Tag Archives: young adult

YA Scavenger Hunt 2020

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt 2020! This bi-annual event was  organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors — and a chance to win some awesome prizes!

 

 

At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize. ONE lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team!

But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 120 hours!

 

 

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are FOUR contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the GOLD TEAM – but there is also a red team, a blue team, and a purple team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE
 
Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the GOLD TEAM, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
 
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Sunday, APRIL 5th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

SCAVENGER HUNT POST
Today, I am hosting LISA MANTERFIELD for the YA Scavenger Hunt!
Lisa Manterfield is the award-winning author of emotionally-charged Young Adult fiction. Her second novel, The Smallest Thing, was a finalist in the 2019 American Fiction Awards. Her work has appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Los Angeles Times, and Psychology Today. Originally from northern England, she now lives in Northern California where she can often be found pulling weeds and daydreaming in her vegetable garden.
 
Find out more information by checking out Lisa’s website or find more about the her book here, The Smallest Thing on Amazon!

THE SMALLEST THING
 

“The very last thing 17-year-old Emmott Syddall wants is to turn out like her dad. She’s descended from ten generations who never left their dull English village, and there’s no way she’s going to waste a perfectly good life that way. She’s moving to London and she swears she is never coming back.

But when the unexplained deaths of her neighbors force the government to quarantine the village, Em learns what it truly means to be trapped. Now, she must choose. Will she pursue her desire for freedom, at all costs, or do what’s best for the people she loves: her dad, her best friend Deb, and, to her surprise, the mysterious man in the HAZMAT suit?

Inspired by the historical story of the plague village of Eyam, this contemporary tale of friendship, community, and impossible love weaves the horrors of recent news headlines with the intimate details of how it feels to become an adult—and fall in love—in the midst of tragedy.”

EXCLUSIVE CONTENT and MESSAGE FROM LISA
Hi Everyone,
This is the inspiration board I created for THE SMALLEST THING. Some of the pictures were taken in the real-life village of Eyam, showing the real Emmott and the cottages where she lived. You might also spot Aiden and get a hint of a little love story blossoming in the midst of tragedy. You’ll also spot Em’s 18th birthday cake!I’m about to release Em’s story as a serialized podcast. Can’t wait to share that with you very soon.Happy hunting and good luck!
Lisa -x-
You can follow Lisa on:
Facebook: /AuthorLisaManterfield
Twitter: @lisamanterfield
Instagram: @lisamanterfield_

REMEMBER
Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, LISA MANTERFIELD, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 15. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the GOLD TEAM and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!
CONTINUE THE HUNT
 
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author: MICHELLE REYNOSO

 

Why Readers Don’t Leave Reviews

 Original article.

Review Header

Authors spend months (years) crafting a tale, editing and polishing, finding an agent and/or publisher, learning self-publishing options and formatting, dealing with cover art, blurbs, marketing, book tours, interviews … all that before their book is even published. Once their work is out there, authors are vulnerable to critique, rejection, or worse – indifference. After such dedicated bravery, it’s no surprise the biggest complaint I hear from authors is that readers don’t leave a review even when they like the book.

Readers value reviews as a means of gaining insight into the story before spending hard-earned money on a book. Some authors look to their reviews for validation that their hard work has paid off. Others for feedback to help them hone their writing skills. So, what’s the deal? Why don’t readers leave a review?

 

The Fear Factor

Lack of time or skill to write a review top the list of excuses. But, there is something much more visceral keeping people from leaving reviews: Fear.

What if you didn’t like the story? Or, you liked it, but not enough to give a 4 or 5 star rating? Besides not wanting to hurt or discourage the author, leaving an honest review (even a positive one) can have damaging repercussions.

People can be rude to reviewers who leave a positive review, but
they’re downright abusive if you dare leave a “critical” review (3 star or lower),
no matter how thoughtful and even-handed it is.

When you leave positive reviews, there’s speculation you’re fluffing the ratings either to make your pals look good or to have the favour returned. When you give negative reviews, you’re obviously a no-talent hack taking out your frustrations on others.

“... she was lashing out because of her own inability to sell books or perhaps write.”

Leaving a less-than-stellar review can damage or end relationships with other authors. Sometimes, it’s a simple unfriending on Facebook. Other times, it’s an ugly public “breakup” … and I mean U-G-L-Y.

 

Public Humiliation and Attack

We’re all adults, right? Professionals who understand not everyone will agree … right? Then, why do so many people mutate into schoolyard bullies when they read a critical review?

