Review: Book Marketing for Authors: 19 Tips and Tricks to Market your Book to Readers

Book Marketing for Authors: 19 Tips and Tricks to Market your Book to Readers
Book Marketing for Authors: 19 Tips and Tricks to Market your Book to Readers by C.A. Price
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book was ok. If you know absolutely nothing about writing, publishing and marketing, it’s a good starting point. It sums up a lot of stuff for you and provides many useful links to other sites and books that will give you in-depth knowledge in all those themes.

That said, this is no more than that: A summary of various topics and a collection of (far more useful) links.

That your book should be well edited and proofread is a given, if a prospect author doesn’t even know that, then they’re in the wrong business. Also, I don’t know how that relates to actual marketing, because if you don’t count the “look inside” that not all books have, then they’ve probably already bought the book by the time they get to read it.

But lets forget about that, because this book made me ranty.

I might have been slightly miffed by the following quote: “Nowadays, readers can be vicious, and there are trolls everywhere. Don’t believe me? Look at some of the greatest books out there, go to their Amazon page, and look at the one star reviews.”

I don’t deny readers/reviewers can be vicious. And of course, there are trolls everywhere. But this seemed to imply that all reviewers that gave these “greatest” books one-star reviews were trolls, which is simply not true. There is a thing called “taste”. It’s different for everyone. Some people just don’t like those so-called “great” books. Get over it.

Maybe I’m just being overly sensitive. *shrug* But it set me in a bad mood for the rest of the book.

The tips he provides, as I said, are sound enough, and he does a lot of name-dropping which was both annoying and good. Annoying because on the one hand it left me wondering why he just couldn’t go into it himself as part of the tip instead of just saying “You need this” or “you need that” but “go read this book for more information”; good because at least you know where to look for more information.

Another thing that annoyed me slightly is that this was supposed to be about marketing, but it’s all over the place with pre-marketing stuff (editing, proofing, etc) as well as side-stuff you should be looking into (formatting for paperback, etc).

And finally, one of the tips is to make it easy for the reader to get to more of your books by adding links. Yet he assumes that everyone reading on a phone, tablet, or ereader has working wifi and/or is willing to go through the bother of using it, rather than going to their desktop PC. As such, actual urls are only put at the very end, and the text is peppered with hyperlinked words that made it really, really annoying to me, both because I’d sometimes accidentally click on one without realizing, and because it required me to go through extra steps to get the actual url (or wait until the end, and by then I was no longer motivated enough to click most of those links.)

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Quick Cheats for Writing With Dragon: Hidden Tricks to Help You Dictate […] by Scott Baker

Quick Cheats for Writing With Dragon: Hidden Tricks to Help You Dictate Your Book, Work Anywhere and Set Your Words Free with Speech Recognition
Quick Cheats for Writing With Dragon: Hidden Tricks to Help You Dictate Your Book, Work Anywhere and Set Your Words Free with Speech Recognition by Scott Baker
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book was free, and is a modified extract of a larger work called The Writer’s Guide to Training Your Dragon: Using Speech Recognition Software to Dictate Your Book and Supercharge Your Writing Workflow, not something I’m that curious reading after the disappointment of this book. As such, it kept repeating here and there about the other book so you’d go buy it. That’s annoying, even if I understand the need to advertise for more sales. Also, I don’t like links in my texts: at the front matter, at the back matter, ok. I’ll put up with the self-advertising there. In the middle of the text? No, thanks.

The book was not bad but… I don’t know, I guess I thought the “cheats” weren’t really “cheats”. Tricks… ? Maybe. I mean: “Get a good microphone”…. that’s not really a cheat, that’s common sense. The book assumes you’re somewhat familiar with Dragon already, but I feel like it was geared more towards people who had no idea about dragon instead, because the rest was, as I said, mostly common sense for anyone who’s been using it for longer than three days. There was a tip or two that were a bit more on the interesting side (like why you should go for a USB mic instead of a regular jack), and the interesting part (the differences between home and premium packages, for instance, which I never found properly explained in Nuance’s site) was glossed over to just say which pack to choose if you wanted transcription. Maybe the full book goes in more detail.

I also felt like it repeated itself quite a bit in the first 2-3 introductory paragraphs of every section just to create filling before getting to what was essentially the cheat/hack/trick.

All in all it wasn’t a terrible book, but it was also neither useful to me nor what I expected it to be from the title. Maybe if you’ve recently installed dragon so that you’re somewhat familiar with it but not very savvy, you’ll find some use on it.

