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Liz Writes

0 In Liz Writes

Writing an Honest, Effective, Helpful Review on Amazon

Did you hate book reports in school?

Even if you loved the book, it was probably hard to tell your classmates why much beyond, “This book was really exciting.”

So even when you want to rave about a new book you’ve discovered—or warn other readers off—you may be reluctant to limber up your fingers and leave a book review on Amazon. What do you say? How do you start?

Start by being honest.

Though some books are over-the-top terrific, and some are eminently forgettable, not every book worth five stars, and not every book is worth only one star. Most fall somewhere in the middle.

What would you tell a friend?

What one or two points—good or bad—you would tell a friend about over coffee. Some of the following questions might give you some ideas.

  • What kept you reading? (Chemistry between lovers? Entertaining sidekick? A nasty villain?)
  • What would you want to see more of? (Action, sex, dialogue?)
  • Who would you recommend this book to? (Close friends, book group, your aunt?)
  • How does it compare to other books in this category or authors in this genre? How are they similar? Different?
  • How did you feel about the characters? (Heroes, sidekicks, villains?) Who stood out?
  • How did you feel about the main character’s growth/change—or lack of it?
  • Was the ending satisfying?
  • Was the pacing fast or slow?
  • Would you read another book by this author and why—or why not?

See? Not that hard.

Give it a try.

If you want to give it a try, go to the book’s page on Amazon and click the ratings link, just under the author’s name. It will take you to the reviews section and you’ll see a box that says “Write a customer review.” That’s all there is to it.

Reviews help other readers to decide whether to try a new book or new author or not. Think about what you would want to know before buying a book by an untried author. Simply try to answer those questions for someone else.

2 In Liz Writes

Liz’s Website Remodel

It’s a mess in here!

If you’ve checked my website here in the last few days, you’re probably wondering where you are. And no, I’m not changing my name to Oleander. That’s the name of the new WordPress template I’m using.

Whether you’re getting new furniture, reorganizing your office, remodeling, or simply repainting a room, it always looks worse before it looks better doesn’t it? Same with a website revision. It’s a mess.  

But slowly it’s straightening out. That’s in large part due to Solo Pine, the originators of this template. They’ve been incredibly responsive to my questions as I apply my pitiful WP skills to this project.

I think you’ll like it when I’m done. So please be patient. Thank you for sticking with me!

0 In Gems & Jewelry/ Liz Writes

The Enduring Allure of Gemstone Crystals

This 18k yellow and white gold pendant is set with an amethyst of extraordinary color. Design by Deborah Spencer, Trios Studio, Lake Oswego, Oregon.

As I work on the revision of The Listening Heart—thank you Beta readers for such excellent feedback—I was tickled to find an article in the March/April 2019 edition of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist magazine entitled “Crystal Hues Persuasion” by Deborah Yonick. Continue Reading →

2 In Liz Writes

Draft of The Listening Heart Done!

Finally! The second book in my Eden Beach birthstone series, The Listening Heart, is done and out to beta readers. It’s taken a lot longer than I thought. From some of the comments coming in, it will take a bit longer yet as I make it stronger. I’ve added a suspense element to this one, and that has made the pacing trickier.

This one has a stalker/serial killer who is shadowing my main female character, Stacie Capella. I’ve already had one friend tell me she won’t read it and that’s fine. But I wanted to try something darker. Not sure I’ll try it again, but I’ll have to wait and see.

Now, on to book three as I wait for the rest of the comments from beta readers. I’m determined this one will get done faster.

1 In Liz Writes/ Liz's Books

Happy Valentine’s Day

Bananas. I’m ready when you are! Photo Stuart Robertson/Dreamstime.

Happy Valentine’s Day! A day for hearts, flowers, chocolate, and, of course, love.

It’s Stacie Capella’s 29th birthday. Her wonderful friends have surprised her with a small celebration in her shop, The Bell, Book and Crystal, before opening. Eileen has brought a beautiful cake, which pleases the ever-hungry Colin, and a couple of Milk Bones, which are awarded much tail-wagging by Bananas, the labradoodle on steroids. Stacie is surprised and touched by the exquisite card Colin, a graphic designer, has created for them all to sign, and delighted with the lovely brooch Mir has made from repurposed costume jewelry. It is a wonderful surprise and Stacie enjoys it completely. Colin enjoys the cake. Continue Reading →