How I Learned to be Zen About Book Reviews with @Artzicarol

Today’s featured guest is Carol Riggs, author of the new YA sci-fi release, The Lying Planet. So without further ado, please welcome Carol!

How I Learned to be Zen About Book Reviews

I SAID NO WAY, NEVER. In the summer of 2015, my debut book, The Body Institute, was about to release. I vowed never to read the reviews about my “baby”—I didn’t need to know what people thought, and I knew I’d obsess over the negative reviews instead of the good ones. That would mess up my writing mojo for unfinished novels because doubts would lodge in my brain. Many wise, already-published authors advised against looking at reviews.

I SAID WELL…MAYBE A FEW. But then the ARCs went out for my debut, and advanced reviews started coming in on Goodreads. I had to look. My friends—even strangers—gave me great reviews. I floated on the high. This was fun! And when some negative reviews came in (1-star, 2-star), I dared to take at peek. After all, my “skin” was pretty thick, since I had experience with critique partner feedback as well as a long submission process before I found a publisher, in which one editor would love one thing and dislike another, while another editor loved and disliked exactly the opposite things. Reading reviews was pretty much the same experience, although I did have some anguish when some reviewers condemned the book for a misunderstanding or for some random thing no one else had a problem with. It was puzzling, admittedly agonizing, and yet morbidly fascinating all at the same time.

I SAID OKAY, MAYBE A FEW MORE. It went downhill from there. A cat’s curiosity gripped me. I kept reading the reviews. My writing was described as “delectable” while another reviewer said: “The. Writing. Was. Horrible.”

Gah! Doesn’t that drive you crazy? You want to pull out your hair wondering “Which one is right?”

Answer: It didn’t matter. Authors can’t please everyone. I’d known that in my head, but I began to experience it. It helped to look up the first Harry Potter book on Goodreads and see JK Rowling had more than 64,000 1-star reviews (compared to nearly 2,539,000 5-stars). Whoa!

I SAID BRING IT ON. The reviews for my debut kept rolling in—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

In July 2016, I published Bottled, my YA fantasy. Reading those reviews was a lot easier. When a low rating would pop up, I was like, oh, there’s my first 2-star review. While one person couldn’t bear to finish the book, another raved and wanted a sequel.

In September 2016, The Lying Planet released, and I got an amusing range of reactions there too—is the concept unique and creative, or is it cliché science fiction, derivative of books like Divergent?

I’M ZEN WITH IT. So, after three books, I’ve concluded readers have incredibly different tastes, and the best thing I can do is accept that subjectivity and just go back to my writer cave and write more books, doing the best I possibly can. I treasure the readers who do connect with my writing. In the end, as long as people are reading and enjoying my book; those are the ones I’m writing for. My true fans.

Preach it, Sister! I’ve found exactly the same thing. It is impossible to please everyone. Just do your best to please most people. Good luck with The Lying Planet!


Promise City. That’s the colony I’ve been aiming for all my life on the planet Liberty. The only thing standing in my way? The Machine. On my eighteenth birthday, this mysterious, octopus-like device will scan my brain and Test my deeds. Good thing I’ve been focusing on being Jay Lawton, hard worker and rule follower, my whole life. Freedom is just beyond my fingertips.

Or so I thought. Two weeks before my Testing with the Machine, I’ve stumbled upon a new reality. The truth. In a single sleepless night, everything I thought I knew about the adults in our colony changes. And the only one who’s totally on my side is the clever, beautiful rebel, Peyton. Together we have to convince the others to sabotage their Testings before it’s too late.

Before the ceremonies are over and the hunting begins.

Purchase linksAmazon   |  Barnes  & Noble  |  Kobo   |  iBooks  |

Carol Riggs is an author of young adult fiction who lives in the beautiful green state of Oregon, USA. Her books include her sci-fi debut, The Body Institute, as well as her fantasy, Bottled, and her recently released sci-fi, The Lying Planet. She enjoys reading, drawing and painting, writing conferences, walking with her husband, and enjoying music and dance of all kinds. You will usually find her in her writing cave, surrounded by her dragon collection and the characters in her head.

Connect with CarolWebsite  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |

Get your dragon on! A review of Fledgling by Nicole Conway

Fledgeling by Nicole Conway (Ebook) This is a fantasy adventure about a hybrid boy elf/human who kinda-accidentally binds himself to a wild dragon that no one else can tame.

