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Search tags: how-long-should-you-book-be
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review 2017-09-05 12:37
It by Stephen King

I have no coherent thoughts after finishing this book, or if I do, they are all jumbled up in my head. I am going to have the biggest book hangover. That ending, though!

4 only because Stephen King does have this odd way of writing certain things, and there was one scene I wasn't personally comfortable with.

Overall, his writing style is enjoyable. The story was so much more than the miniseries, which I saw first.

 

 

Not relating to the book content at all, but I can't decide which cover I like the most!

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text 2017-07-09 10:13
Survey results on self-publishing self-evident, self-serving

I've just completed comparing the results of three survey's recently sent to me regarding self-publishing and self-published authors to see what the take away is (if there is any).

 

All three of these surveys were undertaken by companies that are, in the most part, dependent on authors like me who use their platform or services to self-publish their writing.

 

The survey sample is skewed since the respondents are, in some form or another, clients of these three enterprises. They either publish and distribute their e-books with Smashwords, advertise their e-books on one of WrittenWord Media's four sites, or possibly are doing all the above as well as contracting editorial, graphic design and marketing services from BookBaby.

 

The findings provided here are likely their optimistic interpretations.

 

Experience counts (maybe): Successful authors (in terms of book sales) have more writing experience. They spend more time writing and subsequently have more books available in their catalogue. They also contract more professional services, particularly editors and cover designers.

 

This, of course doesn't answer the question of how they became successful? Did they achieve success because of all these things (experience, time, hiring professionals), or once they achieved some success were the the able to spend the time, develop the catalogue and hire the professionals?

 

What to write. Fiction sells better than non-fiction and romance (especially contemporary, paranormal and erotica) sells far better than any other genre or literary writing. Under served markets include the romantic subgenres New Adult, Contemporary and YA.

 

How long should your book be? So much for all those pundits who claim novellas are all the rage because they can be read in one sitting or during a commute. Best sellers, again according to Smashwords, average ninety-two thousand words.

 

Book Marketing. Offering your e-book for free draws thirty-three times more then priced titles, but what's the upside to offering your books free?

 

Okay, so money doesn't matter to you, it's about making that reader connection, about putting forth your view of the world. Does offering your work at no charge achieve that? How many free books actually get read?

 

Not very many has been my experience both as a writer and a reader.

 

I've had hundreds of my books downloaded free and it's resulted in an insignificant number of reviews. On the other hand my ibook library is filled with books I've downloaded free and have yet to read.

 

See what I'm getting at. There's no downside to clicking and getting a book free.

 

This might explain why over sixty-one percent of published authors have asked friends or family members to review their books.

 

However, if you're writing a series, and series are more than likely going to generate best sellers, than offering the first book free is a good marketing ploy.

 

Speaking of FREE E-BOOKS. I'm participating in Smashwords Summer Sale and until July 31, 2017 my entire catalogue, eight novels and two plays are either FREE or 50% OFF. Go to https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/raglin

 

What's the right price for an e-book? So if you opt not to offer your books free how much should you charge? Interestingly, e-books priced at $3.99 and $4.99 did better than those priced less - or more, at least on Smashwords.

 

In the end it was a lot of reading for very little worthwhile information, most of which was self-evident if you really think about it.

 

Here's how the sage folks at WrittenWord Media summed up the findings from their survey.

 

Indie publishing is a viable path to success. Many indie authors signed traditional publishing deals on the strength of their self-published books and many traditionally published authors are becoming indie authors because of more control and higher royalties. Hybrid publishing gives you the benefit of both paths.

 

This rosy prediction in light of the fact that 727,125 ISBNs were assigned to self-published titles in 2015, representing 625,327 individual indie books*.

 

Well, really, what did you expect them to say?

 

These surveys would have been more credible if they'd had similar terms of reference. WrittenWord Media considers a "successful author" as someone who makes $100,000 or more in a single year from book sales. Book sales of $500 or less categorizes you as an "emerging author".

 

At BookBaby you're a successful author if you've earned $5,000 or more annually from book sales. Those who earned less than $100 were labeled "lower earning authors".

 

Huh?

