#Bookblogger bashing: in the end, you’re only hurting yourself #MondayBlogs

Today I’m hosting a post written by Terry Tyler which I feel strongly about aswell.

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#Bookblogger bashing: in the end, you’re only hurting yourself.

I’ve read a few posts lately about book bloggers being bullied or ‘trolled’ by writers for whom they have received bad reviews, or whose books they have rejected.  For more on this, here’s a heartrending post from The Happy Meerkat, and an associated one on Fictionophile about whether or not reviews should be objective or personal opinion, amongst other things.

Like 99% of the rest of the online writer/reader/blogger/reviewer community, I’m appalled that bloggers who give up their time to read books by total strangers, for no payment, are receiving such harassment.

I write this from the point of view of a writer, and a book reviewer.  Although my own book review blog is mostly for my own reading choices, I’m also a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team. There are 20-30 of us, who select books from those submitted by authors and publishers.  If we’ve reviewed the book (and we sometimes decline after reading a section), we then deliver the results to Rosie for inclusion on her blog.

On the submission guidelines, Rosie clearly states that we don’t provide a 5* only book review service, and that we pride ourselves on being honest, unbiased, balanced and constructive.  If we were to give only praise for every book submitted, the blog would be a) dishonest and b) therefore not worth reading.  Yet still she’s had to deal with complaints from writers who haven’t received the glowing recommendations for which they’d hoped. Some ask her not to post them, despite the hours of (unpaid) work that have gone into considering the submission, reading the book and posting the reviews.

Book bloggers are a gift to the self-published or indie press published author.  They do what they do simply for the love of reading/blogging/the book world.  They should not be given a hard time because they do not give a wholehearted, 5* thumbs up to what they’ve read.  Since being on Rosie’s team, I’ve heard of reviewers being accused of personal grudges against the author, lack of understanding of the author’s apparent brilliance, snobbery, and even not reading the book. A couple of years ago, one writer was extraordinarily rude, on Goodreads, about Rosie’s 3* review.  He slagged her off in public. She didn’t owe him anything.  He wasn’t paying her for her time.  He submitted his book for an honest review, which he received.  All he did was make himself look like an egotistical idiot.  Less than positive reactions are a fact of life for a writer. All reviews bring the book to the attention of the public and add to its ‘visibility’ on Amazon.

To book blogger bashers everywhere: have you ever watched The X Factor, or American Idol, or any of those shows?  You know the mediocre singer who can’t cope with the fact that he isn’t good enough to make it through to the next round, and is abusive towards the judges?  That’s what you look like when you harass book bloggers who don’t tell you what a wonderful writer you are.

The book blogger community is close and supportive.  If you start throwing your toys out of your pram every time you get a 1, 2 or 3* review, you’re likely to get a bad reputation.

Reading Soft edge

(Please note: in the following section, I’ve referred to the book blogger as ‘she’, rather than ‘he/she’, for simplicity).

If a book blogger rejects your submission it might be for any of these reasons:

  • You have sent a generic request rather than looking at the blog to see if your book is suitable.
  • You have come across as demanding, or unprofessional, or not even bothered to find out her name.
  • She has a busy life and does not have the time to read it right now.
  • Her to-read list is ten miles long already.
  • She is not interested in your particular genre.
  • She has read the blurb, and the subject matter of your book doesn’t appeal to her.
  • She has read the blurb and considers it badly written.
  • She’s read the ‘look inside’ sample on Amazon and does not consider the writing to be of the standard she wishes to review.

All these elements can be summed up by this: she doesn’t want to read your book.  That’s okay.  She’s not obliged to.

If a book blogger accepts your book, but gives it a less than positive review, it’s for this reason only:

  • She didn’t think it was very good.

She’s not being snobbish, or vindictive, and she’s not too stupid to understand your art, she just didn’t like it much, for the reasons stated.  Most book bloggers assess with a combination of objectivity and personal opinion.  If more than two reviewers say the book has unrealistic dialogue, or cardboard characters, or an unfeasible plot, or it’s too long, or it needs editing, or proofreading, it’s likely that they’ve got a point.  Deal with it. Learn from it.

But, most of all, don’t give the book blogger a hard time for pointing it out. It’s arrogant, it’s nasty, and, in the long run, the only person who will suffer is YOU.

 

 

 

#RNA Features Rosie Amber #BookBlogger #BookReviewer In New Blogging Series

Reblog from RNA

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Friday, January 20, 2017

BOOK BLOGGER & REVIEWER: ROSIE AMBER

Welcome to our latest blog series, Book Bloggers & Reviewers. Author, Ellie Holmes will be chatting each month to the wonderful industry bloggers who love to read books and do so much to promote our work. Welcome also to Rosie Amber the first in the series. Over to you Ellie.

I am delighted to welcome Rosie Amber to the RNA Blog. Nearly five years ago, Rosie decided touse her love of reading to help promote authors and their books through her blog.  She is now in the top 1% of Goodreads reviewers and has been a runner up in Sacha Blacks’ Bloggers Bash awards for the last two years. Rosie says one of the best things about her blog is that it has allowed her to meet some lovely people.

