Writers Can’t Do It Alone…

article by

MK McClintock
What does it take for an author to
succeed? What does it take to create a book from a single idea? Is it possible
to do it alone?
As an author, I don’t believe it’s
possible to take a book from idea to publication without a lot of help along
the way. We can’t publish a book and then sit back while sales soar—it doesn’t
work that way. Book publishing is a business and every single author out there
is a business-owner. In order to make it successful, we have to rely on the
knowledge of those who have experience, on other authors for support, and on a
variety of online outlets in order to help market our work.
Thankfully there are many in this
world willing to help authors on their path to success. We can find these kind
souls on blogs and social networks—they’re ready and willing to do what they
can. Whether the help comes from another author, a book blogger, or an avid
reader, there are sources to help authors reach their goals.
Most of us know of the standard
social media websites where authors and readers congregate, but here are three
of my top choices for websites who go above and beyond for authors.
In the effort to help authors
succeed, the most recent website I’ve had the pleasure of viewing and being a
part of is A Novel Idea Live. “A
Novel Idea is a coffee shop atmosphere where writers and readers can connect. A
Novel Idea, helping authors climb the ladder.”
Another
great site that helps authors to gain reviews for their books is
 An Avid Reader’s Haven “Haven is a warm friendly place for readers to gather and
chat about what they read, and a place for authors to advertise their books.”
One
of my favorite blogs to discover new authors is
I Am a Reader, Not a Writer. A lot is going on at this site, but
with her loyal following and easy-going way of working with authors, this site
is a great place for authors to interview.
So many of these sites exist and
more are going live all of the time, so I’ve spotlighted just a few of my
favorites. There are numerous resources out there for authors, so if you’re
unsure of where to get started, just ask another author. Chances are they can
help point you in the right direction!


About McClintock:
McClintock was born on the west coast, but after less than eight
years she left with her family to the Rocky Mountains. After more adventures
around the country, business college and culinary school, McClintock found a place
to call home in Montana.

“I’ve always loved
books and spent more hours reading through school than any other activity. I
wrote stories when I was younger and even tried my hand at a novel. It wasn’t
very good and I shelved the idea for years.” She pulled the ideas off the
shelf and began working on her first novel, Gallagher’s Pride, the first in an
historical series about a ranching family in Montana.

Over the years
McClintock traveled the country and visited magnificent Scotland. She dreams of
a time when life was simpler, the land rougher and the journey more rewarding.
With her heart deeply rooted in the past and her mind always on adventure,
McClintock still calls Montana home. McClintock is also the author of Alaina
Claiborne, the first of her British Agent novels. She is currently at work on
her next book.’


Website       Blog      Email 

Buy From
Brenna Cameron travels from Scotland
after losing someone she loves in search of family she didn’t know existed. 

Alone now in the world, Brenna makes an arduous journey, following the trail of
discovery to Briarwood, Montana. Here she meets Ethan Gallagher, and the rest
of the Gallagher clan. Only with their help is she able to discover lost
family, heal old wounds and embark on a treacherous confrontation with a man
who destroyed her family. 


As head of the Gallagher clan, Ethan has more than
enough to occupy his thoughts and time-he didn’t need the complication of
Brenna Cameron and he certainly didn’t need the trouble that came with her. 


Ethan takes on the unwanted duty of self-appointed protector to the headstrong
Scot, only to discover there is such a thing as second chances and more to life
than revenge.



Excerpt


 Gallagher’s Pride
Are
you out of your mind?” The words tumbled from her mouth before she could stop
them, but he had gone and truly shocked her.
“No
actually I’m not. It’s your safety I’m thinking of,” replied Ethan, more to
himself than her. He loosened the hold on her arm.
Brenna
let out an exasperated sigh, something her mother had always tried to
discourage, and said, “I do appreciate your kindness, Mr. Gallagher…”
“Ethan.”
“…Ethan,
but I’m certainly not the type of woman to just go home with two men whether I
know them or not. It would be highly inappropriate, not to mention stupid.”
“And
you’re not stupid.”
“Not
as far as I can tell,” Brenna said with fire in her eyes. She rarely ever took
offense at what people said, too comfortable in her own skin to care, but this
man riled her and he did it effortlessly.


Do “Sock Puppets” Have No Shame?

An article by MK McClintock



Apparently I’m further behind in the lingo that I had originally thought, because when someone first mentioned sock puppets to me, I immediately thought about the silly diversion that adults use for kids when nothing else seems to work. I couldn’t have been further off from what the person had meant, so I did a little checking around online for the term (as used in the writing world) and came across these definitions in the online Urban Dictionary:


1. Sock Puppet
An
account made on an internet message board, by a person who already has an
account, for the purpose of posting more-or-less anonymously.

