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text 2016-12-12 21:09
Henery Press Year End Sale - $5 Paperbacks
Board Stiff - Kendel Lynn
Swan Dive (An Elliott Lisbon Mystery) (Volume 3) - Kendel Lynn
The Semester of Our Discontent - Cynthia Kuhn
Finding Sky - Susan O'Brien
Writes of Passage - Margaret Maron,Laurie R. King,Hank Phillippi Ryan
Deadly Assets (An Allison Campbell Mystery Book 2) - Wendy Tyson
Dying Brand - Wendy Tyson
Guaranteed to Bleed - Julie Mulhern
From The Sideline (The Wake-Up Series) (Volume 2) - Amy Avanzino
Scheduled to Die (A Carter Mays Mystery #2) - Alan Cupp

This came through my email yesterday and I thought I'd pass it along to my USA friends who might be interested.  Henery Press produces some great cozy mysteries.  Of this batch I can recommend highly Board Stiff - Kendel LynnSwan Dive - Kendel Lynn    and The Semester of Our Discontent - Cynthia Kuhn.  


From the email:

Pick up these eleven titles in trade paperback for only $5 each on Club Hen House. Use promo code YEAR END from now until December 31. Hurry before time runs out! Click HERE to shop.
Hope your holidays are merry and bright!
(The 11th book is:) 
When Lies Crumble (A Carter Mays Mystery Book 1) - Alan Cupp 
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text 2016-04-11 09:54
Chasing the elusive book review

My first novel was published six years ago followed by five more with the most current one, Abandoned Dreams, released in March, 2016.


Over that period of time I've had a total of about thirty reviews - that's for all books combined, non-duplicated. They've appeared and can actually be read on:


Amazon   http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

Goodreads   https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4603345.Rod_Raglin

LibraryThing  https://www.librarything.com/search.php?search=rod+raglin


I've had a few other reviews on personal blogs, and there may even be more out there I'm not aware of.


I confess I actually paid for three, but never again. Despite the assurances from paid for review sites that the fee does not guarantee a positive review I can't reconcile this practice with my own conscience.


So how does an indie author get honest reviews since reviews apparently sell books?


I say apparently because I don't know otherwise. My experience has been a few reviews equal a few sales. Would a whole bunch of reviews translate into a whole bunch of sales? I can't say for sure because...well, you figure it out.


As a journalist I was trained to not to assume anything and take nothing for granted. I strongly urge other indie authors to do the same. As far as unsubstantiated and exaggerated claims the charlatans in the writing/publishing industry rank right up there with those affiliated with miracle cures and get rich internet scams.


But I digress. How does an indie author get honest reviews?


I've tried book giveways on sites like Booklikes http://booklikes.com/  LibraryThing, Goodreads and StoryCartel. I've sent hundreds of free e-books attached to personalized e-mails. I keep an up-to-date website, tweet everyday and even blog, as you are no doubt aware, though I have yet to establish any link between the last three "soft sells" and book sales, unless after reading this you decide to buy one of my books and post a review (let me know if you do).


Media reviews or other established review outlets like Publisher's Weekly and Library Journal seem reluctant to review your book unless it's successful (go figure) or at least traditionally published.


In desperation I checked out a site called The Indie View http://www.theindieview.com/indie-reviewers/


If you're inclined to read and subsequently write reviews of the work of independent authors you're invited to add your name to their list, which is quite substantial.


If you're an author and fishing for reviews the site provides your with the name of the reviewer, their website, their preferences, guidelines, where they post their reviews and the date this information was last refreshed.


Keeping all this in mind I sent about a dozen review requests with an e-book of Abandoned Dreams a little over two weeks ago. So far nothing.


However, here are some interesting things I discovered.


A least twenty-five percent of the reviewers listed are closed for reviews due to a backlog. I take that as not a good sign.


Quite a few reviewers state they will not post a review of a work they cannot rate as at least three stars. I imagine they do this out of consideration, however misguided, thinking a bad review can pull down an author's average rating.


Depending on why you write, you may be of the opinion, as I am, there is no such thing as a bad review. First and foremost I want to become a better writer - money and fame, well, I'll accept those too - if you insist. Critical reviews, especially those that are specific, point out where I've let the reader down and allow me to consider how to improve in those areas.


If you're in this game for ego, if you some how think you can fool all the readers all the time than I can understand that a bad review really sucks.


But not for me.


If someone hated my book, well, that's okay. I'm just glad they read it and took the time to review it.


