Category: Uncategorized

Show me love!

From my published book, the Theater of Dusk. Wonderful picture/ word combination by Katherine. 馃檪

Do you remember the SF romance I told you about? Well, I’m almost done with editing! Soon I’ll send the manuscript to my editor, and I really, desperately, urgently need all the help I can get. What do I need? I need all the sales and reviews you can give me. If you planned on buying my book, now is a good time. If you felt like writing a review, this is an excellent time to do it. I don’t mind negative reviews if they are honest opinions on my book and not personal attacks on me. The latter is not reviewing; it’s slander. It doesn’t help other readers decide and doesn’t paint a flattering picture of the reviewer either.聽

If I want to be honest, it is not a coincidence I haven’t got a single negative review so far. It’s not because my friends are reviewing me because this isn’t the case. I owe it to two facts. The first is pretty straightforward: I haven’t had enough exposure to get negative reviews. I do have in mind a list of possible negative reviewers if I hit a bigger audience. Homophobes will bash me, the overly religious will throw fits, the women-hating crowd will get their panties in a bunch… Well, I’ll live. I mean the world is a big place and there’s space for everyone. Live and let live.

The second reason is even stranger. For some reason, people like my writing. Believe me, I am surprised. When your friends like your writing, there is always a nagging suspition at the back of your head: they say they enjoy it because they are your friends. They don’t want to hurt you. It’s vastly different when random strangers enjoy your book. I casually browse my Goodreads Author page and a complete stranger has left a four or five star review for my published book, the Theater of Dusk. It wows me completely and utterly. It mystifies me. It doesn’t surprise me because I consider myself a bad writer, but because my subject matter isn’t easy. I write about loss, deceit, self-doubt, betrayal, suicide, killers… My writing is intimate, unusual, sad and weird, and what do you know, someone else out there, a person I’ve never met, read it and liked it. They identified with my stories and my heroes and got something out of it. I don’t know what and it doesn’t matter. I hid a message in a bottle and threw it in the sea. The bottle reached a shore and someone found it and read it. The bottle could have been lost, broken, and yet… it wasn’t. It’s a small miracle.

I need more small miracles to happen. Miracles like a review, or telling a friend you enjoyed my book, or sharing one of my blog entries. Here are some suggestions:

Please give me a chance to continue writing. Help me get my second book out. I need a very handsome amount for the editor, and every single penny counts. I need reviewers and reviews for my work, and every review makes a difference. It’s been an uphill struggle with nothing to show for my efforts except for the books themselves. For me, that is a reward in itself. Please help me. I honestly, truly need it. And for those of you who already bought my book, reviewed it or promoted me, thank you so so much. I am deeply grateful. It means more than I can explain. You are my small miracles, and you give me the strength to continue. Thank you.

Here is my book:
http://www.amazon.com/Lizbeth-Gabriel/e/B00HVCOFMY/

Create Space: (an Amazon company)
https://www.createspace.com/5204932

Attention: This is for buying physical copies of my book, not the ebook version. For the ebook version please go to Amazon.

Waiting for reviews

I haven’t been very active lately. Life gets in the way. It’s a matter of tiredness and to be honest, also frustration.

For those who think that once you publish a book, you don’t have to do anything more, I have bad news. Once the book is out, your troubles have just begun. In the case of traditional publishing, the publisher will also promote you to some degree. If you are self-published like I am, getting noticed is tricky business.聽

When I published my first book, I made some mistakes due to inexperience. For example, I didn’t know I had to find possible reviewers before I published the book, or establish my presence in social media. Here is a link to a blog with useful information:

As I said in a previous post, reviews are vital. Not only do they encourage possible buyers to invest in your work, but also serve as promotion and free advertisement when the reviewer posts them on their reviewing blog and any other social media they may be using. So I busted my behind looking for reviewers and reviews. I went through a list of reviewing blogs, located genre-related bloggers and sent more than thirty five emails asking for reviews on my book. I also organised two giveaways on Goodreads. (For those of you who don’t know, giveaways on Goodreads are a way to create buzz. Randomly selected winners get free copies they are expected to review. Strictly speaking, it’s not compulsory for winners to write a review, but this is why giveaways are organised in the first place; to offer the writer exposure and reviews).

