Thursday, February 28, 2013

Why Reviews Matter (and How to Help Your Favorite Author)

A lot of readers don't realize how much authors appreciate reviews (yes...even the bad ones). If you've bought anything from Amazon, you've probably received that request to follow up with a review. It doesn't matter if you bought coffee, a book, an MP3 tune, or a bracelet. Amazon asks you to review the product and, sometimes, the seller. And maybe, you've hit delete saying, "I don't have time for that," or "no one cares what I have to say."

As an author, I'm here to tell you...yeah, we do care. And we hope you'll find the time. Here are a few things you should know about writing reviews.

1. Authors crave feedback. We spend lots of time honing our craft, agonizing over the perfect word, making sure our characters resonate with readers. We need to know what worked and what didn't--not from our mothers or our best friends. From our audience. That's you.

2. You don't have to be an expert to write a review. Do you like to read? Ever watched a movie or television show? Ever heard a story and reacted to it--positively or negatively? Do you have opinions on what appeals to you? If you answered yes to these questions, congratulations. You're qualified.

3. A few sentences will do it. Did you like the book? Hate the book? Say so! Then tell us what worked and what didn't and why. Did you find the main character too wishy-washy? Did the story leave you wanting to read more? Did you stay up all night to finish it? Were there moments you said to yourself, "Oh, come on now! That's just stupid." Note it in your review.

4. You can post your review in many places. "Copy and paste" is a reviewer's best friend. Write it once (say...on Amazon), then copy and paste that same review to B&N, Kobo, Shelfari, Goodreads, or any other site where you have the ability to post a review. It doesn't matter where you bought the book. At Amazon, for example, if you've bought any item and have an account, you can post reviews of items purchased from anywhere. You can even post reviews of books you've taken out of the library, borrowed from friends, or got for free from the author! (And trust me. There is no better way to thank an author than to write a review and post it on multiple sites.)

5. There is no time limit. I've seen a lot of reviews on Amazon where someone writes, "I haven't read this yet..." Just because Amazon sent you that request for a review on Monday doesn't mean your review has to be posted on Tuesday. Write the review *after* you've read the book--even if it's a year or two since you bought the book.

6. Your comments don't only help others decide whether or not to buy a book. They also allow readers to find books. The more reviews a book receives, the higher in the "queue" the book goes. Your reviews can make a difference between a book buried beneath thousands of others and a book that "grows legs."


I hope you'll consider writing a review now. We're all counting on you.

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html

Need editing services for your manuscript? Gina is proud to announce the launch of Excellence in Editing: http://excellenceinediting.blogspot.com/

Monday, February 25, 2013

Happy Birthday to The Boy (You Get the Gift)!

My baby boy turns 16 today. To celebrate, Chasing Adonis, the book I've dedicated to him, is available for free on Kindle. This is a fun romantic comedy with a paranormal edge, thanks to the involvement of the gods of Greek mythology. With Aphrodite in a co-starring role, the story includes cameos by such notables as Nemesis, Zeus, Ares, Hygeia, Panacea, and Morpheus. Grab your copy while you can!



For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html

Need editing services for your manuscript? Gina is proud to announce the launch of Excellence in Editing: http://excellenceinediting.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mid-Week Rude Awakening: Who's Your Biggest Fan?

Got a ready answer for that question? Guess what? It should be YOU! If you don't love your work, really think your story is the greatest tale ever told, you're doing yourself and your readers a disservice. You have to believe in yourself.

Consider Howard Stern. Seriously. A decade or two ago, only Howard himself (and his cohorts) referred to him as The King of All Media. It was a joke--a gag that no one took seriously. But he insisted on using the title whenever he was introduced on late night talk shows or before interviews. Most people probably thought he was delusional, a nut job, an egotistical yutz. And maybe...he was. But guess what? These days, the term, King of All Media, belongs to Howard Stern. No one else.

I'm a firm believer in visualizing to achieve success. If you can't see yourself as a published author, every naysayer who tells you you're delusional, a nut job, an egotistical yutz, can derail you. And when it comes to telling others about your writing, if you can't gather up enthusiasm or honestly believe you've written something the public will love, why would anyone want to buy your book?

