Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bloggers and Book Reviews: Guest Post by "The Bookish Brunette"

Hey everyone! I’m Ashley, I run a book review blog called The Bookish Brunette but I’m here today on The Worst Book Ever (dude, being an author and all- maybe you should change the title of your blog... Just a thought) because Aaron asked me to write a little post from a book blogger’s point of view on the things TO-DO and the things you NOT to-do do when talking to a blogger about your book. Now remember, the things I’m about to tell you are just MY opinion- other blogger’s may completely disagree!

I’m a big fan of lists, so that’s how I’m going to attack this thing! The “TO-DO” list, being the acceptable and preferable way of handling things. And the “DO NOT- (UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES) DO” list, being the things that will more than likely make me say NO to reviewing your book.

Let’s START with the positive:
(the acceptable)

Book bloggers not only have our blogs to maintain, events to host, books to read, review and promote... We also have LIVES. Families, birthdays, holidays, bedtimes, dinner to make... You get the point.
When sending a review request, help us out- it will make our lives a little easier if you just send us the info we need:
  • In the subject line of the email put:  Review Request: (Title of your book)
  • Title, Publication details (date... etc)
  • SUMMARY of your book
It’d be AWESOME if you included links to your:
  • Website
  • Twitter
  • Amazon
  • Goodreads (or similar)
READ MY REVIEW POLICY. You’d assume this is a given right? WRONG. There are always clear indicators when my review policy has been ignored... For example, when I get a request asking me if I only read zombie books. Uh... Really? I mean... REALLY???

Be professional, now I only say this because that’s what you’re SUPPOSED to say. In my opinion, I like a more personal approach- because I’m about as unprofessional as they come. I know right? Is it that obvious? I’m not a fan of formalities, as I happen to be a very personable kinda chick.

Have LINKS posted on your website (to Goodreads, Amazon, B&N... ANYWHERE your books can be viewed or purchased! And make sure they are updated regularly!) You’d be surprised how many authors don’t do this... Some don’t even HAVE websites. If that’s the case I can’t even begin to assist you!

Spellcheck is your friend. I’m a HORRIFIC speller... that little squiggly red line is my BFF. If my seven year old can articulate a better email than you, then you’re chances of me accepting your book for review aren’t very good. I look at it like this: If your review request email is badly written, I can’t imagine trying to get through an entire book.

If you want your book reviewed within a certain time frame, ASK. Let me know, or it just goes to the back of a very long line... My review queue is CRAZY- I do my best, but I guarantee nothing!

Watch what you say on Twitter... or on ANY social network AND who you say it to. I’m totally not even being sarcastic either. This is VERY important. There are certain authors that I REFUSE to read because of things I’ve seen posted from them on Twitter. Yeah... their book may be the best thing since the freaking Internet- guess I’ll never know.
If you KNOW me at all or have ever witnessed one of my Twitter conversations *giggles* then you know I’m not exactly the picture of freaking “nice, sweet, chaste, ethical or modest” Right? But, I’m also not trying to sell books... so do with that what you will!

•    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •
Now... FOR ME, if the following things occur the chances are VERY slim that I will review your book:
(the unacceptable)

When you are requesting a review or even “casually” bringing up your novel to me, DON’T say to me “I know you’ll love my book.”
Seriously. This totally freaking irritates me! HOW do you know I’ll love your book? Name me 5 books that I LOVED, that somehow relate to your genre of writing. If you’ve looked at my blog and researched ME enough to KNOW that I’d love your book- then you should be able to tell me.  

DON’T address an email, “Dear Blogger”. I get that you’re busy. Hey... ME TOO! But again, if you’ve taken the time to GLANCE at my blog- my NAME is at the bottom of EACH and EVERY post. I’m not even picky, I’ll take ,Bookish Brunette’ and of course I’m ever partial to ‘Zombie Queen’ *grin*. But addressing me as ‘Book Blogger’ tells me several things:
  • You didn’t even LOOK at ONE post on my blog. If you don’t care, then neither do I.
  • You surely can’t know anything about what types of books I may enjoy.
  • That ‘Book Bloggers’ are all interchangeable to you. If you’ve worked with any of us, then you know this is in fact, very much NOT the case.
If I say no to your request once, and you feel you MUST ask again... Fine. But, I’m PROBABLY going to say no again. DON’T get mad, WHY would you WANT me to review something I don’t think I would like? Do you really want me to give you a negative review? I HATE writing bad reviews. Seriously.