So, let’s see what I’ve achieved so far. In the case of emails, I received five replies: three ‘no’ and two ‘yes’. The rest never replied. The two who said yes, they are interested, haven’t contacted me since September. I am still waiting to hear from them.聽

In the case of Goodreads giveaways, out of eight books, three got lost in the post and I had to buy new copies and resend them. So far I’ve got two ratings and just one review. Five more members have copies of my book in their possession, some for ten months now, some for eight, and they haven’t rated it or reviewed it. I know better than pressure them; I only contacted them once, to make sure they got their copies safely. They will rate or review the book when they have time, which may well be in two years from now or never.There is nothing I can really do except perhaps organise another giveaway, and hope winners will respond more promptly this time and books won’t be lost in the post.

The thing about being a writer is that you need to have patience, lots and lots of it. Your book may be your number one priority, but other people have different priorities and problems. They have jobs, families, friends, pets, and everything else life entails, like sickness, heartache, accidents, divorces and plain, mind-numbing tiredness. That’s why you have to wait, and wait, and wait some more while trying to think of ways to promote your work. The real problem is that you don’t know what makes a difference in sales. Is it reviews? Is it advertisement? Giveaways? Word of mouth? Connections? Plain dumb luck? All these combined? So you have to try any stratagems you can think of, (in my case, with a very limited budget at your disposal…) and keep your fingers crossed. There are several internet articles on promotion, but they more or less say the same: I wish we knew what makes a difference to do it too. 馃槈 So patience, insistence and hard work. It’s discouraging, frustrating, even downright maddening in some cases, but no-one built a fan base overnight. As I said in the previous post, that’s how real life works, contrary to descriptions found in YA genre.

Here are four lists of reviewing blogs. Good luck! I hope it all works out.

Here is also some advice on review requesting:

Looking for a title

I am looking for a title for my SF Romance novel and brainstorming with my illustrator on a possible cover. Naturally, I decided to browse covers and titles in Amazon. Here are some titles I found.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Desired By The Alien
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Seduced By The Alien
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Stolen By The Alien
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Bought By The Alien
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Caressed By The Savage Alien
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Chosen by the Alien
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Chosen By The Alien Lord
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Releasing Rage (Cyborg Sizzle Book 1)
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Alien Warrior’s Captive Earthling
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Alien Alpha: (Qetesh Warrior)
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Rescued By Tordin: Olodian Alien Warrior Romance
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Alien Warrior (Zerconian Warriors Book 1)
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Warrior’s Mate: A Sci-Fi Shifter Romance
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Claimed by the Warrior
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Barbarian Lover
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Kidnapped by the Alien Barbarians
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Alien’s Innocent Bride
聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Alien Commander’s Chosen

I can safely say that I am no wiser than I was before (at least concerning a possible title). My illustrator is none the wiser either. Almost every cover had a headless torso with amazing abs superimposed on a scifi background. Astounding abs, those aliens. I want to be abducted by a savage shapeshifter barbarian alien lord commander too, but maybe tomorrow. Tonight I have to wash my hair.

Dorian’s story (or, how I love serial killers)

 

Have you ever come across photos that make you stop and exclaim, “that’s my hero(ine)”? It happens to me sometimes. It’s more about the general feeling a face inspires than the face itself. So here is someone who brings to my mind my beautiful predator, Dorian Wilford. A refined, aloof, handsome dark-haired man with several preoccupations that include antiques, pocket watches and murder. He’s a creature of wild passions that run both hot and cold, and he’s as likely to dismiss you as he is to kill you.聽


If you’d like to read my (award-winning) short story about secretive, obsessive, insane (?) Dorian, together with a menagerie of other fiction stories that defy categorisation, you can go to my Amazon page and indulge your curiosity and dark appetites. And if you happen to be a member of Amazon prime, you can download my entire ebook for free! The first two stories of my book (Dorian’s short story is one of them) are available as a free preview. You can either download them to your ereader or read them online.聽

http://www.amazon.com/Theater-Dusk-Short-Story-Collection-ebook/dp/B00HV4584Q/

(Please note: I claim no copyright on the advertisement photos I published in this post. Rights belong to their respective owners.)

Credo

“The truth is that life is hard and dangerous; that those who seek their own happiness do not find it; that those who are weak must suffer; that those who demand love will be disappointed; that those who are greedy will not be fed; that those who seek peace will find strife; that truth is only for the brave; that joy is only for those who do not fear to be alone; that life is only for the one who is not afraid to die.”

Joyce Cary


Picture source: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=30350&picture=flower-on-the-book

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