Sunday, August 25, 2013

10 Steps to Writing an Amazon Book Review



Once you or a friend has a book on Amazon, one thing that helps people make the decision to purchase it is the reviews. Not all reviews will be the same, but here are some steps to make sure that you include key information.
1. Review the correct book. Guess what? There are a lot of books with the same title, so check the author to ensure you are reviewing correct book. You may even want to make sure you are reviewing the correct edition if there are multiples.
2. Log into your account. You have to be logged into your own Amazon account in order to write a review. This helps Amazon make sure their reviews are legitimate.
3. Don’t summarize the plot. Most Amazon books already have a synopsis of the storyline. No need to reiterate this information in your review.
4. Keep it concise. Most people when reading reviews on Amazon, won’t read lengthy reviews so keep yours to under 250 words.
5. Keep it positive. While there are poorly written books out there, if you’re trying to help a friend, make sure to focus on the positive aspects of the book you’re reviewing.
6. Discuss the writing style. Was it written as a first person narrative or third person? How does the author tell the story or make the point they are driving at?
7. State your opinion. In the end, a book review is your view of the book. It’s okay to be subjective about the content and writing style.
8. Save it locally. Write your review and save it in your word processing software first. This lets you edit the file and check spelling before uploading it.
9. Write a catchy title. If nothing else, this will state your opinion and get people to read the rest of your review. Remember, you’re competing with a lot of internet traffic.
10. Comment on the additional book matter. Check the index, any maps and illustrations. Do they add to the story?


Nancy E. Randolph operates Just Write Books, a publishing business with the tag line: Maine books by Maine authors telling Maine stories. Randolph quickly developed a reputation as a publisher of quality Maine books. An active community member along with two others she founded and serves as a member of the board of Save Our Swinging Bridge.Org to ensure the maintenance of the historic Roebling designed and built bridge connecting Topsham and Brunswick. She co-chairs with Cathy Lamb the Androscoggin Brunswick-Topsham Riverwalk project--building a 2K walking/biking intown loop. To contact her directly: jstwrite@jstwrite.com

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sunday, August 11, 2013

10 Steps to Preparing Your Manuscript for Typesetting



The formatting of your manuscript is very important when preparing it for typesetting. While your publisher will most likely do most of these tasks, you can make their job easier to take care of a few basic things in your document.
1. Remove all double spaces after a period. This practice is leftover from the days of typewriters and monospace fonts. Now it is not needed any longer. You can do a Google search for many articles that will explain the history in more detail if you’re interested.
2. Spell out your numbers. All number under 100 should be spelled out. Forty-eight not 48.
3. Remove all the st, th and nds after numbers in sequence. As people read, they naturally add these sounds as needed to the document.
4. Remove super and subscripts. These will be formatted during the typesetting process.
5. Spell out all abbreviations and acronyms. Avoid confusing by your reader with unknowns. If it something will be mentioned multiple times, you can always use acronyms after the first use.
6. Don’t use jargon. If you’re writing about an industry that uses a lot specific terminology, either find other terms that work or explain them.
7. Remove extraneous formatting. Remove all tabs and multiples spaces and formatting. This will be handled during the typesetting phase.
8. Use page numbers. Use the page numbering function to add page numbers to your document. This helps with the editing process and the typesetting.
9. Be consistent how you handle states. Whether you abbreviate the states or spell them out, use the same methodology throughout your entire document.
10. Separate your document into chapters. Come up with good spots to divide your work. Number or name your chapters and come up with a good plan to follow.


Nancy E. Randolph operates Just Write Books, a publishing business with the tag line: Maine books by Maine authors telling Maine stories. Randolph quickly developed a reputation as a publisher of quality Maine books. An active community member along with two others she founded and serves as a member of the board of Save Our Swinging Bridge.Org to ensure the maintenance of the historic Roebling designed and built bridge connecting Topsham and Brunswick. She co-chairs with Cathy Lamb the Androscoggin Brunswick-Topsham Riverwalk project--building a 2K walking/biking intown loop. To contact her directly: jstwrite@jstwrite.com

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Author Talks: Margaret Cruikshank



Margaret (Peg) Cruikshank
We took a moment to catch up with Margaret Cruikshank about her writing and what has influenced it.

JWB: When did you start writing?
Cruikshank: In college, in the early 1960s. I was first published in 1973, a book review in the Minneapolis Tribune.

JWB: What are some of the themes that you return to regularly in your writing?
Cruikshank: Feminist and lesbian themes primarily and since 2000, themes of ageism and empowerment of elders, especially of women.

JWB: What one event shaped your writing?
Cruikshank: Coming out as a lesbian in the mid-70s and moving to San Francisco.

JWB: What are three of your favorite books to reread?
Cruikshank: Middlemarch by George Elliot, Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse.

JWB: Any advice for young authors?
Cruikshank: Publishing is in a state of upheaval. The future is hard to predict. Aim higher than vanity publishing on Amazon.

JWB: What are you currently working on?
Cruikshank: I’m writing lectures on American literature by black women and American Indian women for an American studies program in Austria where I will be team teaching. I am co-editing a special issue of the Journal of Lesbian Studies on old lesbians.

Author Bio
Margaret (Peg) Cruikshank has written about women’s issues since 1975. She taught English, gay/lesbian studies, and women’s studies for many years at City College of San Francisco. She retired from the University of Maine in 2011 and continues as a faculty associate of the Center on Aging. Learning to be Old: Gender, Culture and Aging, is now in its third edition. Cruikshank also edited an anthology of literature about aging, Fierce with Reality (2007). She has been awarded two senior Fulbright grants.