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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Top Commenters!

Drummm rollll

First, let me say that I am excited about today’s stats. Ya’ll got the views jumping which gets me pumped, YES. #Winning.

Anyway, as I logged into my dashboard to take a look-see, I noticed something interesting. I have some top commenters! It was right on point too and I could have determined these names myself. These people are very supportive of The PBS Blog and there are so many more names to add here but these guys, according to my WordPress stats, comment the most and I want to take a moment to esteem them! I appreciate you:

Tess from How a Cookie Crumbles Blog! Whoo Hoo!

Adele from Firefly465 Blog! Whoo Hoo!

Don from Don Massenzio Blog! Whoo Hoo!

Roger from Heroicallybadwriter Blog! Whoo Hoo!

Sarah from Heartstring Eulogies Blog! Whoo Hoo!

Felicia Denise from Nesie’s Place Blog! Whoo Hoo!

Go SUPPORT these guys! They will support you back!

 

5 Ways Reading Influences Your Perspective

I speak a lot on this blog about the power of perspective and not being limited in thought. It occurred to me, as I was making my coffee yesterday morning and thinking about a book I needed to finish, that I thought about reading and the deeper role that literacy plays in our lives.

Perspective can be defined as:

“…a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.”

Television is not the only thing that can influence your perspective but so can books. Be careful what you’re feeding your mind. It can empower you or limit you.

#1 You Are What You Read

The saying, “You are what you eat” is used to convey the message that we should be careful what we are putting into our bodies. A stunning new report from the World Health Organization has concluded that there is clear scientific evidence that eating pork leads to cancer and I’m not just saying this because I don’t eat pork. (Even if it is gross and bad for your health). Over-doing the snacks is also not good and can hurt the kidneys and harm weight. Just like we are what we eat, we are also what we read!

What you put into your mind has the power to change you (either for better or for worse). While I love Black History and culture, these are not the only kinds of books that I read. I also read the bible and other books that provide useful information (either for my mind, body, or spirit).

#2. Reading One Type of Book

Do this and you will surely be confined to one form of thought. You can be passionate without being limited. There are books about Black History that are not written by African Americans and I don’t neglect them because of it. I don’t believe in the racial superiority of any sort whether that is White Supremacy or Black Supremacy. (I don’t even believe in white or black people. I use these terms specifically for understanding but I believe we are nations, not colors). That said, I do not shy away from networking with other nationalities of people and I do not neglect my own. I read Urban Fiction but I will also read Western Literature. I can converse with the woman on the corner and the intellectual. I’m not afraid to sit down with sinners and saints because I’m not a judge and it’s really none of my business what people think of me. That’s their problem. I will not be boxed in and I will not be limited.

#3. Neglecting Indie Authors

Readers should not be limited to reading just Traditionally Published books because you’ve read one poorly written book and now every Self-Published book is no good (even when they are being made into movies every day). The Shack, a book I own and have used for research for many years, is now being made into a movie. It started out as a Self-Published Book and became a USA Today Best Seller. It is now being made into a movie.

As an Independent Author, it is my duty to support this community so of course I read books written by Independent Authors. If I am reading something, like a classic novel, I make sure that I also have an Indie book to read. Since I’m a book reviewer, I almost always have one on hand. I don’t just read Indie books, I actually enjoy reading them. Indie books also tend to be cheaper than Trad so there’s really no excuse. You spend more on lunch, no, coffee! Two dollars and under a month (for an eBook) is not expensive. Go the extra mile and buy the paperback (I love paperbacks, obviously). Pick an Indie Author whose books you love that are well-written and support them. Or, pick a slew of Indie Authors and purchase at least one book a month. How can you really support Indie Authors (or change the way you think of us) if you don’t read our books? How can you say all Independent books suck if you’ve never read any? Writing books is the only Independent community where we are having this conversation! Indie Music Artists, for instance, are always supported.

#4. Neglecting Trad. Published / Classics

The door swings both ways people. Don’t neglect the Traditionally Published books and Classics either. Particularly since many of them are well-written. This next part may be sensitive for some of you but it is the truth:

Be Careful Reading Poorly Written Books

This is mainly for you writers out there. Balance is everything. I’m an Indie Author and I support Indie Authors but to disregard the elephant in the room is just naive. While I enjoy Indie books, not all Indie books are well-written.

I’m an advocate for reading period no matter how they were published and I read Indie Books as well as classics and Traditionally Published books because even if I don’t like a story, many of the classics do happen to be well-written. (Which isn’t to say Trad books are always well-written). This is important to me because if you keep reading books that are not up to par you can only begin to write just the same.

Again, I am not saying Indie books can’t compete with literary classics or traditional publishing. I am saying that there are still lots of Self-Published books that are just not well-written. To continue to read this kind of material is counterproductive. So, when reading be sure to have a balance.

#5. Morals / Values

I saved this for last because I know how sensitive we are about anything that we “perceive” to be religious. However, it must be brought up and goes back to the first bullet point: You are what you read.

