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General > My Evil Plan Revealed-JOIN ME !!!!!!

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message 1: by Everly (last edited Feb 17, 2012 08:22PM) (new)

Everly Anders | 207 comments Mod
HERE IT IS: We all say we want to support our fellow self-published author, but we are so busy that it just seems to slip through the cracks. Well, I am here to mentally slap us across the face and say, "Hey, if we don't support each other, how can we expect others too?" I have to say, some of my biggest supporters are other authors who read my work and then recommended it to others.

MY PLEDGE: I pledge to buy, read and review one book buy a self-published author (from this group) each month. I hope that you follow me on this pledge. If you do, please select a book from the bookshelf, read it and then review it. Once you have bought the book, please leave a comment on this thread to let us know you join the pledge, but not until after you buy a book. I was going to say we should announce what book we buy, but I want us to give honest reviews so let's not talk about which book we bought.

A WORD ABOUT REVIEWS: Hold on while I get on my soap box.... I don't believe in trading reviews, or giving people positive reviews just because they are a fellow author. When people do that, they do the author and the potential readers a disservice. That is one of the thing people hate about self-published authors. Readers go to buy a book because it has twenty-four positive reviews, they spend their hard-earned money on it and it turns out to be crap. Do you think they will buy another self-published book? Neither do I. So lets be honest in our reviews. If it's great, shout it from the tree tops and tell all your friends, if it is not, then you need to say that too. You do the author no good by lying to them.

So please join me and then leave a comment to let me know your on board!


message 2: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 17, 2012 08:35PM) (new)

I'm joining in. I have brought two books to review this month.


message 3: by Robert (new)

Robert (robertdownsbooks) | 22 comments Count me in as well. I bought a book to review this month.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

All right. I'm in I just bought a book and will read and review this month.


message 5: by Tommie (new)

Tommie Lyn | 4 comments Great idea. I've been doing this for a while, but not on a scheduled basis.


message 6: by Paula (new)

Paula Millhouse (pmillhouse) | 133 comments OK, Elle - I'm all in.
I just bought my book (there's so many to choose from). I'll read it this month and post my review.
Thanks for this opportunity. I love this community.
What a great idea, folks.
Paula


message 7: by Julie (new)

Julie Reece Count me in! :) I just chose my book.


message 8: by Joana (new)

Joana (sweetmello7) | 15 comments I'm in...got my book!


message 9: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie (rosemariel) | 12 comments Elle wrote:
A WORD ABOUT REVIEWS: Hold on while I get on my soap box.... I don't believe in trading reviews, or giving people positive reviews just because they are a fellow author. When people do that, they do the author and the potential readers a disservice. That is one of the thing people hate about self-published authors. Readers go to buy a book because it has twenty-four positive reviews, they spend their hard-earned money on it and it turns out to be crap.

Avid reader and sometime reviewer and blogger here. Not and never a writer (not even a wannabe)- you people and your imaginations are amazing! But the review swapping on Amazon recently has lead me to some bad buys, which makes me more cautious. Please, writers, don't be one of those bad apples that spoils this often excellent harvest of work by new authors for readers and authors alike!

With that off my chest, I firmly commit to review at least one self-pubbed book by an author on the "Connecting Readers and Writers" threads a month. It's only fair. Good job setting it up, Elle!


message 10: by Julie (last edited Feb 18, 2012 08:41AM) (new)

Julie Reece Rosemarie wrote: "
Avid reader and sometime reviewer and blogger here. Not and never a writer (not even a wannabe)- you people and your imaginations are amazing! But the review swapping on Amazon recently has lead me to some bad buys, which makes me more cautious. Please, writers, don't be one of those bad apples that spoils this often excellent harvest of work by new authors for readers and authors alike!


Thanks for that comment, Rosemarie. I appreciate your advice and happen to agree. :)



message 11: by Everly (new)

Everly Anders | 207 comments Mod
Ginger wrote: "Just had a stroke....of GENIUS. We can create a new subcategory on the bookshelf titled EVIL PLAN, and when a person choses a book, all she has to do is click on EDIT and check the box. The author ..."

