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Tag: book reviews
Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews: SICK (Part 1) by Christa Wojciechowski
Author: Christa Wojciechowski
Publication: October 1, 2015
Genre: Psychological Suspense, Thriller, Suspense
SICK is a psychological suspense novella about a woman with a very sick husband living in a constant vacuum of life-threatening illnesses. The offspring of wealthy parents, John and Susan Branch married and settled into an affluent life that eventually dwindled after John took over his family business upon his father’s death. Soon, the family business plummeted, and so did John’s health. Diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, a complicated blood disorder, Susan is forced to take care of her ailing husband while trying to maintain a livelihood of basic necessity as a full-time medical clerk of a podiatrist. Immediately it is apparent that John’s illness is taking its toll on Susan, who, from the onset, appears to neglect part of herself to be his full-time nurse.
“A marriage made in medicine, John’s and mine. He was the victim, and I, the slave to his diseases”. – SICK, Christa W.
As the story moves along, I start to notice something very unusual about John. His wife reads him books as he drifts off to sleep, feeds him baby food, sings him lullabies, and says he’s a “good boy”. If that’s not weird enough, John pouts, throws temper tantrums, and whines like a three-year-old. I became annoyed at Susan’s inability to see the signs and felt sympathy for her sense of low self-worth. Eventually, I began associating John’s behavior and speech with that mental retardation; surely, this man couldn’t be serious. And as Suzie slaved to be his mother, wife, and nurse, I could not be prepared for the story’s ending. John, the progeny of old money, an Ivy League education, and a keen intelligence behind his eyes, was far from a learning disorder. John Branch, the world’s most sick man, would be far sicker than I anticipated.
“The wealth, the disease: they were part of him.” – SICK
As I read this book I knew I wanted to give the author a four-star rating, but then I got to the end and it blew my mind so I had to upgrade her! I love the psychology of the story. How the persona and personal background of Susan and John helped me as a reader and as a person understand the outcome of this sad situation. There are people in this world who grow up with silver spoons in their mouths and yet they have no love. Whether that is self-love or love that wasn’t given to them as children, a lack of love can transform a mentally stable individual into a monster.
After the read, the author provides some very informative and educational information about one of the world’s least talked about conditions which I won’t mention here as I think it will give away the story.
SICK is a must-read.
Plot Movement / Strength: 5/5
Entertainment Factor: 4/5
Authenticity / Believable: 5/5
Thought Provoking: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5 / 5 stars
Be sure to grab your copy of SICK from Amazon today.
Yes, right now.
Facebook: Facebook.com /WebbellaChrista
What Can A Review Do For You?
Excellent advice on the benefits of book reviews, both positive AND negative!
By BlueInk Review
Last year, more than 200,000 books were self-published. Imagine a reader standing in front of a bookshelf with that many titles. Now imagine the impossible: how will they choose one title over another?
That’s where reviews come in.
As former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News and co-founder of BlueInk Review, a review service for self-published authors, I am obviously a huge proponent of book reviews. Without a review, your book is more risky to buyers than your average blind date — because, let’s face it, a date for coffee may take an hour, but reading a 400-page book could take several days! Buyers might know the topic of your book – but how can they be certain it’s worth the investment of both their time and money? They crave guidance.
Book reviews let readers know what they’re in for. They describe the plot, texture…
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What is a Book Review (and how to schedule yours)
What is a Book Review?
A book review is a form of literary criticism in which a book is analyzed based on content, style, and merit. A book review can be a primary source opinion piece, summary review or scholarly review. Part of the purpose of a good book review is to help the reader ascertain whether the author accomplishes his/her goal or not so they can determine if they should read the book. Books are written to entertain, inform, persuade and overall to advance ideas and book reviews are written to further the discussion the author has started. A good book review doesn’t just answer questions related to why the book was written but expands the conversation of the book in order to advance the discussion. This in turn, expands the author’s message, helping readers get a feel for who he or she is and whether or not their style of writing is worth investing both their time and money in.
About Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews
My Book Reviews are honest and thorough. I approach each project with the same level of professionalism and care as I would a big company. I show no partiality and I do not publish constructive criticism. This means that any review under a 4 will not be published unless otherwise requested by the author. I believe there is some good in everything if we are willing to see it. So before I provide critical feedback I do so while first highlighting the positive points of where I think the author does well. The writer believed enough in his/her topic to write on it, so I believe the reviewer should acknowledge where the writer has been successful. This helps the author to feel that I understood his arguments, and it also helps the reader to understand that not everything in the book is bad.
Book Reviews are scheduled in the order in which they are received. After receiving your book in the mail (or email), I will begin reading and analyzing your book in the order in which I have received it (I will let you know if someone is in front of you and the estimated wait time). Please give me time to read your book. I will then write the review and then publish it to this blog as well as my social media sites. Again, I do not publish reviews under a 4 star rating, though I will send you a copy of the review via email. The purpose is not to badger you as author nor is it to overwhelm you, but to provide thoughtful feedback. I believe in this way the criticism is not more negative than it is helpful, but engages the author’s thoughts from the book.