Inspired by “A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly. Rosie decided to undertake her own challenge of doing one good deed a day for a year. She enjoyed the challenge so much she decided to carry on and wrote about it on her blog. You can check it out by following the link at the bottom of this article.

Welcome Rosie. What made you start to review/blog?

I began blogging nearly five years ago, both my children had reached their teens and it was a way of legitimately entering the huge social media scene to keep up with them and more importantly an eye out without stalking them. I’ve always loved reading so writing reviews for the books I read was an easy step.

How has your blog developed over time?

Rosie Amber

At first my reviews were only one or two sentences. Clearly this wasn’t enough, I studied other book bloggers and soon took a pencil and paper with me when I read and made notes as the book progressed. I was rather shocked when I was first approached to review a book from a “real“person.

My first review copies were read on my computer screen, I didn’t even own a kindle. Next came the kindle, I found out how to upload mobi files. I made a point of learning my craft from the bottom up, researching and teaching myself. I had a friend show me the basics of Facebook and Twitter, I’d have a lesson from her and then she’d send me off to experiment. My first blog was on Tumbler but the platform didn’t work for me and I made the switch to WordPress.

To develop the blog I offered a book review and then an author promotional piece on the next day. I ran my own themed book tours – “Romancing September” was popular, I co-hosted with a blogger in the States giving a double opportunity for promotion each day of the tour. I also took part in the April A-Z challenge, it opened my blog to lots of bloggers from different walks of life.

Soon I had too many books to review of genres I wasn’t always keen on, I created a book reviewing challenge to reach out to get more people writing reviews and I made lots of new friends. On the back of that I created a book review team. We can now offer the possibility of multiple reviews of an author’s book all from one place.

What are your review guidelines?

I read books across a range of genres, both fiction and non-fiction.

I enjoy romance, paranormal, humour, murder mystery, mild thrillers, spiritual, a bit of fantasy, reading about other cultures and places all over the world and YA/NA books.

I don’t read blatant erotica, political or strong religious themed books, nor do I enjoy a book with a lot of violence. I’m afraid poetry isn’t my thing and I can only take a little sci-fi, please no short stories.

I prefer to accept books in paperback, I love their feel, but I’m also happy to work with Mobi files which I download to my Kindle.

Before I accept a book a few lines about it should be sent along with your details, plus a link to where I can find the book. The final decision to review the book, is mine. Upon acceptance I will provide a mailing/e-mail address.

Book review team guidelines:

The book review team gives you access to a wide range of reviews. I have reviewers from around the world who read and review books, posting reviews on several platforms.

Authors should decide how many copies of their book they could donate for a review. Accepted formats are e-formats;  Mobi , e-pub, vouchers for Smashwords or Amazon, Gifted books from Amazon. I then post the book details on my team book list. They will request a book and I will then get you to send them the book direct in their chosen format.

Reviewers have been asked to post a review on a minimum of 2 sites such as their blog, Amazon or Goodreads, etc. Plus they are asked to send me a copy of the review which I will post on this blog.

If a reviewer has taken the time to read and review a book I shall post a copy of the review on my blog. We write as we see a book in our own personal reading experience. If you put a book out in the public domain, expecting only positive 5* reviews from all readers it is unrealistic, the top authors all get a range of star ratings.

Full details here

What do you expect from a writer when they appear on your blog?

The best type of author is one who supports my blog, I do this as a hobby and don’t earn anything from it, an author has the potential to earn money, so repaying mine and my team’s time in kindness is important, social media shares are my “bread and butter”. So this means following the blog posts and sharing them on their own social media, not necessarily every day but as a regular supporter would be lovely.

How important is social media to you and your blogging team?

Social media is huge for us. If we are posting a review of a book we’ll never post under a 3*. An author can get a lot of publicity if they act on the day, posts go out on my blog, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. As a group the review team are very supportive and most share these on their own social media. One of our favourite hangouts is Twitter and if authors pick up and share all the tweets they’ll get about their book then the message really gets out there. On Tuesdays we use #TuesdayBookBlog for book related blog post tweets and we get it trending nearly every week. Anyone can use it, here are our guidelines.

What are your interests when not blogging?

I live in Hampshire and I’m a farm secretary, I run bookwork and accounts for three farmers. I’m also keen to keep fit and try to walk most days for at least an hour, often longer.

Do you ever read a book purely for enjoyment and not with an intention to review?

I try, but most times, I’ll end up reviewing it too. One of my favourite authors is Louise L Hay, she writes non-fiction self-help books. I’m very interested in alternative health, past lives and the spirit world.

We often ask agents and publishers what they consider to be the next ‘big thing’ – what do you hope to see in 2017?

A million dollar question! I work with a lot of indies and self-published authors, rather than a next “big thing” guess I’d like to see Amazon iron out the removal of precious real reviews for good small time authors.

Thank you so much for inviting me today.

Links:

Blog 

Twitter

  My Year of Good Deeds.

