Book Reviews and Banned Books

Wondering about reviews and the rest of the things that go with marketing a book. So far, the reviews have been great for Bright Morning Star and all the titles in my Western Wives Series.  Dear fans have even given my odder new books kind reviews. You can take a look at them at Author.to/jrbiery.  I’m grateful for every review and every reader. Everyone didn’t love every one of them, but I’m grateful that they read them and cared enough to leave a review.

At the moment, all that matters is that I am falling in love with the characters and settings in my newest book, working title Mountain Bride. The hero is a Melungeon, Bridger Bowlin, and the heroine is Alma Mae Foust, an old maid. Melungeons were described as a dark-skinned Caucasian group who were already settled in the Appalachian mountains when the first pioneers arrived in the region. Have first eleven thousand words written and starting to feel the flow. I’ll try to share more in the next post.

As a writer, I have to wonder what makes people review a book, or even buy a book these days. There are 54,000 to 60,000 new titles appearing on Kindle every month now. These are added to the over seven million books already there. I reach my reading limit just in reading book blurbs and sample chapters. (It doesn’t take a lot to put me to sleep these days.)

Then there is the competition of movies and television. I love movies, rent one or two a week. The new Cinderella was a miss for me, although the dress was gorgeous. Little Boy was a winner — a lovely, moving story set in WWII with big themes, great pathos, and character changes for most of the cast.  On the small screen, there are 104 + channels on cable, and the binge watching addiction of watching complete television series through Netflicks and Amazon Prime (have two sisters who do this).  I mainly watch reality (if you can call them real) television like Property Brothers, Dancing with the Stars, and Project Runway, and great old movies. Oh, and lots of sports with my husband. Jordan Spieth, the 22 year old who won 22 million this year by hitting a little white ball, well his winning game Sunday was inspiring.

It is a lot of competition. I know one thing that propels a book to the best-seller list is to be banned. Since this is banned book week, thought you might enjoy the list of the top banned book. If this works right, you can slide on the title to see where and when it was banned. I found it interesting.

http://www.aclu.org/infographic/infographic-banned-books-week

If you have any suggestions on how to get one of my titles banned, I would love to hear from you. In the meantime, happy reading.

Wool Gathering

Have been wool gathering for longer than I should, but almost have enough to knit another story together. In the mean time, I’ve been trying to update the covers on a few books. Not sure I improved the look on the Ghost Warrior but since it has sold a few more copies, must not be any worse than before.

Updated Happy Girl, same picture, just removed the filters and enlarged the image size to fill the cover. getBook.at/HG

Updated both titles in the Myth Retold Series. The Mermaid’s Gift now has the subtitle of Glimmer of Moonlight so it is more in line with the first novel. getBook.at/TMG

The second novel, Glitter of Magic, now has the subtitle of The Knight and the Fairy. getBook.at/GOM

Realize should change the title not the subtitle on the mermaid story, but you can only make interior and cover changes, without getting a new ISBN number, and when you do, you lose your reviews. At least both have similar words on the front and both hint at their genre and fantasy characters now.

Think these two may never get going. Few reviews have been kind and the Beta readers were enthusiastic.  Of course, I loved them too. Have them as young adult and this may not be the right audience. They just aren’t selling.

There is an enormous amount that goes into successfully publishing a book. Guess that is why we are left with only five big name publishers. All the mid-level and small press publishing firms have vanished. What remains, besides the super publishers, are a lot of businesses assisting authors to self-publish. And of course, the thousands of new Indie-publishing authors. At times I think I have figured out how to make it all work, at others, I feel totally clueless. It is super competitive too, 5400 new ebooks each month.

Reviews are so hard to come by.  Appreciate everyone who has ever taken the time to read and review one of them.  You people are awesome.

Here is a joke my sister, a retired lawyer, sent me.

Heart-Warming Lawyer Story

One  afternoon a lawyer was riding in his limousine when he saw  two men along the road-side eating grass.
Disturbed, he ordered his driver  to stop and got out to investigate.

> He asked one man, “Why are you  eating grass?”

> “We don’t have any money for food,” the poor man  replied.  “We have to eat grass.”

> “Well, then, you can come with me to my house and I’ll feed you.”  the lawyer said.

> “But sir, I  have a wife and two children with me. They are over there, under that  tree.”

> “Bring them along,” the lawyer replied

> Turning to  the other poor man he stated, “You may come with us, also.”
> The second  man, in a pitiful voice, then said, “But sir, I also have a wife and  SIX children with me!”

> “Bring them all as well,” the lawyer  answered.

> They all entered the car, which was no easy task, even for a car as large as the limousine was.

> Once under way, one of  the poor fellows turned to the lawyer and said, “Sir, you are too kind. Thank you for taking all of us with you.”

> The lawyer  replied, “Glad to do it. You’ll really love my place. The grass is almost a foot high.”

> Come  on now…you really didn’t think there was such a thing as a heart-warming lawyer story.. did you?
Kind of made me think of all these Syrian refugees and the countries welcoming them.
fairy&Knightglimmerofmoonlight5HAPPYGIRL8