Monday, October 01, 2012

Pretty When She Kills Tour Stop

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Hiya lovelies! I have one of my favorite ladies on the blog today! You all know by now how much she rocks, and that if you haven’t read any of her books you are part of my hit list * to talk about reviews! We all write reviews, we all see the drama behind dealing with authors who can’t deal with reviews, so here’s a look at the other side. But first, zee book:

Pretty When She Kills
Rhiannon Frater
Series: Pretty When She Dies, #2
Publication date: September 7th 2012


Amaliya Vezorak never believed in happy endings…

When Amaliya harnessed her necromancer powers to defeat her greatest enemy, she believed she had finally found a happy ending with Cian, her lover and the master of Austin. That happiness is short-lived when the vampire ruling over San Antonio attempts a takeover of Austin in order to capture Amaliya and use her power for his own devices.

To make matters worse, Samantha, Cian’s ex-fiancée, is seeing ghosts, the untested vampire hunters of Austin are running scared as a supernatural war looms, a mysterious man is hunting Amaliya with the help of her one time lover, Pete, and Rachoń, the Summoner’s favorite progeny, appears to be out for revenge.

When Amaliya’s grandmother, a powerful medium, experiences terrible visions that reveal there is another necromancer vampire and she is crying out for help, Amaliya realizes happy endings do not come easily…

Guest Post by Rhiannon Frater
What’s Up With Reviews
Rhiannon Frater

Ah, book reviews. The single most controversial subject of the last few months in the blogsphere without a doubt is book reviews. There has been scandal after scandal when it comes to one of the single most important aspects of the publishing process. Just when one kerfuffle dies down, another pops up.

Because of all the insanity that has been surrounding reviews I get a lot of questions about reviews.
So to answer those questions…

• Do you ever pay for book reviews?
This has been the latest blow up over reviews. Some authors, some of them quite famous, have been paying for positive reviews. It’s abhorrent as far as I’m concerned and I will never pay for a review. Even though Kirkus Reviews charges Indie Authors for the chance at a FAIR review, I think even that practice is questionable. Once you admit to paying for a review (even if it’s a fair one), you’re sliding down a slippery slope fast. Why would anyone trust any of your positive reviews again? I do not pay for book reviews and I never will. I do provide eBooks for review to bloggers, but I’m well aware of the fact that they may not like my work.

As for authors creating fake names to praise their own work and drag down other writers with negative reviews, I find this to be utterly deplorable. I have not and will never participate in something so loathsome.

• I noticed you have a lot of five star and four stare reviews. If you’re not paying for reviews, then all of those are your friends and family, right?
Actually, no. When I first self-published the AS THE WORLD DIES trilogy in 2008, I asked some friends to write honest reviews. Only four ended up doing so. I have yet to have a family member write a review for my novels. My mom, my most ardent supporter, has never written an online review for any of my books, though she will talk your ear off about how great they are in the grocery store line. My husband has never written a review for one of my books because he doesn’t think it’s ethical. My three brothers aren’t big readers. One of them has read a few of my books, the other two are still working on THE FIRST DAYS. I recognize that some people do push their friends and family to write reviews. I’m not one of them. In fact, I have realized that most of my co-workers, friends, and extended family members were afraid to read my books just in case they were terrible.

One friend came up to me one day and said, “Oh, my God! I’m so relieved. I read one of your books and it was really quite good! I was so afraid it was going to be horrible and I would never be able to look you in the face again!”

She didn’t write an online review, by the way.

• But how are you getting all those four and five star reviews?
I wrote a book people like. With the AS THE WORLD DIES books I have a whole slew of negative reviews, but the positive ones far outweigh them. With my vampire books, the reviews are consistently a lot higher. THE LAST BASTION OF THE LIVING has the most positive reviews across the board. A few people have told me that fresh perspective is what they enjoyed, so maybe that’s what earns me an extra star or two.

• You must hate negative reviews. They must ruin your sales.
Actually, one of my all-time favorite reviews is a one star review for PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES. I’m convinced it has sold more books than the more positive ones. I have even had fans tell me they picked up the book because of that review. All the things the reviewer hated is what made other readers want to read it.

The reality is that reviews are subjective and people are smart enough to realize that. If a reviewer hates the “blood and gore” in one of my vampire books, that may be the reason someone else will decide to read it.

What adversely affects my sales is no one reviewing my books or knowing they exist. If people are reviewing my novels, that means they’re being read and the word of mouth is getting around.

• So what kind of reviews don’t you like?
If a review is a personal attack against an author, I will stop reading it immediately. Also, if the reviewer skims the book, gets the facts wrong because they skimmed it, and writes a scathing review, those don’t sit well with me either. I’m not too keen on long reviews where the reviewer goes on and on about how they would have written the book, changed the characters, plot line, etc, because at that point the reviewer should just write their own book.

• So how does an author get good reviews?
Write a good book and hope your audience embraces it. There is no secret formula or magical way to get good reviews. It’s almost blind luck that an author writes a novel that a large group of people adores. And even if it’s had a slew of great reviews, a fervent following, and tons of great press, there will still be a segment of the population that will loathe it.