Forget the naysayers. Let bitter harpies call you a nut job. Think like Howard Stern. Be your biggest fan. Others will follow your lead.


For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html
Need editing services for your manuscript? Gina is proud to announce the launch of Excellence in Editing: http://excellenceinediting.blogspot.com/

Monday, February 18, 2013

Do You Read Your Backlist?

After finishing my last story, Duping Cupid, I needed a break before diving into In Your Dreams, the second book in my Afterlife series. Usually, when I take these breaks, I re-read old favorite books rather than new stories. I find comfort in the familiar and the fact that I know all the nuances of the plotline allows me to break away when my well's been replenished and I'm ready to take on my newest project.

This time around, I did something I've never done before. I re-read my entire backlist. At one point, my husband caught me and asked, "Are you reading your own books?" I assured him I was. "That's just weird," he replied.

Maybe. But...is it? As I read each book, I felt pride at what I'd written, picked up on turns of phrase that I had totally forgotten, and even laughed at my own witticisms. So now I have to ask.

Do you read your backlist?


For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html
Need editing services for your manuscript? Gina is proud to announce the launch of Excellence in Editing: http://excellenceinediting.blogspot.com/

Friday, February 15, 2013

Want Some Tips on Editing Your Manuscript?

In two weeks, I'll be at the Charter Oak Romance Writers' meeting on March 2, presenting my newest workshop, Manuscript Makeover. It's your opportunity to learn some editing tricks that will not only give you a cleaner manuscript, but habits you'll use in future writing endeavors to make revisions faster.

Program starts at 11! Come be a part of the fun and whip-wielding!

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html
Need editing services for your manuscript? Gina is proud to announce the launch of Excellence in Editing: http://excellenceinediting.blogspot.com/

Monday, February 11, 2013

Duping Cupid Only 99 cents!

My Valentine's Day short story, Duping Cupid, is on sale via all digital platforms for 99 cents. Ever get caught on a bad date? Here's how Vivi (aka Cupid) handles the date from hell:


“Well, you look fabulous, Vivi,” Juliet enthused, touching her hand again.

But, apparently Julian wasn’t finished humiliating her. “Of course she does. She’s dropped a good fifteen pounds. Just another fifteen to go, eh, sweetheart?”

Caught in mid-sip, Vivi coughed.

“Take it easy, Vivi. I know the drinks are free tonight, but you don’t have to swig the stuff like we’re about to run out. We have plenty, I promise.”

Raucous laughter erupted from Julian’s circle of friends, and Vivi’s cheeks burned.

Did he plan to spend the night holding her up for ridicule to make himself look better? That was a vile plan. And not covered under her contract, either—an oversight she planned to rectify first thing Monday morning. Until then, she’d have to play along. But on her own terms. Since pole dancing was out by her own admission, she’d have to devise a different lesson for him.

“Sorry. I guess I’m not used to domestic swill.” Reaching between two men who watched her with eyes brimming with humor, she set her champagne glass on the bar. “In fact, I should probably switch to tequila.” 
She arched a brow at the bartender, a handsome sandy-haired man with moss green eyes and a nametag that pegged him as Raul. “I don’t suppose you have Gran Patrón Platinum back there, do you, Raul?”

The bartender nodded, a secret smile playing about his lips. “We do, but it’s one hundred dollars per ounce.”

She waved off the ridiculous price. A full bottle of the stuff could be had from the liquor store down the block for about three hundred bucks total, but the more this place charged, the better her revenge. “That’s okay. I’m only doing a shot or two. Besides…” She jerked her head at Julian. “…he’s paying. Right, honey?”

He shifted on his feet, releasing her from his tight embrace. “Of course.”

Slapping a hand on the bar, she said, “Give me a shot,” then turned to the dozen or so people clustered around them. “Anyone else?”

Several men looked at each other, and finally, the one who’d originally waved them over, Stewart Campbell, picked up on the opportunity to screw Julian and stepped up to the bar. “Why not?”

“I’m in,” another man said with a grin.

“Sure. Let’s do it,” said a third.

The bartender wound up setting ten shot glasses on the bar and pouring a thousand dollars’ worth of golden tequila.

