Category Archives: Update

Upcoming Changes

Hey guys!

If you follow us on Facebook, you may have noticed my post a day or so ago stating that we might be experiencing some downtime in the near future. This hasn’t happened yet, and won’t until we’re 100% ready.

We’re switching away from wordpress.com, to a wordpress.org hosted website. Almost everything has been transferred over and configured at this point besides for the domain name. We’ll be doing that shortly once we work out all the kinks in the new site and make sure it’s all shiny and polished.

For our on-site subscribers (WordPress.com Followers, not email subscribers), if you’d like to continue seeing our posts and reviews, please do consider following us via email using the widget on the sidebar. Otherwise, follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter to keep up-to-date with our blog.

Thanks, and happy reading!
Rebecca

Oh — and we have a new member on our team, Gama Ray Martinez, check out his very first review here. :)

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In Memory of Terry Pratchett

terry

It’s with a heavy heart that I announce Sir Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series and co-author of The Long Earth series, has died. After being diagnosed with Alzheimers in 2007, he passed away this morning in his bed, surrounded by his family and with his cat next to him.

Terry Pratchett has had a long and immensely successful career. He got his start writing as a young man when he got a job for his village newspaper, where he published short stories for children; his first novel, The Carpet People, was published when he was seventeen. It was the Discworld series, however, that made him a household name. The first book, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983, and was followed by forty-four other books in the series, with more than a dozen books connected to the series that weren’t directly in it, such as The World of PooWhere’s My Cow?, and the various Discworld diaries, bringing the total number of books to over sixty. Unconnected to Discworld, Terry Pratchett wrote several other books, all with his trademark wit and insight; DodgerA Blink of the ScreenNation, and a re-write of The Carpet People all came out while Discworld was still being published.

During his life, Terry Pratchett also collaborated with many people. With his friend Neil Gaiman, he wrote Good Omens; with Stephen Baxter, he wrote The Long Earth series; Stephen Briggs, who started out as a fan of the Discworld series, collaborated with Terry Pratchett on the Discworld diaries and various other books about Pratchett’s most famous creation. All are masterpieces in their own right, marked with his signature style, and have captivated readers just as strongly as his own fiction.

Terry Pratchett was knighted for services to literature in 2009. One of fantasy’s most beloved authors, he will be fondly remembered and sorely missed. Our hearts go out to his family and friends in this troubled time.

Donations to the Research Institute for the Care of Older People (RICE) in his memory can be made here: www.justgiving.com/Terry-Pratchett


December Discount for Editing Services

November is over and done with, and December is arriving in a flurry.

Whether or not you participated in NaNoWriMo (and hit the 50k word mark), you’ve hopefully made some progress in your novel this past month. That, along with the approaching holiday season, is reason enough to celebrate.

To help you do so, for the month of December we are offering over 50% off of our copy editing services for the first 50,000 words of your story.

Copy-editing includes a thorough examination of the text to remove any errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and English usage. We will also look for sequential slip-ups in the text, and work to eliminate any and all inconsistencies in facts, names, and style.

Our regular rate for this service is 0.9c/word. Until January 1st, we’ll be offering a special rate of 0.4c/word, for up to 50,000 words.

If you’re interested in a professional copy edit, feel free to email us using the form below.


A New Door Opens

Hear ye, hear ye!

Readers, we’ve got an announcement to make: your favourite review blog is introducing something new!

Starting today, we will begin offering editing services! More information can be found here, but here’s a quick run down of what we offer:

Proofreading: This is more beta reading than full editing. We’ll read through a nearly completed copy of what the finished book will look like, to check formatting, make sure nothing is missing or has been repeated, and aesthetics. This will improve the look of your story.

Copy-editing: This is a lot more in-depth and involves reading through a manuscript to check for grammatical, spelling, or tense errors. This is recommended for most authors, because it’s quite hard to spot errors in your own work. This will improve the readability of your story.

Substantive editing: This includes copy-editing and involves reading through a manuscript in-depth to give advice on plot lines, revamping characters, and any other changes that need to be made. This can also be hard to do yourself; having someone else take a look at your manuscript allows them to spot plot holes you may not have noticed, as well as missing scenes or errors. This will improve the quality of your story. Depending on the length of the novel, this service will vary in price.

Our prices range from 0.5 cents/word – 0.8 cents/word. Note that this is lower than industry standard. Self-published authors are advised to hire an editor to look over their work; it can make the difference between an okay story and a really good read.

Contact us any time through our editing services page to request an edit. Please tell us the wordcount of your novel and what sort of editing you would like. If you mention where you live, we’ll make sure spelling is correct for your region.

Thank you everyone who reads our blog. We couldn’t have done this without you!


Neverland’s Library

Hey guys,
I wanted to do a bit of a post explaining this website’s inactivity. Some of you may have noticed that there haven’t been a lot of reviews lately, and there are a variety of reasons behind this (though, I promise there will be a few up in the next couple of weeks!).

