martes, 8 de mayo de 2018

Save the Cocky!

I just can't friggin' believe the absurdity of it all.

If you haven't tuned into Twitter or you have been living under a rock (or a hill, or a Siberian gulag... whatever), there is a huge dramafest going on because a romance author named Faleena Hopkins has somehow got a trademark approved of a common use word of the English Language used in a stolen copyrighted font (yes, somebody in the US government approved her to take over the word cocky, I am serious) and has now started a witch hunt.

First she sent cease & desist letters to authors that wrote romance books with the word Cocky somewhere in the title (and not only to books published after the trademark petition, she has gone so far as books that were published as much as 5 years before!), and now Amazon has pulled out books without requesting authors to change the book title.

Her lawyers? It seems like her powerful legal team consists of a mysterious website that doesn't work and the law firm was founded by an author of a book I haven't even heard of before. It's so weird.

Obviously, when you piss off a bunch of well-meaning authors with such a ridiculous threat, hell burns loose and now she's pretty much alienated herself from the writing community and even people that previously read & enjoyed her books a long time before any of this mess happened.

The graphics artist whose typography was used has confirmed the trademark has infringed on his own creation (thus pretty much voiding it right there and setting her for a lawsuit she will likely lose), has just gotten a huge following of fans. He seems like a really cool guy who was thrown into this mess while he was on vacations.

Credit for photo: Pajiba.com

And while people are slamming and public shaming her online, last night she uploads this incoherent tirade on facebook live where she claims to be a minority (hey, I'm hispanic myself and look paler than a ghost so I'll give her the benefit of the doubt on that weird claim), she claims to be descended of slaves (I don't know what distant family history has anything to do with her ruining her own writing career but whatever), and then she has the audacity to pretty much make fun of autism.

Don't believe me? Watch the video!


It's just... too... much... drama!

You think I've gone cuckoo?

Maybe I have....


Before this whole dramafest started, she has answered perfectly valid negative Amazon reviews, and not a thank you note, I mean talking back at the reviewer. This is one of the biggest things that authors aren't supposed to do. It has ruined the careers of many authors. If you can't handle a bad review, either don't read it or don't be an author. I have a 1 star review of one of my books which was fully valid (the review wasn't posted on either Amazon or Goodreads but on another website) and I politely thanked the reviewer for taking their time.


If all of this wasn't enough, she has somehow called Amazon and Goodreads to start massively deleting all sorts of reviews that aren't even of her books just because they include the word "Cocky" in them.

Yes, I am serious.

This calls for action!!!

Support authors whose books have been affected by the mess, read the competition such as this jem:


I read one of her books just for fairness sake and didn't like it that much. The writing simply wasn't good at all. I simply don't understand why her books have so many 5 star reviews.

All in all, even though I don't write romance novels, I am following this closely because maybe someday, some narcicisstic looney might somehow trademark a common use word of the English language of the fantasy genre and me or a huge other array of authors I am friends with could be affected.

For now, I'm going to be on a tantrum stating the forbidden word:

Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky, Cocky...

Better!

lunes, 19 de marzo de 2018

Magical Reality massive giveaway!

My book is participating in a massive multi fantasy ebook giveaway via Instafreebie between 9th of March 2018 till April 6th 2018.

So far I have been greeted with over 50 download in just 5 days!!! I really hope my new subscribers give the book a chance and *hopefully* review it.

There are quite a lot of other book participating (I subscribed to one of the lists because one of the books interested me hehe), maybe you'll find something you'll enjoy.

Check it out HERE!

sábado, 17 de marzo de 2018

Harlequin steel

I'm still alive BTW. I haven't updated this blog in... 6 weeks, not that I get a lot of readers anyways.

I'm currently very busy with my regular job so my writing hobby has been left to a standstill.

