Graphics Galore

I’ve been working on a lot of graphics lately.  The world map for the Descent Into Darkness series is being updated with locations from the latest installments, then I have not one but two covers to work on upcoming releases in the same series.  In addition to that, LJ’s been tagging me for help on the formatting/layout for her own cover. Thankfully, writing hasn’t taken a back seat to graphics work.  The two are running neck-and-neck, though.

Speaking of writing…

The Status Quo

TrinityGateways.net Submissions Still Open

If you write horror and are interested in submitting a story for this horror anthology please visit the TrinityGateways.net Submissions page for requirements and guidelines.  You will be paid for submission if it is accepted. If you have questions, e-mail aquisition editor LJ Gastineau at submission@trinitygateways.net.

Descent Into Darkness: His Beast

The rough draft is finish and is in the editing/revision phase.  Since I entered this phase before the last chapters were posted, you will continue to see rough draft chapters updated through the end of March.  Within the first week or two of April, all rough chapters will be taken down and replaced with the chapters.

The cover art for His Beast is not yet complete.  I’ve been juggling several graphic projects, as indicated above, and haven’t been able to concentrate on it as much as I would like.  I hope to change that this week.  Once the cover is completed, I’ll announce a definite release date (as opposed to release month) for the e-book and will post the cover for everything to see.

Descent Into Darkness: His Command

The fourth installement for the series now has a real title!  I’ve already started work on the story, which has, in turn, prompted additions to the world map.  Once I begin posting rough draft chapters, I’ll add the teaser description to the Descent Into Darkness series page.

Descent Into Darkness: He Begins

The omnibus, which includes first three installments of the series, is still on schedule for a May release date.  I’m aiming to have it published (e-book and in print) in mid-May, a week or two after the e-release of His Beast.  Work on the cover art will begin after the cover art for His Beast is finished.

I’m compiling the Appendices at the moment and am wondering if anything else should be included, or expanded.  If there’s something more you’d like to see the Appendix for He Begins, post it in the comments.

Reminder

Printed editions of He Begins will  be available for sale at Ancient City Con in July at the TrinityGateways.net dealer table.  If you’re in the area, drop by!

Update Changes

Starting in April 2012, there will be changes to the update schedule.  I’ll be posting new content more frquently, and there may be other changes as well.  most of you know that I’m also a founder of TrinityGateways.net, and our sites are linked.  We’re looking to implement some new features that will impact my personal site.  As things get locked in, I’ll post more info on that.  Right now, it’s still in the “let’s see what we can do” stage.

That’s rpetty much it for now.  It’s back to work for me!

It’s Been A Fantastic Week

It’s been great in my world recently.  I’m overworked but that seems to be an acceptable price to pay for everything else.  Let me give you the bullet version of what’s been going on:

  • TrinityGateways.net has been going through submission for their anthology, Shadows of the Mind.  Submissions are still open so if you’re interested, please check out the submission and payment details HERE.
  • I’ll be at Ancient City Con with my partners at TrinityGateways.net!  We have three panels lined up and will be selling books.  For more details about the con, click HERE.  For more details about I and the Trinity gals will be doing, click HERE.
  • I’ll be printing an omnibus volume of Descent Into Darkness to sell at the con.  Titled He Begins, it will include His Own, Her Lord, and His Beast, representing half of the series.  These printed books will also be available for sale online before then — I’ll provide more details once I have them.
  • I’ve finished the rough draft for Descent Into Darkness: His Beast.  Chapters will continue to be posted on the site, but you may have noticed that I’ve taken down the “full” abridged version of the draft.  I’ll be starting the edit/revision phase shortly.  The e-book version of His Beast will be available for purchase in May.
  • My partners and I have been discussing expanding the TrinityGateways website.  This means a ton of more work for me, as I’m the webmaster of both my site and TrinityGateways.net.  But if it works the way we want it to, there will be new features for users that we think everyone will appreciate.  I’m to begin the testing phase for the new upgrades in the very near future.
  • I’ve started work on the cover art for Descent Into Darkness: His Beast.  I’m about a third of the way through it.  It’s going to be a little different from the previous two covers, which I hope goes over well.  Once that’s complete, I start work on the cover art for the omnibus, He Begins.
  • The Evil Necessity that is the day job has recently implemented overtime for my department.  While its not mandatory for me to participate, there’s a ton of stuff I won’t be able to get done without it.  I don’t want to have to explain why things aren’t getting done to my CFO, so I’ll have to work some OT.  This will, of course, impact all my other work — my real jobs, as I prefer to think of them — but I will endeavor to keep that impact as minimal as possible.