Ellie Holmes:

Ellie Holmes

Ellie Holmes writes commercial women’s fiction with her heart in the town and her soul in thecountry. Ellie’s debut release was The Flower Seller. A member of the RNA and the Alliance of Independent Authors, Ellie’s latest book The Tregelian Hoard, set in Cornwall, is the first novella in her Jonquil Jones Mystery Series.

Links:

Twitter

Author Page

Facebook

Thank you, Rosie and Ellie, for such an interesting blog.

If you would like to write for the RNA blog please contact us on elaineeverest@aol.com

Did I Meet You In 2016? A Year in Review #NewYearsEve #WeekendBlogShare

Hello Lovely Readers – Did we meet in 2016?

On this New Year’s Eve: My 2016 year in review

I think many folks will be looking back at 2016 and wondering what it all meant to them. I’ve handpicked some of the highlights for me.

meet-ups

In April I had a planned meet up in Glasgow with Barb Taub, Cathy Ryan and Alison Williams. These lovely ladies are all part of my review team. Barb is an author and her blog posts are just the best to entertain you. Cathy is a book reviewer and her book reviews are extremely popular, check out her blog here. Alison is an author and editor, check out her rates and recommendations from satisfied customers.

In June I went to the Bloggers Bash in London and met lots of faces from social media. Sacha Black, Ali Isaac, Hugh Roberts and Geoff Le Pard are the bash organisers. It was the second year of this event and if you can get to London easily and want to meet a variety of bloggers and network, this annual event is a great opportunity. Next year’s date is June 10th, more details here. I chatted with Shelley Wilson, Christina Philippou, Mary Smith, Lucy Mitchell (Blondewritemore), Sarah Hardy and Suzi from Suzi Speaks, the founder of #SundayBlogShare.

Shelley is a very inspirational blogger and author, splitting her work between fantasy and non-fiction self help. I’m thrilled that she will be running a four week guest series on ways to motivate yourself here on the blog every Wednesday this January.

In August had I an enforced two weeks off as I was required to do jury service, not something I wanted to attend, but you can’t wriggle out of it very easily these days. However is was interesting to see how the system works, how strict it all felt and how sad that the case I had, ever came to court. On a positive note, whilst in Guildford I made a renewed contact with Christina Philippou and this lead to me attending her book launch in September.

At Christina’s book launch for her debut novel (Lost In Static), I met Neats from the Haphazardous Hippo ( lilac Hippo) a book blogger who lives near by and we met Chris’ publisher Matthew from Urbane Publications. This is small up and coming publisher check it out here.

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My links with Chris and Neats took me to a Blogger/author meet up in London. Event organisers; Kim Nash @kimthebookworm and Holly Martin @hollymartin00  run these events alternating between London and Birmingham. This was a fun afternoon with a mix of authors and book bloggers all chatting in a relaxed atmosphere. I particularly enjoyed chatting to; Author Jessica Norrie, Book bloggers Susan Hampson, Anne Williams and  Jo Robertson, authors Barbara Copperthwait,  Jan Brigden and Steven Hayward

Another day I met book reviewer Liz Lloyd for an Autumn walk around a local village.

Late November Neats invited me to a book launch. We spent a Saturday afternoon in Farnham meeting author Kristen Bailey as she launched book #2 of her contemporary women’s fiction  “Second Helpings”. We also networked and by chance met another Urban Publication’s author Shirley Golden.

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December saw me heading to Leicester to meet Lizzie Lamb, June Kearns, Adrienne Vaughan, Margaret Cullingford and several other members at their monthly RNA meeting. Lizzie, June, Adrienne and Margaret are also know an the New Romantics Four. With me came author, reviewer and Twitter Queen Terry Tyler, Cathy Ryan, Shelley Wilson, and Proofreader Julia Gibbs. It was great to meet Terry’s sister Julia, who was recently on the TV quiz show Pointless. If you need recommended help with copy editing or proofreading do check out her site here.  In the evening we met with authors Mark Barry and Georgia Rose. Mark runs workshops in schools encouraging reluctant readers to pick up books and Georgia has been a guest speaker for Mark, she also runs her own self publishing workshops.

The 2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge tells me I’ve read 175 books this year, however I’ve also beta read 4 books and have read others which aren’t yet on Goodreads, this bumps the number up a little.

What am I going to do next year? Perhaps I’ll meet you. I plan to go out and meet lots more authors and bloggers, nothing beats a face to face meeting.

I’d like to wish all my readers and reviewers a very Happy New Year.

Here are useful Twitter handles of people I’ve met this year.

@barbtaub

@CathyRy

@AlisonW_Editor

@sacha_black

@aliisaac_

@HughRoberts05

@geofflepard

@ShelleyWilson72

@CPhilippou123

@urbanepub

@marysmithwriter

@Blondewritemore

@sarahhardy681

@suzie81blog

@lilac_hippo

@KimTheBookworm

@hollymartin00

@jessica_Norrie

@susanhampsom57

@Williams13Anne

@jocatrobinson

@BCopperthwait

@JanBrigden

@stevieboyh

@LizanneLloyd

@baileyforce6

@shirl1001

@lizzie_lamb

@june_kearns

@adrienneauthor

@CullingfordMags

@newromantics4

@TerryTyler4

@ProofreadJulia

@GreenWizard62

@GeorgiaRoseBook

@rosieamber1

MAKE AUGUST Write An Amazon Review Month by @TerryTyler4 #AmazonReviews #Amreading

August 2016 is Write An Amazon Review Month! By @TerryTyler4 #AugustReviews

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

 

The idea is that, from August 1st, everyone who reads this uses their Amazon account to post just one review on one book that they’ve read (but feel free to carry on if you get in the swing!). You don’t even have to have read it recently, it can be any book you’ve read, any time. The book does not have to have been purchased from Amazon, though if it is you get the ‘Verified Purchase’ tag on it; however, if you download all your books via Kindle Unlimited, as many do these days, they don’t show the VP tag, anyway.

