Authors, opinion, Samhain, Secret Cravings Publishing, Thoughts, TWRP

Reviewer’s thoughts on the publishing world #Samhain


I’ve always loved this but it just never quite fit for the blog.  Anyhoos…

My thoughts on Samhain closing it’s doors.  I am sad.  I’ve met some great authors through them.  Even fellow reviewers that have become good friends.  I even pitched a book to them at a conference.  Nothing but professional and kind.  Even though I was never on their preferred/review list, this blog featured their books often.  In fact, my first ever review was Emma Jay’s Two Step Temptation from February 23, 2011.

I am glad that they are going out with their heads held high and a positive note.  There are some that we are STILL hearing about because their bad behavior and I fear that it will happen again.  Secret Cravings Publishing went out with their heads up and Samhain will do the same.  Samhain is a class act through and through.  From editing, covers, the “warning labels”, authors and especially the groups that I belong to that are associated with them.  I feel for each and every one of you in this trying time.

Most authors, I sense are going more hybrid than anything.  This saddens me and alarms me to some degree.  Not that I don’t love the indie author but as a reviewer, I’ve read some really bad indie books that should have never made the light of day.  From the cover to editing, to being lied to from the blurb to the overall plot of the book…I just shook my head.  This is where the publisher comes in and makes the book better.  I feel as if the indie author just wants the sale and the minions to follow.

In my opinion, that’s not how publishing should be.  Writing is an art, not a NASCAR race.  The author should learn the craft, be patient and try to NOT be the next Nora Roberts.  It took her a few years before she even caught on and she was traditionally published.  Readers will come to you if you put out a quality product and don’t care about the sale.

This is the problem I have with the smaller presses folding.  They had the quality but not the sales.  Readers want instant gratification and the next Fifty Shades book.  Okay, maybe NOT that book but they want the book that everyone is talking about or that the media is trying to hype.  One of my all time favorite small presses is The Wild Rose Press.  Constantly putting out great books from a great company.  They never disappoint, just like Samhain and Secret Cravings.  I never had to worry that the book was going to be poorly written, the cover sucks or that the blurb lied to me in some way.  That goes a long way with this reviewer.

So you can see why I don’t review much anymore.  The quality isn’t there for me and I have a life that doesn’t revolve around publishing and trying to be the biggest and best review site on the block.  I tried that, didn’t work out and it made me sick for a couple of years.  I will stick with the presses that I know and love.

As for the indie writer, I will support you too and you know who you are.  The quality is there for me and you don’t disappoint.

If you want to hear my thoughts as a writer, here is the link to the author site.

Author link

opinion, Thoughts

Farewell for now…taking a break

recommend-harlies- newThis has got to be one of the hardest posts that I’ve ever written.  So please stay with me.  It may come off as a whiny post but it comes from the heart.

I’ve come to realization that I no longer feel reverent in the world of reviewing on my blog.  Or posting even.  Harlie’s Books has slowed to a crawl and no matter how many posts I put up, I’m not getting the “hits” or “clicks” that I used to.  This makes me sad for a couple of reasons.

1.  I run a clean blog.  I don’t snark, I don’t bitch and whine about the industry (which I could) and my reviews are always honest and heartfelt.

2.  I realize that I don’t write 1k on book reviews and that seems to be the way reviews are being written now.  As a reader, you’ve lost me after 500 words and I just skip to the rating of the book.  I learned a long time ago from one of the best in the business, Tami from Night Owl Reviews, that the review should never be more than 500 words or you’ve lost the reader.

3.  I’ve stopped reviewing anything erotic in content and that seemed to help with readership but that’s just not the case anymore.  Readers want the hot stuff and I just don’t read it anymore.  I have my reasons and I apologize to the many authors that write the genre because I still support and cheer you on…each and every one of you.

4.  The more popular sub-genres like MC, Fighters, sports, and rock stars, Harlie doesn’t read.  Some know that I worked for the Dallas Stars Hockey Club from 1999-2004 and I had friends in rock bands that I’ve buried 6 feet under…so no.  Won’t read them because I lived it, survived and moved on.  They are triggers for me.

5.  I’ve managed to run this blog since 2009 (started on Blogger) without any other person.  That itself is an accomplishment but it’s also hurt me.  Plus me not going to conferences and smoozing with authors, too.  Nor do I have a posse that I can send out.

6.  Another thing, I’ve had some tour companies drop me because I occasionally have R or erotic content on the blog in the way of promotion.  Yes, can you believe it.  This makes Harlie sad for all the authors that I could have had on the blog.

7.  My work life is going to be heating up again.  School starts on August 24th and our district lost a lot of substitute teachers.  I’ve applied for permanent positions within the district but keep getting rejected because they don’t want to lose me as a sub.  Double edged sword for me but at least I know that I will be working a lot more this year.

I will continue to promote authors, just not nearly as much.  My Harlequin Spotlight and Category Thursday will always be available for authors, too.  I’m going to change up my signup sheet on the blog, too.

I will continue to do cover reveals, blog tours, etc. but no reviewing unless its truly something I want to read.  If your book is erotic in content, it will be on my writer’s blog, Harlie Williams, Writer.  I’ve set up a set for reviewing over there but again, I will be selective in what I read.

I realize that this post comes as a shock to most of you and for that, I’m truly sorry.  But I can’t keep banging my head on the desk when no one comes and visits, comments or even cares that much anymore.

I didn’t start blogging to be popular and well liked.  I started blogging because I love to read but over the last couple of years, blogging/reviewing has become something that I don’t enjoy as much.  Too many haters, politics, and people telling me what I can or can not do.

On a more positive note, I’m writing again.  I’m expanding my debut, The Couple and I’ve very excited about moving forward with that.  Plus, I have other stories to finish and hopefully one day publish.

I’ll still be around, so don’t worry.  You can still find me on Facebook under Harlie Williams.  I’m there most of the time.  Okay, maybe not during school, its blocked but I’m still around.

I cherish each and every one of you that has followed, liked, and appreciated the blog and me in general.  I’m still only an email away or PM.



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