Posts Tagged ‘nonfiction’

Award-Winning Author Karlyle Tomms on Your Book Your Brand Your Business

I’m excited to welcome a previous radio guest from my days on Blog Talk Radio to Your Book Your Brand Your Business on Monday, July 2 at 5 PM Eastern:

Karlyle Tomms is an award-winning author who grew up in the rural Ozarks. He worked most of his career in mental health services and addictions treatment and began writing fiction later in life. He has written for different regional magazines and newspapers over the years, and has often been selected to speak at both professional and non-professional events, as well as radio talk shows. His first novel, Confessions from thePumpkin Patch won the 2016 New Apple Awards Medalfor General Fiction and was endorsed by Marideth Sisco who is known for her work on “Winter’s Bone” the four- time Oscar nominated film starring Jennifer Lawrence.

His general method for fiction has been to define a protagonist and allow that character to tell his or her own story from first person perspective as though the protagonist is writing an autobiography. His fictional books are about people overcoming social,psychological, emotional and spiritual challenges.

Karlyle’s recent book releases include The Calling, the second novel in his The Soul Encounters series, and The Gulls Are Always Laughing, a book of poetry which spans his childhood in the Ozarks through love and lovers to “Everything Else.” He has given it the subtitle of “My Life, So Far, in Poetry,” and in many respects, it is a spiritual journey in poetry.

During the interview, Karlyle will discuss his concept of “self-help” through fiction, his motivation for pursuing a writing career as he approaches retirement, and his experiences with writing and publishing, among other things. We welcome your participation in the live chat and will address your questions on the air. Please join us for an inspiring, informative episode.

In the meantime, visit Karlyle at his website www.karlyletomms.com.

Us Is Invisible: A Year of Thoughts on Marriage, Parenting, and Life from a Two-Time Loser and Big-Time Winner

Could you use a daily dose of wisdom and inspiration?

Us Is Invisible: A Year of Thoughts on Marriage, Parenting, and Life from a Two-Time Loser and Big-Time Winner from author Reid Lundy will make you laugh, cry, and appreciate the value of life lessons learned.

Reid Lundy entered his twenties sitting high on a wall of hopes and dreams for the future; full of self, ego, and pride. Before the end of his third decade of life, he had fallen off that wall and shattered into bits and pieces. Before his thirtieth birthday, he’d been married and divorced twice. As custodial father to a three-year-old son, he worked a job that was going nowhere, struggled and sometimes failed to keep the bills paid and the lights on, and resigned himself to the fact that he was just not any good at being married. Us Is Invisible was not written by a marriage expert. The author is not a degreed or trained therapist, nor a child psychologist – just a guy who made massive mistakes and paid a price for his immaturity, selfishness, and sometimes outright stupidity. This book guides you through a year of thoughts on marriage, parenting, and life lessons learned from the mistakes and failures of a two-time loser, and the celebrations of the joys and victories of a big-time winner.

Reid will be a guest on Your Book Your Brand Your Business on Monday, April 16 to talk about his journey as a son, man, husband, father, friend and author. Preview and purchase his book on Amazon.com.

How to Write a Quality Book Review

Since authors spend a great deal of time and effort — along with money — to write and publish their books, learning how to write a quality book review is one of the best ways for readers to express their appreciation and offer constructive feedback. Please note, I called it constructive feedback — not criticism for criticism’s sake. For potential new readers, a thoughtful review can make the difference between buying a book or clicking on the next title in their search for reading material worthy of an hour or more of their time.

What elements comprise a quality book review?

First, let’s define a bad book review. No, I’m not referring to legitimate criticism of characters, plot, pacing, writing, or any other vital aspect of a compelling story. I’m talking about generic reviews like, “I loved the book!” or “Wow, this is excellent!” or “This book is a must-read!” that omit any substantive descriptions as to why the reviewer feels that way. Conversely, the same principle applies to pithy one-or-two sentence reviews like, “Awful book!” “I can’t believe anyone would write this drivel!” or “Don’t waste your time reading.” Well, give a specific reason (or two, or three) as to why no one should bother with that particular book or you run the risk of looking like a troll who’s just shooting someone down for fun.

It doesn’t matter if it’s high praise or caustic criticism, the reviewer does the author (and his or her potential readers) a disservice by omitting specifics. Whether you love or hate a book (or fall somewhere in-between), here are some guidelines on how to write an effective, useful review for both authors and readers.

  1. Demonstrate You Have Actually Read the Book– sounds counter-intuitive, but I’m not advocating that reviewers should give away spoilers. However, it is possible to mention a few specifics about what you liked about the main character, themes, narration, dialogue, etc. What did you like or dislike about the protagonist or supporting characters? Why did the plot draw you in? Was the book thought-provoking? Edgy? Enlightening? Why?  Even if you select just one aspect and explain why it had an impact on you, for better or for worse, it will demonstrate your knowledge of the book.
  2. Offer a Balanced Perspective– as I mentioned, a great deal of time and energy goes into the production of a book. Whether you rate it 5-stars or 3-stars (more on that in point #4), identify what the author does well and the areas in which he or she could improve. Is the dialogue stilted but the prose captivating? Say so. Is the pacing too slow? Too fast? Explain why and give an example. Is a character well defined or one-dimensional? Offer a specific example that supports your opinion.
  3. Limit Your Review to One-to-Three Paragraphs– for maximum impact, keep it pithy. Select a few qualities about the book that stood out to you, whether it involves a secondary character, a particular scene, or the overarching themes. Again, you don’t want to give away spoilers; you want to focus on your most indelible impressions of the book. No one wants to read a lengthy, rambling review, and from a copywriting/marketing perspective, such reviews do more harm that good. The objective is to provide constructive criticism and/or genuine praise to better inform the author and prospective readers.
  4. Give the Author at Least 3 Stars– here I am taking my cue from author Daniella Bova, who states at her blog DaniellaBova.com, “Authors put their heart and soul into their writing, so I will never give any book less than 3 stars. I just won’t review it at all.” Words to live by. If you really hate a book for whatever reason (poorly written, plot holes, undeveloped characters, etc.), it’s best to heed our mothers’ advice, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Instead, contact the author privately (if they’ve made their email public or have a public Facebook page where you can message them) and share your thoughts. By doing so, you’ll help them improve their writing skills while saving them the embarrassment of a 1-or 2-star public review. Do unto others, as you’d have done to you, after all.

Here’s an example of a thorough book review:

Water Signs was one of those rare books that I had to force myself to put down because it was such an engaging, refreshing read. I enjoyed the fact that the story was set around the Jersey shore, as I am a Jersey girl myself. But what truly kept me reading was that Daria put so much life into her characters! Their personalities, their personal convictions, and their sense of family were so palpable that every time I read a page, it was like coming home to friends. The story kept me hooked all the way through, allowing me to experience Ken and Maddy’s life journeys along with them right on to the very end. If you are searching for a truly good book that will leave you satisfied, Water Signs is definitely worth every penny!

Full Disclosure: I am the author of Water Signs and host of Your Book Your Brand Your Business. The book review above is one of my favorites for the reasons I described in this post. Happy reading…and don’t forget to write a quality book review for the author!