Thursday, 15 December 2016

Review of the Year '16

This year has been good. Let's start, as always, with the books.


Indie Book of the Year



This was an easy choice for me. Out of all of the indie books that I have read this year, All Roads Lead to Terror was the one.

I don't read a huge amount of zombie fiction, but this was amazing. The characters were solid, and the story still sits with me today.

Richard Schiver is one hell of a writer and deserves more recognition.

Buy links and review here: http://filingwords.blogspot.com/2016/02/review-all-roads-lead-to-terror.html


Novel of the Year



I've only just read this, but damn, it's good. Probably running head long towards one of the finest novels I've ever read. It's clear that Wendig is a superior writer, and not just a nice guy.

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Blackbirds-Miriam-Black-Chuck-Wendig/dp/148144865X/

It pretty much secures best cover, as well.

Notable Mentions
(click for Amazon)








I could list here all the awesome people, but I shall not. Some people, however, that have gone above and beyond:

Cindy Hernandez, Richard Schiver, Brieanna Robertson, Eden Royce, Kody Boye, Elisha Neubauer, and Jessica Baumgartner (mostly because she's fucking mad.)












This year, hat's off for European Geeks Publishing, and their imprint Eleventh Hour Literary Press. Witches and Strange have both done very well, selling consistently, and Eleventh Hour is on the verge of releasing A Night at the Dream Theater.
















And me? Well, we bought a house. That's a novel within itself, and one I feel I'll be writing for a few years...

But on writing? I have the first Short/Cut coming out at the end of the month, Rise of Valor, the last part of The Devil's Hand series in March(ish), with a paperback compendium of the whole series, and the second Short/Cut in June(ish). I've finished the novel Trinity, done and edited and I'm about to throw another novel onto the pile of done ones (the first in a series of novels).

So. Busy, busy.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Critical Review.

I read a very disturbing conversation on social media this morning. An indie author, who had read another indie author's book wasn't happy with it, for what I understood to be valid reasons (quality of writing, editing, etc), and had gone on social media with the question:

What do I do?

The question eluded to the review. Should the author leave a bad review or not?

This directly relates to more and more posts I'm putting on here. Remember my last post? Where I talked about the slurry filled pool of bloated rubbish that was ending up on Amazon because no one had any pride?

It really helps when a percentage of your peers advise you not to leave a bad review. 

Largely, the conversation had about a quarter of people saying to leave a good review anyway (!), a quarter saying to ask the author if they wanted a bad review or not, a quarter saying to not leave any review, and the last quarter saying to leave a bad, but constructive, review.

And there's me sitting in the corner.

Weeping for the industry.

If a book has problems then a review should critique those problems. It should address the issues of the reader and constructively address them. 

Or alternatively, look at the other side. If you make something public like, I don't know, your writing, then perhaps you should expect criticism.

And don't blame the person criticizing you if the crit is valid.

You see, constructive criticism helps the author. Even if they don't know it. Yet. Because as an author learning to take criticism constructively is another skill to be mastered. But it improves the writing.

You know. It HELPS.


Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Facing Down Quality (...or is that pride?)

This is little more than a rant, really, so do as you will.

I've just opened Amazon, gone to the Kindle books section, Science Fiction and Fantasy, opened the first book I saw that was published today (29th Nov). It was the third book in a series. It already has two 5 star reviews.

There is a grammatical error on the first line. The. First. Line.

*sigh*

And an obvious one too.

I know that nobody is perfect, but really? It's through a publishing house. One who claims to be "providing editing, proofreading". Where has the quality gone? Or is it something else? As a great man once said, "...you might feel a slight sting. That's pride fucking with you. Fuck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps."




You know what? I'm proud of my writing. And I'm not sorry to be. I try to make the quality of it as high as it can be. At least as high as I can make it.

So which is it? Quality, or pride?

Quality

Quality is hard to get right. Writing is a minefield. We all understand that. Mistakes occur. But it's too much, too often. I self-edit, of course. And I miss things. I also have an editor these days. A good one. My self published work is going out now as close to professional as I can make it.

The immediate cry is that editors cost money. They do. But there are other methods of identifying problems with work. Exchange with others and beta read each others work. I used to do that. Join a writing group and meet once a week. I used to do that. Read your own work out loud. Done that. Read it again and again and again.

Which all sounds really obvious, and of course, anyone can do it. So why aren't they?

Pride

Little bit of the "who gives a shit" syndrome. I wrote it, I stuck it on Amazon. Who cares?

And that is becoming a problem.

The market is now saturated with unedited, sometimes unreadable...well, shite.

So what are we going to do?

The simple answer is that if you aren't really invested in being an author, then write whatever you want - just don't put it up for sale. But that won't happen, will it? If someone makes a buck from their word diarrhea, of course they're going to put it up for sale.

No. The answer will come from the readers. The answer comes in the form of a stinking great leather boot.

They'll stop buying. Stop buying anything that isn't from a trusted source. Indie publishers, self published work...it'll die.

Then we're all in buckets of shite.

So pick up your game before it's too late.

Pride doesn't, after all, come before a fall. Lack of does.



Friday, 28 October 2016

The Halloween Sale of Rebecca Besser!





