#CoverLove – In With the New – Or Maybe Not

#Cover Love – we do love our colorful, eye-catching book covers! It’s the first, all-important impression of any book. A yea or nay. Pick up and investigate further or lay down and look for something else. Unfortunately, we are a “judge the book by the cover” sort of people. As with any artistic endeavor–we know what we like or don’t like.

And if you’ve been reading and reviewing for any length of time, you’ve seen the evolution of covers as they have progressed, usually denoting a new edition of the book. What sparked the change in cover? Colors? Fonts? That sense of “branding?” Continue reading “#CoverLove – In With the New – Or Maybe Not”

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Are You a Kinetic or Digital-Driven Reader?

Is a generation growing up in a high-tech, electronic world, spelling the end of print books? Are we beating this horse long after it’s last breath? Maybe so, but we’ve tested this digital medium for years now, and print books are still the favorite and not likely to gallop into the sunset any time soon.

Ivana Kottasová of CNN Media revealed on April 27, 2017 that the Association of American Publishers reported a 20% drop in eBook sales whereas print books rose 7.5% during the first nine months of 2016. There are just some books that do not work as well digitally (and never will)–think the current fad of coloring books for adults. And print books have always been the go-to for children’s books.

Print books vs ebooks
Photo attribution from CNN Media article

Please participate in my Print or Digital Survey at the end of this post!

Continue reading “Are You a Kinetic or Digital-Driven Reader?”

Should the Tent Be Burning Like That? – a Book Review

Should the Tent Be Burning Like That? by Bill HeaveyTitle: Should the Tent Be Burning Like That? A Professional Amateur’s Guide to the Outdoors by Bill Heavey

Genre: Currently #171 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Books, Spots & Outdoors, Miscellaneous, Essays, and

#1136 in Books, Humor & Entertainment, Humor, Essays

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press

Publication Date: To be published December 5, 2017

Source: Atlantic Monthly Press and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Should the Tent Be Burning Like That? – VERY neat cover in keeping with his brand.

I am not a reader of Field and Stream magazine where this author has been a featured writer for more than 20 years. Should the Tent Be Burning Like That by Bill Heavey is a compilation of columns or articles he has written for various publications during the last several decades. The book explores more than an erudite knowledge of his subject.

The amazing thing here is the manner of speaking, the sense of humor, and the down-home self-deprecating, ah shucks pattern in which he delivers his collection of little stories.

Continue reading “Should the Tent Be Burning Like That? – a Book Review”

2016 Goodreads Choice Book Awards-Did You See the Book Trailers?

Book Trailers!

I’ve written about them before, including those trailers I published for my grandfather’s books, as well as one I created for Jean Grainger, an Irish author. Ms. Grainger published “So Much Owed – An Irish World War 2 Story” on December 1, 2013. I enjoyed the book so much that I felt compelled to create a short book trailer, which I uploaded to YouTube on March 6, 2017.

Given that I’m a member of the Book Trailer Group on Goodreads, I keep bumping up against book trailers; fascinated with most. Some amateur trailers are amazing good, some professionally produced piss-poor. But everyone sees a trailer, whether movie or book, in their own eyes. So I got to wondering about the 2016 Goodreads Choice Book Awards. How many winners had book trailers? Continue reading “2016 Goodreads Choice Book Awards-Did You See the Book Trailers?”

The True Nature of “I Can’t.”

I met Shanan Winters when I was a member of the Phoenix Publishing and Book Promotion Meetup in Phoenix, Arizona where she was working on her first novel. She recently published her book, “Rising,” part of the Adept Cycle series and changed direction in her professional life to freelancing and content writing. She writes a blog she calls “Interpreter of Inspiration.” This particular article caught my eye the afternoon following a spirited discussion in the morning with my hubby regarding the direction my own blog was going. If you are in the market for an editor or copywriter, check out her website @ http://shananwinters.wordpress.com

Shanan Winters

Mindfulness, Day… I lost count. That’s okay though.

