Writing a Dream

Posts tagged “eBook

New Year’s Free Promotion – All Releases

To celebrate the New Year, both myself and Ruby Jones are offering our titles for free for a short time starting December 31st!

Check out Ruby’s book We Are All Retarded on Amazon by clicking here! Keep in mind, Ruby’s book carries an audience recommendation of ADULTS ONLY.

You can pick up my short story Last Night by clicking here. This release is rated 13+ foradult content.

Also make sure to pick up Rumbling Heart which is the first in a series based in and around the Eureka, California universe. You can pick up this release by clicking here. This book is rated 14+ for adult language, adult situations and content, and scenes of dramatic peril.

Get’em fast! This free offer only lasts till January 2nd. Three free books available for three days! Go get’em now!

Retarded CoverLast Night CoverPoster

Rating Books

Something I’ve actually come to love about writing is deciding which material to use as opposed to other. What I mean by this is, as like movies, books are becoming something that can actually be rated depending on the content that is included in the work.

Why did I start using my own personal rating system?

It all comes down to who our target audience is. Example. I purchased and started reading a book solely on a recommendation from a friend. They said it was a good story and a well created world. I thought sure! I’ll give it a go. And they were right…to a certain degree. They story started a little slow, but that’s most books for you. I kept with it and the characters started developing nicely. I was starting to get into when like a bolt of lightning, I found myself in the middle of a hardcore sex scene.


I am the kind of person that feels people should write whatever they like to write. If you have a knack for action or fantasy or erotica, go for it. I will never ever tell people to censor themselves. If you like to include a lot of adult language or violence or sex in your work, I say do it.

If I am all for writing whatever people like to write, then why the self imposed rating?

Sure, most of what is written and released is categorized in various genres. We have thrillers, we have drama, we have romance, sci-fi, etc. The issue I found is that just because a work is categorized doesn’t always tell you what exactly is in the finished work. I know if a book is released within the Erotica genre chances are I am going to come across a few very detailed sex scenes. On the other hand, I may pick up a thriller and have gobs of violence and other things I may not have expected. The same can be said of Sci-Fi. I’ve watched many sci-fi movies and virtually all of them have a certain level of violence in them. Some of it is stylized while parts are grotesque and graphic. I’m not in the least surprised by what I read in books today. Not in the slightest, but being a writer I want to me sure that anyone that picks up my book…and I do mean anyone…will have an idea of what to expect while reading my work.

I don’t do spoilers. I hate those. There is nothing worse than reading a book only to have someone or something spoil the ending. This is not what I am going for. Here is an example of what I have done to self rate my work before release:

(This eBook carries a voluntary rating of 16+ for language, some graphic violence, some crude humor, alcohol use, drug references, and scenes of dramatic peril.)

As you can see, I didn’t include any spoilers so the story is still intact. All this does is give a heads up of what to expect when you read this particular work. The age noted is also key. It is there to give you an idea of what ages should be considered when giving my work to a minor. As you can see, I self rate similar to how movies are rated. You know when you go to see a PG-13 movie that teens will probably not see or hear anything they’ve not come across before. Anything under that age, well you may want to reconsider or join them for the picture. I do the same thing with my books.

Keep in my I rate my books based on my own opinion. In no way should my rating by taken as gospel. I’ve made it no secret that I do not have kids. I do however have nephews and nieces and I think about how they might react to something they see in a movie or on TV. Would I not want them to see certain things? Of course not. I wouldn’t want to expose them to graphic violence or sex. Besides, it’s not my call what they get to see. The call is up to their parents. Their parents are given a little guide with which to make a decision. Books are changing just as TV has. 25 years ago it was rare to see graphic violence or hear certain cuss words on television. That’s all changed now. Still, as you watch TV you probably notice the little TV-14 in the corner of the screen before the show (or another similar rating).

It’s not about censorship. It’s about keeping people informed. I will continue to write about things I want to write about and if they are violent and full of sex, so be it. That being said, I still like to give a heads up to people so they know what they are getting into before they start reading.

Here are examples of other ratings I’ve seen in books, all voluntary.

