This week in the blogs – Changes to the Amazon review system

amazon-reviews

Amazon have recently put in place some changes to it’s review system on Amazon.com. A variety of blog posts discussing what the changes mean to both readers and authors have caught my eye. I thought I’d share them with you.

The Bowes Library Corner
Author K. T. Bowes says in her recent post “Well, poor Christoph Fischer can testify he still doesn’t know why his 1700 legitimate reviews of other people’s work were removed, or why he was banned from reviewing on Amazon again. The only thing it can be, is that he was deemed to ‘know’ all 1700 authors. He looks like a social, fun kinda guy but really? One of the reviews they removed was for my novel and much as I’d like to, I’ve never met him, had coffee with him or even private messaged with him. There’s a whole lot of ocean between him and me, which presumably Amazon don’t deem to be a significant obstacle.”
     Her post raises many important questions and highlights how authors are having reviews of their published works removed and being banned from leaving reviews because Amazon believe they know the other authors whose books they are reviewing. But what do they deem as ‘knowing’ someone? They don’t give any explanations. Continue reading

Interview with Psychological Suspense author Maggie James

 

 

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Today I’d like to welcome psychological suspense author Maggie James to the blog. Maggie is the author of four novels and is about to publish a book helping people to write their first novel. Write Your Novel! will be published on the 1st July.

 

 

 

What piece of advice do you wish you had been told before you began writing?
I wish I’d been aware that being a novelist involves much more than writing books. I hadn’t a clue about marketing, running promotions or maintaining a website and social media presence. Not that I don’t enjoy those things – I do, very much – but I overlooked how much time they take. If only someone had warned me, I’d have been better prepared. It’s easy to be wise after the event!

What was it that you wrote that made you think ‘I could be good at this’?
That thought cropped up after I published my first (and very short!) piece of fanfiction online. For decades I’d not allowed anyone to read anything I’d written, so I was nervous about uploading it. To my delight, by the next morning I’d received a few favourable reviews. The confidence boost they gave me was incredible. I wrote and posted longer fanfiction stories, which continued to attract good reviews. After a few months, I felt confident enough to tackle a novel. I’ll always be grateful to fanfiction for the boost it gave my writing career. Continue reading

Top 10 Google Plus Communities for Self-Publishing Authors

 

Google-Plus-Communities-for-Authors

Google Plus is a fantastic resource for self-publishing authors. It is well worth getting an account and having a good look around. You can search for people you may follow elsewhere or join the communities that have been established. The following 10 communities are the ones that I have found most useful:

1  Self Publishing 

This community is helpful for a wide variety of topics related to self-publishing. It is an engaging community with many members who re-share each others posts and help one another. It isn’t a community for self promotion, but for sharing information with other authors about writing tips, formatting, cover design and publishing. It doesn’t matter which publishing platform you use, this community caters for everyone. It is a moderated group which helps to prevent spamming.

2 Book Reviewers

This community is brilliant for those wanting to share book reviews or to find people to review their books. There are discussions about books and you can also announce upcoming events and giveaways. Feel free to link to Goodreads reviews that you’ve written or to your blog if you have a review page. Again, no self-promotion on here.

3 Writers, Authors, Bloggers

This is a large community of writers whose aim is to ensure that writers can grow their audience and readership. Members share information with each other as well as help with the promotion of author blogs/sites. You can add links to your blog and encourage comments and discussion. As it is so big, there are a number of categories to post in. You should ensure that any posts you make are in the correct category to make sure it’s seen by the right audience. Continue reading

The Top 10 Resources for Self-Publishing Authors

Self-publishing authors have a fair bit to do: Write, edit and format books, design covers, learn how to use Kindle Direct Publishing (and other publishing outlets) and explore how to best make use of social media to market their work. The following is a list of resources which I found to be the most helpful with the self-publishing process:

The Book Designer   1JoelF

The Book Designer is put together by Joel Friedlander, and it covers all aspects of self- publishing. The site is easy to navigate and has popular posts grouped together on the home page with articles put into categories. Personally, I’ve learned a lot from Joel’s site and from the authors who guest-write posts on his behalf. Take a look at the ‘Start Here’ section on the home page to introduce yourself to the scope of articles which are available.

2 Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound  1JStewart

You’ll find more than 2,000 blog posts and articles, hundreds of learning tools, and lots of free advice on how to tell your story to the world on Joan’s site. If you’re having trouble deciding how best to market and promote your book, then there are numerous articles here that will help. Joan is also great at blogging and shares tips to help you improve your author blog posts  Continue reading

Kindle Unlimited: A Blessing or a Curse?

 

Kindle Unlimited post image

As the publication of my first novel draws near, I thought I would have a  look at Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited. I’ve read a lot of news articles and blogs concerning the pros and cons of Kindle Unlimited, so I thought I would summarise my findings in order to help other new indie authors decide whether or not it’s in their best interests to use it. Is it a blessing, or is it simply something that’s a decent marketing tool for established authors? Continue reading