Good Reviews/Bad Reviews what does it all mean?

I’ve discussed reviews a few times over the years, and recently I see many new authors struggling to make sense of it all. My best analogy is, take four friends to a movie and you’ll come out with four different opinions. For the most part, that is all reviews are – opinions.

However if you find in a lot of your reviews a similar theme, IE: plot holes, character flaws, grammar issues, then you know those areas are problematic. You need to take them all with a grain of salt, and a learning tool. Use what you need, ignore the rest.

I am going to leave you with two examples here of wildy opposing reviews from a book I recently read that I absolutely fell in love with – AND from one of own books too!

https://www.amazon.com/Demonologist-Novel-Andrew-Pyper-ebook/dp/B008J4TDSO

The Demonologist: A Novel by [Andrew Pyper]
TAKEN FROM AMAZON
5 ***** Review
The “Demonologist” is without a doubt the most unusual story I have read this year. Breathtaking in its suspense and narrative scope, this story unfolds slowly at first, then gaining speed to the final pages and denouement, drawing all the strands of the story to a surprise finish with a double meaning. Supernatural occurrances interwoven with flashbacks and the present storyline kept me on the edge of my seat to the point that I finished it in two days, nearly couldn’t put it down, but at the same time being unable to read this in bed before trying to sleep due to the disturbing subject matter. The author is masterful in his prose, so good that I need to look up other writings of his – the only question is which one is next, and of course how can it possibly match what I just finished reading. You will need to suspend your sense of what works in the present world a bit, but its easily done because of the way it draws you in! Highly recommended & Five Stars!
The Demonologist: A Novel by [Andrew Pyper]

1 * Review
DEMONOLOGIST…..This is the worst book I have ever read! The book begins with a divorce, goes on to a close friend telling the main character that she is dying. The book includes suicide, a desperate chance in Rome to be brought to help a man in deep religious torment. The entire situation terrifies him meanwhile the author sees John Milton’s PARADISE LOST as an evil piece of literature. Confused? the book gets worse. The main character returns to America and starts having evil hallucinations and this mess just gets worse and worse I cannot see how this mess ever got published! Don’t bother to try to read it. It’s a lost caus

NOW MINE

TAKEN FROM AMAZON

5****

 Good space drama/character study Wow! This book had me biting my nails to the end. It wasn’t that there was so much action involved (although there were pivotal moments with some action that moved the story along all in a leap). It was more that you grew to care about the characters and were left on the edge of your seat, wondering what was going to happen to them. Would they ever escape their imprisonment? Was there anything out there for them if they did escape? It was so grim in the beginning, I found my mood altering to match Finn’s dark brooding, his wish to keep everyone he cared about safe, his helplessness at being unable to do so. When events occurred, I was puzzled and alarmed and joyful right along with him, the mark of a good story. I’m glad I took this ride.

1*

Cardboard characters Such an interesting idea, so unconvincingly developped. What a pity.

So there you have it, people love it or hate it, or somewhere inbetween it! Give it your all, get an editor, and keep writing! I’d love to see some of your best and worst reviews. Share in the comments and show the world we’re not alone in this crazy journey!

The importance of not blogging

I was a steady once a week blogger, for three years. That is a lot of blogs.  I wrote about writing, trial and error, and how to promote. Or I’d share my newest book, free stories, author spotlights, and interviews. Plus tons of other fun, writerly things during that time. 

But then I got serious about putting that time to better use and began concentrating more on short stories. Stories that would be worthy of submitting to anthologies. While I still have novels in the works, this is what I’ve done in Sept/Oct of 2019 – with still more to come!

 

 

The Elements of Horror. 

I missed the deadline for fire – but you need the entire collection anyway – don’t you think? 

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A DISCOVERY OF WRITERS 

A great group of http://www.friends from around the globe came together in this masterpiece. 

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100 WORD HORROR DRABBLES

You try telling a story in a 100 words – grab book one and two for another complete collection. You wont regret it. 

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DEPTH OF DARKNESS

The writers of IASD Group bring tales of terror to life in this horrific collection. Watch the amazing live motion promo, then grab your copy.

 

Click here to access all of the above, plus more!

https://www.amazon.com/Theresa-Jacobs/e/B01BAS13T2

Facebook Ads – are they worth it?

Though I’ve been writing for nearing four years now, when it comes to marketing I am still a newb!  I know I must do it, it’s the only way to reach the masses. However I find it boring and costly. So you can take my following proof at face value – this is my take on just winging it.

