Saturday, 14 May 2016

Reacting to Negative Reviews - Part I

In this 2-part blog post, I answer some of the questions I've been asked in the last few years about negative reviews of my books. This first one just happens to be a long answer to one question...

Q: What's your initial reaction when you read a negative review about one of your books?

A: An exaggerated pout, eyebrows joining in the middle, sad puppy-dog eyes. Then the words, "That's a bit harsh." My books are my babies; it stings when someone says they're not adorable.

A few moments later, I re-read the review and make a note of the feedback that I can work on in future novels. You have to learn from your mistakes, listen to your readers. You're writing for them, their thoughts matter.

I've been lucky that my contemporary romance books Chasing Pavements and Make You Feel My Love, haven't received any negative reviews yet. Well, I haven't spotted anything less than a 4-star review for these. (We'll ignore the 1-star rating left for Chasing Pavements on Goodreads as there was no text accompanying that rating.)

The reviews of the first two books in my paranormal series Poison Blood on the other hand, are mixed. The average rating (out of 5-stars) on Goodreads for Poison Blood, Book 1: Revelation is currently 3.61-stars, and 3.76-stars for Poison Blood, Book 2: Absolution. Not bad. I'll take that considering downloads of more than 30,000 at the end of 2015. Add this to the many people who contacted me via Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads saying they loved the first two books and want to know when the next instalment will be out, I'm elated that I pleased a few readers and did one or two things right.

The feedback I can take on board from the 1-star Goodreads reviews for Book 1 is that there wasn't enough action and perhaps the language was a tad grown-up for a YA novel.

One thing that keeps coming up is that the Poison Blood books are a rip-off of Twilight, a book in which girl meets vampire, girl falls in love with vampire, girl wants to become a vampire, vampire refuses to turn girl into a vampire unless girl marries vampire. All of this happens in my book; the only difference is that when my protagonist Ellie meets vampire, she doesn't fall madly in love with vampire, Ellie doesn't want to become a vampire and doesn't marry vampire. Also, vampire is not a teenager, and is not in high school. And there's not a single werewolf in sight.

My characters' personalities are very different too. I've read many books where it's the same story as Twilight, with the protagonists having similar personality traits to Bella and Edward, but Edward just happens to be some other mythical creature. Really, the similarities between my vampires and those in Stephanie Meyer's novels end with the skin/body. And the plot couldn't be anymore different.

Amidst the negative feelings about the vampire mythology I adopted, my writing receives praise on more occasions than none. The below reviews are classic examples of readers loving my work but not the sparkles:

4-star review on Smashwords: 
"I enjoyed this book. I have read so many free paranormal romance books and this one kept me reading. I found the whole slayer angle interesting and I am excited to read the third installment. The only reason I am not giving it 5 stars is the whole diamond sparkly skin thing which was too familiar to Twilight for me."

3-star review on Goodreads: 
"Simultaneously one of the best and the worst vampire books ever. Not sure how I feel about this.

Best because the grammar is great, it transitions smoothly, it is NOT a love struck human pining for a vampire, as well as being funny and sarcastic.

Worst because the mythology behind these vampires is TWILIGHT. Everything: the sparkling in the day light, the extreme beauty, AND THE REST OF IT TOO.

Don't get me wrong, the writing is great. But when all of your knowledge about your characters was told to you by Twilight - you have a problem."

In response to the last sentence: all my knowledge on my characters' personalities (remember, personality is separate to physical appearance) comes, not from Twilight, but from me. I created these characters. 

As for authors conforming to the rules of the vampire mythology explored in Twilight, I think it's their decision. Some readers don't like sparkling vampires and so, understandably don't support my decision of staying in line with that. At the end of the day, vampires aren't real beings. Authors writing about vampires that sleep during the day, burn in the sun, can only be killed if their hearts are ripped out, who are stronger and faster than humans, are they plagiarising each other? Or does it only become a problem if the vampires are like those in Twilight, which some readers love and others hate?

Personally, I love the sparkling in the sunlight - to me, this seems far more feasible than industructible immortals that have skin that suddenly becomes flammable and burns to ashes in sunlight. More than that though, I love the fact that Ellie is more than just a vampire and I hope readers can give her a chance to tell her story. There’s more to her than her skin, trust me!

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Delve into The Soulmates Saga this Spring!

