The fastest way to write a novel


Over the last three years I have struggled with producing novels at regular intervals. Some authors I’ve talked to can pump out half a dozen full-length novels a year; I’m lucky if I can finish one 80,000 word novel, that’s not including the revisions and editing.

So I got to thinking, “How can I cut my writing time in half?”

I have a full time job, 2 blogs, 2 facebook pages, 2 writing groups, and an online writing school I manage and provide content for on top of writing my fantasy novels. That’s not including taking care of my son, husband, 4 dogs, and home. I’m a busy woman. There just aren’t enough hours in my week to get everything done and it shows.

Normally, I write when inspiration strikes; ignoring all planning and diving right into the nitty-gritty. I blame it on poor time management skills and the fact that I never had to schedule writing into my life while I was a stay at home mom.

With my time being limited I decided that I needed to approach the art of writing from a different angle.

What doesn’t work:

Writing when the mood strikes.

It’s  great when it happens but you won’t get much done. In a single week using this method I was able to write 3 whole pages. That’s it. Inspiration doesn’t strike as often as I’d like, even when I go back and try to get inspiration from things that usually get my juices flowing.

What does work:

Outlines. They help you see what will happen to your character and how they will get from point A to point B. A good outline leads to a cohesive story that flows more freely and has less gaps to fill when you finish the rough draft.

What works best for me:

Short descriptions!

These work because you get to see everything that happens to your characters, how they feel and react toward other characters without having to go into too much detail.

I found that when I wrote a short description on a chapter based off of my outline, I was able to write an entire 10 page chapter in a few hours and I didn’t have to edit as much.

So how do you outline a chapter?

If you took English class you should know how to do this.  It’s pretty simple.

  • This is chapter one
  1. This is Amy
  2. Something happens to her
  3. This is how she respond to the issue
  • This is chapter two
  1. Amy goes to see Prue
  2. This is what Prue tells Amy to do about the issue
  3. This is the dilemma that Amy faces
  4. This is what she plans on doing

Ect… You fill in the blanks.

Honestly, the fun part is writing the short descriptions. Here’s how you do that.

-Chapter 1:Amy awakes from a deep slumber to find a dark figure standing above her. At first she is confused until she realizes its a ghost at which point she screams -and since she is an avid supernatural fan- she leaps from her bed and grabs an iron poker from in front of the fireplace and disperses the old man’s ghost with it. Being too shaken to sleep or stay in the apartment, she grabs her things and heads to her Aunt Prue’s…a Gipsy palm reader. She never believed in her aunts ramblings but after seeing the ghost she believes that there may be some truth to Aunt Prues stories.-

-Chapter 2: Amy pulls her old beat up dodge  into one of the the 3 spots in the small parking lot behind a small brick building that houses her aunts shop. A bright neon sign that looks like a hand hangs in the window at the back of the building and a large sign that reads “Prue’s Premonitions” hangs above the old oak door…-

You can make your short descriptions as long or short, bland or detailed as you want them. The more details you put into the short description, the easier and faster it will be to turn it into a fully detailed and polished chapter/book later.

Using short descriptions I effectively tripled my daily writing and I’m sure with time I will get faster.

 

 

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Summer Indie Book Awards


Today I was contacted by Metamorph Publishing who informed me that my novel, Sapphire’s Destiny, had been nominated for the 2016 Indie Book Awards.

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For me, as a new author, this is a huge step in the right direction. Not many awards are handed out to self published authors, so even making it onto the list is a huge success.

This of course, doesn’t mean that I will place in my category but I have an equal chance as any other nominated author including the better known ones (like Alanea Adler’s Bewitched and Bewildered series which I happen to love).

According to Metamorph Publishing’s site, this is the first year of the awards and there are already over 1,800 nominees across 26 different categories- and there is still 3 weeks left of nominations before voting begins on September 1st.

They are shooting for 3 winners in each category. Each winner will recieve a certificate and some sort of prize as well as bragging rights. With the help of donors like me and you they will be able to achieve this goal. Right now they are accepting everything from money, gift cards, and book marks to signed copies of books and other swag. You can learn more about donating on their website and if you have any questions about what they will and won’t take just shoot them a message through their contact page or on facebook and they will get back to you asap.

