Judith Rook  (with Alison Dere)

Writer, Reader and general Book Fan

Erotic Romance on Preorder

The Three Ways of Desire is on ‘Smashwords’ and ‘Kindle’ on preorder until September 15th 2015.   I had a hard copy printed so that one of my readers (who doesn’t use the internet) could have a look at it, so naturally I flipped through it myself. I feel very good about it.
While I was writing the novel I did quite a lot of research on the ‘erotica’ shelves and I came across some really foul and disgusting material, and only a very few good storylines.
I hope that I have managed to add a book with a strong (hopefully interesting) storyline. If people tell me that I have done that, I will be satisfied.

For the book cover I asked Vila Design to move away from the usual naked male torso/unzipped jeans look because it’s become such a meaningless cliché, although I have been told that those cover images are always popular.  Even so, I’m sticking with the one I like.  At least there’s a pair of bare shoulders to look at, but the rest of the cover actually refers to the storyline.

Keep on reading.

Judith Rook Books's photo.

One down; More to go.

I have spent the last three weeks doing the final edit of my latest novel. It’s around 90,000 words long, and I swear I’ve looked at every single one individually, not to mention the punctuation. By ‘final’ I mean edit number five. Then I went back to my records and had a look at the rough draft which I put together in January this year. Well, a book’s got to begin somewhere, but I closed that file very quickly.

Now it’s on to the next novel. I’m in a mind to go back to the very first book I wrote and re-work it. The idea’s OK but I wrote it more for myself than for readers.  Or I can begin on the third book in my “Circe” series. It’s ready to roll.

As you can see, a writer never stops.

Good reading to everyone.

PS  The book is “The Three Ways of Desire” and sample material should be available from around 2/3 September.  The date for complete publication is 15th September, but the novel is already on pre-order on both Smashwords and Kindle.

Is it too easy to write?

A writer with whom I’m in contact says that she began writing “BC” – before computers. When a re-write had to be done then it was a big job and took serious time. She mentions carbon paper. It makes me think. Carbon paper? What about constantly dipping a pen into an inkwell?

There are so many thousands of people writing now. Is it because they are really driven to write or is it because it is so easy to write with text programs? Would there be as many writers if contemporary writing was the harder and slower physical process that it used to be?

It’s similar to being prodigal with paper.  If it’s easily available, it will be wasted.  If words are easily manipulated, perhaps they will be used carelessly.

There is another writer I know who does all her writing with ball-point pen in ruled note books.  I believe that Colleen McCullough produced real manuscripts, hand-written manuscripts, before transferring them to the typeface. And yet there are writers who say that the swiftness and easy corrigibility of computer authorship helps their creative energy.  When ideas are in full flow, the computer becomes essential.

To be truthful, I have not seriously thought of producing a proper MS.  If I did I think I might well find myself moving into a different relationship with my text.

I’ll wait for the next long power outage and make sure I have candles waiting; then I’ll see what happens.


Rather Puzzled

I’ve been thinking about reviews.

A person who creates something rarely wants to keep it from other people.  Writers want their work to be read and hopefully to be enjoyed so they publish it, knowing that from time to time it will be reviewed, whether paid for or unsolicited.

However I believe that reviewers have a responsibility to be accurate in what they write.  A music review (and I’ve written many of those) mustn’t say that a performer played out of tune unless the writer is willing, and able,  to prove that what they say is correct.

A review  was written for “Planet Woman” which said that there are “syntactical errors” in the text. I have written for editors who look for errors of syntax with wide grins and bared fangs, so I know all about them.  I asked the reviewer, very nicely, if he would tell me where I might find a syntactical error in my novel.   Later, I asked him again. No reply both times.

I know quite a lot about grammar; things such as a gerund phrase used as a noun, or an adverbial modifier, don’t faze me.

I wonder if the reviewer is talking about my general writing style, where sometimes I adjust ‘normal’ syntax for the sake of a particular effect.  I wish I knew what he means.

Reviews: by and about Judith Rook

I have decided to put the reviews of “Planet Woman” onto a single page on my blog; the one called “Reviews of Books by Judith Rook”.

Most of these reviews I paid for, but the one by ‘Marjorie’ is unsolicited, and all the more precious for that reason.  I do not discount the other reviews for their commercial origin.  They were written by independent and articulate people obviously with very different reading experiences and points of view.  The general opinion is that “Planet Woman” is certainly worth reading, and that gives me the ‘warm fuzzies’ in spades.

I have also decided to post the reviews which I write about other books onto a separate page, the one called “Reviews written by Judith Rook”.