After studying the material, my final rating is based on the following system ( I rate on a scale of 1-5):
Plot Movement / Strength
Authenticity / Believable
Ratings of 4 and 5 stars are published to my blog and social networking sites. Links to author website, blog, and social networks are also promoted. Authors are also sent a free PDF copy of the review for their personal records. Reviews are free. If you like the review, I only ask for permission to use your feedback in the furthering of this service, such as the quote used in the AD above.
If you are interested, please complete the form below.
Book Review Shipments: April 30th – May 4th
Good Evening Everyone,
This blog is usually inactive on the weekend, but this is a special notice for Book Review Recipients:
In a couple of weeks my husband and I will be doing some traveling. As a result, this blog will be inactive, closed, for the following dates:
Thursday, April 30th – Monday, May 4th
Part 3 of the Stella series will be the last post published on Thursday morning (12am) April 30th for that weekend.
If you have undergone the questionnaire for Book Reviews and are planning to ship your book between these dates, please note:
The time frame for books sent in for Book Reviews that arrive right before or during my travels does not officially begin until after May 4, 2015, when I come home and have received your book in the mail. Please email me for any questions, comments, or concerns during or before this time per Book Reviews, current or new inquires. I am always locked into my email so I will still be able to address your concerns. Thank you for your patience.
Self-Publishing – DIY Promo Tools
With the ever growing sea of Self-Published books, it is easy to throw up one’s hands under the pressure. One of the most challenging aspects of the process is finances. Many Self-Publishers do not have the money to invest. However, with Self-Publishing being the desired avenue for most authors, it has become an industry of itself and as such, there are tons of avenues out there we can follow to ensure a professional product. There’s Fiverr for example, where one can purchase a book cover design for as low as 5-$10. There is low cost editing options and even people willing to do free book reviews. Below are 15 DIY tools to help Self-Publishers to promote their books for next to nothing by Tony Levelle. I don’t believe you’ll have to use them all or that they will all work for you, but I think this is a good start for anyone looking to Self-Publish: I intend on using some of these bullet points myself and so I just thought I’d share them:
No matter what kind of book you’ve written (or plan to write) there are many ways to reach your audience. Each of the DIY tools listed here is low or no-cost, and each of them works in its own way. One or more may be perfect for you.
1. Start Early
The most powerful and essential steps you can take toward promoting your book begin long before the actual writing of the book. Three years before the book is published–if you can–start building a network of supporters and reviewers. Keep track of everyone you meet as you research and write the book. Pay special attention to, and make notes about, those who demonstrate a genuine enthusiasm for you and your project.
As the project evolves, keep in touch with these people. You might send them an occasional email or keep in touch via a social networking site like LinkedIn or Facebook.
For significant milestones–the signing of your book contract, the completion of the manuscript, the arrival of the galley proofs, and the arrival of the finished books–you might bring key people together for a house party. At the house party, you could read short excerpts from your book and answer questions about the project.
2. Contribute to Web Forums
Every field has at least one or two forums that people interested in your subject know and read. Find and join these forums.
Contribute to them freely. Give advice and reach out. Offer to help others. Put a link to your blog or website in your signature line. When you have a book contract and/or a book title, add the title to your signature line.
3. Start a Blog
Early in the process of researching and thinking about your book, start a blog. Add 120-130 words each day of helpful, inspirational information on issues in your field, which are related to the subjects in your book. Aim to create a genuinely useful body of knowledge over the following 12 months.
4. Write a Remarkable Book
Set out to write a remarkable book. If your book is not remarkable, keep working on it until it is. Give the manuscript to ten friends and ask for honest feedback. Find a brilliant editor (you can find such an editor at EFA) and pay him or her to edit your manuscript. Revise. Repeat. Don’t stop until your reviewers start saying things like: “I loved it! This book is amazing!”
A remarkable book will generate word-of-mouth publicity. One person will read it, and recommend it to his or her friends. They will recommend it to their friends. This is the best publicity you can get.
5. Cultivate a Positive Attitude about Book Promotion
Think of book promotion as storytelling. The story you are telling is why you wrote your book, how it can help others, and how the world will benefit from your book. If you can develop a positive attitude about book promotion, people will pick up on it, and tune in immediately. Some writers resent the chore of marketing. Their attitude seems to be, “I’m a writer. Marketing is the publisher’s job. Promoting my own book shouldn’t be my responsibility.”
Unfortunately–unless you are Stephen King or Malcolm Gladwell–the publisher probably won’t have the budget to market your book. If you don’t promote your book, no one else will.
6. Create a Media Kit
Your media kit should include:
* Professionally printed business cards with the book cover on one side and your contact information on the other side. Do not try to print them on your home printer. This is a time to invest in your product and yourself, not save money.
