Tag Archives: Goodreads

Into the Forest is a Goodread

Into the ForestInto the Forest by Jean Hegland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The horrific challenges these people endured and how they were tempered by the fire of their circumstances moved me and kept me turning each page with eagerness.

Jean Hegland paints a dystopian landscape that is painfully close to reality. She creates a strong foundation and builds out the rooms of this story, brick by brick. Her use of language is reminiscent of Barbara Kingsolver’s, yet distinctly her own creation.

Relationships are tested, twisted and nearly broken apart, only to heal and become stronger. At its core, it is a story about the love the grows out of the hearts and minds of one family, embodied most clearly in the relationship between the two sisters, Nell, and Eva. They live with their father and free-spirited mother on an isolated farm in a fictionalized location the redwoods of Northern California.

I reveled in the details and patience with which she painted this world. A strong connection to nature permeates the story. The rhythm of her language flows like a strong clear stream. She deftly amplifies the emotional landscape within Nell and Eva contrasting it with their external reality, seasonal transformations that offered bounty and danger in equal measure.

These are unique, smart, quirky people. Each has gifts and blind spots. Through it all, they are enmeshed with each other like the roots of the forest trees and plants that surround them.

It is a coming of age tale of survival. The principal characters are far from perfect. They stumble as they learn how to exist in a world where nothing comes easily except for being true to their innermost selves.

I ached with pain as I read each new struggle. I laughed and wept as the two typical teenage girls discover boys and who they are meant to be. Their lives are turned inside out and yet they find a way to do more than simply exist. These girls are resourceful at times, frightened, and always real.

I could imagine myself in their world where technology and civilization as we know it disintegrates.

It is a well-told tale and left me wanting more.

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Build Buzz, Get Blurbs and Reviews with ARCs

Build Buzz, Get Blurbs and Reviews with ARCs (Advance Reader Copies)

Free Book Marketing Tip #11

There are people waiting to help you improve your book and get the word out. And, they can help you before you publish. They can give you valuable feedback and start generating buzz. I am talking about Advance Readers!

An ARC is Different from the Boat Noah Built

In publishing, ARC is short for “Advance Readers Copy.” It is a preview of your soon to be released book. Seeing a book in print is exciting. Getting a printed ARC is worth the time and effort. With options like createspace, the cost is lower than ever before. I’ve been a designer for more than 20 years and it is really amazing that until you see it printed, you may not catch typo’s that are impervious to spell check, or those odd bits of formatting that need attention that will literally jump off the printed page yet hide on the computer screen. 

Sending out ARCs to helpful and eager readers will provide you with insights and testimonials you can use in your book marketing. Advance readers can also pinpoint areas where you need to do some fine-tuning before you publish.

Advance Readers Are Invaluable

These folks are different from the editors you hire to improve your book. Advance readers are willing to read your book, give honest reactions and criticism, for free. They don’t replace the expertise of editors. They complement it. If they love your book they will tell other readers, even before your book is available!

Ask for Help

Ask for beta readers and potential reviewers before you go to press. Reach out to book critics too. Look for top influencers in your field of expertise targeting those who can boost the visibility of your book and help you reach a larger audience.


Don’t have to wait until you have published your next book to reach out to reviewers, readers and influencers. They can help you refine your book and improve it before publishing. Allow about 8 weeks for them to read your book and send back comments. You can select the best comments and use them (with written permission) on your back cover, in your publicity, and on your website.

Best Practices 

  • Clearly label your “Advance Reader Copy” as such.
  • ARC’s are not for sale.
  • ARC’s can be a pdf.
  • You can print ARCs using a service like createspace.
  • Offer a finished copy of your book when it is published in exchange for an honest review.

Edit Before You Send Out an ARC

While an ARC is not a final copy and doesn’t have to be perfect, be sure you have done your due diligence and have had your book professionally edited first. Evaluations you receive from ARC readers will be different from those of the editor(s) involved in your project. Advance/beta readers may identify issues of readability, grammar, or plot, but if you have done a good job working with your editor(s), it is more likely beta readers will give you positive comments not potshots. If you learn that there are some fixes needed, you have saved yourself from prematurely publishing your work.    

Where To Find Advance Readers

Goodreads is a great place to start. Reach out to thought leaders in your field or genre. Ask for advance readers by making a request to your email list. You can also use social channels like Facebook, LinkedIn or twitter to find readers.

Advance Reader Copies are part of a successful book marketing strategy.

Additional Resources




Free Book Marketing Tip #5 – Use Video

Free Book Marketing Tip #5 - Use Video

Free Book Marketing Tip #5 – Use Video

YouTube is a gigantic search engine. YouTube has over 1 BILLION subscribers. Millions of people are viewing videos every day. (YouTube Statistics)

You Can Make a Video

You probably already have everything you need to make a video. If you have a smart phone, you can make a video. If you have a computer with a built-in camera, you can make a video. There are upgrades too: you can get a web cam (Logitech makes several models, some are under $100), a dedicated video camera, or use an SLR camera that also takes video.

You Don’t Have To Appear On Camera

If you are camera-shy, consider adding narration to photos or slides. Demonstrate how to do something. People love how-to videos. There are a variety of ways to make videos. You can record your actions with a camera or use software to follow your actions on the computer.

Movie Making Software

When it comes to making movies, there are a lot of choices. Some software can help you turn your images, slides, or pdf’s into a movie. Some of the tools are free, some for fee. Many software developers let you try before you buy. Here is a sampling of some of the apps/software you can use to make a video that you share with others:

I’m sure there are other tools out there, and if I left out one that you love, please let me know.

Movies and Videos are Another Way to Tell a Story

Here a few ideas to get you started:

  • Interviews
  • How did you come to write your book?
  • What did you learn in the process of publishing your book?
  • Why you wrote the book
  • Who your book is for (your intended audience)
  • How your readers can best use the material contained in your book
  • A guide to the characters
  • A guide to the setting(s) in the book
  • Create a book trailer that pumps up excitement about your book

Where to Share Your Videos

  • Your website
  • Youtube
  • Vimeo
  • Goodreads (your author profile for instance)
  • Amazon
  • Pinterest
  • Twiter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Your newsletter
  • Slideshare
  • Vine

Are You Ready for Your Close-up?

I hope this has informed, entertained and inspired you to create your own videos. Some final tips:

  • Keep your videos short (90 seconds to 5 minutes)
  • Do a series of short videos rather than one long video
  • Make an outline of what you want to cover before you start
  • Search for top videos and see what they are doing
  • Be sure your audio is crisp
  • If you are working indoors, use enough light to show your subjects clearly
  • Include a call to action (what is the next thing you want your audience to do)
  • Have fun

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