Do video book trailers work, and how do you make one?

I have been questioning the impact of video trailers on book sales for some time. I’ve seen some very good trailers – usually with specially shot video – and some very poor ones where scrolling text describes the whole story for seemingly endless minutes. I played around a bit with some utility apps that I had on my Mac (and I do love messing around with software), but I really didn’t know where to start. I checked out Animoto – a free app – but although it was quick and easy I didn’t really like the fact that I had no control at all, and with little more than the cover of my book to work with, it just didn’t seem to deliver – so I temporarily gave up. However, I was impressed with the impact that a good trailer could have when I went to one of S J

The ongoing saga of the dodgy review.

Some months ago, I was moved to write a post about fake reviews. I got quite a stroppy comment from one reader who said s/he was fed up with authors telling readers about fake reviews, and we should trust people to have the common sense to be able to spot the fake reviews. Frankly, I was embarrassed that I may have caused offence, and I took the post down. And now I wish I hadn’t. In the last few weeks, there have been a endless articles, tweets and blog posts about fake reviews, and whilst I am prepared to accept that the amateur faker can usually be spotted a mile off, I think my previous reader had underestimated the seriousness of the whole sock puppet mentality out there. This is not about people’s family and friends writing one-liners ‘the best book I’ve ever read’, or their worst enemies writing ‘wish

Review: I Was in Love with a Short Man Once by Kim Dalferes

The Art of Storytelling is Alive and Well… This ‘Crazy Southern Irish Gal’ has definitely got the ‘gift of the gab’! Having been brought up in Florida during the seventies, she tells us about her life through a wonderful series of colourful characters, mishaps, confessions and events. I found myself completely drawn into her stories from the first page, recalling some of the personalities from my own childhood along the way. You feel privileged to have been part of her journey down memory lane. Her true gift of storytelling conjures up cleverly selected images from the seventies right through to present day. This book is well written, funny and covers the complete spectrum of topics and challenges we all come across in our daily lives, but we often take their significance or importance for granted. It handles sensitive issues with great openness, honesty and humour and will leave you with

Review: Letters to my Mother by Rebecca Heath

A TOUCHING STORY, AND BEAUTIFULLY TOLD I have to say that I thought this book was wonderful. It is the gentle tale of two people who shouldn’t be together by the normal rules of morality and the times. Kate is a young, extremely bright college student who has never had much time for boys. David is a professor at the college she attends. Brilliant but somewhat aloof, he is trapped in a loveless marriage where nobody – not even his children – can see any worth in him.  But this is Seattle in the 1950s, and nineteen year olds don’t have affairs with married men in their late forties. Nobody would find that acceptable. And yet, these two find a rare love for each other.

Authors : how to get the right reviews

Reviews – the good, the bad and the scams! I recently wrote a guest post called Indie Authors—Getting Those All-Important Reviews for Mystery Writing is Murder. Reviews are important for both readers and authors, but it is so very important that they are genuine – which is why I devoted a whole post to how to get those all important real ones and I’ve decided to bring it forward in my schedule on this blog, as it is a topic that is quite hot at the moment due to the number of scams that are sadly around. If you’ve read it on Mystery Writing is Murder this is a similar post, but with maybe a few extra angles.

Review: The Viper Contract by Chris Broyhill

EXCELLENT STORY WITH FAST PACED ACTION Overview The Viper Contract tells the story of an ex US Air  Force fighter pilot, Colin Pearce, who has been forced to take up a career as a contract pilot, ferrying businessmen and the like around. The money’s good, but it doesn’t excite him the way his former profession did. And then something happens to change all that. He is approached by the CIA to act as an undercover agent in a daring and deadly airstrike which could have disastrous consequences reverberating around the world.