Tuesday Book Review: “Sunaru”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

sunaru larry lueder

Sunaru

by Larry Lueder

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781432713553

Synopsis*:

Manators, horrex, bull-bears and …

In all the universe, only humankind stuggles to settle into distant planets on faraway galaxies. Sunaru is one such life supporting planet and this is one in a series of stories of such life struggles.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

The author has taken us into the future, with space travel made easy, new planets discovered and the dangers of setting up a new civilization. One cannot take on the expedition if they do not meet the requirements, one of which is that you are an ex-con and willing to fight. Also on board are frozen embryos, clones and a mix of people from other planets.

The discovery of Sunaru is one of excitement and danger- no civilized person has been here before. What they didn’t realize is that they are not alone- Manators, horrex and bull-bears are in hiding waiting for them. In an instant they will appear and one of the explorers will disappear.

Through the author’s excited voice and description, the readers are able to imagine that this one-day may be where we live. It is filled with drama, daring escapes and creatures you couldn’t even imagine. Mr. Lueder brings in new concepts of families, medicine, weaponry and survival that none of us might even imagine.

I must say that science fiction isn’t something I read a lot of; however, while reading “Sunaru” by Lawrence Leuder I felt that the author was giving us a preview of what’s to come. This is the first in a series for the author; the ending of the book leaves you wanting more.

– reviewed on Reader Views

Book Trailer


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Self-Publishing News: 4.2.2018 – The Company Files!

april

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, specifically news from or regarding self-publishing companies!

Ever wondered where to get started when it comes to self-publishing? Mashable, one of the great pop culture news archives and indices, and its Team Commerce are this week advocating that you take a class–or rather, several classes–on the subject. The classes they’re specifically recommending are not, unfortunately, free, but they are proprietary to Mashable and therefore not underwritten or selling any one specific self-publishing platform or company–an important fact, given how much industry-related material is generated to drive publicity and sales; to find (at least mostly) neutral and objective material like this is rare. Even if you don’t invest in the course series, which is called “The eBook Self-Publishing Bundle,” the points it covers make for a great summary of what’s hot and important in self-publishing today, from building a responsive website to preparing your manuscript for reading on the Kindle to how to use the writing software Scrivener to ways to boost writing productivity habits. If this course series is any indication, we can look for a lot more high-quality self-publishing-related news and information from Mashable in the future.

Every now and again, we like to cover material that we may not personally agree with, but which we think might have some bearing on how we perceive the process through which we are all going here on Self-Publishing Advisor (that is, the self-publishing process). This article, which comes by way of Cornelia Scott Cree of the American Thinker, is less of a think piece than it is a make-you-think piece, a warning or signpost on the way to self-publication. It’s not easy, Cree indicates, to parse what’s real and what’s not in the industry, and what’s going to help you out in the long run versus what’s doable and easy in the present. You might use words like “venting” or “diatribe” to describe Cree’s piece, but the fact remains: many authors get into self-publishing because no other avenues forward present themselves, and then they find themselves woefully under-prepared to both navigate the system and succeed. If for no other reason than to see your own struggles reflected back at you, take a look at Cree’s original article … and then dig in and do your due diligence, and find a partner or reliable self-publishing company which doesn’t offer empty promises.


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As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry.This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

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7 Tips to Highly-Successful Interviewing for Self-Publishing Book Promotion

share your story author interview

All self-publishing authors should be well-prepared to give interviews. Whether in writing (email/blog interviews), over the phone, or in-person in front of a microphone or camera, the ability to speak articulately about you and your book pays endless dividends. These tips will help.

  1. Anything you say during an interview can be recorded, so choose your words wisely. Off-color jokes may be entertaining in context, but taken out of context can shed a negative light on your image. Try to ensure nothing you say can be misinterpreted.
  2. There is no “off the record.” Even if the interviewer or journalist honors that particular disclaimer, things you say “off the record” still paint a particular “picture” for the interviewer, which will reveal itself within the slant of the piece or from other questions when the “record” is turned back on.
  3. Don’t use acronyms, confusing terminology, or jargon. Your book may be very complex or scientific, but that doesn’t mean you have to be. Demonstrate your intelligence and proficiency in your subject matter by “translating” those confusing terms and concepts so the lay-man can understand it, too.  If you absolutely must use a term that few people will understand, be sure to define/describe it.
  4. Identify three key points you want to convey during the course of the interview.  Prioritize them like this: The most important point falls at the end of the interview, the second most important point falls at the start of the interview, and the third most important point falls somewhere in the middle.
  5. A popular writing adage is “Show, don’t tell.”  Show the interviewer (and the subsequent audience) how your book will entertain/educate them through a personal story or analogy.  This is much more effective than telling them…
  6. Write down ten potential interview questions.  Make the questions a part of your media kit, your book club kit, your virtual book club kit.  Many interviewers may just ask your questions verbatim (less work for them), or may ask a slightly paraphrased version of them.  There’s nothing quite as comforting as answering an interview question you wrote yourself.
  7. Practice, practice, practice. Practice answering those ten questions in front of a mirror. And then practice answering those questions in front of a friend or family member. Try to avoid reading your answers. Have them memorized.  As Seneca said: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

