What Kind of Writer are You?

Writer's Block 1

Serenity Now! (Photo credit: NathanGunter)

A couple of years ago I read a post from a well-known writer about the “two kinds” of writers that supposedly exist…and I couldn’t believe my eyes. What perhaps bothered me the most about the post was the OCD-like rehashing of all the points made in the beginning of the post…continually pummeled throughout the rest of it (yes, it was looong…). And it went beyond just defining a writer’s genre, but into the realm of how many books you have in you and the heavily implied analysis that being one way was outright better than the other way, and yada x 3….

Reading that post and revisiting a blog post I was going to write-up-about-it-then-but-forgot-about brought me back to all the writer conferences I’ve attended and all the discussions on this subject I’ve been a part of. It is a good question…what kind of a writer are you?

Are you a one-book writer…or in it for the long haul? And is one way better than the other? One genre better than another?

Agents and publishers want (and okay, need) to pigeonhole you, nail you to a wall with all these publishing metrics, because they have to figure out where to fit you into their business plans…their promotion and marketing of you. But once you get past all that…how do you define your writing? Your “authorness”?

And is it any reason to get hung up on said definitions?

Should it matter to you that you fit into someone elses description of who you are?

There are many out there not directly within your publishing food chain who like to slice and dice and nitpick and analyze and delineate to death whether someone has one or two or three books in them and whether one is in it for “the long haul.” Some people are just oriented that way (numbers and stats)…while some like to rack-and-stack their competition and see where we all fit in. Some use this information to feel superior about where they feel they are in their self-described (and oft lauded) hierarchy. You know the bit: I have sexier shoes…I look better in that outfit than you…I have more (and better defined) muscles…my car’s got more horsepower.

Don’t get caught up in that game.

Figure out your genre, then just write and don’t worry about your “label.” About where you fit into somebody else’s grand literary schema. If you want to publish—publish. You can Indie publish now, so you can define where you think you best fit. Publish one or two or a hundred books. It doesn’t matter.

What should matter is the quality of your work.

Voice Available Through Amazon Pre-Order!

Voice. (© 2015, F. P. Dorchak and Lon Kirschner)

Voice. (© 2015, F. P. Dorchak and Lon Kirschner)

Voice is now available through Amazon.com’s pre-order!

Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B010OD5124

I have it priced at $0.99. This will be the price until I upload the actual and final file, which has to be no later than July 28th to make the August 7th “Live!” date. If it gets done earlier, I’ll upload earlier and it will be live earlier…but when the e-book goes live, I’ll be charging $2.99. When I upload the paperback, I’ll be charging $13.

But for now…you can pre-order your brand-new copy of head games for only 99 cents! And when you do, it will auto-ship directly to your Kindle as soon it goes live!

And when you’re done reading it…I ask that you write a review on your platform of choice…but to also copy it to Amazon.com, if Amazon isn’t your platform of choice.

It’s almost here.

Hope you enjoy it! I hope you get lost in it!

Please…spread the pain….

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Starting A New Novel

Heading Back Into The Woods.... (By Anne LaBastille, 1938-, Photographer [NARA record: 1422473] [U.S. National Archives and Records Administration] [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Heading Back Into The Woods…. (By Anne LaBastille, 1938-, Photographer [NARA record: 1422473] [U.S. National Archives and Records Administration] [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

As I finish up Voice and consider which new novel to start, many thoughts run through my head. On the one hand, there’s the part of me that just chompin’ at the bit to get ready to start…then there’s this other voice that questions: can I do this again? Will it be as good as my previous efforts?

What do I want to spend the next two-three years of my life working on?

Yes, three years.

I write novels part-time, since I hold a day job. Now, I’ve managed to whittle a little off that over the years, so it’s more like two-and-a-half years, and I haven’t worked anything brand new start-to-finish since ERO, so, really, who knows how much more effective I’ve become. Voice, set to be released this summer, was originally written in 1997-1999. So, in the interests of readers like Mandy and Edie, I’m going to try something a little different…if it pans out. I’m going to try to do a little outlining. I’ve tried this before, and it failed. And by “failed” I mean I began just staring at blank screens and sheets of paper. It became too much like my tech writing life: work. So, I’d been blocking the outlining effort. Once I realized that and just organically began writing…just sitting down to the keyboard and writing whatever came to me…then it all worked.

