Blog Archives

Ask the Authors!

As many of you know, I’ve been working on a project with fellow author Wayne Lemmons. It’s an amazing and wild ride, this novel. As we near the release date (which hasn’t been set in stone yet, but it’s soon), I thought I would give you, the reader, an opportunity to be involved.

I recently asked on Facebook what readers like to find at the end of a novel. For example, interviews with the author, bonus stories, deleted scenes, etc. Many folks said they wanted to know things about the book. Like how the story came to be, where the idea came from, etc.

At the end of this novel, there will be extras, including an interview between Wayne and me. Here’s where you come in.

If you have a question that you’d like to ask us, ask us now and your question and the answer may be included in the bonus content of the new book, accompanied by your name, of course. Sound good? Let’s do this!

You can leave your question in the comments section of this post, on my Facebook page–personal or author–as a private message through Facebook, or as an email at kimberlyabettes at yahoo dot com.

 

Exodus is Here!

Finally, after months and months of nail-biting, banging my head against the wall, and crying in the shower, EXODUS has finally made it to Amazon.

exodus-cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the height of the Great Depression, thousands of families who have lost everything are left with no choice but to make the pilgrimage westward in search of a new life. Some will find what they’re looking for. Some will not and will then be forced to make the long journey back home. Then there are the others, those who never make it to either place because they made a stop along the way in a town called Exodus, an abandoned silver mining town in eastern Arizona where nothing good ever happens and most folks never leave.

The Carlsons–John, his wife Anne, and their newborn baby James–are one of countless families heading west, and they’re one of many unfortunate families who decide to make a stop in Exodus. The sign on the highway promises food and gas, both of which the Carlsons need. But the sign doesn’t advertise all that Exodus has to offer.

It doesn’t mention the torture.

The cannibalism.

The death.

Caught now in a horrifying world of madness, Anne has to fight to save her family, though doing so will push her to the very brink of her own sanity.

*A horror novel for mature audiences only.

Buy EXODUS now.

Authors Reviewing Authors

A couple of years back, the news broke that certain authors had created fake or “sock puppet” accounts in order to a) leave fake good reviews for themselves and b) leave fake bad reviews for other authors. Deplorable, right? Shady, right? Juvenile, right? Yes, yes, and yes. I have never and will never do any such thing.

Since then, I have been in a bit of a quandary. I’d like your thoughts and opinions on the matter, so here goes.

What do you think about writers leaving reviews for other authors’ books? For example, when I read a book, I would love to leave a review. But then I remember all the hubbub over those fools who faked a bunch of reviews and I think no. I shouldn’t do that. Why not? Because people might think I did the author a favor or something by leaving a review, probably for a book I didn’t read (which I would NEVER do).

What I want to know is what you, the reader, think when you see that an author has left a review on a book. Do you think it’s honest and fair? Or do you think it’s some sneaky lie? Do you think authors should even leave reviews for books?

As a writer, I know just how important reviews are. If we were carpenters, reviews are our nails. If we were surgeons, reviews are our scalpels. If we were photographers, reviews are our cameras. Reviews are absolutely essential to what we do. Readers use them to judge whether or not the book is worth their time and money. Sometimes, when a reader is on the fence about investing so much of themselves into our work, those reviews are the deciding factor. Knowing this, it kills me to not leave reviews for fear of readers thinking it’s a fake, a lie.

It’s time to weigh in. Tell me what you think. And thank you in advance for your opinions. 🙂

 

Giveaway!

I mentioned on Facebook a week or so ago that I was going to have a giveaway for a signed paperback copy of 22918, and I promised the details would come. These are those details.

So here’s what I’m thinking. It’s super hard to get folks to leave a review for a book. Not sure why. It only takes a minute, but still it’s like asking for volunteers to get a root canal. I thought maybe this would help persuade the reluctant people to get that root canal. I mean leave a review! Yeah. A review. No root canals.

Not today.

If you leave a review for 22918 over at Amazon, send me an email to let me know. I’ll write all your names on a piece of paper, jostle them up in a bowl, and draw a name. That person will win the signed copy of 22918.The drawing will take place on December 12th. That should be enough time for the winner to receive the book in time for Christmas. If you’ve already left a review, you’re still entered. Just send me an email.