seneca luck quote


brent sampson
In 2002, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Semi-Finalist Brent Sampson founded Outskirts Press, a custom book publishing solution that provides a cost-effective, fast, and powerful way to help authors publish, distribute, and market their books worldwide while leaving 100% of the rights and 100% of the profits with the author. Outskirts Press was incorporated in Colorado in October, 2003.
In his capacity as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, Brent is an expert in the field of book publishing and book marketing. He is also the author of several books on both subjects, including the bestseller Sell Your Book on Amazon, which debuted at #29 on Amazon’s bestseller list.

Tuesday Book Review: “When is Sylvia Wallace”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

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When is Sylvia Wallace

by Brad Anderson

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478763949

Synopsis*:

Her new world began in complete silence and absolute darkness. It wasn’t supposed to happen. It wasn’t even supposed to be possible. All the science and technology said so, but a freak accident changes everything and Deputy U.S. Marshal Sylvia Wallace finds herself sometime in the future when the Janus Project does not exist and most of the people around her are prison escapees. All is not forsaken, however. A note from the past gives her hope. Deputy U.S. Marshal Robert Mackie (the Guardians trilogy) and Colonel John Callan (The Janus Project) are coming to take her back to her time. All she has to do is stay alive until they find her, which becomes the most dangerous time of all.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

“When Is Sylvia Wallace? from The Janus Project files,” by Brad Anderson is a roller coaster ride from the time U.S. Marshall Sylvia Wallace wakes up in an abandoned mine. The Earth has undergone a geomagnetic shift and is tilted on her axis, sending most of the planet into an ice-age when, in a Western-style shootout, friends Robert Mackie (from the “Guardians” trilogy) and Colonel John Callan (from “The Janus Project”) attempt a retrieval to take her back to her own time.

Brad Anderson does a wonderful, thorough job at describing this cold, nearly barren world Sylvia now finds herself in. The dystopian society she is surrounded by is so believable and realistic that one shudders to think how easily circumstances could devolve into the very struggle for day-to-day existence he so graphically portrays in this tale. With a style reminiscent of Stephen King, note how he describes one of his protagonist’s actions.

Escaped criminal and self-appointed mayor Rich Witkowski has realized that he must dispose of the bodies of his abducted victims quickly and chooses dismemberment:

The ulna and the radius just above the left wrist were exposed because that was where he had first grasped this corpse. He slipped the joined bones into the cutter opening. “Good. Just wide enough. I can save the hatchet and the hacksaw for the larger bones.” He lay the used shop towel on the concrete near the hand. “But first, the fingers.”

This novel is not just for those who wonder about the possibility of time travel, but also for those who enjoy dystopian tales, psychological thrillers, or high drama. Personally, I’ve always been fascinated with science fiction and time travel in general. But, what I most enjoyed about this story was the minute details concerning survival itself. With both John Callan and Sylvia, Anderson goes into extensive description of just what is necessary to survive in an arctic environment. From the character’s step by step thought processes on deciding how to wrap one’s head for protection against the harsh elements, to the lengthy descriptions of ice walls and submerging into below-freezing water, to the panoramic detail of the physical environments the characters encounter.

Without having read The Janus Project, the connection, the familiarity and loyalty between the main characters nevertheless came through loud and clear. “When Is Sylvia Wallace? from The Janus Project files” works perfectly as a stand-alone novel, and will encourage readers to seek out the original story. However, in my opinion, the author could spin this into a series of its own: “From the Janus Project files, volume XX,” because this is a topic and genre that could garner an increasing fan base. With the blurring of genre lines, Brad Anderson has written an engrossing story that will grab readers of science fiction, action and adventure, and psychological thrillers.