Someone Like You, the third book in my contemporary romance series, the Soulmates Saga, will be released on July 27, 2016. You can pre-order your copy now from Amazon US, Amazon UK, iBooks and B&N Nook at a low introductory price of $0.99/£0.99. Hurry, because after its release, the cost will return to its normal price of $2.99, still very cheap considering what you get - romance, tension, heartache, tears, laughs and even suspense.

What’s that? You want more in a modern love story? Sorry, even if I tried, I wouldn’t have been able to squeeze any more drama into this book. It’s practically bursting with it. Just like its predecessors.

Hang on, did you say you haven’t read the first two books? Well, why ever not? Chasing Pavements and Make You Feel My Love introduce you to Mukti and Jamie - two very unique characters that you can’t help but get attached to - and set the stage beautifully for the epic third instalment. If you haven’t gotten your (digital) hands on these, download them now, because both books are half price for a limited time only (at Amazon USAmazon UKiBooks USiBooks UKNook and Smashwords). So, there’s no excuse for you to not start the Soulmates Saga this year.

Now, just because these books share their titles with singles released by the brilliant Adele (who I love, love, love!), don’t interpret it as a gimmick, a marketing ploy, to cover up sloppy, poorly-written love stories. No, there’s some serious writing going on in there, I should know, I spent the last six years writing them!

Not quite convinced yet? That’s okay. You can download free samples before you buy and have a look at my favourite reviews that I’ve added to the book pages on this blog. With books 1 and 2 now half price, and book 3 ready for pre-order at a low introductory price, there really is no better time to delve into this series.

Time for an FYI. If you haven’t read the first two books but are interested in getting into this saga, stay away from the Someone Like You book page, don’t read the blurb, don’t look at the cover, just leave it alone. Why? Spoilers, that’s why. Trust me, you will enjoy the first two books a lot more this way.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Delve into the Soulmates Saga in 2016!

Someone Like You, the third book in my contemporary romance series, the Soulmates Saga, will be released on July 27, 2016. You can pre-order your copy now from iBooks and B&N Nook at a low introductory price of $0.99/£0.99. Hurry, because after its release, the cost will return to its normal price of $2.99, still very cheap considering what you get - romance, tension, heartache, tears, laughs and even suspense.

What’s that? You want more in a modern love story? Sorry, even if I tried, I wouldn’t have been able to squeeze any more drama into this book. It’s practically bursting with it. Just like its predecessors.

Hang on, did you say you haven’t read the first two books? Well, why ever not? Chasing Pavements and Make You Feel My Love introduce you to Mukti and Jamie - two very unique characters that you can’t help but get attached to - and set the stage beautifully for the epic third instalment. If you haven’t gotten your (digital) hands on these, download them now, because both books are half price for a limited time only (at Amazon USAmazon UKiBooks USiBooks UKNook and Smashwords). So, there’s no excuse for you to not start the Soulmates Saga this year.

Now, just because these books share their titles with singles released by the brilliant Adele (who I love, love, love!), don’t interpret it as a gimmick, a marketing ploy, to cover up sloppy, poorly-written love stories. No, there’s some serious writing going on in there, I should know, I spent the last six years writing them!

Not quite convinced yet? That’s okay. You can download free samples before you buy and have a look at my favourite reviews that I’ve added to the book pages on this blog. With books 1 and 2 now half price, and book 3 ready for pre-order at a low introductory price, there really is no better time to delve into this series.

Time for an FYI. If you haven’t read the first two books but are interested in getting into this saga, stay away from the Someone Like You book page, don’t read the blurb, don’t look at the cover, just leave it alone. Why? Spoilers, that’s why. Trust me, you will enjoy the first two books a lot more this way.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

This Valentine’s Day, Delve into The Soulmates Saga

I am so pleased to announce that Someone Like You, the third book in my contemporary romance series, the Soulmates Saga, will be released on July 27, 2016. You can pre-order your copy now from iBooks and B&N Nook at a low introductory price of $0.99/£0.99. Hurry, because after its release, the cost will return to its normal price of $2.99, still very cheap considering what you get - romance, tension, heartache, tears, laughs and even suspense.

What’s that? You want more in a modern love story? Sorry, even if I tried, I wouldn’t have been able to squeeze any more drama into this book. It’s practically bursting with it. Just like its predecessors.

Hang on, did you say you haven’t read the first two books? Well, why ever not? Chasing Pavements and Make You Feel My Love introduce you to Mukti and Jamie - two very unique characters that you can’t help but get attached to - and set the stage beautifully for the epic third instalment. If you haven’t gotten your (digital) hands on these, download them now, because both books are half price for a limited time only (at Amazon US, Amazon UK, iBooks US, iBooks UK, Nook and Smashwords). So, there’s no excuse for you to not start the Soulmates Saga this Valentine's Day.