So…I may try a hybrid approach and see how it goes…if it goes any faster. I know, technically, it shouldn’t be about getting things done faster…as long as the quality doesn’t suffer…but I really would like to get more efficient at putting books out! So, let’s look at it as being more efficient. When it’s all said and done, I figure were I to write full-time it would take me about a year to write what now takes me two-three. And, I really do like living the lives of most of my characters (not the bad guys/gals) and the story itself, so I’m really not in any huge hurry….

…in fact, as I write this…perhaps it’s become more of a habit than a necessity. After all, for most of my writing career the goal has always been to get a novel, any novel—just one—out there, for chrissakes. But, now, since I’ve gone full-monty Indie and have four-soon-to-be-five novels out, there is no urgency to hurry…to kill myself as it were…in getting these books out there.

And, if I (or my readers) really get antsy to release new work, I can always compile my better short stories and publish those…which is something I’ve considered over the years. That may very well happen, especially the more I think about it.

So, for now, I’m mulling over which project to start next. I think I know which one I’ll start…have actually begun looking back into it (it’s already partially begun, back in 2011, actually), but getting Voice out is still consuming my time and efforts (have to complete the back cover copy, incorporate Mandy comments, get the cover art done, format it for e-book and trade paperback—and keeping up with blog posts!). And, once I get it out there, I’m going to do my best in better promoting it and my other works. I know, all the traditionalists scream I should have already been doing all that months ago, but I never make things easy on myself and I hate being told what to do. I’m just me…trying to squeeze in writing and promotion into all the other things I have to do in a day…with little-to-no-real-budget. So, it is what it is, maaan. And the good thing about Indie publishing is that no matter what you do or don’t do, a book is not going out of print unless the world ends or the publishing arms goes under. So, new is new to readers who discover a book at the onset of its release…or years later. It really doesn’t matter. And I want to enjoy my life and significant other rather than burning the midnight oil and killing myself trying (like I used to) to complete a novel then hit every frigging promotional/marketing milestone dead on. I’ll get to it when I can physically get to it.

So, I guess I answered my own questions, huh?

Oh, by the way, I’ll be at the following events in Colorado Springs and Denver this year:

Colorado Springs Pikes Peak Library Publish Your Own eBook Panel, October 10, 2015

Denver’s MileHiCon47, October 23-25, 2015

I may be contacted at fpdorchak at fpdorchak dot com for review copies, interviews, speaking engagements, and whatnot. If you want some cover art.

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Voice–An Erotic Tale of Nonphysical Love

Voice. (© 2015, F. P. Dorchak and Lon Kirschner)

Voice. (© 2015, F. P. Dorchak and Lon Kirschner)

I must admit, this cover near brought tears to my eyes!

Here—at last!—is the title and cover for my sexy new paranormal/ psychological mainstream (erotica?) novel, due late July/early August! Yes, the genre is mixed, but it will make for quite the steamy summer read!

Voice.

The cover is yet another awesome, amazing, incredible, extraordinary effort by Lon Kirschner, of Kirschner Caroff Design Inc., out of East Chatham, NY! Lon did my ERO cover, and he continues to deliver extraordinary results! I first met Lon through author/teacher/musician all-around-Renaissance Man Marc Schuster, and Marc’s book, The Grievers.

I love everything about this cover!

I love the artwork. The spacing. The blackness. I love the blue of the lady and my name…what Lon did with the title—look closely at it and you’ll see the Adirondack Mountains…see and hear loons on the lake…smell the must of the woods—and the mysterious woman against the black background simply gives me chills.

This cover is absolutely stunning!

It packs a powerful, emotional punch to me on levels I simply can’t explain. Don’t want to. I want it to rip my innards, my soul apart…I want to feel the impending torment, tribulation, and mystery this artwork foreshadows….

I just can’t stop looking at it.

I love all my covers, but I have to say…this…may well be my favorite.

Check out this post on Lon’s work.

Not only am I psyched by revealing the cover artwork, but also finally being able to voice the title of this novel out into the world! It has been a real effort keeping it under wraps! It feels so goood!

Despite the paranormal/supernatural elements, this is the most mainstream effort I’ve ever produced. As I’ve mentioned before, it also features some quite explicit sex scenes and is not for the easily offended. Voice is a density of story…a love story…one of families…and a search for meaning in one’s life. Pain. Redemption. It has supernatural/paranormal elements, but not in a “monstery” way. In a deeply psychological, maybe even uncomfortable way. It may actually make you squirm a little as you sit and read it. It is a story I could not put down…could not put away. Sixteen years in the making, it kept whispering to me…calling out to me. It is my most daring effort. It will be sad to let it go…to stop working on it…stop thinking about it….