While I do like your idea of indicating a certain book, I also like the idea that people just picka book that looks good to them. If everyone picks the same book, I would be ok with that because that means that author did a great job of pulling people in. What does everyone else think?


message 12: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie (rosemariel) | 12 comments An 'Evil' bookshelf would certainly make it easier for readers. I don't really like the author knowing if a book is being read, or being limited by a book I might want to read being 'taken.'


message 13: by Ginger (new)

Ginger Myrick (gingermyrick) | 43 comments That's fine. Guess it wasn't a stroke after all (HA! HA!) I'm on board and already bought my book. I will go back and delete my suggestions so no one is confused by them.


message 14: by Patricia (new)

Patricia O'Sullivan | 57 comments Elle, wonderful idea. In fact, some of the best stories I've read in the last month have been self published including yours, G.S. Johnston's, and Ginger's. Mercury Falls, by Robert Kroese is also an excellent read. I've got another G.S. Johnston and two of Lisa Yarde's books in my Kindle queue.

As I wrote in my blog (http://legendofthedead.blogspot.com/) the other day in response to Ellen F. Brown's op ed in Bloomberg implying that all self-published books were garbage (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02...), it is a mistake to think that indie authors have not learned their lesson about not hiring editors and graphic designers. Our output is getting better and better while the output of the Big 6 turns increasingly to celebrity authors.


message 15: by Everly (new)

Everly Anders | 207 comments Mod
Ginger wrote: "That's fine. Guess it wasn't a stroke after all (HA! HA!) I'm on board and already bought my book. I will go back and delete my suggestions so no one is confused by them."

It was a great idea Ginger, so don't worry. i like people who think outside the box.


message 16: by Everly (new)

Everly Anders | 207 comments Mod
Patricia wrote: "Elle, wonderful idea. In fact, some of the best stories I've read in the last month have been self published including yours, G.S. Johnston's, and Ginger's. Mercury Falls, by Robert Kroese is also ..."

Thank you for the support Patricia, I am so glad you liked my book. I think you have done a great job with your blog. Very impressed.


message 17: by Diane (new)

Diane Castle (dianecastle) | 19 comments Okay! Bought mine! Stay tuned! Great idea!


message 18: by Paula (new)

Paula Millhouse (pmillhouse) | 133 comments Where should we post our reviews?
On amazon?
Here?
On the author's page?
What are the rules?

And what about my claim to the Turks and the Caicos?


message 19: by Everly (new)

Everly Anders | 207 comments Mod
Paula wrote: "Where should we post our reviews?
On amazon?
Here?
On the author's page?
What are the rules?

And what about my claim to the Turks and the Caicos?"


Feel free to review anywhere you want. I know as an author I think Amazon is the most important and then goodreads, or B&N if they have one and you are so inclined. it is really up to you, but I would say at least on Amazon.


message 20: by Mary (new)

Mary Findley | 110 comments This is such a great idea! I wish I hadn't just volunteered to read and review a bunch of books in another group. But I will be back! And I will review here too! Thank you, Elle. :-)


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

I bought one. Digging into the pages now.


message 22: by Gerald (new)

Gerald Griffin (authorgeraldggriffin) | 306 comments I heartily join in. Just bought my book! Review coming. Such an excellent idea!


message 23: by Patricia (new)

Patricia O'Sullivan | 57 comments Here's the thing: if you are self-published, bookstores won't support you unless you are a local who can draw a crowd at a book signing (never a requirement for trad published authors even if their signings only draw in 3 or 4 fans). Even then, the local bookstore might give you a spot in the back corner table labeled "Indie authors".

