Monday, October 27, 2014

Book Reviews: Subjection Lesson 2

One of my most least favorite words is reviews. In particular, book reviews! Oy! And I handle the review submissions for TMP and my reasoning isn't because I hate my job. I love it.

The reason for my disdain is because no matter what, book reviews are subjective. Plain and simple. Have you ever read the disclaimer about fair or impartial reviews. Great! I honestly believe that the reviewer follows this rule but their taste does not always match mine. And while they might love one aspect but they could hate another and I may feel the opposite.

If you are a new writer or have a book out or about to, please, please, please, remember that book reviews are subjective. The review is entitled to their opinion when it concerns your work. Never engage them. Some industry folks, including reviewers, say stay away. The review isn't for the author, its for the readers.

And the sad thing is many book sales or rankings are dependent on book reviews. But who actually pays attention to them. Do you make all your reading decisions based on reviews? Do you read them for every details or do you pay attention the over star rating? What sites do you refer to build up your TBR list?

Personally, I don't base my reading choices on reviews. I might scan the star rating and I occassionally will read one but I go on word-of-mouth or stick with my favorite authors. Heck, I've been known to do just a genre search and pick out a new author.

I read a wonderful blog post by Katie McGarry where she discusses reviews and the recent incident involving an author who stalked and contacted the reviewer. If you get a chance, click on the link and read her post. It is fantastic. Truthful. Honest.

And I completely agree.

Do you have a review story? As an author, did you thank the reviewer or stay away?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Back in the Slush Pile Again: Subjection Lesson 1

You know how when you have a bad day, everything else seems to go wrong. Your hot water ran out and then you found a hole in your sock and then it started to rain and water seeped into your shoes, making your bare toe chilly. Or your baby spit up on you as you were walking out the door and ran around the entire day with smudged sour milk on your clothes and the smell was enough to make you vomit.

I kind of had a day like that last week. I re-entered the world of agents and non-TMP presses. And I wasn't a fool. I knew doing this would set me up for rejection. Sure, I have 6 books under my belt and an Amazon Best Selling boxed set but I know this business. It is subjective.

And I prepared myself for rejections, even repeating the mantra, every "No brings me closer to a Yes". But that small part of myself dreamed. Hoped. And pretended what my life would be like or how I'd react if I received a Yes. Hey, I'm a writer. We're supposed to pretend!

I'm not sure I could prepare myself for 4 rejections in one day. Is there a club? A special hand-shake? Club jackets? Because how else do you explain 4 rejections in 1 day! Wow! Now, you add that to the additional 2 rejections already marked on this project. Sure, 6 spread out over the course of a few months, I could handle.

If you're not a writer, you may not understand this but I literally went to my basement, which is really nice, and cried. Not throw myself down on the floor tantrum, just silent tears where you imagine your life without writing. Where I ran through all the reasons to quit. Where every failure you've had comes crashing down.

But if you are a writer, you know what I did next.

After I dried my face. I picked myself up and became more determined to not let this one step get me down. Instead of burying myself in a pity hole, I dusted away the carnage and felt...inspired. Because as a writer, we heal ourselves with writing. We can deal with the death of a loved one in our writing. We can overcome the fear of failing through our writing. We share our love of life in our writing. And that is exactly what I'm doing.

I can't imagine how easy life is for an agent or a publisher. They are overwhelmed with countless pitches and they, the agent or pub house may have a particular project in mind. I know, that's not fair and we aren't mind readers. But that is the way the business is and once you realize that, you will be a stronger person.

Submissions are subjective. You're writing might be superb and the story fantastic, but if it isn't what they are looking for, then they will pass. It is that simple and as a writer, you need to add this knowledge to your armor.

Are you in the slush? Have any tips on submissions? Share. We like sharing!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cassandra Page Presents: Isla's Inheritance

If you haven't seen me blather on about this young lady, then you are missing out. She is fantastic with a capital FAN! Lurve her and thrilled she is a fellow TMPer with me writing YA's, taking names and numbers! (Did that even make sense???)

So, she's a newbie author and she has a new book *drum roll*...

I mean look at this cover! Isn't it just gorgeous! 

Book & Author Details:

Isla’s Inheritance by Cassandra Page
(Isla’s Inheritance #1)
Publication date: October 9th 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Isla was content to let her father keep his secrets, but now she can’t stand the touch of iron and her dreams are developing a life of their own. She must discover the truth — before it’s too late.
Seventeen-year-old Isla Blackman only agrees to participate in a Halloween party séance because Dominic, an old crush, wants to. She is sure nothing will happen when they try to contact the spirit of her mother. But the séance receives a chilling reply.
Isla doesn’t want to upset her father by prying into the family history he never discusses. When the mysterious and unearthly Jack offers to help her discover the truth, Isla must master her new abilities to protect her loved ones from enemies she never knew existed.


Cassandra Page is a mother, author, editor and geek. She lives in Canberra, Australia’s bush capital, with her son and two Cairn Terriers. She has a serious coffee addiction and a tattoo of a cat — which is ironic, as she’s allergic to cats. When she’s not reading or writing, she engages in geekery, from Doctor Who to AD&D. Because who said you need to grow up?

Author links:

Okay, if you didn't fall in love with the cover, then you surely did with the author! I mean look at her. I'm sure all the mates are falling over for this chic in The Outback (and I don't mean the steak restaurant!)

And to make things even more interesting, she's giving away a prize! *swoons*


Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)

  • A $50 gift card at Amazon or Barnes & Noble
My final words! Get this book! Here's my review on Goodreads

Isla's Inheritance Giveaway