Derek Murphy | Why Amazon is deleting book reviews: understanding Amazon’s new review policy and how to get back deleted reviews

Very good breakdown from Derek on understanding why Amazon is deleting reviews. Nobody took me (and others) seriously when we said it was not wise to include the words, “I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.” Maybe you’ll listen to Derek:

“So it’s fine to give copies of books or ARCs away as long as you don’t require a review in exchange. Jennetta Penner recommends language like “I received an ARC at no cost from the author” – so you might want to ask your readers to stop using the word “exchange” in book reviews.”

CLICK HERE TO READ THROUGH TO THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE.


As a reminder, Renaissance is 99cents on Amazon. I’ve never received 20+ reviews but I am almost there! I need just one more review to reach this mini milestone. To purchase this book at just 99cents. CLICK HERE and, if you would like, I’d be honored if you could leave an honest review. 

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Getting the Most Out of Guest Blog Post – by Yecheilyah Ysrayl…

It’s me again, EC. I’m back on The Story Reading Ape’s Blog and today we’re talking getting the most of your guest blog posts. Come on over, let’s chat. What are ways you get the most of your post? Let us know!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Peace and welcome,

Today, I’d like to talk about guest blogging. After all, that is what I am here for. So, let’s chat.

Why is it worth it to Guest Post? Why is it beneficial to write articles on someone else’s blog? Can’t you just write it on your own blog? Surely, the people will flock to you, right?

Your blog home is equivalent to your real home. It is your house, your rules and you can pretty much do what you want. Well, I hope you aren’t getting crazy (we’re still on the World Wide Web) but it is your domain. Naturally, you are going to behave differently on your own blog.

On the other hand, writing articles on other blogs, preferably ones more established than yours, gives you the chance to showcase your work on a larger scale. Whether you are writing an article, an inspiring post, or…

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This week in Indie Publishing

This week in Indie Publishing…

Author Don Massenzio

art1Literary Agent Breaks Down How to Win in Self-Publishing

The facts don’t lie. Everyone who publishes a successful book doesn’t have a deal with a major publisher.  Over the last two decades self-publishing has flourished and the books sold by independent authors have done amazing things in the industry, including winning awards, becoming national bestsellers and even landing television or movie option deals.  Whether you are working on a children’s picture book, a romance novel, a photography or business book, or writing your memoir, if you are choosing to self-publish the following tips will help guide your endeavors.

Read the rest of this story HERE.

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4 Steps to Create a Blog or Podcast That You and Your Readers Will Love

If you’re a self-published author, in addition to writing and producing your books, you must take on the responsibility of marketing them. The most successful author-marketers foster strong relationships…

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Friday Roundup – 13 January

Stevie’s weekly roundups are great. Be sure to check in each week and see what goodies are there ☺.

Stevie Turner

1. Chuck Sambuchino gives 38 query letter tips:

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/pubtips-query

2.  Writer’s Digest tells us of 2 literary agents seeking submissions:

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/new-literary-agent-alert-rock-pascocello-glass-literary?utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=wds-csa-nl-161228&utm_content=908716_GLA161228&utm_medium=email

3.  Are you writing a thriller?  Publisher Bloodhound Books are looking for submissions:

Bloodhound Books open for submissions!

4.  Colin Dunbar asks ‘Is it possible to publish a book for free?’

https://thecompleteselfpublisher.com/publish-book-for-free/

5. Gordon Long at Indies Unlimited says ‘Design your book to sell’:

http://www.indiesunlimited.com/2017/01/09/design-your-book-to-sell/#more-70153

6. Written Word Media gives us the top 10 trends in publishing that every author needs to know:

https://www.writtenwordmedia.com/2017/01/04/top-ten-trends-in-publishing-every-author-needs-to-know-in-2017/

7.  Blonde Write More gives us 10 things her creative friends have taught her about blogging (I especially like the one that begins ‘If you aren’t in the arena…’):