I would like to write a brief comment about harlequin steel. These amazing swords are hinted in the 5th novel A Calamity by Tioja who explains that a deceased member of his clan named Nurran created weapons that were nearly as strong as true harlequin steel. Tioja brought two spears that were forged by a long lost technique to the final battle for Ayrtain and they proved to enhance the demonic earth magic of Adinjandanir and Murghtada.

While they didn't make a fully lasting dent in the battle, in the very least the two elves easily created an earth dome to separate Kumar's army so that they could fight against Leilandy without interruption. By enhancing her sorcery, Froylan even felt tempted to invite Murpghtada to the guard... an offer that she obviously wasn't very pleased with.

We don't get to see a true harlequin sword until the 6th novel Quandary when Tioja visits his secret bunker and retrieves a strange green sword that once belonged to Lord Jarahad. By returning the cursed sword to Gulraj, Tioja will start to move a plan that affects the unfinished 7th novel...

These swords are both nearly impossible to destroy and harbor strange sorcery that only a swordsman with harlequin blood can fully wield. Good battles featuring these swords await in the 7th novel and while I have not yet revealed how they are made, the forging is done by powerful magic that only a specially trained pureblood harlequin can perform...

sábado, 10 de febrero de 2018

Revamping my goodreads reading list

I not only write as a hobby, I also love to read books. And as an indie author, I know fullhand how insanely hard it is to get unbiased reviews which could include very useful honest criticism. Even harder, to get the highly coveted Amazon review because depending on the # of reviews your book gets, the online store will up your rankings and might even help you promote your book without having to move a finger.

Oh, and if that is not enough, Amazon reviews are pivotal to set your foot in the door in order to get a highly desirable Bookbub paid promotion. You need a bare minimum of 100 Amazon reviews minimally of all of your books combined, ideally of the book you want to vy for a promotion. The promotion costs you an arm & a leg (not literally, but almost in money terms), but every author that has done it gains an insane amount of new reads and sales. I've never heard of an author that has done a promo claim the money spent was a waste.

My TBR list is pretty large (but still meager in comparison to a lot of readers out there). One thing that I have been doing is uploading every book from my kindle to my goodreads account along with every ARC ebook I have on my computer. I have found a few interesting things:

1) My full TBR list is around 430 books and has been diminishing over the past few months because I attempt to read whatever I can during my scant free time.
2) I have some books both on my kindle AND as ARC copies which drops that TBR list a few notches.
3) I found today a few books both on my kindle and ARC copies that are current and past participants of the SPFBO contest. I am trying to put a bit more urgency towards reading all of the SPFBO books that I can. Judges and readers alike have comented that the 2017 batch has been unusually good which means that I know that those books will be worth my time. I was pleasantly surprised to know that this year's current finalist Tiger Lily is one of my ARC copies! Yaay! I haven't read any of the 10 finalists yet so it will be fun to read this book soon.
4) I deleted two short story books from my kindle because they no longer exist on amazon and had a pretty much impossible time finding them on goodreads either. The list is big as it is, why waste my time reading a book that I'll be unable to review anyways?
5) I'm glad that I organized things a little because I also did something new: I created two separate lists for really short books that are under 50 pages, under 200 pages and lastly but not least, another ticked box for books with 20 or less reviews. As an author, I know that it's insanely hard to cross the 20 review barrier and some books on my TBR have 0 reviews!
I kind of like doing this organization because now, I have realized I have 30 books that are 50 pages or less. Those books are indeed super quickies and while I've had a lot of 3 star experiences with short stories, I have read a small amount that are 5 stars in my biased opinion. Oh, and now that I know which of these are the super quickies, I can read a bunch of them in a day and get them out of the way. If I can slice the TBR list to around 350 in a short amount of time, that will be great. Even better, some of these quickie books have almost no reviews. Extra bonus!

So now, I will be reading those quickie short books in order to delete them from my harddrive and kindle to free space. I will be continuing on reading whatever spfbo books available with a certain degree of urgency, just 53 unread books waiting to be read.

