Marketing Woes and Roasting Turkeys

What a trying time it has been around here. I went back yet again (I must have read this post twenty times) to Peggy Strack’s blog post about new authors paying for reviews. Ms. Strack decided to do it, so I looked into the links she provided. Before I could decide whether I would approach anyone for a review, I visited their websites, clicked on links to authors, links to books, links to blogs, trying to decide if it could be a match. Often I ended up not knowing how I landed on a particular site, completely confused and at a dead end, realizing that I had accomplished very little, if anything.

And was I sure I really wanted to do it anyway? Here was my thought process:

After much consternation (a feeling of anxiety, fear, dread or confusion), I decided to go for it. But which reviewer should I pick? After comparing, I came to the following conclusion. Readers Favorite will do free reviews, and only if you wish to have it expedited (one to two weeks) will they charge $59 for it. I am still uncertain as to how I feel about paying for reviews, unless the reviewer has a reputation for writing them honestly, whether they have been purchased or not. A paid-for “guaranteed 5-star review” isn’t an honest review, not to me as the author who genuinely wants to know what those “in the business” might think of my work, or to readers. I want to pick reviewers who will give me a negative review if my book deserves it. Readers Favorite will post 3, 4 or 5-star reviews on their site, but less than that warrants an email with constructive criticism.

I got the expedited review, though, because I was very curious and hope doing that did not influence the reviewer. It received a 5 star review! You may not be surprised to hear this because you, oh wise readers, know that I wouldn’t be telling you I got the review at all if it hadn’t turned out well. You can read it here.

5 Star Reviews Kick Ass!

I think I may now go for a Publishers Weekly review. This won’t be as immediately gratifying because they select the books they will review and typically only 25% of submissions make the cut. The reviews they do are done quarterly and will be published next in December. They do charge for it but is that countered by the fact that they discard 75% of submissions anyway? The fee is refunded in those cases. So it might not even get a review, and if it does, the opinion could be: This book sucks, but not as much as the ones we didn’t even deign to review at all. In order to gauge whether my book might have a shot, I looked at some of the books they had reviewed in my (sort of) genre.

To indicate that they found a novel particularly good, they star (*) it (just star / no star). I wondered if mine could compete with a starred book so I downloaded one: Jimmy Lagowski Saves the World. I read it and it’s good, very good. What an interesting concept, interrelated short stories but the more I read, the more I thought of it as a novel. It was well-written, and interesting and I enjoyed it very much. The only complaint I had was the amount of semicolons used. I am a firm believer in using this particular punctuation sparingly, and I became obsessed with noticing how many there were.

Based on the quality of this book (i.e. excellent), I haven’t quite made the decision as to whether to submit or not but am leaning toward it.

Photo Courtesy of Microsoft Clipart

I had a dream, one of those frustration things this morning, early. In the dream, I was roasting a turkey, actually two turkeys and I was in an unfamiliar kitchen and the work areas were all cluttered and I couldn’t find anything, including my wine glass. There were others in the kitchen, three people I think, but none of them would help me. In the next room there sat a midget man at a high table, the Turkey Help Desk. He told me to crush potato chips and press them into the turkey skin using an oreo cookie. Okay. This is the kind of crap I dream. I’m pretty sure potato chips would not be the way to go with this. But I did like the oreo cookie part, interesting. Wonder where that came from?

In the dream I went from task to task, in a circle of uncertainty. I need to do Task 1. Before I do Task 1, I should really do Task 2. Then I move to Task 2, and find I need to do Task 3 before I do Task 2. It’s been like that lately with marketing. Going around and around in the interweb (thanks to my new Roadrunner connection I am back in the 21st century), dashing here and there, and forgetting from whence I came.

I don’t do marketing well. It intimidates me. I want to do the right thing, but don’t always know what that is. I can’t seem to focus on it. Woe is me.

That’s why I dream crazy stuff about roasting turkeys.


New feature! News You Should Not Notice!

Spotted! Mila Kunis Without Makeup!

Photo courtesy of some papparazzi – so sue me!

Are we serious here? This is a news story? WTF (that’s “who”) gives a farthing of a shit about this? First of all, who is Mila Kunis? I didn’t even know. OH! She’s the Sexiest Woman Alive 2012! Every year we have a new Sexiest Woman? What happened to the Sexiest Woman 2011? Did she (shudder) gain six ounces or something?

