Goodreads and Why I Love It

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Goodreads. Authors often either love it or hate it. Some won’t be on it at all. Others are on often and enjoy it. Today I’m going to talk about why I love it.

First, I came to Goodreads as a reader, before I ever had an author page. So I learned to love the site as a reader and that has not changed.

I like being able to keep track of books I have read, so I don’t order the same book twice. In this way it saves me from wasting money. I like being able to “shelve” the books by category and have started doing more of that recently. I can even keep track of which books my grandson has on his shelf so I don’t buy duplicates. So as a reader, shopper and gift giver it is useful to me. I also like the way Goodreads will suggest books to me and the fact I can adjust that by simply saying not interested. Just because I gave one book a 4 or a 5 does not mean I want to read a bunch more books like it.

So now we come to the ratings system. one star to five star with three being I liked the book. Anything above a three and the system is likely to suggest another book just like it. When I am rating a book I tend to rate high. I’d give everyone five’s if I could. But then if I do that, the system will keep suggesting more and more of the same. So I need to fight that inclination to make it easier to find the books I most want to read.

So that’s me as an reader on Goodreads. Just another reader who likes Goodreads.

Then there’s me as an author. Of course I have a Goodreads author page and I think every author should have one. I hear authors say they won’t be on there because things can get ugly. You know, with trolls and all. Well, that’s kind of like saying I won’t go play on the playground because there might be a bully. Or there has been a bully. I think it’s too bad when that happens. I’m not going to let any bully keep me away from enjoying books and talking about them. As a reader or as an author. So I have a Goodreads author page.

I like Goodreads so much I had it on my iphone long before I had Facebook. It’s only in the last year that I added Facebook and only because I felt I had to in order to keep up with people who have events and messages and such and won’t use texts or emails. I was missing out on things by not being on there. Kind of like authors who are missing out on Goodreads by not being on there. Each author makes their own decisions about these things.

The thing is, readers are on Goodreads. So if you are an author and you want to meet readers or for readers to see your books, if makes sense to be there.

I love Goodreads and will be doing more on the site in the future. In fact, we just opened a branch new group for my readers on Goodreads and you are welcome to join! Look for Debra Parmley Lamplighters. Here is the link. See you there!

Debra Parmley Lamplighters

5 Minutes a Day -Threading the Web -on banishing the fear of writing too much

When I coach, or teach a class, my writing students will hear me say “everyone can write for for minutes a day” and so often if we are not writing it is not because we do not have time. Everyone has five minutes a day. But we let things get in the way. Often this is driven by fear. Let’s dig in and root out one of those and look for a moment at the fear of writing too much.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Oscar Wilde

I collect quotes and often return to the ones which speak to me. Expect to see more quotes here as I will be sharing them for my students.

Why does this one speak to me?

Because once upon a time, when I was a beginning writer, I thought there was only so much writing juice in me. I had a fear that if I wrote too much I would run dry. Like many fears, this was simply not true.

Fears are things that can get in the way of our writing.

To often we get in our own way, with many things, but especially with writing. When we don’t write, it becomes harder to write. When we do write, even for 5 minutes a day, it becomes easier to write. I have experienced this on both ends, the writing and the not writing, and know it to be true for me.

Everyone has five minutes for the things that are important to them. Often I ask my students if they got their five minutes in today.

Have you written today? What is holding you back today? Pick up that pen, fire up that computer or typewriter and begin. Even if you only have five minutes. Set the egg timer. Or the timer on your phone. Get going. It could be the best five minutes of your day.

New Class for 2017 – The Book That Wants to be Born

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The Book That Wants to Be Born

……taking your book from idea to print by multi-published, best selling author Debra Parmley

Saturday, January 21st, 2017 11 am – 4 pm 
(includes an hour for lunch on your own)

Ervin Hypnosis Center – 2865 Summer Oaks, suite 100 Bartlett, TN 38134 (just outside Memphis)
$65 per person Energy Exchange

Debra will provide practical exercises and helpful information about the process and content of writing, as she shares from her personal experience to inspire those on the writing path. Come with your book ideas and leave with a valuable set of tools you can use daily to tackle common writing challenges and enrich the quality of words on the page to make your book a marketable success.

Do you have a book idea but no idea how to start?
Have you started but bogged down in the middle?
Are you having trouble finishing your book?
Do you have a finished first draft and no idea what to do with it?
Is your book finished but you’re unsure whether to self publish or to try to get in with a traditional publisher?
Are you full of questions and wish you could talk to an author trained in fiction, nonfiction and poetry who has experience writing and publishing? If so, this class is for you.

Bring your questions, a pen and notebook for note taking and writing exercises, and most of all – your idea, your book, which is ready to be born.

Best selling author Debra Parmley began her career in traditional publishing in 2008 and went on to publish with five publishing houses before opening her own Indie press in 2015. An award winning hybrid author with training in fiction, poetry and nonfiction, Debra brings a unique approach to her writing classes and seminars.

RSVP for this special experience to Madra Little at 901-827-0023 (call or text)
If you are on Facebook, here is the link to the event page. https://www.facebook.com/events/1762910250697759/

Jenna’s Christmas Wish by Debra Parmley Book Trailer

Santa, if there’s one thing I want for Christmas more than anything, it’s someone to spend Christmas with, not as an afterthought invitation because they feel sorry for me, but someone who really wants me to be there.

Romance author Jenna Heart is headed to the mountains of East Tennessee for a December writer’s workshop. Since her mother passed after a long illness, Jenna has had one wish: she doesn’t want to spend Christmas alone. Meeting Nicolo Maldini, cover model and actor, could make more than Jenna’s Christmas wish come true. If Ember Morten, Nicolo’s ex girlfriend doesn’t do something crazy to stop Jenna and Nicolo from being together.

Find our more at http://debraparmley.com/

Why Amazon Reviews are Vitally Important to Authors

Why are Amazon reviews and ratings so important to authors?reviews

These little gold stars and reviews are like gold for authors. Amazon reviews are vitally important to authors. Here’s why:

*25 reviews and Amazon starts in including the book in “also bought” and “you might like” lists to readers who might like to read it

*50 -70 reviews and Amazon will consider the book for spotlight positions and the newsletter.

Number of reviews may affect sales ranking and some websites won’t consider or promote your book unless you have a number of reviews on the page. Reviews help readers decide whether or not to buy you book so even a few reviews help, but if the book stays hidden in the mass of books on Amazon, readers may not see it to even be able to look and decide. With over 200,000 books on Amazon a good book can remain invisible for readers who would enjoy reading it, unless it garners enough reviews that Amazon will suggest the book to the reader.

Amazon’s system called A9 uses algorithms to place product rankings. An algorithm is a process of calculations by a computer. According to Amazon, more sales equals higher rankings. If the book is selling it is higher on the list. Verified purchase reviews count more toward the rankings of Amazon sales. You can still leave a review for a book you didn’t buy through Amazon. You can review anything on Amazon whether you purchased it there or not, if you have an account there.

Reviews with ‘likes’ count more toward rankings and algorithms. So while you are reading the reviews hit that ‘like” button. This will also help the good reviews rise to the top and the bad ones float to the bottom if there are no likes for the bad ones. It’s one way to counter the mean spirited reviewers who are out there. The ‘likes’ help the reviewers Amazon review stats and also helps the author with a higher-ranking review.

Amazon reviews are important! A review can be short. Anyone can write one in just five minutes. Writing a review is one of the biggest things you can do to help the author of the book you just enjoyed. So please, write a review!