My  book is called “****”. It’s Science Fiction. I would love for you to review it on your blog.
Thank you,
WHAT??? I can’t tell you how many of these I get. Um... No. I’m sorry, I don’t have time to hunt down a description and decide whether or not I want to review it or not. Not because I think I’m ‘so important’ but because I’m busy.

SEND ME LINKS, or give me ALL THE INFO that I’ll need to know about you and your book in your email! (refer to #1 on the “To-Do” list)

Dude... DON’T insult me or my blog. I once had someone tell me that my blog was “too pink” but they’d still like me to review their book. Really? No thank you- me and my PINK, stiletto rated blog of AWESOMENESS have better things to do.

DO NOT assume that I’m going to review your book. ASK ME. I absolutely can’t stand when I get a “request” that says, “When will your review be posted?”
How about, “Never. Is never good for you?” because when you just assume that I have the time or that I WANT to read your book, I’m going to be a tad irritated.

DO NOT ask me to review your book on Twitter. This irritates me. I’m sorry, and this may make me a horrid human being... Well, so be it. Go to my blog and shoot me an email, it takes five minutes total. There are a few reasons for this, and I’ll name them for you:
  • I keep all my review requests in a special folder in my email, so I’m able to refer back to it and contact the author. Over Twitter, I have no such email... and chances are your request has thus gotten lost.
  • When you ask me over my Twitter feed, I have a real issue saying NO if I have no interest in reading your book. Hey, it happens. If you write historical war fiction, chances are I totally don’t want to read it at all. Not saying the writing isn’t amazing, but guess what? It’s not something I’m into. And honestly, do you want me tweeting to 2,500 people that your book holds no interest to me? Yeah, neither do I. Just don’t do it.
  • The exception to the ‘NEVER’ ask over Twitter rule, is if I’ve already shown interest in reading your book (ex: it’s on my Goodreads wishlist or something similar). Then, and only then is it acceptable to assault my twitter feed.

Hopefully this will help... someone. And honestly, if I seemed harsh or hateful- I totally didn’t mean to. I’m just an honest and often times sarcastic type of chick (comes in handy with the whole review thing and all) Thanks for having me on Aaron!! Wicked thrilled my opinion is soooo sacred to you!

The Bookish Brunette


Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Kindle Fire vs. The Nook Color Tablet

The Nook Tablet kicks the Fire out of Amazon!

You may be wondering why I am even talking about this as I think both are lame, not the device but both B&N and amazon for even coming out with a half sized tablet. They are in a war with the eReader not Tablets, but we did another post on that subject.

So as Christmas looms closer I need to think about not just what I use a tablet for but what others might use them for. And if you want to use it for social media and maybe work a little, watch a movie or whatever the smaller ones will work fine.

I tend to go with Amazon just because they have the BEST eReader on the market with the Kindle, but in this case the clear winner in B&N with their new Nook Tablet.

Here is why:

*More memory, much more! 8 vs. 16! In this case bigger IS better!
*Android platform, it is proven not buggy like this new thing Amazon is doing.
*Unlimited content both on the web and B&N. You can even root it and get Amazon stuff and just put it on the SD card.
*SD card... I mean YEAH! You can upload content to the micro SD card and you are golden.
*Longer battery life
*Word and Microsoft office, so you can work.
*Store stuff on the device. Most of the Fire stuff you have to put on the cloud, on the Nook you can use the apps and save them to the device so if you have no internet you are not dead in the water.
*Faster load times and just faster all around.

In all the Nook Tablet is way better... the only thing that is lame is the name. I mean how cool is the FIRE? So cool and hip, the Nook color? What is that? It is like color, like I can color in it? It needs a new name but if you can get past the old lady name you will be happy with your half tablet.

I know I talk in slang and am not all professional but I am real... so deal =)


Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Guest Post: Paul Bishop: WHY PULP?



