A Simple Formula for Book Review

gavel, judge, rulingI love to read.  And after I read a book I often post a book review of it at the major book buying sites and at GoodReads.com.  If I like the book, I like to say so.  If I didn’t like the book, I need to be able to say why I didn’t like it.  In order to facilitate my reasoning in either case, I’ve developed a simple formula for reviewing a book on the 5-star scale.  This is primarily for fiction, but non-fiction can be done the same way, you just have to substitute presentation and knowledge for dialogue and characterization.

Here is my formula for scoring a book review on a five star method:   Continue reading “A Simple Formula for Book Review”

Writing for Profit or Pleasure: Where (and how) to Publish


Writing for Profit or Pleasure: Where to Sell Your Work - book imageWhy publish?

You have a desire to write; to make your thoughts and inspirations known to others. Perhaps you are knowledgeable and wish to share your expertise with others, passing what you know to another generation.  Maybe you are creative and enjoy entertaining others with stories of fiction.  Or perhaps you are insightful and like telling factual tales about places, people and events; helping others to understand.

Whatever your particular bend is, to share your work with others means acquiring a means of publication.  These days, publication comes in many forms, but some forms are better suited to different tastes, depending on your expectations.  Particularly the expectation of payment for your efforts. Continue reading “Writing for Profit or Pleasure: Where (and how) to Publish”

Turning the Tables on Bookstores

bookstore, bookshop, independant
iStock Photo - all rights reserved.

There was a time when avid readers were frequent customers of small, neighborhood bookstores – these were the places where books lived and could be bought.  Then the big chain bookstores: B Dalton, Crown, Borders, and Barnes & Noble shoved the small shops out of existence.  The book buyer’s expectations changed as the venue changed.

Barnes & Noble and Amazon have been duking it out for control of the print book market for some time.  Then, about three years ago, eReaders came on the scene and the venue changed again.  Continue reading “Turning the Tables on Bookstores”

Practical Pricing of eBooks

ebook pricing price Lately I’ve been reading quite a few articles offering advice on pricing an eBook.  They range from the adamant insistence that all eBooks should be 99 cents to the almost snobbish claims that artistic integrity demands that eBooks be priced the same as paper books – and hard bounds at that!  Most of the proponents of a particular view have a good point to make, but these points are all too often used to whitewash the entire spectrum of eBook genres and their authors with a one-size must fit all attitude.  I vigorously disagree with that, and I’d like to chime in on some of the other views I’ve heard discussed and add one or two of my own.   Continue reading “Practical Pricing of eBooks”

Stepping up to a 3D Book Cover

Writing for Profit or Pleasure: Where to Sell Your Work - book imageToday I took the next step in the full-publication process of my latest book. That step being to produce a PDF version that I can sell on my web site. Most people who buy and read PDF books are accustomed to seeing snazzy, 3D book cover images that look like a photo of a real book. So the flat 2D image that I’ve been using in the bookstores isn’t going to be quite good enough if I want to look “professional” as an author of PDF books. But, I can’t spend $700 on Photoshop (the most popular software for doing this) nor do I have the time to learn it even if I could afford it.  So I went looking for alternatives.

I found a bunch.  Several were plugins for Photoshop to make setting that up easier – no good if you don’t have Photoshop. {Gong} They’re disqualified.  Continue reading “Stepping up to a 3D Book Cover”