10 Things My Creative Friends Have Taught Me #Monday Blogs #BloggingGals #AmWriting

8.  Andrew Joyce introduces Sunrise Editing Services via Chris, the Story Reading Ape’s blog:

Introducing: Sunrise Editing Services…

9.  Thanks to Rachel Poli for these Jan/Feb writing…

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Why Black Girls Need Diverse Books

afamreading

“Storylines with Black female main characters’ supplement in-school experiences where the stories of Black people are often misrepresented or excluded from the classroom curriculum. Stories with Black main characters fill in where classroom curricula leave gaps. In addition, narratives with people of color at the forefront introduce readers to new vocabulary words, customs, people, and places that they otherwise might not have learned about.”

http://educationpost.org/why-black-girls-need-diverse-books/

‘Queen Sugar’ Author Wants More Diverse Stories About Black People

“As I started to write Queen Sugar, especially in the late ‘90s … all of these great diverse stories that I had grown up on and was inspired by, started to disappear. All of a sudden you saw a very, very narrow portrayal of the African-American experience on the bookshelf. All of a sudden the only thing you saw were titles like The Bitch Is Back or Stackin’ Paper, and there’d be a picture of a woman, scantily clad, on the hood of a car.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/queen-sugar-natalie-baszile-interview_us_57d337dfe4b06a74c9f4e712

Popular Indie Book Publisher Launches Campaign to Prove That Diversity in Publishing Matters

Rosarium Publishing was founded in 2013 by scifi/fiction writer Bill Campbell with one goal: to bring true diversity to publishing so that the high-quality books and comics the company produces actually reflect the fascinating, multicultural world we truly live in today.

https://www.newswire.com/news/popular-indie-book-publisher-launches-campaign-to-prove-that-diversity-9870669

50 Books That Every African American Should Read

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/03/50-books-that-every-african-american-should-read_n_1647614.html

“Huffington Post BlackVoices has compiled an extensive book list, featuring a range of genres including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, science-fiction and the autobiography.

From Ralph Ellison to Jesmyn Ward, many of the authors have been heralded with national awards in the United States. Others, such as Zadie Smith and Tsitsi Dangarembga, have broken literary ground abroad in countries such as Zimbabwe, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Uganda. Stemming back to 1789 with Olaudah Equiano’s “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano,” these 50 titles have heavily contributed to contemporary narratives about the black experience across the globe.”

13 Books That Every African-American Should Have in His/Her Home

“Oftentimes, rich literary treasures are not associated with writers of African descent, but objective evidence has shown and continues to denote that some of the world’s finest books have evolved from the minds of black authors. Whether fiction or non-fiction, these writings have been important not only as poignant reflections of reality, but also as interesting opportunities for cross-cultural understanding.”

http://madamenoire.com/108532/13-important-african-american-books-that-you-should-have-in-your-home/

Re-Spinning Posts: How You Can Self-Evaluate Your Blog

OK so you know that post you wrote last year that only got 3 likes and 2 views? Come on, we’ve ALL been there.

If you are new to this blog (Welcome! Waves) you may notice that I re-spin a lot of my posts. I expect anywhere from 50-100 new followers each month, which means a lot of new faces have not seen older posts, especially those that have really proven to be valuable. I try to re-spin my poetry at least once every year for this reason. I also re-spin posts I’d like to get more exposure. New faces also mean new perspectives.

Re-spinning posts is basically when you re-post a previously posted post (feel like I’m over writing the word post here). When this happens, the post shows up at the top of the reader and it also reaches the inboxes of new  e-mail followers who may not have been around when you first published it. < Please re-read last sentence.

I didn’t start off re-spinning (I still believe you have to be blogging for at least next to a year to build up material before re-spinning so it doesn’t get stale). In fact, I didn’t even know what it was. I remember the days I engaged in conversations with other bloggers about it, trying to understand it. After a year or ten months or so of blogging I decided why not? And I started re-posting previous posts just to test the waters. While I am still learning, so far, one of the main advantages I have noticed about re-spins is being able to self-evaluate my blogs content:

Self-Evaluation

What I have come to understand about blogging is this: There is no one method to doing it “correctly”. There are so many different elements that may make a blog “successful”. Sometimes people have tons of followers but not many views meaning only a handful of those thousands of followers are actually tuning in (Reminds me of social media in general, where numbers can be deceiving. Out of 4,000 Twitter followers, for instance, how many of them are actually valuable followers? Meaning, how many of them, for a business account, can actually provide insight and leverage to that business verses how many of them are family and friends?) Some people have lots of viewers but only a handful of followers. Some people get lots of commentary coming in along the comments section (what’s up with my alliteration today actually?) but not many likes on the posts. Content and social interaction also play a role, time of day, I can go on and on. This is why Blogging Confidence is important because there’s no one way to do it. The more confident you are in your blog and writing in general the more others will connect with you. Lots of followers or lots of viewers can mean nothing or it can mean everything depending on how you look at it.

While there is no one way to do it, re-spinning posts in my opinion has become a great tool in self-evaluating the quality of content on this blog.

The Process

You have to understand that in your mind the post is nothing short of brilliant. You put your whole foot and every other body part in it. The fact that everyone else didn’t understand your brilliance is beyond you. But, if you really want to see if others are benefiting from your writing (besides yourself), here’s what I do to self-evaluate:

WP Admin > Posts > All Posts

I search through my posts, picking and choosing a certain category. Let’s say poetry. I find a poem that didn’t get much attention. “Hmmm”, I think to myself. “Why?”

I click on edit and look at a few things. Can I rephrase how this was written? Is the photo taking away from the post? (Which it sometimes can). What about those tags? I have come to discover some poor tagging habits in my past! Sometimes the tag just didn’t make any sense and had nothing to do with the price of tea in China. And what about structure? Could it have been formatted differently? (I’m totally in love with the “Justified” paragraph formatting! Everything is lined up and it just looks super neat).

Edit

Before I re-spin a post I edit something about it. This isn’t to say grammatically or the content necessarily but something else about it. The tags for instance is an example of what I usually edit. Rotating the tags also grabs the attention of people who  blog under certain tags and have therefore never seen your post before. After rotating the tags I make sure everything in the content is spelled correctly and makes sense (at least to me). I also make sure the post is in the appropriate category. (If its a poem don’t put it in articles, put it in poetry! If you write poetry and you don’t have a poetry category– unless all you write is poetry– make one now and make sure all poetry is in its own category. This will increase its visibility when people search “poetry” or “spoken word”) Bam, we’re ready. I schedule it to post again.

NOTE: When re-spinning successful posts (lots of views/likes) I wouldn’t edit it too much. It was successful for a reason. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Observation

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This is an important part of the process. If a post that got poor attention before now blows up I know that it wasn’t the content itself, it was just how I published it. Maybe I used five tags instead of fifteen or perhaps it had too many typos. However, if the post still gets poor attention its not that I’m a bad writer, it’s just that the blogging world obviously does not get how brilliant I really am.

Seriously though, if the post is still not attracting attention then you know its time to check the actual content of the post. I have found that it’s not the words themselves, but it is how the words are presented. I have re-spun lots of posts that were poorly written and re-written again. In this process, I have noticed that the re-written article, with slightly different wording, did better than its ancestor.

Inspiration and Copyright Infringement – How Fine Is The Line?

Wow. This is too close for comfort. I’d be devastated. #ThouShallNotSteal

There are, arguably, seven basic plots. I won’t list them here, but you can find them if you click this link: The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories by Christopher Booker. All seven can be said to result from real life inspiration. While fiction can take these inspirations to incredible heights, the ideas begin from somewhere.

So we have inspiration, yes?

It was brought to my attention this morning that there has been a lawsuit taken up by Sherrilyn Kenyon, bestselling author of the Dark-Hunter paranormal romance series, accusing Cassandra Clare, bestselling author of Mortal Instruments and the Shadowhunter series, of copyright infringement. (Read the article here: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/feb/10/sherrilyn-kenyon-sues-cassandra-clare-for-wilfully-copying-her-novels )

In this particular case, it seems to me a clear case of copying: if you read the exhibit (click here) given in the lawsuit, the infinite monkey theorem comes to mind as the only other possible explanation, particularly when…

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