Author: PHS

Speculative Fiction Author

Fantasy Authors Unplugged Featuring P. H. Solomon & Trading Knives

This is continuing feature on Archer’s Aim – Fantasy Authors Unplugged. I hope to frequently share an interview with a fantasy author. If you have authors to suggest and/or questions you’d like to see answered then leave a comment or send me an email. If you are a fantasy author and would like an interview please let me know and we’ll plan one that fits your schedule. Since I’ve run out of takers to be interviewed and the Brain to Books Blog Tour has ended, I’ll feature my own titles since this is release month for The Bow of Destiny.

The Bow of Destiny

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Trading Knives 1Featured Book: Trading Knives

This week, I’ll share some about the current free short story, Trading Knives. This story is a prequel to The Bow of Destiny which introduces one of the main antagonists in the novel, Corgren, who wants to gain the upper hand against his enemies. It’s a story that also serves to provide some background for the world of Denaria, specifically the region where some the conflict begins in the lands of Hart and Rok.

It’s always a risk to share a short story related to an upcoming novel, after all, if your work is not intriguing no one may give the book a chance. However, I tested the story on Wattpad and received positive feedback as well as tips on improvement. I then spent a few bucks on editing the story just to find all the holes and grammatical problems. So far, the book has been downloaded over a hundred times in less than a month and has received mainly good reviews on Amazon.

Blurb:

Corgren makes a living as a prize knife-fighter in the rough fighting rings along the Hart river. When a mysterious stranger offers him power to gain revenge on his enemies for his service, Corgren dismisses it as a con. But when the stakes are high against an opponent as skilled as himself, will Corgren accept offer?

What Is Needed 4What’s Next?

This week, I’m uploading the next prequel short story, What Is Needed, which focuses on another character appearing in The Bow of Destiny as well as revealing events that further set-up the plot of the novel. I hope to have it ready by Labor Day so look for that bit of news next week. Want to read it now – see the Wattpad version.

I’m putting the finishing touches on The Bow of Destiny now. Anyone interested in a pre-release copy for review, please contact me. A sample of the novel is in posted on Goodreads where you can also add it to your shelf to receive notice of publication. Also, links are posted below where you can place pre-release orders for The Bow of Destiny and download Trading Knives.

Additionally, I’m making a few blog and internet radio appearances throughout the next month or so including being featured on release day, 9/28/15, in the RRBC Back to School Blog & Book Block Party which is ongoing all month.

If you’re a fantasy author and would like to be interviewed for “Fantasy Authors Unplugged” just contact me via email or one of my social media channels and we’ll set one up.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events. You’ll receive my a FREE coupon for my short story e-book, The Black Bag which contains a sample chapter of The Bow of Destiny. You’ll also be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. Speaking of which, it is now available for pre-release orders on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks (via the iTunes app) & NOW Amazon – Kindle. Additionally, August’s free e-book: Trading Knives is now available on Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble & Amazon.

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Thumbs Up to Bad Reviews & Why You Should Let Them Go

thumbs up

Sorry for the delayed released of today’s post but I wanted to help support some fellow authors with reblogs and such this morning.

Back in the good old days of writing, authors had several things going for them. The writing platform was established by the existing publication, distribution and review channels. Sure an author had to show up to book-signings and do interviews but the platform they needed existed largely because of the paradigm of the publishing business.

For a self-publishing author, none of this platform exists. If you are handling publishing on your own, you must build the platform as the publisher and use available distribution to your best advantage according to your budget.

But when it comes to reviews that’s a different story. Back in the day, reviews were done by writers at various publications whose sole job was to read and review books. Those people still exist but they are hard to access mostly because they stick to top authors or established publishers. Otherwise, there are those who run their own reviews based on their tastes or readers express their opinion about the books they’ve read.

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So the review system for a self-published author is one largely based on promotion and the willingness of readers to share their opinions. The main issues with this are reader-discovery and the accuracy of reviews. While reader discovery is a tricky business, it does depend in part on reviews. However, reviews are not so easy to gain and the quality of opinion varies widely. The ability of a reviewing reader also falls into a wide range from someone who may not be a good literary judge to any great degree to those who are quite experienced in literary criticism and how it should be delivered.

To that end, a number of questions could be raised. Should you trust reviews at all? Why should you bother with reviews unless they are from known reviewers? What should you do with bad reviews? Here are a few of my thoughts on these questions for what they are worth (my thoughts, not the reviews).

You should trust and welcome all reviews as a whole – good, bad or otherwise. No, there won’t be accurate ones at either end of the spectrum, however those should balance out. Also, those reviews provide other readers with a balanced view as they decide whether to read your book. Additionally, reviews are what can fuel your sales since most books are sold by word of mouth.

However, what should you do with a bad review? First examine the review itself rather than being offended. Some bad reviews are based on legitimate concerns from the reader about quality – editing, structure, characterization and otherwise. Some people may not get what you’ve written and dismiss it out of hand with a negative opinion. This is fine too since it helps weed out readers based on interest – after all, you don’t want people who don’t like your genre continually giving bad reviews based on their lack of experience or taste with said genre.

In the end, bad reviews are delivered for any number of reasons but you should trust them – even those from people who are just being difficult for no reason. Why? Because the review system is organic and this day of self-publishing there are all kinds of people on the internet offering up their opinion. Since this is the case, you should expect most authors to have their share of unfounded, negative reviews and this is why you should trust the process AND negative reviews no matter if they are helpful or not.

Book Club Badge Suggestion copy (1)How do you get reviews? Well, there are a number of ways. First approach people who have given a favorable review of similar works to yours. You can offer the a free copy for an honest review. You can approach known reviewers, especially those within your genre, however you may wait a while for that to come back. You can also join a book club such as Rave Reviews Book Club where members review books. I’ve found my membership in this club to be very helpful in this regard since the members make every effort to provide each other with honest reviews. By the way, we are featuring authors all month on the Back to School Book & Blog Block Party!

So welcome all the reviews you can get. Work to gain more but also consider what’s being shared for ways to improve your writing. But don’t dwell on them too much or you’ll just be distracted from your writing. And don’t criticize the reviewer – you can’t win that battle so don’t even try.

How do you handle criticism? How do you find your reviewers? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events. You’ll receive my a FREE coupon for my short story e-book, The Black Bag which contains a sample chapter of The Bow of Destiny. You’ll also be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. Speaking of which, it is now available for pre-release orders on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks (via the iTunes app) & NOW Amazon – Kindle. Additionally, August’s free e-book: Trading Knives is now available on Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble & Amazon.

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The Lia Fáil

PHS:

For those who write Celtic-based fantasy, here’s some good background information.

Originally posted on Ed Mooney Photography:

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There is a shed load of different beliefs and opinions regarding one of Ireland’s oldest and best known stones. This is the Coronation Stone for many of the ancient High Kings of Ireland. It is said that when touched by the rightful King of Ireland the stone would let out a mighty roar. So not only did the Lia Fáil have the magical qualities to proclaim a rightful king, but it was also said to have the ability to rejuvenate the king and ensure that he had a long reign.  One legend tells of the heroic CúChulainn whom in a fit of rage cut the Lia Fáil in half with his sword when it did not roar for Lugaid Riab nDerg. After this the stone never roared again with the exception of Conn Cétchathach.

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Today it rest’s atop An Forradh (the Kings Seat) or Inauguration Mound within the…

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