2. Sock Puppet
1:
A fake personality, usually a ‘friend’ or ‘sister,’ created by a drama
queen/king for the sake of defending him/herself against others in an online
forum.

These
definitions may lack eloquence, but both are straight to the point. The influx
of books on the market, especially those by self-published authors have made it
difficult for readers to weed out the genuinely good books from the bad.
Readers go online to read reviews in order to help determine if they’d like to
read a book. They’re thrilled to see a book with only five-star ratings and
with a click, they buy it. They wait anxiously as it loads onto their eReader
or arrives in the mail. Two chapters in and they’re wondering if they purchased
the right book. One third of the way through and they’re thinking they wasted
their money. Halfway through they’re angry because they feel deceived . . . and
if they make it further than that, they’re probably going to go online and
write a scathing one-star review telling the world how much they disliked the
book and how they can’t believe they wasted good money and how everyone who
gave it five-stars was lying. Sound familiar?

This
is a concern which has arisen often lately and from what I’ve observed, it ends
up leading to disgraceful communications between authors and readers. It brings
out the worst in the online community and etiquette is thrown out the window in
order for the respective parties to defend their ratings.

So,
what should be a place for readers to read genuinely honest and fair reviews,
has become a place where deceit makes book-buying a walking-on-eggshells
experience. Readers don’t want to get stuck with a rotten book – so who are
they supposed to trust?

Luckily,
not everyone is a so-called “sock puppet” and honest reviews can be found, but
unfortunately readers may have to dig a little. I have my own little rule of
thumb for reviews. First, I bypass the five star reviews and head straight for
the one-stars and work my way up. Unfortunately this can take a little time and
mine is precious, so I only do this for books that truly interest me. If a book
has only four and five star reviews, I read these carefully to determine if the
reviews are written by legitimate readers (one can often tell my looking at
that reviewers other reviews). Another good rule of thumb – I never purchase a
book where the author has gone online to comment on every mediocre or poor
review they receive.

So
what  do you do when you’ve been duped by
a “sock puppet”? Should you take that as your cue to write one of those
one-star reviews defaming the book in every possible way? I believe there’s a
fair and civilized way to go about it. If a reader is determined to make a
point, why not try first to contact the author directly and mention that you
feel these “sock puppet” reviews have been posted and before you write your own
review revealing it, would the author like the chance to remove those reviews?

This
is where you should screech to a halt! What if the reviews are genuine? How can
a reader be certain? Ouch – this one is tough. Gut instinct? Super brain
powers? It’s a tough call, but many readers make it every day.

So
readers, there’s a civilized way to leave a comment, good or bad, and it
doesn’t hurt to be professional online, no matter how personal the comment is.

Authors
– This doesn’t mean you should never comment on a review, but other than to say
“Thank You” to a kind blogger who read and posted a genuine review for you,
it’s best to leave the comments to the readers. If you want to review your own
book, let the readers know what you’re doing and identify yourself. It will go
a long way with trust.

“Sock
Puppets” – You’re out there, but readers are catching on and they’re watching
for you. Your next book could be the one they don’t buy.



It’s not worth it.


McClintock is an entrepreneur, baker, photographer, tour host, reviewer, and multi-genre author. She was born on the west coast, but after less than eight years she left with her family to the Rocky Mountains. After more adventures around the country, business college, and culinary school, McClintock found a place to call home in Montana.
Over the years McClintock traveled the country and visited magnificent Scotland. She dreams of a time when life was simpler, the land rougher, and the journey more rewarding. With her heart deeply rooted in the past and her mind always on adventure, McClintock will always call Montana home.



Links
Gallagher’s Pride Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/4VE6VFSf1LA


The authors who did it RIGHT

The Ones Who Came
Before Us and Did it Right

By:
MK McClintock

How
often do we as authors and readers talk about the writers who have influenced
our writing-style or how we choose which books are worth to line our shelves?
I’ve done it often, usually without thinking about it. What I don’t always do
is answer the question ‘Why?’ Why do I choose those writers? Why do I choose
those books? Is it as simple as just liking the book? It made me laugh. It made
me cry. The author is just amazing. But if someone asked us to pinpoint the
‘why’ how many of us already know?
As
both an author and reader, I certainly have my influences. Writers who I feel
personify what it means to be a great writer. Writers who are able to capture a
single moment with such astounding clarity, the reader can’t help but feel the
chills, the tears, the touch of a hand, and the all-consuming love. They are no
longer a reader, but are in fact living the life written out on those pages. I’ll
admit, I really get into a good book. So much so, that I’ve read some of my
favorites upwards of two dozen times over the years. Is it because these
writers have influenced me in such a way that I can’t seem to get enough of
them? That can’t be it, because the books I tend to read for simple pleasures
over and over, aren’t written by those I’ve claimed to be my favorites (with
the exception of Woodiwiss), or by those I’ve claimed to have the most
influence over my own writing or reading choices.