Stay Calm, Be Brave, Watch for the Signs.





Book Giveaway Win a copy of


Enter at




Video book reviews of self-published authors now at

Not Your Family, Not Your Friend Video Book Reviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH45n8K4BVmT248LBTpfARQ


Cover Art of books by self-published authors at



My novels, FOREST – Love, Loss, Legend, The BIG PICTURE – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic and Abandoned Dreams are available on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU and as e-books at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/raglin


The ECO-WARRIORS series:

Book 1, Saving Spirit Bear – What Price Success?

Book 2, Loving the Terrorist - Beyond Eagleridge Bluffs

Book 3, Not Wonder More – Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients

are available as e-books an paperbacks at



More of my original photographs can be viewed, purchased, and shipped to you as GREETING CARDS; matted, laminated, mounted, framed, or canvas PRINTS; and POSTERS. Go to: http://www.redbubble.com/people/rodraglin


View my flickr photostream at https://www.flickr.com/photos/78791029@N04/


Or, My YouTube channel if you prefer photo videos accompanied by classical music






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text 2016-03-24 21:26
Because They Were on Sale (My Excuse, As Usual)
The Lancashire Witches: Histories and Stories - Robert Poole,Robert Poole
Triangle: The Fire That Changed America - David von Drehle
Passionate Minds: The Great Love Affair ... Passionate Minds: The Great Love Affair of the Enlightenment, Featuring the Scientist Emilie du Chatelet, the Poet Voltaire, Sword Fights, Book Burnings, Assorted Kings, Seditious Verse, and the Birth of the Modern World - David Bodanis
Devil at My Heels - Louis Zamperini,David Rensin
A People's History of Quebec - Jacques Lacoursiere,Robin Philpot
Neither here nor there: Travels in Europe - Bill Bryson
The Ghost Army of World War II: How One Top-Secret Unit Deceived the Enemy with Inflatable Tanks, Sound Effects, and Other Audacious Fakery - Rick Beyer,Elizabeth Sayles
Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary - Anita Anand
Death and the Maidens: Fanny Wollstonecraft and the Shelley circle - Janet Todd
Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation - Blake J. Harris

Sale on Amazon US of course - sorry anyone who doesn't get those prices due to border annoyances. And since these are from the past three weeks, some might no longer be on sale - the Lancashire Witches isn't, sorry, I would add that first!


Usually I'd copy/paste the names into the text area but I am feeling SO lazy (not to mention currently having little free time, sigh) that I'm just gonna whap them into the "add book" area.


Also I totally realize I was only recently grumbling about having to remove unread books to free up ereader space so yes, here we go, I again add to my problem. Heh, such fun that no one can actually see how many TBR are on my virtual shelf! Er, unless I share them in here of course.


Hmm, only just now realized that I bought two military themed books and military history usually isn't my thing. Both were recommended to me by others though, so there's that.

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text 2016-01-11 20:21
Book Sale!
Sins & Needles - Karina Halle
Shooting Scars - Karina Halle
Bold Tricks - Karina Halle

Karina Halle's The Artist Trilogy is currently on sale for $0.99 each.  That's a steal for these romantic suspense books! If you haven't been introduced to Javier (and Ellie & Camden), here is your chance. 



http://amzn.com/B00CWKL12M  ---- Sins and Needles

http://amzn.com/B00DG8ZY7W ----- Shooting Scars

http://amzn.com/B00DG8ZYA4 ----- Bold Tricks




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text 2015-10-09 21:07
Too anti-social for social media?

I recently wrote a blog entitled “The myth that social media sells books” (you can scroll down and read it here if you like). I summarized my experience of the previous month where a couple of sites re-posted my blog and others re-tweeted it, blah, blah, blah and so on.


The bottom line was despite exposure to about 20,000 new people who “follow” or “like” these sites on social media the result was zero book sales.


I know you’ve read this before and probably really wish I’d get over it and mostly I have, though occasionally I have a slip, like last month. But wait, this time someone actually responded to my rant and it wasn’t some generic “like”, the equivalent to
if you show me yours than I’ll show you mine.”




The comment was articulate and put forth a different point of view, even asked for my opinion.


I responded, others chimed in, and then the fun began.


I don’t want to prejudice any reader(s) so rather then give you my interpretation of this online conversation (that’s up next), I thought I’d post it in it’s entirety. If you’re an author there’s actually some ideas about book promotion you might find useful. If you’re not you might find it interesting how an innocuous online conversation can spiral out of control.


