How to Avoid 101 Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers & Boo-Boos: how to successful publish a book by Judith Briles

When I picked up How to Avoid 101 Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers & Boo-Boos: how to successful publish a book by Judith Briles, I decided to ignore the blooper in the title (successfully) in the hopes of some useful tidbits. I did indeed get some useful tidbits, however not 101, which was disappointing.

Some sections were geared towards authors who have managed to snag a traditional book publishing deal. Since I have not, although I haven’t given up hope of someday, the information about reading the fine print, making sure you keep your rights to republication, and getting the best deal of the book publishing company, didn’t apply to me. 

I did learn about the Amazon Advantage program. However, when I did more research, I discovered that this publishing platform is closed to new publishers (such as myself). Amazon has given no date for reopening, unfortunately. Since I can’t access the Amazon Advantage program, the chapters on finding a decent printer weren’t useful either. To publish on Amazon, currently I need to use Amazon’s print on demand service. 

Another Amazon program that has expired but is included in the blooper book is the Matchbook program, where you could offer a digital copy of your print book for a reduced price or free. This nifty feature was taken out of circulation in October of 2019. Phooey. 

Not everything presented was obsolete or irreverent though. I really liked the idea of creating a tag line that expresses what my books (or me) do to benefit the reader. I also appreciated the suggestion to add a copyright watermark to images that I have created and share on social media. 

Overall, I was disappointed with the amount of useful information I found in this book that had such high ratings on Amazon. Some chapters seemed redundant, others weren’t useful since the feature wasn’t available anymore, and others were irrelevant to my particular writing situation. If you are a first-time author looking for the tricks of the trade, I can’t say that I recommend How to Avoid 101 Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers & Boo-Boos: how to successful publish a book by Judith Briles.

A Love to Mend Her Broken Heart: A Historical Western Romance Novel by Etta Foster

I wouldn’t have picked A Love to Mend Her Broken Heart: A Historical Western Romance Novel by Etta Foster up to read had the author and I not shared a name. In an effort to meet my 2020 Reading goals (although now 2021), I thought I’d give it a try. 

Daisy Monroe decides that marrying a rancher through a mail-order bride service will help her family’s finances. En route, a stage coach robbery traumatizes Daisy. The first on the scene is handsome Henry Thomas. When Daisy finally gets to town, her intended isn’t the type of man she would have chosen as a husband, but a deal’s a deal. Before the wedding date, romantic feelings between Henry and Daisy bloom. But Daisy has a secret that she isn’t sure an upstanding man such as Henry would want to know. 

Although the story wasn’t exceptional, the idiomatic expressions the author used were riveting. Flannelmouth, nailed the matter to the counter, acknowledged the corn, having a hog-killin’ time, bone orchard, threw up the sponge and countless more made deciphering the dialogue a bit of a puzzle. These terms certainly added to the feel of authenticity of this Western love story. 
So, despite the tired old story of a mail-order bride who finds love, I found A Love to Mend Her Broken Heart: A Historical Western Romance Novel by Etta Foster an interesting read after all. Perhaps you will too!

Reading Challenge 2021

I enjoyed the 2020 Reading Challenge so much, that I plan on doing another reading challenge this year too. The focus for this challenge will mostly be on different genres. Since 2021 promises to be another socially distanced year, why not travel through the pages of books?

I hope you are inspired to complete the challenge with me!

Reading Roundup 2020

If you recall, at the beginning of the year, I set myself a reading challenge. In case you missed it, I thought I’d recap the books I chose for this challenge that I wrote reviews for. 2020 was kind of a wild year, so I didn’t get nearly as many books from this list read as I would have liked. But, that’s ok. I have a whole new year in which to read, while socially distancing during 2021. So without further ado…

January

The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester chronicles the lives of the two men instrumental in compiling the Oxford English Dictionary.

February

In honor of Women in Horror month, I read Frankenstein: or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, which is nothing like the movies based on it.

March

In March, I read Queen of America by Luis Alberto Urrea, the sequel to The Hummingbird’s Daughter. Both books were based on the life of Teresita Urrea, the Saint of Cabora, the girl who inspired a revolution.

April

I choose a book that was written by an author with my middle name rather than one with my initials or last name. A Love to Mend Her Broken Heart: A Historical Western Romance Novel by Etta Foster was not my usual genre, but that’s the point of a challenge right? To experience something new?

I also read a collection of short stories with an author that shared my last name. Ordinance 53 by Sarah Flores was quite imaginative.

May

Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore wasn’t published in the decade I was born but did leap through the decades I have been alive.

June

I read many books suggested by others, but the link I’ll leave here is for Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir by Michael Anthony.

July

I’ve been following the author Lisa Sell for some time on social media. She has funny posts about writing and cats. I finally got around to reading her mystery novel Hidden.

August

September

October

How to Avoid 101 Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers & Boo-Boos: how to successful publish a book by Judith Briles was an informative book about publishing. I don’t actually think there were 101 blunders in the book though.

November

I always wanted to visit Spain and The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon was an excellent romantic mystery set in Barcelona in the 1940s.

December

For December, I read Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller, a memoir about her childhood in Africa.

I enjoyed my reading challenge so much that I’m going to do it again next year! Be on the lookout for the 2021 reading challenge in the next few days.

Reading Goals for 2020

This is the first time I set myself a challenge to complete a reading goal like this. Way back in the day, I remember getting relatives to sponsor me to read a certain number of books for some school event or other. I’m not looking for sponsors or anything for this, I just thought it would be fun to complete. If you want to join me, feel free to post your own progress either here or on the book review posts that will appear monthly.