5 Things Every Author Needs to Do to Improve Discoverability on Goodreads

Originally posted on Authordiscovery.com:

goodreads discovery

I came across an article from HuffPo this week on How to Become a Goodreads Power User (and why you’d want to). Blogs like this are the exact reason why I created AuthorDiscovery.com. The article contains some helpful information but is still so general that authors reading it are left not knowing where to start first. This was confirmed in several interactions in the various author groups in which I participate. I believe authors know and agree they need to have a presence on goodreads, but don’t know what they should be doing on goodreads in order to get found by readers (which is the point).

In their defense, goodreads has tried to demonstrate how goodreads can be great for book and author discovery (this slideshare presentation is helpful as well as these author tips), but the interface is certainly difficult to navigate, and there are so many…

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What cultural value do you see in the writing/reading/storytelling/etc?

Writing and reading are important for learning, about both ourselves and our societies. In my novels, the main character must face some sort of external challenge. She’s just an average girl, but circumstances beyond her control have put the world on her shoulders. When readers watch how she manages this challenge, they see values of strength, courage, and determination. When I write in these qualities, I wonder if I could handle the situation as well as the main character. Novels give us an opportunity, as a society, to uphold certain values (strength, selflessness) and discourage others (greed, malevolence). As readers and writers, we can test these values in impossible situations–and test ourselves to see if we would measure up.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

My dream is to see the Northern Lights, which can happen in many different places–I’ll say Alaska is where I want to go. There is so much magic in the aurora borealis, and so much science as well. I’m thinking of a concept for a book that deals with both, so that may be my next stop!

What are your reading and writing pet peeves?

I hate when authors use too many adverbs, especially in dialogue. “‘What?’ she asked sarcastically, dismissively flicking her hand.” I think the situation and dialogue should speak for the mood themselves, as much as possible. When I edit my own work, I try very hard to get rid as many adverbs as I possibly can (as many adverbs as possible).

What do you think makes a good story?

I think a good young adult story needs two things, at a minimum–internal and external drama.

Internal drama for a character can be a classic relationship struggle. I like this boy, but does he like me? Should I signal to him how I feel? Touch his hand, look at his lips? Did he just send me a signal that he likes me? Have I given my feelings away? These are all very small questions, but they’re the signals my characters need to read between the lines when dealing with a male.

Internal drama can be about something else, though, like complex relationships with parents. But my favorite internal struggles involve romantic uncertainty :)

For external drama, the character needs to be dealing with something bigger than herself. The tunnel caved-in around Emily, and she has to find a way to survive. Especially when she learns that the people who brought down the tunnel are trapped inside with her. Should she trust Chris? Is he mixed in with the killers? How can she keep her knowledge of their identities a secret? How can she survive? The external drama drives the main plot of the story forward, but the internal drama must be there too.

Do you work with an outline or plot or just see where an idea takes you?

A little bit of both! Generally I know where I want the plot to go when I start writing–I know the inciting incident, certain events that will follow, and the steps my main character will have to take to survive. I create an outline of the sequence of events, and then I start writing. However, almost immediately the novel decides to misbehave. I wanted Emily, my main character, to feel one way or do one thing, but she decides to do something else. Other characters in the novel jump in and interfere. And by the end, I have a novel that I couldn’t have imagined–and that is in many ways much better! 

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Novels – Discounts and Tour Specials

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Bastards Brew 300pxWhen L’Wren’s ex-boyfriend Jeff suddenly disappears, she turns to Kevin to help her find him. With one phone call, Kevin makes sure that Jeff stays hidden and that L’Wren’s heart is broken, leaving the door open for Kevin to pursue her. But Kevin is not as free as L’Wren thinks; she is in the dark about his affair with her stepmother, Savi. Savi constantly reminds Kevin of his devious ways and uses their secret to keep him as her toyfriend.

You don’t deserve to be loved, and you don’t deserve to be happy. You and I are the same … we’re broken inside. Everything we touch, we destroy. We don’t get happily ever after … we don’t get to ride off into the sunset. You know who gets that? L’Wren … she gets it, she gets the guy, and she deserves a decent guy.- Savi

Kevin desires to be the man that L’Wren deserves, but before he can assume the role of white knight, he brews one last plan to get rid of Savi for good. Will L’Wren, the innocent victim in their twisted game, become a casualty?

Kevin may have sold his body to the devil in stilettos, but he’d be damned if he let her have his heart.

Suitable for adults 18+

Tour Specials

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/417024
Enter coupon code: RS54B for 50% discount

Enter coupon code: FX48M for 10%discount off The Banovic Siblings https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/415280

Want to give the series a try? Changes the first novel in the series is FREE on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EADYMCA.

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Bastard’s Brew Tour Schedule

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April 15
Tome Tender – Media Kit, guest post, review
Elizabeth Los – Excerpt
Lisa Jane - Media Kit, Excerpt
Book Junkie - Excerpt, review, guest post

April 16
Book2Buzz – Media kit, guest post, review, excerpt
Read Me – Guest post

April 17
Desirable Reads - Review, excerpt, media kit
From Bows to Books - Media kit, review, interview
BC Brown Book - Media kit, guest post

April 20
Wheezers Series – Guest post, excerpt, review

April 21
Thelonious Legend – Guest post, interview, review, excerpt

April 25
Catherine Garnell – Media kit, excerpt
Love Laugh and Read – Playlist, dreamcast, media kit, review

April 28
Megan Cyrulewski – Media Kit, interview, excerpt

April 29
Random Musesomy – Excerpt, review

April 30
Book Hostage – Excerpt

May 1
Matthew Young – Guest post, interview, review
Keli McCoy – Review, Excerpt
Karen-Anne Stewart – Excerpt, Playlist, dreamcast, review
Sleepy Girl’s Books – Media kit, review
Sveta – Media kit, excerpt, dreamcast, review

