Tag Archives: Amazon

Tips for Writing Amazon Reviews

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 This is books scramble. Many books to scatter under sky.wordsAmazon-Logo-300x109

What if a car manufacturer was to drop off a brand new car to a person’s home, completely at random, and explain they had 24 hours to drive the car? Afterward, they would take the car to another home at random and do the same thing, and repeat for three months. They only asked that the home owners/drivers would write a review of the automobile. What do you think would happen?

I suspect most of the drivers would do exactly what they should. They would write intelligent and informative reviews about how it handled, how it drove, gas mileage, the comfort, the power, the sound system, etc.

But there would be some drivers who would abuse this privilege. It’s human nature. Some wouldn’t even drive the car. Some would complain about everything from the visors to the texture of the floor mats. Some would complain about the color of the free car they were provided. Some would get drunk, drive 100 mph, wreck the car, and then write a bad review.

Power to the people is a wonderful concept, but total unadulterated power to the masses will always result in an unreliable representation of the truth. It’s as simple as pride or ego. It’s the same reason we have few real cable news anchors anymore, because the anchors consider themselves the star instead of the subjects of the stories they report.

And that sums up Amazon reader reviews. While most are very helpful, many are just people exercising their basic nature to be useless. So here are some tips.

TIP ONE
If you haven’t read the book, don’t leave a review. I actually read a one-star review recently that read, “I couldn’t get this stupid book to download.” That is a problem to be solved between you and tech support, not to use the review section to vent.

TIP TWO
Reviews should include something about the story. Fake example: “Set in the Civil War era with war looming, a young couple from the South tries to start a new life.” Too many reviews, however, are so generic they could apply to any book written. Actual example: “The plot was weak. The story dragged on.” When I read reviews like this one, I’m not sure the reviewer actually read the book and would direct them to TIP ONE.

TIP THREE
After you give potential readers a little insight into the plot, you can add your personal thoughts. Fake example: “I thought the premise was unique and the writing solid. I saw the ending coming a mile away though.” Personal thoughts should be about the story, not the reader. Actual example: “I hate dystopian novels.” Which begs the question: why are you reading and reviewing a dystopian novel?

TIP FOUR
A five-star review should be for a book that has everything: good writing, good editing, and a story that makes you want to read it again and tell your friends about. Some people are too generous, which is generally not a bad trait to have in life. But I’ve looked at all the reviews of some reviewers to find that they’ve given a five-star review to all 30 books they’ve read. And while it’s very polite, it doesn’t serve the purpose for potential new readers. Seriously, nobody could be that lucky.

TIP FIVE
If a book is well-written and well-edited, it should never get less than a three-star review. Just because you were not able to tell what the story was about from the book description, or if the story didn’t appeal to you as much as other books, is no reason to give a professional book a one or two-star review. That’s just petty. Stories are subjective, and just because it didn’t appeal to you doesn’t mean it won’t appeal to someone else. Explain in your review why you didn’t like the story. That’s what reviews are for.

TIP SIX
Although I find it extremely improbable, if a book has no redeeming qualities whatsoever and the writing is full of errors and typos, then and only then is a one-star review proper. But usually even badly written books have decent ideas. But this is a powerful tool — use it wisely, Grasshopper.

Thank goodness the majority of readers are very bright. Heck, that’s why they read, or vice versa. When they read one-star reviews that are poorly written, do not actually mention any details of the storyline, and just appear as immature rantings, they take them as such.

So let’s sum up. Reviews are about books and for readers; they’re not about you the reviewer for you the reviewer. If it’s in your character to need attention, don’t write useless reviews, start a blog. Or better yet, become a cable news anchor.

Cross Promotion

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Cross PromotionI have to start out telling you the inspiration behind this blog.  Yesterday I agreed to cross promote my book, “Dobyns Chronicles”, with a gentleman I’ve never met who has written a book called “Alter Ego”. I’ve never cross promoted before so I decided to do some research and make sure I was doing it right. Hence the blog.

The article below doesn’t pertain to book marketing so much but other areas, but it still may give you some ideas on cross promotion.

