Writing and Me

Why Are ARCs Important?

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Whether you’re traditionally published or self-published, advanced reader copies (ARCs) of your edited manuscript are important. Here is why…

What is an ARC:

ARC is the shortened term for ‘advanced reader copy’. An ARC is a copy of your work that you send out to a group of readers ahead of your publication date.

Note: an ARC copy is not the same as a beta copy. Beta Copies are usually sent out before the final edit to garner constructive feedback during the editing process. ARCs are edited, finished copies of your work that are ready for publication.

Why send an ARC:

  1. ARC reviewers can offer honest feedback before your book is even on the market. You can get a good idea on how well your work has been received
  2. Free promotion. ARC readers tend to be reviewers. Having reviews on blogs, Goodreads, and social media etc is brilliant promotion before publication.  Authors need reviews, plain and simple.

When to send an ARC:

Of course, it would not be an ARC if it wasn’t received in advance of the publication date, however, there are differing opinions as to how early to send an ARC. I have received ARCs up to seven months before publication, and some within two weeks of the release date. Ultimately, it is the choice of the author/publisher. I would not advise sending unedited ARCs, but again, that is personal preference, but please be fair in your time allowance. Give the reader enough time to read and review your work comfortably, unless they specifically agree to last minute reads. 4-8 weeks before publication is acceptable for sending ARCs (especially indie books/ eBooks).

How to find ARC readers:

ARC readers are everywhere, you just have to know where to look for them.

  1. Blog: If you have a blog, do a shout out for ARC readers and reviewers.
  2. Twitter: Write a tweet requesting ARC readers. OR search hashtags such as #bookbloggers #bookreviewer #bookblog etc. You can DM or find blog links to reviewers in your genre.
  3. Social media: Post requests for ARC readers and reviewers on all your platforms.
  4. Research: Use search engines to find book blogs etc. Most book bloggers have review policies for you to study.
  5. Netgalley: You can pay a fee to have your ARC signed up to Netgalley.com. Members can request copies of your work to review.
  6. Friends: Send out copies to honest friends. Make sure they will give you a review. The more reviews the merrier.

Keeping ARC readers for future use:

Once you have found ARC readers, you ideally want to keep them.

  1. Always thank them for reviews, even if it is not the 5* review you wanted!
  2. Reblog/ share their reviews and links. Not only does this help you, but it helps them get traffic to their platforms.
  3. Build a list of trusted reviewers. Ask all of your ARC readers if you can call on them in the future. Avid readers are a valuable assets to all authors.

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Thrown to The Blue, Writing and Me

Why Did This Draft Feel Easier??

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As you may be aware, I have completed the first draft of Thrown to The Blue and it is having a little rest before I start the redraft. I’ve been thinking about this drafting process and why I found it so easy (much easier than my EVO Nation series.) Maybe there is a plethora of reasons, and this story just seeped from my pores, but as a pantser, I scrutinise my methods and techniques to try and better understand what suits my writing style.

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More POVs

For the first time, I have written a draft in multiple POVs; two for the majority of the book, and three toward the end. It is unconventional to add a POV late on in the narrative, but I’m a rebel like that. Once my MCs had met the antagonist, Lyerdith, she got her own POV. I did this to add depth and hopefully lead into book two. This was a source of debate for me, but in the end, I liked being inside Lyerdith’s head, and her POV helped progress the narrative.

Shorter Chapters

Due to the multiple POVs, I was able to make the chapters shorter. Writing shorter chapters kept me thinking about the next step, and the next POV. This made the drafting that little bit easier. I had to get what I needed to say down in shorter intervals, which eliminated a certain amount of pointless rambling.

CampNaNo

There is no denying that CampNaNo helped me no end. I hit my 30k target with the encouragement of my cabin mates. Feeling accountable for my word counts was a great motivator.

Letting Go

Everything about this draft was out of my comfort zone, yet I felt so at home. I allowed myself the freedom to explore POVs, time lines, and characters that blur the lines between good and bad. For the first time, I didn’t set myself an ideal deadline. I went in with the mindset that it will take as long as it takes. I’m still in the mindset in regards to the redraft and edits and it is a refreshing perspective for me. If I have to cut or rework during the redraft, then you know what, it’s all cool.

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Do you have a particular drafting style that makes the process run smoother? Can you relate to any of the above?


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

GIFs sourced from GIPHY.COM

Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: The Aurora Stone by G.S.Tucker

book review(1)The Aurora Stone by G.S.Tucker 3.5/5

13936524_1241811149203633_830653308_n.jpg“An Elvish girl with changeable eyes will lose her family through the void. Three companions she will travel with. They will be identified by their gems. To get back what was lost, the Aurora stone must return to its home. In no more than a year and four days must this quest be completed, or the realms will be pulled into the void and lost.”