Most self-published authors rely on social media to advertise. So it makes sense for us to support each other with Goodreads, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. But, as we are often criticized for reciprocal reviews of undeserved 5 stars that mislead readers perhaps it is time to take a lesson from the big 6. Let's agree to some ground rules:

1) Thou shalt hire a professional editor to story edit thy novel
2) Thou shalt hire a professional editor to line edit thy novel
3) Thou shalt not listen only to relatives and friends who swear your novel is perfect without adhering to rules 1 and 2.
4) Thou shalt ask strangers to review thy novel.
5) Thou shalt not bear false witness against strangers who offer honest and constructive criticism of thy novel.
6) Thou shalt wait 6 months between finishing a novel and taking a second look at it for review.
7) Thou shalt read both inside and outside thy genre to hone the craft of writing.
8) Thou shalt create a web page, goodreads profile, and other social media to promote thy work.
9) Thou shalt frequently read and review the writing of thy fellow writers.
10) Thou shalt not rush to publish before the novel has been vetted by critics and unbiased reviewers.


message 24: by Gillian (new)

Gillian Andrews (httpwwwgoodreadscomandrews) | 15 comments OK, Have bought my book! One thing I don't quite understand - although there are over a hundred books on the bookshelf they don't show up in their special genres underneath. Is there any way (for next month, for example) to put each book in its relative category? I think this would make it easier to match readers to genres they feel comfortable in. I know I tried to put mine in Young Adult(there is a category) or Sci-Fi(there isn't), but they only show up on the main list. Just an idea - don't know what the rest of you think? Or is there a way I don't know about to get them to show up in a particular genre???
I think this is a great idea, and Elle is right ... we ought to support each other in our reading choices. But it IS hard to find time to read when you're writing, so one a month sounds about right. I'm IN!!!


message 25: by Steven (new)

Steven Stickler | 5 comments Ok, I'm in. That TBR list keeps getting longer.

Shooting for one a month on average, but there may be longer stretches between. I am only human, after all :-)


message 26: by Lee (new)

Lee Holz I'm in. I have bought, read and reviewed one of the Group's books so far. Two more are on my to buy list.


message 27: by Gerald (new)

Gerald Griffin (authorgeraldggriffin) | 306 comments Steven wrote: "Ok, I'm in. That TBR list keeps getting longer.

Shooting for one a month on average, but there may be longer stretches between. I am only human, after all :-)"


Steven, have a drnk and relax; then become superhuman!:)


message 28: by Julie (new)

Julie Reece We are only supposed to sign up to read the self pubbed books, right?


message 29: by Bryn (last edited Feb 19, 2012 01:58PM) (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) Susan *ARK* wrote: "I can't afford your rules! $150-$800 for editors is way way out of my pocket book's range!"

Rule 11: There are no rules.
I say, just be a writer with commitment and a conscience. It covers most things in here that need to be covered.
Susan, I did without an editor and believe an author can: if you go over your own stuff fifty times.


message 30: by Gerald (last edited Feb 19, 2012 02:10PM) (new)

Gerald Griffin (authorgeraldggriffin) | 306 comments Elle, though you have a tip of the hat from me for your ingenious "Evil Plan," it just struck me: with everyone not knowing who's selecting what book to read, how do we know who's being left out? I mean, under this plan, the book(s) of one, two, three or even more authors on the bookshelf may never be selected to be read by those participating, while these left out authors, in turn, are gladly selecting and reading the books of others on the bookshelf to help out and contribute to the cause.

It's like playing musical chairs, with some left out with no chair!

Or is that the built-in gamble, the reason this is fondly referred to as the "Evil Plan?"


message 31: by Paula (new)

Paula Millhouse (pmillhouse) | 133 comments I like Patricia's ideas with the ground rules. I think we can all aspire to them - we want to be professionals, after all, right?

But, the layout of money is certainly daunting.

I wish we had the collective resources to offer editing services for each other, particularly "LINE EDITS" for grammar and punctuation (nothing throws me out of a work faster than incorrect, and incomprehensible grammar and sentence structure).

Maybe that's what Elle has established here with this group - a safe place for Indie's to place their work for constructive criticism...

I also liked Gillian's idea of genre' classification. You may be the hottest horror writer out there, but I just can't take that type of story.

What do you think, Elle?

Paula


message 32: by Paula (new)

Paula Millhouse (pmillhouse) | 133 comments Gerald brings up a good point too.

If we all select the same book this month (now what are the odds of that), how would we spread ourselves around?

Could we designate categories - say 10 dedicated people sign up for the romance genre', 10 dedicated people sign up for the fantasy genre'...
Once a genre' is closed for the month, either you pick another genre', or sit out for the month?