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Fiction Unboxed by Johnny B. Truant

Fiction Unboxed
Fiction Unboxed by Johnny B. Truant

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I want to say 3.5, almost 4, but I think I’ll settle on the 3 stars rating because… I was torn with this book.

The first 30% of the book, as well as the last 10%, was unimpressive. It was all about how they came about and dealt with the kickstarter (and the last 10% was about the summits they held afterwards for the backers), all of which I had no interest whatsoever and felt was not really related to unboxing fiction at all, but simply recounting how they’d worked things out. And that’s fine, but I kind of expected the book to be all about writing, not about how to run kickstarter campaigns for complex writerly-related things.

Now, the rest of the book was about the writing, but I kept going back and forth between feeling annoyed by the way it was all just told and not actually shown, and liking it.
On the one hand, I did enjoy the way they told the story, On the other, that still didn’t solve most of the part they mention themselves of making the book of real value or use to the writers by showing how they worked without having to see the videos.

So, there was some value in the content, yes, but it felt like if you weren’t following along with the videos, you missed out on MOST of what they were trying to show and get across.
Also I feel like I missed out too by not reading The Dream Engine first, because the way we’re told things sort of assumes we’ve already read, seen, or know most of it. Not all sections do, but most, particularly at the start.
Another thing was that the whole thing (of course) counts on them working as a group like they always do and being able to brainstorm among each other, so I’m not sure for a single author, with no group and no buddies willing to brainstorm with them, this would be of much use.

So while Fiction Unboxed (the book alone, with no videos or anything) had some interesting lessons to teach, it wasn’t really as useful as I expected it to be. I think this would be easily solved catching up with the videos and reading The Dream Engine, but ultimately I ended up feeling just a bit disappointed with the book.

All the same, it relates an interesting experience, and it’s at the very least worth it for that.

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All Wrapped Up Anthology

All Wrapped UpAll Wrapped Up by Elizabeth Hyder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ground Mission: 4.3/5 Now here is present tense done well.

Wildwood: 4/5 I wish it’d had a happier ending though, it was kind of bittersweet.

Dark Covenant: 1/5 (view spoiler)

Situation Normal: 4.3/5 Nice, fun read.

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Discardia by Dinah Sanders

Discardia
Discardia by Dinah Sanders

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2.5
I was really excited to get my hands on this book at last because honestly, I had been looking to get it since forever ago. I guess because of that I went in with too high expectations, and the book didn’t quite meet them.
To start off with, it’s not at all a bad book; it has some good, solid, sound advice, and I like that it deals not only with material objects but with other aspects of your life as well: digital, relationships, and physical things outside the house, too.
Unfortunately the writing style didn’t resonate with me at all. It’s like it wanted to be read as fiction only it’s really non-fiction and the mix was all weird. The subjects jumped from one to the other in a way that appeared to be random, and the sections seemed overly long and unnecessarily mixed with topics that didn’t seem to make that that much sense together. Wordy, I found it wordy. Which I guess it’s funny to say of a book, but there you have it.
Also I didn’t get at all the reasoning behind separating this “holiday” in sections, since the book didn’t give any sort of actual guidelines on “how to celebrate it”, but rather gave a very open interpretation of all you could do (rather indistinct of the time of the year, I felt; or perhaps it’s because I’m in the wrong hemisphere? Who knows?).

So, it’s not a bad book, but I found myself skimming many parts more than reading them through. Basic advice was found within, but really, if you’re into decluttering and have read any other amount of books and/or blogs on the subject, you’ve probably already heard most of it.

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Hooked by Les Edgerton

Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One & Never Lets Them GoHooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One & Never Lets Them Go by Les Edgerton
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Quite frankly I don’t get the reviews this book got. Yes, I put it under “abandoned” books, but not because I fully dropped it, rather because I didn’t read it in it’s entirety and instead ended up skimming ahead.

Why?

First the good: Every so often, you might find some sound advice or tips. But you have to look hard.

Now the bad: The book is repetitive and unnecessarily long. The author uses a lot of examples from his own writing (which I don’t find good at all). Every time he gives an example line he wonders “who wouldn’t read on?” like it’s a masterpiece; not a single time did I answer “me” to that – all those opening hooks (which by the way did not seem to match at all with any of the things he said they should have to be good) were terrible to me, and if I truly were to judge those books by their opening line, I would have quit most of them before giving them a single chance.

Considering all those problems made me lose faith in the author, I could not take what few, far in between tips I found might have been of use, as serious.

Also, one of these two books could have used a different cover…


Hooked by Jane May

Hooked  Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One & Never Lets Them Go by Les Edgerton

And given the publication dates, I’m thinking it should have been this one.

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