Weekly Ramble #116

Since 2018 I have read and reviewed 120 independently published books. The pillar that holds my authoring and blogging brand together is reviewing other authors books and to begin with it drew some very favourable results – blog follows, new readers, author friends and even sales for my own works. Those things drove me initially because they are good things for me but then I realised slowly that I wasn’t just doing this for me.

While I would never ever consider myself some kind of hero for reviewing books, I now do it for greater reasons than just personal gain because in all walks of writing it’s the ‘everything else’ after that makes this whole thing worthwhile. Some of these things can come unexpectedly and that might be the true power of writing. Over those years and books reviewed I’ve forged a level of trust from you and from a wider social media following all driven by a desire to make authoring and writing better. As independents in this social media age we are representing future generations of wordsmiths who will enter this arena someday, an arena where gatekeeping is slowing diminishing, it will probably never go away fully but we can at least improve things. Amazon have given anyone a platform to publish, but it is our responsibility to make sure it is represented well. These days you don’t have to be ‘someone’ to get any type of acclaim in writing. While agents and big publishers look to hold on to how things were, times are changing for the better. Anyone who has written something can now be successful instead of someone else deciding that.

Authors reviewing fellow authors books makes the indie scene better for everyone. I have said time and time again that reviewing others’ works will also help you but don’t expect a direct return, don’t feel entitled because you reviewed a book and want something back because ultimately what you’ve done will benefit us all – you’ve made this journey better for everyone.

January Reading Wrap-up

January went kind of quickly this time around. Well it did to me because time flies when you’re in a good book and so here’s what I read…

‘Civil Blood: The Vampire Rights Case That Changed a Nation’ by Chris Hepler

In this different take on Vampires Chris Hepler delivers and immerses readers into a biological/political world where those with the vamp pathogen have certain rights. There’s espionage feels paired with the concept of vampires in entirely new territory…

You can check out my full review here…

One Line Review:

An alternative but realistic take on vampires with sharp political and biological edges…”

Rating: 4 Stars

‘The Word of the Rock God’ by Brooklynn Dean

Life on the road in a small venue rock and roll band paired with a tale of biblical level temptation – yes please. Brooklynn Dean delivers with a uniquely immersive writing style that’ll encapsulate and provoke your thoughts. It’s different but well worth a read.

Here’s my full review….

One Line Review:

“An intimately descriptive fable that merges rock and roll with a powerful message…

Rating: 5 Stars

‘Husband for Rent’ by Kristina Gallo

Kristina Galllo tells a gritty story that could easily compare to a soap opera but with way more bite about multiple characters all on the fringes of the underworld. There’s deception, threat and even murder. A short but gripping read.

Full review…

One Line Review:

“A tale full of twisting suspense about those on the fringes of society…”

Rating: 4 Stars

‘Deadly Odds’ by Allen Wyler

For a story about one nerd looking to make it with a woman it goes deep into the criminal/terrorism underworld. Allen Wyler’s style kept me turning pages and wanting to know more about Arnold Gold who starts out with holding back the truth but for good reason…

Here’s my full review….

One Line Review:

He’s in deep with the big fishes and the odds are hardly in his favour…

Rating: 4 Stars

‘Moojag and the Auticode Secret’ by N.E. McMorran

Neurodiversity takes centre stage in this colourful unique tale where N.E McMorran sets a fine example of awareness and inclusion while also telling an entertaining story. There aren’t many books like this one and for the wonderful message it stands for its worth reading and applauding.

Here’s my review…

One Line Review:

“Colourful and imaginative with a positive message about being different…”

Rating: 5 Stars

And so that wraps things up for last months reads. Thanks for stopping by, see y’all in the next one….

2021 Goals

Things never turn out how you expect. The unexpected has fuelled every moment of my life in both good and bad senses. Now we stand with the smoking wreck of 2020 at our backs although for now it’s going to feel more of the same but as an author and blogger I am always sowing seeds and harvesting what I’ve laid down previously. Carrying on through whatever has its rewards and last year was good to me.

I tend to keep most things coming rather close to my chest until they are guaranteed, this year, like so many before is going to be a big one. Every year I put a list of the things I want to achieve up on a wall and get to work – this post is that. At the close of this year it might be cool to revisit this list to see what I achieved…

In 2021 intend to do the following as an author and blogger:

  • Read and Review 43 Independently Published Books
  • Draft at least one book – I’ve got a few ideas swimming around…
  • Release my self help authoring and blogging guide book
  • Interview way more folks on here
  • Sell a boat load of books and promote them
  • Edit and finish the last Darke Book – perhaps publish it also
  • Get 10,000 Tweet machine followers
  • Find a publisher for a novella I wrote last year
  • Kick 2021’s ass…

Hopefully the world is going to slowly emerge from this dark cloud which has seemingly shrouded everything. Right now we are driving towards daylight. There’s hope. Wishing you all the best for this year. Stay safe. Rock and roll man…

Weekly Ramble #86

Reviewing 41 books in just over 10 months is up there with 2020’s finest moments for me. These days book reviews are the anchor of premier content for this blog and they make the whole thing seemingly tick. Not only do they provide content that an audience likes but with book reviews comes a plethora of opportunity.

Although I’ve said writing more books is probably the best advice I can give for marketing, first of all you have to convince people to invest in you before they’ll invest in any of those books and so comes that opportunity. Reviewing books by fellow authors will get you more personal investment than any marketing trick or tip out there. It proves you want to contribute to the industry and be a part of it. You’ll be seen in a trustworthy light, and with trust comes loyalty. This will take time and all good things do.

Let’s face it, if your an author you know the struggle to get reviews, if your a blogger you know the struggle to get reads, I know it too and so I set out to fight back by helping others as I would wish to be helped – that’s all this is and the road to being taken as a genuine and respected figure in blogging and authoring is paved by giving back. The best forms of engagement rely on being genuine, honest and giving without expectation. I’ll say that word again trust. Commenting on another blogger’s post will sometimes make their day and most of us know how much a good review can help an author’s general mood.

And what do I expect in return – well here’s the wonderful thing, I actually expect nothing back because reviewing and helping authors is done out of mutual feeling so if I get anything out of it, that’s a bonus. This whole deal is a state if mind and importantly above all I’m reading wonderful books – something I have loved doing most of my life. If you can fashion a passion into a worthwhile cause then you are a better person for it. There have even been better outcomes than selling books or getting reviews because now I regularly connect with authors through email, twitter and this blog. Some just want to talk while others run ideas by me, not that I know much but I’m happy to help.

To all the authors I have connected with through reviews and social media endeavours, you were the one’s who got me interested in your work and pushed me to this achievement so thank you. Where do we go from here? Well the year isn’t out yet so you can expect this Hall of Information blog to do what it always does, to review more books!