It touches me deeply…largely, perhaps, because of the setting…the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, where I grew up and continue to visit once a year. I so love that region, with its ancient mountains and dark, mysterious waters (another novel is forthcoming about this region and the dark, foreboding waters…). But I also love the characters…so flawed…so well-meaning…so enigmatic. It’s about what seemingly normal people who are conflicted…in love…do. How they wrestle with their demons. What they might do in the dark corners of their lives away from prying eyes….

What do you do in the wee hours of the night…and is it something you’re proud of?

It is fair to say I’m in love with this story.

Sigh.

The current status of Voice is that I am inputting copyediting redlines from my final reader. I then have to have the manuscript formatted for both e-book and trade softcopy (yes, I am doing both, the e-book first; I also hope to create an advance order selection on Amazon). The formatting could take as little as a week or as much as 2-3. So, this puts it at a late July or early August release. Stay tuned!

And in the next week or so look for a “faux interview” with me by one of the characters of Voice!

As always, feel free to use and e-mail and plaster the cover graphic around the globe—but, please, give proper copyright attribution to Lon and myself. If you’d like the actual files, request a review copy, e-mail me at fpdorchak at fpdorchak dot com, and as soon as they’re available, I’ll send them out!

And, write up a review once you’ve read it! Send me the link!

Thank you all for your support!

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Loons

I love loons!

They are my favorite bird!

You may have noticed that with my “imprint” logo on my novels. Let’s talk a little about them, since I like them so much. Loons populate other regions, but, since I’m from the Adirondack Mountains, that’s where I’m focusing.

The loon population has more than doubled since the 1980s…bouncing back from when Adirondackers used to shoot them for sport, because they ate the same fish humans also used to catch…and then there was also the DDT poisoning in the 1940s and 50s that also killed them off. Yet, though loons have bounced back, there’s still today’s mercury poisoning. More than half of all male Adirondack loons have a moderate-to-high risk of mercury poisoning. This is not a good thing! The weird-assed thing about mercury poisoning and loons, is that mercury turns the birds into “bad parents” and causes them to produce fewer eggs. The affected loons also end up not spending the needed time in their nests keeping their eggs warm, then don’t take care of their chicks when they hatch…sometimes flat-out abandoning them altogether. Mercury is a neurotoxin, so it depresses the loons, makes them lethargic.

But, doom and gloom aside, loons, author William H.H. Murray wrote in 1869 that loons are “are the shyest and most expert swimmers of all waterfowl.” Loons can weigh up to 14 pounds and have serrated bills that can tear into anything it clamps down on. And, boy, can they put up a fight! According to the October 2013 Adirondack Life article, “Loonscape,” Gary Lee (an ex-NYS Forest Ranger) says, “Anything the can get hold of, they’ll bite it.” Lee says that during his work with them he’s been bitten on the forearm and thigh and they’ve gnawed on his pockets and jacket hems. In Lee’s own words, a male once gave him “a pretty good gash” another time.

The name “loon” comes from old English (“lumme” or “lummox“) or Scandinavian (“lum“), meaning “awkward” or “clumsy.” Their feet are located at the back of their body, so they don’t get around well on land, and their take-offs from water can be a bit clumsy. But here are some other neat facts about loons:

They love to hang out on the water all day with their best buds!

They have the coolest calls! Their hoots and tremelos make you go introspective…especially when you hear them at night or early, early morning…with a wispy fog on the lake before you….

They live almost exclusively on water…they avoid land except to nest and mate.

They dive under water and can hold their breath for 90 seconds! Dive down as deep as 200 feet!

Have a cool, red eyes that change in intensity…brighter when mating or defending their territory! Annnd this (somehow) helps them see underwater.

Loons carry their babies on their backs—which is so neat! What a neat ride on a lake, no?

I already mentioned they can weigh as much as a cat, which is because they have solid bones [versus hollow ones most birds have]. Besides allowing them dive under water, the heavy bones also allows them to lay lower in the water when floating. Kinda a real “badass” look!

And loons are one of the older species of birds: over 100 millions years old. Sure, they’re all supposed to have descended from the dinosaurs, but still, they’re an older species of dinosaur—I mean bird

So, there’s a lot to like about loons and how they’re so scrappy and substantial in form, which I feel models the books I put out…scrappy and haunting…diving under the obvious into the depths of life. And how cool to meet up with some friends along the way and hang out and tell stories! And the gnarly red eyes…the tremelos of thoughts that make you think a little deeper into your own souls….