One thing that has taken up a fair chunk of my time is an anthology called Neverland’s Library. Which (most of you from Facebook will know all this already) is an anthology that I’m co-editing, and am currently trying to get funded through an Indiegogo campaign. This is a joint project between myself, and Roger from A Daily Dose of R&R.

Neverland’s Library is a fantasy anthology, focussing on a theme of “Rediscovery” and we have some fantastic authors involved:

  • Introduction by Tad Williams
  • Miles Cameron
  • Mark Lawrence
  • William Meikle
  • R.S. Belcher
  • Jeffrey J. Mariotte
  • Marcy Rockwell
  • Peter Rawlik
  • Marie Brennan
  • Jeff Salyards
  • Kenny Soward
  • Ian Creasey
  • Stephen McQuiggan

And we’re still open and looking for submissions; stories between 2,000 and 8,000 words — full guidelines can be found here.

Our goal for this anthology is to help raise money for a non-profit organization called “First Book” which provides literature and educational resources for children and young adults in impoverished areas, helping to decrease illiteracy rates and promote learning. It’s something Roger, and I have become really passionate about supporting over the past while, and we want to do what we can to help.

So, I’d really like to encourage you guys to take a look at our Indiegogo, and if you can chip in a dollar or two, that’d be beyond fantastic… Or even if you could help share the word and spread the link, we really would appreciate it. For all the information, the campaign page can be found here.

Thank you guys for your patience… I’ve gotten a few messages asking about whether I’m still reviewing, and I promise you, I am. I’ve just (unfortunately) had to put this website on the back-burner for a little while to work on the anthology and other things. Reviews will be posted regularly again, starting this week.

Thanks,
Rebecca

Concept cover art by Gabriel Verdon

Concept cover art by Gabriel Verdon

 

Also — we have a new reviewer on board: Nick Sharps. I encourage you to heckle him once he starts posting reviews!


Updates, random thoughts, and something special

  • What to expect in the near future.
  • Examining the fun/odd search terms people find this site from.
  • Thank you

Examining the Future

This year has been an eventful one, I’ve attended many conventions, I’ve met some great people and have had the opportunity to meet and interview some wonderful authors, and of course — read some great books. We’ve grown a fair bit as a website, with a lot more reviews, readers, articles/thoughts, and interviews. And I hope that in the coming year, and for years to come we’re able to do all this and so much more.

Some things have changed for me as well in the past couple of months. Which, some of you that follow me on Facebook will already know about, but my reviews on here may slow down a bit. I’ve been approached by few other outlets (which I will not saying the names of quite yet) that are interested in having me review for them. One of which requests/requires that those reviews be exclusive to them.

Depending on how much I do with them, that could have a bit of an impact on the quantity of my reviews here as I have to sort out my schedule to find the time to read more, and write the reviews, I don’t see this having any long-term changes, just while I’m readjusting I won’t be able to be as active on here. However, with these new opportunities, I see this as a way to improve myself, my writing and the overall quality of my reviews, all of which would have an effect on here as well.

Also.. In the next week or so there’ll be book reviews up for The Cupid WarLuna for the Lunies! (both *very* different from what I typically read), an interview, and something… Different. Of course, there may be other posts from my co-blogger as well.

Search Terms

Ever since I started this site, back in August 2011, I’ve been interested in seeing how people are finding out about my website. I suppose it could be called a bit egotistical — frequently checking to see how many views/where they’re from/if they were referred from other sites (or my favourite — their search engine terms). It’s interesting, and at times a bit unexpected.

There are the obvious referrers/search terms, such as from places where I post links to content, or search terms for book reviews that I’ve done. And then you get the unusual ones. For a while now, I’ve been tempted to do a monthly digest of the odd search terms people have found me from, (if there’s any interest in this, I can do so). Until then though, here are some of the oddest/my favourites.

1) There are a sad number of people who find my website when they were in fact looking for things about arched doorways. I always feel kind of bad when those search terms come up. Those are to be expected though, but occasionally there are some really odd ones. “Paranormal arch doorways”… I know there’s a few authors that read occasionally read my updates, anyone want to take that? ATTACK OF THE ARCH DOORWAYS. An alternative is apparently “Suicide arch doorways”… Friends, to be sure to take care around your neighbourly arched doorways, they’re sensitive creatures. Be sure to compliment them once in a while. May we please have a moment of silence for the arched doorways which have taken their lives?

2) “Bible lovrz”… What? Please do show me a reference to the bible on my website — other than in this post, or any sort of reference to the mash-up of letters, “lovrz”. (Though, oddly enough this point will be null in a few days… at least in reference to the bible.)

3) “Petrol remote control cars”… Not just once, or twice… Three times! I honestly do not get it.

4) Searches for negative reviews. Makes sense, to try to get the good and bad side of different books, though. One of the search terms “Negative hate review of Eye of the world” not sure if anyone has seen my review of that, or if they’ve ever heard me talk about the Wheel of Time (Which — heads up, you’ll be getting a LONG post about in January, potentially). But that’s my favourite series. The Eye of the World being one of my favourite books… Sorry friend, no negative hate reviews of that here.