This may be commonplace for all I know, not being one to engage in online chats, but I found this exchange fascinating in an unproductive sort of way.


I’d be interested in hearing comments though it’s not likely I’ll respond, follow, friend or even like you.


So here begins the thread (or is it the stream) with the first comment about my blog:


Carpe Librum: On the other hand, you have to have a platform or nobody will know your books exist. I agree that we can't get too caught up in followers and likes, but I don't think my recent book release would have gone nearly so well if it were not for my presence on Goodreads and Twitter especially. My blogs on historical topics related to my book topic also tend to increase sales on the days that I promote them on Twitter. Where do you think book promotion is most effective?


Rod Raglin (that’s me): Thanks for reading my rant and your question.

Where do I think book promotion is most effective? I have no idea, though I’m glad you’ve had positive response using social media. It could very well be the problem isn’t social media, but my writing. The solution in that case is to try to write better books and believe me I’m trying.

(This is the end of the short answer. You might want to quit here.)

Among my artistic friends, most (all) more talented the me, when the topic of our moribund careers come up, and we really don’t obsess about it, well, maybe we do, the consensus now is you need to build a critical mass of followers. How to do that and keep your integrity intact seems to be a challenge.

Other suggestions are to have someone famous endorse your work, like a Kardashian?


Hmmm. Do those young ladies actually read? Does it matter?

When I get frustrated I go back and consider why I write:
- I love it. I mean, I actually can’t think of many things I’d rather do than sit in a room by myself and create a fantasy world. Really.
- I love the research. I always go where I’ve never been before. It might be the career of a character, it might by a plot line, it might be a setting, it might even be a new approach to writing.
- I enjoy the connection, like this with you, Carpe. The interaction and discourse with other writers and readers.

Success would be icing on the cake.

I’m open to suggestions, yours or anyone else out there. How do you promote your books? If you’re a reader, what attracts you to a new book?

I’m listening – and grateful.


Carpe Librum: I wasn't successful sales-wise until I published a book that appealed to the kind of readers that I am already connected with through Goodreads. Previously, I wrote two children's books that received positive reviews, but the word just never really got out about them. My adult historical fiction novel has been selling better than I would have hoped for, so I've looked at what I've done differently. Besides the audience that I already have a relationship with, I've joined a historical fiction Tweet group. We retweet each other on Twitter once each day, sharing each others posts with our own followers and greatly increasing the number of people that see each individual post. I have also done some guest blogging besides my own blog. I don't know exactly what the magic formula was, but I have sold more copies of this book on some single days than I have my first novel since it was released.


Rod Raglin: Some good ideas here, but I think you may have just written an excellent book. Still, I'm going to start looking for a Commercial/Literary/Eco-Fi/Contemporary Romance Tweet group so we can re-tweet each other’s tweet tweets ...or something like that.


Carpe Librum: Ha! You may need to create that group, though I think there's a ASMSG group that does general fiction. My problem with that is then you end up having to tweet a bunch of romance.


RedThaws Reads Randomly: Rod, just a suggestion, but Carpe Librum and several other authors on BookLikes follow at least some of their Followers, and interact with them. Not saying that that helps them, but my perception as a reader is that it does. Just saying.
I wish you luck. I've read your reviews with pleasure, not your books yet, but one of them is on my TBR. Based on what I've seen you write on here, I'm expecting it to be a pleasure to read.


Carpe Librum: I do try to interact here mostly as a reader. If I have ever annoyed anyone with too much talk about my books, they haven't made me aware of it.


RedThaws Reads Randomly: Carpe, if you stopped interacting here, you would be missed.


Troy’s Blog: Hi. I got redirected here by RedTHaws, thought I'd take a look. Hope my two cents are worth something. I don't use Facebook or Twitter, and I barely even look at Goodreads anymore. The reason I read Samantha's (Carpe Librum's) book is because it was in my wheelhouse. The reason I pre-ordered it and read it immediately is because we interacted about it and had a common interest. She's friendly and awesome, so that helps too. Turns out, it was worth the immediate shift in gears too. But what led to that? She made the choice to follow me, which led me to discover her through our interactions on blog posts we both write.

The point of what I'm trying to say is this. youI don't know what your schedule is like or how much you want to put into this, but sometimes the least likely can be the most effective. Odds are good Samantha would never have found me otherwise. Turns out, I've made a friend, and she got a loyal reader.


Carpe Librum: Thank you! That is very sweet of you to say.


