what is my system for writing reviews?

July 4, 2020

Covid continues, Cancel Culture meets 4th of July, I signed a cover design artist, and the WIP is in Beta!

In The News

In the last month, Covid 19 news has re-surged along with the resurgence of Covid cases. The U.S. President suggested that if we don’t like the increase in positive tests, we should decrease overall tests… That guy. While there is less coverage for the civil unrest around the world, an unfortunate focus on statue rage has allowed a few segments of the noble and noteworthy movement to be attacked by sarcastic pundits. Another unfortunate group that has attached themselves to the movement are calling for the cancellation of everything from television shows, to the mention of slavery in history classrooms, to the 4th of July. Just between us, I am all about getting the 4th revamped if not canceled. Who the heck ever thinks it is a good idea to give a bunch of drunk guys tiny sticks of dynamite!?

Closer to home, Leon County, aka Tallahassee, FL, has issued an ordinance requiring face masks to be worn when one is outside their own personal property. An addendum to that states that the ordinance will not be enforced. <.< Seriously?

In Covid-19 news, I told you so. Numbers are climbing and the Trump campaign is running around inviting people to attend rallies without masks, hugging and high fiving and who knows what. Dumb undergrads in Alabama are holding Covid parties. If you haven’t heard about this one, those kids are inviting people who are Covid positive to intentionally spread the virus. They are putting a door fee into a prize pot, and the first person to test positive after the party wins the pot. The WHO is telling us that another pandemic potential virus is loose in the world. 2020 is only half-way over. Twitter and other social media sites are full of “what’s next” posts, and I am still sitting in my home office, sipping my coffee or tea or Diet Dr. Pepper and shaking my head.

WIP News

My current writing project, Book One of the Andran Company, stands now at 101,499 words. That is not only past goal, but I have revised the entire thing and sent it out to Beta readers. I am hoping to get my markups back from Beta by the end of this month and be ready to order a final proof copy in paperback by mid August. I want to release in early September. Luckily I have signed on with a wonderful cover art designer who will be helping me to create a series of beautiful artwork for the whole series. So at least that part of the marketing is in the bag!

Social, Media and Otherwise

You can find me on Twitter , Reddit/r/ubrielbrynebooks, Facebook and Instagram (ubrielbryne20). In the lead up to release date, I am ramping up the quotes from the book with graphic backgrounds and trying out some ads and stuff. If you come across one you really like, reply to it so I know it’s a good one! .

I am very much looking forward to being able to schedule road trips for book promotions again. I am hoping for sometime in 2021, but we will see.

I Give Book Reviews,

I have long enjoyed expressing my opinions about what I love about the books I read. In the last several years, I have begun writing those opinions in review form, usually on Amazon, but elsewhere when that is where I got the book. A recent post on Twitter asked folks to go over their personal method for assigning ratings to books in a review. I am pleased to say that my method is pretty close to the average as expressed in that small sample.

Here is how I evaluate a star rating in reviews. 1 star typically means I did not finish the book and I am offended this rubbish is called a book. 2 stars typically means this book may not be really my sort of story, and I may not recommend it unless I meet someone I think would like it. 3 stars typically means I think this is a good book, maybe the story is not my thing. I will probably recommend it for particular genre fans like romance or mystery or YA or another genre it would fit well into. 4 stars typically means this is an excellent book. I enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it. I will probably read it again, myself. 5 stars typically means This is a book that changed me as a person. It has cosmic significance and I recommend it to all readers of the human species.

As you can see, 5 stars is a rarity. I give mostly 3 or 4 star reviews mostly because I read what I already know I am likely to enjoy. I have, however given a 1-star and a couple of 2-stars. I was very sad but people need to know. I think of reviews in this case kind of like warning labels. The self-publishing industry is such that anyone can publish a book and put it out there for unsuspecting readers. Sometimes, we as authors who put effort and energy into our work, must step up and police the bad books so we can help each other build reader confidence.

I don’t take this lightly. I hope other authors will agree with me and follow suit. Here are a few of my most recent reviews. The Savior’s Champion by Jenna Moreci or Secondborn, Book 1 by Amy A. Bartol or The Emporer’s Edge Series (books 1–3) by Lindsay Buroker

Take Care! –Amy

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