They are also accepting nominations up until August 31st, so if you have any favorite indie authors you would like to see on the list, shoot on over to their website and nominate them.

Don’t forget to vote anytime between September 1st-11th for your favorite indie author/novels. (Hint, Hint)

 

Kindle Select: Is it worth it to be exclusive?


Publishing a book is hard. There are so many decisions to be made on a daily basis. But the most important decision you will ever make is whether you will go the traditional or self published route.

As you may have guessed, this post is for those who are considering self publishing.

For most self published authors, Amazon is a treasure trove of possibilities. They have an easy to use platform, it’s free topublish through them, and they get over 70% of the world’s books sales through Kindle. If that wasn’t enough to convince you to go with KDP then consider the fact that they have programs designed specifically for authors like ACX audio book production platform, Createspace for physical book copies, Kindle Scout, KDP Select, and they allow you to choose your royalties based on your books purchase price (either 35% for books price $0.99 and up or 70% for books price $2.99 – $9.99).

All of these features are completely free to use for authors which is why Amazon is leading the ebook revolution and other platforms are struggling to compete. 

KDP Select is probably the most popular Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) feature for authors. It allows authors to drop the price of their books for a limited time (5 days per 90 day commitment) to boost book sales and exposure.

Authors have a choice to either offer their book for free for up to 5 days (they don’t have to be consecutive) or drop their price to $0.99 and let it slowly rise over the next 5 days until it’s back to the normal price.

Sounds amazing huh? 

But wait..there’s a catch! When you enroll in KDP Select you sign a 90 day agreement as mentioned above. For those 90 days KDP has exclusive publishing rights to your ebook. This means that while enrolled in KDP Select you can’t offer your eBook for sale on any other online platform until your 90 days are up.

This agreement only applies to eBooks. You can still sell physical and audio book copies anywhere where you want.

So what if you only have one book and you are trying to grow your email list by offering a free copy of your book? The good news is that this is perfectly fine.

According to Amazon, you are allowed to give away free ebook copies or ARC’s via your website or email so there is no need to worry if you already have this offer set up and are considering going with KDP.

KDP Select is a great feature for new authors. In addition to Kindle free days and Countdown days, being in KDP Select also puts your book in Kindle Unlimited which allows thousands of new readers to read your book for free.

I know alot of new authors who’s majority of royalties come from pages read through Kindle Unlimited (mine included).

So what’s the downside?

There isn’t really a huge downside. If your a new author and have no following or fans I highly suggest enrolling in KDP Select and utilizing all of the other features as well until you have a big enough fan base that you can stand on your own two feet. You definitely aren’t going to be hitting the USA Today Bestsellers List with your first book anyway.

Another downside is that if you do end up putting listing your ebook on another site you loose access to KDP Select for 1 year. This also means that if your book happened to be pirated and posted onto a torrent site and amazon finds it you may have your account closed and your books pulled from the online store until the situation is resolved. I suggest setting up a Mention.com account and monitoring you book title/S. It’s free for the first keyword but you have to pay for others. You should also set up Google alerts for as many keywords as you want. The service is far slower than mention.com and it doesn’t monitor many of the social media sites for those keywords like mention does, but at least it’s free.

If your a veteran author who wants to shoot for the USA Today Bestseller List I suggest going wide. Since your book has to be on at least 2 separate platforms to be considered for the list, being KDP exclusive won’t help you achieve that goal.

There are some authors who bash KDP Select and say Amazon is monopolizing the industry, others say that the Kindle Unlimited is destroying the market and a waste of time, but ultimately it comes down to you and what’s best for your career.

Each author must weigh the pros and cons of each service. Only you can decide if KDP Select is the best choice for where you want to go with your career. Do your research. There is tons of information about the program online. Ask other authors about their experience with KDP Select, visit the Kboards and read all of the comments and questions, and make the decision that’s right for you.

Want to learn more about becoming an author? Visit my Aspiring Authors page.

 

 

The Dirt On Free Book Requests and How To Respond To Them


One of the most common questions I come across is how to respond to a readers query for a free book.

Why do authors get them and how are we supposed to respond?