And another OH! Mila is the “rumored” girlfriend of Ashton Kucher. Sorry, Ashton, but Charlie Sheen, you are not. And a rocket scientist you are not. And a nice person you are not. I remember that dalliance with the bimbo in the hotel room. You remember that? When you were married to Demi Moore and that girl tweeted about what y’all were doing? She gives new meaning to “dumb blonde”.

This is not news. No one should care about this. But the problem is, we do. We don’t care about what’s happening to our country. No. We care about what Mila Kunis looks like without makeup.

And you know what? She doesn’t look that good.

3D Man Photo courtesy of

Laughing Lady on Porch Photo credit: abbyladybug / Foter / CC BY-NC

19 thoughts on “Marketing Woes and Roasting Turkeys

  1. Nicely done. I admire your tenacity and passion for your work (and it does sound like work, all that research and THINKING!) Congratulations on your 5-star review. That is wonderful. I tried to get to the review by clicking on “here” but was only able to read your bio, not the review. I will try later on the “big computer ; sometimes my smart phone isn’t smart enough.

  2. The bio shows up at the top of the page and the review at the bottom. I thought that a bit backwards but who am I to complain? It is a lot of work but work that I love to do. I have my new super-zoomy Samsung Series 7 and Roadrunner connection. Doing some happy campin’.

    • Ok, using the “big computer” I could see the review. It sounded very positive. How exciting! I’m glad you like your new laptop. I am thinking of getting an Ipad, just ’cause I use my Android phone so much. I love being able to surf, do Facebook, email, etc. from wherever I am, and it would be nice to have a bigger screen. So far, I still have no interest in downloading books; I’m still a holdout for the handheld book. But I also know that propensity could change, once I have the Ipad.

      • I still borrow books from the library but mostly I use my Kindle now. The main reason I hesitate to buy books is that I am running out of places to store them! But sometimes it is nice to have a real book in hand, especially when outside, for some reason.

  3. hi Lynn,
    Funny piece and very recognizable. By the way, what about a review in exchange for a review with other writers? You did not mention that. I agree with your hesitation to pay for reviews, in light of the latest disclosures of mass paid-for reviews to boost sales artificially. Keep up the good work and maybe write a review for me?

    • As long as the review swaps aren’t just quid pro quo, i.e. let’s swap 5-star reviews. I am going to write a review for you, I haven’t finished yet. I am involved in a class right now, but am in the chapter about Alex. Didn’t find much to like about him! I have a feeling that relationship is going to tank! Will let you know as soon as the review is complete and apologize for the amount of time it has taken to write it.

  4. Congrats on the nice review. I’m sure that feels good. 🙂 And I think authors should do what feels right to them. $59 seems a reasonable charge. With all the books out there to review, I’m not surprised reviewers are seeking compensation. And thanks for linking to these sites. I might check out Publisher’s Weekly myself.

      • It helps to get those outside reviews. I just got one from a book forum–they don’t know me from Adam–and it was a great review. The guy loved it, which thrilled me, especially since he was a guy, and men tend to not read women authors.

        • That’s great! Congratulations on that review. I didn’t know men tend not to read women authors. It doesn’t work the same way. I read as many men authors as women, and my very favorite authors are all men.

          • Well, I’m just going on what I’ve heard, but I think this is especially true for thrillers.

            A question on the Publisher’s Weekly reviews. Do you know if you have to subscribe to their magazine? I can’t find where to request the reviews, and the link above just has a button to click for a subscription. Then again, I probably should subscribe to it, but I follow their online alerts instead. I’ll keep digging. 🙂

  5. Congrats on the good review. That whole process sounds a bit of a torture.

    I agree about Mila Kunis, I was wondering who she was also. In the UK I bet the Daily Mail printed it. That paper always takes the high moral ground but purchases more pap shots than all the other tabloids.

    • I had occasion to see an issue of the Daily Mail while in London. A fine rag, indeed, as good as some of the crap we have here. The things a segment of the population finds interesting never fails to amuse me.

      • See the thing with the tabloids is most of the readers know it is not highbrow, so the paper does too, and they have some fun (most of the time). The Daily Mail seems to think it is highbrow, and a fair amount of its readers do too. Problem is, it isn’t.

  6. Excellent review! And I liked the laughing lady. She must be celebrating her birthday – see the corsage.
    And don’t take this as spam. I am not asking for anyone to buy my book BUT you can download it for free on 19th – 20th this month from Amazon. See below. Cheers, June.
    PS. Now Charlie Sheen has left 2 1/2 men I don’t watch it!!!!!!!!!

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