Come On Book Two! My Review of RENAISSANCE (THE NORA WHITE STORY) by Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Check out James Fant’s review of Renaissance. Thanks James for taking the time to leave a review. Glad you enjoyed the read.

James Fant Books

Nora White is a recent high school graduate searching for herself, trying to find her voice. A seed looking for the right environment. It’s not the family farm, not the acres that provide food and establish ownership. It’s not the South, with its stench of slavery and racism. It has to be Harlem, New York. It has to be the Mecca, where blacks have finally arrived, right? Only there, in that environment, will Nora find her voice. Because she wants to write. Be mentioned among the likes of Langston and Zora Neal. So she flees the South for greener grasses. Leaves her mother and father’s good graces. She essentially runs away from home, from her family, and maybe even from herself. Will she find good soil and break ground? Or will she just end up breaking her parents’ hearts?

The first thing that drew me to this novel was its…

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Something Cool

Yes, I’m still away. Technically. But, who can stay away from the blog? You? Really? Do tell.

Anywho, I have something cool to tell you, do you know what it is? No, it’s not about Renaissance although Nora is on preorder at your favorite places to shop.

Click Here to learn more.

And, my poetry contest is still going on. A chance to read books and win amazon gift-cards? You don’t want to pass this up.

Click Here to learn more.

AND…

I’m not done. Dan has an amazing contest going on and (wait for it) you have the chance of winning a copy of my newest book Renaissance: The Nora White Story (releasing 7/15), one of many amazing prizes on the line.

Click Here to learn more.

NOW, for the cool stuff.

Have you ever wondered if you could delete people from following you? I don’t know, maybe someone followed your blog and you, for whatever reason, didn’t want them to? Well, be goodie two shoes all you want but I’ve wondered myself. Even if I didn’t want to, I’ve wondered…is it possible?

Yes!

It’s possible!

Troll? Hater? You can remove them.

Here’s How:

Go to your WP dashboard > Stats

At the top right hand corner you’ll see Followers. Click on that.

Boom! You’re in. You’ll see a list of your followers. Email followers as well as WP followers.

 

All you have to do is click on remove next to any one you want to remove. I blacked out the names and faces of my followers for obvious reasons. I’m not trying to remove anyone or shame anyone for that manner. See how I love you? lol 🙂

Anywho, that’s literally it. If someone is bullying you or getting on your nerves, you can remove them from following you. Of course, they can re-subscribe, in which case you’ll have to remove them again.

PS. authors, psst! My book review  registry is still open and I still have room for more books. Don’t wait. Register here.

And Now for Some BSP: Blatant Self-Promotion

Grab your copy of The House on Candlewick Lane, by Amy Reade for 99cents! I had the honor of reading and reviewing this book myself and I don’t promote anything I don’t like! *Comments disabled here. Please refer to the original post*

Reade and Write

My latest release, The House on Candlewick Lane, is on sale for 99¢ and I’m trying to spread the word far and wide. If you’ve read the book, thank you very much. If you’ve read the book and left a review, you are awesome.

And if you haven’t read the book, this is your chance!!

Here’s a quick summary of the novel:

It is every parent’s worst nightmare. Greer Dobbins’ daughter has been kidnapped—and spirited across the Atlantic to a hiding place in Scotland. Greer will do anything to find her, but the streets of Edinburgh hide a thousand secrets—including some she’d rather not face.

Art historian Dr. Greer Dobbins thought her ex-husband, Neill, had his gambling addiction under control. But in fact he was spiraling deeper and deeper into debt. When a group of shady lenders threatens to harm the divorced couple’s five-year-old daughter if he doesn’t pay up…

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Things to Remember when Seeking Book Reviews

 

Craft a Professional Email

There’s a lot that goes into what it means to be professional so I won’t linger, but you don’t have to have worked in corporate to understand it. In today’s world, you don’t have to be anyone special to get tons of emails. With Social Media, everyone practically has one as it is needed for most social media platforms. In short, we all get them and we all scan and then delete them. To increase your chance of getting your email noticed, be sure your email is first professional.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t use a blanket “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear Blogger” or “Dear Book Blogger” or worse “Hey”
  • Don’t talk about how good the book is.
  • Don’t abbreviate words. This isn’t a text message. This is a professional business correspondence. (no IKR, THUR, THO, etc.)
  • Don’t attach your book(s) to the email. You don’t know if we want to read it yet.
  • Don’t post the details of your book as if writing a book review (Title, Author, Publisher, Number of Words.)
  • Don’t keep emailing the reviewer to see if they saw your email.