As you can see, I’m super busy right now.   Most of it has to do with the work that I love, though, and that helps a great deal.

 

Update Content

Chapters 19-21 for Descent Into Darkness: His Beast have been posted.  Feel free to read and leave a comment or three.  As this story will be beginning the edit/revision process soon, each posting will only be up for two weeks before being taken down again.  Read it while you can.

That’s pretty much it for now.  I’ve got to get back to the background and story notes required for Descent Into Darkness #4.  It hasn’t been titled yet, but I’ve got a few possibilities roaming around in my head for it.  We’ll see which one wins out.

 

Villains

A lot of authors give the reader a glimpse of the villain’s viewpoint. It makes the story more interesting, gives the author an opportunity to torque the tension or intrigue. It’s also another hook to encourage the reader to keep going.

Many readers, myself included, find villains fascinating. Whether they’re somewhat sympathetic villains or outright bastards, people want to know what they’ve done, how they think, and what they’re going to do. We want to see how far over the line they’ll go – and how they fall.

This is especially true for me. Here’s a ‘for instance’ for you: I love true crime. It’s not the murders or a killer’s depravity that hook me into watching whatever true crime shows I can find.  It’s the fact that they did it, why they did it, how they think about what they’ve done, what they’re psychology is like, and how they were caught in the end. I always root for the good guys (because I’m not a sick bastard like some of these people and I like seeing ‘good’ triumphing over ‘evil’) but at the same time I study the bad guys. Serial killers, murderers, terrorists, and con artists are real world villains that showcase all the potential characteristics you can use to make your own fictional villains.

At this point, I’d like to interject something. People say that it takes a twisted mind to write fictional stories possessing sadistic or horrific aspects. This is not in the least true. Nothing can be as sick, twisted, perverse, and outrageous as real life. All I did was give those sick, twisted, perverse, and outrageous aspects of real people – whom I don’t know and don’t want to know – to a character in a fantasy story. That does not, in any way, mean that I am sadist who condones these kinds of acts. What it means is that I’m a resourceful writer who is building a villainous character who needs to be as believable as I can make him.

That character became Ba’tvian Delthanurk of my Descent Into Darkness series.

Originally, I wasn’t going to focus so much on Ba’tvian. I knew I needed to lay out his background, develop him more fully. I wrote a few scenes that were meant to capture Ba’tvian’s basic personality, things that I could go back to as a refresher whenever I wrote his character into a story. Those scenes took on a life of their own. That was great because it meant that Ba’tvian did as well.  In fact, he developed into one of the best villains I’ve ever created.

Today, I was listening to Writing Excuses Season 1 Episode 7, which happens to be on the topic of villains. (Yes, it’s an older podcast but I hadn’t listened to it before and the series is entertaining.) Howard Taylor said something that struck a chord with me: that to make a relatable and interesting villain, he makes the villain a hero in his own story.

When I wrote those scenes with Ba’tvian from his POV that is what I’d done. I’d made him a kind of hero.

He’s no one to emulate. He murders, rapes, corrupts, and desecrates as he moves through the world. Yet he possesses several qualities attributed to heroes. He’s achieving a dream. He’s fighting against the odds. He’s gaining supporters – only a few, granted, but they are still supporters. Ba’tvian is an underdog struggling to take his rightful place in the world. Yet he is, and always will be, evil. That, and how he goes about achieving his goals, is what makes him a villain.

I love truly evil villains. They have no compunctions about being ruthless, expedient, or coldly logical – whether it concerns their people, families, allies, or enemies doesn’t matter. The truly evil villain is willing to sacrifice everything accept himself. They are the ones who can do as they please, be who they are, and not have to worry about pretenses except when it suits them.

They also don’t mind my using them to slay fictional representations of real world irritants. That, to my mind, is one of the perks being a villain’s writer.  (Everyone needs an outlet, right?)

A while back, there was a trend in entertaining media where creators revealed their villains to be sympathetic characters. They explored how they came to be villains, why they did what they did. Some had regrets, others didn’t. Regardless, they maintained their villainy because of curses, pride, revenge, or the innate ability to keep making the wrong choices, etc. In some cases, villains were virtually stripped of their villainy.