Troy’s Blog: You earned it honestly.


Carpe Librum: *blushes* I hadn't even seen Troy's post yet! You guys are giving me an ego boost and warm fuzzies today!


Troy’s Blog: Behold, the power of reaching out and making friends. And I say that as a bona fide hermit.


Carpe Librum: Yes, it's a good thing we've all met online rather than in person or we would never speak to each other. Weird species, introverts.


Troy’s Blog: Weirdest of the weird, absolutely. lol


Rod Raglin: Sounds like we’ve got a budding online romance going here – blushing, honesty, warm fuzzies, sweet, reaching out. OMG! I’m happy for you both and to think it was initiated by something I wrote – actually something negative. As Troy says, that’s “weirdest of the weird”.

Let me inject a little bit of reality into this conversation, that would be my reality, not necessarily anyone else's.

I use to recruit friends, followers, tribe members, whatever. One day I was bragging to my wife about how virtually popular I was and she said, “Do you know any of these people?” No. “Do you read their Facebook posts or Tweets?” No, of course not. I mean, if I did there would be no time to do anything else – like write. “Then what makes you think they’re reading anything you post?”

Don’t you hate it when someone does that? Actually makes sense. Isn’t it always worse when it’s your partner?

So, here’s the question – is it fair to let people assume you’re interested in them, in what they’re doing, when really you’re only interested in promoting your own agenda?

Before you answer remember integrity is what you do when nobody’s watching.

This could all change if Red actually reads that book of mine on her TBR list and posts a review – well, maybe not, but I’d think about it.

I’m glad Samantha (may I call you that or is it still too early?) has found Troy, or is it the other way around. I’m really glad Troy bought her book, since that’s what it’s all about, or have I got that wrong.

Could I be like Carpe, friendly and awesome as Troy says? Could I seize the day or at least a follower as apparently she has?

Would it really make a difference – where it counts?


Troy’s Blog: Yeah, you got that wrong. I made friends with Samantha before I knew she was a writer (or what that little icon saying she was meant). And yes, it would make all the difference with the introverted. Most people who read are introverts. Most people who dedicate this much time and energy on a blogging site are introverts who need an outlet to talk and make friends and share ideas.

In the words of Princess Leia, "If money is all you love, then that is all you'll receive." Except you won't, because on a social media site, nobody will care if you don't. But your honesty is appreciated. Saves me time, effort, and, well, money. The old business adage... you lose customers one at a time, and negative word of mouth travels faster than the news.

As to integrity... nobody questions mine.

Good luck to you. You'll need it.


Troy’s Blog: Oh, did I mention? BL is a very tight-knit community. Word travels very fast here. Looks like that negative word of mouth is already traveling at warp speed, and I didn't even have to point it out. Congratulations on being clueless.


Rod Raglin: Sorry you took offense, Troy. I did say this is my reality and not necessarily anyone else's - obviously not yours.

I try not to be delusional and believe me it's a struggle. The only way I've found I can gauge my success as a writer is through sales. Please tell Princess Leia it's not about the money (what money?) it's about improving as a writer.

Most people who read are introverts? Interesting.

Please continue to spread the word that I'm a nasty piece of work. Being big on adages you probably know this one, "even bad publicity is better than no publicity."


Carpe Librum: I think that we were just disappointed that we had reached out to you, offered advice, and attempted to involve you in the Booklikes community, and it felt like we were, well, brushed off, to say the least.

I will say that if your attitude toward social media is that you have no intention of being social in terms of reading and commenting on other posts, then it is pretty much doomed to fail. My efforts in the social media department do take time, but it has been rewarding in more than sales. I do indeed have many online connections that I consider friends.


Troy’s Blog: Again you misunderstand. I have no reason to spread any word against you. You were offered a golden opportunity to make the most of the Booklikes community. You slapped down the offering hands. It's a shame, but... so be it. If you don't care, there's no reason any of us should either. It's like anything else. The opposite of caring about something isn't hatred. It's apathy. I merely state that the word is out, and I have done nothing to spread it. That's just the nature of the beast in a tight-knit community. The difference here is that this community will keep talking about the things that matter. You've had your 15 minutes of infamy. Nobody cares after that.

For someone who's stock in trade is words, you seem to have little grasp of deeper meaning.



 Whew! So there you have it.


You can visit Carpe Librum on BookLikes site at



or at her blog at



You can find RedThaws Reads Randomly at



Troy blogs on BookLikes  at




Stay calm, be brave, and watch for the signs








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