There are lots of books that are great for research purposes and then there are books that are not worth your time. While some of you are strong enough to “chew the meat and spit out the bones” (take the information that is worthy and apply it and throw out the rest), some of you are also weak minded. By weak-minded I mean it doesn’t take much for you to be negatively influenced or adopt foreign beliefs even if they don’t make any sense.

If you know that you are easily swayed and unstable in your thoughts, you may want to stay away from certain literature that has the potential to change who you are.

Sure, I have books on the importance of watching what I eat but I am not going to become a vegetarian Goddess who condemns all meat-eaters because we should love animals. That’s what I am talking about. It’s not that serious people. How about you love the people around you.

As I say always, staying true to yourself is priority. There are some books that are not even worth your time and you have to be the one to discern that balance. People walk around like reading is just always good. It is not. Everything has a balance to it. There are books that are bad for you just like there is food that is bad for you. Make sure that as you read, you are also paying attention to yourself. Reading can influence your perspective in more ways than one.


Yecheilyah Ysrayl is the author of The Stella Trilogy and is currently working on her next book series. Renaissance: The Nora White Story Book One is due for release July 15, 2017. For updates on this project, be sure to follow this blog and to subscribe to Yecheilyah’s email list HERE.

Guerrilla Marketing!

Its the final countdown! Don’t miss out. Meet me in person at The Tampa Indie Author Book Convention this summer. Spread the word! Why am I shouting? ! Because its exciting! Lol.

Tampa Indie Author Book Convention

by Kyle Perkins

A little back story about the convention, as well as Virginia Johnson and I. In January of 2016, I became an author, and shortly after, Virginia became my PA. So, we had to navigate the indie world together, like two baby deer learning to walk. At first, like all people getting into this business, we were super optimistic. Who wouldn’t be? I published a book. Not many people can say that they have the patience for that. Writing a book is a big deal, it’s sharing a piece of your soul with the world, and asking the world to judge it. We have always received great feedback on our work, and grew to love the community…

Then, we started learning of the inherent flaws in a predominantly online business. Setting aside catfishing models, shady PAs, and plagiarism, we noticed a huge problem within our community. It was…

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Why I Read

kindle-photo-unsplash

Because I can create peace in my mind

Even if the world is not all that peaceful

Because people write their truths

And when the heart is contextualized

hidden gems are found

waiting to be resurrected

and valued

I read because reading is valuable

And because books are the only place

where you can learn for free

I read because books are the only schools

I can carry with me

I read to learn from people

who came before me

I read to hear voices

through words

written down

to understand others

to listen to hearts

I read to find the person between the lines.

I read because not everyone can.

March is National Reading Month! #Celebrate

National Reading Month is upon us! Felicia’s got some great ideas.

*Comments disabled here. Go over to Felicia’s place and see what goodies she’s got planned!*

Nesie's Place

Read with Me Banner

If you look inside your particular group of followers, you’ll find a culturally rich and diverse group. Authors/writers, bloggers, students, parents/grandparents, business professionals, those sharing personal experiences, many who just want to connect…the list is endless.

While we are diverse, many of us share one common interest – WE READ!Book Happiness

March is National Reading Month and I invite you to “Read with Me” and share your love of reading by:

Create a post about reading.

Book OclockWhy do you read? Who taught you to read?

Where is your favorite reading spot? What do you read?

What is your favorite book? Who is your favorite book character?

Or a topic about reading that is unique to YOU!

Include the supplied banner/button on your blog sidebar for the month of March. (Similar to the one posted above.) Biggest Book Lie

Share your link on social networks and/or in your subscriber newsletter. Consider doing a giveaway of…

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MIA on Purpose

aulii-aurelia

I’ve been intentionally missing in action this week. There’s a saying somewhere that says that when you’re working on anything that you want to succeed, it is really dangerous to listen to what everyone says. Sometimes you just have to tune everything and everyone out for your sanity.

In addition to solidifying some business endeavors, I’ve been putting the final touches on the ARC Copy of Renaissance for my advanced readers next month and have decided to lay low in the process. I’m so excited to introduce Nora to my team! (Email Me to join my Advanced Review Team for Book One in The Nora White Story). I am officially knee deep into revising Book Two. I’m not even going to look at Book One for at least a month! After spending so much time on a project you get to the point where you are relieved to let it go out into the world. Sure, you’re nervous about what others would think of your creation (I am trembling). At the same time, there’s a weight lifted at having made it to this point. A sigh of relief to have been done with it. What happens now is what will.

But that’s not all….

I’ve also been away because I’ve not felt motivated to speak. I have been tempted to re-blog! But I didn’t want to break my silence until today because it’s the day I set for myself so I held back. Silence is something I think we all need every now and again. I look forward to it and enjoy being still. I’m not unhappy, I just appreciate silence in a world that never stops talking, as the saying goes. This also helps me to write. There’s something amazing that happens as a result of muteness. How the creative juices flow and the mind ignites with clarity. I’ve had blog post ideas but I have not felt like saying anything. Sometimes you just gotta take a step back and reevaluate. Like looking at a chess board, it will require you to step outside yourself to see the whole board. You’re able then to see your moves in a genuine and unbiased way. What could I do better? Where have I went wrong? How can I improve? What revelations can I turn into tangible action? I turn inward and listen for instruction on the next move.