While the back story and origins were intriguing, as a reader, I always felt as if the villain had been reduced somehow. I understood him now, I felt sorry for that rough patch he went through as a kid. It could even seem as if society was bent on making him fit into the villain’s mold, paring away at any redeeming or likable qualities his character might have possessed until what he became was all that was left of him. It didn’t excuse his later actions, but it did undermine his impact on me.

I was determined that this would not be the case with my villains.

Descent Into Darkness: His Own happened accidentally. Those scenes I mentioned a bit ago evolved on me. I found myself writing more, fleshing them out into a full-fledged story. I tried hard to make Ba’tvian into a villain the reader could relate to, yet see him for what he was. I battled sympathy and understanding with arrogance and hatred. I made him victimize others, corrupt others, and did my best to show the reader his horrific/sadistic tendencies. I strived to make it clear that he understood the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, and that he chose wrong/evil willingly.  I did this because this is one character I want my readers to love to hate.

Ba’tvian Delthanurk is a man who despises weakness in himself and will use the weakness in others to reach his goals. He is selfish, hard, rotten, determined. He willingly embraced the path he’s on, knowing what it meant. There is no one else he cares for. All others are means to an end, toys or tools for his pleasure, or just meat.

How much more evil can a villain get?

And yet I love this guy. I love that he’s evil, that I get to build him up, that I can watch his destiny unfold. His fate – well, you’ll have to stick with me and my series to find that out. I will say this though: he will be much deserving of it when his time comes.

The higher they rise, the harder they fall.

Making Progress

Hi!  Today’s been a very productive day for me.  Each weekend I set a chapter quota for myself; the amount varies depending on whatever else is going on.  This Saturday, however, I made the quota in a single day — and I decided to celebrate with a double update.

Content For This Update

According to my schedule, Spartans: The AWOL Squad Episode 23 was the only material being posted.  The additional content is the next two chapters, 17 & 18, for the rough draft of Descent Into Darkness: His Beast.  I hope you enjoy them.

News On The Current Projects

I’m in the process of wrapping up DID: His Beast.  I estimate that I’ve got maybe another 6 chapters to write before the first draft is finished.  Provided that things go smoothly, I’ll post more chapters every two weeks until the abridged version of the story has been completely posted.  It will remain up for at least another two weeks at that point, then be taken down (except for sample chapters) as I enter the edit/revision stage.   The unabridged version of His Beast is projected to release as an e-book in May 2012.  I’ll be starting work on the cover art next month, and will begin writing DID #4 almost immediately after completing the draft for His Beast.

Descent Into Darkness will consist of at least six novellas, each one detailing a stage of Ba’tvian Delthanurk’s journey to becoming the Dark Adept that all of Einlienn will fear.  I don’t have titles for the remaining three parts of the series yet.  When I do, I’ll post them on the DID page.

Something To Think About

I am toying with the idea adding a seventh novella to the series, one that would be more of a side piece as it wouldn’t focus at all Ba’tvian.  One of the characters that is slated to be introduced in DID #5 has a backstory that’s more involved than rest of Ba’tvian’s cohorts.  I’d love to tell the tale, but will wait until the rest of DID is completed before acting on that wish.  We’ll see if it makes it in.

Trinity Gateways Submissions

If you write horror and are interested in being included in a horror anthology, TrinityGateways.net is now taking submissions.  This is a paying gig.  Requirements, submission details, etc, can be found on their site.  I’ll be doing the cover art for the anthology once the submissions are closed, so please submit your horror stories!

 

 

Long Term Planning

I’m a fly-by-the-seat-my-pants kind of writer.  I don’t work with an outline when creating a first draft and I don’t summarize many of the chapters ahead of where I’m at in the story.  I know where I start, where I end, and everything in between tends to happen as I need it to.

Descent Into Darkness is proving to me that this approach no longer works.

The novella series is a precursor to a mission of conquest in the world of Einlienn.  I knew that from its inception, so knew where the series would end.  The whole point of the series, actually, was to establish my band of bad guys, develop their characters and motivations, and then move into the trilogy that I’d already started writing.  (It’s a horrible thing, to start a book and then realize you don’t know half the characters as well you need to.)

So His Own began.  Of the rather large cast I had in play for the trilogy, I only the backgrounds of a handful by heart.  Ba’tvian Delthanurk was one of them.  As a VIC (Very Important Character), that’s to be expected.  I started with him because almost everything hinged on the choices he’d made.  In so doing, I was able to establish the origin of Nerisse se li Astorae.