Loons. I love em.

Wailing Loon Horizontal Red Eye (F. P. Dorchak, Lon Kirschner)

Wailing Loon Horizontal Red Eye (F. P. Dorchak, Lon Kirschner)

Tragedy

In The Darkness Do We Seek Light? (JiNKY Lim, A Silhouette of Sadness, [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

In The Darkness Do We Seek Light? (JiNKY Lim, A Silhouette of Sadness, [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

Why is it so much of what we read is tragic?

Why don’t we read more uplifting work?

Can tragedy also be uplifting?

Here’s the thing, for the most part (and there are exceptions) most people don’t like to read about daisies and butterflies. Alluding to the Seinfeld joke, we don’t like to read stories about nothing. Where nothing happens—nothing bad happens. Humans love conflict. Love the Human Spirit overcoming obstacles.

In short, we love conflict.

And the stories we write have to have some element of conflict in there. I mean, really, would you love to read about a girl who gets up, brushes her teeth, does her hair and makeup…goes to work, has a great day…comes home, eats dinner, watches some TV, then goes to sleep?

No. I really doubt you would. Where’s the fun in any of that?

What you really want to see is some action, tragedy, conflict!

You want to see her having trouble sleeping for a reason to be discovered later in the novel, walking around in the dark and surprising an intruder. You want to see this girl not being a pushover, and kicking ass as all her pent-up rage about her cancer-ridden mom dying in the hospital takes over her adrenaline-pumped-slight-but-spunky frame. You want to see her get through all the police legal tape, getting into work late and not talking about it, only to have a coworker discover her early morning activity on the news and broadcasting it to the office. You want to see her office stalker go wide-eyed and suddenly back off…also noticing the subtle defensive wounds and bruising her on her arms…and the knowing steely look our heroine is now giving him as he notices her eying him….

Yeah, that’s what you wanna read. Admit it.

So, that’s why novel writers have to write about tragedy and conflict and things that aren’t so nice and easygoing. Cause writing about good days just doesn’t cut it. Sure, good days are great for real life…but there’s an inner need for striving and overcoming obstacles in our DNA. Our souls. Reliving parts of our past, when we felt more alive and were not such an office drone. Or maybe it’s the excitement of such stories that hearkens back to other [reincarnational…yes, I went there…] lives where we had such conflicts. Maybe tragedies are hardwired into our genetics and we just can’t be helped but be stirred by them.

Or maybe they just make for more fun, exciting reads by the nature of the beast.

Does Novel Writing Get Harder With Each One?

You Gotta Want It. (By MC1 Leslie Long [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

You Gotta Want It. (By MC1 Leslie Long [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

I read this Franzen interview the other day and thought, true or not: does novel writing get harder the more you put out?

Of all the novels I’ve written, Psychic was the most difficult. All my first drafts came out easy except for this one. It was like pulling teeth. And the couple of newer works I’ve begun didn’t go as easy as my previous efforts. Stories didn’t just flow out of the fingertips like they always had.

So, I had to give this statement some consideration.

Maybe Franzen’s statement is true. Maybe, like Franzen says, initially you’ve written all the “low hanging fruit” and later in your career you have to dig deeper into those eye-poking branches…create more depth to your stories, make them more meaningful. Think more complex.

Or maybe just find something interesting to write about.

I write commercial fiction…but I do try to have an eye for the literary. I try to give my stories extended and layered depth and meaning. Try to make the writing itself go beyond the words and story itself…while simultaneously trying to keep the writing as “transparent” as possible to the story…which I feel is king. Perhaps a contradiction, but I try to make the mechanics as well as the plot meaningful.

But.

As I’ve tried to create some new work the past couple years, I have found that those have not been as easily started as all of my previous efforts. I used to call writing “easy” for me, while others continually called it frigging hard. The act of doing it…sitting down and putting fingers to keyboard to generate stories…not that there aren’t aspects of writing that make you pull your hair out. I don’t feel most things worthwhile are meant to be “easy.” But the longer I do it, it does seem that some aspects of writing are getting, well, “harder.” My ex-agent told me this is totally natural in writers who stick around, because you’re getting better…and writing does get harder, because you’re pushing yourself. Your limits. And if you’re not pushing yourself, you’re not getting better.

So, Mr. Franzen, I guess (for now) I’ll have to agree with you. But, I’ll let you know once I get started on my next effort.