Reading Soft edge

 

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

 

Why should you write a review?

They help book buyers make decisions. Don’t you read the reviews on Trip Advisor before deciding on a hotel, or any site from which you might buy an item for practical use? Book reviews are no different.

If the book is by a self-published author, or published by an independent press, the writers have to do all their promotion and marketing themselves ~ reviews from the reading public is their one free helping hand.

The amount of reviews on Amazon helps a book’s visibility (allegedly). If you love a writer’s work and want others to do so, too, this is the best possible way of making this happen.

It’s your good deed for the day, and will only take five minutes!

Minstrel Loveheart

 

Off we go, then! A few more pointers:

If you need any help with writing your review, do click on Rosie’s post, above.

A review can be as short as one word. The shortest one I have is just two 🙂

You don’t have to put your name to the review, as your Amazon ‘handle’ can be anything you like.

No writer expects all their reviews to be 5* and say the book is the best thing ever written; there is a star rating guide on Rosie’s post.

Would you like to tell the Twittersphere about your review? If so, tweet the link to it with the hashtag #AugustReviews ~ and thank you! I will do one blog post a week featuring these links: The #AugustReviews Hall of Fame (thank you, Barb!).

 

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

 

 

 

June’s #InspiringWomen Great to be this month’s featured lady by @VikkiPatis #wwwblogs

Re-blogged from  The BandWagon

Welcome to The Bandwagon’s new feature for 2016 – #InspiringWomen. These posts aim to not only celebrate successful women, but also to encourage others to follow their dreams. Meet June’s lady, Rosie Amber.

Rosie B&W SoftSelf-described as a book reviewer, avid reader and bookworm, Rosie Amber is campaigning to link more readers to writers.

What made you want to join your industry?

A few years ago I was inspired to teach myself about social media and not grow old and stagnant. I’ve always loved reading, so what better way to celebrate this than to start a book blog and reach out virtually.

What challenges have you had to overcome in order to get where you are today? 

I began at the ground and worked up, first I didn’t know what blogging platform to use, I began with Tumbler, but found the audience wrong for me, so next I tried WordPress, it works well for my needs. Then I began at the bottom with Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and just recently YouTube. My second favourite is Twitter, I join in with Hashtag share days and work hard to build an audience.

To make a blog work well I put in lots of work, but it helps that I enjoy what I do. To keep an audience happy you must keep things fresh, try new ideas, stretch yourself.

I join in with challenges like the April A – Z challenge, I create my own themed book blog tours, I run readathons,  I also run a successful book reviewing team, we held our first book awards last December to honour great authors who we’ve met via my blog.

Meeting people virtually opens up a whole new world, a few months ago I met up personally with some of my new virtual friends, now that was a HUGE step, really pushing new boundaries. 5 of us from my book review team came together from all over the UK and spent 24 hours talking books. It was amazing and luckily we all got on really well.

What does being a woman mean to you? 

To me it means being creative and multi-tasking. I’m a mother, housewife and I work part time as a farm secretary, I deal with daily chores and next minute I’m chatting globally about books and writing.

In what ways has your gender helped or hindered you in your industry? 

I like the social side of being a woman; we’ll chat easily about books, reading and are good at sharing on social media. Women are often less aggressive and demanding when it comes to book reviews. I hate to label some men but I’ve found the male ego an issue at times. Dealing with an author who refuses to accept that I didn’t like his book, it wasn’t my thing, I had issues with it for various reasons etc is a BIG FAT PAIN IN THE ARSE. This isn’t a widespread issue, and I have come across a couple of women who were the same but on the whole women deal with the critique by another women better.

Name some women who inspire you.

Louise Hay for her inspirational books like “I Can Do It”, Judith O’Reilley for her book “A Year Of Doing Good” it inspired me to do my own challenge of one good deed a day and I did it for 2 years, blogging with the weekly upates of my good deeds, it changed my life and I still try to do one each day now. Silvia Browne for her book “The Other Side and Back” which taught me so much about the spirit world.

What advice would you give to young women who want to go into your industry?

From my own place in the book world, I would say it’s a great place for women, but wherever you rest in the world, make it a place where you show your love for it and the people in it. I dislike the dog eat dog, ripping others off and making money in underhand ways that leads so much of society today. Only give out what you want to receive.

Header Rosie Amber Book Reviews

What does it take to run a successful blog?