Far too much of today’s fiction output is bloated filler designed to turn books into 700 page doorstops under the false assumption more is better. If you’re like me, you don’t have the time or patience to plow through 700 pages to read a story better served in 300 pages – or less.

The writers who work on the pulp magazines from back in the day understood this. Their audience wanted stripped down yarn filled with action, twists and turns, all with the point of providing reader satisfaction.

Hero pulps from the ‘30s and ‘40s, such as The Shadow, Doc Savage, and The Avenger, pull major collector’s prices today. To a lesser extent so do the weird menace and aviation pulps. Western pulps can still be had for bargain prices as can many of the romance and sports pulps.

The best of the sports pulps, Fight Card Magazine, however, demands the same high collector’s prices as the popular hero pulps. The stories in Fight Card Magazine were a definite cut above the stories in the multitude of other sports pulps. The most collectible issue of Fight Stories Magazine contain two-fisted tales of Sailor Steve Costigan written by the creator of Conan, Robert E. Howard.

It was Howard’s boxing tales along with many others from Fight Stories magazines that are among my pulp favorites. They have long held sway in my imagination, yet there was no modern home for their novelette length – until now.

The advent of e-publishing has not only provided a viable publishing platform for the 25,000 word novelette, but also a way to reach specific niche audiences hungry for these types of tales.

The Fight Card series, created by myself and prolific writer Mel Odom, is inspired by the boxing tales from the best of the sports pulps. Told in the straightforward, hard-driving, two-fisted pulp style, the yarns we spin under the Fight Card banner are designed to be read in one or two sittings while still providing major bang and satisfaction for your reading dollars.

Published under the unifying pseudonym Jack Tunney, the first two Fight Card books have just debuted across all e-book platforms. Felony Fists (written by myself) and The Cutman (written by Mel Odom), take different approaches to their boxing tales.

Felony Fists has a crime twist with L.A.P.D. detective /boxer Patrick “Felony” Flynn facing down Solomon King, a brutal heavyweight contender owned by mobster Mickey Cohen. Flynn’s mandate – put King on the canvas and stop Cohen from taking over the L.A. fight rackets.

The Cutman is an adventure yarn. Merchant Marine Mickey Flynn, Pat’s older brother, is in the ring in Havana battling the human killing machine Simbari. The fate of Mickey’s ship and her crew hanging in the balance.

Next month, Split Decision by Eric Beetner – a noir tale to stand with the best of the Gold Medal originals – will be Fight Card’s main event.

In the following months more top notch tales from top notch storytellers with an affinity for fisticuffs and pulp-style writing, along with more tales from myself and Mel Odom, will be climbing into the ring.

If you enjoy two-fisted, straightforward, timeless storytelling give Felony Fists or The Cutman or both a try, and let us know what you think.



Los Angeles 1954

Patrick “Felony” Flynn has been fighting all his life. Learning the “sweet science” from Father Tim the fighting priest at St. Vincent’s, the Chicago orphanage where Pat and his older brother Mickey were raised, Pat has battled his way around the world – first with the Navy and now with the Los Angeles Police Department.

Legendary LAPD chief William Parker is on a rampage to clean up both the department and the city. His elite crew of detectives known as The Hat Squad is his blunt instrument – dedicated, honest, and fearless. Promotion from patrol to detective is Pat’s goal, but he also yearns to be one of the elite.

And his fists are going to give him the chance.

Gangster Mickey Cohen runs LA’s rackets, and murderous heavyweight Solomon King is Cohen’s key to taking over the fight game. Chief Parker wants Patrick “Felony” Flynn to stop him – a tall order for middleweight ship’s champion with no professional record.

Leading with his chin, and with his partner, LA’s first black detective Tombstone Jones, covering his back, Patrick Flynn and his Felony Fists are about to fight for his future, the future of the department, and the future of Los Angeles.



Havana, Cuba. 1954.

Mickey Flynn is an ex-Korean War vet turned merchant marine. He was born in the ghettos of Chicago and raised in an orphanage with his younger brother, Patrick. He was one of several young men who received an education from the nuns at St. Vincent’s.