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There are usually two main reasons for these requests; they want to read the book and review it or they are down on their luck and can’t afford to buy a copy themselves.

The Read And Review Request

As an author the first reason is extremely enticing. We all want reviews. That’s how we get our names and our books out their to new readers. New readers look for those reviews to confirm that our books are worth purchasing. But is it worth giving away your livelihood in exchange for a review that may never be posted?

Some authors say yes, it absolutely is and I somewhat agree. If the reader requesting a copy is from a popular review blog, website, or company then send away. Send them a signed copy by all means. But if the reader who requests a copy doesn’t even have a goodreads profile don’t expect a thank you much less a review.

The Hardship (.a.k.a. sob story) Request

Let’s face it, everybody goes through difficult times in their life and we, as humans, are programed to empathise with others in tough times. It’s engraved into our very Souls from the moment we are born. You see someone crying in the corner and your heart breaks for them because you know they’re in pain. You cry when your favorite character gets their heart broken. Someone tells you their family member died and you say “I’m sorry for your loss” and try to finally a way to ease their pain.

It’s only natural to want to help someone out when they are in need and if a copy of your book can help them through this difficult time then you’ll have done your part. But you can’t help everyone, especially if your struggling to get by yourself.

We all know the cold hard truth about what we do. Being an author isn’t exactly living a life of luxury. Granted, their are a select few  who have gotten lucky and struck gold with their stories. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us have to keep our day jobs because our royalties don’t exactly pay the bills.

If you can afford to do so, giving away a few copies of your book a year is fine. It actually helps your reputation as an author because people talk. But it could also invite others to see you as an easy target and the requests for free books will start pouring in.

So what should you do if you get a request for a free copy of your book?

Ignore Them-

This is one of the most common answers I hear. It’s a viable option but not one I agree with and here’s why.

These people are your readers. They look up to you, idolize you because you are a published author. If you see your favorite actor or singer in public what do you do? You want to take your picture with them, shake their hand, get their autograph, or just plain old interaction! That’s what you want and that’s what your readers want. The more you interact with them the happier they are.

If they are your true fans they will be thrilled that you answered them at all, even if you send them a polite rejection letter.

If you ignore them they may loose faith in you and look elsewhere for that interaction!

Offer to send a copy to their local liabrary-

This is actually a very good idea…if you have a paperback verson. Donating copies of your books is an excellent way to reach alot of readers and help the liabrary out in a small way.

The only problem that you might encounter is that the liabrary won’t add your book to its shelf. Libraries have limited space and if your book isn’t in demand by the locals then the liabrary will remove it from the shelves to make room for books that the community does want.

I suggest donating to your local libraries anyway. Sometimes they will make a special exception for local authors and keep your book on display to show support.

Offering a book for free in exchange for an email sign up-

This is by far one of the best options and alot of authors are utilizing this method without realizing how significant it is.

A mailing list is a lifeline for most authors. It’s the best way for us to contact our true fans when we release a new book which leads to sales. It’s also a great way to weed out requesters who are just looking for a free book with no strings attached.

It takes 2.2 seconds to sign up for your email list. If they aren’t willing spend 2 seconds agreeing to receive occasional emails from you then they most likely aren’t willing to take the time to leave a review. They probably won’t be willing to actually spend money on any of your other books either.

Setting up an email list with Mailchimp is free up to 2000 subscribers and super simple as long as you have a landing page which you can also get for free with wordpress.com. Having one might keep some of the less devoted readers from requesting free books.

Adding a notice to your site and social media-

If you have a website or a social media account it’s easy to add a notice that you don’t offer free books in exchange for reviews unless they sign up for your email list or get them from amazon when you offer them for free. You can post it in the header, footer, on your FAQ page, or Contact page. You could add it to your Bio on facebook, pin it in a post, or a pinned tweet.

The polite rejection letter-

I use a simple and polite rejection letter asking them to sign up to my email list where I already offer a free book for signing up. I also explain that they will receive an email when I offer my other books for free or at a discounted price through Amazon. Here is what the letter looks like.