I’ve touched on some of the ways in which I run my blog. It takes time, regular updates and the desire to succeed. Start with small ideas and build up, I began with reviews of books that I’d read, then I invited people to send their books for me to review, I offered guest posts, all simple stuff, I took part in challenges and went to other people’s blogs and got involved. Making comments and sharing what others do encourages them to come visit your blog.

I make sure my blog posts are easy to share, here are my quick tips;

1)       If you use WordPress go to your Dashboard, then settings, then sharing, scroll down to “Twitter username to include in tweets when people share using the Twitter button.” Add your Twitter handle without the @ ie rosieamber1. Now every time your blog post is shared on Twitter it will appear in your notification page and you can easily re-tweet. N.B Twitter is all about the power of the re-tweet.

2)       My blog titles have a mix of capital letters, hashtags and Twitter handles if they are about people or their books, for instance THE HOUSE OF YORK by @TerryTyler4 #Bookreview #TuesdayBookBlog. This makes them SUPER easy to share, attention grabbing and no extra words needed. Each time this is shared the author gets notification too and usually re-tweets as well.

3)       Always use Hashtags on Twitter, find the popular ones which suit your blog theme. My team and I recently created the #TuesdayBookBlog hashtag to help anyone with news of their book, reviews, guest posts, book cover launched etc. We try to help share all relevant ones each week.

4)       It takes an audience to run a successful blog, my own blog is still really small, but I never tire of coming up with new mad ideas to try, some work, some don’t. Keep working until you find something you enjoy, but don’t let it get boring.

5)       Sharing someone else’s post? If you share to Twitter, make an effort to add a Hashtag or a Twitter handle to make you tweet more twitter friendly.

Blog | @rosieamber1 | Facebook

Rosie Amber is looking for book reviewers!

rosie gardening 02 twitter

I’m looking for dedicated readers to join my book review team. I need someone who can commit to reading and reviewing a book within a month. I need the review posted on Goodreads, Amazon US & UK and a blog (if the reader has one), plus I get a copy of each review to post at a later date on my own blog. Reviews need to be around 3-4 paragraphs long, telling others about the book genre, setting, writing style, a little of the plot, the main characters, what worked in the book and what perhaps didn’t for that reader. I‘m not looking for 5* reviews but honest ones which help future readers. For more information check out this link or have a good rummage around my blog and see what others are writing.

Join Rosie Amber Book Review Team

Wednesday Wing – Simple templates for writing a #BookReview #wwwblogs

 Wednesday Wing is about passing on observations, tips and information to readers I’ve made a note of.

Rosie's Notebook

Today I’m passing on a tip about writing book reviews.

Many people don’t write book reviews because they believe they can’t possible write one.

Recently I was asked to help in the form of some easy templates which will start readers off and from which they can build their confidence to create their own reviews.

Template 1

(Insert book title) is set in (Example select; town, or country or a year).

The Book opens with (Example select; a name of a character or an action)

The story is about (Example; The Irish Famine, or the lives of The Tudor Kings & Queens, or the loves and losses of a vampire etc)

I enjoyed the (Example; Witty dialogue, or the Historical descriptions of the era, or how realistic the characters were.)

Template 2

Book Title and Author Name

(Name the first main character) example Nicholas is a Fallen Angel/ a divorcee/ police detective/ a lawyer etc

He/She works/ lives in (name the town, country, place or era)

Name one or two other leading characters. Say a little about them.

Say what links all these characters.

What did you like about the book?

What would have made it better?

Who would you recommend the book to? 

Star Rating given.

Template 3

Book Title and Author Name

Genre

Book Setting – time and place

Introduce the main characters

Describe the storyline in general terms (avoid spoilers that give too much away)

How was the book set out? (If this was obvious) For instance alternating chapters from different characters, or chapters from different time periods.

What did you like about the book?

What would have made it better?

What didn’t you enjoy in the book?

Would you read another book by this author?

Your star rating.

**Next week we’ll look at Star Ratings**

Links to previous Wednesday Wing Posts

 Checking your WordPress is linked to your Twitter helps others share your posts http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7L2

Writer’s Craft books by Rayne Hall full of REALLY useful tips http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Ma

 Hyperlinks, Short links and Linkys http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Rl

 Making your post titles easy to share on Twitter to maximise views. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7SA

 Creating Twitter pics that fit http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Y4

 Creating a slideshow on WordPress http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Yo

 Getting the most out of Google+ posts http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7YM

 Automated Tweets, LOVE ‘EM or HATE ‘EM? make use of them http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Za

 What’s Your Book Genre? http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-84S

 Should you write dreams into your work? http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-84Q

 What can I read in the first 10% of your book? http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-84W

 Dialogue – he/she said http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-87T

Creating Twitter Lists – http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-8ck

 Making best use of your Twitter “Thank-You” http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-8cn

 Should you write a book series? http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-87R

 Book Clubs Love ’em? Or Hate em? http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-8JQ

 Blog in a Slump? Give it some TLC http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-8LI

 Let’s talk about Libraries http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-8NP

 Getting The Most Out Of Twitter Share Days http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-8Pa