Will I ever create a book review blog? I don't know. I don't want to do that in this blog because I want to try to focus more on my own fantasy book series. Plus, the real biggie for authors is the amazon and GR reviews. So far I've never had someone cruising on my blog to ask me to read and review their book, but now you at least know where my TBR list sort of stands.

Feel free to check my Goodreads profile HERE and see for yourself. Maybe one of the books I praised might be of your interest or something.

sábado, 27 de enero de 2018

A magnificent review of An Ominous Book 2, Separation


This is a new review of the second Ominous Book 2 Separation that is being featured by a prominent blogger/reviewer, Jeyran Main:

"Separation is an epic young adult fantasy novel. It is book two of the An Ominous Book. In the second book, the story focuses on Richard and Spaulding. Richard has to face the fact that all of his family have been deceased and he is only left with his sister and his cousin. Spaulding is imprisoned and is being tortured until he confesses what he knows about the Ayrtainian Family.
The second book certainly takes a darker turn, and more scenes turn the nature of the story into a tenser situation. The pace of the story was steady, and the quality of the storyline was just as good as the first book.
In case you wish to read what I thought of the first book, you can click on the link below.
The story was still fun to read, and the author once again uses her creativity in describing the plot in such a way that was very suitable for its genre. I found Spaulding’s situation to be very interesting and constantly wanted to know what is going to happen to him.
I believe the author has enough material to add more sequels to this story and consequently induce more depth to the descriptiveness of the world built. The fantasy nature of the storyline could then intensify, and that alone would be a standout novel to read.
I recommend this book for young adult readers.
Written by Jeyran Main"
The original review is featured HERE.
Are you curious to read the darkest of all of the novels of my fantasy book series?
Check it at Amazon HERE!

domingo, 14 de enero de 2018

An interesting intake I'm getting from reviews

We all formulate something different after reading a book and what one person might consider to be a masterpiece, another review will call it rubbish. Just look at Tolkien novels and you will find plenty of 1 star reviews claiming the books wander around too much with flowery writing. I myself didn't like the filler Tom Bombadil chapter in The Fellowship of the Ring but I otherwise enjoyed the book.

While I loved reading Harry Potter (I chugged the 7th novel in less than 11 hours of binge reading which merely proves how good the book was), I detested the 5th novel and was overly generous by granting it a 3 star rating on Goodreads (mainly because I loved Dolores's character). The 5th novel suffered from too much filler, too much Harry's internal ramblings regarding Snape's private occlumency classes and a painfully slow pace. The book could have easily been a 4 star read if an editor had given J.K. a candid chat claiming that she needed to trim the fat a little bit.

I've reviewed a lot of books and some authors were surprised by some of the things I observed. It's also one of the reasons why authors really, really love getting reviews for their books. They not only get more visibility (Amazon starts granting you serious marketing power if your book has at least 50 legit reviews and the all mighty Bookbub site *might* accept your petition for a 1 day promo if you have a minimum of 100 Amazon reviews).

While getting a Bookbub deal is a huge (and a mightily worthwhile bang for your buck marketing feat), reviewers might see something else about the story that you haven't.

I have gotten some comparisons of my novel with Tolkien. And it's not because of the prose (I doubt I could ever reach Tolkien level), but more because of how they compare Spaulding to Frodo whose life turns upside down when they are dragged on an unwanted adventure that changes them due to something that shows up on their doorstep on the first chapter.

So far I have gotten two reviews that actually enjoy the breeze of fresh air that the child protagonists have no mystical prophecy or that they are innately special. For most of the first book, Richard and Nelida are just ordinary humans without any innate talent. Richard eventually learns how to summon his phantom beast but the endless hurdles thrown into the plot make it impossible for him to further his training. Nelida is on a separate realm of her own between being completely incompetant and the most terrifying mage in the entire story. Herb on the other hand shows enthusiasm but he never learns sorcery despite his best efforts.

The subsequent novels are vastly different in the sense that the children grow older and Spaulding becomes a more constant character in the story.

