Inquiring Minds Want to Know

In the past two weeks, I have been getting Junk emails advertising—actually guaranteeing—40+ reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. The correspondence says they are fully compliant with Amazon’s rules and regulations.

Why the influx of these so-called review businesses? How much do they cost? Do they deliver what they promise? Do they really “comply”?

Well, the jury is still out on that one because I’m not sure I want to get caught up in something that just might be a scam.

If you have tried one of these. I’d be interested to hear about your experience.

Generally speaking though, I would make these few remarks:

It’s a waste of money to pay for a trade book review if you only intend to sell your book on Amazon. You will sell more books by generating more five-star reader book reviews.

For myself, I usually read short and to the point reader reviews, rather than lengthy professional ones. Those reviews mention things like character, plot, theme (which I am interested in as a reader) and less about writing style, editing, and so on.

And, remember, paying for a review is no guarantee that it will be any more positive than reader reviews.

Here’s a plan for finding those reviews which will be of most benefit:

*Go to Amazon and find several books that might be direct competitors of yours.

*Look at their category on Amazon.

*Find the bestsellers in each category.

*Read their reviews and see what review sources are listed.

*You may find some free blogger reviews and/or some free niche publication reviews.

Like I said, I am curious about the “new” paid reviews advertised out there recently. Please write in and share your thoughts.


In The Zone

Ever have a thought that triggers a similar thought, that triggers another, and another? When looking at granola bars at my neighborhood market, yesterday, I saw one called “The Zone”. That made me think of the diet book I read last year. That led me to thinking about the Olympics and a comment made by one of the gold medalists, saying that he did especially well because he was “In the Zone.”

Even though I try to write everyday, I must confess I am not always in “The Zone”—that sweet spot from which I write perfectly. The words just flow. The Point of View Character speaks, authentically. I see the action take place in my own mind’s eye and it translates, precisely, to the paper, via the keyboard.

Yeah. In “The Zone”, there’s no anxiety, other than the suspense in the story, itself. I’m able to express myself just the way I had hoped. Why, it’s effortless!

So, how do we know such a place exists? And, if there truly is such a place as a “zone”, then how does one get there?

Well, I’m no expert, but I have experienced being in “The Zone” a few times. Was my arrival there purely accidental or was it due to some extraordinary effort on my part?

It seems to be that I am closer to writing in “The Zone” when I get caught up in my story, emotionally. When I actually become the character I’m writing about.  That sometimes happens when I take the time to give myself what I call “a flying leap.” That’s when I go back a chapter or two from where I finished off the day before and then read forward to that place where I stopped. Then, I just continue to write on. This gets me back into the character’s skin. I get immersed in the world of my story, again, and let myself feel the emotions that drove my writing the day before.

So, whether we’re talking about a school zone, a safety zone, or a time zone, it seems that being in one is a pretty good place to be. It’s that almost-magical place from which thoughts freely flow and fingers fly across the keyboard. Maybe it’s just another name for that unique world in which writers write at their optimum.

I hear my husband shouting from his man cave about a football player taking the ball into the END ZONE. I guess I’ll paddle down the hall and see what that’s all about…

Ever experience writing in the “pocket”, the “sweet spot”, or “the zone”? Write and let us know how you got there!