Don’t judge a book by its cover—or its Goodread’s star average.

Good Reads Error 300x170 Don’t judge a book by its cover—or its Goodread’s star average.This isn’t a slam against Goodreads reviewers. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion and some people love my books—some hate them.

This is about a Goodreads’ glitch that I’ve experienced, and it seems I’m not alone. I just heard from an author friend who has had a similar problem.

If you skim book covers to read over at Goodreads and move past those that show a low rating average, you may be overlooking books Goodreads reviewers enjoyed. The star tally might be screwed up.

Take for example the second book in my Haunting Danielle series. As I write this, only one person has left a Goodreads rating on the book, a five star. Yet, had you looked at the book’s average last week, you’d see a different picture. Check the above screen shot I took last week. According to that, minus 2 people left a four star rating—and overall only 33% of the reviewers liked the book. Fact was, only one person had rated the book and they gave it five stars.

Kudos to Goodreads for fixing the glitch after I contacted them (twice). Yet, this has also happened several times on the first book in the series. I have no idea if my other book ratings are accurate over there. These just jumped out at me because they were new releases with only a few ratings.

The problem as I see it—how often does this happen? If an author doesn’t contact Goodreads to point out the problem, how many of these erroneous star averages are misleading the Goodreads community? I have a number of author friends who NEVER go to Goodreads and check out their books. The reason they don’t is another story that I won’t get into now. But the point being, without the author reporting the error to Goodreads (or some other concerned Goodreads Citizen) then perhaps those Goodreads rating averages you see with the book covers are totally useless.

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Haunting Danielle, Book 2 is live!

Both books <i>Haunting Danielle, Book 2 </i>is live!As I write this, it is just a few minutes past 3:30 in the morning. After waking up from a dream I can’t seem to get back to sleep, so I decided to write a blog post instead.

It’s now November 1st, which means Haunting Danielle, Book 2 hits Amazon. If you can’t sleep either, you can click here and download a copy.  If you haven’t read the first book yet, then you’re in luck, because it’s currently on a KDP Countdown sale, which means you can download the book for just 99 cents. The sale ends November 5th or in roughly, 21 hours.  Click here to download the first book in the series.

I think I will try and see if I can get back to sleep. Happy reading!

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What do they call a person who downloads pirated eBooks?

Fotolia 52247680 XS What do they call a person who downloads pirated eBooks?Authors often give away free eBooks when promoting their work. You’ll find free eBooks at all the legitimate eBook websites: Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, All Romance and more. If you want a free eBook, I recommend you go there.

However, some readers believe they should never have to pay for an eBook. Not long ago one of my writer friends had a free promotion on the first book in his series. A reviewer left a rave five star review saying he loved the book and wished the author’s other books were free so he could read them too. Huhh?? Seriously??

For authors battling pirate sites, there is one consolation, many of those pirate websites that claim to offer “free” eBooks are often offering more than a book – such as a nifty virus or Trojan. I’ve also heard that at some sites you don’t even get the promised book file – just a nasty computer infestation.

Of course, there are pirate sites out there where you can pick up free eBooks. Back to question I asked in the headline: What do they call a person who downloads pirated eBooks?

Answer: A Thief.

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Another Haunting Danielle

perfect haunting Another Haunting DanielleAfter Haunting Danielle was released, I Googled “Haunting Danielle” to see what would come up. I put the title in quotation marks, because I wanted only webpages with the two words, together and in that precise order.

I was surprised when another Haunting Danielle popped up – this one typically with a comma or period separating the two words, instead of together like my book title.

Those other pages were for the movie, Montgomery House: The Perfect Haunting, written and directed by psychic Danielle Egnew.

I’ll confess, I had never heard of the movie before. Like my story it takes place in a bed and breakfast in the northwest—Washington instead of Oregon. Egnew’s movie takes place in Montgomery House, while mine takes place in Marlow House. Unlike my story, the movie appears to be based on a real life spooky haunting.

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I just don’t get zombies…

Haunting Danielle 3 I just don’t get zombies…I understand vampires, but I just can’t figure out the zombie craze. Not that I am a huge vampire fan, although I did enjoy Brandon Hale’s Day Soldier Series—which is not really a genre I typically read.

We spent last week with our daughter and her family in the Sacramento California area. Our daughter was thrilled when the season premier of Walking Dead came on. I started watching it. After all, the grandkids were tucked in for the night and it was the only show playing on the living room TV.

When the cannibals started slitting throats I left the room and retreated upstairs with my laptop. My husband was braver than me and watched the entire episode with our daughter and son-in-law, although it left him shaking his head, wondering why there is such fevered fascination with dystopian horror films, specifically: zombies.

I may write a vampire book someday, but for now I’ll stick to ghost stories. Book 2 of Haunting Danielle will be out in a few weeks, and I am working on Book 3—which is slated for a January 1 release. But there are no zombie stories in my future.

As for those ghost stories—here’s a sneak preview of the first three covers of the series—designed by that Walking Dead loving, cover artist—our daughter Elizabeth Mackey.

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Haunting Danielle, Book 2 – Off to the beta readers!

window <i>Haunting Danielle, Book 2</i> – Off to the beta readers!The second book in the Haunting Danielle series has been sent to the beta readers. After the betas finish and I make any necessary changes, it is off to the editor for a Nov 1 release.

I’ve been having a great deal of fun writing this series. So far the Amazon reviews have been favorable for the first book. While it only has three reviews—they are each five stars.

What have the reviewers said about the first book?

“I love good mysteries and this is one of the best I have read.”

“Her characters were quirky, funny, and sassy.”

“Light, fun, clean, well crafted paranormal mystery in the vein of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.”

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When you discover your character’s name has been used before — and is kinda sorta famous.

Both books 300x208 When you discover your characters name has been used before    and is kinda sorta famous.One of the supporting characters in Haunting Danielle is a police officer named Joe Morelli. This morning one of my friends finished Haunting Danielle and asked me, “Did you know that Joe Morelli is Janet Evanovich’s male MC in the Stephani Plum series?”

Hmmm no…I haven’t read that series. I really had no idea. I borrowed the surname from a friend of ours, and Joe from our son-in-law.

My Joe Morelli is no relation to the character created by the talented Ms. Evanovich. I wonder how often this happens—I imagine frequently.  I recall not long ago one of my friends released her first book, a YA that was well received. Yet one reviewer blasted her for naming her character similar to a YA character in another series, accusing my friend of stealing the name. Fact was, my friend had a sentimental reason for selecting her character’s name, and it had nothing to do with the other YA book.

I toyed with the idea of changing the name—yet those who have already read the book, and have it on their eBook reader and intend to read Book 2 when it comes out November 1, 2014, might get confused. My Morelli character plays a central role in the next book, so I’m torn. Chances are, this sort of thing will probably happen again.

What would you do?

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