But he was also taught the "sweet science" by Father Tim, a Golden Gloves boxer and retired police officer who only knew one way to bring a troubled boy to manhood. Father Tim worked with his young charges, taught them how to jab and punch and throw a hook that seemed to come out of nowhere. When the young men left St. Vincent's (Our Lady of the Glass Jaw), they were changed, fit and ready to take on the troubles the encountered around the world, no matter where they found them.

Now Mick's in Havana, working on WIDE BERTHA, his ship. After surviving a fierce storm at sea, the last thing Mick and the crew need to do is get crossways with the Italian organized crime flooding Havana, but it doesn't take much to put him in the cross hairs of a vengeful mob boss working for Lucky Luciano.

Unable to get free of bad luck and unfortunate circumstance, Mick ends up in the ring in an illegal boxing match fighting a human killing machine.

About Paul:
A novelist and screenwriter, Paul Bishop also has a distinguished career with the Los Angeles Police Department, where he has twice been honored as Detective Of The Year. With over thirty years experience investigating Sex Crimes, Paul brings a gritty realism to his writing along with a healthy dollop of hard earned gallows humor.

As a nationally recognized interrogator, Paul appears regularly as one of two principal interrogators on the hit ABC reality series Take The Money And Run . . .

His novels include Hot Pursuit, Deep Water, Penalty Shot, and four novels in his L.A.P.D. Detective Fey Croaker series: Kill Me Again, Grave Sins, Tequila Mockingbird, and Chalk Whispers. He has also published two short story collections, Pattern Of Behavior and Running Wylde, as well as writing scripts for episodic television and feature films.

Check out Paul's blog HERE
And friend him on Facebook
And as you tweet follow Paul on Twitter

Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.

Monday, November 7, 2011

How Much Should An eBook cost? Part #3

How Much Should An eBook cost? Part #3

Wow, this topic always brings out heated discussion and sometimes the guns come out, held sideways and the bloodbath begins. Good thing I am safe behind my laptop and not in a large room filled with authors and publishers.

eBook pricing, it is a big deal. China is fighting it now as they talk with Amazon about selling eBooks in their country. We know what the Big 6 think, keep em high as eBooks will one day replace print books and all their income goes the way of a Kindle.

"If you price your eBook low you say that you as an author or your writing is not worth anything but a cup of bad coffee."

As we talked about in the first post this is not true. Your worth as an author in the eBook world is what you make per month not per book sold. This is different in the print world as each book has to be printed, shipped sold and so on. So each sale must hold a value and in the big bookstores most all books are priced the same. Publishers do not have that control in eBook land. In print they can beat up the Indie all day lone with print pricing, but not in E. The tables have turned my friends.

"But if all the eBooks are priced low we will not make any money and it will ruin the book market."

Nope. This again is what "Publishers" say as yes it will ruin their market unless they adapt. itunes makes a ton of money, authors make a ton of money if they control their books. It is not bad for anyone except the big publishers. We also have looked at the way we all buy in the US. It is a low price high volume deal... we are always looking for the next best deal.

"The market will get overrun with .99 books and flood the system. How will we know what is a good book?"

Good question. The gatekeepers were the big publishers and they could only handle so many books a year and they missed a lot of great books as they are not a perfect system. The book market has always had more books in it on a to reader to sold ratio. About 1% of all books published ever really sell, so that has not changed it is just that now with the aid of social media we know if a book, movie, restaurant or play is good about twenty minutes after it comes out. The masses are so much faster about weeding out the junk so in a way we are amazing gatekeepers. We can spread something good or bad in seconds when in the past it could take a long time for a crappy book to get shut down.

"But if I price my book low the literary crowd will not think of me as a ligit author."

Hmmm... who cares? They buy a few books compared to how many the masses buy. Market to the people not a small group. I understand if you do a lot of speaking like Anthony Doerr. He make a great living speaking and holding classes and has a high priced eBook. Now do I think he could make a ton more at a lower price and reach more people? Yes... now for him I would go at about 5 bucks and maybe do a special month at 1.99, but I am not on his marketing team and he does really well as he build his name from the inside out. All the big names can get away with more, but some day it will not stand as the people decide that no matter who you are they will not pay over a set price. Just like coffee... we will pay so much.

