How can we encourage more readers to leave reviews for our books?

Excellent idea from Sally on encouraging reviews. I think some people think leaving a review means writing a literary critique. A small reminder that it is just them leaving their opinion about the book is most excellent.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

I am very keen to make reviews a prominent feature of the book promotions and encourage readers to review the books that they buy and enjoy, or not as the case may be.

Word of mouth is still the most powerful marketing tool that anyone who is selling a product benefits from. Authors are no different, and our books tend to be judged by the number and quality that they have received.

Part of the problem is that those who are not writers of books or blogs are uncomfortable in offering reviews and feel that what they have to say is not important. Many who do review a book, leave just one line after their star rating, simply saying that the reader enjoyed or disliked a book, but they do not elaborate.

That is obviously very welcome. But whilst a potential reader does not want to read three pages filled…

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Author Interview: 21 Questions With Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Today, I’m hanging out with Dan Alatorre. Come on over!

Dan Alatorre - AUTHOR

Your humble host.your humble host

Occasionally on the blog we will talk with one of our author friends, gaining valuable insights into their behind the scene world. Today we meet with Yecheilyah Ysrayl, an extraordinary writer and book blogger, among other things.

Join me as we delve deep – or as deep as we can in 21 Questions; not everybody gives up the goods – with Yecheilyah.

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  1.  DAN: Welcome to the blog! What is the working title of your next book?

YecheilyahThank you, Dan, for having me. The working title for my next book is Renaissance and it’s Book One in The Nora White Story. It releases in 116 days, 15 hours, 30mins and 40 seconds from now. Not that you care.

  1. That’s more precise than my alarm clock! Tell me, how hard was it to hit that “Publish” button the first time and send your book into the…

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No Whining Wednesday – See the Lesson

Welcome back to No Whining Wednesday, the only day of the week where you have 24 hours in which not to whine, complain, or criticize. If you’re new to this blog or new to this segment, please go HERE for our first day of the segment which explains in greater detail.

The No Whining Wednesday Badge

Today’s quote comes from the inspiration to this segment. If you follow that link or if you remember, I started this because of watching a speech from Iyanla Vanzant. Today’s quote is directly from her:

“No whining, no complaining about anyone. Everybody in your life has come to teach you lessons.”

Today, to keep you from complaining, think about the lesson the situation has to teach you. I’ve already started implementing this into my life and I still complain, of course (lol), but I have noticed improvements and I can vouch that this is a practical step that does work.

If I just stop and think, what did I do wrong and what does this situation have to teach me? Then I am less likely to complain about it. You have to understand that complaining usually comes from two things: not understanding a situation and not being able to change something. Of course, it can become a lot more complex than this but this is the root of most worrying, not being able to change something out of our control or not understanding something. Today, just stop. Stop trying to change it. Just see the lesson.

Moments Become Memories

Don’t waste it today. Don’t waste your time or hold back your goodness. Do not withdraw your kindness or take for granted the gratitude you can gift to someone else. Gift someone today. Crown them with hope and courtesy. Who knows which of us will be called back to the dirt. Whose breath will leave their lungs to be stored away in the chamber where breaths are. Whose body will melt back into the dirt? Whose bones  will become the home of carcasses that roam the cemeteries? We are told to live every day like it is our last. But how? How do we take what is cliché and make it real? Think of moments. How they live for only seconds at a time. Think of pictures. How they capture those moments when they become memories. Don’t gamble with your life today. Enjoy the warm weather, accept the truth for what it is, and apologize. Apologize and forgive like a well of “I’m Sorry’s” that won’t run dry anytime soon. Be not held captive by anything or anyone. Do not enslave yourself to pain and emotion and sorrow. Always be forgiving. If only because it makes no sense to give us flowers when we’re gone. Do not weep for me, or throw arms around caskets that could have hugged my flesh when breath stopped the skin from melting back into the earth. Don’t waste it today. Don’t waste your time or hold back your goodness from those who need it. You don’t know if today is their day or if it is yours. Because moments only live for seconds at a time and soon they become memories.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily 24th March 2017 – Brigid Gallagher – Seumas Gallacher – Yecheilyah Ysrayl – Jeff B. Grant

Thank you Sally for including my post in the Blogger Daily! Appreciate you.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Smorgasbord Blogger DailyWelcome to today’s selection of blogs that I have enjoyed today and first is the post by Brigid Gallagher who took a road trip. Whilst the purpose of the drive was sadly for a funeral Brigid managed to visit the local area as well..

