Tuesday Book Review: “Just George”

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:

just george ellen deery freeman

Just George

by Ellen Deery Freeman

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478765004

 

Synopsis*:

Few books will touch your heart like Just George, the true story of a small dog found limping beside the highway, scared, injured, and near death from starvation and dehydration. You will experience almost every emotion imaginable as George himself relates the events of the year that follows. The lasting results of his past abuse are evident, and you will feel his anguish as he struggles to overcome his fear of everything from fly swats, to closing doors, to human hands, and your heart will ache as he longs for his own “forever home” where he can feel safe and loved. Just George is a beautiful story which will be enjoyed by everyone from school-age children to senior adults, and when you purchase it, you will be helping provide for other homeless animals who so desperately want a “forever home.”

Ten percent of the profit from Just George will be donated to The Hampton County Animal Shelter in Varnville, South Carolina, where the author’s picture was taken, as long as it remains under the current management.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured News Snippet:

Local author and retired school teacher Ellen Deery Freeman held a book signing/fundraising event for her first book, “Just George,” a story about the wonderful little dog that came into her life. Freeman is pictured above with her husband, Buddy, signing books for readers, and below with Buddy, George and Amanda Strickland, Hampton County Animal Shelter manager.

Freeman, a lifelong animal lover, used the event and a portion of the proceeds of her book to raise money for the H.C. Animal Shelter, and the event raised more than $500 in donations plus ten percent of the book profits for the shelter. The author wishes to thank the Hampton United Methodist Church for the use of its beautiful social hall, her husband and family members for their support, and every person who braved the weather to attend the event.

If you wish to further support the local animal shelter, some of the much-needed items you can donate include: cat litter, cat litter deodorizer, bleach, dog and cat shampoo, blankets, towels and paper towels, flea and tick prevention, Lysol spray and Fabuloso.

– from “Ellen Deery Freeman hosts books signing” on The Hampton County Guardian

Reviewers Are Saying …

Beautifully written!

– Amazon Reviewer Sharon Karusiotis Barboza

Such a sweet book for any animal lover! Great job!

– Amazon Reviewer Teresa

Precious book! This book would be enjoyed by everyone from the school-age child t senior adults. Just precious!

– Amazon Reviewer Nochinafurniture

You can also read an interview with the author on the official Outskirts Press blog, Self Publishing News

 


tuesday book review

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

Self Publishing Advisor

selfpubicon1

Tuesday Book Review: “Asunder”

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:

asunder: a novel of the civil war by curt locklear

Asunder: A Novel of the Civil War

by Curt Locklear

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478758525

cipa evvy award

a CIPA EVVY Award Nominee!

Synopsis*:

Thrust into the middle of Civil War battle, with both Union and Rebel protagonists and antagonists, Asunder, the first in a trilogy, is a story of love and loss and of families torn apart. Thoroughly researched, the novel presents numerous complex, memorable characters struggling against incredible odds in an epic spanning from Texas to New York.

The story begins in frigid February, long after the battle. Cyntha Favor, an abolitionist and ardent believer in Spiritualism, searches the battlefield in hopes of finding her husband’s grave. Having received erroneous reports of his death, she hopes to free his tormented soul.

Sara Reeder, initially naive and an ardent supporter of the Southern cause, is thrust into the battle maelstrom. An excellent horse-woman, she rides to warn the army of a surprise attack, but is too late. With battle all around, she aids wounded Union soldiers, and her zeal for the war changes forever. In early 1861, both armies wore an assortment of uniforms. The Union had not adopted the standard blue uniform. Cyntha’s husband, a Union soldier, Iowa Grays volunteer, Joseph Favor, is found unconscious by Sara. Nursed to health by Sara and her father, Lucas, he awakens with no memory, unable to recall even the battle. The Reeders perceive him to be a Confederate.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review:

I have studied the Civil War for decades and this book is an accurate portrayal of that time period.  The author really brings to life the world of the 1860’s Missouri.  The characters of Joe, Cyntha, Sara, Lucas and Dred, amongst others are very well crafted and quickly a reader finds himself caring for what will happen to each character.  The story runs in relatively three distinct plot lines that are deeply interwoven.  The author very accurately portrays not only that war is killing and death but he also amazingly brings to light the fog of war. I have rarely seen anything outside of unit battle diaries that offer such a succinct feel for that key aspect of war.  I really enjoyed Joseph in the army and Sara and her family not to mention Cyntha and her protector Josiah.

It was not clear to me as a reader that this was part one of three until late in the book.  Further, I was more than disrupted by the constant flash backs and flash forwards.  It was extremely confusing at times to go from six months ahead to five months back to three days later to six months back, etc.  Had this book been crafted in a smooth chronological order, it would have been 5 stars.

I personally found the portrayal of the river pirates and the Jayhawks to be too realistic and offensive.  Fans of Games of Thrones/Walking Dead/Vikings will appreciate the lawlessness and disgusting behavior.  I could do with much less of it.  There is enough in the basis of the story with the war and all the turmoil and drama without the extra aspects.