Do’s:

  • Do address the reviewer by name.
  • Do tell us what the book is about. (Instead of telling us the book is good, tell us what the book is about.)
  • Do offer a complimentary copy of the book (offer, don’t attach automatically.)
  • If you like, do post a few reviews you already have (this is evidence that the book is a good read and is better than you just saying that it is. I would recommend not to overdo it though. Just a few will suffice.)
  • Do sign your name.
  • Do include ways that we can contact you (an email signature is nice with your name and social handles at the bottom.)
  • Do wait patiently for a response.

Visit that reviewer’s website or blog.

This is how you learn our names and find out more about us.

We talked about the email but not all reviewers accept unsolicited email inquiries (I don’t. I have a submission form authors must use to register their book first.) Reviewers who are also bloggers usually have guidelines for how to contact them. If they have a website or blog, visit them and follow their blog so that you can know if they are a good fit for your book or not. Reviewers also tend to have guidelines for how to send information in for a review on their blogs/websites. Find it and read it. Pay attention to every detail and be obedient to the rules. This is like the big pink box on the reviewer’s virtual desk. We love responding to people who are professional and who follow the rules. You can’t ignore the big pink box.

Look for reviewers in your genre.

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made is hustling to get reviewed by anyone who would want to review my book. This is OK. I am by no means saying it is wrong as I sure will be interested in submitting to those of you who show interest in reviewing Renaissance, Histfic or not for sure (let’s just go ahead and keep it all the way real). But, I must also admit it’s not the smartest thing in the world either. It is much more difficult to score high ratings or an understanding of the content from readers who are not familiar or are not interested in the kinds of books that we write than those who do. I am not saying it is a guarantee that those of your genre will rate you high or give you a positive review, not at all. However, they will understand your story better. I am not into Horror novels for example. I just never got into them. Although I would read a well-written horror novel, I am less likely to enjoy it as much as a Young Adult novel or Black Literature. There are also elements I may not fully understand.

Be polite.

It’s no secret that some authors are arrogant. I am not sure why, but it is obvious from the start. (Even though being a #1 Amazon Best-Seller for an hour literally means nothing.) Publishing a book does not give any of us the authority to talk down to people. Nothing does. If you are querying a book reviewer, be as polite and considerate of the reviewer’s time as possible. Not just for the sake of your review but for the sake of your integrity as a person period. Just be a good business person and kindhearted regardless.

Be time sensitive.

Book bloggers have tall “to be read” piles. A “to be read” pile is a pile of books you’ve already committed to reading and have not gotten to yet. With Reviews being so important, Indie Publishing being what it is today, and Book Bloggers willing to review Indie Books at a rate much faster than anyone else, book bloggers have a lot on their plate. This means you are on their time. If you give a time limit for the reading, don’t sweat it if the reviewer didn’t finish in time. You don’t know what that person is going through in life or their reading speed. If you are not giving a final copy, be sure to let the reader know this is an uncorrected manuscript.

It’s OK to request the book to be read in a certain amount of time. Those who have the time will do so. However, if they happen to read beyond your time, let it be. Don’t push. It’s a respect thing.

Don’t assume.

Your writing is never measured by how others respond to it so don’t assume you know what the reviewer is thinking. And no matter how disheartening (I know, I hate it too) don’t take the feedback to be a personal attack on yourself. That’s difficult, I know. One of my fears was that people will make assumptions about who I am or what I do because they don’t understand me. However, I cannot worry about that. Nor can I grow from it. Sometimes you just gotta swallow spit and keep it moving. If not then we get all emotional and the result is an author who curses out the reviewer or disrespects them because they said they found two typos. TWO. The author didn’t wait to read that the reviewers ALSO loved the story. Now the person who was going to rate you 5 stars has decided to lower the rating or not to rate you at all. I don’t change my ratings personally but the moral of the story is to never assume you know what the reviewer is thinking. Wait for the reviewer to reveal to you his or her thoughts on the book. Assuming makes a…well, we’ve all heard the saying. That.

Final Thoughts:

  • If you’re wondering, authors can still give free book copies to readers in exchange for honest reviews.

 

  • If you have received a copy of an authors book for review, be sure to mention that you received the book in exchange for an honest review or that you received the book as a gift from the author at the front end of the review so that it is published on amazon. (By front end I mean before you post your review mention you received it as a gift if you did not buy it.)

 

  • Anyone registered with Amazon can write a review as long as they adhere to the guidelines. Doesn’t matter if you’re verified or non-verified.