While this book is middle grade, it did not suffer from all the juvenile mannerisms that would annoy the adult reader. Nope, no whining and sticking out their tongues in this one (thank goodness)

Our Half-Elf is in an interesting situation. As a dragonrider, he must train to be a flying soldier in an army bent on destroying the elves. That’s kind of a pickle, but this conflict isn’t touched on in book one. I hope they delve into it further in future books.

Anyway, this book deals with the prejudice that this boy faces in the world of men for being half elf, and you also see a hint that the elves don’t care for half breeds, either. Poor kid! The only ones who seem to like him are his roommate, his trainer, and his trainer’s daughter. (Yep, dangerous ground there, and the beginnings of what might be a love interest when these characters age-up a bit)

This book deals with the struggle of a middle grade boy who just wants to fit in, while he sets off on a pretty impressive (and almost believable) adventure to save one of the few people who’d ever shown him kindness. Throw in a couple of dragons, and this reader is totally sold. I wish I’d picked this book up sooner!

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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound | Google Play

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Did you know that Libraries BUY BOOKS? Find out how to get your books onto librarians’ lists! @kristathegold

You’ve written an amazing novel. You want to share it with the world. But you’re only you.

Thankfully, there are others who can help: Librarians.

At the Library A

What many authors don’t realize is that libraries receive a set amount of monies each summer and they must spend it all in that time frame.  Librarians want your books. Hundreds of Dollars MoneyReaders need your books.  But since they’re about 120,000 libraries in the United States, it isn’t possible for you to contact them all. However, you can contact a few, even out of state, and get your book on a shelf by following some simple etiquette.

Once you’ve decided on which libraries to contact ( has a comprehensive list of addresses and phone numbers for all states and cities), you want to be sure that your request is effective.  When calling, ask for the Library Director or Branch Manager and let them know that you are requesting a purchase order of your novel to be added to their collection.

Phone InterviewBriefly tell them what kind of book it is (fiction or non-fiction) and its particular audience. Most librarians will ask you to email them links and a synopsis of your book; many of them require you to have reviews, some require professional reviews (Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, BookList).  In your email, you may want to consider letting them know that you are willing to also hold public readings of the book, workshops, and other promising events.

Be sure to get their names and to thank them for their time and consideration!

About the Author:

Krista Wagner is a 70’s product of Southern California who lives with her Marine Corp veteran husband, three very entertaining children, and an indispensable faith in Christ.

Catch up with Krista On-line! Twitter | | Facebook | Blog



Ten-year-old Amanda is constantly teased and tormented in school. Her home life is less than satisfactory where her widower father, who is often away on business trips, leaves her in the care of her indifferent teenaged sister. Worse, not a day goes by when Amanda doesn’t miss her mom. To escape reality, Amanda creates fantasy stories, but when she discovers a talking golden pebble, her imagined world turns into a new-fangled reality.

Check out THE GOLD on Amazon!

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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound |

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Don’t. Ever. Peek. A Review of Gravity by Melissa West

Gravity (Ebook) This book is about an alien race that has created portals between our worlds. They visit Earth every night, and by law from an interplanetary treaty, they are allowed to “suck” antibodies from humans while they sleep. They do this so someday they will be able to inhabit Earth.

(The humans are not harmed in any way)

I have mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed it, but I think it was the overall premise of “The Taking” at night and how the humans had to wear blindfolds that bothered me. While it was explained, I never really bought in to the overall premise, which left the story falling a bit flat and unbelievable to me.

Afterthought—The cover may have messed the book up for me as well.

“Don’t. Ever. Peek.”

While they are not supposed to “peek”, this sets itself up for something a little spookier than actually happens in the book. Maybe my issues had to do with expectations. I don’t know. I got nothing.


The human race also gets themselves into a little bit of a pickle when they rebel, and at the end, both their worlds are in some trouble. There was a lot of great action in this book, especially at the end, which is ten tons of readerly-fun.

I might pick up the next book someday, but it’s not going to be at the top of my TBR. Which makes me sad. In some ways, I wonder if it is really this book, or the fact that I have read so many five-star books this year, that anything that rates lower really stands out. You know what… maybe I’ll read the second book anyway. I’m wondering, now as I write this, if the author can work through my niggles in the next book. I’ll let you know.

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Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound | Google Play

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Breathing life and a new twist into a well-known fairy tale with @ShonnaSlayton

OOOooooo! Retellings!  I know it’s a fad, but I’ve read some really good ones. I love seeing old fairy tales in new settings. Today we’re welcoming Shonna Slayton to talk about her brand new retelling: Spindle

Hi guys!