A few days ago, I posted a video called “The Complaint Free World” featuring Will Bowen, and I encouraged everyone to watch it. I’m going to reiterate: please, watch it. I know it’s an hour and 25 minutes long. And I know you think you don’t have time, but trust me… you will want to make time for this.

In just a few days since I watched Bowen’s video, my perspective on life has shifted dramatically. Bowen’s program challenges everyone to become complaint-free.

Now, before you say, “Oh great, another one of those fluffy ‘think positive’ bullshit pieces,” I’ll go ahead and remind you that I approach that type of advice with heavy amounts of side-eye. The only reason I watched “The Complaint Free World” is because I’m mid-30-day work/life balance challenge, and watching this video was my assignment for…

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Feeling All Of It

I’ve followed Nancy Roman’s blog for some time, “notquiteold” and tho she is younger than I see she is struggling with much the same questions at this age. Every now and then she posts a column that particularly touches me. This one did–perhaps it will you also.

notquiteold

This week a friend posted the following quote on her Facebook page:

bestforme#1

And I thought –

Yeah!  That’s Me!  That’s Totally Me!

And I started to reflect on all those decisions I made that were difficult, but were best for me. Like dropping out of school years ago (I did go back later), changing jobs, and most recently, retiring.

And looking over those decisions, I see that I might have to change that little epigram a bit:

bestforme#2Yeah!  That’s Me!  That’s Totally Me!

The sentence didn’t quite work with “I never feel bad”.

I always feel bad” – well, that’s probably a little closer to the truth.

Difficult decisions are difficult BECAUSE you are not just choosing to go on to something wonderful. You are also leaving something behind. Changing jobs means leaving friends, and leaving behind the known for the unknown. As much as you think the…

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Tackle These Five Items of Maintenance to Clean Up Your WordPress Site

Yes, it’s summer, spring just flew by. Perhaps you’ve bumped up against your media allowance and need some room, or your archives run longer than Interstate 80 and is always under construction–somewhere. So isn’t it time to clean house?

A clean house is a sign of a broken computer!As I’ve mentioned before, I have the free version of WordPress (that’s a dot com, not dot org) and while it presents some limitations (for instance, most plug-ins), my free blog is still a whale of a program for the money. Don’t get me wrong: I’ve been having a lot of fun with it. I’m not terribly technical, but I keep reading advice posts that say it’s time to clean up the ole website. Is it? Is this something you’ve tackled lately?

Here are five easy site maintenance procedures you can do on your own–just a bit of clean up: Continue reading “Tackle These Five Items of Maintenance to Clean Up Your WordPress Site”

How to Increase Your Impact on Goodreads Using Their Free Features

GoodreadsYES! Another social network! It isn’t new, but maybe you just haven’t succumbed yet. Here are the reasons to use the free features on Goodreads to increase your author platform or book reviewer cred. Continue reading “How to Increase Your Impact on Goodreads Using Their Free Features”

How to Get on BookBub–and Why You Should

Bookbub ScrreenshotWhen you ran a Goodreads Giveaway, did it work the way you wanted? Lots of TBR’s and a few winners. Did you get good reviews from your winners? Any reviews? Residual sales? I like Goodreads. There are a number of reasons it’s an amazing place to open an account and promote a presence.

BookBub logoBut have you considered BookBub? What does it take to get a book listed on BookBub? It is probably the most expensive marketing site out there–but that may be because it’s worth it. It is the most successful book promotion site for authors (or publishers) in the world, and the 2,230th most visited website in the US alone. Continue reading “How to Get on BookBub–and Why You Should”

No, No, No, You Can’t Make a Columnar List of Book Reviews–What? But…

Book ReviewsIt should have been simple–believe me–I tried. But strangely, my simple WordPress freebie won’t accept a columnar list. I’ve been posting reviews on this blog from the time I opened it (well, almost). Let’s just say, there’s a lot of reviews out there. I wanted to list my book reviews with a link to the original review post. Was that so difficult? Apparently so because nothing I tried worked.