5) Torrents. Downloads. Ahh… Yes, the unending search for eBook torrents. Here’s a tip of friendly advice, to all you torrent searchers, and seekers of free books. I don’t blame you, I love free books — Heck, I even get my fair share of them. There’s a proper way to do it though. If you’re going to spend hours reading and enjoying that novel, the least you can do is give back to that author… Hundreds, if not thousands of hours go into the production of a book, from the first draft, to the editorial parts, to production, to marketing, to… everything. Write reviews, give feedback, and spread the word about the book. That’s what I do, and do you know what it’s gotten me? Well, look through my site… Feel free to chat with me. I’ve met a lot of great authors, and have had the chance to interview them; I’ve made a lot of friendships and have discovered a lot of amazing books. I get ARC copies as well. “Free books” are out there, but if you’re going to invest the time in trying to find them, and then to read them… Does it hurt to spend a half-hour of your time giving feedback and writing a review, helping that author who has just given you entertainment? I could go on about it, but I suggest reading an article I’ve wrote about The Cost of Books, or check to see any of the other non-reviews I’ve done… Or search elsewhere on the internet. Give back to the people who have spent hours upon hours writing these books, creating these worlds, characters and experiences for our enjoyment.

Thank You

This is probably the most important part of this post (to me at least), rather than my other ramblings and just silliness. I really want to say thank you to everyone who has read my reviews, sharing links, and even commenting occasionally. It really makes a difference, and without you guys I probably wouldn’t have done this at all in the past few months. In the last couple months, I’ve especially just been astonished by how much things have changed since this time last year.

My view-count has always been quite low; there were a couple of months this year where it was under 100. However, between August and now? Well, to give you an idea of how much it has changed, between
August 2011, and July 2012, this site got about 1350 views… Between August and December 5th, we’ve seen over 1500 views. Almost half of those were just in November alone.

I’m fully aware that it’s due to the author interviews I was lucky enough to conduct last month (and one last weekend — which will be posted shortly), and not for any content I wrote, or even my reviews, but honestly, I love that people are looking for these interviews, and that I was able to offer them an outlet to hear more from the authors that they love… And that Heifer International/Worldbuilders charity have gotten a couple dozen views from people finding them through my interview with Patrick Rothfuss (totally not dropping names…) Or people who check my website regularly discovering authors that they never heard of before and going out to find their books. It kind of just gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling know that I was able to — in some way — help out a bit and that you came here instead of going elsewhere. So, thank you… and I hope I’m able to continue providing content that you will want to read.

On that note, I do want to add that the “Request a Review” page isn’t just for authors. It’s for anyone. While I cannot guarantee that I’ll be able to fulfil your request, I will do my best. You are the readers. You are the ones who can make all the difference in the world.

So — continuing the thank you, and as it is the season of giving (and possibly as a “Congratulations for making it through that lengthy and extraneous posting”) I have a giveaway for you! This will be the first of about four that we’ll be hosting this month.

(Unfortunately, because we are hosted on WordPress.com, javascript doesn’t work on here. Please head over to our Facebook page here to enter in the give-away.)

Thank you. :)
-Rebecca Lovatt


Book Signing!

 
Linda Poitevin (whose name I finally learned how to pronounce!) author of the Grigori Legacy — Sins of the Angels and Sins of the Son — came to Toronto on Saturday for a signing at the World’s Biggest Bookstore. It was quite honestly (in my opinion) everything a book signing should be. Linda, myself and @whitewolfreads spent a few hours laughing, getting weird looks from security and scaring some people into buying her books — the usual stuff. It really was an enjoyable day.

Signings should be fun, in my opinion.. Not just buy the book, get it signed, leave. Actually getting to know the person behind the creation of the world you’re about to enter, and the characters you’ve come to love is important and it’s one of the things that makes a book even better to enjoy. Reading something that’s great from a faceless name while enjoyable isn’t at all the same experience you get once you know the author, and know what they’re like. Or even, on the author’s side — it’s good to get to know your readers. They’re the people who faithfully look for updates about when the next book will be released, signings and readings let you become better known, and it’s a good way to get new fans. Even if there’s not a lot of people that pick up your book while you’re there — seeing you, and seeing people with your book is a good way to get them interested.

If you do get a chance, I highly recommend going out to signings, and hanging around for a bit. Meet some fellow fans, and learn something you wouldn’t have found out just by reading the author’s bio on the back of the book. Plus, there’s something about having a book signed that makes it just.. so much more than it was before.  There’s more sentimental value in a signed book, and makes it feel much more personal.

But then again, I’m one of those people who loves absolutely anything author or book related. Readers, what’s your opinion on signed books/author events? Is a signed book the same as an unsigned book? Let me know your thoughts!

Also, I want to say thank you for everyone who keeps checking up on my blog even though my posts have been sporadic. I appreciate it and I hope now that I’m done school I’ll be able to update more (and get some book reviews up as well).


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