Jennifer Becton » Skidding in Sideways
Saturday, January 1, 2011
In case you forget or if you just enjoy using Blogger, I am still (sort of) updating here. Above this post, you will see links to all my new blog posts. Click there to read the new stuff.
I appreciate every reader, so please come on over.
Monday, December 20, 2010
This year, however, I decided to take the week of Christmas off. It feels so decandent to take time off, and so, I've decided to have a week of whimsy here on Skidding in Sideways. No serious talk. Just fun.
Puttytat literally showed up on our doorstep one winter night seven years ago. She was extremely skittish--and is still terrified of most other humans--but apparently, my husband and I were deemed acceptable, and she moved herself in. Actually, she took over the household. She also played a large role in the writing of Charlotte Collins; she sat in my lap for most of its composition and made sure I remained in front of the computer through several drafts. Her self-appointed task is to keep our property varmint-free, a job that she takes very seriously. She patrols the perimeter of our yard daily, and sometimes, she leaves us gifts on the sidewalk. She has assassinated bugs, lizards, mice, moles, birds, skinks, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, and a bat. (Still trying to figure out how she got the bat.) She also fulfills the roles of alarm clock, court jester, and lap warmer.
I am so thankful that Puttytat decided to make us her humans.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Still, Ms. Austen did something few people ever do: she created books that continue to touch people's hearts centuries later. Her novels may not be the stuff of big blockbuster special effects films or contain earth-changing commentary, but they deal with more intimate problems, smaller scale woes that all people in all generations face. How do we find love? How do we deal with money issues? Did we misjudge someone? Where is our place in society?
Ms. Austen reminds us that sometimes a larger impact can be made by focusing on what may seem to be the mundane details of life. In these small details, we spend most of our energy. These small details make us who we are and define how we relate to the world around us.
I am in no small way indebted to Jane Austen. Without Pride and Prejudice, I would not have written Charlotte Collins, and I would not be on the journey I am taking today. She has taught me that books do not need to be tragedies to be considered literature, and she has showed me that good novels can be written by people of any age and place in society.
So thank you, Ms. Austen, for reminding us what is truly important and for giving us so many wonderful novels.
In honor of Jane Austen's birthday, please accept a free copy of "Maria's Romance," my short story, for any eReader at Smashwords.com.
Also accept this Jane Austen Birthday Celebration Coupon and receive Charlotte Collins: A Continuation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice in any eBook format at Smashwords.com for only $0.99! Use coupon code: XL87H at checkout. This deal is good for one day only, so head over now and join me in celebrating Jane Austen's birthday!
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Here's a summary of what I've learned so far:
- Well-written, unbiased reviews can be very helpful, even the ones that contain critiques. Authors should be open to hearing both praise and critique and growing from it.
- Solicit reviews from book bloggers who enjoy your genre. Good reviews from them can mean lots of good exposure.
- Expect a certain percentage of negative customer reviews. Not everyone likes the same thing.
- Also expect some insulting reviews. Every author gets them.
- Think carefully before responding to any negative review. No matter what you do, as the author, you are going to come off looking defensive and petty.
- Some customer reviewers may not have finished your book, and their review may contain factual misconceptions as a result.
- Worse, some people may not have even read your book before reviewing it. Many customers use stores' rating systems to protest price or even something like cover art, which is usually out of your control.
- Not every reviewer uses the same star scale. Some will only give 5 stars to the Bible.
- Not every review is going to be unbiased. Some are going to be predisposed to loving your work (your well-meaning family and friends); some will be predisposed to being critical.
Incidentally, that last bullet point is why I have chosen not to review books here, especially Austen-related tomes. As a writer in this genre, I can't say that I would be unbiased when coming to another sequel or anthology.
So how do you face reviews the fear-free way? I don't really know. I'm still learning.
Monday, December 13, 2010
One of the most fun things about book marketing is meeting people through blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. (And in person too, of course.) Marcie of the blog To Read or Not to Read reviewed Charlotte Collins and she has been one of the best people to know for both support and encouragement.On her blog, she reviews fantasy, romance, YA, Gothic, supernatural, classic, historical fiction, sci-fi, PNR, and some biographies. And she does a great job. Each review comes with full publication information so the book can be found easily and contains a brief summary of the work. Then, Marcie offers her review of the book, including fair critiques and well-thought-out opinions. All in all, Marcie is a great reviewer, and I'm not just saying that because she liked Charlotte Collins.
So if you are interested in any of the genres she reviews, hop over to her blog and find some new books to read this winter. And don't forget to read my guest blog and sign up for a free copy of Charlotte Collins!
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Ms. Simonsen has been supportive of my clumsy efforts--but is in no way responsible for any of my missteps--and, though she claims not to be good at giving tips, she did offer lots of valuable advice. She even read my short story "Maria's Romance" and, lemme tell ya, having her read it made me nervous!
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
- Archive the book (either on the nook or online at bn.com).
- Check for new B&N content on your nook.
- Un-archive the book (again either online or on your nook)
- Check for new B&N content on your nook.