To The Gallows ---- Reviews, Amazon, and the Self Published Author

A long long time ago, in a far away land, someone spread the word that 50 is the magic number of reviews needed for a book to be promoted by Amazon, on its newsletter, and on its recommendations. More eyeballs on the book, increased possibility of sales. We all want sales, and our fervent desire to gather 50 reviews has caused a reviewing industry to thrive.

Some sell reviews for as low as $5, some as high as $60 (although this high end reviewer makes it appear that you're simply paying to expedite the review). Indie authors, and some unscrupulous business people have used this method to give credibility to the book and attract buyers.

A Review of She Dies at the End (and the November Snow Series) by A.M. Manay

There I was feeling lonely that I've finished reading Anne Rice's Prince Lestat... who knows when the next one will come... and here comes this book with an unassuming cover... She Dies at the End. So, she's psychic. OK... I started reading and whoa! This book is EPIC. I fell in love and couldn't put the book down. So Happy!

I've read many vampire books but nothing ever came close to the The Vampire Chronicles, which I absolutely love. Except this book. The characters, the writing, the world, the dialogue -- nothing is forced or exaggerated and you'll get swept into the life of November Snow whether you like it or not. It's the best fantasy/supernatural book I've read from an Indie Writer. Tight... Sharp... Good choice of words. I forgot that I'm an Editor, and that made it all the more enjoyable.

Erotic Books Worth Reading

I will update this list when I read a good Erotica worth recommending. I like them hot but classy, perverse but with a storyline that doesn't read like porn. That could get tiring sometimes. 

These are some of the eroticas I've read and enjoyed. Check them out.


WOW. Talk about hot. I think men write erotica much better than women do. The pacing is better and the emotions build up without any fluff blocking the way. I've read G.S. Bailey's other books and he really evokes that kind of response. And then, he ends in such a romantic happy ever after. Definitely worth reading if you wan't to have a few hours of quivers, shivers and fun.

TOKYO: A JOB WITH A VIEW by Fionna Guillaume

What an awesome read... snappy writing, scenes hotter than Venus, and lovable characters. These are the things that make Fionna Guillaume's books so much more than regular erotica. EVERY SINGLE BOOK of hers has given me hours of pure entertainment.

A Job with a View takes you to Tokyo where Cassidy accepts a job as an administrative assistant/escort/whatever the client wants. She's excited and nervous, not knowing what to expect. From here, the author gives us a tour of Tokyo, as Cassidy experiences the city for the first time. We get to see what the new job is about. The erotic scenes are wildly imaginative, typical of her books. Her descriptions of Tokyo makes you want to jump on a plane and see for yourselves. It's more than erotica, much more. Highly recommended read if you want some fun and excitement for a few hours.

LUKE & BELLA: Two Streets Over

Have you ever wondered why people were so attracted to BDSM? This sexy but taboo and whispered about concept of domination and submission? Many people are interested in the topic, judging from the success of Fifty Shades of Grey. But only in secret. Me included. I've never really delved into the world of BDSM to try and understand the WHYs behind it. 

I now understand the emotion and purpose behind Knee Time from this story. It was attractive and sexy and fascinating. And I have a better appreciation now of why some people are into it, and why some would try it if they had the opportunity. 

Pandora Spock's characters are always professionals. Independent, strong-willed women, and attractive, accomplished men any woman would be happy to submit to. (Hold your horses, women's lib) Bella Grant, a journalist, and Luke McGillicutty, a photographer, were thrown together when they were both assigned to a new travel program. There was attraction, hyped up by the beautiful places they had to travel to for the show. But Luke had a secret. He was a Dom and he wants to make Bella his Sub. Will a woman like her agree to be dominated? The convincing part is the core of the story. Yummy.

Even though it's erotica, there's nothing smutty about this book. Pandora Spocks writes with class. Her writing is crisp, intelligent - it's hard to describe how a writing can be intelligent, you just feel it - and totally enjoyable. She's in a class of her own in the romance/erotica genre. If E.L. James was a better writer, she'd have written Fifty Shades like Pandora Spocks - and it would have been a better book.

Twitter Book Promoters: Which ones are worth the time and money?

