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review 2017-12-13 18:45
The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror by William Meikle
The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror - William Meikle

 

Picture the scene: Victorian London. A smoky club. A group of literary icons. The price to join this group? A story of the supernatural. The scene is now set.

 

Imagine the tales these writers of old would share. Stoker, Dickens, Wells, James, and Stevenson, among others. What price would you pay to sit at that table? Unfortunately, the opportunity to sit there in person is gone, but thanks to William Meikle, you CAN now be privy to these stories and anything else these authors have to say. The entrance fee for you? Quite reasonable!

 

The standout tales for me were:

 

WEE DAVIE MAKES A FRIEND (in the style of) Robert Louis Stevenson. This was the first story and my favorite of the collection. Young Davie is an unwell boy and is often bedridden. The gift of a new toy changes his life.

 

ONCE A JACKASS (in the style of) Mark Twain. A Mississippi steamship captain makes a terrible mistake and unfortunately, all of the passengers and crew pay the price.

 

THE SCRIMSHAW SET (in the style of Henry James) I adored this tale of a haunted (?) chess set. This was my second favorite tale in this collection and I've just read that the author is planning to write more about this set in the future. I can't wait!

 

TO THE MOON AND BEYOND (in the style of Jules Verne) A super cool story about a man, his rocket and a trip to the moon. What was found there and what did he bring back with him? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

BORN OF ETHER (in the style of Helena Blavatsky) A man embarks upon a supernatural journey to freedom.

 

I was not familiar with a few of the authors here, Helena Blavatsky included, but I think the author did a stellar job of emulating their writing styles. These tales were entertaining, well written and I loved the framework within which they were presented.

 

For these reasons, I highly recommend this gem of a collection!

 

You can get your copy here, (your price of admission, rather than a story):

The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror

 

*Thanks to Crystal Lake Publishing and the author for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*

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review 2017-12-11 01:00
good book and characters
The Winter Baby - Sheila Newberry,Bolind... The Winter Baby - Sheila Newberry,Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Wren returns to Crowley and  she goes to her sister’s Bennie’s record store and goes to her sister. Bennie was the bright spot in Wren’s life. Wren throws herself into Bennie’s wren throws herself into Bennie’s arms. Wren had been gone for three years when Bennie asks Wren how long she would be there she answered she didn’t know why she just felt she should be there. The only communication between Bennie and Wren had been random postcards from Wren and Bennie had no way to get a hold of Wren.It was so strange and familiar being back. Wren thought she would never step foot back in Crowley  again. Wren thought she could handle anything but all it took was one possessive abusive boyfriend- Dylan- to show her just how little she was. Bennie’s employee is Preston who is gorgeous in Wren’s opinion but he took over Wren’s job and apartment but he was odd. When emptying her bag her bag Wren finds a gps tracker. Wren tries to not think of Dylan knowing where she is or him coming there. Preston is such a mystery to Wren. Wren does get Preston to take her to  Franklin with him as she needed some essentials to add to her wardrobe. Wren thought she saw Dylan but when she looked again he wasn’t there. Preston needs order and control as he has a severe case of OCD and struggles with life everyday. Even though Wren is more of a tornado then the order and control Preston needs to get through the day yet somehow she brought some peace to Preston. But Preston did like Wren and did like being around her and slowly grew feelings for her. Wren was attracted to Preston yet she accepted the way he was and didn’t try to change him.

I enjoyed this book, At times it dragged some for me. It was definitely a different type of book. I did like the plot. I also thought this was well written. I really liked how the romance built slowly and built especially with Preston and wren being such opposites I also really liked how Wren grew as the book went on. I loved Preston's poems at the end of the chapters it gave us insight to what he was thinking and feeling. I also loved how Wren didn’t try to change Preston just accepted him. I love the characters and the ins and outs of this story and I recommend.

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review 2017-12-09 17:20
THE GHOST CLUB: NEWLY FOUND TALES OF VICTORIAN TERROR by William Meikle
The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror - William Meikle

The Ghost Club: an informal gathering of the literary icons of the Victorian Age. The price of admission...a dark tale told by each member.
William Meikle has not only offered up 14 lost tales by this illustrious group, he has done something that raises him to a "Victorian Voice" in his own right, and surely an honorary member welcome to his place with them. No author has the talent to give voice to the dearly departed quite like Mr.Meikle. The man has a full blown author seance in his head. He even gave me pause with authors I consider myself wholly familiar with.
THE GHOST CLUB more than earns it's place next to the classics on any horror purist's book shelf, William Meikle has earned a place with the authors of those classics.
A magnificent collection of dark delights.

Highest possible recommendation.

Many thanks to the fine folks at Crystal Lake Publishing for the chance to read and review the e-arc. You've all outdone yourselves.

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text 2017-12-09 07:20
Book launch case study results

 So what works when it comes to marketing your self-published book?

 

Nothing.

 

Well, maybe that's being overly cynical. You may find some things work infinitesimally, but let me assure you there is no book marketing "silver bullet". At least that's been my experience over the past seven years with my eight novels and two plays.

 

But, hey, I'm ever the optimistic (what's the alternative?) and so when I received a promotional email (no personalized salutation) from an indie author saying she noticed I’d reviewed a book similar to one she had just written and if she sent me a free e-pub edition would I be interested in reviewing hers, I was curious as to know how she culled my email address from the millions on Amazon.