I’ve been a fan of fairy-tale retellings since reading Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. And lately, there seems to be an explosion of retellings. It’s been wonderful to see!

I know right? They are so much fun to read! What did you do with yours to make it different?

My particular twist on a fairy tale involves taking a fairy tale object (the dress and shoes in Cinderella; the spindle from Sleeping Beauty) and moving it into another time and place.

What do you mean?

I think of the fairly-tale objects like family heirlooms that get passed down from one generation to the next—for good or for bad. And my characters are somehow descended from or connected to the original fairy tale.

Ooooo that’s a neat idea. But your book doesn’t take place where the original stories are from, right?

I tend to have immigrants in my stories as the fairy-tale objects start out in Europe, but I have to get them to America somehow. An immigrant on the move makes that happen. Also, I’m an immigrant myself so I suppose that’s a subtle bit of my own experience slipping into the tale.

That’s a great way to add a neat twist!

Yup. With this basic set-up, I’ve already changed the trajectory of the narrative. The story is no longer in a fairy-tale land, the characters reside in a real-world historical setting, and they are descendants instead of the actual fairy-tale characters. Well, except fairies. We all know they transcend time.

After that, it’s a matter of fleshing out the new story. It’s also fun to drop hints and parallels to the original fairy tale for readers to catch. That way you get a mix of the known and the unknown. A fresh read that feels right.

Awesomeness! I can’t wait to read Spindle later on in the year. I’m really looking forward to this one. [She slips SPINDLE into her “To be reviewed” page]

Thanks for stopping by!

Thanks for letting me hang out!

SHONNA SLAYTON writes historical fairy tales for Entangled TEEN including Cinderella’s Dress and Cinderella’s Shoes, set in the 1940s, and now Spindle, a Sleeping Beauty inspired tale set in the late 1800s.

She finds inspiration in reading vintage diaries written by teens, who despite using different slang, sound a lot like teenagers today. When not writing, Shonna enjoys amaretto lattes and spending time with her husband and children in Arizona.

The best way to keep in touch is by signing up for her monthly newsletter. She sends out behind-the-scenes info you can’t read anywhere else. Sign up is on the sidebar of her website Shonna Slayton

About Spindle

In a world where fairies lurk and curses linger, love can bleed like the prick of a finger

Briar Rose knows her life will never be a fairy tale. She’s raising her siblings on her own, her wages at the spinning mill have been cut, and the boy she thought she had a future with has eyes for someone else. Most days it feels like her best friend, Henry Prince, is the only one in her corner…though with his endless flirty jokes, how can she ever take him seriously?

When a mysterious peddler offers her a “magic” spindle that could make her more money, sneaking it into the mill seems worth the risk. But then one by one, her fellow spinner girls come down with the mysterious sleeping sickness…and Briar’s not immune.

If Briar wants to save the girls—and herself—she’ll have to start believing in fairy tales…and in the power of a prince’s kiss.

GoodreadsAmazon Buy Link:  Barnes & Noble Buy Link: iBooks Buy Link: Kobo Buy Link: Entangled Publishing:

Giveaway Information:

• One (1) winner will receive signed copies of Cinderella’s Dress and Cinderella’s Shoes (US and Canada)

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

Ready to Win a Ton of Paperbacks? It’s the Fall YA Scavenger Hunt 2016 Go Team Blue!

Hey there!

My name is Jennifer M. Eaton and today I am hosting the YA Scavenger Hunt, where you can win a set of TWENTY paperback books!

There are six teams playing, which means you can enter to win all 120 paperback books that are up for grabs!


This year I have a special BONUS giveaway of my own!

Enter to win a $10 Amazon gift code CLICK HERE! Woohoo!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you all entered to win a $10 Amazon gift code?
Awesome! Carry on to the YA Scavenger hunt!

**Hunt starts at 12:00 PST Oct 4**

YA Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for five days!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the BLUE TEAM–but there is also a red team, a gold team, an orange team, a purple team, and a green team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by October 9, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

Today, I am hosting Carly Anne West on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! Carly Anne West is the author of the young adult novels THE MURMURINGS and THE BARGAINING. She has lived in the desert, by the sea, among the trees, and a few places in between. She’s currently at work on her next novel.

Twitter: CarlyAnneWest1

Find out more information by checking out the author website or find more about the author’s book on Goodreads Carly Anne West page!