Nerisse was unique.  She’s a character that’s slated to undergo an extended change, or series of changes, before finally morphing into something else altogether.  (Yes, I know I’m being cryptic but I don’t want to give it away.)  I actually had a lot more in the way of notes on her than I did Ba’tvian, but only the vaguest reference as to how they met.  His Own flowed in such a way that I barely thought of how to integrate their meeting in Her Lord; it just came naturally into the story.

His Beast wasn’t the same.  Though it’s still in progress, I’ve had to do a rough outline for the latter of the story which was not the case in the first two.  Now that I’ve closing in on the story’s conclusion, I find that I have to do the same for the next three in the series — the three that finish Descent Into Darkness and lead into that aforemention trilogy.    For each one, the ante has to go up.  For each one, the cast number increases.  Added to that, I have to line up with 300+ pages of already written material that happens down the line.  That’s a lot to plan out, a lot to keep track of.  If I didn’t give myself some kind of long-term guidance, I’d derail everything and end up doing re-writes until Judgement Day.

I’ve gone that route before and it’s not pretty.

So I put in the extra effort.  Enter the essential tool of the long term planning writer: the story bible.

I’ve been compiling this one for a while now.  Mostly, it contains a glossary, notes on places, people, things.  I have countries, governments, economies, and geographical features outlined.  I have excerpts of history, quotes from religious texts (from my world, not the real world), and the foundations of a far-reaching mythology.  My character write-ups are here, and now so are my story summaries and rough outlines.  It holds everything I might ever need to reference in order to write in that universe.

Of course, things will change as I finish the series, but not in big ways.  The little things aren’t noted in the bible.  It covers my major and minor plot points, but not the locations — those will likely fluctuate and I can add them in as I write.  I have little side notes included concerning character motivation and developing flaws, things that may come into play before Descent Into Darkness ends and definitely will once I get back into the trilogy.

Maybe I went a little overboard in how much information it contains but I love world building.  What can I say?  Playing god in my fictional universe is fun.

So long as I keep thinking like that, this long term planning thing doesn’t feel like the work it is.

Oops!

For those of you who have attempted to visit my site recently and were unable to, I tender my most heartfelt apologies.  I’m afraid that I inadvertently broke the site yesterday evening while tinkering with the back end.  It’s fixed now and ready for visitors.  Thanks for much for your patience.

I will try very hard not to break it again — promise!  :-)

 

New Release in the Descent Into Darkness Series!

The last few months have been incredibly hectic — hence the lack of web-activity on my end — but I am happy to announce that all the hard work has paid off.  The novella Descent Into Darkness: Her Lord is available for purchase as an e-book!  You can now purchase Her Lord from Amazon for the Kindle, and from Smashwords.com for just about every other format.  It should be available for sale at most major retailors within a few weeks.

As with His Own, the ebook of Her Lord includes materials not previously posted on the site: a map, an appendix/glossary, and bonus chapters (these are not sample chapters for a future release but new chapters for Her Lord).  If you like the novella, let me know — better yet, let everyone know by posting a review on the site your purchased it and/or here.

A Few New Pages

I’ve just launched a new Author Page on Amazon.com.  For those of you who buy your ebooks exclusively through the Amazon’s Kindle store, you’ll now be able to find all of my titles listed in a single place.

In addition to that, I have made some changes to the Descent Into Darkness page on this site.  The sample chapters have been placed on their own pages, along with a picture of the cover art for the published stories.  Links to buy the ebooks are included on those pages as well for your convenience.

New Chapters Posted

The rough drafts of the most recently written chapters for Descent Into Darkness: His Beast are now up.  I hope you enjoy them.

With the publishing crunch done — for now — I’ll be back to posting regularly on the site.  Work’s not done for me yet so, I’ll sign off for now.  Until next time!

Killing The Reader

As a writer, I try to pay attention to anything that I don’t like.  If it has repetitive words, a monotonous narrative, flat characters, a plot that’s a horizontal line instead of the ascending arch, too much of one element or not enough of another – whatever it is, if it’s something that makes me pause in my reading and think, “that’s off”, I make a note of it.  Why?  Because I don’t want to make the same mistakes.  I don’t want my readers to walk away from my work without finishing it.

Worse, I don’t want them to be so turned off by it that they’ll never read any of writing again.  That’s what I call killing the reader.