Fabulous Friday Bloggers – Rosie Amber @MarciaMeara

Friday I was a guest over at The Write Stuff. Go check it out…

Reblogged from http://marciamearawrites.com/2015/10/23/fabulousfridayguestblogger-rosie-amber/

#FabulousFridayGuestBlogger – Rosie Amber

FFGB Graphic

 Amber rose

Today, our guest blogger is Rosie Amber, who is going to talk to us about how and why she does book reviews, where you can follow her blog, and how you can contact her if you’d like to submit something of your own for her or her team to review. Thank you for being here today, Rosie. Now take it away, Flower Lady! 🙂

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Thank you for inviting me to The Write Stuff blog today for a chat about book reviewing.  I’m Rosie Amber and I run a book reviewing blog at https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/
You can also find me on Twitter @rosieamber1

Why as a reader I think reviews are important

In today’s world the book market is reaching saturation point. Self-publishing and e-book opportunities have opened the doors to publishing which were once held closed by publishing houses. More and more people are buying books online where they look at the book cover, the book description and they check out other reader’s reviews.

I love reading and want to share the books I love with others, so what better way than by writing a review and posting it on various online platforms and book buying sites.

As a reviewer, I post reviews about nearly all the books I read as long as I can rate them 3* or above. Below this I won’t review, I feel a “no review” says as much as a 1 or 2*. If I’ve been asked to review the book for an author and it will be below 2*, I’ll contact the author with an appraisal of their book, with my thoughts on how it could be improved.

What makes a good review?

I write short reviews. I’ll explain the book genre up front, then if it’s not one a reader likes, they can move on. I’ll usually talk quickly about the main characters and where or when the book is set. I’ll then go on to give a bit of information about the storyline, so that readers can decide themselves if the book sounds enticing. I’ll finish with a summary of what I liked about the book and if necessary what didn’t work for me. If the book needed another run through editing I will mention that and it will reflect in my rating. It’s so important in this competitive market for writers to put out their VERY best piece of work and not rush to publish.

Running a review blog

Rosie's Book Review team 1

A year ago I filled my blog with all my own reviews, but my request list was getting long and I was being asked to review genres which I didn’t enjoy. So I created a book review team. Members join on a voluntary basis and review books around their own lives. There is no minimum or maximum number of books to read as long as they read and review a book in a month. We post reviews on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Goodreads, reviewer’s blogs and I get a copy of each review which goes out on my own blog.

It is set up so that authors provide several copies of their work and we give them multiple reviews of the book all from one place.

It is complex, I’m fielding book review enquiries from authors, managing the review requests from the team, making sure they review within the one month and dealing with any of their queries, sending out notification to the author when the reviews comes in and drafting up my copy of each review for my blog. On top of that I have my own review request list which is currently around 50 books. I try to read a book in no longer than 2 days. This is a hobby, I have to work it around family life and part time employment. All the reviewing is free with no monetary values exchanged. This is important with the current Amazon clamp down on paid reviews and fake reviews breaching their rules.

Approaching us for a review

The best type of author wanting a review is one that has found my blog, spent a good time checking out the type of books we read, the style of reviews we write and actually getting involved with some of the posts via comments and sharing on social media. I hang out on Twitter a great deal.

Then when they have got a good feel for us I’m happy for them to make contact via the contact forms. There is a good set of instructions about the RIGHT way to go about it.

It’s very obvious if a new author finds my blog, “Follows” by joining and then fills in the book request form. I get all the e-mails, the one which says “You have a new follower” and when it’s followed by a book review request I KNOW the author has spent little time checking me out.

Then when they send a copy and paste review request or they call me Amber or no name at all, I get miffed. Most authors understand I’m busy reading and living my life and I will get to their book, some are a little impatient. DON’T OFFEND A REVIEWER BEFORE THEY’VE READ YOUR BOOK!

All I ask is that authors remember the team and I are human, we do this because we like reading, we won’t like every book we read but we won’t be rude or leave a 1* and no reason why. We spend several hours reading your book and thinking about a fair review all for free and in our own time so that you might benefit from others who will buy your book.

What else do we do on the blog?

I like to put fresh ideas out on the blog, so I get involved with other projects too. Every April I take part in the April A-Z Challenge, where bloggers from all over the world blog their way through the alphabet. This is a fantastic way to meet new people and make new friends/ followers. If anyone is trying to build up their blog, I recommend taking part in this free challenge. http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

I also run my own free tours, I’ve just finished the third annual #RomancingSeptember tour with fellow blogger Stephanie Hurt. Earlier in the summer I also ran a Beach Reads tour and last year I ran a #MysteryNovember tour. These are hard work but a lot of fun for all that take part.

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This October I’m running a Readathon, where I’m inviting anyone who follows the blog to read and review three books and we’ll post their reviews.

Readathon

The #FridayFiveChallenge is a quick research post for people who blog. Each Friday people write a post about a book they found online after just a five minute search. The idea is to use a search term and then scan the book covers and choose a book from its cover/ book title. There’s time for a quick read of the book blurb and maybe a look at the number of reviews, then you must make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS? The idea behind it is to look at it from a buyer’s POV. Many people now shop online for books and the thumb-nail book cover is often the first point of sale, get it right and hook the reader, get it wrong and they’ve passed you by.

