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Proper Care and Feeding of Your Book Reviews

Reviews Blog part 2: for the Writer

For the first part of this, I asked readers to leave a single sentence and a couple stars and call it a review. But then it occurred to me—getting people to leave their opinions is not the only struggle in the big bad game we call book reviews. What happens after you get them? And thus we have blog number two: for the writers.

So you’ve got some reviews on Amazon. Excellent. Congrats. 90% of the reading population gets their fiction fix from Amazon at this point. Unfortunately, less than 1% of them will leave a review. Oh they may have liked it. Maybe even really liked it. They may have even told their friends, or even you. But they’re probably (even after reading the first part of this) not going to leave a review. Because why? I have no idea. If you figure that out, let me know.

So let’s, for this portion of the show, think outside the box, beyond the storefront, to review sites and journals and other places. To this I say, have a hit list. Where do you want to be reviewed? (Again, I’m not talking about Amazon anymore) Who do you trust because they’re thorough and honest and if it’s not good, they won’t fluff it with Atta’boys. Where are your heroes reviewed? Your peers? Make a list.

Now contact them all.

Yes, all. Because a.) they won’t all be able to get you on the TBR schedule, and b.) many of them don’t have the same audience—grow your audience by spreading your reviews out.

What to say? Easy. Short and sweet and “hey, I have a book, would you like a review copy?” Because yes, you’re going to give away copies of your book. Whether they prefer printed review copies or are kind enough to take arcs, ebooks, and/or pdfs, you are going to give away your book. With a smile. And a prayer.

So now you have a list. You’ve sent the book. (Jump forward in time…) And they’ve reviewed you! Now what? Because this is the spot where my thought occurred the other day. So now that we’re all up to speed and have these reviews, those not on the storefront, what do we do?

Sure, we post them on our blogs, our websites, our twitter feeds, and our facebook pages. We point and smile and say, “look what I did!” It might get liked, it might get shared, and you get that warm fuzzy feeling.

But then, like everything we post, it get swallowed by the neverending feed monster and disappears into the depths of posts forgotten. The archives. The annals. The things forgotten beyond the “load more” button.

Then someone wants to buy the book and they wonder what others thought of it, so they look at the reviews on Amazon or B&N or where ever. And they see “didn’t finish it, it sucked.” Or they see positive reviews in the form of single sentences and a smattering of stars because those readers read the first part of this two-part blog. But what if they were looking for that in depth review. What if they were wondering whether or not Cemetery Dance or Rue Morgue or Gingernuts read it and what their thoughts were? They would have to dig to find those buried in the feed monster. But they won’t dig. They won’t hunt. If you don’t provide it, they won’t ever see it once it’s been swallowed.

So to combat this, I’ve done the following, and gladly welcome others to do the same.

First, I’ve taken the juicy bits of the reviews, and put them on the product page of Amazon or B&N in the “reviews” portion between the back cover copy and the readers reviews. You can get to this section through Author Central (amazon), or in your book details on B&N, or by having your manager and/or agent take care of this for you. (I also use these little blips, blurbs and highlights in ads, tweets, gentle reminder posts, etc)

Then, I took those same juicy bits and put them on the individual book pages of my website, with links to the full review. And just like that, those pretty words they said are no longer lost to the ever scrolling feed demon. Now if that reader finds you because of a different book and goes looking through your catalog, they’ll be able to click and read those journal reviews. You’ve saved them. Shared them and kept them safe for future sharing.

And that’s it. Get the reviews. Share the reviews. Post them in a place they won’t disappear forever… and then get to writing the next thing. Because no matter how good this book is received or reviewed, the question on everyone’s tongue will be: What’s next?

 

20 Essential Crime and Horror Crossovers

 

According to Max Booth III, “Life is terrible but at least we still have books.” And in celebration of that, he has an article on CrimeReads, in which he guides you through 20 essential crime/horror crossovers. It’s a helluva list, and I’m honored to be part of it…

 

Kelli Owen’s FLOATERS

 

I’m a strong advocate that there are never enough lake monster stories in the horror genre. Have you ever stared at a lake in the middle of the night? Anything can be hiding inside. You don’t know. Kelli Owen takes this concept and runs with it in Floaters. Sometimes corpses wash up from Lake Superior, but also sometimes the terrifying creature responsible for the corpses washes up, too. A detective, medical examiner, and reporter team up to hunt down a beast that should not exist. I recommend this one for fans of lake monsters and small-town legends. It’s a fun ride.

Check out the entire article here, subscribe to the Crime Reads newsletter or stalk them on facebook, and of course, show Max Booth III some stalking love as well.

Buttercup Out | Buttercup of Doom 2.10



This week I go over every remaining idea, note, thought, rant bubble and peeve that I have jotted down over the years to become something it never will… an episode. Then we have some Q&A from the peanut gallery, the final gypsy wisdom, and the information for the last episode ever—to be taped live at Scares That Care weekend convention in August (3.15pm Sunday, 8/5, in the podcast room… prepare your final thoughts and meet me there!) I completely lose my mind a couple times and the swearing is enough that this should be on headphones or with that office door closed (NSFW).

Available FREE (until Sept 1 only!!) on: PEN Project Entertainment Network • iTunes • I♥Radio  •  StitcherAndroidTune-In • Google Play Music • Overcast

Sponsors: all of you wonderful people who listened, paid for advertising, or otherwise kept this going.

