told, I just looked this up. Rebecca is the main character of the romance I’m currently working on and I picked her name just so I could shorten it to Becca from time to time. I don’t know why, but I’ve always liked the nickname Becca.

Before you get too excited, this isn’t a “tell all” about this new character. This is just a brief introduction to who Rebecca is and a little bit of her story. Rebecca comes from a, somewhat, wealthy family, that is on her father’s side, but that doesn’t mean she’s had an easy life. Compared to most, her life has been a cakewalk, but everyone has their issues and struggles, and Rebecca is no different.

I’m about eight chapters into my first rough draft, which my chapters are barely there, at five to six pages. I’m focused right now on just completing the story, trying to see how it will end. I have two ideas in mind, but I still haven’t made a decision yet. There is much more development that will need to be done, before I can start the editing and review process.

While writing this little story and discussing it with a, very small select group of people, I’ve found that my story has some similarities to others, but this isn’t a shock to me. My Eternal Curse book has been compared to Beauty and the Beast by several different people. I can’t ignore the fact that this story has always been one of my favorites and that my mother is a little obsessed with it. I guess that’s why she likes my book so much.

So far, this new story, currently named, It’s Like the Full Moon, has been compared to books and movies along the lines of A Room With a View, Moonstruck, and other romantic comedies, though I don’t know that my story is very funny. The mention of Moonstruck is what prompted the current title, but I haven’t decided if I’ll keep it; only time will tell.

Free Ebook

companion guide

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but now I’ve don’t it. I took the content of my 40 days and nights blog and turned it into an ebook companion guide. I’ve added some extra content, articles, and images to the ebook as a way to get people interested in reading the actual book. The blog posts are free so I figured the ebook should be free too, even though it offers so much more than the blog does. Not wanting to leave out those people, and I mean that in the nicest way, who don’t read ebooks, I’ve made it available in paperback, but it’s not free. In fact the amount that I charge for it, only just covers the printing; I am making no money off this publication. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem making money; I hope to make quite a bit of it someday with my writing, but for now, I don’t see the purpose in charging for something that people could already get for free…but who knows, that may change. –(This ebook was free through Smashwords, until the end of 2013. A new edition of this book is now available.)

I hope people will take advantage of this new ebook and really get to know all about Eternal Curse and what’s to come in the series. Please check out My Books link if you are interested in getting a copy and look out for giveaways on my side bar or my Eternal Curse Series tab. You’d think I would have been posting these all along, but I’m still getting used to the whole blogging word.

One last note to my followers…I have not abandoned my collection of short stories, but I’m really getting into this romance I’m currently writing. I don’t know if this is the kind of thing people who normally read romance will want to read because it’s not explicit or even very physical, but there is some passion to this lovely little story that’s captured my mind. So, I’m still working on my shorts, but focusing on this romance, and I’ve just written an outline for an adventure story I may acquire my nephew’s help in further developing and perhaps, illustrating.

This is an unofficial Author Insights post.