Here are the links to Tory Allyn’s Book, “Alter Ego.” Take a look at it. Who knows it may be the best gift for someone you know.  Have a blessed day, everyone.   Shirley

 
Amazon link to the print version:
Amazon link to the Kindle version:
Barnes & Noble link:

19 Ways to Attract More Customers Through Cross-Promotion

To stand out from their competition in a crowded advertising marketplace, all kinds and sizes of businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies are joining forces to reach their mutual market of “customers” more efficiently. Their cross-promotions include “bundled” offerings, cause marketing, co-branding, coop marketing, and shared space. Cross-promotion has the potential for a big marketing payoff because partners can successfully expand through one another’s customer base. They can gain an inexpensive and credible introduction to more of their kind of customer more effectively than with the traditional “solo” methods of networking, advertising, or PR.

Here are some low-risk and high-opportunity ways to jump-start your first cross-promotion.

1. Print joint promotional messages on your receipts.

2. Offer a reduced price, special service, or convenience if customers buy products from you and your partner.

3. Hang signs or posters promoting one another on your walls, windows, or products.

4. Mention one another’s benefits when you speak at local events or are interviewed by the media.

5. Drop one another’s flyers in shopping bags.

6. Pool mailing lists and send out a joint promotional postcard.

7. Promote your partner’s products during their slow times, and ask them to do the same for you.

8. Share inexpensive ads in local shopping papers or a nonprofit event program.

9. Give a joint interview to local media.

10. Put one another’s promotional messages on Lucite stands on counters or floor stands in waiting areas.

11. Encourage your staff to mention how your partner’s products can be used with yours.

12. Give your partner’s product to your customers when they buy a large quantity of your product, and ask your partner to do the same.

13. Use door hangers, posters, flyers, or postcards to promote special offers for one another’s products.

14. Co-produce an in-store or office event – a demonstration, celebrity appearance, free service, or lecture.

Some More Ways to Cross-Promote to Stand Far Out from the Competition

1. Co-produce special promotions you could not afford by yourself. Hire local community college broadcasting/cable TV students to produce a “how to use” video and/or audio tape that involves your and your partner’s products and services. Show the video on an eye-level TV monitor in your outlets where people have to wait or in the window for 24-hour viewing. Or play the audio-tape portion as background. ***Example: An enterprising advertising agency, local quick-copy printer, and video production house get priceless visibility for cross-promoting with others to co-produce an educational audio/video/book package that prominently displays their company names: “Thirty Ways Smart People Make Their Homes More Safe.” The package is widely displayed and distributed to their partners’ customers: a hardware store, home security company, police department, real estate firm, home contractor, electrician, and school district.

2. Display combined use of partners’ products in your outlet, and ask partners to do the same. ***Example: A “Valentine Love Food” display appeared in all partners’ outlets a month before Valentine’s Day. Partners — a cooking school, kitchenware shop, florist, card shop, restaurant, and supermarket — all displayed the makings for a romantic dinner menu to be served on Valentine’s Day at their partner’s restaurant.

Their displays were created by a local theatre set designer, who designed the current play, for which the customers of the partners’ outlets received a reduced price ticket when they bought the restaurant meal or certain products from the participating partners.

A local newlywed couple who won the partners’ “Valentine Love Food” drawing and the local couple who proved they’ve been married the longest joined the local newspaper’s food critic at the center table for the featured meal, free to them.

3. Have a contest, with the prizes contributed by your partners. For the next contest, roles change, and you contribute your product or service as a prize for a partner’s contest. ***Example: For two weeks, a dry cleaner places tags on all customers’ hangers, containing fashion tips. The tags are numbered tickets for a contest to win gifts from the partners’ clothing stores. When the dry cleaner’s customers make any purchase from the stores, they show their hanger card to see if it matches one of the “winning numbers” on a card of numbers created by all the partners at the beginning of the contest.

4. Give customers a free product or service from a participating partner when they buy something that month from all of the partners listed in an ad or on a promotional postcard. ***Example: Participating pediatrician practices, child care centers, children’s clothing shops, and toy stores all display a “Love Means Being Prepared” child-designed poster describing the recommended contents for a home medicine cabinet for families with young children.