Ideas? Anyone?

Paula


message 33: by Paula (new)

Paula Millhouse (pmillhouse) | 133 comments Elle wrote: "Paula wrote: "Where should we post our reviews?
On amazon?
Here?
On the author's page?
What are the rules?

And what about my claim to the Turks and the Caicos?"

I like the amazon review, Elle. Then, the Goodreads as well.
Feel free to review anywhere you w..."



message 34: by Julie (last edited Feb 19, 2012 02:55PM) (new)

Julie Reece Susan,

The following is just an opinion with some ideas meant to help. You can, of course, ignore me if you don't agree :)

If you can't afford a professional editor, join a writing site like Scribophile, Critique Circle, or Absolute Write etc... If we're going to publish, we need as many eyes and critquers as possible to help make our work better. It's almost impossible to catch all your own mistakes. Swaping critiques makes us better writers and improves our work, too. It's a win-win.

As far as number #8 goes, I hate to say it, but some social networking is the way the publishing world is nowadays. Now if you write for yourself, for fun, and for your friends and family to read and enjoy your work, there is no need for a website etc... If you want to reach hundreds of potential readers, the internet is a smart and useful tool. It takes some work, but you can practice and figure it out. :) It's okay to make mistakes. It's all learning.

You've worked hard to write a book, there's no reason to be shy about sharing that fact with others. It's only right to have a moment of pride. That's not the same as bragging, see what I mean?

Lastly, it's not so much about rules. As a reader, I want to read a book with a clear and understandable plot, free from typos and errors, so it's an enjoyable read. As I writer, I want to do my best to provide the same. To do that well, writers need the help of beta readers, critique partners, and some additional work once we finish writing our book. The end result is more professional, and hopefully, well worth it in the end. :)

I dunno, just some thoughts. :)


message 35: by Gerald (new)

Gerald Griffin (authorgeraldggriffin) | 306 comments Paula wrote: "Gerald brings up a good point too.

If we all select the same book this month (now what are the odds of that), how would we spread ourselves around?

Could we designate categories - say 10 dedicate..."


Paula wrote: "Gerald brings up a good point too.

Paula, you're certainly on the right track. My suggestion is that after awhile, those books on the bookshelf that haven't been selected should be listed and participants encouraged to select from those books. Spread this help all around!

If we all select the same book this month (now what are the odds of that), how would we spread ourselves around?

Could we designate categories - say 10 dedicate..."



message 36: by Gerald (new)

Gerald Griffin (authorgeraldggriffin) | 306 comments Julie wrote: "We are only supposed to sign up to read the self pubbed books, right?"

Julie, I thought we were all indie authors. I am.


message 37: by Julie (last edited Feb 19, 2012 03:33PM) (new)

Julie Reece Gerald wrote: "Julie wrote: "We are only supposed to sign up to read the self pubbed books, right?"

Julie, I thought we were all indie authors. I am."


You know what? I'm new to all this and most of the time (I'm sorry to admit) I bumble around in the dark. Can someone explain the difference between vanity, self, indie, boutique, small, and bix six publishing? Honestly, everyone says something different. I get so confused. :) Grateful for any enlightenment.


message 38: by Everly (last edited Feb 19, 2012 06:26PM) (new)

Everly Anders | 207 comments Mod
Hello everyone,
I must say how honored I am to have such wonderful people in this group. I appreciate how many of you are willing to spend your time and money on reading and reviewing others work. You all make me smile. Now, a few of you mentioned the issue of not everyone's work getting read. I love that everyone wants it to be fair, that being said, life is not fair. People need to read whatever strikes their fancy. If someone has a great book cover and an interesting book description, then they deserve to have as many people as possible read their book. I for one, have so much work to do that if I am going to take time to read (and I am a very slow reader) it needs to be my choosing and something I am interested in. I appreciate everyone wanting all the members to get a fair shot, but I think just having your book up for people to choose from is a fair shot.


message 39: by Susan (new)

Susan I publish thru SMASHWORDS also. It's becoming more and more popular.


message 40: by Ward (new)

Ward (kd_pl) OK, I am in. I just went through the list and marked some to-reads. I have a longish bus ride to work so this will give me something to focus on. I have even chosen some genres that I normally don't read. It should be fun.


message 41: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Elswick (wwwgoodreadscomrebeccaelswick) | 13 comments Patricia wrote: "Here's the thing: if you are self-published, bookstores won't support you unless you are a local who can draw a crowd at a book signing (never a requirement for trad published authors even if their..."