Recently, I was reminded of one of the very few times I purged an author from my personal library.  Now understand: I’m a confessed bibliophile, a collector of books I love.  I have a reputation among family and friends for not letting go of any book that comes into my hands.  I treat my books like you might treat antique crystal that’s been passed down through the generations – as precious and irreplaceable.  And I revisit them.  Each book gets read once; the vast majority get read multiple times.

Yet I took not one book, but one author, out of my library.

First, I’m not going to tell you her name.  There are reasons for that.  1) I’m a professional and have desire to bash anyone else’s work simply because it isn’t to my preference.  2) She has a large fan following and I have no wish to alienate her audience.  3) She’s became something of a brand name now; who am I to knock her success?  However, the biggest reason is that she has worked extremely hard to be where she is today.  I won’t undermine that.  She’s earned it, in her way.  That doesn’t mean that I agree with what’s she’s done with her writing, but it isn’t my place to judge.

The catalyst for the purge was the introduction of an overwhelming element in her work.  Her early books were great.  I was as much of a fan-girl as others out there, chomping at the bit for the next book to come out.  Then I noticed the growing trend, wondered at it, tried to stick with it, and finally gave up.  The trend was sex.

Sex sells.  There’s a lot of market data to support that statement, and this author’s continued popularity is proof of it.  For myself, I’m no prude.  Sex isn’t normally a turn off for me when it comes to reading.  Yet when a book’s plot seems to have been regulated to mere staging for the fornication, with the characters’ development suffering for it, I can’t stand it.  As a reader, I need a good plot, solid characters, a logical flow of action.  Sex, romance, danger, it all adds spice to the mix.  This author’s series started out with all of that. 

Then something went (for me at least) horribly wrong.

The main character’s dynamic trajectory swerved way off the course that had been set in the first five books.  She is now ‘sleeping’ with various partners, not just the two men she’d been caught between as of book 2.  The placement of some of those scenes doesn’t make sense.  It felt to me as if the plot had become an excuse for the eroticism.

The sex, what this author did with it, killed me as a reader.

Because the books are part of an ongoing series and have little to no resolution as the main character’s personal life, I found that I couldn’t even keep the books I liked.  The plot would be resolved, but too many other things were left open-ended.  Each time a saw the books on the shelf I thought of wasted potential.  The characters, the setting, the story-lines introduced in those first volumes had held such potential.  That potential hasn’t been realized, hasn’t even come close.

I loved those books.  As a reader, it felt like someone had broken their promise to me, the one they made when they put those words to paper.  It hurt.  Finally I decided that I couldn’t keep them. 

I remember them, but not as the books I’d read and re-read.  I remember them for what they became.

There have been other authors I walked away from, others who ‘killed’ me as their reader.  With them, I never got past that first story.  That’s okay.  Not everyone will like someone’s writing.  I’m sure there are people out there who can’t stand mine.  As readers, we’re entitled to likes and dislikes.  If a writer doesn’t catch a reader, it’s not a failure.  There will be someone else who will become a fan, and making that connection is the hardest part of the job.

Fans are a writer’s life-blood.  They’re what keep us going when things look bleak, what have us stealing time from where we can in order to jot down a few more lines of text.  To lose a fan because my writing morphed into something completely different from what s/he first read…it’s the worst kind of betrayal a writer can make.

I hope that I have never killed a reader who was already a fan.

Content Update

Episode 22 of Spartans: The AWOL Squad as well as Chapters 13 & 14 for Descent Into Darkness: His Beast have been posted on their respective pages.  Read and enjoy.

I have to apologize for the last two weeks of silence on my part.  I’ve spent a good deal of that time ill, then working hard to make up for the time I’ve missed — at the day job, with writing, with other projects.  Things haven’t slowed down at all for me and I doubt that they will any time soon.

Currently, my attention is split between outlining an anthology, dealing the TrinityGateways.net site migration and re-design, preparing for the wedding of one my best friends as well as my brother’s wedding (God save me), writing, editing, drafting out the cover of Descent Into Darkness: Her Lord, and an upcoming family vacation.  That’s not counting the Evil Necessity that is the day job.  So the blog may not get the attention that it needs in the coming weeks.  I will do my best to work it into the already hectic schedule.

To borrow a notion from J. K. Rowling, I really need Hermione’s Time Turner…

Spooky Empire: Horror Blogging & Social Media

First, let me apologize for not getting this entry up sooner; it was supposed to have gone up yesterday, 10/15/11.  I had most of this drafted out already but needed to finish it up and proof it.  However, yesterday was also my birthday and I got sidetracked by friends and family.  So you’re getting today.  Please forgive me.