5. Cross-promote by literally getting closer, sharing space. ***Examples: A store or franchise leases space within another establishment (or agrees on side-by-side sites, or actually sells both kinds of products on site) — Noah’s Bagels sells Starbucks Coffee. A restaurant or fast-food operation leases space within a hospital or motel — Pizza Hut in Days Inn. Kinko’s leases space within certain hotels. Popeye’s Chicken & Biscuits in a Kroger supermarket increases traffic for both guest and host companies. The post office locates a substation in a supermarket.

An accessories store leases space within or next to a clothing store and is joined by internal doors. A stadium leases space to a concession operator.

The less traditional cross-promotions are just starting. A campus leases space to a travel agency. Some franchises are co-branding with complementary services such as Copy, Pack & Ship.

<div style=”font-size: 8px;”>by Kare Anderson </div>

A Bad Book Review

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The only way to respond to a bad book review

We All Get There

We All Get There

As a writer when I have received my first bad review I have to admit made me doubt myself. In fact it made me almost quit writing. Then I decided they didn’t know what they were talking about and I didn’t care what was said because to me I do wonderful work 🙂  This article will tell you the right way to handle your bad reviews. Maybe you will be lucky and never receive any.  Enjoy

My first Amazon review included two stars and the words “very disappointing.” The reader had expected a different kind of book, so the review seemed unfair to me, as if the book wasn’t being judged on its own merit but on the reader’s desire for something else. One of my “favorite” GoodReads reviews of my book simply states, “Wasn’t great writing, but I really enjoyed the content.” And yet it was granted four stars.

No writer ever wants to read those kinds of words, and sites like Amazon and GoodReads don’t make it any easier for our egos since they allow authors to reply to their own reviews.

The one time I replied to a review — and a good review at that — was to correct a factual assumption I thought the reviewer had made. To me, the reviewer seemed to say that I had personally conducted interviews for the book. I simply responded that I’d only done research and quoted from already available interviews.

The next day, the reviewer had deleted their review! I learned a hard lesson that day, and I hadn’t even responded to a bad review. While those less-than-stellar reviews still haunt me on some days (I’m writing about them here, after all), I know now what every successful writer understands: you can’t please everybody.

As a writer, you can’t please everybody.

Plus, trying to change someone’s mind who’s already decided against your perspective on life, or who despises your writing style, or who just doesn’t like the fact that you’re a fan of the Oxford comma, is like George Bernard Shaw’s famous illustration: “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”

A majority of reviewers don’t understand the kind of inner devastation they cause an author when they quickly type and publish two lines of a poor review. What you’ve labored for months on, they’ve minimized in two minutes. From that perspective, it’s enough to make any author’s blood boil.

And an angry author set loose online can be a dangerous thing. This is exactly why an author has to prevent their inner vitriol from spilling over.

7 non-career-destroying ways to deal with bad book reviews

1. Don’t read your reviews

Yes, there are some authors who follow this rule, though I’d hazard a guess that it’s a hard one to stick to for first-time authors. Don’t worry, though — it’s only the first suggestion.

2. Print out your bad reviews, then burn them

It’s a symbolic gesture that releases your inner ire. Alternative disposal methods could include a paper shredder, compost for your garden or turning them into origami.

3. Respond to your bad reviews . . . in a document that’s never made public

You’re a writer, so you’re bound to write. Go ahead and give in to every last cutting remark you’d like to make, but ultimately keep those words to yourself.

4. Talk about it with other writers

Find a writer’s group, whether in real life or online. Every writer gets a bad review from time to time. When you share your bad reviews with other writers and hear their just-as-bad reviews, laughter inevitably erupts.

5. Re-read your good reviews

So long as you keep working at your craft, good reviews will come. Don’t allow one bad review to occupy your mind 90 percent of the time, while letting nine good reviews occupy the remaining 10 percent. (Also, don’t think about your reviews 100 percent of the time).