 

Dear [reader],

Thank you for taking the time to contact me. I always love hearing from fans and avid readers. (If aplicable add “I’m sorry to hear that your [insert reason for hardship here])

I regret to inform you that I do not give copies of [name of book] out for free via email. I do however offer [name of free book] to subscribers of my email list which you can sign up for here [insert link to your subscription form] and receive a notice when [name of Book requested] is on sale or offered free on Amazon. 

Wishing you well,

[IInsert your signature]

 

Please share this with other authors who could benefit from it.

How do you deal with free book requests? Leave your answer in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe and follow my blog for more great tips.

What’s New on SLPerryman.com and What’s to Come


Over the last week I have been working on this site adding new content.

If you look in the menu section you will see a few new additions to the site. My goal is to continue adding new content to the site over the next month or so.

So what’s New?

Aspiring Authors– I was an aspiring author not too long ago. I understand the confusion and unbelievable amount of information you have to learn when first starting out. I created this page to compile all of the information and resources I have found useful into one easily accessible place for anybody who aspires to someday become a published author.

Downloads– This page is a sub-page for aspiring authors. Here you will find handy printables to help you on your journey to publication. You will find everything from fill-in-the-blank Outline Sheets for your next project to help make your ideas flow smoothly, to checklists, and even printable Book Promotion Site Lists. I will continue adding new printables to the page as time goes on so check back regularly or sign up to my email list to be notified when there are updates made.

Winners Circle– This page is dedicated to my giveaways and the winners of the giveaways. Each time I host a giveaway I will post an announcement on the welcome page, blog, as well as in the Winners Circle. If I have multiple giveaways going at the same time they will all be listed in the Winners Circle together.

Store- You will notice that the store tab has moved but is still live so if you want to make purchases you still can.*

*More things to come.

What’s to come?

Realms Merchandise-Very soon you will be able to purchase The Realms Series apparel. I am working on getting some Realms Creature Plushies made as well as some surprises. More on that at a later date.

Free Book when you sign up to my mailing list offer– Very soon I will be offering a Free eBook when you subscribe to my mailing list. If you are already subscribed you will automatically receive the free book when it goes live.

Print and Audio book availability– In the next few months Sapphire’s Destiny will be available to purchase in audio book and paperback formats through the Store. Keep your eye out for the announcement.

Book Promotion Newsletter– Soon you will be able to sign up to receive special emails with Free or Discounted Book Deals. These emails will be sent out once DAILY with new deals every day. Current Newsletter Subscribers keep and eye on your mailbox for the Launch Announcement.

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments below.

Writers Block: The 3 categories of Writer’s block and How to Overcome them!


Writers Block. We’ve all had it at one point in time or another.

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When you were given a 5,000 word essay in high school and tasked with researching some inconspicuous boring topic. You spend weeks researching the topic and feel prepared. You know everything you need to about The Life cycle of Meal-worms from what they eat to how they reproduce. Yet, you sit down at your desk, pencil in hand, and… you draw a blank!

How should you open the research paper? Should you start with some witty fact? How about a bit of humor or a not so funny jokes? Or maybe just lay out the facts?

Writing is difficult.

So you spend hours outlining the paper, go through 3 packages if sticky notes and note cards, and still nothing comes to you.

The blank page haunts you as the days tick by and the deadline gets closer. You write and rewrite but it still doesn’t feel right. You try everything you can think of, you look up the correct way to open a research paper, you even go as far as asking friends and family for help but nothing works. You draw a blank.

Congratulations, you have writers block!

If you do a little searching, you will come across hundreds of posts with ideas of how to fight writers block. You’ll find good advice like “read a book” and you will find bad advice like “stand on your head for an hour while humming twinkle twinkle little star”. -Okay, I might have made that one up but you get the idea.

Writers block falls under 3 categories: Lack of Ideas, Lack of Motivation, and Lack of Time.

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Once you identify which issue you are having its pretty easy to overcome writers block.

Lack of Ideas

Okay, so lets say you have this amazing idea for a book. You throw together an outline and you write down every detail of the idea as a short description (so that if you forget where you are going with the story you have a quick reminder to help get your brain back to the place it was when you began).

You write out all of the important scenes and start on what I like to call “filler content” (the tedious work in between action scenes that seems to be the hardest thing to write).

But you start to struggle with the story. You don’t know how to make your character get from point A to point B. Who do they talk to? What do they talk about? What important information does the supporting character give to your main character that helps them on their journey?