A worthy read and now I must read part two to see what happens to Cynthia as she tries to find her brother.

– Review by N. N. Light on the POTL: All Things Books, Reading and Publishing blog

 

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

I read a lot of Civil War novels by best-selling authors and those new to the genre like Mr. Locklear. I’m happy to give Asunder five well-deserved stars. It’s easy for writers of first novels to lean on clichés and tired vignettes to tell their story. It’s easy to let the action carry the plot and forget to develop fully rounded characters. Not so with Asunder. The tale begins with a mostly unknown major battle in the often overlooked state of Missouri and dives immediately into the lives of several interesting people, civilian and military, women and men, slave and free. I recommend Asunder to any reader who wants a great story about likable characters cast into terrible situations. I’m ready for the second book of the trilogy.

– Amazon Reviewer Philip T McBride

I love historic fiction but have to be careful as when I find a good book I tend to stay up too late reading. This book did not disappoint so I have had some long days after nights where I can’t put it down. I am about 3/4’s of the way through and could not wait to write a terrific review. If you like reading about the Civil War you will enjoy this read leaning about battles, ship wrecks and seances.

– Amazon Reviewer Barbmom

Book Trailer:

 


tuesday book review

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

Self Publishing Advisor

selfpubicon1

Saturday Book Review: “Paradox Effect”

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, courtesy of Amazon reviewer faience:

Time Travel and Purified DNA Merge to Halt the Collapse of Human Existence gabriel koch

Paradox Effect: Time Travel and Purified DNA Merge to Halt the Collapse of Human Existence

by Gabriel F. W. Koch

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478756224

Synopsis:

In 2554, the World is Coming to its End, unless an impossible mission through 600 years of time travel succeeds. Maternal instinct knows no boundaries, including the nano-neural-net intravenously installed in Dannia Weston’s mind to repress her identity, allowing her to perform a mission 300 years before her time. Transported to the year 1954, Dannia becomes a woman with a mid-twentieth century persona, college educated with an aptitude for mechanical invention. Due to her work during the war, she is employed by the U.S. government on a secret project. But what no one knows-including Dannia or those who sent her back to tinker with the mechanical past to reduce future pollution-is what might happen should she become emotionally involved in 1954. The 2254 science team programmed the nano-net to prevent the possibility of pregnancy, but each person reacts to strong emotional stimuli differently, and using birth control not available in 1954 is out of the question. When Dannia falls in love with Peter Hersh and becomes pregnant, her hormones erode a small section of the nano-chained network that stabilizes her new identity, triggering a mild memory rebirth…and threatening her mission and the fate of the world.

Critique:

I’m picky about science fiction, but this time travel novel does three things that won me over. It willingly faces the question of whether changing history is an absolute wrong. The plot and the characters are complex. And the heroine is awesome.

In the year 2254 CE humanity has had a brush with near-destruction. The surviving remnant of political order decides it’s not only right, but vital, to develop time travel and use it to tweak history. Carefully chosen people with skills that can nudge humanity toward a better end are sent back to various times in history where they can make a difference.

One of those people is Dannia Weston, a government researcher working a top secret technology project in 1950’s America, and thank heaven the novel does NOT dredge up cliches about gender roles in the ‘fifties. Dannia, and the people she encounters and works with, are still the generation that worked together during World War II and earned each other’s respect.

Transplanting people from 2254 CE to the extinct culture of 1954 is tricky business. Their own memories are suppressed and replaced with personal histories that fit in the historic period to which they’re sent, and their knowledge is tailored to the period as well, advanced enough to dial back the doomsday clock, but not spectacular enough to draw dangerous attention.

Dannia’s particular assignment is an invention that will advance energy efficiency. If it can be implemented in the 1950s, the benefits for both environment and world peace are huge.

But a glitch occurs in this little interference with history. Dannia’s suppressed memory begins to awaken. Why? The answer – her unplanned pregnancy – comes early in the book, but produces more dangerous paradoxes that need delicate handling. Can this child be born? Can Dannia be extracted and brought back to 2254? Can her child? The passage in which the project directors talk about the paradox that would create was a mind-bender.

The other thing I liked is that the story doesn’t build its plot on stock-character bad guys. At worst, the man sent to hunt her is overzealous and ill-equipped to make the judgements he has to make, and his commanders are naive. What seems like a simple question of conflict between Dannia’s two lives in different centuries is actually a multi-layered, multi-century problem in which authorities are flying blind.

The book raises questions about fate and choice, about how many of the cards we deal ourselves and how many are dealt by an unseen hand. The story is exciting, mind-expanding, and often funny, with some amusing cameo appearances by historic figures, and the secondary characters are as unpredictable and interesting as the main ones. It’s a fun read.

reviewed on Amazon by faience ]

2016 CIPA EVVY Awards

3rd Place Winner in the Science Fiction/Fantasy Category!

CIPA EVVY Award 3rd place

Book Trailer


saturday self-published book review

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

Self Publishing Advisor

selfpubicon1

 

From the Archives: “Congratulations to the [2016] CIPA EVVY Awards Finalists”!