*** I will be updating this post regularly to add my experience with new book promoters.

In another article, I mentioned that "follows" on Twitter and "likes" on Facebook can be bought. If you haven't read it yet, check HERE. I don't really care if people want to fool themselves and others by buying followers and pretending they have an audience, EXCEPT when they start taking the money of authors who only want to get more exposure for their book.

Review of The Atlantis Gene by A.G. Riddle

I have to review this before I plunge into the next book in the trilogy.

I've never read a satisfying story about the myth of Atlantis, until now. It's no wonder that The Atlantis Gene is a million copy bestseller, and could be a movie soon. The journey of A.G Riddle and this book is an inspiration to self published authors. This book was initially self published.

The Atlantis Gene connects so many unanswered mysteries. Was there really an advanced race that disappeared under the ocean like Plato said? Where is the missing link? Why did homo sapiens suddenly move to the top of the food chain, called The Great Leap Forward? Why not the Neanderthals who were stronger and had bigger brains? Did someone interfere eons ago? Did they somehow manipulate our genes? Were we visited by more advanced beings? What if it was all true? How do we deal with that information.... Yummy questions to ponder.

Review of Sexpossessed by Ian Saul Whitcomb

I started reading thinking, Oh it's the usual erotic supernatural story. But from the first page, I was hooked. The words dragged me along like a strong current I couldn't escape from, not that I would want to. In the beginning, it was the usual erotic paranormal story. Tim's girlfriend wanted him to do something to her (which I won't mention here). He finds a way to divert her and ended up with an amulet that contained a soul. Wear it while having sex and the ghost will possess the wearer. Ho hum... Same old, right? But then it worked, and the ghost of Julia entered their lives. Tim and Liv obviously didn't think things through. Now they can't get rid of her. To do so, Tim needed to have sex with her, a gazillion times it seemed, and make her pregnant with his seed so she can birth herself and be free of the amulet. But how? She was dead. They needed to go to the afterlife, in the Dionysian fields, so they can have physical contact. And this is where the story got really interesting.

As the story progressed, I was astounded by the imagination required to come up with the characters and scenarios. Yes, it was highly erotic, with graphic sex scenes that a sensitive reader wouldn't appreciate, but it had more

Kindle in Motion: Amazon's Newest eBook Format

Publishing giant, Amazon, has quietly launched a new eBook format a couple of weeks back, Kindle in Motion - adding to the different eBook types now available for the Kindle.

I only got wind of it because a client wanted to have a background on her Amazon book page, and asked if I could make one for her. So, off to Amazon to see what she was talking about.

First time I saw the covers of KiM books, the hairs on my arms stood up. It has a certain kind of appeal and could be effective for some genres  - such as horror, suspense, and fantasy. Just imagine a man turning into a werewolf on the book's cover! That would be pretty awesome, right? It could increase book sales since it's more visually appealing.

I felt a designer's itch spreading through my body...

From Writer to Killer: A Brief Brush with Cosmo Setepenra

I've worked with hundreds of authors and I no longer find it unusual when I meet someone who's a little outside of "normal" -- whatever that word connotes. All writers have fertile imaginations, they're people who think outside of the box, with things to say - some of them aiming to change the world with their words. The pen, after all, is said to be mightier than the sword.


Admittedly, a psychologist would find something "wrong" with many of them. But I'm not a psychologist. I'm a book designer, and my focus is on the writer's book. To ensure they're publish-ready. Not a shrink.

20 Websites for Free Book Promotion

A guest post by Cassie of Culture Coverage

For self-published authors trying to increase the visibility of their work or avid readers who are eager to find exciting new releases, the many book websites all over the internet make for a fantastic resource. They are the perfect tools to promote your writing, to help you become a part of the online book community, or even just to immerse yourself in hundreds of fabulous stories. 

Below are documented 20 of the best websites of this nature, which offer an entirely free opportunity for up-and-coming authors to promote their work.


Is this the beginning of the GMO Apocalypse?

Yup, another exciting novel from the author of The Brodsky Affair and The Lazarus Succession. Very timely too, since many are concerned about Monsanto and Genetically Modified Foods.

I'm honored to reveal the cover of SUICIDE SEEDS, now available for Pre-Order on Amazon! Get a discount before its release on August 27, 2016.


What if there was a genetically modified seed that could stop the famine in West Africa? Local growers would clamor for the product. The government would welcome the company with open arms.