My mom finally read my book (she was waiting for the paperback edition) and provided her thoughts on Facebook. Of course she was pleased, but my mom is honest and expressed some views that may help other readers.
I'm currently doing a give-away for 5 signed copies on Goodreads, and am supposed to paste this onto my blog. Here's hoping it works:
EDIT: It didn't work. Just a bunch of code that didn't convert into anything. Well, Here's a link:
I noticed a lot of extra fees ordering to Canada from the US (duties, brokerage fees from couriers, etc) so I set the book up for sale on Blurb. This should be cheaper for you Canadians out there.
EDIT: Turns out Blurb.ca prints in the US. Comparatively cheap but I have ordered some samples to contrast costs with orders from other providers. Stay tuned for results. And if anyone knows of an inexpensive printer in Canada, let me know!
Cover2Cover posted a Book Blast for Elf Mastery today! Here is the link! http://www.chocomeiske.com/2016/06/16/book-blast-elf-mastery-bryant-reil/
The paperback just became available on Amazon. I am placing the link here and will also be adding a new button.
Just had a feature posted on 'Flurries of Words':
It took a while but I approved the final proof today and the paperback is now available on Createspace! Here is a link, and I will be creating a button on the right of the page: https://www.createspace.com/6222984
We fiddled with the cover a couple times as it printed darker than expected, and when we lightened it the first time it washed out Eunoe's face. A few more typos were found and fixed (by both myself and Jessica, the cover designer) so hopefully we have a squeaky-clean manuscript now. By all that is good and holy, no matter how many times I go through it there's always something.
This has been a slower process than anticipated but interesting and it felt so good to have a physical copy in my hands, even if it was a proof with some typos in it! You know, these are the copies that will be worth the most when I die.
Well have a great week everyone! I'm sick so will be stuck inside binge-watching Netflix.
I have been volunteering more frequently to beta read for other people. I do this because beta readers were very helpful when I was writing my book. In addition, it is important to build relationships in the community on Goodreads, Amazon, and other book and literature sites.
Beta reading has its challenges. Much of the writing is much rougher than I had expected. I'm no Shakespeare, but many aspiring authors have not yet mastered many basic principles of spelling, grammar, and punctuation. I try not to be overly critical, as people need to start somewhere. I do tell the authors I will be honest. I expect no less from my own beta readers.
I have noted two different responses from authors. I always try to offer positive viewpoints along with the negative, as well as suggestions for improvement (with the caveat that these are only my opinions.) Some take it very well and work to improve. Some never talk to me again.
I have read articles from editors as well as famous authors (Orson Scott Card, specifically) who refuse to beta read/review work for people, or at least are very selective. They claim the issue that many writers become defensive and even belligerent when their work is criticized. I find this sad. I know criticism can be hard to take, especially when it's about regarding something on which you have spent a lot of effort and time. While I'm pleased that most of my beta reviews were positive, it wasn't all, and that didn't bother me. Here's why:
1) Honest feedback lets you peer at your potential market. Chances are, other readers will feel the same way as your beta reader, and you aren't going to be there to defend yourself. This suggests a reason to find multiple beta readers, however: one opinion my be an outlier. If you have several beta readers, and many criticize the same points, you likely have a legitimate problem. If only one or two express such a concern, you can get a feel for market segmentation. In my case, I had a couple people that really didn't like Kyla (my protagonist) at the beginning of the story. Most did. I realized there would be a division among readers, but as the majority were happy with her I didn't make too many changes to her character development.
2) Toughens you up! You will be criticized when you release a book. Perhaps harshly. Even J. K. Rowling took a sound beating from Harold Bloom over 'Harry Potter'. Might as well get used to taking the knocks.
3) It's how you learn! I notice a lot of the people I read for use comma splices. They have never heard of comma splices. Thus, when I point it out, they know what they are and can make educated choices on usage. I also learn things from my beta readers. For example, I often neglect sensory details outside of sight (ie. smell, etc) when describing environments. My characters often don't emote enough. Because of criticism, I know this and can make conscious efforts to address these issues.
There are probably more reasons but it's late and I want to go to bed. Anyway, by advice is, be honest yet thoughtful reviewing other people's work, and when receiving criticism, detach yourself emotionally so you can assess the feedback with a level head. You don't need to accept all criticism, but you need to be able to make intelligent decisions regarding what changes may need to be made to your story.
Bryant Reil currently resides in Kelowna, BC. Recent accomplishments include completing a Master's degree, and having finished two books, Elf Mastery and Elf Doubt. The third book, Elf Righteous, is underway.