– reviewed by Judy Derby for Reader Views

Other Reviews

This is a time travel novel and an adventure.
Sylvia Wallace is a Deputy US Marshall who works with the Janus Project in protecting people who were put in the Witness Protection Program. Unfortunately, she was in her pod when something happened and her pod crashed. She finds herself in the year 2036 in a coal mine. This is one of the areas where the program had a base. She knew the procedures to follow and did. She found her way out of the mine to the headquarters building where she found a number of men who were dead. They had died trying to take another man who had killed most of them. The others died in a blast from a sabotaged metal box. Past them was the entrance to the headquarters emergency base. Here she found food, clothing, shelter, and other equipment. She knows the protocol is to find her way to Alexandria to the main headquarters so they will know where to find her. To do this, she must walk out in the middle of a snow and ice storm.
John Callan is called back into action by Rob Mackie to help find Sylvia. First, they had to search many years from 2015 to find her. Once they found her, John and Rob were taking a risk to go into the future. No one had ever gone into the future. Would they make it in one piece? Would they be in the same year as Sylvia and the same place? If they did find her, could they get home?
This novel was excellent and just as good as the first one. I am not usually a fan of science fiction but with Brad Anderson’s books, I am definitely caught up in this series. I certainly hope there will be more. Be careful or you will find yourself staying up all night to finish it!

– Amazon reviewer P. Blevins

The story, “When is Sylvia Wallace” is engaging. Even the title is intriguing and draws you into wanting to know exactly what that means. Brad’s detailed descriptions of the physical and emotional allows you to become fully immersed into the story. Mr. Anderson helps you feel the cold, smell the natural gas in the tunnel and take part in the action. “When is Sylvia Wallace” is one of those books that is hard to put down and will leave you wanting to know more about these characters and follow them into future or past (in the case of time travel) adventures.

– Amazon reviewer NeoTheOne

 


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Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space!

Self Publishing Advisor

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Self-Publishing News: 3.26.2018 – Publishing Trends Roundup

Word MARCH. Vector decorative unusual object

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, specifically regarding publishing trends within the publishing industry, and their implications for all authors!

Fancy that–this week, self-publishing made The Verge! This week’s article by Verge contributor Shannon Liao focuses in on self-publishing platform Smashwords, which recently announced plans to partner with indie audiobook maker Findaway Voices. The deal hinges, Liao writes, on making it possible for “Smashwords’ authors and publishers [to] find professional narrators more quickly and hear voice actor recommendations from an online casting support team. There will also be estimates of production costs and stated hourly rates for voice actors, ranging from $150 to $400 an hour.” That may sound like a lot, and it is, as the average audiobook lasts in excess of six hours, but it does indicate progress for authors who previously had no access at all.

This is not the first time that a self-publishing company has partnered up with an audiobook company, but it is the first time it has made mainstream news indices like The Verge. Here’s hoping there are many more fruitful partnerships ahead–and not just because this is an excellent service idea, but also because more competition will drive the price down for those authors who really can’t afford the service, just yet.

If you’re wondering why we’re forefronting Facebook this week, then here’s a quick summary of events: recently, the social media heavyweight was implicated in election profiteering (which is not illegal) as well as the dissemination of private user data for profit (which is illegal, or at the very least a grey area) and exploitation by a political entity, which is not quite the same thing. Many Facebook users are outraged, and others are concerned that this marks a transition in the social media industry from providing services in exchange for harmless, benign, and politically (mostly) neutral data exchanges (such as the hosting of annoying ads in the margins of your home page) to a social media industry which ruthlessly exploits its users the same way that everyone else seems to. Many people have decided to quit Facebook altogether as a result. Enter Bruce Shapiro of The Nation, who argues a different take on the subject: that Facebook, a de facto self-publishing platform, “for all its flaws, […] remains a vital tool for political activism.” Shapiro argues we ought to regulate Facebook, transforming it into something more like a public utility, so that these functions can remain available to us without (as much) risk of it being put to political and profiteering ends. This is a strongly-worded take on the subject, but it would seem that the time for strongly-worded takes has come. What happens next depends on us, and our elected representatives. Is Facebook really a self-publishing platform? Should that figure into the debate? We’d love to hear your thoughts, here or on Twitter at @SelfPubAdvisor.


spa-news

As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry.This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

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In Your Corner: Nail Down New Readers with Pinterest Book Marketing Tips

Think of Pinterest as a highly sophisticated scrapbooking or bookmarking tool – one that allows you share with and borrow from other users. That element of sharing can be a powerful tool, if you use it to your advantage.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a unique opportunity to reach out to readers and to the writing community in ways you may not have thought of. Once you’ve signed up for an account, apply these techniques to make a positive impression:

  • Build your presence. Once you’ve signed up, get started by building the identity, or brand, you want to project to other Pinterest users. First and foremost, fill out that profile as completely and creatively as you can. The more information you give, the more likely it is that people will follow you and pay attention to what you pin. Then get started pinning the things that resonate with you and define you as a writer.
  • Build pin boards. Create a separate board for each of your books, and perhaps extra boards for other books in your genre that have inspired you.
  • Promote visually. Writers illustrate with words, but Pinterest represents an opportunity to attach memorable visual images to your project. Do you have a book in progress? Consider pinning photos of locations represented in your book, or even actors who resemble how your picture your characters.
  • Go behind the scenes. Don’t be afraid to demonstrate how the “magic” happens with pictures of your writing desk, photos from book signings or industry-related events you attended. Allowing readers a peek inside your world puts a human face on the writing process and helps build a virtual rapport.
  • Pin promotions. Are you offering buy-one-get-one specials or redeeming coupons for discounts? Pin ’em! Post printable coupons, or offer a promotional code with links to your website or author page where your book is available.
  • Engage. Just as you would with Facebook, WordPress, Twitter and other social media, interact thoughtfully with other users. Post comments and useful links on their pinned items, and re-pin the ones you like.
  • Get “pin-able.” PSome studies suggest that users are spending more time pinning than they are Facebooking. Feed the sharing need by making sure that distinctive red “P” appears on your own website.

You are not alone. ♣︎


Elizabeth

ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Outskirts Press. The Sales and Marketing departments are composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.

Tuesday Book Review: “On Liberty’s Wings”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

on liberty's wings diane dettmann

On Liberty’s Wings: A Post-WWII Novel

by Diane Dettmann

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478714026

Synopsis*:

The end of World War II signals a new beginning for America, but for twenty-two-year-old Yasu Nakahara and her family, harsh prejudices remain. Now married and leading a new life, Yasu faces barriers almost as unyielding as the years she and her family spent imprisoned in the Japanese internment camp in California during the war. Motivated by flashbacks of armed military guards and barbwire fences, Yasu strives to build a new life. She pours her heart and soul into her new teaching position while her husband Masato, a World War II veteran, faces his own battles of attaining an engineering degree and securing a job. On Liberty’s Wings: A Post-WWII Novel is a story of the strength of the human spirit and focuses on themes of forgiveness, choice, prejudice and change. Readers become immersed in Yasu’s evolution and her family’s recovery as they celebrate victories and grieve their losses.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

Book 3 of the Courageous Footsteps series continues the story of Yasu, who is now married and leading a new life in the aftermath of World War II, which landed her family in a Japanese internment camp and resulted in the death of her beloved brother. How does one recover to lead a new life in the aftermath of such gut-wrenching disaster? That’s one of the keys to understanding the determined, feisty Yasu’s process as she faces a vastly changed world and life, including a new teaching job and expanding opportunities, even as her husband Masato struggles to pursue a degree and faces losing his job to an experienced, returning war vet.

Readers who have followed Yasu’s evolution in previous books will especially appreciate seeing these threads of change, which force characters to consider new actions, reactions, and consequences of their behaviors even as society changes and evolves around them. While the story stands nicely alone as an individual piece, when read in the wider context of Yasu’s life, it serves as yet another jigsaw puzzle piece creating the bigger picture of the World War II experience. Especially when taken as an integral part of this blossoming series, it is recommended for mature teens to adult readers seeking far more psychological depth and social inspection than the usual focus on the Japanese experience in America during the War.

– reviewed on the Independent Publisher’s Shelf at the Midwest Book Review

Other Reviews

Diane weaves in the intensity of racial actions and words with a story that ‘Americanizes’ a small Japanese American family just trying to make it in post-World War II America. They face the additional challenge of experiencing the advantages and disadvantages of being a minority in our society. Dettmann captures the basic goodness in human nature, showing how many treated this family as if they weren’t different while including reminders that negative racial thoughts are as much a part of human nature as that goodness. As a third generation Japanese American born and raised in the Midwest, I believe that Diane writes with an awareness of what it’s like being racially different that is quite accurate.

– Amazon reviewer John Suzukida

On Liberty’s Wings is a powerful, gripping novel that made me want to read it all the way through, in one sitting. Diane Dettman’s saga sweeps us through many experiences—love, overcoming prejudice, the desire for a new life and recovery from trauma, and the power of the individual in the midst of collective transformation. I was enthralled by Dettman’s beautiful characters and her vivid descriptions of real historic events, as well as how they impacted the lives of so many people. As a historical novel, On Liberty’s Wings offers rich and poignant insight into the often-unrecognized stories of Japanese internment camps, as well as a sense of personal proximity to the struggles of individual people. The book, although fictional, is a testament to the courage of those who have faced the odds, and the power of empathy and shared humanity in restoring hope. The book sheds light on painful experiences, but it’s truly my definition of a feel-good novel. I recommend it highly!

– Amazon reviewer Kelly McNelis

Book Trailer


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Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space!

Self Publishing Advisor

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