Book Review – 5 Secrets of Story Structure by KM Weiland

5 Secrets of Story Structure: How to Write a Novel That Stands Out (Helping Writers Become Authors Book 6)5 Secrets of Story Structure: How to Write a Novel That Stands Out by K.M. Weiland

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
5 Secrets of Story Structure by KM Weiland covers off on the fundamentals of structuring a novel.
The Bad Stuff: If there is any bad advice in this book I couldn’t find it. My only qualm would be with the term ‘plot points’. In my opinion this term was a little vague and did not fit, but this is only my opinion and it is a minor thing considering the value of the content in this book.

The Good Stuff: This book is well presented and provides the formula for writing a good story in an easy to understand way. The content is very similar to Planning Your Novel by Janice Hardy, but presented in a slightly different format. From memory, I paid around $16.00 for the Janice Hardy book and I have no regrets, but this book by KM Weiland was free on Amazon and is just as insightful. Excellent value and a great book for anyone who needs to gain a better understanding of story structure.

This book will be of great use to those starting out with their writing and anyone who struggles with story structure. It will teach you the fundamentals of the structure required to write a good story in an easy to understand, tried and tested way. I’m giving it 4 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

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Book Review – Become an Amazon Keyword Master by Peter MacDonald

Become an Amazon Keyword Master - Maximize your Amazon Book SalesBecome an Amazon Keyword Master – Maximize your Amazon Book Sales by Peter MacDonald

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Become an Amazon Keyword Master by Peter MacDonald claims to show you how to increase your sales by using more effective keywords.

The Bad Stuff: I’m no expert on this topic, but I believe the author may be mis-informed on identifying keywords other people are searching on. The method described to find Amazons most popular keywords is, in my opinion, incorrect. I believe that when you search on Amazon, they provide you with search options tailored to your own interests and search history – Not the most popular searches by other people as suggested.

The Good Stuff: This book is well presented and does provide some useful information. It will give you a better understanding of search engine optimization, and the differences between Amazon and Google. While I believe the author is incorrect on the issue noted above, he still has a good grasp on maximising your keyword efficiency and there is merit in the method he uses.

I found this to be of some use and believe the methods described will be of benefit, even if I do disagree with the authors understanding of how to find optimal search words. I’m giving this one 2.5 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

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Book Review – Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie

Best Served Cold (First Law World, #4)Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Review – Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie is ultimately a story of revenge. Monzcarro Murcatto is betrayed by the man she has spent years elevating to a position of power. Strangled, stabbed, beaten and thrown down a mountain side clinging to life by a thread. All those involved will come to wish they had done the job right.

The Bad Stuff: Not for the faint hearted, there is blood, gore and treachery. A bad point if you don’t like these things.

The Good Stuff: There is blood, gore and treachery – and so much of it. Abercrombie’s style is so raw, so tough, so gritty, that for me it’s like a fine blue cheese – filled with everything rotten, but tastes so good and leaves you wanting more. The characters, as always, are so mean and so bad arse, yet so well developed that you can’t help but love them. If you’ve read Joe’s other books, there’s reference to characters like ‘The Bloody Nine’, ‘The Cripple’ and others, that make the memories come rushing back and have you thinking “Oh yeah, I remember that” or “Yep, that sounds like something they would say/do,”. I loved this book as much as his others and even though it follows the story of new and less explored characters, they became my new best friends.

Wow! How does Joe do it? How does he make you love such despicable characters? Set in the same world as the First Law Trilogy and continues the story of some of the characters I have come to love, building on their story, giving insights into how they became who they are.

This one gets a bone crunching, skull smashing 5 out of 5 golden bookmarks with a splash of blood for good measure.

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Book Review – Self Publishing Books 101 by Shelly Hitz and Heather Hart.

Self-Publishing Books 101: A Step-by-Step Guide to Publishing Your Book in Multiple FormatsSelf-Publishing Books 101: A Step-by-Step Guide to Publishing Your Book in Multiple Formats by Shelley Hitz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Review – Self-Publishing Books 101 by Shelley Hitz and Heather Hart.
Self-Publishing Books 101 by Shelley Hitz and Heather Hart comes with the tag line: A Step-by-Step Guide to Publishing in Multiple Formats. It will walk a beginner through what they need to know to publish their own work.

The Bad Stuff: I didn’t really find anything bad with this book. The only thing it didn’t really cover is how to format your work professionally yourself, but then why would it. After all, this isn’t a book on formatting. It does tell you how you can format your work using word though and gives you the options you have if you don’t want to do it yourself. I personally do not use this method, but have considered it. I’m not sure if my way is any better and I dare say that the method provided works well enough, as I know that there are a lot of authors doing it this way.

The Good Stuff: This book is well written and informative. It does everything it promises to do and covers off on more than I expected. I would certainly recommend this book to any writers that want to publish, or are publishing their own work. There is some great advice and some useful links provided within this book. I have self-published my own work and I still got some information out of this. Considering it was free on Amazon when I stumbled across it (and may still be free), it is excellent value.

I found this to be a very informative book and wish I had read this when I started out in self-publishing. There is a wealth of information within the pages of this book and it is written in layman’s terms that are easy to understand. I’m giving this one 4 out of 5 golden bookmarks based on value and content.

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Book Review – Book Reviews by Alex Foster

Book Reviews: How to get reviews quickly with the methods used by publishers and professional writersBook Reviews: How to get reviews quickly with the methods used by publishers and professional writers by Alex Foster

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book reviews by Alex Foster, comes with the tag line: How to get reviews quickly with the methods used by publishers and professional writers. It provides advice on how to gain reviews that comply with Amazon’s guidelines.

The Bad Stuff: Some of the techniques listed here may have complied with Amazon’s guidelines when the book was written, but Amazon’s policies continually change and I do not believe all methods are acceptable any longer.

The Good Stuff: This is an informative book and will help you gain reviews if you follow some of the advice. There are definitely some good tips and ideas here, some you can use straight off the cuff, but others you will need to adapt or dismiss to comply with Amazon’s rules.

Personally, I did not find this book particularly useful. However, if you are just starting out and trying to gain some reviews, there is some good information in here. You will need to be careful that you do not apply any outdated techniques though, as it notes in this book, Amazon can be quite strict on authors that do not follow their guidelines. I’m giving this one 3 out of 5 golden bookmarks based on its usefulness to those that are not very well informed on this topic.

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Last Chance!

darkness-in-shadows-cover-large-title-for-ebook

Tomorrow is the final day to get your free copy of “Darkness In Shadows” from Sci-Fi and Scary. If you don’t want to miss out, head over to the  Sci-Fi and Scary site now.