An ancient prophecy, a special gift and an epic adventure awaited Evangeline of Hermoria. On her 18th birthday Eve’s whole world is turned upside down. Learning of her long lost twin brother and the prophecy, she alone must fulfil. Eve sets out on the adventure of a lifetime. Battles are fought and friendships made, as Eve journeys through the realms or Orea. All the while a great evil is on her tail. It’s aim? To stop the prophecy coming to pass at any cost! Will Eve fulfil the prophecy and save all of Orea from the void?
Will she ever find her twin brother? One thing Eve knows for sure, she will fight to the death and beyond to save her friends, and all that she holds dear. After all darkness cannot survive where there is light.

Thanks to the author for giving me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Review:

I love anything fantasy, otherworldly, and elvish. Evangeline ‘Eve’ is a elf from Hermoria who receives her unique gifts upon her 18th birthday. She also receives shocking news from her mother… or the woman she thought was her mother. Yes, Eve’s parents disappeared when she was a baby, and her twin brother was lost. Quickly into the narrative, Eve learns of a prophecy that starts her off on an adventure in search of the Aurora Stone and her long lost twin. She has a year and four days to find it before the realms are sucked into the void.

The narrative moves along at a fast pace, and sub characters pop up fairly quickly, giving the reader time to get to know them from early on in the narrative. The sub character’s roles were to help Eve in her quest. I would liked to have seen them develop a little in their own right with their own destinies, but I suppose not being sucked into the void is as good a motivator as any.

I found Caleb’s character the most endearing. He was flawed, and this added to his charm and made him feel well rounded. Don’t get me wrong, you know from the start that he is a gentleman, but he has secrets, fears, and annoying habits like the best of us.

Even though Eve is 18, younger children will enjoy the narrative. It is a YA novel due to the character’s age, however, the writing style is teetering on the edge of children’s literature. The idea of right verses wrong, good and bad, and good morals, is interwoven through the entire narrative.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: Parallel by Shana Chartier

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Parallel (Interactive Ramblings Book one) by Shana Chartier 2.5/5

13933315_1240179256033489_668307562_n.jpgAva has finally found true love with her boyfriend, Mason, and her life is absolutely perfect. Until one night, during a casual kayak ride, the two of them are pulled into a whirling vortex under a bridge, and Ava is thrown into another universe where unicorns and fairies exist in the human world. With her alternate-universe self, Avalon, and an annoying hunter named Hunter, Ava must find a way to get back through the portal and to Mason. She is able to access another portal with the help of a witch, but when Avalon and Hunter tag along, there’s no way of knowing where they’ll end up next.

Thanks to Rambunctious Ramblings Publishing Inc for giving me a free copy of this short story in exchange for my honest opinion.

Review:

A short story of just 10,000 words, easily read in one sitting. A good concept with vortexes, parallel universes, dopplegangers, fairies, unicorns, and the such. However, it seemed hard to capture the overall idea in so few words.

I liked Ava’s character as she is a tough cookie with a strong determination to find her boyfriend, Mason, who was also pulled through the vortex to the Parallel. The other characters felt a little cliche to me- especially Hunter. This may be due to this being a short story, and subsequently, character development fell a little by the wayside.

If you want a quick, light read with supernatural twists, then this is the story for you.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: Pavel by Brianna West

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Pavel (Guardians in Love #2) by Brianna West 5/5

13734580_1224495820935166_2082436514_nEve’s entire existence and the secret power she harbors is forever changed when she meets the incredibly gorgeous Russian, Pavel Volkov, one night after he single-handedly saves her from being attacked. Claiming he’s part of an elite group of Guardians that police the Light and Dark, Pavel takes her into his protection.

The playboy warlock-faerie helps Eve unlock the secrets of her past, training the hidden power within as they attempt to keep her from the Dark that seeks to capture her. But with nothing short of disdain for the man claiming to be her protector, can Eve discover the truth behind who she really is? Will she be able to learn how to use her powers efficiently? And more importantly, will she be able to deflect the relentless advances of her so-called protector?

Thank you to the author for offering me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Pavel is due for release on August 12th 2016.

Review:

Brianna West has done it again. Have I mentioned that I am a huge fan of West’s Promiscus Guardian’s series, and now the spin off series, Guardian’s in Love? Well, I am, and book two in the Guardian’s in Love series, Pavel, did not disappoint.

I have been desperate to get my hands on a copy of this ARC because its focus is on one of the flirty, loveable characters from the Promiscus Guardian’s series, Pavel, who needed a healthy dose of real love. I’m an old romantic at heart and wanted him to get a strong minded, level headed girl who could win his heart. The cat and mouse chase between Pavel and Eve kept the pages turning- REALLY fast.

The narrative is told from Eve’s POV, and I enjoyed seeing her character develop over the course of the story, and how she overcomes her own relationship fears to fall for my loveable rogue *hehe*. Seriously, that’s how you feel about these characters; you get sucked into their world and root for them all. I know that more than one reader has claimed dibs on certain characters as their fictional boyfriends. Oh, the choices! Us paranormal romance fans can be a possessive, die hard bunch. Also, if head angel, Simon, ever finds true love, I hope she is a Cornish brunette, perhaps called KJ.