Undead Drive-Thru for Kindle is on sale until Oct. 31st.

Buy it here: US / UK


Undead Regeneration for Kindle is on sale until Oct. 31st.

Buy it here: US / UK




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Nurse Blood for Kindle is on sale Oct. 28th-31st. #StrangeAuthors #13DaysofHalloween #NurseBlood

Buy it here: US / UK










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Twisted Pathways of Murder & Death will be free for Kindle on Oct. 31st & Nov. 1st for #AllHallowsRead!

Buy it here: US / UK











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Cursed Bounty, a zombie western will be free for Kindle on Oct. 31st & Nov. 1st for #AllHallowsRead!

Buy it here: US / UK










The Author



Rebecca Besser resides in Ohio with her wonderful husband and amazing son. They've come to accept her quirks as normal while she writes anything and everything that makes her inner demons squeal with delight. She's best known for her work in adult horror, but has been published in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for a variety of age groups and genres. She's entirely too cute to be scary in person, so she turns to the page to instill fear into the hearts of the masses.

Find out more about her:
Website: http://rebeccabesser.com/
Blog:rebeccabesser.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorRebeccaBesser/
Twitter: @BeccaBesser
Instagram: @BeccaBesser

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Losing Yo Shit vs Perseverance.

Say after me: "I, insert your name here, do solemnly swear to have a social media platform on which to do social media things. I shall, unless told otherwise, share only a small amount of my writery shit on my personal page, and I shall have an authory page to constantly post my writery shit on. I shall ask people to like my authory page, so as to gain a following, but not do it in a dickish manner. And lo, my books may be sold by the grace of a higher power, and my unending ability to keep writing."

***

Authors and writers need to stop losing their shit. It's to the stage now where I can see foul things in the street, and internally monologue about how I found such-and-such's shit.

A typical example is that an author has released a book and no one is buying it, reading it, or reviewing it. Let's then take to social media and start finger pointing. Throw it in the bin. Stop working on it. Why do I bother?

Lose shit.

Lose friends.

In the distant twinkle of my eye, I was called out during an exchange of ideas by someone accusing me of having "made it". 

No, my impatient friend, I have not made "it". I'm so far away from making "it", I can't even see "it" in the distance. Making "it" is a still a dream. 

But through your narrow, accusatory vision, it looks like I have because I haven't stopped trying. I haven't stopped learning. I don't always talk about it. I'm just there in the background. Trying. I persevere. I grow. I write. I put out work, even if no one is reading it. 

Because one day they will. 

If I promised a sequel to a book it's getting a sequel. The two people who bought my book deserve that sequel. If no one bought it, it's still getting a sequel. 

I'm not a professional author. I write to write. To dream. To fulfill my wants and needs. The people losing their shit are not professional authors. They never will be. 

And every rant, every shit storm, every finger pointed, is another reader lost. And if you only sold two copies? You're down 50%.

BAM. Math, Shit-Stormers.


Monday, 19 September 2016

Short/Cuts: Coming Soon

The "Short/Cut" releases are a step into diversification of genre and style.

Coming soon, from Mark Taylor, Author of the Macabre, is a new series of releases stepping away from the traditional. Each release will fall away from his usual brand of horror and fantasy. 

The first is a charged drama, a young woman pushed to the edge of excesses. A woman who needs to fight. 

COMING SOON





Tuesday, 13 September 2016

A good product should be a story, not a book.

For the last two years I have read nothing but indie. I love indie writing. It can be different. It can go new places without fear. It can take that extra step, go that extra mile.

You see, I love the step up. I write it myself. Something different, something that's not mainstream.

But I have issue.

Now, and not for the first time, I have found issue with the indie author's product.

I'm not talking about the story.

I'm talking about the product.

And it keeps happening.

No matter how good the story is, no matter how wonderful the writing is, the product has to be solid. And for the first time in two years I have abandoned my kindle and picked up a big five paperback. Not for the story, but for the product.

I'm a little tired of having to try when I read a novel. I'm tired of having to stop and think. I shouldn't have to wonder if that is a spelling mistake or not. I shouldn't have to forgive the basic grammatical errors. Because for every one I wonder about, or every one I forgive, I'm a little more distracted. I've been taken from the magic, the storytelling, the wonderment of the writers word, and I'm back, sitting cross-legged on the bed with a book, not in a story.

And when the number of times it happens add up, the story becomes more and more a book.

Until it is no more a story, a place, a feeling, but it is only words on a kindle.

And my grammar is not good. I'm not talking about professional editing services. I'm talking about spell check. I'm talking about basic, pre-teen punctuation. Close off your speech correctly. Put in your periods.

And don't make me say this:

If you don't care about your product,
why should I? 

The book that caused me to do this was good, but the memory of the story will fade, as even now I remember less of the journey, and more of the mistakes. Will I pick the book up again and try to read it again?

Perhaps.

I would be nice to see it edited again, by the author, the author's SO, a friend, a colleague. It didn't need much, and I would have continued reading. 

My work isn't perfect by any means, but I try to put out a solid product. When I put work out that raises comments about the product, the quality, the next piece of work goes out better. 

I get better, my work gets better. 

But not everyone is like that, and it has to stop, before the indie market takes another blow (like it doesn't get enough of them).