In 2014, I made an acquaintance on Facebook via our mutual interest in ancient North American civilizations. He’d written a YA Sci-Fi and the description sounded interesting enough that I bought the ebook. It started out okay, but the more I read, the more upset I got. As a reader and author, I was deeply offended by the sub-standard quality of the writing and complete lack of editing.

It looked like a first draft of a hastily dictated story.

I took 3 days to calm down and another 3 days to write my review. Even though I was giving it a 1-star rating, I was determined to be even-handed and include what the author did well.

The day after I posted my review, I discovered several hostile public posts by the author splashed across multiple social media platforms.

“... she could have at least sent me a message ... warn me of the horrid little review ... I certainly do not wish to be a friend or follower of someone who hates my writing so bad that she would give a $1.99 novel a 1-star ...”a 1-star ...”

(Note: Yes, he actually believed being an indie author and offering his book for a “cheap” price was a valid excuse for lack of quality.)

Things quickly degenerated as he and his friends swung into a full-on public bashing session: name calling, speculation about my writing skills, and insults about my physical appearance.

" ...mook-jabroni ... a-hole ... low rent jobber ... bristles instead of back hair ..."

 

Retaliation

Besides public attacks, I’ve faced other forms of retaliation over the years:

  • rude comments on my blog and Facebook Fan Page;
  • hack attacks on my websites;
  • creepy emails and private messages; and
  • vicious comments left on reviews I’ve written, like this one on a “classic” written by a long-dead author:

"You only read trash, no wonder you wouldn't understand good literature if it hit on the face! Oh,my God: I just realized you actually WRITE books!!! God have mercy on us ..."

 

  • I get called “wishy-washy” when I outline the positives in a book I don’t like.
  • I’m “apologetic” when I point out aspects others may appreciate about a book I’ve rated poorly.
  • I’m “confusing” and shouldn’t post reviews, because I give a positive rating to a book I don’t like, but feel was well done and would be enjoyed by others.

 

Who needs that abuse and stress? It’s not like writing reviews is benefiting me in any way.

 

Time and Money

Here’s a secret authors may not know:

Writing book reviews to post on sites like Amazon, Smashwords, and GoodReads
is a losing prospect for the reviewer.

It takes hours to write a thoughtful review. And, that’s after you’ve spent several days reading the book in the first place. You need to:

  • organize what worked and didn’t work;
  • touch on points that may interest other readers;
  • and write it in a way that is fair and intelligent.

Then, you need to edit and polish your review so it doesn’t read like a 4th grader wrote it. Any errors will immediately invalidate everything you’ve written and subject you to more public ridicule.

As a freelance writer, I charge between $25 and $75 for content that requires the same amount of time and effort put into the reviews I write. But, I’m not being paid to write reviews and that time could be better served working on my own novels (as my husband frequently points out).

Reviewing books is a “hobby” that costs me time and money. Unlike a hobby, though I can’t recoup losses by selling my products on Esty.

 

Loss

Speaking of loss, it’s hard to be honest about not liking an author’s work when you share the same social circles with them. If they take the review personally, there’s the serious possibility you’ll not only lose the author as a contact, but also their associates.

Mutual friends may shy away from you, either out of loyalty to the author or concern that you’ll give them a bad review also. Even if you don’t know the author, posting an unpopular review can make you an outcast and cost valuable contacts you rely on for networking; people who could help you advance by buying, reading, reviewing, and even promoting your books.

 

Just another “Stinky Butthole”

In the end, a review is just someone’s opinion. And as the adage goes, “Opinions are like buttholes. We all have one and we all think everyone else’s stink.”

As much as I want my reviews to make a meaningful impact, the harsh truth is they’re often another number that either bolsters someone’s rating or drags it down. The number of times my reviews are voted “unhelpful” (even 4 and 5 star reviews) is higher than the times they’re voted “helpful”.

Based on my personal experience, is it any wonder why readers don’t want to leave reviews? While I try not to take it personally, it’s frustrating. In fact, I nearly gave up writing reviews several times … but then, I get a “thank you” note from an author, a public mention, and even requests from someone who read one of my critical reviews and wants an honest opinion of their work. My reviews may not matter to everyone, but every now and then, they have meaning to the right someone.

"Your review is so awesome! I'm humbled and honored!"

 


 

This article has been featured writing sites, like The Phoenix Quill and The intangible world of the literary mind!!