AMEN!


message 42: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Elswick (wwwgoodreadscomrebeccaelswick) | 13 comments I'm in! I want to review and I want my indie published book reviewed. This is my first publication and it's been the most amazing but most confusing and at times, tormenting experience of my life. My book won a contest sponsored by Writer's Digest and was published by their press, Abbott Press. I did go through the editing process and I recommend that every author do that!


message 43: by Patricia (new)

Patricia O'Sullivan | 57 comments OK, too many rules, too expensive. Excellent criticisms. However, because so many indie books are not properly edited, bookstores won't carry them, reviewers won't review them, and readers don't want to read them.

I guess what I'm getting at is that it takes a village to write a good book. Your eyes alone are not enough. Even if you read your own novel 50 times, you will still miss the plot holes and types 50 times.


message 44: by Bryn (last edited Feb 20, 2012 03:26PM) (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) I ought to shut up, as I just have different ideas, that aren't in the majority... but I sincerely believe you can find your own plot-holes, and other mistakes. It takes discipline and time. I almost swear it's possible, though, and say so in case there are others like me out there, very independent about their writing, who want to do their own corrections and analysis - and might be afraid of interference from the village.

Of course, agree about the under-ready state of a lot of indies: except I'd say, not enough time spent and discipline exerted.


message 45: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Otte (kristenotte) | 7 comments This is a great idea! I look forward to discovering new authors and for any reviews that may come out of this on my book. I will go take a look at the bookshelf now to pick my first book to read (after I finish the book I'm currently reading).


message 46: by Gerald (new)

Gerald Griffin (authorgeraldggriffin) | 306 comments Patricia wrote: "OK, too many rules, too expensive. Excellent criticisms. However, because so many indie books are not properly edited, bookstores won't carry them, reviewers won't review them, and readers don't wa..."

Patricia, what village do you have in mind? The last village I was in involved a shoot out between local hoods and the drug cartel and I got out of there fast; and I didn't ask them to help me write my book!


message 47: by Paula (new)

Paula Millhouse (pmillhouse) | 133 comments Patricia wrote: "OK, too many rules, too expensive. Excellent criticisms. However, because so many indie books are not properly edited, bookstores won't carry them, reviewers won't review them, and readers don't wa..."

I agree, Patricia. It takes a village.
Paula


message 48: by Patricia (new)

Patricia O'Sullivan | 57 comments Wow - bolded sentences, all caps, exclamation points, and shoot outs. I'm thinking we'll just have to agree to disagree about editing. I was not looking to start a fight on Elle's thread.

The great thing about self-publishing is that all of us have a chance to get our work out there - those that edit their own writing and those that hire editors. Ten years ago none of us would have been able to have our novels read by such a wide audience without being published traditionally.


message 49: by Everly (new)

Everly Anders | 207 comments Mod
I think I am with Patricia on this one. I think it takes a village to raise a novel. It's crazy to think that an author should write a book, edit it, do the cover art and publicize it all by themselves. No one asks a painter to paint a picture and make the frame and then work the front counter at the museum gift shop.
I have a few friends who don't let anyone see their work until it is out on Amazon. They feel like if anyone gives them advice or help, then it is no longer their work. That is just crazy, no CEO of a company does everything themselves. Every successful person has had people help them. That is why humans are pack animals. Bring on the pack!

Sorry am going to get down off my soap box, it is very high up here.


message 50: by Paula (new)

Paula Millhouse (pmillhouse) | 133 comments I agree Elle,
It's called collaboration.
We all have strengths to celebrate and help each other with.

And I agree with Patricia - it's a brand new world in publishing.

Paula


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