 

So I agreed to review her book on the condition she tell me how she got my email address and any other tips she might have on marketing. She responded favourably and was very forthcoming.

 

This all transpired in early October 2017  and I wrote a blog (see my previous blog entitled Book Launch Case Study) about what she had undertaken to produce and market her novel on October 18th.

 

As promised I read and reviewed her novel and rated it two stars. It was classically amateur. As well as posting the review I sent her a long, constructive (at least I thought it was) email with suggestions on improving the book and her overall writing.

 

She sent a terse reply saying I clearly did not enjoy the genre and her book obviously was not for me.

 

Fair enough.

 

So I thought I would wait and see if the money she spent on marketing would increase the popularity of what I considered a bad book.

 

Her book was published Sept. 27, 2017 and here's what she'd done and spent up to the point of sending it to me:

- To produce her book she hired two beta readers at $50 each and got a book cover artist from her writers’ group to design her cover for $65. No editor was needed she said as she just happened to be one herself.

- She purchased a Book Review Targeter app for $200 (that's how she got my email address).

- She uploaded the culled emails into Group Mailer and had "about forty-five people agree to read and review a free version of the book and an additional twenty who declined the free copy and purchased the book to review it.”

That's 65 people who agreed to review her book. Keep that number in mind.

In addition, she said she had another three or four lists (from additional similar books) she had yet process.

- At the end of October she was running a 99¢ campaign for the e-book edition for two days on Amazon and one-day free book promotions on Pretty-Hot Books and Discountbookman, spending ten dollars for a featured promotion on bookreadermagazine and running a giveaway on Goodreads.

- Let's not forget her friends, colleagues and clients whom she apparently had no problem asking to buy and review her book. She also asked writers in her writers’ groups to share information about her book on their Facebook pages and had started looking for blogs to ask bloggers to mention it.

 

All this cost her $375, and, I might think a bit of personal integrity and perhaps even a friend or two. But who isn't prepared to sacrifice their integrity, friends and even money if it means hitting the Amazon Best Seller list?

 

In the 71 days since her book was released she's had 7 customer reviews on Amazon with an average 4 star rating. Her book is currently ranked 3,359,000 on Amazon.

 

So what's the take away from this book launch case study?

 

  1. - Promises are not reviews or sales (remember those 65 people who promised to review her book, buy her book, or both) they're just promises.
  2. - Offering your book free or for 99¢ does not generate reviews or sales.
  3. - Since her family, friends, professional colleagues and clients didn't step up and review her book maybe you shouldn't go there. Relationships are more important than a book review and you really never know how much harm you're doing. Think of the friend who got involved in that multi-level marketing scheme - do you really want to be like him?

 

Am I happy she fell flat on her face? No. Am I vindicated that her efforts fell miles short of what I imagine her expectations were? No (well, maybe a little).

 

Mostly I hope she's gained some knowledge, maybe a bit of humility and carries on, but with emphasis on improving her craft rather than her marketing schemes. Maybe even get that email I sent out of the deleted file and take a look at what I suggested.

 

And always remember what Nietzsche said, "Art is the proper task in life."

 

And that would be whether it sells or not.

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs

 

 

30

 

Author Amazon Page  https:www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

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review 2017-12-07 06:11
Book Construction Blueprint - an essential reference book for self-published authors

Whenever I search the internet trying to find some information to resolve a self-publishing issue invariably an article written by Joel Friedlander comes up.

 

I've read a number of them and found them professional, helpful and, most importantly, understandable.

 

When I was offered all this knowledge free in his book Book Construction Blueprint by Joel Friedlander - Expert Advice for Creating Industry-Standard Print Books it was a no-brainer.

 

Book Construction Blueprint is a comprehensive guide and includes preparing your manuscript, interior book design, cover design, printing and working with professionals.

 

A good deal of it wasn't relevant for my needs but some was invaluable including the section Cleaning Up Your Word Files. Pretty much all the problems you're confronted with when you upload your original manuscript to a self-publishing platform can be attributed to formatting glitches in your Word file. Friedlander has some nifty tips, accompanied by screen shots, that saved me countless hours of hair-pulling frustration. They're now incorporated into my pre-upload check-list.

 

Ever wonder about the order of your book's front matter? What goes on the Copyright Page and does the Dedication Page come before Acknowledgements? It's all spelled out in Friedlander's book.

 

He also has some great suggestions on what components make an eye-catching cover, designing running heads and font choices.

 

I try to review a lot of new indie authors and it's very distracting and unprofessional to read poorly or incorrectly formatted books. I know what a challenge it is and mine still aren't perfect, but they'll be a lot better now that I have Book Construction Blueprint by Joel Friedlander - Expert Advice for Creating Industry-Standard Print Books to refer to.

 

I downloaded this book free from the BookBaby Blog

https://www.bookbaby.com/free-publishing-guides?utm_campaign=BB1748&utm_source=BBeNews&utm_medium=Email&spMailingID=55458812&spUserID=MjIyOTk1NTA0MTUzS0&spJobID=1285048504&spReportId=MTI4NTA0ODUwNAS2

 

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