Thursday, December 29, 2011

How to leave a book review.

The GOOD, The BAD and the UGLY!
If you are a writer, a book review is a big deal and if you are a reader and want to leave a review it can be a daunting task. What do you say, how do you say what you want?

First off I want to talk about bad reviews. I have talked to the old school authors and it was a rare thing to get a bad review as most people who left a review was because they liked the book. But with shows like American Idol, the public thinks that what they think matters.

I say this with a bit of a evil grin as in the end most opinion's are not worth thinking about as it may burn brain cells. But, now we have a problem and online more and more bad reviews are popping up as being mean and speaking your mind is glamorized. If you are mean and cruel it must mean you are cool, yet I bet you not one mean reviewer would tell the author to their face the same thing.

So if you want to leave a bad review, remember, this is a person, be nice and talk about the book and the good and the bad, what you liked and didn't like and keep the personal comments out. Pretend that this is your mother, or best friend, how would you talk to them? Would you say "You suck and should go hang yourself?" Some reviews are this bad, and very personal. Remember, writing is Art, if you do not like it, that is on you, some other person may love the book. If you hate a painting do you blast the painter? No, you may just "Not get it" or may just not be for you.

Good Reviews:

You read a book and liked it, what do you do?
First, leave a review. To combat the bad review crazy people, it is even more important for you to give the gift of a good review if you liked the book.

But what is a review for?

It is to let people know if they should buy the book. Do you think other people would like it and what would they like about it?

Leaving a review is not you endorsing the book, it is telling people what you liked and even what you did not like.

Don't worry about how long it is. You can just say, "Great book for Teens and I loved the story." you do not need to write a long review, if you want, go for it but even a one liner helps for other readers as they read to make a choice.

I had a blogger who is very wise read my book and she did not like it, but she saw that it was just not for her, she liked my writing and knew of other people that would love it. So now she knows who to recommend the book too. See, it is not about if you loved or hated it, who do you know that would like the book? I have read books that were not for me but I would pass them to someone who i knew would like that style or whatever.

This is what a review is for. Who will like the book? Teens, Women, men? Think about who is the perfect reader and try to lead your review to speak to them.

I know being honest is a good thing but do not be honest and mean. We have so much hate and piss poor people in this world that spreading it around more is just lame...yes, #Lame. Hashtag that!

Hate a book? Leave a NICE review that is HELPFUL and not just proof that you need more lovin. If you love the book, leave a HELPFUL review and make sure you take the time to do it, every review helps even the bad ones if they are done in a spirit of kindness.

I hope this helps and get out there and read, and share. Reading is a wonderful thing. Have a great day and if you do not agree with me... leave me a comment and practice being nice and say how messed up in the head I am! =)

P.S. I forgot to mention, don't leave a UPDATE review. "I am reading your books and so far I love/hate is, I will leave more as I read..." And leave 3 stars based on how far you are in the book. Really? Come on... read the book! And on that note, if you do not finish the book, don't leave a review, you did not finish. And if that means it sucked, well what if the ending made up for the suck? But you do not know cuz you did not read the whole book. Again...#Lame

Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Fine Art of Getting People to do What You Want.

Face it, we all have a silly and sometimes evil agenda. If you don't, you are lying to yourself or have nothing to do. So what is it you want? Do you want to live on the beach somewhere, have a super cool car or travel the world? Do you want to live in the middle of the woods and never see a human again, or be on TV so everyone knows your name? We all want something out of life and as writers and readers a big part of our world is about books.

So this Christmas I found as I am sure you did as well a ton of Tweets and messages from authors encouraging and downright nagging everyone to buy or download their book. I do not have a problem with authors pushing their work and I think more need to learn how to treat their art like a business if it is to go anywhere.

But when is enough, enough?

A business that markets all the time, forces and nags will end up getting ignored or pissing people off or both. So how do we Indie authors learn how to push in a gentle way? What is the line from being annoying to being smart?

First I want to be the first to admit that I have also pushed to hard, forced myself on others thinking that was the only way to sell books. But I learned that it is not about what you are saying and more about who you are.

I used to work in sales at Golds Gym, they are high pressure and will do whatever it takes to close a sale. I was taught how to sell and the one thing that stuck with me was the saying: "People buy from who they like."

I was 3rd in the country for sales in Golds because I put aside the high pressure and made friends. If I thought the client could not afford the membership I would tell them to pass and save their money and eat better. They would look at me in shock not expecting to be told not to buy, and even my boss did not like my style as I let a lot of clients walk without buying. But I made up for it by closing everyone else. Why? Because they liked me and trusted me to tell them the truth even if it was not to buy.

I do this same thing with my books. I was at a Costco signing and a lady was asking me about my books and I could tell from the other stuff she was reading that she would not like my books. She was going to buy them and I took then from her hand and said, "You know, you will not like these books, they are a little scary for what you read."