May 2
2 Sassy Chicks – Media kit, excerpt

May 3
Bookaholic Fairies – Interview, playlist, excerpt, dreamcast
Paein - Media kit, excerpt, review
Room With Books – Media kit, excerpt, review

May 4
Closed the Cover – Media kit, guest post.
Jola - Review

May 5
The Book Bag – Media kit, guest post, excerpt

May 6
Hello Book Lover – Media Kit, excerpt, review

May 8
Pages of Comfort – Media kit, excerpt, review

May 9
Always A Booklover – Playlist, dreamcast, review

May 10
A Book Addict - Excerpt, playlist, dreamcast
Book Chick – Media kit, excerpt, interview, review
Jaxy - Interview, review, excerpt
Sassy Girl Books – Media kit, excerpt, playlist, dreamcast, review

May 12
A Readers Review Blog – Excerpt

May 13
Sammie’s Book Club – Media kit, dreamcast, playlist

May 15
AR Book Corner – Guest post, excerpt, review

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Fugitives From Northwoods

Fugitives from Northwoods book coverSynopsis for Fugitives From Northwoods

Eight teenagers escape imprisonment at a work camp to brave the wilderness. Tested to their limits, they struggle to survive their terrifying dash for freedom.

After the total collapse of the world economy, the United States could not stand together. So they failed separately. In the small region-state of Winnkota, poverty and greed are turning the idyllic Northwoods of Minnesota into a barren wasteland of clear-cut forests and over-fished lakes. Every able-bodied teenager is conscripted into a labor force and sent to work in harsh, prison-like conditions. They are enslaved young so they never learn to think for themselves. But Penn is different. He’s determined to win back freedom—for himself, his friends, and someday for his homeland.

On a cold autumn night, the group makes their dash for freedom north of the border. The fugitives endure a series of difficult wilderness challenges while pursued by the ruthless camp guards. They weave through dense forest, scale cliffs, swim through the bitterly cold lakes, and otherwise try simply to survive. Pushing his friends to the breaking point, Penn guides the fugitives through a harsh, but ironically beautiful, backdrop of amazing Northwoods scenery. Adversity and loss abound, all while an unexpected physical attraction leads to a burgeoning love story.

Should any of them survive to reach the border, will the freedom found equal all that they expected?

Book excerpt

“It is 2027 and the youth of a failed America, forced into slave labor camps at age fourteen, have never tasted freedom.  But all of that is about to change.  Tonight, Penn and his crew are going under the wire.”

The Reviews from Amazon

A highly rated 4.6 star book (21 5-star, 10 4-star)

“If you like reading about dystopian future, adventure, and surviving in the wilderness, I would highly recommend this book!!”

“Now he can’t wait for more books to come out by this author.”

“This book is very well written.” 

Click here to read more or purchase.

A Sinister Obsession by S. B. Redstone

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A Sinister ObsessionA Sinister Obsession by  S. B. Redstone
Published:  August 2013 by  Black Opal Books
Word Count: approx. 94,000
Genre:  Mystery Thriller
Content Warning:  Violence and Sexual Content Recommended Age:  21+

Synopsis: A psychopathic killer on a quest leaves behind a string of brutal murders, and to find the Who, the police must first discover the Why…

Detective Aubrey McKenzie has been assigned to investigate the murders. A lovely, fabulously wealthy, dark-haired Scot, whose iron will was forged in the inferno of human tragedy, Aubrey is stymied by the lack of solid clues. Now she must rely on her paranormal ability to apprehend the killer—an ability that has been invaluable in her police work but has made a disaster of her social life.

Fate teams Aubrey with Detective Joshua Diamond, a handsome, talented, and compassionate man who is more than happy eating a greasy bacon-cheeseburger and wearing clothes that should have been thrown out with the trash. In a race against time, Aubrey and Joshua must overcome their vast differences—and their attraction for each other—and discover the identity of this elusive killer, and the quest this fiend is on, before more lives are destroyed. Continue reading

The Only Boy Not Your Typical Love Story


Not Your Typical Love Story

My books tend to have intricate plots and a lot of complications. Oftentimes the characters are put in uncomfortable situations, such as being forced to relocate, grieving a loss or being pursued by the protagonist, which can make romance problematic. This may be their first real relationship, even their first kiss. Jumping full speed into a love scene makes little sense.

I’ll use The Hunger Games for example. The relationship between Katniss and Peeta is complicated, to say the least. They are fighting for their lives, and on camera to boot. It makes perfect sense that their kissing scene is awkward and their relationship strained.

In my novel The Only Boy, Taylor is hiding his identity. He’s lost his family and friends. He’s been thrown into an unfamiliar and potentially hostile environment. Add to this the fact that he’s never really had a girlfriend, and I’m sure you can see how new relationships would be difficult.

Mary, his love interest, is strong-willed. With only women living in her compound and with a constant fear of disease, interactions are discouraged, even forbidden. She has never even met a boy and is confused by her feelings for Taylor. This often leads to misunderstandings and, at times, distrust.

Mary and Taylor’s relationship is far from perfect. They have different upbringings and conflicting desires. They aren’t always nice to each other. Oftentimes, they act in ways that may come off as cold or even mean. In my opinion, this makes them more real.

If you’re looking for a breezy romance, where everything is flowers and fireworks from the start, The Only Boy may not be right for you. If you enjoy complicated stories, however, books in which the characters have to work through their problems and fight for their right to be together, maybe you should give The Only Boy a look.

Read an excerpt here.