And then the even more tedious content. What are they wearing? How are they supposed to react to this situation? Facial expressions? Hand gestures? The list goes on and on. All of these simple things that we overlook in our everyday lives are super important when it comes to our stories. Without it, the story is 1 dimensional and is unbelievable to the reader. So you can see, it’s really easy to get stumped during the writing process.

Which as much as your brain has to work just to write a simple scene, it’s easy to wear yourself out. When you spend every waking minute thinking about your story, your characters, and then writing, your brain just sometimes needs a break.

So it will shut itself down which leads to writers block. To overcome this form of writer’s block you need to give your brain the break it needs.

Take a few days off– Letting your brain have a few days off is the best way to beat any block.

Read a good book– I tend to reread some of my favorite books since they were my inspiration for writing in the first place. Don’t worry about whether or not the books you are reading are in the same genre as the ones you are trying to write. A lot of so called experts will tell you to avoid reading books in the same genre since you may accidentally plagiarize the other authors work in an attempt to make yours better. The chances of that are slim. Plagiarism takes a certain amount of thought before it happens, you can’t really plagiarize someone’s work unknowingly.

Try writing something else– this is why I have a blog. It gives me my creative outlet for when I get stumped on my projects. Write about anything you love from makeup to writing. Use this time to build your following of social media, promote your other works, maybe even start on that story you have on the back burner.

Research– Try researching how to better your writing, where you can promote your work, or just look up some recipies. You would be surprised at where inspiration hides.

Edit– use this down time to go back through what you’ve already written and fix problems in the plot, punctuation, and sentence structure. Sometimes you have to go back to the beginning to fix the issues before you can go on.

Enlist a friend– sometimes you just need someone to bounce ideas off of or to give you inspiration. You would be surprised how many people are willing to help if you just say “Hey, do you mind looking over this chapter and giving me your thoughts on how to continue?”

Try some writing prompts– Writing prompts can be a good way to get the juices flowing.

Lack of Motivation

Motivation is a hard one to overcome. Like I said, sometimes you just need a break. If a break doesn’t help try a whole different approach.

Give yourself deadlines– Sometimes knowing that you have to have something done by a certain date is enough to motivate you. I preset my release dates though I keep them a secret until I know I will have the book done on time. You could set weekly, daily, monthly, or project specific goals to help push you along.

Read a book– I know this was already listed but I believe to write you must read. Every time I read a great book I always feel like writing. So choose your absolute favorite book, the one that you’ve read a million times and still cry everything the character confesses his love for the girl, and read a few pages or chapters. Just enough to get you into the mood. Not only can this help overcome your lack of motivation but it will also make your writing better. I read 2 chapters everyday before I start writing.

Set down and type– Sometimes you just have to force yourself to do something. You don’t feel like doing the dishes but if you don’t you will be eating your cereal out of the dog bowl.

Visit a Writers Group– Reading some of the discussions in writers groups is a great way to not only learn more about the craft but also to motivate yourself to write. There is nothing better to motivate you than to read a rags to riches post from an unknown self published indie who is making bank on their novels. Facebook has tons of Writers Groups, just be sure you are taking away the good information and not the bad or letting the bad seeds in the groups bring you down. you can find a list of amazing Writers Groups in the Aspiring Authors Section.

Lack of Time

We are all super busy all of the time so this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Sometimes not having enough time to write will make you not want to even try. Scheduling your writing so that it fits into your busy schedule is one of the hardest things you will ever do and is probably one of the main reasons your manuscript isn’t finished yet.

Between kids, a job, and daily chores it’s hard to find time to squeeze in a few minutes of writing everyday but it’s essential that you try. If you have time to schedule in your daily dose of The Walking Dead than you can find the time to write.

Make a schedule and stick to it– even if you can only devote 30 minutes a day late at night after the kids are asleep do it and make sure you do it daily, weekly, or whenever you pencil it in.

Make the time– set your DVR to record your favorite shows, send your kids to an after school program or friends for an hour or two, or order takeout and rent a movie one night a week to keep everyone busy while you seek off to your cave to write.

 

Some other tips to combat writers block.