The most I can glean from the experience myself is that Facebook LIES. I’ve told them as much and they’ve not yet responded.

I posted an ad to drive people to my WordPress Blog. This is Facebook’s Analytics for 7 days – $20.00 max spending. I thought, hey that’s not too shabby, 20$ is worth that many eyes. Perhaps I’ve even sold a book or two from the clicks to a sale on my blog. 

FBAD

NOPE.

(And one comment that I can’t find anywhere) 

 

The WordPress Analytics paint a completely different picture.

 

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101 total views and only 53 from Facebook…..hmmm….who’s lying here? 

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So I guess, unless you’re a marketing whiz, or already have a name for yourself, be-wary of who to decide to pay for promotions. 

Has anyone else done testing with similar, or GOOD results? 

 

https://opalescence.store/products/150x200cm-pineapple-fleece-blanket

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Adverbs, Stephen King, and the rules.

Let’s talk a bit about grammar rules.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King,

The adverb is not your friend. 

Adverbs … are words that modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. They’re the ones that usually end in -ly. Adverbs, like the passive voice, seem to have been created with the timid writer in mind…SK.

My biggest challenge as a writer is grammar. I feel like I have a grammar disability. I love to write. I love to read. In fact, I have read thousands of books over the years; too bad I haven’t been able to grasp grammar by osmosis. But I push on, give it my all, and pray my editors won’t give up on me, because I am a great story teller, (hint, hint, shameless plug).

Every time I write, some of these rules snap me out of flow and say, ‘wait, you can’t use adverbs remember!’  and I have to stop and try to re-work the sentence to fit. Many times, I give up and tell myself I’ll fix it before editing.

Imagine my shock when I decided to re-read one of my all-time favorites, The Talisman by King and Peter Straub, and I noticed this page littered with adverbs.

12 of them on page 51

Quickly

Really

Wanly

Slowly

Sharply

Mostly

Utterly rational and utterly lucid (back to back in the same sentence)

Hardly

Quietly

Barely

Clearly

Okay so what does this mean to me? Or you? Uh…rules are meant to be broken!

Also, I don’t think Mr. King was being a stickler, but perhaps teaching newbies to pay attention to their writing? If I’m lucky, he’ll get wind of this little blog and come chime in 😊  Yes wishful thinking, but stranger things have happened. Ramsey Campbell wished me a happy birthday! FAN GIRLING

Anyways I digress. I found this great blog from someone with a strong grasp in the art of grammar, and it helped me understand a bit more about the rules.

https://www.enchantingmarketing.com/how-to-use-adverbs/

I hope this helps any others who tackle the same struggles I do. Drop a line, let me know what you think.

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https://opalescence.store/products/aromatherapy-diffuser-locket

TYPE: FREEBIE at checkout for any one of this aromatherapy lockets, just pay $5.99 shipping.

 

 

Writing and your health

Today’s blog comes from the virus causing havoc with my immune system.  As a writer you know we already have adversary’s to face. Whether it’s a day job, family obligations, or our own mental turmoil, then we all get sick at one time or another. 

 

Migraines – millions of us get them – there is NO writing for me during those.

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Oops you got the poops! There’ll be many pauses, but shouldn’t interfere with writing too much. 

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The blues? Sometimes writing helps alleviate it, sometimes you can only curl up and hide away.

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A common cold – usually you can struggle on – perhaps a bit dopey on cough syrup – might lead to interesting stories.

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I have a virus ( not treatable with meds, lucky me) that is affecting my sinus’s/inner ear, so I get woozy and dizzy spells. Tons of fun! Therefore it’s taken me nearly two hours to write this simple blog. The novel’s going to be a blast this weekend, but I feel fine so I’ll write during the calm, and rest during the spins.

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How do you cope with illness and your writing? Push on or take a break? 

 

Check out my books here: https://theresajcbs.wixsite.com/authorpage

Fake it til you make it…or so they say

It’s a common phrase and fairly self-explanatory.

As described in wiki:

  “Fake it till you make it”  is an English aphorism which suggests that by imitating confidence, competence, and an optimistic mindset, a person can realize those qualities in their real life.[1][2] It echoes the underlying principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as a means to enable a change in one’s behavior. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fake_it_till_you_make_it

But what does it look like?