There is plenty more, from my Wednesday Wing posts with tips from a readers POV, Resources for writers and posts by Avid readers, people who aren’t book reviewers but friends who say they’ve read a great book and tell you just a couple of lines about it.

Do drop in, say hello, pull up a chair and get comfy with people who LIKE books https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/

Guest Post – Rosie Amber on FictionZeal.com #wwwblogs @dino0726

Getting to know: ROSIE AMBER (blogger for rosieamber.wordpress.com)

Hi there!  Today I just wanted to host a guest post for another book review blogger.  Rosie Amber became my one and only blogger friend when I first started my blog.  She placed her digital arm around my digital shoulder and said ‘There, there, it will be OK.’  She’s helped me in many ways since then.  But, if you take the time to get to know Rosie, you’ll discover that is not so unusual.  She truly cares for others.  Since April 2013, after being inspired by A Year of Good Deeds written by Judith O’Reilly, she has committed herself to performing some good work each day.

Rosie’s Post:

Here on my blog I focus on book reviews and helping authors spread the word about their books. I began writing reviews of books I’d read and then I offered to review books, slowly the blog built up and I invited authors to be guests on the blog.  I post my reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. I’m lucky enough to also have two local magazines that I write monthly book reviews for, they both have on-line editions which is great for my featured authors who are spread across the world.

For the last three years I’ve taken part in the April A to Z Challenge and I blogged my way through the alphabet using books each time. It’s a great way to meet loads of new people from across the world and I have stayed friends with many of them.

During April 2013 I read Judith O’Reilly’s book A Year of Good Deeds and I decided to set my own challenge of doing a Good Deed a Day for a year. Often my deeds are as small as picking up litter, or writing a book review, but I was so thrilled when I managed a whole year that I have continued my challenge. I post weekly updates on a Sunday and I have encouraged others to follow in my footsteps which is really great.

In September 2013 I joined with Stephanie Hurt from USA and we ran a joint Romance Book Tour. Thirty authors got the chance of two posts about their book on their allotted day, stretched across the world to a wider audience. The concept worked really well and we ran a second tour in 2014. Places on the tour were snapped up in a week, we had a waiting list and people are already asking us about a 2015 tour which is fantastic.

I ran a Mystery Book tour all through last November, 30 books, 30 authors and 30 days. There were all sorts of sub-genre books taking part in the tour.

I’ve just run a Beach Read fortnight with guests telling us about the five books they’d take on vacation as well as their favourite destinations.

I really believe in the value of book reviews helping to sell books as we move more and more into buying books online. In June 2014 I ran a book review challenge for a week with posts giving advice on book reviews, guest book reviewers, authors and a publisher all talking about the need for more written book reviews. I had authors offer free copies of their book and challengers were invited to read the book and try writing a review. It went down so well that on the back of this I set up a book review team. This is a no pressure team who review books they choose around their busy lives. They commit to reading and reviewing a book within a reasonable time and we posts reviews to a minimum of two sites plus I get a copy of all reviews to go on my own blog. That way authors get access to several reviewers at once and can get some good feedback on their book. We publish all reviews, many bloggers feel pressured to only post 5* reviews, my policy can lead to disgruntled authors, but hey we’re here to show we are readers with our own opinions.

I love blogging and offer a busy blog for people who love books in all sorts of genres. I’m passionate about reading and I’m always recommending books to others or passing on copies of books I’ve read. Plus I’m happy to get other people who love reading involved with my book review team.

@rosieamber1

Rosie – I thank you for allowing FictionZeal to host you and your blog today.  You have a wonderful blog and always keep it new with unique and fresh ideas.  

My questions to Rosie:

First, would you provide a link to a few of your most favourite books as featured on your blog?  Tell us why you loved them so much.


Swamp Ghosts – Marcia Meara (Romantic Suspense) http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Qf

Florida beauty and dangerous animals mixed with a serial killer with time for a bit of romance.

 

Back Behind Enemy Lines – Chris Bridge (Historical WW2 fiction) http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6GA

A WW2 secret agent now faces a war against her family in the book split into two time eras.

 

Walking On The Edge – Zee Monodee (Romantic Suspense) http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6tL

A woman with amnesia starts to recall her past, but first she must escape those who are keeping her captive.

 

I Listened To my Heart – Rosemary Gallagher (Spiritual Romance) http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6h6

Angels and spirit guides feature in this search for a soul mate.

 

The Parrot Told Me – Rachel Rawlings (Murder Mystery) http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-64Y

Great mystery, where it’s the talking parrot who can tell who the murderer really was. Had me hooked from the start.

 

A Place In The World – Cinda MacKinnon (Contemporary S. American setting) http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5VC

A coffee finca in the cloud forests of Colombia are the setting for this tale about discovery and survival.

 

Craving – Sophia Grey (NA psychic romance) http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5TR

A sexy leather jacket wearing young psychic gets involved with chasing away the evil.

 

Backpacks and Bra Straps  – Savannah Grace (Travel) http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5Qu

Second travel book about a Canadian family who sold up and went backpacking around the world, very good.