6. Realize that writing is a journey, not a destination

I know I just went cliché on you, but it’s true. Bad reviews bring growth to authors, and if you’re serious about a career in writing, you’ll work through and past any bad review. Don’t allow a bad review to stop you from taking another step.

7. Start writing your next book

The best way to get over a bad review is to start your next book. Sure, it may garner a bad review as well, but I’m willing to bet that it’ll be better than your last work. Plus, now you know how to better handle bad reviews.

By Blake Atwood

Meet Raani York, Talented Author of Dragonbride

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dragonbride pic

Dragonbride
(The Dragon Chronicles, Book #1)

Shalima, “Daughter of the Light”, was born under special circumstances. She was raised by her aunts instead of her mother because she needed to be prepared to fulfill the prophecies of the Old Scriptures, which told that she was the only Magician on Earth.

Her aunts carefully prepared her for her obligations and her sacred duty. She will have to get married to the Holy Golden Dragon, the King of the Dragons, a huge Earth Dragon with magical talents. She cannot believe that she is the “Chosen One”, who has to protect the Dragon Species, all of Nature and finally the Earth. But when she turned into a teenager it seemed that the Old Scriptures were right.

Buy the Book:

on Smashwords: https://smashwords.com/books/view/479647

As an Ebook for following formats: epub, mobi, pd,f rtf, lrf ,pdb, txt, html

The Paperback version on Amazon will be released very soon! More buyer’s links will be available within the next week.

Author Bio

Raani York Raani York has been a high volume writer for years. She has published articles, letters, short stories, poems, continuation stories and descriptions of all kind. She also writes novels, some of which can found on her website.

Raani has been educated in Switzerland and in the U.S. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. She also obtained diplomas in Graphic Design, Color Studies and won a prize as a Logo Designer. She speaks four languages and several dialects.

Raani York works and lives in Switzerland and the U.S. and travels often.

Next to her writing and her cats, Raani likes reading, blogging, Martial Arts, skiing, horseback riding, sky diving and enjoys playing the classical piano.

Contact:

Website: http://www.raaniyork.com
Blog: http://www.raaniyork.wordpress.com
Email: raaniyorkca@aol.com
Google: https://plus.google.com/115854197563561201228/posts
FB: https://www.facebook.com/raaniyork
FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/DragonScriptures
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RaaniYork
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/raani-york/5/922/b37
Myspace: https://myspace.com/raaniyork
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/12628426-raani-york
Microcerpt: http://microcerpt.com/raaniyork/
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/raaniyorkca/

Teaser:

The mountains possessed a dark but seductive beauty, and they lay in wait for the ones who came through the Fire Hell. The powdered white peaks of the sparkling black mountain-world watched for them with longing.

The Diamond Mountains gave the illusion of being much closer than they really were, and many a pilgrim had been lured to his death by the promise of riches hidden on their slopes. These mountains were so named because of the rough gems strewn about the black volcanic soil. When the sun shone overhead the gems made the mountains sparkle and shimmer brightly, and at night they made the moonlit mountains glow with a soft silver light.

People, blinded by both their greed and the tantalizing glittering of the sunlit earth, imagined that there was immeasurable wealth lying there on the ground, just waiting to be picked. However, the mountains never betrayed the secrets they held. None who had ever walked those slopes could find the diamonds hidden within the black soil, for the mountains protected themselves.

Although healthy forest still grew in the foothills, the undergrowth became sparser just a few hundred feet up, and then the treeline ended. Where stunted trees would normally grow the forest just stopped, as if some unseen hand had cut it short. All that remained were dangerously sharp, dry rocks. Just below the snowline, the rocks disappeared, and the glittering black soil took their place.

Moreover, at the summit it seemed as if the Creator of All Things had dusted the peaks of the fissured mountain range with powdered sugar, for they were covered with a deceptively soft-looking, yet extremely sharp-edged eternal snow.