The Pink Elephant in the Room

The Pink Elephant in the Room. (By RANDY PRITCHETT [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

The Pink Elephant in the Room. (By RANDY PRITCHETT [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

All the time I’ve been writing my current WIP, in the back of my mind is this little niggling voice wondering about how believable a story is this. This may not be of concern to many, but to me it is, because I like to write fiction that is so real I’d like my readers to walk away from my work and think…Yeah, that could happen….

We’ve all heard the statement “truth is stranger than fiction,” and I feel that applies in this case.

People are strange.

We really are. Out in public, most of us seem pretty normal.

But how are we in private?

What weird little things do we all do that we hope most never see?

The more I learn about people the weirder it gets.

I was recently talking to some guys who used to work in commercial Internet/satellite provider work. What they told me totally changed my mind about what I wrote. About the private, in-the-darkness actions the characters in my WIP do.

These ex-installers told me they’d been called to homes that were in utter filth. Dirty underwear thrown behind dressers and couches…underwear that literally had feces in them.

Sex toys found around and behind furniture.

Women in various stages of undress…flirting and going after them.

Stupid and annoying “parents” who let their stupid and annoying progeny harass them, messing around in their tools (even stealing them).

Dogs let loose to bite and go after them as they worked.

Now, throw in all the stories you’ve ever read about the weird and perverted proclivities of Humankind I’m not even going to write about, it so disgusts me. I’d read about ancient Rome and what some sexual practices were. Some things you just can’t unsee. Unread. It sickens me and I really wish I’d never read it. I was actually stunned that Publisher’s Weekly had put it in their article!

So, as I wrote my current WIP’s sex scenes…as I let the manuscript sit while I receive my beta reader comments, I think about all this and realize…what I wrote is nothing compared to real life. Yes, my sex scenes are intense…are explicit…but, they are not unrealistic interactions between two seemingly normal people (or “lost souls,” as Edie called one of them—I so like that term!) hiding in the dark and trying to deny their connections. Apparently 50 Shades gets pretty graphic, and my work is apparently nothing like those books…but I can still give her a run for her money!

But all the above notwithstanding, my book is about the lives of several individuals and how they’re dealing with the situation within which they find themselves entangled. The scenes are explicit for me…but they are not unrealistic. Not over the top. When I hear about how others of the Human Race apparently run their lives…shit, sex toys, idiot progeny, heinous historical sexual practices and all…my novel stands in perspective just fine.

Say “Hello” to the pink elephant for me.

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Update on WIP: Second Set of Comments In!

You're Such a Tease. (By Russ Anderson from London, UK (MGDK's middle) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

You’re Such a Tease. (By Russ Anderson from London, UK (MGDK’s middle) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

I received the next set of comments from a family member who is also a book editor. For professional reasons, I can only title this person as an “editor.” Here are some of the editor’s comments on my WIP…again, these are also quite encouraging! I’ve always been good with the idea of the story, but have not really been quite sure how this story might be received…but it’s looking like those who read it are quite taken—even “intrigued”—by it. And isn’t that what writers strive for? To write something that grabs or touches readers?

Of particular note, this editor even mentioned how “shockedthey (not giving away his or her gender) were by what I’d done with the ending. How cool is that?

Shocked.

Wow. Love it.

So, here are the editor’s comments. Again, as I’d stated in my previous blog on the subject, I’d sent the editor questions to help me assess my effort. I’ve included some of these questions where necessary, but those that give away too much of the story I’ve left out of this post or deleted content. I’ve also deleted content that is of a more personal note.

The editor’s comments:

It’s a different book than I remember looking at 10 years ago! The characters and some of the scenes seemed familiar, but more developed and focused.

From an editorial perspective, the manuscript works! It flows; it’s relevant; isn’t bogged down with unnecessary detail; avoids tangents; stays true to the plot.

From a reader’s perspective (if I can truly separate the two—editorial vs reader…), it’s a really powerful story! If I’m being honest, the fantasy/metaphysical genre isn’t my wheelhouse, but with respect to the story itself, <WIP> was intriguing. I wanted to understand the voice in Ben’s head more <deleted material>, so that definitely kept my interest. I liked the chemistry between Ben and Kendra, and the sex scenes (hello, pink elephant in the room!) could give E. L. James a run for her money.

(FPD: Really, I could give E. L James a run for her money? How cool!)

Question: So, did you think it all “fit” the story?