 

The Soul and the Seed – Arie Farnham (YA fantasy thriller) http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5Hy

Scary storyline about testing teenagers and experimenting on them to extreme lengths.

 

A Woman’s Choice – Annie Thomas (Historical Fiction) http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5di

The turn of the 20th century and one young lady steps foot on America to make a better life for her and her mother. I liked all the historical details.

As a reviewer, what does the rating scale mean to you?  Do you ever review books on your blog that are 2 stars or under?  Do you finish everything you start or have you DNF (did not finish) any?

I keep to the 1-5* rating. I don’t do any 4.5 or 3.2 stars, and I post the same star rating on Goodreads and Amazon. So within a 4* rating I’ll have books which just made it past a 3* and books which weren’t quite perfect for me. I’ll try to make the rest of my written review show how much I liked a book or what I felt didn’t quite work.

If I have a review which will go below 2* from an author who has asked me to review their work, I’ll go back to them with an appraisal of their book, it may have massive editing errors, or be very unrealistic with characters doing impossible things, even fantasy has to be believable. Some of my appraisals are for books I could not finish but I’ll try to read at least 20% before I give up. I think this type of approach is more helpful to an author than silently posting a 2* with barely a review, it doesn’t give them a chance to see where they need to improve.

If one of your favourite authors added you as a character to one of their books, how would you like to be portrayed? 

Whenever I see a character called Rosie in a book I get a shiver and love seeing how these Rosie’s develop in their storylines. If I was a book character I would like to be in a book about self-discovery as fun, carefree and a good friend. I’d have my eyes wide open to the opportunities life experiences offer without the restrictions of the modern world. I’d enjoy being in a storyline about finding  or digging into my past lives, I’m a believer that we’ve all been on this earth before and that each time we return it’s to learn something new or sort out some bad Karma. I’d want my characters to travel to places which connect to those past lives, I have a yearning for Ireland, Africa and more of North America/ Canada (The wilder parts). My journey would begin with some past life regression work, deep meditation training (I’m enjoying reading about meditation at the moment and trying to put it to practise) and move on to just what I can do to make this a better place to live.

If you could have an author from the past write one more book, who would it be?  What would be the genre of the book?

I’d like Maeve Binchy to write another of her Irish family dramas, I grew up reading much of her work, there were lessons within her writing which were good to be guided by.  Contemporary drama.

I know blogging can be both rewarding and challenging.  What are the greatest rewards for you, and what are your biggest challenges?

Rewarding: Meeting lots of lovely people, giving something back in life – if I can help spread the word about books, writing and useful tips to others then that’s a great payback for all the books I get to read.
Challenging: At first it was finding interesting topics to fill my blog, and developing useful feedback in a book review, my first review post was only a couple of lines and barely said anything useful to other readers. Now I make notes as I read so I can write a better review at the end of a book. My main challenges now are firstly dealing with authors who disagree with my review, some forget we all read a book differently and see and like different things. Some authors get so close to their work that they struggle to accept any idea that the book could be improved, they let their ego get in the way of developing their craft.
Secondly my challenge is with fitting in all the admin needed to run a review blog, a review team and finding the time to visit and share other bloggers posts/ tweets etc plus juggle this with a part time job and full time mother/ friend and housewife in my everyday life.

 

If you are not familiar with Rosie Amber’s blog, I encourage you to spend a bit of time there.  It’s awesome!

Re-blogged from Diane Coto at FictionZeal.com

Blogger Spotlight: Rosie Amber @RosieAmber1

This was lovely to wake up to today – Thanks Nicky

Nicky Wells: Love & Thrills

#BloggerSpotlight

Welcome to the one and only
Rosie Amber!

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Who are you and what brought you to the blogosphere?

My name is Rosie Amber, I’m a book reviewer and blogger. I live in the county of Hampshire in the UK. Blogging opened up a whole new world to me and I have met some lovely people. I use my love of reading and my blog to help promote other people books.

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I love reading. In the Goodreads 2013 challenge I read 154 books, in 2014 I read more than 181 books. Nearly every book I read gets a review on Goodreads, Amazon and my blog, with links to my Facebook author page, Google+ and Twitter. I also do Guest Author Interviews and take part in book related tours.

Tell us more! I believe your blog reviews also got you into reviewing for actual paper-and-ink magazines?

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Making a Difference Makes Me a Better Person

Today I’m chatting to Joanne about how blogging and writing have changed my life.

Joanne Guidoccio

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have author, blogger, and book reviewer Rosie Amber chatting about her multi-layered life.

Here’s Rosie!

rosie2My second act journey began as my youngest child’s Primary education journey came to an end. It felt like the ending of an era and I wanted to have something to remember it by for myself and my friends. So I wrote a book loosely based on all my experiences along the years of Primary school education. In just three months I had my book full of fun memories covering incidents from the eleven years that our family had been going to a small village school. It’s called Talk of The Playground.

I never thought much further than that, but my friend introduced me to self-publishing. I had no budget for anything to do with the book, I’m a full time house-wife with a part-time job…

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