The mountains never betrayed their secrets…
And if a wanderer were to climb those peaks, going up to the Fire Hell and searching to quench his thirst at a splashing mountain spring, he would find no cool, refreshing water. Instead, these living mountains would seek to frighten him by shrouding the ground with a mysterious fog that made it impossible to see where he was putting his feet. Pilgrims sometimes drowned in the sulfurous pools of water hidden within the hellish rocks when the fog appeared, and if they left the main trails, they would know true fear, for they would be led down treacherous sidepaths that seemed to take them somewhere, yet actually led them nowhere but to their doom.

The mountains never betrayed their secrets…
Though many thought they would find the cool relief of the shadows by early evening, the ascent would continue for another three torturous days. During those three days, their throats would scream for water, and their eyes would tear up in the swirling sand. Blown up by the hot desert winds, the sand burned as it fell upon a traveler’s face and skin. Eventually their limbs would become heavy, and they would barely be able to move; thus, the wanderers would be forced to crawl on, farther and farther, until sheer luck eventually brought them to civilization… to people.

In a canyon between two hills below the mountain range there was a village. It had no official name, but the people living there called it Alpcateçu, which meant Oasis of the Mountains. Anyone who wanted to climb the mountains had to pass through the village. A few taverns and inns surrounded the village fountain, where a market was sometimes held.
Some houses and huts had been built in the wide hills and even at the edge of the forest… and in one such place, hidden within the woods, almost four hundred feet past the deepest thicket and connected to the village only by a sidepath lay the place in which I had been born.

It’s Here

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dobyns cover Picture2I’m excited so I have to share it. My book, Dobyns Chroncles is now for sale on Amazon. Have you ever had something that nagged at you until it was finished? This book was that way for me. From the start it nagged and kept it up until I finished it.

This was a labor of love. It brought me much closer to my Great Grandfather, Charley Dobyns. This book is loosely based on his life. My mother told me stories over the years about her Grandfather. He was a man of pioneering stock. He was a horseman and enjoyed the country life.

I met him only once. I must have been about five years old. I can see him and my Great Grandmother telling us goodbye as we headed back to our home in California. It’s funny how one memory can result in a creation of a celebration of life.

I am giving away five Kindle ebooks today for the first five people who sends me their email address. Even if you don’t own a Kindle you may still read the book on line by downloading Amazon’s Kindle reader.

I now have a store at my site shirley-mclain.com that sells my books. I’m enjoying this process. Have a blessed day.

The Time is Here…..

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I’m so excited and can’t keep my old heart from jumping up and down. I finally have my book of short stories on Amazon. It’s called, “Shirley’s Shorts and Flashes”. You can read just about any genre you want with these stories. I started working on them a couple of years ago.

One thing I’m very pleased about is using Afaheem Solutions to do the drawings before every chapter. Those pictures set the story off and give you little hints what it’s about. It was fun to see what concepts he would come up with in a short period of time. If I wanted something changed he would do it immediately.

I think my favorite of the stories is Forever Love based on a true event from my life. If you like paranormal, love and tragedy all wrapped up in a neat package, you will like this story.

Take a look at it and let me know what you think about the book.  Blessings to all.        Shirley

Ways To Find Ideas for Your Blog

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This is actually a review of a great little book by Steven Aitchison called “100 Ways To Find Ideas For Your Blog Posts.”  In the introduction of the book Steven writes, “There are times when blogging can be tough and it feels like we have just run out of ideas for our blog posts or as a freelance we dometimes think there’s nothing else to write about.  Where does the muse go when we are feeling like this, and how can we get it back?

He goes into great detail of his 100 ways to find ideas.  It is interesting to read and the ideas are fantastic.  I found the book on Amazon and I am glad I did.  As a newbie to blogging, I am trying to learn all I can and this book was very helpful.  A few of the ways he has discussed within the book for blog ideas are:

1.Talk to children

2. Visit TED.com

3.  Do something you normally would not do.

4. Write a controversial post

5.  Open up your encyclopedia

I have found that his ideas make a lot of sense and are easy to do.  If you would like to know  more of his ideas just let me know and have a look at the book on Amazon.com  I happen to think this little book is great to have on hand as a resource guide.  That’s my two cents for the day.