 

We definitely aren't comparing apples to apples here. How can one company consider a successful indie author as earning $5000 a year while another has it pegged at $100,000?

 

But it gets even weirder. Of the forty-three hundred authors who completed the BookBaby survey a little less than five percent fell into the category of the "high achieving group" earning $5000 or more.

 

If only about two hundred BookBaby authors earn $5000 or more how many WrittenWord Media authors earn over a hundred grand?

 

Or put another way, how can twenty successful BookBaby authors only be equal to one WrittenWord Media successful author?

 

See what I mean? It's like they're comparing different species.

 

The take away? Only that I now know how to categorize myself. I'm a "lower earning emerging author".

 

And on that we all agree.

 

Stay calm. Be brave. Watch for the signs

 

*According to Bowker, the exclusive U.S. agent for issuing International Standard Book Numbers.

 

Smashwords   http://smashwords.com

BookBaby   https://www.bookbaby.com

WrittenWord Media   https://www.writtenwordmedia.com

 

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

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-02-21 04:23
good at least for now
Long Shadows (Common Law Book 1) - Kate Sherwood

I really enjoyed this story while I was reading it. This is a beginning of the series and apparently according to Riptide publishing website it is a four part series, so to get the whole story you would have to pay twelve dollars at least (since I am not sure if the next books will be priced same as this one or not).
Jericho Crewe, now LAPD detective comes back to the small town of Mosely, Montana, where he was born and lived till he was seventeen. Jericho left at seventeen and mostly did not look back since his dear old dad was abusive to him, although he also left his first love when he left - Wade with whom they got into mischief and even in some trouble with the law together when they were teens. Jericho's exemplary military service, deployment record went a long way towards LAPD hiring him despite him being arrested as a teenager. I liked that the author addressed that moment.
Jericho is back because he got a strange phone call from the woman telling him his father is hurt and to hurry back. When Jericho comes back he learns that his father is dead. He is not too upset, but his father was still his father and he decides to figure out what is going on and since there are signs that his father was probably murdered, maybe find out who killed him.

Oh and sheriff in town is his other childhood friend, Kayla, a daughter of the former sheriff, however federal agents are also here looking into investigation, since Jericho's father dabbled in some illegal activities like smuggling so maybe his business associates killed him. And surprises just keep coming because Jericho learned that his daddy remarried and he now has young half siblings and step mother Nikki who called him.

And Wade is still in town and would love to get a hold on Jericho's father business contacts. Lots of stuff had the potential to happen and it kept happening. I described the set up of the story which we learn very early, believe me I did not describe any real spoilers.

I really liked Jerricho, I liked his sarcastic voice, I liked him for being truly honorable guy who decided to stick around and help. I have to say though - while to a degree I understand his newly found step mother's behavior (no, she did not kill anybody - although maybe I should not be so fast, maybe we will learn that she did kill somebody in the next books although I doubt it) boy the woman was an ungrateful shrew I thought.

No thank you to Jerricho? Not even a thank you? He never knew you existed and after everything he did, not even a thank you. I know I would have left and not turned back. Wow.

This was a true romantic suspense IMO, because suspense storyline drove the plot, and of course there was a tension between Jerricho and Wade, but nothing happened. I wonder for how long Jerricho's resolve that he is supposed to uphold the law and Wade is on the other side of the law would last. I am certainly giving the next book a chance, but I recognize that it has the potential to be thrown against the wall for me as well.

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review 2017-02-20 23:56
Long Shadows (Common Law #1)
Long Shadows (Common Law Book 1) - Kate Sherwood

After finishing this book this morning and thinking it over for most of the day, I'm going to give this 3 "I liked it but..." stars. I think my opinion of this book is going to depend on where exactly Ms. Sherwood takes this series and these characters from here, as there is a lot left unresolved, so it's difficult to judge it on its own merits.

 

The "mystery," such as it was, was written pretty decently and was wrapped up in this book, so unlike my original impression of this so-called serial (these books are really too  long to call this a serial) where I assumed it was going to be one mystery extended over all four books, but it's actually a different case in each book. Ok, I guess Eli's murder might be the over-arching mystery, but again, I'll have to see how the rest of this series unfolds. Considering how little Jericho seemed to care about that, I can't see it carrying the weight of a four-book series. 