As usual, West packs in oodles of hunks, kick ass heroines, love, sex, and fight scenes. Oh, and not forgetting Bernie and his t-shirts. (Another man in need of a sweetheart…Brianna West, do you hear me?)

If you enjoy the paranormal, steamy scenes, fast paced action, and a lot of love. Get reading West’s novels!


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties.

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.

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100% K.J Chapman, Writing and Me

Getting To Know Me Tag!

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I do love a good tag! Thanks to Mollie over at Mollie’s Musings for thinking of me. If you have not checked out Mollie’s blog, and you love everything writerly, bookish, cute, inspirational, and down right fabulous, then head on over and give her a follow!

This tag is self explanatory, so without further ado…

What is your middle name?

Technically, I don’t have one. My first name is hyphenated: Kayleigh-Jane.

What was your favourite subject at school?

English Lit and media studies.

What is your favourite drink?

Tea.

Favourite food?

Devil’s Food Cake.

What is the last thing you bought?

For me, personally, I bought a shirt in the charity/ thrift shop. The very last thing I bought was a Tsum Tsum for my daughter. She collects the weird, little, wastes of money. Seriously, google them, they’re bizarre.

Is there anything I should know?

I developed hayfever this summer. My eyeball jelly swelled up and everything! (I have no idea what you actually call that stuff.)

Favourite colour?

Green.

Do you have any pets?

I have two dwarf hamsters called Lavender and Juno. They tried to kill each other, so now live in separate cages.

We also seem to collect garden snails. My daughter has a thing for making habitats, and tries to bring snails into the house. She found loads in my Nana’s garden, put them in a pot with grass and leaves, and left them in her kitchen- yep, they were in her fruit bowl in no time.

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Favourite Perfume?

Hugo Boss Woman, but at the moment I’m wearing Rihanna’s Reb’l Fleur.

What was the last picture you took on your phone?

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My hubby and our daughter rockpooling. They caught fish, shrimp, and sea snails. After a few pics, they’re all safely back in their pools.

Do you speak any other languages?

Hmmm? If I got lost in Spain I wouldn’t starve, but I’m not fluent.

How many siblings do you have?

I have one brother and two sisters. My sisters are half sisters, but I don’t call them that because they’re not half of anything in my eyes! I’m the eldest, and my fourteen year old sister thinks I’m ancient.

What is your favourite shop?

Book shops!!! My hubby would say charity shops because I just can’t walk by one without going in.

Favourite Restaurant?

Locally, we have a restaurant called BooKoos and they do the best burgers EVER. However, a short drive away, there is a farm called Roskillys. Roskillys has petting animals, nature trails, a restaurant that serves meat that has been reared on the farm, and they do the best ice cream in Cornwall!

What phone do you have?

Lumia something or other… I’m not really up on phones. It rings and texts, so I know that it works. I have a tardis phone case, though.

How tall are you?

I think I’m 5ft8 ish.

Can you cook?

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Have you ever been stung by a bee?

Three times that I remember. My mum recalls some others. The most prominent memory is when my uncle was spinning me around by the wrists like Superman, and as he lowered my to the floor I knelt on a dying bee- ouch!

What is your best childhood memory?

I’m lucky to have many:

*Sliding down the stairs on a duvet with my brother.

*Boogie boarding at the beach.

*Going jumping (Jumping is the simple term we Cornish use for jumping from rocks and walls into the sea). We did it safely of course.

*Biking through the woods.

How can I not have great memories? I live here:

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How would your friends describe you?

Monica! Not only do I love making lists and organising, I also get Hagrid hair in humid weather.

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Watch TV or read?

Read.

Ebook of Paperback?

I have no preference. If I read an eBook and love it, then I will buy the paperback for my collection.

Plane or Train?

Train, but only because I have been on more trains in my life than planes.

What is your definition of family?

Love.

Why did you choose to be a writer?

I was born this way, baby!

Thanks again to Mollie for tagging me.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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100% K.J Chapman, CampNaNo, Writing and Me

CampNaNo Update: Finale

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Guess who hit their word count goal of 30k words with 3 days to spare? Me, that’s who!

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I’d like to thank my parents for giving me life, my supportive family… haha. In all seriousness, I’m thrilled that I hit my target, but as for completing the first draft of Thrown to the Blue… It’s so so close- frustratingly close.

Although the draft isn’t complete, Ezrahli, Reed, Brenneth, Quinn, Lyerdith, Teal, Lissa, Magdarra, Ageet, Merryn, and Lowven are just some of the characters who have made my NaNo experience pure fun. I’ve loved every aspect of drafting this WIP, and my characters have made reaching that 30k goal all the easier.

Not forgetting my cabin mates. I was lucky to be in a cabin with some Twitter friends and new writing buddies. They are an encouraging bunch, and we are extending our NaNo experience with a closed facebook group to continue to support each other with our projects.

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I’m so glad I chose to do July’s CampNaNoWriMo as it has helped me no end with my first draft. I’d definitely recommend NaNo for much needed motivation.


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

GIFs sourced from giphy.com

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