About “The Bargaining”

When Penny Warren agrees to live in the North Woods with her stepmother, she thinks she’s renovating the old Carver House. She thinks she’ll finally escape the death of her best friend, Rae.
But the North Woods are lonely, and they have no intention of letting Penny escape anything.
Oooooo… Sounds Creepy.

 And here’s an exclusive post from Carly!

Hey, YASHers! Thanks for participating in this season’s YA Scavenger Hunt. I’m so thrilled to join in the fun again this fall. So, for this exclusive bonus offering, I wanted to let you in on a little of the exploration I did while searching for a setting to inspire THE BARGAINING.

whidbey-island-2 I was still relatively new to the Pacific Northwest, and while I was pretty certain I wanted the fictional town of Point Finney to emulate certain characteristics of some of the towns I imagined existed around the north and south Sound, I hadn’t visited enough of the many, many towns that the northwest coast has to offer. Fortunately, my brother and sister-in-law had already been living in the area for some time, so they were able to offer up a few places for me to start.

whidbey-island-3-jpgI was especially intrigued by Whidbey Island – an actual island floating in the north Sound (I’ve come to find there are many islands in the area). This one, though, held a certain intrigue for me. I tried SO HARD, dear YASHers, to find the pictures I took of the downtown and the surrounding farmland, patches of wooded areas, and beaches that fed my imagination. Alas, they’re lost in the Cloud somewhere. But these pics do the area more justice than I could have on my iPhone. The town is breathtaking, and the people were so nice. If you visit, the Need & Feed is a must. They make their own bread, and you can smell it for blocks. For all you writers out there, a well-known writers’ residency called Hedgebrook also calls Whidbey its home.

whidbey-island-1-jpgThe folks in Point Finney – and the secrets they’re keeping – are not at all what I found in Whidbey, and I’m just morbid enough to have been disappointed by that. I was really hoping for a dismal experience so I could work from a solid platform. Instead, Point Finney is more a reflection of what I thought Whidbey could have been given sadder circumstances … and a much deeper forest.

Good luck on the rest of your hunt!

Hugs, Carly

And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books from the participating authors! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 17. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the blue team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!


And Don’t forget

This year I have a special BONUS giveaway of my own!

Enter to win a $10 Amazon gift code CLICK HERE! Woohoo!

Are you all entered to win a $10 Amazon gift code?
Awesome! Carry on to the next author in the YA Scavenger hunt!

To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author! [Heather Young Nichols]

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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound | Google Play

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NYT Best Selling Author Julie Cross: Five things I would tell my unpublished self if I could back in time

Today I’ve invited NYT Best-Selling Author Julie Cross to discuss the five things she would tell her unpublished self if she could go back in time.

Take it away, Julie!

Hello, Jennifer, and thanks for having me. If I could go back in time, this is what I’d tell myself:

1)     Enjoy the freedom and innocence of pre-publication: This is a tough one because publication seemed so glittery and sparkly before I got there. And believe me, it is all of that and more. But it’s also a job. As in time to be professional, have deadlines, get serious…there’s no way around the loss of some of that pure enjoyment that comes before publication. Maybe it isn’t like that for everyone, but for me, I wouldn’t mind telling my pre-published self, “hey, relax a little, take it all in. It’s okay.”

2)     Travel to another country and write about it: I feel like every writer I know has done this except for me. I’m always looking for ways to take my writing to the next level, add depth of understanding. Plus, it would be really fun to say, “I’m in Ireland researching for my novel…” on my out of office email reply.

3)     Use Scrivener now! It took me until January of 2015 (nearly 6 years into my writing journey to pry myself from Microsoft Word. Scrivener is another word processor program like Word but it really works well for me and my brain. I tend to create all kinds of documents with lists, and brainstorming, and casting characters and planning future books in a series and then I save those documents in random places, with random names. Scrivener allows for all my notes, outlining, summaries, etc…to be right there in the document. You can see daily progress. I could go on forever but if I’ve intrigued you, Google it and check it out.

4)     Those amazing chapters you keep writing at 2am? Just don’t. Trust me.

5)     The first draft will always be the easiest part: I had very little idea of what went into getting a novel from draft 1 to bookstore shelves when I got my first book deal. It didn’t seem like there could be so much work left to do after writing THE END. Let’s just say I was a little shell-shocked going through the steps with that first book. And even now, I tend to struggle with all the re-reads. When I finish a project, I’m ready to move on.