 

 

This From Dec 2015 – Nov 2018

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Novels
Cataclysm
Kept
The Used 
                                                                                                                                            Novellas
Sudden Death
The Cimmerians
Wife N’ Death                                                                                                                           Anthologies
Shrouded Voices
Things only the darkness knows
My other friends & more stories
100 Word Horrors
A world unimagined                                                                                                               Indie Writers Review Issue 13                                                                                              Kids Books
The lonely leaf
Puddle jumping                                                                                                                                 Poetry
Spewed thoughts                                                                                                                                Self-Help                                                                                                                                       Writing 101

 

 

The price of all that!

Costs $7900.00 Earned $975.00

Working hard to get those tables to flip. 

 

Plus the hours…

Mon – Fri 9-5 job. 7 days a week every waking moment writing.

I’m not looking to be famous, I only want to live my dream life:

Continue to be able to met author friends, to have the freedom for more book signings, for my books to be in the big box stores, and to spend my days doing everything I love – WRITING!

About author in Pic one, Lucy Lombos: http://www.lucylombos.com/

I’ll save up to be at Frightmare in 2019:  http://frightmareinthefalls.com/guests/

Coming this winter : (so far) 

 

What does your FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT look like? We feel less alone in the struggle when we share 🙂 Drop a comment and maybe meet someone new.

 

Why blog?

Blogging for writers is another form of expression. 

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It’s practice.

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A way to  meet different people. Not everyone wants to read a novel

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Share Poetry

first it was dawnthen it was goneas time marched on twilight seeped into the bluechanging the hueas darkness grewand night rang trueone by one stars blinked into sightfilling the black o

 

Tell people about new releases, maybe they will want to read this one.

 

 

Share other authors successes

https://www.theboldmom.com/

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Teach what you learn

https://authortheresajacobs.wordpress.com/2018/12/02/making-book-video-promos-2/

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Take a new path and share how you did it.

https://authortheresajacobs.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/box-store-book-signing-why-you-should-do-it/

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Share a short story

Be Mine.

Jane tucked her newly acquired decorating books against her hip as she fished into her purse for her car keys. A voice came out of the darkness, startling her. Jumping, she almost dropped the books and pulled them tighter to her side as she turned.

“Jeepers Harold, you scared me.” Jane shifted her hands under the books to spread some weight.

Harold’s voice was hushed and breathy as he slid out from between his Taurus and a cement pillar.  “I’ve been reading those books about manifesting what you want. You know the Tim Robbins and Andrew Carnegie books.”

Jane curled her lip, even from three feet away she could smell stale tobacco on his clothes. “Yeah, and how’s that working out for you?”

“You’re here aren’t you.” His left eye twitched rapidly.

“What do you mean?” A chill danced up her spine. She felt her nipples harden under her bra and rounded her shoulders, now longing for the cable-knit sweater that she thought was too hot to wear.

Harold stood straight, his brown stained teeth too jumbled in his small mouth appearing rat like as they peeked between his dry lips. “I’ve been visualizing you and me together.” His worn Keds shuffled the dusty cement as he moved imperceptibly closer.

“Uh,” Jane took a step back and hugged the books up to her chest. She took a quick glance beyond Harold and into the gray depths of the cold parking garage, noticing now how cavernous it felt. “Sorry Harold,” she mimicked checking her watch, never truly taking her eyes off him, “I’m in a bit of …”

Suddenly a shadow rose from behind a sleek black SUV. A swift motion of darkness that blended with the rest.

The shadow moved so fast that Harold didn’t get to turn his head before the steel pipe connected with his temple. His arms flew straight out towards Jane, as though reaching for an embrace, his body lost control and tottered sideways.

Jane gasped. Her eyes widened, dropping her books, she turned to run. Her foot slipped on the smooth cement. She instinctively put out her arms to catch herself, but her fall was halted by an unseen force, and she found herself wrapped in a granite embrace.

Jane felt the heat of the man’s body penetrate her chilled skin. Trying to look back and see who it was that held her, she never got the chance. A giant hand blocked her mouth and nose, holding her head firmly forward.

Her lungs had not had time to fill from her fright, and she attempted to suck in air through a wall of thick skin. Jane wiggled, kicking at solid thighs.

A soft voice that did not match the monster, whispered, “You were not his to take.”

The humid breath caressed her ear, her body involuntarily shivered, and she wet herself, as the voice finished.

“You are mine, Jane.”

 

Whatever you can imagine you can share with the world. What are you waiting for get blogging!

 

 

 

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