She thanked me and left without buying.

I saved her from being angry with me and saved myself from a bad review. Your book is not for everyone, it is not the best book on earth and it is not going to be a movie. There, feel better? Find out who your reader is and market to them, and I mean be a friend to them.

Social Media is a great way to make friends, but if you use it like a new way to spam everyone you meet it will hurt you in the end. I did send out a few tweets and a Facebook thing on my books over the weekend but I tried to offset that with talking and other things to bury the book push.

And yet I saw some authors tweeting their book and pushing it out like every hour. Even book bloggers were like STOP, and they LOVE books!

But even without really pushing hard this last weekend my sales on amazon went up in a bug way. I think I sold over 1000 eBooks and doubled my books sales in just two days. My ranking went up into the top 300 and made it to #4 in the Hard-Boiled Thriller category. How did this happen?

It was not because I nagged readers or sent out emails. I spent about four hours the week before Christmas tagging on Amazon. Yes, tagging.

I figured more people were going to look on Amazon and if I was seen more I would sell more. It worked in a big way and I did not have to bother all my friends. And did I just be selfish and tag my book? Nah... I also tagged other authors books that I thought would help them out. I do not know how it works with everyone else but Amazon and the tagging system is amazing. You can link your book and yourself with other books. So I took the time and every day I tag on amazon, it is part of my job, part of being seen.

Is not what you do over a weekend but what you do day in and day out. I think I have been tagging for the last two years and I will keep doing it as long as it is an option on Amazon. The one reason B&N does not sell as many books is they do not have this tagging system, it is hard to find other books and authors you might like because they are not set up to sell. But that is another post.

This is a long term thing, you are in business, do what it takes day after day to make it as a writer. and next year you can have a good time watching the other authors stressing over sales and watch yours go up as you sip eggnog. I hope this helps and I know readers, bloggers and the rest of us will be happier as well.

I wish you all a happy new year and please GO BUY MY BOOK NOW!!!!!!!!!!! Lol
Just kidding, Have a good one, be happy and keep writing.


Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New eBooks/Audio Books for Christmas!

Christmas is just a few days away and we (StoneHouse Ink) have a ton of new stuff that is out just in time to load your new Nook or Kindle. Some of the things we are doing have never been done before and as the leader in cutting edge eBook content we are pleased to give you all the heads up on what is coming to the eBook world!

First lets talk about what StoneHouse did before anyone else, as in EVER! About a year and a half ago we released out first "Digital Short" which is a eBook only short story. After a year on the market we had 6 or so up and Avon and some other big publishers made the news with... you you guessed it, eBook only short stories. I did not think this was such a big and cool idea, just made sense. So now that we were the first I did not want our next big breaking eBook titles to go unnoticed.

We call them UNCUT editions. These eBooks are like what in movies you get with Blu-Ray, or the Extended cut movies. We thought it would be cool to have a behind the scenes look into a novel. So with Vincent Zandri's Moonlight Falls and Aaron Patterson's Sweet Dreams we unleashed on the world the first...yes the very first of their kind, eBook only UNCUT editions!

You may cheer and scream if you like =)

You can now see some cool editing notes, deleted scenes and author interviews. This is just the start as I am sure other publishers will come out with their own, but remember this post and how you got to see the first ones!

The next cool new stuff is our new audio books from StoneHouse Audio. We have two live right now and more in production. Now we are not messing around, all the narrators are award winners and have been at the game a long time so this is not something done in some basement in Caldwell. These are top of the line audio books by some of the best voices in the business.

The first one to release is Vincent Zandri's Scream Catcher and the next one is K.C. Neal's Pyxis. If you have not downloaded these to your Kindle or fire or whatever you have...well I may have to send out my boyz to bust some kneecaps!

So you got some UNCUT eBooks, some audio action...what more is there?

Uh... how about a new genre? You up for it? Okay, we have our first offshoot from Steampunk. It is called Reeferpunk. What is that you ask? Well, this is one kick-butt-non-stop-crazy-cool-book! David Mark Brown started this genre and we are honored to have him hanging with us. Here is a brief into to Reeferpunk:

The Austin Job

With the world embroiled in the Great War, power-hungry forces threaten to tear apart the state of Texas in a secret plot to rule the resource that will fuel the future. In The Austin Job, James Starr, bronc rider turned politician, stumbles into a high stakes game of power and lies that he must master before it masters him.

Exploding with double-fisted, cheek-puckering action, including the world's fist parkour stunt horse, The Austin Job dares you to cinch your saddle to a bolt of Lone Star lightning and hold on for dear life.

In this second book of his Reeferpunk series, Author David Mark Brown invites the reader into a world illuminated by human torches and moonlight towers, an underground Austin inhabited by machine and monster alike, where what you don't know can get you killed--or just really, really messed up.