I also find it to be interesting that Froylan is universally detested. He's a main character that appears in every novel that is a mixture between awesome, terrifying, hateful and yet even funny at times.

Even though my book was killed off in the first round of the SPFBO contest and I currently don't have any other novels that could qualify for the 2018 contest (sequel novels don't qualify and I only have a few partially written novellas), I have found a lot of new books that I have attempted to read in my spare time, enjoyed hanging around in the sidelines of some discussion boards and surprisingly had my book chosen to be read and reviewed by a highly respected fantasy blogger. To get my book reviewed by two of the top fantasy blogs with mostly positive comments is thrilling.

I hope more readers that are into Young Adult will take a look at my work and see if the mostly positive feedback I've gotten so far is merited. ;)

My book on Goodreads

martes, 9 de enero de 2018

One easy way to promote your books

I'm lazy, I know.

Putting that aside, ever since I created a mailing list, I am quite surprised that I have subscribers in some rather unusual countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, Indonesia, The Phillipines and even Botswana of all places!

Everytime I send a letter to my growing list, at least one of the South African subscribers find the time to read them.

Now, I seldom sell books outside of the US but I do have some Latin American readers that oddly enough prefer to read the original English version of my novel. I still don't regret spending a grueling month translating my own novel to Spanish. Getting a 97,000 word novel translated to another language costs quite a lot of money (it's a tiresome task) and then the translator rightfully has a voice in the royalty rights. Either you pay them a hefty sum for a one time offer or enter a multi year contract where the translator gets a cut of the royalties and then after the set amount of years, the royalties fully return to you. I also like the fact that the translated book was also copyrighted in Mexico. Better safe than sorry.

Believe it or not, I have the second novel with a rough translation, but I haven't finished that task so therefore it isn't copyrighted and much less published. I haven't really gotten to that task mainly due to time constraints.

Now, indie authors don't typically have a huge budget and you usually learn as you go while you stumble... a lot.

One thing that many indie authors don't know when they publish on Kindle Amazon is that they can get an Author webpage that shows a kitchy photo, a short bio and at least the US site allowed you to sync your blog. You can then glue all of your books in one place and make it easier for customers to locate you. The process only takes a few minutes and even if you don't know how many readers you'll reach with it, it doesn't hurt to do so either.

One thing I have been stalling for a long time and I have *finally* done is to open an Author Central for the other Amazon country stores that include the service: UK, Germany, France and Japan. I have some experience editing web search databases and being requested to help with foreign language categories so I didn't find the task of setting up my bio, books and photo on the German and French sites to be hard at all.

Amazon Japan asked me to create a new Amazon account. I had a few extra hurdles to jump, but at the end my novels finally have a little bit of a Japanese presence. I always find it curious that I don't have Japanese fans despite the fact that I initially got a lot of the ideas of my book when I visited Nara which is a 40 minute train trip from Osaka. Maybe pasting a face next to the novels will change that.

My Amazon Author Central site in Japanese

Now, I know that China is the second largest reading market in the world after the US. At 1 billion citizens, that's a huge untouched market. The issue of course is that most Chinese don't speak English and I don't speak Mandarin.

There is an interesting website that skips the book agent madia called Fiberead that offers a translation of your novel and pitches it to Chinese publishers. They retain 70% of the royalties but in exhcnage, they pitch your book to a market that more than likely you wouldn't have even bothered to tap anyways due to the cultural and language barrier. I haven't requested them to check my books to see if they are willing to give it a go (mainly because of the scant amount of Amazon reviews. If I had at least 20 reviews, that would give me some serious street cred to give this a shot).

However, if you are already an author that is starting to have a real following, you should give this website a shot. I haven't checked their site for over a year, but they commented once that they were thinking about offering someday a similar service for the Japanese market. Now, the idea of having my novels in Japanese sould sound really slick and definitely sweet.

If you are curious, just check the website below and give it a shot!

Click here to visit Fiberread

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Before I leave, I wonder if there is a similar service for other major languages such as German, French or Hindi...