Before the Week Ends: PBS Blog Reminders

Hey Guys, don’t forget about these exciting happenings!

Poetry Contest Finalist

The 2nd Annual Poetry Contest is not over people! We received so many wonderful entries and we are revealing our finalists and grand-prize winner soon! Stay glued.

I am Soul Blog Tour

The I am Soul Blog Tour continues on Monday! Be sure to check in to see whose blog I am visiting next and what poem I’ll be featuring.

Even Salt Looks Like Sugar

🔍 Foster youths are one of the most disadvantaged groups in the United States. According to the National Foster Youth Institute, nearly 20 percent of those who age out of the system end up homeless, and nearly 60 percent of young men who grew up in foster care have been convicted of a crime. Being in foster care, separated from their families, also takes its toll on children: Twenty-five percent of kids in the system will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. 

👉How does Wanda reconcile her feelings about her foster mother’s attempt to control her life?

đź“šRemember to preorder “Even Salt Looks Like Sugar,” the eBook at just $0.99 on Amazon and mark this book as ‘to read’ on Goodreads. Proceeds go to fund next year’s poetry contest! This short novel releases 10/2. (the page number on Amazon is wrong btw. It’s longer than 47 pages but still a short read. The actual page number should be showing up shortly)

About.

Wanda wants nothing more than to escape the oppressive upbringing of life with her abusive foster mother. Miss Cassaundra manipulates the system by bringing lost children into her home turned whorehouse and collecting the money. Wanda knows what it’s like to be abandoned and has no doubt that Abby is Cassaundra’s next case. When an opportunity arises that could save them both, Wanda must find a way to get the paperwork that will secure their freedom. But Cassaundra’s got eyes everywhere and no one can be trusted when even salt looks like sugar.

Pre-Order Here

Mark as to read on Goodreads Here

(come on people…its free to mark as to read…that’s right, simply tap that finger on the link…yes, that’s it. You got it lol.)

PBS Blog Removed from Kindle

Hey Guys,

Just a heads up that due to technical difficulties, I have removed this blog from Amazon’s Kindle for blogs program. If you’ve subscribed you will be unsubscribed in 48-72hrs. I’ll let you all know if I try it again. Being the program is still in Beta, it looks like they still have work to do (and its been in beta a long time). In the meantime, you can always follow my Amazon author page for blog updates as well as Goodreads to stay in touch. (and, this blog of course)

Before the Week Ends: Important Reminders

Hey Guys!

Before you tuck in for the week, I want to remind you of some important things that are going on. First, with the Renaissance release date coming up I will not be very present in the days to come. However, you will see me around so do keep your eyes open. I’ll still be reading and commenting on your blogs and all that good stuff. After release I will take a short break before getting back on the grind. I still have to get Book Two ready for the December release but I intend on taking some time off first.

Poetry Contest

If you have not already heard, I am hosting my first poetry contest on Colleen’s Blog with some amazing prizes. Please do head on over to see how you can participate. I will be doing more promo posts for it but in the meantime, head on over. Also, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to inform me. I also appreciate as much promo of the contest as possible just remember:

It will help us if you could promote the original post. Not this post but the one on

>>>Colleen’s Blog HERE. <<<

Nora Book Giveaway

I have not been promoting this much, I admit. Part of the reason is that I did not time it well. In the future, I intend on using a better program and being more organized (didn’t mean for everything to be so close). BUT, there is still room to win!

Fifteen people have already entered for a chance to win a signed paperback copy of Renaissance with a matching bookmark and my author seal. That’s not all. Winners will also win a $10 Amazon Gift-card. I am choosing two winners so go ahead and jump on it.

CLICK HERE to enter but hurry. There are only 3 days left!

Thunderclap

If you have not already supported my Thunderclap, there is still time. I am EIGHT  people (at this writing) away from my goal. It’s free and only takes a second. Thanks so much everyone for the support.

UPDATE: I have made my goal! If you would like to still support, you can. There’s still time left on the clock which means from now I can gather as much extra support as possible before the big day.

CLICK HERE to support with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or all three (I move up three points when you use all three).

If you would like to learn more about what Thunderclap is, CLICK HERE for my post and why you should support me. (Also keep in mind that after the campaign I am publishing the results and my thoughts on this blog. I am saving my data to share with you. Should authors use it? Or no? I’ll share my experience. Stay tuned.)

Social Media

If you are not already following me online, now is a good time to do so! It will help you stay in tune while I am away.

Facebook

Twitter

IG

Email List Sign-Up (If you really want the goodies!) Join HERE

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

Interracial Blog Feature Reminder for 10/22/2015

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Oh, hi. I happen to be on my way to the kitchen. I think it’s going to be baked chicken and macaroni tonight with a yummy salad on the side. I shall also chill out with a glass of wine. But that’s not why you called…

Just want to remind you to join me tomorrow for another interview on the topic of Interracial Relationships. As you know, for the rest of this month I will be posting interviews I have conducted with some individuals on their thoughts on the topic of Interracial Marriages and the role race plays in relationships in general. This feature was inspired by the release of book two in my Stella Trilogy, “Beyond The Colored Line” this summer and will post every Thursday of this month. Join me tomorrow at 8:00a CST to meet another good friend of mine. You don’t want to miss her answers!

In Case You Missed It:
Week #1 with Misty Thomas
Week #2 with Lisa W. Tetting

Beyond The Colored Line – Tomorrow’s Sneak Peek Reminder

sneak-peek2[1]

This post is a reminder of the continuation of the sneak peek series into my upcoming book “Beyond The Colored Line”. Tomorrow, we will be reading through Part 2.

“Beyond The Colored Line” is Book #2 in a short story series I’m writing called Stella. Stella is a work of Historical fiction, and is distinctive in its focus on one woman’s road to self-discovery against the backdrop of the African American fight for justice, racial equality, and freedom. The 3-Part series focuses on the history of one family in their struggle for racial identity. Discover in this Trilogy how 3 individuals living in separate time periods strive to overcome the same struggle, carefully knit together by one blood.

The first 4 parts to Book #2 is being released right here on this blog every Thursday; they started last week and will go on until May 7th. I’m giving these parts away for free because one of the things I enjoy about blogging is the direct feedback available to us. I think it is an awesome way to network, to build relationships with other authors, and to enhance our writing skills so I’m taking advantage. I am also seeking to broaden my platform and make it easier to connect with readers.

In case you missed it, below is the link to last week’s story, Part 1 of Book #2. I hope it captures your attention, and I look forward to the revealing of Part 2 of Book 2 early tomorrow morning:

Click Here for Part 1 of Book 2