How to write better Amazon reviews

Hey guys! Recently I’ve run into a lot of people asking me how to write better reviews on Amazon for books they’ve read from fellow indie authors.

But the thing about reviewing books is, unless you’re running a review blog, you don’t have to do much!

My reviews are long and wordy because I’ve got a lot to say (plus I write reviews for books here on my blog as well, so I like to try and sell those books to my readers).

But if you’re not doing that, here’s my easy-peasy four-step process for writing Amazon reviews (and getting them approved by the powers that be):

1. Don’t use any profanity (Amazon won’t publish foul language)

2. Abide by that ridiculous $50 purchase rule (it sucks, I know)

3. Cross-post your reviews to Goodreads (it seriously helps!)

4. A little goes a long way! Your review doesn’t have to be a novel. A few sentences would be just fine. Leave the writing to the authors, just make sure they know how much you appreciate their hard work!

If you don’t know what to write, a simple “This was really good! I can’t wait to read more by Author name” will suffice.

Or, if you didn’t like the book, feel free to give constructive criticism. I personally read every review I get to try and improve my work. Some of them can be really harsh, so try not to outright attack the author, but be sure to point out anything problematic so they can fix it in the future.

And that’s it! That’s all it takes. Reviews aren’t rocket science and it’s something really easy and really nice you can do to help an author you admire to succeed in the market.

Writers be like…

  • Friends who don’t read: I don’t understand. Why would people hate you because of your writing?
  • Friends who write: Recently I started getting death threats for my latest novel. I’ve reached the big time. I have become one of the top authors in the world. This is my big break.

Author Charlie Knight

My editor just did an interview! I love them so much and they definitely deserve all the praise they get! Thank you Mikki Noble for featuring Charlie on your blog ❤

Welcome to author interviews–the first of many, I hope. Lately, I’ve realized there are a lot of great authors out there that get buried underneath a pile of rejection letters and self-doubt. Social media is a wondrous thing, but it only gets you so far. Once a month I’d like to showcase a very special author and this week I was lucky to have my friend Charlie Knight answer some questions about herself.

She’s a sweet soul. Keep reading and you’ll find out for yourself.

MN: Charlie, why did you want to become a writer?

CK: The first thing I ever wrote was fanfiction when I was nine years old; back then, it was just a lot of fun! The creative release felt good and I really enjoyed letting the stories in my head out so that they could take on a life of their own. As I got older…

View original post 1,925 more words

Fanart: Marjorie Diaz – Cessily & Adorara

Here’s some fanart I did for Marjorie Diaz of Cessily and Adorara. They’ve sort of become fan favorites so I figured I gotta draw my two favorite lesbians. 

(My other favorite lesbian is Lucian because Adorara is bi/pansexual)

More about Marjorie Diaz

Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy hunts girl for sport.

Marjorie Diaz has no idea who Patrick Watkins is. When he saunters into her senior seminar class during her last semester of college, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with him. 

She’s swept up into a whirlwind—and often times fairytale-esque—romance. That is, until his family kidnaps her and sends her to a place she never thought she would go again. 

Now, with the help of her best friend Lucian Maravalle, she has to run for her life, and try not to think too hard about the fact that all of the important people in her life has been keeping a dangerous secret. A secret that could cost Marjorie her life.

Book one in the Marjorie Diaz series.

Cover art by Ariel LeAnn of Cat’s Paw Media


Get your copy here

About Des: Get to Know Me

1. Real name → Desdemona 
2. Nickname(s) → Des
3. Status → Online
4. Zodiac sign → Leo. 
5. Male or female → Female. She/her.

6. Elementary School → Yes
7. Middle School → Yes
8. High School → Yes
10. Hair color → Red
11. Long or short → Short
12. Loud or Quiet → Loud
13. Sweats or Jeans → Yes
14. Phone or Camera → Yes
15. Health freak → No
17. Do you have a crush on someone? → Sure 
18. Eat or Drink → Drink
19. Piercings → Yes
21. Water or Fire → Water
22. Love of your life or 4 Billion Dollars → Yes

23. First fear → It sure did happen
24. First best friend → Mindy
25. First award → Science
26. First crush → Scott
27. First pet → I did have one.
28. First big vacation → It happened
30. First big birthday → Fifth