Welcome back to our Tuesday segment, where we’ll be revisiting some of our most popular posts from the last few years.  What’s stayed the same?  And what’s changed?  We’ll be updating you on the facts, and taking a new (and hopefully refreshing) angle on a few timeless classics of Self Publishing Advisor.

∗∗∗∗∗

[ Originally posted: May 15th, 2013 ]

Later this week, on May 18th, the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA) EVVY Awards will be hosting the 2013 award banquet. The event will take place at Marriott Denver South at Park Meadows and all proceeds will benefit the literacy projects of the CIPA Education and Literacy Foundation (CIPA ELF).

CIPA is a nonprofit association of independent book publishers, authors, future authors and related publishing service providers that has been providing leadership since 1992. Members come from many states as well as from Colorado and three foreign countries to take advantage of the resources made available through CIPA membership. Organization membership, along with active participation in CIPA programs, can open doors to many opportunities and can save thousands of dollars in costly mistakes.

Best of luck to all the finalists! To learn more about the event, visit http://www.cipacatalog.com/pages/CIPA-EVVY-Awards.

by Kelly Schuknecht

It’s been a long time since we’ve mentioned the CIPA EVVY Awards, an unforgivable lapse given that the EVVYs are one of independent publishing’s few (and most prestigious) award competitions.  Talk about a shortfall!  The world of traditional publishing is rife with similar awards (or as my dad would say, “It’s right lousy with ’em.”) and while yes, they’re sometimes the hallmark of snootiness and a competitive dynamic that self-publishing authors have for the most part eschewed, but they can also be a fantastic marketing tool.

Not only does winning an award create another cross-searchable entry in your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy; not only does winning an award gain you recognition from those present at the awards ceremony and throughout the judging process; not only does winning an award give you a great new addition to your book’s listing on Amazon, Goodreads, and elsewhere that will boost your profile among new potential readers; not only does winning an award give you a great excuse to re-release your book in a new e-book or physical edition (after all, an award notice makes for a great new feature of your cover design); not only does winning an award do all of these things, but it also provides affirmation of your hard work and conversation fodder for the rest of your life.

The 2016 CIPA EVVY Awards differed, of course, a little from their 2013 ancestors. (And I’m not just speaking about the contest entries themselves.)  The EVVYs closed to entries this year in May and the Awards Banquet was held in August.  (August 20th, to be precise.)  In a gesture to its own growing profiles, the banquet wasn’t held in a hotel this year, but in a museum–the Forney Museum of Transportation.  (A beautiful place if you haven’t been.)

*****

 

 

By all accounts, the awards themselves were a blast.  I take great pride in knowing that the self-publishing company I and several other of the bloggers here at SPA  work for (Outskirts Press) made the list of winners–regularly–and that we are in very good company.  Take a look at the list of all the 2016 CIPA EVVY winners!  Scan through the list of author names, and through their publishers.  I’ve never seen such a diverse list of hybrid and self-publishing companies, D.I.Y.-ers, and interesting book titles.

Clearly, I have some new reading material to get through!

Thanks for reading.  If you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them.  Drop me a line in the comments section below and I’ll respond as quickly as I can.  ♠


Kelly

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.

 

 

Congratulations to the 2013 CIPA EVVY Awards Finalists

Later this week, on May 18th, the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA) EVVY Awards will be hosting the 2013 award banquet. The event will take place at Marriott Denver South at Park Meadows and all proceeds will benefit the literacy projects of the CIPA Education and Literacy Foundation (CIPA ELF).

CIPA is a nonprofit association of independent book publishers, authors, future authors and related publishing service providers that has been providing leadership since 1992. Members come from many states as well as from Colorado and three foreign countries to take advantage of the resources made available through CIPA membership. Organization membership, along with active participation in CIPA programs, can open doors to many opportunities and can save thousands of dollars in costly mistakes.

Best of luck to all the finalists! To learn more about the event, visit http://www.cipacatalog.com/pages/CIPA-EVVY-Awards.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

18th Annual CIPA Book Competition

The deadline to enter the 18th Annual CIPA Book Competition 2012 CIPA EVVY Awards is only a few short weeks away. The CIPA EVVY is an internationally recognized book competition for independently published books. Winning an EVVY award is proven to help increase your book sales. CIPA EVVY award winners also receive recognition by displaying CIPA EVVY WINNER stickers on their books and website as well as through participation in various CIPA programs such as the Honors Recognition Program and the Douglas County Libraries E-Book Program. Here is a quick overview of the entry rules and guidelines:

1) Only CIPA Regular or Associate members in good standing can enter.
2) Entries must be independently or self-published and contain a minimum of 48 pages. (Children’s Pictures Book entries don’t apply to the 48 page rule.)
3) All books must have an ISBN and a 2011 or 2012 publication date. (Legacy category is an exception.)
4) Each title may be entered in as many categories as desired. A separate entry fee must be paid for EACH category entered.
5) All Entry fees must be paid prior to or simultaneously with entry submission. No entry will be accepted without payment of entry fee.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press.  In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.