* A headshot by a professional photographer or a talented amateur. It should be well lit, with a neutral background. Your eyes should sparkle.
* A 100 – 150-word biography. The main purpose of the biography is to tell a reader why you are uniquely qualified to have written this particular book.
* A ‘one-sheet’ for the book: a single piece of paper with a glossy print of the book cover on one side and a one-page description of the book on the other side. Be sure to include a few short blurbs and recommendations from colleagues and friends in the description.
7. Create a Book Pitch
Consider writing at least three sales pitches for your book: 10 seconds, 30 seconds, and 60 seconds. When someone asks what the book is about, give them the 10-second pitch. If the person responds with interest, have a longer pitch ready! Practice your pitches on friends until they tell you the pitches work.
8. Build a Website
As publication day approaches, build a full website. The website should include:
* A book blog, in which you write updates, corrections, errata and respond to reader comments and suggestions. This book blog may become the basis for the second edition of your book.
* Sample chapters from your book
* A link to the Amazon page for your book, so people can buy the book online
* Your media kit (see step 5)
* Book reviews and blurbs.
* Your schedule of appearances, including bookstores, speaking engagements, and conferences
* Contact information.
9. Get Book Reviews from Individuals
Six months (nine if possible) before the book is due to appear in bookstores, start asking people for reviews and blurbs. Send reviewers a printed galley proof of your book. If you don’t yet have printed galley proofs, send a PDF containing the first two chapters, a table of contents and your bio.
Don’t be afraid to approach the ‘biggest names’ in your field. (This is important.) Ask for both reviews and blurbs. Busy people may only have time to write a few sentences. A word about PDFs: check with your publisher about their policies on review copies. Many publishers will NOT allow you to send out a PDF copy of the entire book. They are afraid the book will be stolen.
10. Write Articles
Every field has eZines, websites, and magazines that advocate or deal with the subject of your book. Find them. Once you know where they are, look through them and figure out which ones talk to the audience for your book. Contact those sites or publications and pitch articles that will be of interest to their readers. Schedule articles to appear around the time your book will appear in bookstores and on Amazon. For example, if your book is going to appear in bookstores and on Amazon in mid-June, schedule your articles to appear in July, August, and September. Remember to pitch articles early, because many magazines and eZines have a 3-6 month lead time. Mention your book title somewhere in the article. In online articles, link the book title to its Amazon page so readers can click over and buy the book.
11. Get Book Reviews from eZines and Magazines
Ask websites, eZines and magazines in your field to review your book. Some websites or eZines may offer to trade, to review your book if you write an article for them. For example, earlier this year I contacted Writers Store and offered to write an article about what I learned while promoting my most recent books: Producing With Passion and Digital Video Secrets. This article is the result of that contact.
12. Get 20 Amazon Reviews
Amazon reviews are amazingly effective. Everyone from book buyers to publishers reads them. Your goal is to get at least 20 reviews. Contact everyone you know and ask each of them if they would give your book an honest review. Let them know it can be brief. If they agree, send them either a galley proof, a promotional copy of the book, or a PDF containing a table of contents, two sample chapters, and your bio. Amazon’s Top Customer Reviewers are another source of high-value reviews. Find the reviewers who deal with books in your area. Write to them. Tell them you have written a book they might be interested in, and that you’d appreciate a review. If they respond, send them a galley proof or a promotional copy of your book.
13. Get Mentioned in email Blasts
Look for organizations in your field that send large-volume emails. Try to get your book reviewed in their email or newsletter. When the number of people receiving the emails is 100,000 or more it’s sometimes referred to as an email blast.
14. Speak at Conferences
As a published author, you have the qualifications necessary to speak at conferences. Contact conference organizers at least 6 months in advance. At first, you may have to register and pay a fee to speak. Later, when you become better known, conferences may seek you out, and may even pay you to speak.
You should be prepared to give a 45-minute presentation. A useful way to structure a 45-minute presentation is to speak for 30 minutes, and take questions from the floor for the last 15 minutes. Plan to take a few minutes after your speech to circulate with the audience. Have a table in the back of the room where you or someone on your team sells books.
15. Make and Post Online Videos
Make a few 5 minute videos (or a series of videos) of yourself talking about key issues in your field. Put the book title and URL on the bottom of the video screen and in the credits.
Post your videos on several of the many video sharing sites including sites like blip.tv, jump cut, our media, Vimeo, vSocial and YouTube. Embed the video clips on your website.
Plan on following your promotion plan–perhaps an hour a day–for at least a year. Resolve to do something every day on promotion. Remember – follow-up and persistence are the keys to success.
I hope this list has been of help to you. In addition, if you’re a Self-Publisher and you are interested in letting me read a copy of your book in exchange for an honest review, please send me an email and I will give you the details. I will read your book for free and offer my opinion. Why am I doing this? Because as a Self-Publisher I know how tight finances can be and that every little bit helps. I have some time to read and would love to see what you have to offer.