One book a day through the 14th of December 2012, 75% off or more. Happy gift shopping!
Archive for the ‘Book Blogging’ Category
I love to make beaded bookmarks (and hair sticks, but the former is more relevant here)! Below are photos of a few of my favorites, including the ones with the gorgeous glittering oval Swarovski crystals; the photos link directly to the items in my Bonanza booth. They make excellent holiday gifts for your favorite readers!
Edit #1, on 4/23: Today’s the last day to vote in the Goodreads contest, so please do!
Edit #2, also on 4/23: I put up a “SummerSellout” coupon in the ErrantDreams booth (which includes all those sparkly bookmarks depicted below). It is for 50% off everything in the booth. Seriously. I need to free up some space. Buy me out of sparkly bookmarks and hairsticks and jewelry. Make sure to click on “coupon available” and “apply coupon” before putting an item in your cart, although I think there’s also a spot in the checkout process to apply the actual coupon code (”SummerSellout” without the quotation marks).
First, a reminder that the Goodreads book blog contest is coming up!
And along with the reminder, I wanted to point you at some sparkly bookmarks I made, for those of us who still occasionally enjoy non-electronic books. I have several that end in absolutely gorgeous, sparkling Swarovski crystal oval elements in several colors. I have a bunch that end in dangling skeins of “crystal yarn”—yarn that has tiny Swarovski crystals sewn into it. I also have a handful that end in dangles of porcelain and semiprecious beads.
It’s time for the Goodreads book blogger awards! Please visit the adult fiction book blogger category and vote for Errant Dreams Reviews!
Yesterday I stumbled across this blog post about Amazon’s practice of putting editorial reviews (from Publishers Weekly and similar mags) above the book description on Amazon pages. The post’s author notes:
You may already know that book reviews can be extremely sweet, or bitter as a mouthful of moth balls. You may also know that a bad review can sit on your book page, festering, scaring readers away until it falls out of sight. But did you know there are some reviews that can be posted to the “Editorial Review” section of your Amazon book page without your consent?
I get that it’s frustrating to have these reviews show up before the product description; it certainly seems counter-productive. However, I had a growing sense of irritation with how the blogger presented this, and eventually I realized why.
An author who thinks that a bad review is going to sink their sales is an author who’s assuming readers are stupid.
Now, as a reader I agree that it’s ridiculous to have editorial reviews above the product description, but it has NOTHING to do with how the reviews might affect my buying decision. Instead, it’s because I have no interest in those reviews, and certainly not before I know anything about the book. I skip right past them to the product description because I want to know what the damn book is about. I’m far from the only reader who does this, so while the reviews should be annoying from the author’s perspective, they shouldn’t be viewed as the end of the world.
Now, let’s get to the other problem in the quoted paragraph up there. The assumption that a negative review “can sit on your book page, festering, scaring readers away”. Let me go back to the above point: you are assuming your readers are stupid. Readers are perfectly capable of reading a negative review and taking away from it, NOT “that person hates a book so I guess I would too,” but rather EITHER “this reviewer’s view tends to match mine/be the opposite of mine, so I’ll react accordingly” OR “this reviewer didn’t like a, b, or c, and those are things that bother me too/don’t bother me, so I’d not enjoy/enjoy this myself.”
I’m not just blowing hot air here. I have a reviews site that’s been active for years. I get to see the Amazon stats on which books sell via click-throughs and which don’t. Guess what? It has nothing to do with the rating I gave those books. People are reading the reviews and deciding for themselves via the details I provide whether they would like a book. Plenty of those click-through buys are of books I didn’t like. I’ve had people tell me straight out, “X doesn’t bother me the way it does you, so I’ll give this book a try; thanks for the info!”
I can tell you right now that the truly wise book PR people are quite well aware that reviews, no matter whether positive or negative, sell books as long as the reviewer explains her thoughts and feelings. When dealing with Penguin (they have some of the most professional PR folk I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with), I’ve sometimes found myself getting MORE of an author’s books after coming down hard on one of that author’s novels. Why? Because a strong negative opinion engenders discussion, which attracts attention, which gets the author’s name in front of more people, which sells books.
Sure, there will always be a few people who blindly do what a review tells them to, but frankly that works for you more than against you. More people tend to review books that they like than ones they don’t (the latter are just more memorable for you as authors). By and large, readers will read what they want to. They read reviews to get an idea of whether a book matches their needs. When you talk about a negative review destroying your sales, you are giving the reviewer far more power than she actually has, and you are assuming that your readers are fools who cannot think for themselves. Don’t do this if you want these people to buy your books—assume they can make their own decisions and act accordingly.
So, in case you haven’t heard yet, there was a blow-up between Amazon and Macmillan. It only deserves mention here because it had a potentially huge impact on readers and authors: Amazon and Macmillan had a dispute over e-book pricing, and Amazon’s solution to this was to pull every single Macmillan book from their catalog, physical AND electronic. I.e., they basically said, “if we can’t play by my rules then I’m taking my ball and going home.” Since Macmillan is one of the big publishers, and a lot of buyers use Amazon, this would have seriously hurt both authors and readers with respect to the accessibility of many of the books we all love.
I don’t want to get into who’s right or who’s wrong, particularly since there are plenty of different sides to it. Some folks are mad about the high price of e-books and blame Macmillan for not wanting to allow Amazon to sell e-books cheaply. Others point out that Amazon wanted the benefits of being both a wholesaler and a retailer in the pricing agreement, and instead of trying to find a compromise, they took the schoolyard bully approach of trying to strong-arm Macmillan into caving.
At any rate, I know there are a lot of people who are now refusing to do business with Amazon because they feel so strongly about the matter. We’re considering whether or not to look into switching to some other bookstore’s affiliate program, and if you have an opinion, please feel free to render it in the comments. We do want to continue using an affiliate program of some kind, as it helps to pay for things like server space, bandwidth usage, and domain name registration. The attraction of Amazon is that they have so far carried pretty much everything, so I know that no matter what our readers want, they can find it there. However, if Amazon’s going to start using tactics like this, then that might not be the case any longer anyway.
It would be a pain in the butt to go through and replace all the Amazon book links with some other, but if folks feel strongly about it, we’ll do it.
Opinions? Thoughts? Who do you want to buy your books from online?
While I’m here, I should mention that it seems like my insomnia is getting better, so hopefully soon I’ll be reading & posting regularly again. In the meantime, I have a review from Renee to post today or tomorrow!
Want to make sure your fantasy, SF, or horror book blog gets listed? Add it here before August 16, 2009. I’m looking forward to seeing the full listing!
Sorry about the recent lack of reviews—it’s been a sort-of mid-summer vacation. You’ll start to see more again later this week.
In the meantime, since there have been so many spectacular internet author meltdowns regarding reviews this summer, let me leave you with a gorgeous counter-example. Nonnie wrote a hysterically harsh review of Carla Cassidy’s recent Harlequin release, Pregnesia. Carla Cassidy responded with an equally hysterical, graceful, good-sport comment in a similar style. Not only did she elevate the whole discussion to a new level of fun, but she won over extra readers who might not have been interested in her work before. An example to live by! (By the way, I love some of her non-Harlequin romance/suspense novels!)