blogging

Merry Christmas!

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As 2016 draws to a close (thank god – what a crap year it’s been) just a quick post to say thank you to all the people who visit this blog, who take the time to read and comment and whose support and friendship mean a great deal to me.

The amount of views and new followers I’ve had this year has been amazing, and it’s been a joy to meet new people, to connect with other writers and bloggers, and to read and share books. It’s lovely to know there are like-minded souls out there, near and far.

Because the world is crappy right now, and sometimes the hate and the intolerance and the bigotry and the unfairness of it all can seem overwhelming. But looking at a wonderful painting, hearing a favourite song, escaping into a beautiful film and sinking into a good book, all these things make life a bit better. So thank you to all those authors who have shared their books with me this year, and to all the writers I’ve worked with. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege.

I wish you all a happy and peaceful holiday.

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It’s August – It’s Write An Amazon Review Month! #AugustReviews

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August 2016 is Write An Amazon Review Month! 

On Monday 25th July, book blogger Rosie Amber wrote this post encouraging readers and writers alike to post a short review on Amazon for any book they’ve read and enjoyed ~ following this up, writer Terry Tyler is starting this initiative along with other writer-bloggers including Rosie, Cathy from Between The Lines, Barb Taub, Shelley Wilson and me!

Paper cut of heart on old book

 

The idea is that, during August, everyone who reads this uses their Amazon account to post just one review on one book that they’ve read (but feel free to carry on if you get in the swing!). You don’t even have to have read it recently, it can be any book you’ve read, any time.  The book does not have to have been purchased from Amazon, though if it, your review will show the ‘Verified Purchase’ tag; however, if you download all your books via Kindle Unlimited, as many do these days, they don’t show the VP tag, anyway.

Remember, this isn’t the Times Literary Supplement, it’s Amazon, where ordinary people go to choose their next £1.99 Kindle book.  No one expects you to write a thousand word, in-depth critique; I don’t know about you, but I’m more likely to read one short paragraph or a couple of lines saying what an average reader thought of a book, than a long-winded essay about the pros and cons of the various literary techniques used.  Yes, those are welcome too (!), but no more so than a few words saying “I loved this book, I was up reading it until 3am”, or “I loved Jim and Vivien and the dialogue was so realistic”, or whatever!

Why should you write a review?

  • They help book buyers make decisions.  Don’t you read the reviews on Trip Advisor before deciding on a hotel, or any site from which you might buy an item for practical use?  Book reviews are no different.
  • If the book is by a self-published author, or published by an independent press, the writers have to do all their promotion and marketing themselves ~ reviews from the reading public is their one free helping hand.
  • The amount of reviews on Amazon helps a book’s visibility (allegedly).  If you love a writer’s work and want others to do so, too, this is the best possible way of making this happen.
  • It’s your good deed for the day, and will only take five minutes!

 

thank author

 

Off we go, then!  A few more pointers:

  • If you need any help with writing your review, do click on Rosie’s post, above.
  • A review can be as short as one word.
  • You don’t have to put your name to the review, as your Amazon ‘handle’ can be anything you like.
  • No writer expects all their reviews to be 5* and say the book is the best thing ever written; there is a star rating guide on Rosie’s post.
  • Would you like to tell the Twittersphere about your review?  If so, tweet the link to it with the hashtag #AugustReviews ~ and thank you!  Terry will do one blog post a week featuring these links: The #AugustReviews Hall of Fame (thank you, Barb!).

If you have a blog and would like to spread the word about #AugustReviews, please feel free to copy and paste this blog post, provide the link to it, re-blog it, or whatever ~ many thanks, and we hope you will join in to make this idea a success 🙂

 

 

 

Guest post: reading, blogging and fit men!

I’m over on Wendy Lou’s blog today talking about reading and blogging. I’ve also managed to find an excuse to include Tom Hardy, Johnny Depp and Ryan Gosling. Click the link above to come and have a read. And in the meantime:

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#AtoZChallenge – Reflections

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When my lovely friend and fellow blogger Rosie Amber suggested I take part in the A to Z Challenge I didn’t really know what to expect. Yes, I knew I’d be posting every day except Sundays in April, and I had an idea for a theme – writing and editing tips – but I had no idea how interesting and valuable an experience it would be.

I started off the way I always do – incredibly efficient and well-organised (to begin with). I had ten posts ready to go before the challenge actually started – all scheduled so that all I had to do was hit publish. This, however, lulled me into a false sense of security and by the time I’d reached letter ‘M’ I was writing posts the day they were due. So much for being well-organised!

The best thing about the challenge was making contact with other bloggers – bloggers and blogs mostly concerned with writing, but in a variety of genres and with a variety of interests and insights to share. These are recommended:

https://saylingaway.wordpress.com/

http://lucciagray.com/

http://www.shanayatales.com/

and of course

https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/

The trickiest thing was navigating blogs other than those on WordPress – it was irritating reading and appreciating a blog post and taking the time to add a comment only to have to jump through hoops to get the comment published. Not the bloggers fault of course, but a bit of a shame as sometimes I just gave up!

Another minor irritation was the amount of blogs listed that actually weren’t taking part. I’m pushed for time and the challenge was a big commitment. It was annoying to click on link after link to find no mention of the challenge or to read about theme reveal that looked really interesting only to find that the blogger had decided not to take part. Having said that, with the amount of blogs listed, I can understand that it would be extremely difficult and time consuming to remove these blogs from the list.

That said, I did thoroughly enjoy the challenge. I made lots of new blogging friends and had a big increase in visits to the site. And I’ll definitely take part next year. Although I’ll try and stay organised this time!