Doing some construction on the website.
If things look wonky, and they might, this is why!
Doing some construction on the website.
If things look wonky, and they might, this is why!
While I do love audio books, as I mentioned here, there are some things I don’t like about them, especially as I’ve been reading more of them.
Here are six reasons why.
At least on my iPod (which is pretty ancient), it isn’t easy to go back a little to catch something I missed. And I do miss stuff as I’m usually listening while I’m doing something else (laundry, dishes, vacuuming). This tends to means I just miss stuff.
I’m a visual learner. I’m mostly lucky that way as so much of our education system is designed for visual learners, but this does mean that I simply don’t process as much of the story listening to it as I would if I read it.
Reading is very enjoyable, but it also helps teach me to be a better writer. While the audio version still helps me with plot, pacing, and character development, it does a lot less for helping be get better at the mechanics of words on a page.
You need electronics to play an audio book. As I get most of my audio books through Audible, I need a device to play it on. That means taking care of that device. Making sure you charged it the night before. Making sure you don’t drop it while on the treadmill. Making sure you’re careful with it while doing household chores.
Maybe I need to get some earbuds with memory built right into them. Does such a thing even exist? We live in the future with self-driving cars that talk to us (sarcastically if you have an iCar). It must exist. Though this would make going back to get catch up on the stuff I missed even harder.
Nothing worse than buying an audible book, and five minutes in, all you want is for the narrator to shut up because their voice is even more annoying than your whining toddler. This has happened to me. Twice.
Audible books are a lot more expensive than traditional ebooks. This means fewer books for the same budget, and that’s never good.
While I love audio books, there are also some serious drawbacks. I will still be reading the majority of books the old-fashioned way on my iPad.
How about you? Anything you dislike about audio books? Any tricks to keeping devices charged?
I know, it’s terribly unpopular for authors to write book reviews right now, particularly if the review isn’t favorable.
I’ve chosen to write a few reviews anyway, and here are four reasons why.
A no point am I going to claim to be an expert. I don’t assign stars, because I don’t feel qualified to do that. I will also not be like Gottlieb at the New York Times reviewing books I don’t love in a genre I don’t love.
I love romance novels, sci fiction and fantasy novels, and books with strong female leads. Because I love them, I feel like I try to give them all a fair shake within the confines of what one expects from the genre.
I don’t review horror books or thrillers or a slew of others because I, personally, don’t love them.
If I only ever write good things in book reviews, you won’t trust me. My goal is to give a balance interpretation through the lens of my experience. Your interpretation could always vary. For example, the book North of Need had a few triggers for me. The set-up for the story had the feel of a horror novel to me (being trapped in a snowstorm with a stranger who is much bigger and stronger). Others, didn’t find this triggering. If you didn’t, you might like it more than me.
Sometimes it’s something about myself. Like, I have stranger danger even as an adult. Sometimes, I learn more about story structure.
I love Lisa Kleypas as a romance author. There’s a reason why she’s one of the top names in historical romance. Her characters actually have character (something you don’t always find in romance). She lets women be friends, and sisters be sisters. It’s not all convoluted jealousy that I see too often. Her steamy scenes are very good, and her descriptions are amazing without using tired cliches. Like I said, she’s one of the best. By reading her and studying what I like, I learn a little more. Both for my own work, but also what to look for when selecting a new book.
Same is true of books I don’t like. I can learn a lot about plot and character development by figuring out why I don’t like something. After reading Lisa Kleypas, picking up another author that had every woman jealous of every other woman really brought to light how much I dislike that.
As a fellow author, I don’t post my reviews on Amazon. Partly, because this is against Amazon’s terms and conditions, but more because I don’t ever want a review to be taken as an “attack” against another author.
Honestly, there are times I wish I could call some of the authors and tell them I like their work, but I’d love it if they could fix a few things. Do they want me to beta read for them?
Hubris, clearly, but in my opinion, book like the Queen of Swords could’ve been spectacular instead of just good with a bit of revision. This takes me back to Point 3. I learned a lot by reading Queen of Swords. More than I learned reading all of Lisa Kleypas’s books, probably because she makes it look so effortless.
How about you? Do you write book reviews on Amazon, knowing writers need them to succeed? Do you only ever write positive reviews?
Thought I’d share a quick update as to how my quest to get a book on your e-reader is going.
I bought Pro Writing Aid to do a final polish on what I thought was a tidy manuscript. I figured it would take a few hours to go through and make any changes. Okay, stop laughing.
Yes, I have lots of red errors of doom.
I’m working through them, though after a few chapters, I’m learning I don’t always agree with all of their marks. For example, it tells me the word desire is “corporate”. But I’m a romance author, and this word is common in the genre.
I’m picking which reports work best for me and working through their recommendations, but this has already taken longer than a few hours.
As I’m re-reading everything, I’m making changes. I know, but I can’t help myself. As I work on the technical side of my writing, I also find myself rewriting descriptions to make things flow better, revamping dialogue and the like.
I’ve been working on this novel for two years, and I can still find things to change. I’m starting to worry it’ll never be done.
I do not have talent with drawing or photo-manipulation, and I know we all judge a book by its cover. So back in August, I reserved a spot with a cover artist I really like for late 2017 or early 2018. She recently said she could start working on mine in February, so I’m hoping her schedule sticks.
My goal is to work with the same artist for all of the books I’m writing so my covers have a consistent look. As you can see from my works in progress, I have a few coming.
If this cover goes well, I’m hoping to use her again.
Given everything that Pro Writing Aid has unearthed about my writing, I am seriously considering an editor. I have learned the lesson about compound sentences needing a comma, and that shows in Pro Writing Aid, but I’m still not sure what a hidden verb is.
While I don’t think the book will ever earn back what I pay for an editor, the expense may still be worth it if I learn something from the process that I can apply to future novels. This means finding a solid editor that doesn’t mind romance writing, and who’ll take the work even at mac and cheese prices. So if you know of any, please let me know!
After having a discussion with my writing group, I decided to start a new work amidst all of these revisions so I don’t lose the ability (and desire) to create something new. Rewriting is important, but so is creating.
My goal is still to release To Love a Prince by the end of June 2018. Yes, I’m putting that out there. I’d like to have the next book ready by January 2019, but that’s still in the early stages of revision. Chronologically, it comes after To Love a Prince, but I wrote three other books before that one. I have some catching up to do if I’m going to be ready by then!
Valentine’s Day is coming, and during this time of year, my husband tends to be looking for a gift. He’s lived with me for many years and is very aware that I have a magpie gene. Yes, it’s true, I am drawn to sparkly shiny things. Always have been.
Armed with this knowledge, he knows a trip to the jewelry store will almost always result in me loving my present.
This year, however, I was doing a bit more research so I could help him.
Environmental Sustainability – Lab grown gems are much more environmentally sustainable. Not only does it take less energy to create one than to mine one from the ground, but there’s no long term damage to the earth and surroundings communities. Some of the mining techniques used to extract gems are horrendous.
I’m still not completely sure what I think, but I am huge proponent of science. I am trying to wrap my brain around why we wouldn’t manufacture all gems if what my research shows is true.
Perhaps I’m missing something. What do you think? Is there a reason you’d prefer a gem that came from the earth rather than a lab? Why do you think we still mine gems at all?
“I dreamed you burned a city, Mama.” Continue Reading →