It’s truly sad that the scandals surrounding reviews have now made them all suspect. I look at my books with mostly five and four star reviews and inwardly flinch. Whereas those reviews used to be small trophies of success, I now fear they will be regarded with suspicion and downright hostility.
I’m hoping that soon all this insanity will blow over and people can return to regarding reviews as the honest opinion of readers just like you and me.

Thanks, Rhiannon! I wish a lot more authors would act the same towards reviews. Some can be very… well… *moves away from keyboard*

Rhiannon’s Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the As the World Dies trilogy (The First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege,) and the author of three other books: the vampire novels Pretty When She Dies and The Tale of the Vampire Bride and the young-adult zombie novel The Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters. Inspired to independently produce her work from the urging of her fans, she published The First Days in late 2008 and quickly gathered a cult following. She won the Dead Letter Award back-to-back for both The First Days and Fighting to Survive, the former of which the Harrisburg Book Examiner called ‘one of the best zombie books of the decade.’ Rhiannon is currently represented by Hannah Gordon of the Foundry + Literary Media agency.

This post is a part of:
Click on banner for tour schedule
 The fabulous Rhiannon has generously offered up an ebook copy of both Pretty When She Dies and Pretty When She Kills for giveaway to one lucky winner.
Open Internationally
Giveaway ends October 11th, 2012
Use the Rafflecopter below to enter

Also, make sure to check out The Bookish Brunette to enter for the blog tour grand prize!
Click here to enter for the grand prize!

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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27 Responses to “Pretty When She Kills Tour Stop”

  1. Christina

    Write a good book. Sounds easy enough! :-p

    Lovely interview! I’m not surprised friends and family didn’t want to read the books, because that would be SO AWKWARD to have to review your friend’s book and one star it.

    Also, love that story about the 1 star review selling your books!

  2. Lee

    Wonderful post! This has been such a controversial issue. I appreciate that an author’s perspective on the subject.

  3. Book Sp(l)ot

    . I have even had fans tell me they picked up the book because of that review. All the things the reviewer hated is what made other readers want to read it.
    I just want to say: THIS, THIS, THIS

    So many times when I’m unsure about a book, I’ll read the lower rated, ‘negative’ reviews first. The 5 (or 10) star reviews are great when I’m adding books to TBR list, but when I’m picking that next book to buy or choosing between several, I go for the 1 or 2 star reviews.

    People will be very specific why they didn’t like a book – and a lot of times those specifics seem like they’d make a great read to me. I’ve found some amazing reads based off other’s displeasure.

    Congrats on the new release – this looks like a fantastic series and it’s definitely on my list to get and read!

  4. Ashley Prince @ The Bibliophile's Corner

    Yay! I love Rhiannon and this is a wonderful guest post. A much needed one, I think. I long for the day when book review scandals stop popping up everwhere.

    Ugh! I still need to read more of Rhainnon’s books. I have only read The First Days, The Tale of a Vampire Bride, and Pretty When She Dies. It is my goal to finish all of her books by the end of the year, damn it.

  5. Aa'Ishah

    It’s great to see an author’s perspective on reviews and what’s been happening. Lol, I can see why friends and family might be a bit hesitant, I would be too, nor would I get a friend or relative to review my work. 😉 Fabulous post and thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

  6. Danny

    That is a phenomenal post! Perfectly and right to the point!!! I also buy books based on negative reviews. There are some bloggers I know have the total opposite taste from me!

    But just like you as an author, also I as a reader hate reviews that personally attack. Those are reviews I do not like to read.Period.

    Oh and Kirkus and charging Indie Authors? Somehow this feels not right..

  7. Jenn@OwlReadIt

    Great guest post!! I really don’t understand why people are asking you those questions. Yeah maybe some authors do resort to lying to sell their books, but not all do. I’ll be waiting for this latest insanity to blow over with you.

    I will say that I have personally picked up books that have gotten a lot of negative reviews and loved them, picking them up because of the review. So negative reviews can be a good thing! I always like to form my own opinion of a book!

  8. Jackie

    I am reading PWSK and I Love it but I am leary about writing reviews cuz I don’t know how to write one without spoilers . Ya go me :/

  9. BecAlora Walker

    Rhiannon Frater is all kinds of amazing. I haven’t read her books yet, but they’re waiting on my NOOK. She seems like such a cool customer though. I had respect for her before, but after her verily eloquent answers in this I think I’ll have to respect and love her for forever!

  10. SacredmOOn

    It’s quite sad that brilliant 5 star authors like Rhiannon Frater has to endure questions about how valid her reviews are because of the drama that has going on lately. She is one of my top favorite authors! Wonderful guest post!
    DeAnna Schultz

  11. Karen

    I think it’s really important to remember that the negative people (both authors & bloggers) are a very small minority and we can’t let that cloud the entire community.

    I love your attitude on the subject Rhiannon and I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve picked up a book because of a negative review or even passed one over because of a 5 star review.

    It depends on exactly what they liked or disliked – not the rating itself.