Who
are your favorites? How have they influenced the way you write or which books
you choose to read?
So
today, I’ve listed my top influences – whether it be for writing or reading,
these are the authors who have had the most profound effect on me as a writer
and reader. If it has their name on it, I can only wish I wrote it and chances
are, it’s on my bookshelf.
·        
Kathleen
E. Woodiwiss:
I don’t believe I’m only in saying that this author is
a favorite or influenced me to become a writer myself and I’m certain there are
also those who would disagree. I didn’t begin writing with the arrogance that I
would ever reach her level of skill, but this wonder of historical romances
pulled me into her stories, made me long for the lives of her characters, made
me laugh with them, cry with them and she did it all superbly. As an author of
historical romance, I often think of her books as I write and imagine that if
my books come out even half as good as hers, I would have accomplished
something.
·        
Edward
Rutherford:
I haven’t yet read all of this author’s books, but I’m
working through the list. I will say that after I read The Princes of Ireland
and The Rebels of Ireland, I was sold on this author. From his style, to his
dedication to accurate history and his ability to creatively and effortlessly
intertwine fictional families with fascinating history. I longed to be a part
of that world, no matter how difficult or horrible it read at times, I wanted
to be there with the people, fighting their battles, tending the wounded,
loving the families. The images he creates of the landscape is vivid, the
characters equally flawed and heroic. His ability to incorporate the history
into his books, and still write a fascinating work of fiction, is one of the
greatest reasons why he is on my list.
·        
Louis
L’Amour and Larry McMurtry:
These two western authors share a spot on
my list and it may not make much sense to many people, but as western authors
go, they are the greatest I’ve ever read. Lonesome Dove. The Sacketts. Need I
say more? They both wrote westerns as I imagined the west would have been. The
cowboys didn’t ride horses bare-chested and the women didn’t swoon at the sight
of a handsome face. It was survival on the frontier, gun against gun, dirt,
grime, hardship, flawed characters, good families, outlaws who didn’t always
die and good guys who sometimes did. That was the west and I believe that if I
can learn to incorporate a bit of their style into my own writing, I’d have a
successful western. I’m still working on that, but I’d say that as far as good,
down-to-the-earth, love ‘em, kill ‘em, fight ‘em, real west would have been,
these two just may have captured it. Oh and did I mention that they not only
captured it, but made us want to read about it. 






McClintock was born on the west coast, but after less than eight
years she left with her family to the Rocky Mountains. After more adventures
around the country, business college and culinary school, McClintock found a place
to call home in Montana.

“I’ve always loved
books and spent more hours reading through school than any other activity. I
wrote stories when I was younger and even tried my hand at a novel. It wasn’t
very good and I shelved the idea for years.” She pulled the ideas off the
shelf and began working on her first novel, Gallagher’s Pride, the first in an
historical series about a ranching family in Montana.
Over the years
McClintock traveled the country and visited magnificent Scotland. She dreams of
a time when life was simpler, the land rougher and the journey more rewarding.
With her heart deeply rooted in the past and her mind always on adventure,
McClintock still calls Montana home. McClintock is also the author of Alaina
Claiborne, the first of her British Agent novels. She is currently at work on
her next book.’

Genre – Western Romance

Format – Print and Ebook
Purchase Links:
Amazon
Kindle



Blurb: Brenna Cameron travels from Scotland
after losing someone she loves in search of family she didn’t know existed.
Alone now in the world, Brenna makes an arduous journey, following the trail of
discovery to Briarwood, Montana. Here she meets Ethan Gallagher, and the rest
of the Gallagher clan. Only with their help is she able to discover lost
family, heal old wounds and embark on a treacherous confrontation with a man
who destroyed her family. As head of the Gallagher clan, Ethan has more than
enough to occupy his thoughts and time-he didn’t need the complication of
Brenna Cameron and he certainly didn’t need the trouble that came with her.
Ethan takes on the unwanted duty of self-appointed protector to the headstrong
Scot, only to discover there is such a thing as second chances and more to life
than revenge.
Click below for a short excerpt: 

Are
you out of your mind?” The words tumbled from her mouth before she could stop
them, but he had gone and truly shocked her.
“No
actually I’m not. It’s your safety I’m thinking of,” replied Ethan, more to
himself than her. He loosened the hold on her arm.
Brenna
let out an exasperated sigh, something her mother had always tried to
discourage, and said, “I do appreciate your kindness, Mr. Gallagher…”
“Ethan.”
“…Ethan,
but I’m certainly not the type of woman to just go home with two men whether I
know them or not. It would be highly inappropriate, not to mention stupid.”
“And
you’re not stupid.”
“Not
as far as I can tell,” Brenna said with fire in her eyes. She rarely ever took
offense at what people said, too comfortable in her own skin to care, but this
man riled her and he did it effortlessly.