Answer: I do think it all “fit” when you consider the story as a whole and the different personalities of the characters, the infidelity, and Ben’s internal struggles—as well as his “fantasies.”

Question: Wasn’t “too much”? Yes, graphic, but did the scenes “work” for the given story? I was trying to strike a contrast between the mental and the physical. It had to be stark.

Answer: It was definitely graphic and definitely stark; and if the scenes had lacked the momentum you achieved—the buildup—they would have seemed too much; but given the context, the scenes absolutely worked.

Question: The ending make sense?

Answer: The ending definitely made sense! It wasn’t the ending I was expecting at all! <Deleted material—but some really cool comments on being shocked by what I’d done, but the editor’s comments gives away the ending! :-] >

Cool standalone comment: I think you highlighted the fact that everyone has skeletons and secrets; either we act on them, or we suppress them—whatever “they” may be.

Question: Any other comments?

Answer: If I’m being honest, the metaphysical content in the last couple chapters clouded things for me—but that’s a personal opinion. I see why you went there, and it worked in its own way. I mentioned before that metaphysical/fantasy is not my wheelhouse, but I respect its inclusion in <WIP>.

***

Thank you, “editor” for all your time and effort!

I still waiting on  two more readers, including my Cover Dude, Lon Kirschner (also keep an eye out for some near-future blog posts, probably starting this Fall, where Lon and I are going to highlight and comment on some of his work, which I love! I’m really looking forward to these posts!), then incorporate them, format them, then will shoot for a July/August 2015 release!

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Write A Review!

Strength and Protection In Cooperation! (By Deep silence (Mikaël Restoux) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

It’s a Team Effort! (By Deep silence (Mikaël Restoux) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

I don’t like to prod readers into doing this every time I talk about books, but I think doing a blog post about it is okay.

Writing reviews helps authors!

Reviews help get the books out there, and if you really like the work, give a great review, that only helps more (though an argument can be made that even bad reviews gets your work out there: “there’s no such thing as bad press“…). It’s all about word of mouth…passing on information through your own personal network. When you love a movie or book you talk about it, and that’s all we’re doing, here. But in writing this stuff down you preserve it for future and continued use. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

It helps keep authors afloat!

People do read them. I even read them. It’s what can initially get someone to buy a book…and buying books keeps authors in business. Sure, you can pass books on to others, but if you don’t buy books…authors don’t get paid—especially Indie authors who do not get advances.

Now, this next part will sound a bit odd…but, if you like a book and write a great review it can balance out negative reviews. I know, sounds self-serving, but I hadn’t even considered this part of reviews until I read a post by ex-agent on the topic. Buuut…it’s true.

You’re not going to please everyone.

When I read reviews I always compare the ratio of poor reviews to the good ones in anything I’m researching. Bad books notwithstanding (of which your book very well could be but hope it isn’t…), negative reviews are written for different reasons…not just because a book is “bad”…some people are just mean-spirited. Some people are jealous. Some people are the competition and perform less-than-savory practices (some business competitors—I’m not saying authors would or have done this, and I certainly hope they do not—but some business competitors have actually paid people to write negative reviews; Amazon does crack down on this practice whenever discovered). Some people just trash everything…are always looking for ways to beat down another in any way possible…it’s the only feeling of power they feel they have. That’s a sad thing. I’m not even sure most of these people are even aware of their behavior.

And all that said, as authors, we need to avoid responding to such negativity, as Craig Stone discusses, and let the readers handle those negative reviews. So, please resist the temptation to respond to the angry and the negative. Let it go.

But…if you truly enjoy something…write it up! On Amazon, Twitter, Goodreads, et cetera! On your own blog! Just write it up anywhere public! Don’t let the mean-spirited squeaky wheels get all the attention And if you do write up a review, please pass the link my way (see contact info below). If you’d like a copy of the cover to go along with your review, contact me and I’ll send you a file of the cover art. As long as you properly attribute the work and cover art, you can freely send it to anyone and everyone!

It’s hard to get your name out there loud enough in today’s world. It’s even harder for Indie published authors who have even fewer resources and “brand name appeal.” Don’t get advances and promotional budgets. Anything you can do to help your favorite author is a Godsend. Get your friends to write reviews…get them to post blogs, do interviews. Send e-mails! Tweet it up!

Again, thank you all in advance for everything!

Contact me: I may be contacted at fpdorchak at fpdorchak dot com for cover graphics to include on reviews, for interviews, or speaking engagements. Do you have a favorite radio station? Contact them about interviewing me—I’ll give away free books!

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