Awesome! Thanks so much for stopping by Julie!

Julie’s new book was just released!

Find out more about CHASING TRUTH

At Holden Prep, the rich and powerful rule the school—and they’ll do just about anything to keep their dirty little secrets hidden.

When former con artist Eleanor Ames’s homecoming date commits suicide, she’s positive there’s something more going on. The more questions she asks, though, the more she crosses paths with Miles Beckett. He’s sexy, mysterious, arrogant…and he’s asking all the same questions.

Eleanor might not trust him—she doesn’t even like him—but they can’t keep their hands off of each other. Fighting the infuriating attraction is almost as hard as ignoring the fact that Miles isn’t telling her the truth…and that there’s a good chance he thinks she’s the killer.

Purchase Links:

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | | | IndieBound | BAM | TBD  | Goodreads

About Julie Cross:

Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press). She’s also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, and many more to come!

Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA. She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres.

Outside of her reading and writing credibility’s, Julie Cross is a committed–but not talented–long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Rafflecopter! Click below for a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card + a paperback copy of Whatever Life Throws at You (INT)

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YASH Fall 2016 Announcement! Rock on! Who’s Ready to Win a TON of Paperback Books???


It’s coming!

The hunt begins on Oct 4th and ends Oct 9th

It’s the YA Scavenger Hunt Fall 2016!


Now that the authors have signed up to participate in this exciting event, we’ve put them into teams of 20 by color. There are six teams total this round!

Check out the teams below to see which teams your favorite authors will be on and what their featured book will be.

I’m on Team Blue. Woohoo!
It’s getting close folks!


Hold on tight! Details on how to win paperback books from ALL these amazing authors will be posted October 4th.

The contest begins at 12:00 PM PST sharp October 4th

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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound | Google Play

Catch up with me on social media!

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What the heck is crowdfunding, and how can authors use it to fund their books?


I’ve heard of it, but I never really “got it.” I mean, asking for people for money BEFORE you write your book? Is that just plain weird, or is it revolutionary?

Today I asked author/publisher Danielle Ackley-McPhail to stop by and explain all this insanity.

Danielle has successfully crowdfunded several books. Let’s see how this stuff works.

Here’s Danielle!
Swish thin
Not everyone gets crowdfunding. A lot of people do it, for various reasons, but the general public doesn’t have a concept of what goes into such a campaign or what motivates one.

Sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Patreon, to name a few, are all platforms where individuals can learn about projects that meet their interests. Based on how well the creator has done their job, those individuals then decide if the project is one they want to support.

A lot of work goes in to a successful campaigns, from designing them, to explaining what they are about, to organizing the rewards backers can expect for their pledge and as bonuses when the goal is exceeded, and above all, promoting them. It is a long, exhaustive process that begins with an idea and is not done until all commitments have been met.

eSpec BooksFor me, I use crowdfunding to finance my efforts as a publisher. I have run seven successful campaigns as both myself and eSpec Books and am soon to wrap up an eighth. I have chosen crowdfunding as a part of my business model because I have been in the publishing industry for over twenty years as an employee and as an author. Over those years I have seen most of the pitfalls independent publishers get themselves into. Hundreds of Dollars MoneyThe primary one being that they tend to overextend themselves. They start with a certain amount of capital (or credit) and race to see how many books they can get out (one of them, with hope, a runaway hit) before those funds are gone. For a while they do okay, but a few bad book choices or slow selling months, perhaps paired with heavy returns, and suddenly the publisher finds he doesn’t have the money he needs to sustain the rapid growth and pay the authors.
I don’t want to be that publisher. For this reason I steadfastly refused for the longest time even considering to be a publisher.
Then crowdfunding happened.
All of a sudden I saw a way to make books possible. See, for a publisher (or an independent author), crowdfunding is basically a way to pre-sell a book. It is also a way to build an audience and increase visibility. Some use it as a way to fund their creative efforts, but I would recommend against this. There are too many complications in promising something that does not exist yet, after all…life does have a habit of getting in the way when you least expect it.

By using crowdfunding as a part of the eSpec Books business model I ensure my projects are in the black from the get-go, instead of needing to earn back their production costs before making a profit. I also ensure I have the funding to pay professionals to do any of the work I am not capable of doing myself. Lastly, by Size of a Dollar Areserving half of the money received in a separate royalty account, I ensure I have the money set aside to pay the authors what they are due. Our growth is slow, but steady, and the foundation we are building is solid. For most of our campaigns there has been little left over once everything is paid for, but everything we bring in after that is profit.