 

This book is fast-paced and the action is pretty well-written, and it doesn't keep you waiting to find out who is behind everything. Or rather, it doesn't keep the characters waiting the entire book to figure it what you figured out in the second chapter.

 

The writing in the establishing chapters that set up the premise and gives you most of the background on Jericho and the town is a bit clunky and info-dump-y. There's this bizarre scene where he's pulled into an interrogation room for absolutely no plausible reason right after he gets into town. It was head-scratch inducing, and the DEA agents are unreasonably hostile. There's some good humor here though, since Jericho is something of a wiseass. 

 

I liked Jericho well enough despite his at-times confusing motives, and so far he hasn't crossed into unprofessional-professional territory with Wade, who was Jericho's teen love and now the town's main crook. Kayla seems nice and everything but we don't really get to see much of her. She's a tough sheriff but doesn't mind bending a few "minor" laws here and there. Wade is... well... a crook and it's questionable at this point just how cold-hearted or ruthless he is or isn't, though his criminal activity doesn't leave much wiggle room for me to form a good opinion of him. Nikki is a complicated character and I'm not sure what to make of her or her kids at this point either. 

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review 2017-01-04 23:01
I'm holding back that one star for just the right moment...
Long Shadows (Common Law Book 1) - Kate Sherwood

It's been a while since I read anything by Kate Sherwood but when I saw this one and then read the blurb I knew my Kate Sherwood dry spell had ended. 

 

'Long Shadows' is book one in a new series entitled 'Common Law' and Holy Hell!!! has this one gotten off to a good start. There's action, intrigue, mystery, suspense, hot men with sexual tension so thick you can cut it with a buzz saw and it's just going to keep getting thicker because seriously guys nothing happens...I mean zip, zilch, zero, nadda, nothing. Not even a little peck on the cheek. These guys are killing me here, but damned if I don't mind because some things are just worth the wait. 

 

It's been 15 years since Jericho Crewe last saw Wade Granger and neither man has really gotten over the other but it wasn't Wade that brought Jericho back to town. It was a phone call from an unknown person telling him his father had been badly hurt and that's just the beginning of the nightmare that becomes Jericho's life as he returns to Mosley the last place on earth that he really wants to be.

 

And this is why I'm good with the fact that nothing has happened between these two men. They've been apart for 15 years and there's been no communication. Not to mention that when Jericho left it created a rift between them that's going to take a while to fix if it ever happens at all. A lot's changed in 15 years. Jericho now wears a badge and Wade seems to have drifted further and further away from what's legal. Chances are if something illegal is happening in Mosley...Wade Granger's got a hand in it. In  spite of this the attraction between Wade and Jericho is as strong as ever.

 

The problem is Jericho's very determination to deny his attraction to Wade still exist and while Wade is just as drawn to Jericho, he seems equally determined to hang on to his anger at being left behind. Not to mention that on top of all this Jericho discovers that his 'badly injured' father is 'dead' and has left a wife and 2 children behind...that's right Jericho has a set of half siblings that have suddenly gone missing...and things just keep getting more and more complicated, so really...steamy sex? Who has the time to even think about it much less do anything. Certainly not Jericho or Wade. Both of whom seem to be firmly planted in the middle of things...and neither of which are having an inappropriate thoughts about the other...nope, nope, nope...not happening...sure it's not.

 

I won't say that this story ends on a cliff hanger exactly it's more of a 'more to come' ledge. I'd love for these two to get together but I'm honestly willing to wait because when it happens I'm pretty sure it's going to be a barn burner and my e-reader's going to go up in flames.

 

So if you need your smexy times from the word go...maybe not the series for you or wait until all 4 books have been released, which isn't that far off since the last one is scheduled for release at the beginning of April and you can power through them, but if you like a story with strong plot development and a couple of vary, vary sexy MCs and some intriguing secondary characters and goings on...I think you've come to the right place....Oh yeah, book 2 starts off every bit as good as this one did...I'll let you know how it ends...soon...probably tomorrow. Happy reading.

 

******************** 

An ARC of 'Long Shadows' was graciously provided by the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

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