I just added in the vampire part, but if you want me to write a book with vampires, hey -- I'm game. Not literally game. I suppose I should specify, with vampires.

But seriously, this is a call for all of you who've read our books to please, please, give us a review. Amazon, Goodreads, wherever--authors these days live and die by reviews, and hey--I don't want to die. Not without a review.

(I've heard Amazon is zapping reviews that aren't "verified"--in other words, from Amazon buyers. I guess that makes Goodreads a place to go for getting them counted.)

There are several websites I've checked out, with the idea of posting ads for our books on them; especially Radio Red, the newest, which has been getting little traction even though my publisher has it up on the Simon & Schuster website. (If you're not aware, they're a very big publishing house, which is distributing all my romantic comedies via e-books.)

The problem is, websites devoted to helping writers with publicity are being overwhelmed with requests right now. As a result, many of them won't take on your book unless it has a certain amount of--yep--reviews. In other areas *coughAmazoncough*, word is some websites use algorithms that keep your book from getting noticed until, well, it's noticed, and reviewed. Catch-22? Yep. I wonder how Catch-22 would have done in modern times?

I guess I could have just shortened this to: Please, send in some reviews of whichever of our books you've read, and make sure they're honest ones, no pulling punches. I have zero dollars in my bribery budget, so we might as well have the truth. If we get, say, ten new reviews overall, good or bad, I'll ... I'll ... hm ....

Oh, I know! I'll record a video of me reciting one of my own poems, and post it for all to see. Yep.

Guess I'd better go write a poem now, just in case.

A few days ago I rushed out a link to a review of Radio Red, over at:


And thanks so much for it! Then things happened, and I didn't get it out on all my social media or get a chance to comment on it much. (I think the original post was what ... Sunday? Lots of bad has happened since then.) I decided to just start over from scratch, and include the news that there's also a new review of The No-Campfire Girls over on Amazon:


There's another review of Radio Red further down on my Amazon reviews, and also one of Strange Portals since I reported last, which was some time ago due to stuff, and things. I want to thank everyone who's taken the time to write a review. If sales are what pay the bills, reviews are what feed the sales.

Any author will tell you their success at finding readers lives and dies on reviews. Well, and sales. That's a given.

Actually, not all writers will tell you that. Stephen King doesn't worry about reviews so much. Neither does Rowling, these days. Come to think of it, these days they don't have to worry about sales so much, either.

Still, for most of us reviews are a big deal. There's one thing we all desire more than reviews, though: Good reviews. If the reviews contain the words "greatest ever", "genius", or "eat your heart out, King and Rowling", it's probably a good review. Not always, though. Here's a review I got for my first novel, Storm Chaser:

"This is the greatest ever waste of space--getting people to buy it was a genius con. Eat your heart out, King and Rowling: You'd have never gotten away with this."

So there are always exceptions. Here are some questionable reviews my other books received:

Storm Chaser Shorts:
 "Dude, shorts are never mentioned at any of these stories. Sure, there are some storms, and people get chased once or twice, but that's only two-thirds of the title. No truth in advertising!"

Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights: A Century Or So With the Albion Fire Department:
"This book should have been way longer. He didn't cover every single day. He missed most nights. And what's this 'or so' crap? This guy will never write another history book again."

The No-Campfire Girls:
"I'm all for adventure, but don't they have a safety director at this summer camp? Arrows, explosives, storms, fires--it's an insurance nightmare. Also, it has all these teenage girls, and no representation from teenage boys; it should have been more gender neutral."

Slightly Off the Mark: The Unpublished Columns:
"Opinions are fine as long as they're mine, but these just aren't my opinions at all. Also, I have the strangest feeling the author is trying to be funny. That's just unacceptable. I'm fairly certain I'm offended."

Images of America: Albion and Noble County:
"Okay, this is lazy, lazy stuff. They're supposed to be writing, and instead they jam the whole book full of pictures. And they didn't even take them themselves! Somebody paid them for this? (Update: Okay, somebody pointed out that 'Images' is in the title, but that's just lazy titling.)"

The Notorious Ian Grant:
"So this offensive guy drives all the way across America just so he can insult people in a different state from the one he usually insults people in. Then he's surprised when people want to kill him. Well, California wisecracking doesn't cut it in the Hoosier state, fella: Take your sexy stubble and go home before you get Tazed just like everyone else in this story."

Hoosier Hysterical: How the West Became the Midwest Without Moving At All:
"I appreciated all the photos, but I don't know what they're of. Also, I'll bet the jokes would be funny if I knew what they were about. I think this is about history. I don't like history, but the section on Indiana celebrities was cool. But I've never heard of most of them."

Radio Red:
"I've never heard of this book. Should I have heard of this book? Maybe if it was free, I'd try it. Why do these writers want so much money, anyway?"

I'm afraid to even bring up the newest anthology, The Very True Legends of Ol' Man Wickleberry and his Demise. I mean, it's got violence and ageism in it.  On the other hand, it could be worse. None of the reviewers specifically referred to me as a "bad writer".

Well, none that you'll hear about from me.

Three Hoodies review The No-Campfire Girls. Or possibly the author of Three Hoodies Save the World reviews it … it gets confusing in the world of fiction writing.


All six Amazon reviews of the book can be found on—well, on Amazon.

ozma914: new novel cover art by Kelly Martin (Default)
( May. 11th, 2015 04:42 am)
I know what you want: You want to know what other people have to think about Slightly Off the Mark: The Unpublished Columns. And who can blame you?

What, you don’t want that? You want … brownies? Well, okay, go get a snack and then come back.

Here’s a review by author DM Yates, who’s more than just a trophy wife:

She compares me to Mark Twain, despite the fact that I’ve never piloted a riverboat, and I look terrible in white. We’re both Marked, though.

Here’s a review by Kay Kauffman, who has a signed affidavit that we’re related by neither blood nor bank account:

Kay insists the book is chock full of laughs, as opposed to initial reports that she laughed ‘till she choked, and a three day investigation by the Wapello County Sheriff Department has confirmed this.

Those and two other reviews can be found on Goodreads:

The other two reviews are by Barry Parham, who himself is a humor writer and thus should know better, and Joleen Naylor, whose horror stories about vampires make her an expert on politics.

By Federal statute Goodreads can only list books that are good reads, as determined through a review by the Mount Airy, North Carolina, Police Department. Writers who violate this statute can be thrown into a weekend drunk tank with Otis, a long-term convict rumored to have both body odor and severe halitosis. These reviews can, then, be viewed with a high degree of accuracy.


You know what I like? Well, yeah, Mountain Dew. Okay, sleep, I like sleep. But in this case, I like when my new book gets reviews before it’s technically even published:


Okay, it’s technically published. Let’s now make it officially published. (I also like chocolate.)



ozma914: (Storm Chaser)
( Mar. 1st, 2015 04:08 pm)

I’m still playing catch up, but I wanted to point out that so far this year “Storm Chaser” has received two new reviews:


Remember, whenever you review one of my works, a book fairy gets its wings. Nothing is quite so depressing as a wingless book fairy.



ozma914: new novel cover art by Kelly Martin (Default)


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