Once Raul placed the bottle back on its shelf, Vivi scooped up her shot and hoisted it in the air. “Ready, boys? Thanks, Julian!”

The men all grabbed their shots and echoed her toast.

“One, two, three.” After counting off, she tossed back the smooth buttery drink, swallowed, and smacked her lips at the aftertaste of citrus. “Aah.” She slammed the glass on the bar and ordered, “Hit me again, Raul. Anyone else?” She scanned the crowd, but they all stepped away, heads bowed.

“No, thanks,” Stewart muttered. “One was good.”

“One is good,” she replied, “but two are a necessity tonight.”

“Vivi,” Julian murmured with an underlying hint of warning. “That’s enough.”

“One more.” She nodded at Raul. While he poured her another, she leaned across the bar. “You know, you’re an exceptionally good-looking man.” Opening her clutch, she pulled out a business card. “Call me on Monday. I might have a side job for you.”

He took her card and read it, suspicion turning to surprise. “You’re Cupid?”

“Yup. But it’s my night off.” 

You can pick up your copy at Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, and B&N.

For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html

Need editing services for your manuscript? Gina is proud to announce the launch of Excellence in Editing: http://excellenceinediting.blogspot.com/

Monday, February 4, 2013

Duping Cupid is Here!

To celebrate Valentine's Day, I've got a fun short story, Duping Cupid, available for sale today on Amazon and Kobo. 


“Because sometimes, even Cupid needs a little help...”

Vivi Maxwell runs Cupid To Go, a unique dating service in New York. When wealthy client and former model, Ava Featherstone, seeks an escort for the winter season in Manhattan society, she sets her sights on Vivi's best friend, Sebastian “Bass” Lawrence.

Vivi and Bass have both been burned in their love lives and have never considered their relationship more than platonic. But Ava’s sudden intrusion makes Bass realize he’s in love with his best friend, Vivi. Now, with Ava’s help, he’ll try to dupe Vivi into seeing that the man she’s been waiting for has stood beside her all along.

Want a sneak peek? Sure, happy to oblige!

Comfortable at last, Bass picked up the phone and dialed Vivi’s number. Once he heard her sleepy hello, all his frustrations drained away. “I wound up choking down a burger at some Irish pub tonight. Just me and a bunch of drunken guys who had nowhere else to go for Thanksgiving. How’d you do, food-wise?”

“I planned ahead.” He could hear her smile in her voice, and warmth embraced him. “Bought a turkey sandwich from 33 Gourmet for the ride home.”

“Ouch.” He sucked in a sharp breath. “That hurts, Vivi. I can’t believe you went to my favorite deli without me.”

She laughed. God, how he’d missed her laugh! Vivi laughed with her whole heart, unlike the women he’d been spending time with, who tittered and snickered but never dared to risk lines on their plastic faces.

“Seriously,” she said. “How are you?”

“Humbled,” he admitted. “How was the fam?”

“Russ got engaged.”

“Yikes.” He understood what she didn’t say. Every year, her mother ran roughshod over, what she considered, Vivi’s failings. If Russ brought a fiancée with him this time around, Vivi had no backup from her mom’s stinging barbs. A flush of guilt warmed his cheeks. He should have been there with her.

“Her name is Scah-let,” she said with a thick southern accent. “Can you believe it? Like the character in Gone With the Wind, and just as prissy.”

He winced. “What’d your mother say?”

“Oh, she ate up the old antebellum charm with a sterling punch bowl.”

Her heavy sigh pierced his eardrum and his heart. Part of him wanted to tell her all she had to do was say the word and he’d slide the biggest diamond in Tiffany’s on her finger. Not for her mother’s benefit, but for his. So that even in Penn Station at rush hour, every other man would know this extraordinary woman was taken. The saner part of him realized he had to wait. If he told her how he felt right now, she’d either laugh at him or freak out. He didn’t want either of those reactions. Ava had better ideas—at least, she claimed to have better ideas. Who knew if the subterfuge would work?

Sound good? Duping Cupid is on sale for 99 cents via Amazon, Smashwords, or Kobo.



For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html
Need editing services for your manuscript? Gina is proud to announce the launch of Excellence in Editing: http://excellenceinediting.blogspot.com/