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Sunday, July 23, 2017

On-line trolls

cj Sez: A fellow writer was grieving and questioning what to do about a one-star review on Amazon that complained about something that wasn’t even in her novel. Obviously, the reviewer hadn’t read the book.

One- and two-star reviews can be devastating, both for future sales and on the author. Wherever there’s an opportunity to post a review, there will be trolls with low ratings—whether they’re warranted or not. I’ve seen reviews by people who purchased an item on Amazon then rated the product one star because they thought delivery took too long. Had nothing to do with the quality of the product.

So where am I going with all that? It’s to reinforce why comments and reviews need to be put in perspective. I go back to the bell curve example (the one I usually use for critiques). Don’t let the bottom naysayers persuade you that your work isn’t good. Hiding within the electronic wafers of the Internet are nameless, faceless, and wretched on-line trolls. (Whew! I feel better now.)

We can’t realistically expect all reviews to be five-stars (okay, we do, anyway). I admit to having desperate pangs when someone dings a story. Yes, it skews the “average,” but then I re-read the good reviews that I do have (some posted, some not) and calm down a bit. I remind myself that I cannot please every reader out there. Duh. That’s the reason there are a gazillion different stories in multiple genres for the gazillion different readers.

If you receive a poor review from an on-line troll, I suggest you consider the source, and please do not respond to the reviewer. That might dig a deeper, darker hole than you want to dive into. For a review like that mentioned in my first paragraph, perhaps a conversation with Amazon (if that’s where it is made) might get the unfair/unjustified review removed. Might. If you're like me, you'll tend to console yourself with a mood enlightening treat.
Banana cake ala mode (quasi healthy?)
Speaking of reviews . . . have you taken the time to give an on-line review for the latest book you read? You might be able to refute some troll.



I’m nearly finished reading my first YA “eco mystery” and have loved it. I sat in on the author’s workshop at the recent Alabama Writer’s Conclave and decided I wanted to see how Claire Datnow incorporated her research into a mystery that would appeal to kids. I don’t usually read YA, but I’ve found this one very well written. When I reach the end of “Operation Terrapin Rescue,” I’m going to find a place to review it.

Personal observation truism: People watching is next to Godliness and cleanliness for writers. It's the reason I can't go to a library or a park or a coffee shop to write. All I do is people watch.

That’s it for this post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj
NOW ON AMAZON:  A really amazing, super-duper deal for your summer romance reading.  A Crimson Romance bundle of 10 novels about athletes and the sports they love, Bodies in Motion, includes my novel, Choosing Carter.  10 wonderful reads for 99 cents on Amazon  Other ebook bundles still available on Amazon:  More Than Friends and California Kisses 

“Bad Day at Round Rock” short story in The Posse anthology @ http://amzn.to/2lQRvcD
newsletter sign-up at cjpetterson@gmail.com




Sunday, July 16, 2017

Introducing new novels . . .

cj Sez:  Carolyn Haines’s Familiar Legacy Mystery Series hosted a Facebook launch party July 14 (Flag Day and Bastille Day).

For the few who don’t know her, Carolyn Haines is the USA Today bestselling author of more than 70 books. She is a recipient of the Harper Lee Award for Distinguished Writing and the Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence, as well as the "Best Amateur Sleuth" award by Romantic Times. Haines writes in a number of genres, from cozy mystery to horror and short fiction. She got her start in publishing in romantic mysteries with one savvy black cat detective called Familiar. She's delighted to bring back the first Familiar stories—and to introduce Trouble, son of Familiar, in a delightful new Familiar Legacy series which will feature a number of talented authors (and cat lovers!).

Books in the Familiar Legacy Series are:

Bk 1 Familiar Trouble by Carolyn Haines launched July 10 and is available on Amazon.

Bk 2 Trouble in Dixie by author Rebecca Barrett has a launch date of August 14 and is available now for pre-order on Amazon 

Rebecca Barrett writes historical fiction, post-apocalyptic fiction (writing as Campbell O’Neal), children’s stories, and short stories of life in the South. An avid reader all her life and a product of “front porch” socializing, she became a story-teller at an early age. Trouble in Dixie features that handsome, sleek, black cat detective, Trouble.

Bk 3 Trouble in Tallahassee by Claire Matturro is scheduled to launch September 12

Bk 4 Trouble at Summer Ranch by Susan Tanner will launch in October.

More new titles in the series are scheduled to launch in 2018.

***
In other publishing news, the publisher for “Bad Day at Round Rock,” my historical fiction short story in The Posse anthology, has co-written another Western novel. California Bound, co-authored by John O’Melveny Woods and Frank Kelso, is being introduced in two steps. The cover reveal is scheduled for July 19, 8 to 9 p.m. CDT on Facebook . . . https://www.facebook.com/CABoundBook/

The novel is scheduled to launch on August 16 also at 8 p.m. CDT with an interactive Facebook party. The launch comes complete with prizes. Be sure to stop by and leave a comment for a chance to win. Here’s a trailer snippet for California Boundhttp://snip.ly/40nlr 

***
One of the blogs I follow is that of author/editor/blogger-supreme Hope Clark at   http://www.fundsforwriters.com  Her “Funds for Writers” blog has been on the Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Websites for Writers list every year since 2001. Anyway, to quote Hope:

“Writing well takes time. It isn't an instinct. You are not born with it. You do not accidentally write a stupendous tale. You develop this talent with hard work and a crazy number of hours invested in making your craft better.”

That means all writers, but especially aspiring writers, need to participate in workshops, critique groups, conferences, and read relentlessly in the genre they write. Before a writer can develop his/her own writing voice, s/he must read the good works of other published authors.

To inspire you to look at your own work-in-progress, I’ll leave you with one of Elmore (Dutch) Leonard’s famous first lines: 

“Chris Mankowski's last day on the job, two in the afternoon, two hours to go, he got a call to dispose of a bomb.”—Freaky Deaky (1988)

That’s all for today, folks. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj
PS: Click on the highlighted book titles for the buy link. 
A word from my sponsors:
NOW ON AMAZON:  A really amazing, super-duper deal for your summer romance reading.  A Crimson Romance bundle of 10 novels about athletes and the sports they love, Bodies in Motion, includes my novel, Choosing Carter.  10 wonderful reads for 99 cents on Amazon  Other ebook bundles still available on Amazon:  More Than Friends and California Kisses 
 “Bad Day at Round Rock” short story in The Posse anthology
newsletter sign-up at cjpetterson@gmail.com