Fibromyalgia makes driving long distances a challenge for me; I am comfortable on short drives around home, but anything beyond that requires careful planning and extra rest, both before, during and after the journey.

Last week, an unexpected funeral around 60 miles away, took me out of my driving comfort zone.

However, I decided I was going to enjoy the journey regardless, as it would take me past some spectacular scenery -through the village of Dunlewey, The Poison Glen, and the foot of Errigal Mountain, then on through Glenveagh National Park where I once tended The Gardens of Glenveagh Castle.

Enjoy the photographs and the rest…

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Dear Bloggers, Remember to Edit Your Blog Pages and Sidebar Text

Before we tuck in for the weekend I wanted to give some quick heads up to those who may either be new to blogging or still trying to find your way around the WordPress platform.

If you are at all serious about blogging, whether that is to build an author platform or just to share your thoughts, be sure that your pages are all filled in and that your sidebar is as well. What do I mean “Fill in?”

There is nothing that screams amateur more than:

“This is a text widget, which allows you to add text…” and so on.

You would want to ban these words from anywhere on your blog! GET RID OF THEM. Why?

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To put this as nice but as real as I can, it makes you look lazy. It only takes a few minutes or maybe even a few hours to fill in the text on your blog.

There aren’t rules to blogging exactly but there are things that are common sense. This is one of them.

To get rid of those dreadful words, you will need to be sure those words are replaced with images or text. No, you don’t have to get super fancy but if your blog theme is one that requires you to fill in an area, such as an about page, you may want to go ahead and do that. Or else these words will speak to readers before you do. When I see them I think maybe that blogger just started out. If you started your blog a year or more ago, that’s not exactly the impression you want to give.

Go to your WP Dashboard. To edit a page, go down to Page > All Pages and edit the pages you have there. If you don’t want to show pages then it is best to delete them, although I am not sure why anyone wouldn’t want an About page. Either way, it is your prerogative. If you want the page to show to viewers, please fill it in with something. Do not leave it blank.

This is especially  important if you are an author looking to grow your audience through blogging. I mean, come on. You are a master of the written word (Yes, you are! Say it and then believe it). Anything that has to do with words should be taken seriously, even if it is text on your blog! If there’s no effort put into these words, then what are we to think about your books?

To edit sidebar Widgets, go to: WP Dashboard > Appearance > Widgets

This will show you the widgets that come with your blog’s theme and give you the chance to add more if you like.

You don’t have to be extra fancy. (We actually prefer you be your relaxed and funny self), but do put something there. Unless you don’t want your blog to grow, in which case, leave it how it is.

Now, run along now and enjoy the rest of this beautiful day.

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Why Reviewing Books is an Act of Love

Whenever I finish a book and prepare a review, I ask myself why I am doing this. Why I dedicate time reading books and time writing reviews and even more time structuring the blog post. Do you know how many times I revise a post before it goes public? Too many times. Some of the posts you love the most have been revised upwards to twenty times because I want it to be done to the best of my ability. It may not even be done right but at least I know I’ve done what I can. If I think before I speak then it means that I must also think before I write. Of course, typos fall through but the point is that to prepare and schedule a post takes time. So, after days (sometimes weeks and months) reading the book, hours writing the review and a few hours scheduling the post I ask myself, why am I doing this? This question led to this post.

Book Bloggers are individuals who offer their service as nothing more than an act of love. It is a selfless act in which the person or persons expect nothing in return. Reviewers are not paid, have no agendas and to be real, we really don’t even have the time which is why our to-be-read piles are always sky high. Book Reviewers read books and write reviews even under pressure and harsh criticism because love endures. And the real ones, those opting to give much more than glowing five stars, these reviewers give even more. Not only do they give their time and attention but they are also genuine. They open up about how they truly felt about the work and add even more value to the service by giving authors the opportunity to grow.

As I finish a book and prepare the review, I find myself feeling really good. I am not burdened or worried or obligated. I am doing what I enjoy doing and am always excited for the authors I get to promote! It humbles me to be a part of their journey. Sometimes I scroll Amazon just to see how my authors are doing.  I remember reviewing books that had just a few reviews when I reviewed them. Then I see they have ten, twenty and thirty. I smile inwardly. In some way, I helped someone to grow.

You see, Book Reviewers do this, largely, with nothing coming back to them except the valuable qualities that no one can take away because it is something that people cannot touch and that money cannot buy: Love, Respect, Dignity, and Courage.