Again, I want to say, find your sweet spot. The place where your book sells the most copies and you make the most money and reach the most people. If you have to give up some money to reach more fans, do it. It will pay off.

"But if I sell my eBook at a low price they will not pay more for my other books."

Not true. I have sold my books at .99-2.99 for a few years. My new book came out and I have it at 4.77 ant it is selling just as well as my 2.99 books. They like it and if it is in a series you have some play with price point. You build more value as they get to know your writing style and so on... if they love your work they will pay more and not feel like they are getting ripped off.

If you have more questions or think of a good reason to have a high priced eBook let me know in a comment and I will see if I can address it.


Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

How Much Should An eBook cost? Part #2

How Much Should An eBook cost? Part #2

eBooks are a big thing and will in time replace print books. I do not say this cuz I hate books or bookstores, I say it cuz it is the truth. You notice how I use slang here on this blog? It is cuz it drives some of you literary types nuts... hee hee, I got to have some fun or I will go crazy!

Sorry, that was a bit of a rabbit trail. Now to the main event.

In the last post we looked at pricing for fiction, and saw how it is not the money per book but the monthly income. This will change how you look at eBooks, how you market and plan your marketing.

So to re-cap, it is about volume and fans. Your worth as a writer is not in the per unit sale but the monthly income. And if you want to really get picky, your worth is in what you sell in a year and ten years from now. I plan to be around for a long time and what I do is what we call the "Long Look."

The Sweet Spot.

As one comment in the last post said, some sweet spots are different from others. Each book is different. Some sell well at 2.99 and some at 4.99, it is up to you to test the market. The other thing to consider is that the market is changing all the time. It used to be that a book at .99 would sell a ton but now not so much. Some even have worse sales numbers at the .99 price point. Why is that?

Well, because people look at things different. Maybe all the self-published books are priced low so the reader thinks if a book is low it will suck. We need to keep testing and find out where the market is and what it is doing.

Now what about non-fiction?

Non- fiction is so different and does not sell as well as fiction. Most books that are non-fiction are sold at an event or by hand by the author. Also NF eBooks have a different fan-base. They are going to be the last to change over to E.

But as we see with textbooks they are making the switch right now, soon all schools will use them, students will buy expansion packs to get the latest update but not have to buy the new book.

So how do you price a NF eBook?

Again, testing. But as a whole 5.99-9.99. You are not talking volume with NF so you need to look at it different. Even with some fiction if you have a small fan-base you might look at pricing it higher to get the most out of each sale. I have one author that has all her books at 9.99 because it is a narrow book. She does well at the higher price cuz not everyone will like what she writes.

If you write a book on how to sell a house, you might price it at 7.99. Look at all the other main stream books with your subject matter and try to under cut them, but look at apples to apples. If other books on selling houses are in the 9.99 range do the same but price it like 8.97. Not to much lower but just enough to get you noticed.

One more thing you can try is a blog tour. They are not done as much with NF but that is just why you should do one. Finding bloggers that review NF might be hard but you will be getting in front of the right readers. Look into sites that talk or blog about your subject and work with them. NF is also a good eBook to sell on your own website or blog as again your readers are not as many and you will want to save their email and contact info.

Ask for reviews.

NF most of the time is information and helps people. Ask people that have read to leave a review. This will help sales and add value to your book so the reader feels good about forking over more money for your eBook.

Tag yourself to other books and authors that sell similar eBooks. This goes for any eBook or book on Amazon. Learn how to tag and use the tool Amazon gives you. If you want to learn about tagging I have a post on it, just click HERE.

In the next and final post on eBook pricing I will look at all the literary arguments against low eBook pricing. From the you are worth more side to the you will ruin the market side. It is all just a different way of saying "I'm Scared of Change!" But let us look and ponder the bad side of eBooks.

Again, remember. You want to reach the most people(fans) and get the highest return (Money) out of each sale. The SWEET SPOT is there, it is up to you to find where it is. It is not what people are willing to pay but what they WILL pay.


Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.