Take a walk or excersise– the quiet time and the extra fresh air will help clear your mind and get the gears turning. The new scenery can spark an idea for the setting of your next chapter and the people you see on your journey may inspire characters.

Clean the house– I know, why would you want to do that? You hate cleaning. Believe it or not, the physical activity helps as does the quiet time. Some of my best ideas for The Realms Series, like Squirt the Showshaw and the Grogus that Sapphire runs into in the book,  came to me while I was washing dishes.

Go shopping or run errands– new faces, products like stuffed animals, or even signs in store windows help spark ideas and get you out of the house.

Change where you write– sit outside in a hammock, by a pool, or in front of a window in a different room of the house. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery.

Take a writer’s course– This will help hone your skills as a writer and give you ideas to write about. There are a lot of online courses that you can take for free as well as some paid ones. You can also call your local college to see if they offer any.

Listen to some good music– Music is a great way to alleviate writers block.

Pinterest– Pinterest has tons of pinned posts specifically for authors. Go create a board for writing and pin away. Don’t worry if you get off topic; browsing Pinterest can be a fun way to get ideas. You could start by pinning this post.

 

Do you have any creative ways to combat writer’s block? What works best for you? Leave your answers in the comments below.

 

 

Bad Reviews Suck! How to deal with Negative Nancy’s.


Dear Aspiring Authors, This post is for you.

You see, when you are first starting out writing you are struck with this idea which you think is amazeballs!

You spend hundreds of hours thinking about this idea and hundreds more creating this imaginary world and it’s characters. Then, after slaving away for months or even years, you release this beast unto the world expecting it to be nothing  less than a New York Times Best Seller.

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You’ve edited your manuscript to perfection and you’ve enlisted dozens of beta readers and reviewers who have all raved about your story.  You spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on a beautiful cover, amazing blurb, and done a ton of research before you set your masterpiece free. 

The book goes live and you ride the waves of ecstasy as the sales and Amazon Ranking climb. You may throw a release party or you may invest in promotions; either way you’re looking at a decent first paycheck. You’re thinking “Wow, if this continues I’ll be able to quit my day job and take up writing full time within the month!”

And then your first review comes in.

You’re shocked because it’s not a raving 5 star review like all of those beta readers and reviewers said your book was. You become angry as you read this person’s scathing words about your baby. You gasp in shock as this person you don’t know tears your baby to shreds and throws away the pieces. They point out every flaw that was missed, every plot hole that slipped through the cracks, and then go on to insult your writing ability.

“How dare they!”

Then you become angry for a whole different reason. You send a nasty emails to your editor, betas, and reviewers berating them for missing things. You consider removing your book from sale, throwing the hard copy in the grill, and lighting it on fire. Finally, you consider giving up writing all together.

Right now your probably thinking “Wow, talk about melodramatic!”

The sad thing is, this has actually happened before. There have been author who completely gave up on their dream because of a couple bad reviews.

I’m here to tell you that you need bad reviews!

That’s right, I said it! You need bad reviews. Lift your jaw off the floor and listen up.

Bad reviews are essential to your career. A good, bad review will point out all of the flaws in your writing and tell you what the readers want more of. These types of reviews are critical to making your stories everything that the readers want.

You may have written the story for yourself but let’s be honest, the readers are the ones that are going to pay your bills. You need to give them what they want or you will be writing your next novel from a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere.

Every great book has at least one bad review!

Don’t believe me? Go onto amazon and look up the Harry Potter books. Rowling sold millions of copies or the book and millions more copies of the movies. Yet each one of the books in the series has multiple bad reviews.

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Harry potter and the Sorcerers Stone: 12, 061 reviews, 176 of them 1 star!
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Harry Potter and  the Order of the Phoenix: 7,783 reviews, 180 of them 1 star!

Fifty Shades Series? Same! Yet those were turned into movies too.

 

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50 Shades of Grey: 66,325 reviews, 10,158 of them 1 star!

Just because you get a bad review doesn’t mean that the book is bad, it just means that it wasn’t right for that reader.

My very first review was a 3 star and said the book was boring! (see image below) I took it in stride though and decided to use the criticism constructively and write a post for my writers group  on Facebook Authors Alley : Where Authors Come to Network.

