The Rising of the Shield Hero Vol. 1 | Light Novel Review

Review of the light novel The Rising of the Shield Hero, Volume 1, by Aneko Yusagi.

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From the Back Cover:

Naofumi Iwatani, an uncharismatic Otaku who spends his days on games and manga, suddenly finds himself summoned to a parallel universe! He discovers he is one of four heroes equipped with legendary weapons and tasked with saving the world from its prophesied destruction. As the Shield Hero, the weakest of the heroes, all is not as it seems. Naofumi is soon alone, penniless, and betrayed. With no one to turn to, and nowhere to run, he is left with only his shield. Now, Naofumi must rise to become the legendary Shield Hero and save the world!

Strike the Blood Vol. 1 | Light Novel Review

Review for the light novel Strike the Blood, The Right Arm of the Saint, by Gakuto Mikumo

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From the Back Cover:

He never asked for this power.
Kojou Akatsuki used to be an ordinary high school boy–but that wasbefore he became the Fourth Primogenitor, the most powerful vampire of all time. Worse–he doesn’t even remember how it happened. Middle schooler Yukina Himeragi, meanwhile, is the Attack Mage sent to observe him–and to stop him if he gets out of control. But was it really a good idea to send a cute girl to observe a massively powerful vampire boy whose abilities activate whenever he gets aroused? And on an artificial island populated with all manner of demonic individuals, each with their own designs on the Fourth Primogenitor–?!

Kagerou Daze Vol. 1 | Light Novel Review

My review of volume 1 of the light novel series Kagerou Daze by Jin.

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From the Back Cover:

Shintaro Kisaragi is about to have a terrible day.

After two years of being an unemployed shut-in, Shintaro Kisaragi is forced out of his room and into the wide, uncaring world by a disastrous series of events involving his computer’s keyboard and a bottle of soda. What begins as a simple errand soon spirals out of control as his luck turns from bad to worse. It starts with a hostage situation and only gets weirder from there–and it turns out Shintaro Kirasagi isn’t the only person whose life is going to be changed forever this blistering summer afternoon!

Log Horizon Volume 2 | Light Novel Review

Review of the light novel, Log Horizon, Volume 2 by Mamare Touno.

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From the Back Cover:

Even though peace has seemingly been restored to Akiba, unrest churns beneath its surface. Learning that two of his students–the twins Tohya and Minori–have been bound to an unscrupulous guild, Shiroe makes his bid to bring order to the lawless streets. Are his band of handpicked veterans up to the task…?

Snow Crash Book Review

Book Review of Neal Stephenson’s Cyberpunk novel, Snow Crash

A book review on Neal Stephenson’s Cyberpunk novel, Snow Crash. This is a general review for the entire book with minimal spoilers (no worse than reading the book’s cover).

Snow Crash was nominated for both the British Science Fiction Award in 1993, and the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1994.

End Credit Music:
How It Begins Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Help an Indie Author Out

Let’s get something out of the way right now, I suck at marketing.

Sure, I read all the websites that promise their easy steps will tremendously boost my book sales. Tips like “find your audience” and “get involved with social media” do nothing for me.

The main reason I suck at marketing is because I don’t like it.

I see authors creating Facebook events for their book releases, blog tours, pimping their book every other tweet, they’re on message boards talking up their books, and offering all sorts of promos and freebies.

I go on those same social networks and post the cool article I found on little known facts about Return of the Jedi (this is the link BTW).

Sure, I post things on my website, and when a new book is coming out, or like the recent free promo for Revelation Game, I’ll do the odd post on Facebook or Twitter. But anything more than one or two makes me feel…Dirty.

Now, what I’m about to ask, it applies to all the indie authors you enjoy. Because all of us can use this exact same help. It’s only two simple things.

  1. Leave comments on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, wherever books are sold/discussed.
  2. Recommend the book to your friends who you think would like it.

Leaving Comments

I don’t need to explain this one to you. I mean, I buy books too. We hear about a book, or click on those “someone else looking at this purchased that” links, and almost immediately check out the comments.

When a book has lots of comments, I assume

  • It sells well
  • People are passionate about it.

And that’s not even counting what the comments say, or what the rating is.

Now I’m not saying you need to gush about the book. The best reviews are the ones that are balanced and honest. When I look at a book, I only look at the 2-4 star reviews. Because 1 star reviews generally hated the book so much I never get a sense of whether I might like it, and 5 star reviews love it so much, well, it’s the same thing.

Not that I would EVER turn down a 5 star review. Heck no. I’m super pleased when that happens. I’m just saying your views are valid, even if you didn’t totally hate, or love, the book.

To give you an idea of how few people comment; right now, on Amazon, Harbinger has 14 reviews. It’s not bad, and there are some great reviews. But this represents only about 0.5% of the people who have purchased Harbinger. Where are the others? What did all those other people think? Based on the number of copies of book two, Suture, that have sold, I’d say far more than only 0.5% enjoyed Harbinger.

So, knowing the importance of reviews, and how few people leave them, trust me, you are doing any author a huge favour by leaving a comment on their work. Not just for sales, but even to let them know how you felt about the work. I know I like hearing about it.

Tell Your Friends

I dream of being a “word of mouth” author. The thought that people would pass my book around, let friends check it out, is huge to me. That’s part of the reason I disabled DRM on my books.

When polls are done on how people found new authors, every single one I’ve seen puts “A friend recommended it to me” at the top. In the book industry, word of mouth has always been the most powerful selling tool. Hence why comments are so important. But hearing words of praise from a trusted friend, not just some random internet stranger, carries more weight.

If every review on Amazon hated a book, but my wife said she loved it and I would too, I would read the book. Because I trust her tastes and her knowledge of mine.

Shameless Begging

So hey, if you liked any of my works, go leave a comment somewhere, blog about it, tell some friends, and/or send me an email. Any and all of those are awesome.

If you want my participation in anything, send me an email or direct message on Twitter.

A Huge Thank You

To those who have taken the time to write comments, thank you. It’s because of you first, brave souls that my books have sold. And yeah, that includes even those who didn’t like the books, or found some faults with them.

Like I said, balanced comments are great.

So now that I’ve written this, I feel like I should be ashamed. I guess it’s because you’ve already done something great for me just by reading my book, or visiting this blog. You took time for my words, and in our time driven society, that’s pretty amazing. But I’m going to be strong and let this post live. And remember, all authors, especially lesser known ones, could use this help.

You might not realize how a few kind words about our books makes our day. Trust me, it’s powerful.

Thanks so much for checking this post out and giving it some consideration.

Talk to you again soon,

JR