Frustrated woman at computerNot tables, not columns. Can’t do tabs. An excel file wouldn’t work. Nope. Nadda. Nyet. So I gave up and shot a note off to the “happiness engineers” at WordPress. Used to be I could catch them in a live chat. Not any more. Now it takes up to several days, depending on the day of the week and the question I guess.

The reply I got from Jerry was that it is possible, but not in the visual editor. I’d have to switch to the HTML view. However, he cautioned me, it might look okay on a desktop computer but wonky on a cell phone. Yeah, thinking I read where most posts are read on mobile devices, I elected to forget the columns.

Several more interchanges with Jerry the Happiness Engineer who still exhibited patience, but now has simplified his instructions for me. (Thank you, Jerry, I needed that.)

Next…

Getting bored with the same old theme I’ve now had several years. Changed to new theme, new look (did you notice?), same old problems.

Good ole Jerry suggested using “category,” which may be construed a page(?), and add it as a tab in my menu at the top right of my blog. hmmm….much easier to see.

Thinking I originally wanted to divide the reviews by years, and this is already May of 2017, It’s probably a little late for the old tab–but perhaps a new tab for “Reviews 2017” would work. While it is not a listing per se as it displays the complete review for each–at least they would be on a (albeit LONG) page. These are in last reviewed order; not alphabetical, as are categories. So, it took some doing for this old dog, but I think I have it displayed in my top, primary, menu and that all the links work. I’m sure you’ll tell me if they don’t!

Reviews 2017 are still listed in the categories, as well as the original Review category, but I’ve gone through them in a grand sweep and once again owe you a mia culpa as you’ve gotten some notifications that I changed a post–nope–just the category. Some changes triggered a notification and some didn’t, but unfortunately a half-dozen notifications went out and my profuse apologies for spamming you! (And obviously, I changed many more than that.)

WP Categories & TagsIn my free WordPress 2016 theme, I can have lots of categories (top-level or parent), as well as sub-categories (child). My categories are listed under “Ship’s Chart” keeping that whole sailing, boating feel. (Grandpa was a captain on a tall ship.) I don’t use that many categories and thinking there’s a few I could eliminate in a general WP blog clean-up. However, that is a subject for a whole nother blog post.

A category is assigned to default if I haven’t assigned one, but I see if I elect to do a reblog I’m not given the option as it immediately publishes in the “default” category–“Publisher’s Comments.” I’d prefer to be given the option to introduce and comment on the original blogger.

It’s Spring Cleaning time! Have you considered some general clean-up or struggled with some blog changes lately? I’d love to hear about those as well as a consensus of mobile devices. Do you read your blog posts on your device? ©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

The Chicago Manual of Style and Other Style Guides for Editors and Writers

Library BooksThe Chicago Manual of Style and Other Style Guides for Editors and Writers

I love my readers! And with few exceptions, the authors with whom I work, read, rate, and/or review. So it was, recently, that one of my authors loved his review and advised I should submit it to The Bloomsbury Review for possible publication in their magazine. He was very complimentary and assured me the review met their qualifications. That led to the review website and printout of their (four-page) submission guideline.  Part of the “Style” instructions includes reference to use of The Chicago Manual of Style. Continue reading “The Chicago Manual of Style and Other Style Guides for Editors and Writers”

There is a Difference Between 5 Stars on Amazon vs Goodreads

Goodreads vs Amazon StarsI don’t understand it. And, I don’t know if there is anything afoot to change it, but as I’m sure you’ve no doubt noticed if you’ve ever moused over the stars on Amazon and Goodreads–there is a difference in the star ratings between the two. Are you one who thinks the star rating is equivalent to personal perception? Or have you read and understood the star definitions of both? I’ve run up against this before, debating what to do; set my star ratings the same on both websites–or change to more closely indicate my objective opinion on each. Continue reading “There is a Difference Between 5 Stars on Amazon vs Goodreads”