In the email, I’ll need a couple of things:

1) A link to your review

2) Your physical address (so I know where to send the book)

Don’t worry. I won’t show up on your doorstep. Although I know there are at least a couple of you who would absolutely love that. But I won’t mention any names…RODNEY!

So that’s it. That’s all you have to do. Be honest in your review. Don’t feel that you have to schmooz me with a 5 star review to be entered in the drawing. Honest reviews are what I’m after. I’ll post the winner all over the place when the name is drawn.

Thanks in advance for your reviews and good luck to all of you!

What I’ve Learned About Authors This Month

I don’t like to think of myself as naive. I don’t believe the world is made up of rainbows and unicorns. I look at the world around me in an honest and real light. I see the good as well as the dangers. I know people are shady creatures, but what I’ve learned about authors in the last month makes me think I need to paint the world around me a shade darker. I’m seeing it in a light that’s just a bit too positive.

It all started a couple of weeks ago when my twitter and facebook feeds began to fill up with posts about authors who post fake reviews of their books on sites such as Amazon in order to boost sales. They set up fake ‘sock-puppet’ accounts so they can post reviews under different names. Apparently they’ve been doing this for quite some time. Sadly, I knew about this. I’ve never done it, but I have read articles on the matter before. It’s a low-down and dirty thing to do. But apparently there’s something even lower and dirtier that authors can do and they’ve been doing it.

Authors have been buying reviews. Fake reviews. Reviews by people who’ve never even read the book.

Before I go any further let me say this. Reviews are super important to authors. It doesn’t just help the reader decide whether or not to buy the book. It helps the author learn what he/she is doing wrong or right. Furthermore, there are advertising sites in which the author pays money to advertise that their book is on sale or free. In order to do this, they have to meet certain criteria. Mainly, they have to have a certain number of reviews for the book to be advertised. So in that regard, I can kind of see what might drive a writer to do such a thing. BUT I think it’s a dirty shame that they do it.

I had no idea this was happening. I walk amongst the writers, some famous, some not, and never even suspected that this was an issue. I’ve often wondered how authors get so many reviews so quickly when it’s all I can do to get reviews for my work. Not every reader is willing to give up a minute of their time to review a book. Yet some authors just seemed to be doused in them. Their books would come out on the first of the month, and by the end, they’d have hundreds — sometimes thousands — of reviews. It left me scratching my head and wondering how. What was I not doing that they were doing? Why didn’t my books have as many reviews as theirs? Now I know. They were buying fake reviews. Not all authors do this (at least I don’t think, though I’m now doubting everything I thought I knew) but a lot do, and some of them are authors I’ve admired for a long time. At least I DID admire them. I can no longer do that. I can’t admire someone who’s faking it. I just can’t.

As if the fake reviews weren’t enough, in light of Tom Clancy’s passing, I learned that he, as well as James Patterson, don’t even write all their own books. What?! Yes. Apparently, they have other people — unnamed ghostwriters — write their stories for them and just slap their name on the cover. Again, I was shocked and appalled to learn this is happening. Earlier this year, I was wondering how in the world James Patterson could possibly have written and published 11 novels last year. Now I know. He didn’t. I don’t know if he wrote any of them. I’d like to think he did, but then again I’d also like to think that he writes all of his own books.

My mind is reeling at the things I’ve learned in the last month. It scares me to think of what else I don’t know. How many other big name authors aren’t really writing their own books? How many others are buying fake reviews or posting reviews of their own work under false names?

I will say this though. I have NEVER, not ever, posted a fake review for any of my works. I have no intention of ever doing so. I’ve also NEVER bought a fake review. I’ve offered free books in lieu of an honest review which is a common practice in this business (hence advanced reader’s copies of novels), but I have and would never pay someone to write a review, especially knowing that they won’t even read the book. No. Not gonna happen. I want honest reviews from real readers. Not some phony review I bought from fiverr.com. And even though this should go without saying, I write all my own books. Always have, always will.

I plan to make it to the top of this heap of authors one day, and when I do I want to be able to say that I made it honestly. I didn’t fake my way up, I didn’t buy my way in, and I didn’t sell out to anyone or anything to get there.