49. Eating → Nothing. 
50. Drinking → Water
52. I’m about to → Sleep
53. Listening to → My SO brush his teeth
54. Plans for today → Sleep
55. Waiting for → This episode of Cougar Town to end

58. Want kids?→ 
59. Want to get married?
60. What careers do you have in mind? Obviously writing.

68. Lips or eyes → Sure
70. Shorter or taller? → Sure
72. Romantic or spontaneous → No thanks.
73. Nice Legs or belly?→ Not required
74. Sensitive or loud → Sure
75. Hook-up or relationship → No
77. Drama or Super Shy → No

80. Lost glasses/contacts → Yes
81. Ran away from home → Yes
82. Hold a gun/knife for self defense → Yes
83. Killed somebody → No
84. Been Heartbroken → Yes
85. Been arrested → No
87. Cried when someone died → Yes

89. Yourself → Yes
90. Miracles → Yes
91. Love at first sight → No
92. Heaven–> Uh
93. Santa Claus → Eh
94. Sex on the first date → Neh
95. Kiss on the first date → Nooo

97. Is there one person you want to be with right now more than others → Yes
98. Are you seriously happy with where you are in life → Yes
99. Do you believe in God → Eh

Writing Advice: How to Write Dialogue

1. Don’t Waste Your Reader’s Time

Dialogue is one of the most important elements to writing a story. Conversation between your characters can make or break a scene. Dialogue should never be to clunky or long-winded. Every line of dialogue needs to be presented with purpose. It needs to further your story or develop your characters. 

Don’t write scenes that lead to nowhere. Dialogue that dead ends without supporting your character’s attitudes or your plot alienates your reader. It is perfectly acceptable to write stupid shit so long as it goes with the tone of your story, but make sure it has a purpose. 

2. Keep Everyone in Character

Dialogue is often where writers tend to do most of their exposition and world explaining in order to avoid pesky info dumps in the narrative. Dialogue is there to support you and push you through to the next part of the story. 

However, any world explaining and exposition you have your characters spouting needs to be relevant to their whole “deal”. 

Don’t have someone randomly start talking about a part of your story you need explained if it doesn’t have something to do with the character explaining it. Keep all of your dialogue and talking points specific to your character’s personality so the lines don’t feel forced or out of place. Everything should run smoothly from one sentence to the next and it should be concise! 

3. Writing Dialects

Generally, showin’ the way people talk is frowned upon, but I say do whateva you want, sugah. If your character has a unique voice that is easily shown by writing things like “’lo” or “’ello” or “showin” or “sugah” then go for it. Don’t let your dreams be dreams. 

However, avoid things that would confuse your reader like m’no’gonnah or other weird apostrophe laded words that could drag them out of the story. Unless your character is Scottish or Australian. Then strange slang and apostrophes abound. Do whatever you need to do to get your dialogue on paper. 

But for the love of god please don’t be racist. 

4. The “Said” Conundrum

A lot of my writing friends swear up and down that you should only use “said” or “asked” while writing dialogue. And that you should avoid using “whispered” or “exclaimed” or “ejaculated” (okay this one you shouldn’t use. I’m watching you J.K Rowling), but I disagree.

Write what feels comfortable for you, but don’t be afraid to use “said” where you can, just not TOO often. I get myself in hot water with my editor over this a lot.

Using words like “whispered” or “exclaimed” or “growled” can bring more depth to a scene. Especially if you’re trying to keep it simple and avoid unnecessary description (like trying to figure out how to explain someone was talking softly by writing “she said in a whisper” or trying to explain how someone is growling or hissing by “she said with a growl” or “she said with a hiss”). 

The point is, write it however you want and fix it later :).

5. Dialogue Should Tell a Story

Dialogue is an important part of your story. It should be able to move the scene on it’s own. If you take out all your words and descriptions, does your dialogue propel the scene forward? Does it tell people more about your characters or your world? Does it offer insight? 

If not then you need to start over. Dialogue scenes are supposed to be dynamic, insightful, funny, maybe even flirty without making people groan or roll their eyes (unless it’s a pun). 

Read your dialogue out loud, have other people read it out loud. If there are any parts you tune out or skip or think are too long, cut them shorter. It anything makes you put your head in your hands and sigh, make it better. 

And as always, keep being creative every single day