In addition to this, with each successful and completed project we grow our built-in audience as well as our credibility as a publisher.
Book Left1The key is to go into the venture with realistic goals. To know what you can and cannot do, and be prepared to work your butt off to make it happen. This is important. Most publishing crowdfunding campaigns do not succeed. This is because individuals go into it thinking they are going to collect free money. That people are just goBook Left1ing to hand it to them. They go into it thinking only of what they want to achieve, instead of what will make it worth a backer’s support.
Backers don’t care what you want. They want to know what’s in it for them. That is where your focus should be, making sure the backers feel they are getting good value for their support.
Yes, it takes a lot of work, but if you want to make dreams happen, it’s more than worth the effort.

Want to see a live crowdfunding project?

Check out the info and the link below. Interesting stuff.

eSpec Books is currently funding two novels by bestselling authors Jack Campbell (The Lost Fleet, The Lost Stars, and The Pillars of Reality series) and Brenda Cooper (co-author of Building Harlequin’s Moon with Larry Niven, and author of The Wings of Creation series).  The two books are very different coming-of-age stories.
Jack Campbell’s The Sister Paradox is an urban fantasy turned epic adventure, where a teen boy crosses dimensions to fight dragons and basilisks and other manner of magical creatures beside the sword-wielding younger sister he never had.
Brenda Cooper’s POST is a post-apocalyptic journey novel, where a girl name Sage leaves the safety of the botanical garden she grew up in to discover the world outside and with hope, help rebuild it.
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Let’s Run Away with a Rock Band! A Review of Shadow of a Girl by Shannon Greenland @SEGreenAuthor @entangledteen

Shadow of a Girl by Shannon Greenland (Ebook) An abused 16 year old girl runs away from home, lies about her age, and takes a job as a roadie for a rock tour. Enter hot rock star.

I passed on this book several times because, really, can you get any more cliché? I’m not sorry I picked it up, though. The rock-star hero, West, was a refreshing change, in that he was a nice guy that I could actually picture myself falling for. (Not like the tortured jerk heroes that seem the dominate the romance category) In the beginning, he was a touch unbelievable to me. I was going to subtract a star for that, but I gave that star back, because “Yay for the nice guy!” I wish Mr. Nice guy would be invited to more YA novels.

Now, Eve is a great character. The author seemed to do a lot of homework, or knows someone personally who has been abused. Her character was great. She did have that typical “I’m not good enough for him” period, which is another troupe that I wish would disappear, but I can forgive her that. She’d been taught she wasn’t good enough by an abusiver for years.

The plot and pacing of this book was spot on. It has that “Can’t put it down” feel, and I found myself making excuses not to do other things so I could come back and read (That is unusual for me) This book totally had me up until we hit the 90% mark.

This, unfortunately, is where it fell flat for me. The climax happens. “Oh no! What is she going to do‽” And yes, we get to see Eve stand up for herself, but after all the buildup, I expected it to be longer and more exciting. Then, she gets something slipped into her hand. This item is jam packed full of potential for at least another ten pages of tension and nail-biting. But that doesn’t happen. Instead, what she did with that item is glossed over in a summary.

I was very disappointed. I also wasn’t really happy with the way the relationship reconciled, either. I mean, he’s 19. She’s 16.

Minor spoiler coming up in purple. Stop reading if you don’t want to know

Okay – are you gone if you don’t want to know?

Last chance. Okay?


Well, the relationship between Eve and the rock star is left totally hanging. I would have preferred for West to step up and say “I’ll always love you, but you’re only sixteen. My career will be over if anyone finds out.” As callous as that seems, IT’S TRUE. I think a better ending would have been for them to stay friends from a distance, and have him show up with a rose (even better, a roll of stickers) on her 18th birthday. BOOM! Perfect ending, and I wouldn’t have been disturbed by the thought of them actually getting together.

[End spoiler. You can come back now!]

I struggled a little on rating the book because of what I stated above, but I enjoyed all the rest of the book so much I decided to only subtract one star. Everything about this book is awesome. Shadow of a Girl really rocks on many levels, but I think the ending could have been expanded on for the conflict with the abuser, and also with the over age boyfriend.

Yes, I’d definitely grab another book from this author.

The lady has skills.

Five Oreos on the writing style, and four Oreos for the book.

Click here (Goodreads) to get your own copy of Shadow of a Girl

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