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Posts Tagged ‘reading’

I see a lot of people talk about a lot of books. But I usually see people talk about the same kinds of books most of the time. Paranormal romance authors and readers talk about paranormal romance books. Same with Historical Romance, Horror, etc. So am I just weird? I’ve been chatting with my friend Rose Gordon, and Stephen King was mentioned (by me). That got me thinking, do other people read so many different genres like I do? Is this weird? I honestly get bored reading the same kinds of books over and over. I have to have variety. I read paranormal romance, historical romance (especially regency), a LITTLE contemporary romance, horror, mystery, suspense. I don’t read non-fiction, usually, except for the Bible. I don’t usually read erotica unless a friend writes it, and then sometimes I will. I don’t mind a little erotic romance, but that’s different from straight erotica. I actually like the build-up, the sexual tension, the growing love more than the sex. Then the sex actually means something. But I digress. I can’t tell you exactly what my favorite genre is. Most of the books I’ve written have been paranormal romance. I have one that’s a fantasy romance (it has wizards, elves, fairies, etc.). I wrote one horror book (The Gnome), and the book I’m writing now is either going to be horror or suspense. I’ll have to see what category my beta readers think it needs to go in. I would like to do a cozy mystery at some point. Because if I read so many different genres, why wouldn’t I want to write them? Why not get out of my comfort zone and try new things?

Here’s my question to you. Do you read in multiple genres or stick to the same one (or one similar)? If you’re a writer, do you write in multiple genres (or want to eventually)? If you have a favorite author who has written something outside their normal genre, will you read it just because it was written by them? I want to know!

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There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It’s a matter of personal choice. I used to get frustrated when my author friends didn’t read my books. But now I get it. There have been times when I told my author friends that I just started their book or was about to start it. And that has often been a mistake. Here’s the thing…all books don’t appeal to all people. That’s just a fact of life. The book I’m listening to on audio right now got some one-star reviews that just mystified me. The book is full of awesome. But some people (28 out of 851) didn’t think so. And the reasons were sometimes the reasons I loved the book. It’s a matter of taste.

When it comes to friends’ books, you feel obligated to like the book. You WANT to like the book. And when you don’t, and that friend knows you’ve read it, it puts you in a really difficult position. You might not like the writing style, even though a lot of other people do. The story might be boring to you. It might not be in your preferred genre. So is it better to just not read it? That can also hurt a friend’s feelings. What do you do? I’m just not sure.

I’ve read lots of books that others go on and on about. And I wonder why they liked them. Think of it this way…if everyone liked exactly the same books, then there wouldn’t be readers for the other books. Of course, it would be great if everyone liked EVERY book. No, wait, then there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day to read everything. As if there is now. So you have to decide whether or not to read friends’ books. And when you think your friend ought to read your book, don’t be offended if they don’t. Maybe they are afraid to read it, in case they don’t like it. Maybe it’s just not their style. I’ve learned to not be hurt by it. I have books that have a few bad reviews that other people email me and say they just loved. My books have everything from 1 to 5 stars. So I know my books are appealing to some people and not to others. Let’s just realize that this is a world with multiple products, and we have enough to appeal to all people. Isn’t that great?

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These are the books I read while on vacation. I had already started a couple of them before I got to Florida.

Kiera’s Moon – Lizzy Ford
Crossing – Stacey Wallace Benefield
Her Reluctant Groom – Rose Gordon
His Jilted Bride – Rose Gordon
Suddenly a Bride – Ruth Ann Nordin
Runaway Bride – Ruth Ann Nordin

I found all of these enjoyable. The romances by Rose Gordon and Ruth Ann Nordin were sweet and sexy. Crossing was very different, deep, sad, and touching. With a little fun thrown in, because Stacey can’t help it. I was very pleased with the first book I had ever read by Lizzy Ford. Kiera’s Moon was a great SciFi romance.

It was so nice to be able to just read. I’ve read so much romance this week that I finally had to pick something else. At the moment, I’m reading Draculas – Jack Kilborn (aka J.A. Konrath), Blake Crouch, F. Paul Wilson, Jeff Strand. This book is NOT for the faint of heart. I might have nightmares. *shudders*

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I had a couple of topics I wanted to discuss and couldn’t decide which one to write about today. So I decided to combine them. I apologize in advance for the long post. If you want to read it, maybe you can break it up into two days or something. LOL.

First, should authors review? You do realize, I’m sure, that there’s no right or wrong answer to that. It’s your choice. However, I’m wondering if it even matters anymore since a couple of authors told me that Amazon is taking down reviews from authors. That doesn’t even make sense because authors are readers, too, but it might be because there are so many authors that give bad reviews to the “competition”. Yeah, it happens. I used to review a lot, but to be honest, I did it partly out of obligation. Yes, I loved the books, but if I knew the author, then there’s the chance people think you are just a friend trying to promote a friend’s book. And that can sometimes hurt more than help. Then there’s the situation where you want to review a friend’s book and you really don’t like it. What do you do then? I’ve pretty much stopped reviewing books by authors who are pretty well established and have lots of reviews already. And I might review a book if it has several bad reviews and I thought it was a really good book. I hate to see a book I really like get bad reviews. It’s really getting to the point, though, that trying to review is bogging me down. I read a LOT of books, and I just don’t have time to review every one of them. On Goodreads, you can at least just pop over and give a book some stars, so sometimes I’ll do that even if I don’t review on Amazon. I’m not saying I’m going to stop reviewing altogether, but I’m not going to do it much on retail sites. So I’m thinking I might start doing some reviewing on my blog. I want to write more on my blog anyway, so that might be a good way to have an extra post here and there. I could even do a post on “What I’m Reading” and just give a little comment about each book. I don’t know, I haven’t decided yet. We’ll see.