Not cool enough for ya? How about some Robin Parrish...

This book Corridor is a YA novel and the first YA for Robin. He is an amazing author that we are trying to pull away from the big boys. Here is the cover... it will be up on amazon and B&N by the end of the year so keep your keen eye out.

And if all this is not enough to make you salivate, what, you didn't get a Kindle for Christmas? #Lame. Well, here is a chance to win a free Kindle Fire hosted by Allan Leverone. Click Here to enter to win a Kindle Fire!

Okay, I am out of breath... so check out all the cool stuff and please share with your peeps and spread the love... Have a great Christmas and a happy and safe new year!

Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.

Monday, December 12, 2011

So what is up with Amazon Kindle Select?

The Kindle Select mess and #lameness to follow!

Warning...this is a rant, so I may not be the nice little author you know and love... oh wait, you all know me...never mind, carry on =)

I must be getting old or something, or maybe the rantings of well meaning writers just gets under my skin. Not that normal stupid people make me feel all warm and fuzzy, but is it me or does everyone think that they are so important as to think that we really matter in the game the big boys are playing???

Yes, as you can gather, I am in a MOOD.

So here is the deal: KDP Lending program, good or bad? IMO it is good if you know how to use it.

1. Use it with your special titles. Doubles, UNCUT books and books that do not sell well on other sites.
2. Stop the madness!!! Amazon would have taken over the book market long ago if they had the stones to do it... but I talk to them once a month or so and they are like a sleeping giant that thinks they are small and are just figuring out that they are small, but that they live in a ant world. Amazon is playing a game. Putting publishing imprints in place for the future, buying up authors to one day crush the publishing world. They could do it tomorrow but they don't realize how much power they really have. So, you can be "In The Family" or fight what IS coming.

What do I mean by this?

I mean, all Amazon wants is to make money. And to do that they have to keep authors and readers happy so they walk a thin line. They are not going to shoot themselves in the foot and piss off all the indie authors as they make bank on them. BUT they will kill B&N soon just like Borders and a new book monster will have to rise up to give them a fight.

Through all this we authors can still sell and sell well building a fan-base the whole time. But to make it sound like they are a big ol mean online bully is just writers getting all fussy cuz they want to whine about something. I know... I am harsh...

The other thing that makes me hot under the ugly sweater is authors that think the Big 6 care about little kidz reading! Oh and Amazon is just a money hungry so in so. You really thing the publishers care if a poor kid gets a book for Christmas? Really?

All they want is money, to sell you a book to make a dollar... the only difference between Amazon and the Big 6 is Amazon will pay you!!! Yeah I said it! They pay their authors and know how to sell a crap load of books! The publishers do not, they are out of touch, lost in the land of print and sucking their thumbs cuz eBooks messed up all the money they were making!

So what should you do?

first, stop looking for the bad news. Look at the new whatever it is... and do your research and try something new instead of running with the masses into a wall.

Next, stop thinking of yourself beyond what you are. Do you really think that your eBook and your huge sales is going to bother Amazon or anyone else? We are all small fish, not worth most readers time, so stop making it out like you and your book sales are going to go under cuz Amazon wants you to sell only on their site. Really... so you sell so many on B&N? I don' what does it matter... you don't hear in the news when B&N has "Exclusive" titles... they do! did you know that? They have eBooks (James Patterson) that you can only get on B&N.

Now let us all take a breath... suck in some air and realize that all of this is about the money. Publishers want to make it, Amazon and B&N want to make it and yes you little author want to make it... if you don't call me and I will make it for you and you can just write cuz you believe in the art.

Amazon is trying new things... that is why they do so well, they are not afraid to try something new and fail. If this lending thing does not work they will try something else. I know they were talking about giving 80% to authors that wanted to just sell on Amazon and decided to try this lending thing instead. So try it, if you make more money, great. if not, oh well, it is not forever... you are not selling your soul. I look at it as advertizing, what if the one or two books I put in the program lend really good and I can use the extra promotion to boost my other sales... you never know. And you will never know if you do not try.

This is just the start, soon B&N will want you to just sell a book on their site, and new programs will hit the market. Think about how it may help or hurt you, and don't worry about the world falling around you... you may not live to see it so lighten up.

and a note to the high brow authors that think NOT selling and getting awards is a mark of success... you will die alone with 5 readers who thing you are a god... but what good will it do the world? If you do not connect with the people you missed your mark. Books are written to be read, the mark of success is to reach as many people as you can and to leave them better off. What grand thing do you do if you do nothing because you are scared to act? I could care less if I get an award... the reader who emails me and says they loved my book is my reward. If you do not sell, don't turn it around and make out like it is cuz you don't want too... or maybe it is that you have lost touch with the people... but don't look down on the author that puts his or her heart on the line and jump in the big pond.

End Rant!

Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.