In an effort to not only promote my own work but to help other indie authors I'm planning on letting you know of books and websites where you can find books you might enjoy. All the books will be independently published by their author or a small publishing company.
Getting the word out there about your books is extremely difficult. Getting reviews and people to sign up to newsletters even more so. I'm not sure why but it seems to me that Christian readers are less willing to write reviews than secular readers. I see books with sexual content garnering hundreds of reviews. I know these have a larger audience to pull from so one would expect more reviews.
However, I've given away thousands of of copies of my works. In one give away there were more than 13,000 books downloaded. So far this month I've given away nearly 5,000 books. Out of all these downloads I've been given maybe ten reviews scattered over ten different books. Not a very good return rate.
I posted a poll in several Facebook groups asking if readers posted reviews and if not why. The reasons why they did not were pretty consistent. Not wanting to discourage other readers since they might like the book. Amazon requires too many words. Not enough time.
Personally, as an author, I'd rather have a well thought out comment on why you didn't like the book rather than no review at all. Does it hurt? Somewhat, but if it's a valid reason I appreciate the critique and try to learn from it. I'm always looking to improve my writing and constructive criticism is helpful. This book just stunk, isn't a valid reason and is not helpful, although it does add to the number of reviews.
Although Amazon claims to require twenty words for a review, it doesn't. I've seen and received two word reviews, 'Good book.' which Amazon posts. So the word requirement is pretty flexible. Also, the people who claimed this as a reason not to post reviews used an average of thirteen words to explain why they couldn't post reviews. Which leads me to the final reason why readers claim not to post reviews.
I don't have time. Yet, these same readers have time to get on Facebook, read the posts they want and post comments. Huh, they have enough time to do that but not enough time to post a review and help a Christian independent author in their struggle to promote their works.
I guess any excuse is a good one when someone simply doesn't want to do something.
As I said before, I'm going to be promoting and reviewing books and sites of other authors in my blogs. Be warned, some of the books may have sexual scenes in them. Not graphic but some may have premarital sex as part of the story. Most will not and I will state in the review that the book contains such. No book reviewed will be more than PG in content. I will also warn if there is language.
I'm including such books since there is a variety of tolerance for these types of things and I don't want to be limited and legalistic, but in deference to more sensitive readers I will warn of such content.
The first site I want to promote is Clean Romance Books.
Clean Romance Books is a site where you can find just that. It's purpose is to help readers connect with indie published authors who write clean books. Not all will be Christian, per say, but all will be clean. I'll be promoting my books on this site. I hope you stop by there and find a good book to read.
Don't For those of you who don’t know, I live on a farm in western Illinois. Yes, there is a lot of Illinois that is not Chicago. The county I live in only has 16,000 people. We are an agricultural based area.
For the past few years I’ve wanted to document the growth of the corn from the time it emerges from the ground to when it tassels out. This year I’ve finally begun doing that. I set up a yard stick next to a seedling the day I saw it poke its little head out of the soil and begin reaching for the sun.
The temperature, sunshine and moisture all play rolls in how much the plant grows each day. Early on it grows relatively slowly. As the days progress the grow rate increases. Some days it can visibly grow inches from morning to evening. That’s what I hope to document. When that happens we tend to say, “You can hear the corn growing.”
I’ve uploaded a gallery of photos from the past couple of weeks. These show the growth from emergence on Tuesday, May 8 through May 16, today. The seeds were planted on Friday, April 21. That was about days. We had corn that emerged in 10 days this year that was planted earlier but we had a cold snap which slowed everything down.
Now that I’ve posted these here I plan on posting the photo I take each day on Facebook. You can check the progress there.
I’m so glad I finally decided this year was the one I’m doing this. I’ve gotten through two weeks of daily photoing. Now I just want to keep it up. That can be challenging for me. Today I just took the photo and it’s after 7:30 PM. Forgot this morning then was gone the rest of the day. Finally remembered a few minutes ago.
Well, I hope you enjoy the documentation of corn going from seed to knee high by Memorial Day to tassel high by the Fourth of July. Don't forget to go to my Facebook page daily for the next photos.
Corn growth May 8 - 16
Are you seeing a trend here? First, the Cottonwood covers. At least for the first three books. (PG's resistant to changing the covers.) In the works now are the Stones Creek Covers. Even though it is the most recently released, I asked Sam to do Chloe's Sanctuary first since it is on free promotion today and tomorrow. I think the cover is lovely.
All the books will feature a single lady in a beautiful dress. I love dresses and especially late 1800's garments. Though I loved the image of Chloe I used on the original cover this one is also beautiful. As soon as the other two are ready I'll post them here and on Facebook.
It's so exciting. There are new covers for the first three books in my Cottonwood Series. I decided they needed to be updated to appeal to today's reader. Samantha Fury of Fury Cover Design did a great job and I love the new covers. I chose the couples because they reflect something in them that reminded me of their story.
Head over to my Author Page on Amazon to download them because they are free this weekend. Oh, Chloe's Sanctuary is free, too.
After he had passed through the kitchen, he stopped in the doorway to the living room and smiled. Whitney was doing a happy dance around the coffee table, holding a check high above her head.
“Not at all happy about having fewer puppies are we?” Keith asked, leaning against the doorframe and crossing his arms across his chest.
Whitney stopped, freezing in place. Her face turned red, and she slowly lowered her arms. Then she ran across the room and enveloped him in a hug as she jumped up and down.
“The spotted horde is smaller by three. And even better, they are going to a wonderful family. Those puppies will be loved and happy for a long time.”
Keith wrapped his arms around her and held her close. A difficult task as she kept bouncing in her excitement. He started laughing, and soon she joined him.
“I’m so happy. We need to celebrate. I want triple chocolate, caramel pecan ice cream with marshmallow topping and sprinkles and a cherry on top, but you have to eat the cherry because I don’t like them.”
Whitney wiggled out of his arms and grabbed her purse from the counter in the kitchen. She put the check in her wallet and turned to look at him. “You coming? I know the best ice cream place. Did you bring the Healey? I deserve to ride in it today. This is the best day in a long time.”
Keith followed her out of the house. They went through the front door to avoid the puppies. “You mean meeting me wasn’t the best day?” He caught up with her and held her hand.
“I was bleeding and in pain. No, it wasn’t the best day. But you did help with posting the ads about the puppies for sale, so the ice cream is my treat. I don’t think I’d be three puppies lighter without you.” She flashed a brilliant smile at him.
Keith’s chest tightened. He was really attracted to Whitney and was hoping their developing rapport led to something more permanent.
Spots Before Marriage Available May 16
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Sophie Dawson has made up stories in her head all her life. It wasn’t until 2011 that she began writing typing them out.
Her first books were all historical fiction romance. They’ve won multiple awards and garnered rave reviews. Now, Sophie is branching out into contemporary romance though she plans to continue writing historical and hopes to add more books in her popular Cottonwood and Stones Creek series.
Sophie lives with her husband and cat on a farm in western Illinois. She’s an avid seamstress and was a professional quilter for a number of years before the writing bug bit. She’s just thankful it’s not fatal.