From “We Are All Retarded” by Ruby M Jones –

This electronic book voluntarily carries a warning of ADULTS ONLY. The material in this book is intended only for mature audiences. Persons under the age of 18 should not be allowed to read or possess this book because of its frank and explicit nature. Parents are strongly cautioned and warned that this body of work is not intended for children.

Here is the one I put in Rumbling Heart.

This book carries a voluntary audience recommendation of 14+ for language, adult situations, violence, alcohol use, and scenes of dramatic peril. Parents should exercise caution when purchasing this book for younger readers as is it not intended for those age 13 and under.


Review Copies Available – Rumbling Heart…and a Few Tips on How to Properly Review

I have decided to make a few review copies of Rumbling Heart available to those interested. All I ask is that once you’ve read the book that you post an honest review on Amazon.com. If you choose to post the review on other sites such as BN.com, Good Reads, etc., that’s completely up to you. For those who’ve already reviewed for me, I thank you very much and as thanks for your honesty, I am offering you a free copy of the follow up Recorded Butterflies once it hits Amazon.

To get your gift copy through Amazon, simply email me at richardwrites@live.com or send me a tweet (@RichardAllenRH) with the email address you use for Amazon and I will get it to you. The book is a little long so I am not expecting you to post immediately, but a timely manner is appreciated. If you are new to reviewing, have a look at B.S. Meyers’s review here. 

As you can see there are no spoilers and he sticks to main points. As I mentioned, this is a request for honest reviews. I cannot and will not offer payment or additional merchandise of any sort just to get a good review. I will also not fault anyone for giving a review that’s less than stellar as long as it’s honest and points out the faults of the story properly. I’m not setting a length requirement as long as the review gets it’s point across. That being said, a review that is really, really short isn’t very helpful so feel free to write a bit if you like. Keep in mind I am also using these reviews to improve my writing so if you find a fault, feel free to mention it. Pointing out grammar errors (which do happen on occasion) is not helpful.

To give you an idea of what a bad review is, please click here.

As you can see, the reviewing doesn’t give examples as to why she felt the book was bad. All she did was spout nonsense and never once mentioned why she felt the book wasn’t worth it. This review is in no way helpful to the writer or anyone else looking to purchase the work because it gives no solid clue to anything having to do with any faults.

As I mentioned, I do not consider only positive reviews to be good reviews. Take this review about Fifty Shades of Grey for example. While I admit the reviewer does go a little overboard on listing actual numbers concerning the repetition she sees in the book, she does make her point. Her first paragraph is especially helpful as she points out that the author may not be very familiar with American English based on her use of the language, noting that many of her uses are more closely associated with British English. The review was a one star. Not a good rating for the book, but a decent review all the same. If the author had seen this, they may have tried to brush up on their American use of the language a little more and also work on different ways to implement character expression.

I don’t have an unlimited number of free copies, but I will try to get out as many as possible. If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments section as I do check those daily.

Writing and Celebrity

IRex iLiad ebook reader outdoors in sunlight. ...

Image via Wikipedia

This is a response to a blog post I read regarding privacy and how much of it you should keep. The blog post started out talking about sales numbers, but also dove into personal privacy as well. You can read the original post by Tamworth Grice here.

“True that some data is good to keep to yourself. One thing however that I think a lot of eBook writers are missing nowadays is that one key element still holds true to a certain degree: people want to know about the authors writing their books. I’ve talked to a few people and many of them have felt irked by the fact that a lot of eBook authors give little to no information about themselves so readers lose interest. It’s true that you should not have to give out certain info, but you have to remember that readers will often read books and make a personal connection to them. Because of that, they feel the need to learn more about the writer. Especially in this day and age where you can essentially make up a personality on the internet and pass it off as yourself, people in general want a little honesty with their celebrities and that’s how they see some of us. I in no way think of myself as a celeb, but people from other countries see me as one for some reason. It’s for that reason that people search for me and want to know more about me. They want to know where the story came from, why i wrote it a certain way, and probably the most asked question i get “is this from real life?” Sure, we all want a little privacy, but as writers, we need to open ourselves up to the fact that with great success, we become celebrities and as most celebrities do, we have to give into the fact that we, in a sense, become part of the public domain where we will be discussed and talked about in various circles.”