Now, just because these books share their titles with singles released by the brilliant Adele (who I love, love, love!), don’t interpret it as a gimmick, a marketing ploy, to cover up sloppy, poorly-written love stories. No, there’s some serious writing going on in there, I should know, I spent the last six years writing them!

Not quite convinced yet? That’s okay. You can download free samples before you buy and have a look at my favourite reviews that I’ve added to the book pages on this blog. With books 1 and 2 now half price, and book 3 ready for pre-order at a low introductory price, there really is no better time to delve into this series.

Disclaimer time now. Well, more of an FYI. If you haven’t read the first two books but are interested in getting into this saga, stay away from the Someone Like You book page, don’t read the blurb, don’t look at the cover, just leave it alone. Why? Spoilers, that’s why. Trust me, you will enjoy the first two books a lot more this way.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Someone Like You (The Soulmates Saga, Book 3) Blurb Reveal

Hello everyone, thank you for dropping by! I am absolutely thrilled to be able to share the blurb for Someone Like You (Soulmates Saga, Book 3) with you today.

Let me know if it whets your appetite, and any thoughts you have on what will happen in Book 3. 

It was one thing for Mukti to move on and be happy with someone else when Jamie had left her in New York. When he’d given her his blessing. But now that he knew who her lover was, the fact that he didn’t approve of her choice and wanted her back, it was doubly hard to accept that Mukti still wanted to be with Jonathan. A very bitter pill to swallow.

Mukti, Jamie and Jonny are unable to untangle themselves from each others’ lives. Jamie loves Mukti more than anything. She is his soulmate. He has lost her too many times, lived without her for too long, to know that he doesn’t want anyone but her.

Jonny feels the same way about Mukti. But he is aware that, despite the fact that she has chosen to start a new life with him in London, his journey with her could, at any time, come to an abrupt end.

Mukti believes Jamie is her soulmate. Being his life partner however, is something she isn’t ready for. The sacrifices she would have to make in order to be with him ask too much of her.

With heartache and bliss twisting with jealousy and hatred, the past colliding with the present, which path will Mukti be thrown onto - the one that cements her relationship with her saviour Jonny, or the one that leads her back to her soulmate Jamie? 

‘Someone Like You’ is the epic third instalment of the Soulmates Saga, which sees Mukti and her loves facing the toughest tests yet.  
~ ~ ~

Someone Like You is available to pre-order from iBooks and B&N Nook at a low introductory price of $0.99, so pre-order your copy now as the cost will return to its normal price after release! Amazon will let you pre-order it from May 2016.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Someone Like You (The Soulmates Saga, Book 3) Cover Reveal

Welcome back to my blog :) Thanks for popping by.

In my last post, I revealed the name of my upcoming book - Someone Like You (The Soulmates Saga, Book 3).

Today, I’m even more keyed up, because I finally get to reveal the cover!

So, here it is, in all its pretty, flowery glory.

I hope you like as much as I do, and do let me know what you think.

And remember to come back here on Friday 29, when I will post the blurb! I cannot wait!!


Sunday, 24 January 2016

Soulmates Saga, Book 3 Title Reveal

Hello everyone, hope you’re well. And excited. I definitely am! Because, I can now reveal the name of my upcoming book, the third instalment in the Soulmates Saga.

So, without further ado… drum-roll please… Book 3 in the Soulmates Saga is called…

*** SOMEONE LIKE YOU *** 

I love the song of the same name by Adele, and love how it fits into my book.

Well done to those who guessed correctly - I will e-mail the three entrants randomly selected to win the top prizes after I post this. Commiserations to the entrants who weren’t picked out of the virtual hat, but you’re still brilliant for taking part! As a thank you, you will all receive money-off coupon codes to get 50% off the sale price of Chasing Pavements and Make You Feel My Love at Smashwords.

All entrants that did not guess the correct name of my next book will still get a prize - money-off coupon codes to get 25% off the sale price of Chasing Pavements and Make You Feel My Love at Smashwords.

But that’s not all, folks! Everyone that entered will have a chance to get their hands on a free e-copy of Someone Like You when it’s released this summer. I'll e-mail you with details of how to qualify when I send you your prizes.

Congratulations and thank you again to everyone who took part.

And make sure to pop by my blog on Wednesday 27, as I will do the cover reveal then. Really looking forward to it :)

Neha xXx

PS. Here's the updated poster!