The Horror Blogging & Social Media panel was held at 7pm on Friday, 10/7/11, the first day of the convention.  I was a panelist, along with Kevin A. Ranson (MovieCrypt.com and author of The Spooky Chronicles), Stephen Biro (author of Hellucination), LJ Gastineau, and Scott Kenemore (author of The Zen of Zombie and Zombie CEO).  Scott moderated, doing an excellent job of keeping us on track as we discussed how we, as writers, used social media and blogs, why we used them, and what we found worked best.

For the most part, the consensus was that social media was a tool to get promote ourselves and our work.  We discussed how using various social networks, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+, could reach a broad swath of an author’s potential audience.

Personally, I’m not a fan of social media.  I prefer face-to-face contact, but I do not, in any way, discount the importance of social media as a tool.  There is only one drawback that I really object to: the amount of time it all seems to take.  There ways around this, however, so I’ve no excuse for not using the tool.

Facebook allows you to link your FB Pages to your Twitter account, so that anything posted on FB will also hit there.  Twitter, in turn, can be linked to your LinkedIn account.  That’s three of the major social networks and you have only to post on Facebook once for that post to appear on all of them.

For WordPress users, there are several plug-ins that will do that the same.  One will publish your update messages or new blog entries to your main Facebook profile.  Another will do the same on your Facebook Page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Buzz, Delicious, and many more.

All of this drastically reduces the amount of time I spend updating social media accounts.  I don’t need hours on end, I don’t need a check list.  That makes me happy.

I do budget time for social media.  I try to get on there every other day, spending 30 minutes to an hour checking things out, responding to comments and status, etc.  It takes that long because I like to read blogs, which I lump in the same time slot.

If I didn’t do all of this, I wouldn’t be able to sell anything.  Advertising works for a reason and social media is an advertising venue.  More, it’s free advertising.  As to what I’m selling, it’s not just my fiction, it’s myself as an author, as a brand.  It’s important to let people know that Doris Ross, Author, exists, that I have published works out there.  If they don’t know, they won’t seek out my stuff and buy it.

So even though I’m not a fan of social media, I’ll use it.  I’d be stupid not to.

Blogging was the other topic of the panel.  Kevin A. Ranson stated that an entry that includes something relating to currents events will increase the number of visitors.  Tying that into whatever you’re blogging about will enable your blog to get picked up by the
search engines and place your blog higher on their list of results.  Scott Kenemore mentioned that a major attractant for a blog is frequent posts of new content.

Speaking for myself, it’s sometimes very hard to come up with new content regularly.  I have a day job, I write content for my website and work on projects for  TrinityGateways.net.  I’m juggling book writing and social/family time (hey, everyone needs some down time) in among all of that.  Time is a commodity that I sorely wish I had more of.  If I had the time, I’d blog every day.  I don’t have the time, so I blog when I can.

Whether the issue is time or inclination, not all writers can blog or deal with the social media regularly.  During the panel, an audience member asked that.  Steven Schulzman gave the answer: if you can’t or won’t do it yourself, find someone who’ll do it for free or hire someone to do it.  It’s that important.

Another subject that was thrown in was reviews, which often show up in blogs.  We all prefer good reviews, but even bad ones can great publicity if we use them right.  Stephen Biro intimated that his first independent author release, The Dead Baby Joke Book, got such bad reviews and generated so many complaints that he actually made sales after his book was banned from Smashwords.  People wanted to know what was so bad about
it so they went out and bought it.  (Humanity is a fascinating and sometimes strange species.)

Yet using select quotes from a bad review can generate positive interest.  Something that says “This book is the greatest piece of crap I’ve ever read” can be modified – and still be a quote – in this way “This book is the greatest…I’ve ever read”.  So long as the omitted words are replaced by the handy ellipses (the “…” for those of you unfamiliar with the term) it’s still a legitimate quote.  So if you ever get a bad review, don’t blow up at the reviewer.  Smile, thank them kindly, ask for permission to use their review, then make your quote selections carefully.

As for good reviews, handle them like the gold they are.  Include them, or links to them, in your blog.  If there enough room in synopsis field for your book on, say, Amazon, include that review there as well.  People like to see a good review for a book as much as the author does.

That wraps up the panel on Horror Blogging & Social Media.  No, it wasn’t specific to horror – other than the authors who were panelists – but it was still worth going to for writers who just starting out or considering venturing into the somewhat daunting world of online media.

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