Some observations on Reader Feedback

It’s funny how many people read my books and yet fail to leave a review or even rate them. Amazon seems to run on ratings and I have very few. I keep searching for ways to get more, but nothing seems to work very well.

I read every reader’s comments, good and not so good, even the ones from would-be readers who are horribly offended by something I wrote. I’m sorry about that, but I’m not a ‘safe’ writer. I deal with reality as I see it and few topics are out of bounds as long as I’m enjoying the story I’m telling. Most readers seem to expect a riveting tale and various types of mayhem mixed with a little sex doesn’t offend them. I don’t pull punches, although I haven’t “killed the dog” yet (advice that is often offered to writers: Don’t kill the dog.” That’s probably because dogs don’t like that – neither do people. I don’t kill cats either, just in case you were wondering.) I just keep trying to become a better writer and tell compelling stories.

I’ve come to the conclusion that a reader shouldn’t have to leave a review – it’s an imposition to ask for some of someone’s time in this busy world. I opt out of Internet surveys from vendors when I can, so I can sympathize with my readers.

My only request is, if you like my stories, then please recommend them to your friends. I spend months creating the best story I can for my novels and then spend a lot on cover art and editing, because I’m dedicated to providing you with the best reading experience possible.

I still love feedback, though:-)

Here’s a review of my most recent novel: Cyber-Witch. The first cover didn’t work and I got very few sales. I’ve now changed the cover to one more representative of the cyber-punk genre andCyber Witch thumbnai newl I’m currently working on a sequel to this tale, since the characters weren’t content with where I left them.

***** 4.0 out of 5 stars
A thrilling cyberpunk tale
February 18, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition
In the not-too-distant future, Sophie, a young woman with a debilitating addiction to opiates, finds a new chance at life in a good Samaritan who takes her in and helps her battle her addiction. Cal, a hacker, also teaches Sophie how to code, and she soon becomes a decent hacker as well. But their cyber-adventures lead them to cross the wrong people… which leads to devastating consequences. Determined to get revenge, Sophie infiltrates the powerful company behind the attack — and learns that there’s more at stake than she bargained for.

Cyber Witch is a thrilling cyberpunk tale full of twists and turns. Sophie is an unlikely and sympathetic heroine — one who must battle personal demons as well as the external forces she stumbles upon. I don’t want to say too much about what happens because a great part of the thrill lies in the unexpected twists, but suffice it to say that this story didn’t go the way I thought it would… in a good way.


A brief observation on writing for actual readers rather than yourself

Two philosophers were walking down the street when they passed between two houses. The owners of the two houses were arguing with each other from open 2nd floor windows. One philosopher told the other, “They’ll never resolve their argument.” The second one asked, “Why?” The answer was, “They’re arguing from different premises.”
How many readers assumed that the philosophers were both men? I didn’t specify gender. It’s funny how we make assumptions based on our own ‘premises’. Readers do the same, so as writers, we need to set expectations and define premises in ways that advance our stories without confusing our readers. (He says, having been guilty of confusing readers through his close personal involvement in his writing.)
Just because it’s clear to you doesn’t mean your readers will follow it in the way you meant it. The take home part: be aware of your reader and back away enough to see their point of view.
I find that I get better at this, the more stories I write. (Or at least I think I’m getting better.)
It’s been said that you have to devote 10,000 hours to become an expert in anything. I hope this doesn’t directly convert to books. I don’t think I can write 10,000 novels 🙂

On the Horror of being a “Sitting Duck”

One of my FB groups just posted a challenge to write a 100 word horror story. I posted one. I’ve got to confess I’m both lazy and often tend towards being silly. Anyway I thought I’d share it with those of you who missed it on FB. It is silly, but it’s exactly one hundred words.


“On the Horror of being a Sitting Duck”

The alien battleship is coming over the horizon!
Ten nine eight seven six five four three two one…
Ten nine eight seven six five four three two one…
Ten nine eight seven six five four three two one…
Ten nine eight seven six five four three two one…
Ten nine eight seven six five four three two one…
Ten nine eight seven six five four three two one…
Ten nine eight seven six five four three two one…
Ten nine eight seven six five four three two one…
Stop the count-down clock. The launch button is stuck!
We’re toast!


Author Bitz

Here’s a new book site that is just getting launched. Help make it a success, please.

Author Bitz


It will offer an alternative way to find out about new and upcoming authors, follow your favorite authors, and display your books. I’ve donated to the crowdfunding and would like to see it work.



Typography makes a difference – Who’da thunk it?

I just had the typography changed on my time travel novels. Immediately below are the original covers.

Timetraveltweet image1


Here are the new ones.compilation-time equation novels

It’s easy to see the books are related and part of a series with the new typography. They were missing that before.

You can put that error down to inexperience in book marketing. I want to provide interesting and compelling stories for my readers and that is the goal for which I strive. The problem is that people won’t read books unless the cover attracts them.

I think the new look makes a big difference and I hope you do also.

I’ve learned a big lesson here. I’ve got to pay more attention to the cover wording and not just the artwork.


The three books are on sale from 2/18/18 to 2/21/18 for $0.99 each on Kindle.


Cyber-Witch: The Origin of Magic – Review Quotes

Cyber-Witch is now available on Amazon and IngramSpark.

A gritty and dark novel about the real-world AI threat highlighted in a cyberpunk theme, drug addiction, genetic hybrids, killer-drones, nanobots, and the transformation of the world. Warning: adult themes including sex, drug addiction, and violence.

First Review: 5 out of 5 stars Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
“Excellent story that contains a realistic look at where our technology could be headed. The writing is strong and articulate while fully immersing the reader in the story. Grab this book.”

Second Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars A masterful vision well-realized. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
“Sometimes we get ideas, simple ones, that in actualization are difficult. I think this story is of one such overarching idea, but executed well.  I don’t want to give away the big idea, but the bulk of the story builds a long sort of mythology to it, culminating in the battle with the BBEG. The last bit of the story ties it all in together, using the story as a springboard for the grand idea. There were some slowish bits, especially the first three chapters or so before the actual plot really reared it’s head. Once that happened, the story runs full tilt toward the climax. Then the magic happens.”

Cyber-Witch: The Origin of Magic is now LIVE in the Kindle Store!!!

I just released my latest book today. Here’s the link:

poodle & drone

Cisco & Killer Drone  A story about the real-world AI threat highlighted in a cyberpunk theme, with drug addiction, genetic hybrids, and the transformation of the world, grab a copy. Warning: adult themes including sex, violence, and talking animals:-)

My Weekly Writing Activity

Loose keyboard keys

Keys I typed this week

For the fun of it, here’s my Grammarly stats for last week:

You were more productive than 99% of Grammarly users: 74,475 words checked

You were more accurate than 90% of Grammarly users: 772 alerts shown

You used more unique words than 97% of Grammarly users: 2,196 unique words used


And here’s my reasons and excuses:

Production: I wrote a short story and checked it twice. That was about 15k words total. I’m also making a final pass through Cyber-Witch’s 90k words prior to placing the novel on Kindle. That accounts for the rest of the Grammarly count. (I’m not done with Cyber-Witch yet, so I’ve got to put more text into the Grammarly editor.)

Problems: My, most, serious, problem, is, with, commas <sigh>.

On the good side, most of the alerts were due to writing dialogue with a lot of slang — can’t have all my characters speak perfectly.

The next issue is that Grammarly hates passive voice, but there are times when something happens to a character and it’s not their fault. If they’re being acted upon, they’re passive and I’m going to use passive voice at that time.