Sell the Book as you write it

I have put my just about completed novel “Man of Two Planets” onto both Smashwords and Kindle as “preorders”.   Preordering  is a nifty marketing strategy; the author offers the book for sale before it becomes available, at a price lower than what it will be at the time of publication and the readers put a red dot on the book, in the expectation of a good read on the happy day when they can finally download it.

Smashwords have even gone a step further than Kindle.  The enterprising Smashwords people have come up with the concept of the “Assetless Preorder” whereby a writer can declare a manuscript and offer it for sale with only the ‘blurb’ actually written.  This means that during the months of writing, orders for the incomplete novel can be building up . . . and up . . .

This is a fine idea, but I’m wondering if it might lead to a few crises in the future where writers may find that they have over-committed themselves and are unable to meet the preorder deadline.

It’s interesting to see that in such a situation Smashwords will just let the preorder arrangement gradually fade into disuse, whereas Kindle are more admonitory and a defaulting writer will not be allowed access to the preorder arrangement for a whole twelve months!   Goodness!  What are things coming to?

I am intending not to let myself become a sleepless victim of deadlines.  I had enough of that when I was writing professionally as a music reviewer. I’ll not put anything out as a preorder unless I have the MS three-quarters written and a solid lot of editing already completed.

We’ll see what happens.  Preorder success seems to depend rather heavily on the quality of the ‘blurb’, and of course what an author has already written will have a bearing on whether a reader will give a coming book a red dot – or not.

“Planet Woman” and the “Star Trek” World

I think that what I’m moving towards is the creation and exploration of a world and social contract which could generate something like the “Star Trek” saga.  During the four years of the intial  “Star Trek” television series the adventures occurred in the settings of deep space.  Very little was revealed about the condition of the Earth which provided the material support and generated the ethical and moral climate holding on the “SS Enterprise”.   My friends and I sometimes wondered if it might be a Utopia.

Now In the final stages of the second of my “Circe” novels I realise that I could be creating a world where humans have reached a state of greater development of the full human potential and are no longer a danger to the planets they live on, which means they can go exploring into the far reaches of multi-galactic space.

It’s a nice thought, but I’ll have to wait and see what happens in the third book.

“Planet Woman” – A Reader Review

A few weeks ago I came across the Indie Book Reviewers service.  I’ll say more about them later, but I have received six  reviews, and I’m thrilled!  The readers all like the book, and talk about it very well indeed.  I feel like a real author now.   Here is the text of one of the reviews.

  1. To say this novel is totally unlike anything I’ve ever read before would be an understatement! I’m not sure how to even describe this book as sooo much happens, and it seems to touch on so many elements, themes, and subjects. It is fantastical and creative, yet very intelligently so. I think that you need to take your time while reading it to really grasp everything the author is saying, as it will require some deeper thought and reasoning. I think that the pacing was done well, a nice mix with narrative and dialogue, and in my opinion, the supporting cast of characters were almost more dynamic than the main ones (almost, but not… a great balance). This is a longer book, as are most space operas, and when I reached the ending, although it wraps up satisfactorily, it seems the door could be open for a continuation of the storyline in the future. I for one hope it continues, I’d love to read it! Recommend for fans of sci-fi/fantasy/romance. (5 stars)

Readers are Kings (and Queens)

I have just read an article which tells me that 1 million new books are created each year.  It makes me wonder why I bother with my single book.  In fact, I find myself slightly embarrassed that I have had the effrontery to post it on line.  However, the sequel is almost finished – out probably in July, and I intend to post that on line too.

When ‘Planet Woman’  didn’t get past the agents (which it should have done) I could blame the print book industry.  However, there is nothing between an author and the appearance of an ebook except the preparation of the text for epublication (a very curious experience), and the moment comes when with one gentle touch of the “Enter” key you step over the threshold from safe anonymity into the world of reaction and opinion.

I used to write music reviews for newspapers and I didn’t mind if people did not always agree with my opinion.  I always had a solid basis for what I had written.  It’s a good thing that people have different views, I would think.  However, if  future readers tell me that my novel just does not engage their interest, I think I will probably find that a bit difficult to cope with.  I have more emotional capital invested in my novel than I had in my reviews.

According to the article I mentioned, the readers are the new kings of the publishing world, although publishers, editors and agents are still needed because they have the experience and expertise.

So please keep on reading, and please try to leave a comment about the book with the retailer you bought it from, also on the author’s blog or author page.

I have taken this on as a personal responsibility.  I have already posted three very simple comments and thankfully I could make them appreciative.  They were not reviews – just simple reader reactions and not hard to write.


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