Merchandise (last chance! I imagine these will disappear when the episodes do!): pillowssockstees, tanks, hoodies, coffee mug or stickerbeach towelphone case

Suggestions/Requests: Several of you offered Q&A fodder. Thank you. Should something on this episode spark a thought or question, feel free to post it here, ask me on facebook or twitter, or just bring it with you to Scares That Care and ask during the final episode taping.

Mentions/Shoutouts and Linky-Links: aka, cool shit I told you I’d share with you… Scares That Care – the org, for donations (<- go there, donate $5. Please) and the convention website • the cool fairy tales link • that guy who doesn’t awesome monsters on subway riderstravel across the country for cheap!

And then there were a few personal things: the facebook group for Kelli Owen books — join, find secret stuff! • Chris Enterline (artist for the Atrocious Alphabet) • oh, and Neil Gaiman <3

Hashtag Hell: #stc #scaresthatcare #contracts #fairytales #neilgaiman #location #littlewhitelies #subwaymonsters #tinder #petpeeves #memes #crisisresponse #condom #rape #sexualassault #incel #emotionalsupportpets #hamsters #animals #dogs #smallpress #genre #vampires #teeth #coloringbook #metafiction #NSFW #facebook #twitter #instagram #PEN #projectentertainmentnetwork #buttercupofdoom #podcast #kelliowen

Coming up: The End. Taping live at Scares That Care: Sun 8/5, at 3.15 in the podcast room. Bring your drinks, bring your questions, brings your farewells!!

 

Cobwebs

Wow, it got dusty in here! Sorry about that. But I’m back… let’s clear the cobwebs.

With the shutting down of the Buttercup of Doom podcast, I shall return to more regular posts on the website. After all, a girl still needs a platform to lament, right?

In the meantime, how about a quick update? (Sure, Kelli!) Hmm, I fear I might have been hanging out with myself for too long, I’m now answering myself when I type. Oh, and then speaking about it in third person. Why does the voiceover sound like me though? I want a better voice actor!  Okay, so I may have gone a bit stir crazy in here by myself. We’ll work that kink out as well. Where were we? Oh yeah… updates:

 

  • There’s a new facebook group for fans, a better way to have open conversations than some of the other options.
  • I have a short in the upcoming anthology Welcome to the Show, edited by Matt Hayward — very exciting premise and TOC in that one, check it out.
  • yes, I’m writing a vampire novel.
  • yes, I will have something fun and weird for Scares That Care Weekend this year (as well as the vampire novel) and it involves an artist

 

I think that covers it. Life was a bit tactile for a couple years, and while it changed some things (buh bye Buttercup), others will be returning (like the blog!). I’m here. I’m still me. You can’t get rid of me that easy…

Now, where’s the duster? I’ll clean up a little around here and then I need to get back to those fangs…

Legalizing Pot | Buttercup of Doom 2.8



This week I talk about legalizing pot, car seats, cannibalism, the dark net—a potpourri of the illegal, the sketchy and the paranoia—and give you some holiday shopping zen with angry yoga for a smile!

Available FREE on: PEN Project Entertainment Network • iTunesI♥Radio  •  StitcherAndroidTune-In • Google Play Music • Overcast

Sponsors:  Subculture Corsets & Clothing (and twitter)

Merchandise: pillowssockstees, tanks, hoodies, coffee mug or stickerbeach towelphone case

Suggestions/Requests: n/a (to suggest/request use the form or post on FB)

Mentions/Shoutouts and Linky-Links: Angry YogaJoe RoganSteve Carell

Hashtag Hell: #paranoia #darknet #research #fbi #cia #bigbrother #blackfriday #cybermonday #angryyoga #pot #marijuana #illegal #seatbelts #hatecrimes #cannibalism #stevecarell #joerogan #subculturecorsets #facebook #twitter #instagram #PEN #projectentertainmentnetwork #buttercupofdoom #podcast #kelliowen

Coming up: location location location – rules – little white lies – and whatever you suggest I whine about. So suggest something, already!

 

SJW | Buttercup of Doom 2.7



This week I talk about SJWs, aka Social Justice… Witch hunts. Not Warriors. Witch hunts. Because definitions get fuzzy, fingers get all pointy, and evidence and procedure are tossed out the window in the name of social media hysteria. Welcome to the American Witch Hunts of 2017, where sexual harassment, racism and prejudicial behavior are all lit up like torches for the masses to carry with their pitchforks.

Available FREE on: PEN Project Entertainment Network • iTunesI♥Radio  •  StitcherAndroidTune-In • Google Play Music • Overcast

Sponsors:  Subculture Corsets & Clothing (and twitter) |  Origins (another PEN Podcast)

Merchandise: pillowssockstees, tanks, hoodies, coffee mug or stickerbeach towelphone case

Suggestions/Requests: n/a (to suggest/request use the form or post on FB)

Mentions/Shoutouts and Linky-Links: Humans are Adorable | Jonathan Janz

Hashtag Hell: #SJW #salem #witchhunts #racism #prejudice #sexualharassment #politics #ethics #antivaxxers #LasVegasShooting #virus #socialmedia #costumes #michellewolf #dailyshow #altright #nazi #whitesupremacist #kevinspacey #harveyweinstein #jannwenner #roymoore #jonjanz #origins #subculturecorsets #facebook #twitter #instagram #PEN #projectentertainmentnetwork #buttercupofdoom #podcast #kelliowen

Coming up: location location location – rules – legalizing pot – little white lies – and whatever you suggest I whine about. So suggest something, already!

 

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Travel Plans

—· Scares that Care ·—
August 2-4, 2019

—· Killer Con ·—
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—· Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival ·—
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