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Sapphire’s Destiny Actual review. Though it got a 3 star review right away, my book went on to get multiple 5 star reviews after!

“So I got my first official amazon review today and I’m really happy with it 🙂 It was a 3 star review (before you ask why I would be happy with a 3 star review let me explain).

First, it’s a legitimate unbiased review of my book from someone I don’t know. Second 3 stars tells me that 1) the book was good enough to finish but 2) could use improvements. For my very first book, to me that is an excellent sign. It means that I’m doing well but have room to grow.

Next, they said the book didn’t have enough action and when there was action, it was short lived. This tells me that readers want more action and that they want the action scenes to be longer (totally doable I might add).

Then they said that a lot of things were left unexplained and that they will be reading the next book to see if they get explained. This tells me that the hook worked, that I need to answer some questions in book 2 (already planned to), and that I’ve pretty much already sold a book before it’s out.

I love these types of reviews, they tell you so much in so little words that help you become a better writer and make your writing more enticing.”

See what I did there?

I read the review, picked out the critical feedback, and turned it into information I can use for future books!

 

You can avoid getting bad reviews by targeting the specific audience your book would do well with. This is called Niche Targeting. Of course investing in a great editor, proofreader, and getting strangers to beta read your manuscript helps a lot but sometimes that’s not enough.

My advice to you?

Read each review but ignore the ones that are just trolling. If the review doesn’t contain anything useful then ignore it. The reviewer may have just been having a bad day or is just a negative person. If you are getting lots of 1 star reviews then step back and really take a good look at your book.

Use the bad reviews as a writers guide.

Take note of each of the issues that are pointed out and fix your manuscript. You can republish it with the new changes, unfortunately you won’t be able to remove those bad reviews unless you take the original down and republish the book as a second edition.

All in all, just enjoy the process! You can’t please everyone! If you are happy with the book then ignore the haters and write the next book. Maybe your first book wasn’t for everyone but maybe your next one will be!

What is the worst review you’ve gotten? Do you have any advice for new authors about dealing with bad reviews?

Post your responses in the comments below!

 

25 Inspirational Quotes for Authors


Sometimes authors need a little inspiration, that’s why I have gathered some of the most popular inspirational quotes and made this list.

  1. Richard Bach “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit!”richard bach quote 1

2. Ray Bradbury “And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right.”

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3. Leo Tolstoy “The best stories don’t come from ‘Good vs. Bad’ but ‘Good vs. Good’.”

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4. Toni Morrison “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

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5. Ray Bradbury “Dont talk about it; Write.”ray bradbury quote 2

 

6. Joss Whedon “I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of.”joss whedon quote 1

 

7. Margaret Atwood “If I waited for perfection I would never write a word.”

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8. Truman Capote “To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music the words make.”

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9. Samuel Johnson “A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.”

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10. Vladimir Nabokov “The pages are still blank but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.”

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11. Maya Angelou “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

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12. Benjamin Franklin “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

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13. Ernest Hemingway “The first draft of anything is shit!”

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14. Ernest Gaines “The six golden rules of writing. Read, read, read, and write, write, write.”

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15. William Styron “A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it.”

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16. Buffy Andrews “Writers see the world differently. Every voice we hear, every face we see, every hand we touch could become story fabric.”

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17. Gustave Flaubert “The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.”

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18. Thomas Mann “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”

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19. Harper Lee “I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career, that before developing his talent, he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”

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20. E.L. Doctorow “Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader- not the fact that it is raining but the feeling of being rained upon.”

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21. Jules Renard “Writing is an occupation in which you have to keep proving your talent to those who have none.”

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22. Sylvia Plath “And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

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23. Cyril Connolly “Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.”

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24. Jack London “Keep a notebook. Travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it. Slap into every stray thought that flutters up into your brain. Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter, and lead pencil markings endure longer than memory.”

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25. Tobias Wolff “A true piece of writing is a dangerous thing, it can change your life.”

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Moral of this post is that every writer has days when they just need a little inspiration to help get the juices flowing and keep on keeping on!

Do you have any favorite inspirational quotes? Leave them in the comments below. Don’t forget to follow my blog and sign up for my mailing list for more great content.