 

  • If you are a reviewer who reviews books on your blog (or features authors on your blog that requires you link to their books) be sure to use the direct link to the book on amazon and not the entire link. By direct link, I mean everything up to the ASIN number. Anything after that is extra and Amazon uses it to track. This can be why reviews are being removed.

Here’s an example of a direct link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BNYQ7JY < all those letters and symbols that usually come after this is not needed

  • Leaving an Amazon review doesn’t mean writing a literary critique. (There are those who do but you don’t have to.) You are just leaving us your thoughts / opinions about the book. For instance: Go to Amazon.com and find a book you have purchased / read. Scroll all the way down to where you see Write a Customer Review. Rate it and write what you liked/disliked about the book. That’s literally it.

ps. We’ll pick up with Black History Fun Fact Friday next week, time permitting. I should also be finished with a book I am reading in time for another review.

pps. I am going away with the Hubby this weekend (whoo hoo!) so I may be late in responding to comments after tonight (Friday 6/2). I will come back and post pictures of our adventures!


“Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because blogs are technically “social media,” that standard rules of business etiquette do not apply. A query to a blogger—whether you’re asking for a review, interview, spotlight, or guest spot—is a business letter. Would you go to a job interview without bothering to find out if the business is a fashion boutique, a pharmacy, or a XXX porn theater? I didn’t think so. So use your head and put your businessperson hat on it before you hit “send.” – Anne R. Allen, Ann R. Allen’s Blog with Ruth Harris

Building Relationships

True relationships are not scheduled, planned, and coordinated. True relationships are natural occurrences and are not forced. They blossom from a genuine pull towards that person. It is a connection of energy built upon similar states of mind. It is when two people share the same opinion without an agenda. Building relationships is not a strategy we can put into our pockets and hope will guarantee us some kind of success. Relationships instead are bonds that formed either from tragedy or triumph. Relationships in whatever form that they come rather a man to woman, a business partnership or author to reader, are built upon the vibration of similar frequencies. Humble people do not talk about their own humility just as generous people do not think they are very generous. That is because it is an innate natural characteristic that is real. Real relationships are just the same. They do not consciously seek out the other rather they are connected organically through similar thought processes and experiences. It is when two or more people are drawn to work together because they sense a connection. It is when you don’t have to convince that person that you’re genuine because their energy feels yours. It is not sitting at the cool kid’s table in hopes of being liked but rather letting the silent pull of another’s heart find yours.

8 Things to Keep in Mind about Your Introduce Yourself Interview

  1. There are 50 questions to choose from. MIX THEM UP and remember that they do not have to be in order. (..because I’m gonna like, mix them up anyway)
  1. When asked what skill you WOULD LIKE to master, be creative. For instance, I would love to learn to play the piano. Stuff like that. (I really would like to learn to play the piano)
  1. Do put some thought into your answers. Give us something interesting and write in complete, detailed sentences. Remember that you’re a storyteller so showcase your personality. I had the opportunity of being interviewed by Best Selling author Dan Alatorre recently. If you are unfamiliar with how text interviews are structured, you can check it out HERE for an example of the format.
  1. RESPOND TO COMMENTS. As a guest on this blog you are only going to get out of it what you put in. Be sure to check back in for comments and questions left for you on the page. When leaving a comment, check the “notify me of new comments” box. It will subscribe you to the comment thread. You’ll get an email every time a new comment comes in. (You can unsubscribe from the thread at any time if it gets overwhelming.)
  1. Share Your Post. Re-blog, pingback, or post it to your blog however fits you and share it on social media. (I think re-blogging is best but any kind of sharing is appreciated.) Again, you are only going to get out of this what you put into it. I can only do so much. (*rewind*) I CAN ONLY DO SO MUCH. Be sure to look out for my emails with the post link BUT DON’T DEPEND ON IT ENTIRELY. Be sure to FOLLOW THIS BLOG and to check in for when your post is published according to the day we have agreed upon. Check in also periodically both on the day of and throughout the week for any commentary left for you on the table. At the end of the day the success of your interview is up to you.
  1. Send high resolution book covers and author photos you’d like me to include in the post. *Send images that belong to you, are of your books or are of you personally*. Google Images or Unsplash images will not be accepted for this feature. We want to see you or your books. I can also not include images if you’d like.
  1. Once you’ve sent your questions in for the interview follow this blog. That will help you to not only see when your interview comes up (aside from me sending you the link) but you can also support the interviews of the other authors.
  1. Support the interviews of other authors. Its not just about you. That said, support the other authors who are featured here. Like and comment on their interviews, share their post, purchase their books if they interest you and follow their blogs. If you support another blogger they may also support you.

What is Introduce Yourself? How can you get involved? New author? Learn more HERE.