Next, I want to talk about how I’m burned out on Paranormal Romance. I never thought it would happen. When I wrote and published my first novel, it was a paranormal romance called A Rocky Path. It’s a ghost story. Then I did a couple of vampire books, a couple more ghost stories, more vampire/werewolf books. And I threw in a fantasy romance, Starfane, in the mix. The funny thing is, until I started writing PNR, it wasn’t what I was used to reading. I used to read horror, mystery, thriller, detective…but no PNR. Then when I started publishing that very thing, I really got into it. I was reading it like crazy. I have friends who write PNR, and I tried to read all of their books. I was like a sponge, soaking up the vampire love stories. The Black Dagger Brotherhood series blew me away. But, suddenly, things shifted. I started getting burned out on the BDB series, which I listened to as audiobooks. After I listened to the 8th (or 9th) Brotherhood book, I had to hear something different. I listened to a historical romance by Rose Gordon, which I enjoyed immensely. I’m currently listening to Micro by Michael Crichton (RIP). Next, I’m going to listen to Joe Hill’s (Stephen King’s son) latest book. Then MAYBE I can get back to the BDB. This burnout may be what’s affected my writing and making me change my current WIP. It was originally supposed to be a PNR, but it’s now apparently going to be horror. I like horror, but I never thought I would be able to write it. I was almost afraid to write The Gnome, but many people have told me they really like it. So I feel a little more confident about my WIP. For those friends of mine who write PNR, don’t worry…I know I won’t feel this way for too long. I WILL be reading your books. Just give me a little time. 🙂 But I also want to find some more indie authors who write other things, like horror, mysteries, etc. I do have some author friends who write in these genres, but I want more. I like to support indies, so I would rather read those authors when I can.

So I kind of feel like my post was rambling. I almost did this in kind of a stream of consciousness way, just writing what came out of my brain. If it makes no sense, please forgive me. I’ve had a rough few months. LOL

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Can anyone even answer that question? I’m not sure I can. I know a lot of authors give away free books in order to get readers interested in buying their other books. This sounds like a sound strategy, right? But does it work? I’ve tried it a few times, and honestly, I haven’t seen much of a surge in sales. Even giving away for free the first in a series doesn’t always mean a boost in sales of the others in the series. Not for every author, anyway. And I think I know the reason for this. I’ll have to admit, I’m one of the guilty readers. Here’s what happens with me. I find all these free books, enough of them that it’s overwhelming. Some of these books are beginnings of series. If I do ever get around to reading the first in a series, that doesn’t always mean I read the NEXT book. Why? I think it’s mostly because I have, you know, all those other free books on my Kindle. So by the time I’ve read some of those, I’ve forgotten about that other book and that other author. Occasionally, there is an author that just blows me away, and I have to get more and more of his or her books. That’s happened to me with a couple of free books I’ve gotten in the past year, and I’m going to post about that author later, but this is the exception to the rule. Bad me.

So what’s the answer? Everyone always says “write a good book and they’ll come”. Well, the problem is, there are a bunch of books out there. And many of them are good. How does a reader slog through them? How can you get YOUR book in front of people for them to even decide if they like it? So you HAVE to do some marketing. So what’s the best way to do this without being obnoxious (like constant blasts on FB or Twitter)? I don’t know the answer.

So what do you all think? Have “free” promotions boosted your sales? I’m thinking about a giveaway on my blog in the near future involving free ebooks and something cute that would go along with the book. But will it help with sales? Although I love giving away freebies and interacting with other authors and readers, the bottom line is…well…the bottom line. If I want to make a living at this some day, things are going to have to change. But how? Only the Shadow knows. (Some of you may be too young to understand that last statement. LOL)

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Some of you may remember when I was writing The Gnome, I had intended it to be a novel. As it turned out, it became a longer novella of almost 40,000 words. I went back and read it, added some things that I had thought of along the way, but it was basically still going to be a novella. I went ahead and charged $2.99 for it because it was longer than my novellas that are $1.99. There was just nothing left to add to The Gnome, at least not it my opinion. My beta readers liked it, even though I had worried about writing something in a different genre than I usually write.

So flash forward to the present. I’m working on something right now that I think has a great title, which is weird since I usually can’t think of one. I’ll reveal that title later, but for now I think it would be best to keep it quiet. The story line is good, but when I think of the critical points of the story (kind of like an outline, but not exactly), it looks like this is going to be another novella. I originally thought I wanted it to be a novel, but I don’t think it will be.

This is what I’ve discovered may be the reason I don’t write too many novels. I prefer to READ novellas. When I open a book on my Kindle, if it has too many “locations”, I inwardly groan. Why is this, you might ask? Because I want to hurry and get done so I can read the next thing, and the next thing. Different new things. This is also why I rarely read series (except the awesome ones). I don’t want to get too involved because I might be in the mood for a totally different kind of book the next time. Many times, novellas feel like “a great ride” because they’re usually fast paced and things get done. Now there are some exceptions to this rule I’m currently listening to Stephen King’s 11/22/63 on cd. And it’s LONG. 25 disks. But Stephen King is one of the few authors who make me want to keep reading a book and never stop. I feel sad when it’s over. There are very few authors that can do this for me. There ARE some, both indie and trad, but it’s definitely the exception to the rule.

Does this make me shallow? I hope not. Does it make me restless? Probably. Does it mean I get bored easily? Yep. I might mention I also prefer movies to TV series as a rule. And, no, I don’t have ADHD. I can focus on something intently when I need to (like my job in accounting). I’m just so darn eclectic. Yeah, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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