Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – Book Fame is False

January 19, 2023
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As writers/authors, we want our books to become well known, best sellers, and even made into movies. It is a dream that most of us will never accomplish and that’s okay. I feel that my stories are my legacy into the future, where they will be read by future generations and enjoyed. That is true fame to my way of thinking.

Best seller lists are a false statistic anyway – it is the retail orders volume that put such books on the various lists not their imaginative plots or narratives, but perceived sales. Most celebrities will have ‘best sellers’ because the general public want to read about them – for good or bad. Thus the bookstores will order more to accommodate the promotional machine afforded such tomes.

So my message to you is don’t be disheartened, and certainly don’t think ‘success’ can only be measured with these false statistics or lists created by the media. If you have sales and reviews, receive congratulations, and comments on your stories that is true fame.

If you look at the following list, you will see more modern books have made record sales thus proving the promotional circus works. The book industry is now global and this contributes to these sales figures.

25 Best-Selling Books of All-Time

#1 – Don Quixote (500 million copies sold)
#2 – A Tale of Two Cities (200 million copies sold)
#3 – The Lord of the Rings (150 million copies sold)
#4 – The Little Prince (142 million copies sold)
#5 – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (107 million copies sold)
#6 – And Then There Were None (100 million copies sold)
#7 – The Dream of the Red Chamber (100 million copies sold)
#8 – The Hobbit (100 million copies sold)
#9 – She: A History of Adventure (100 million copies sold)
#10 – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (85 million copies sold)
#11 – The Da Vinci Code (80 million copies sold)
#12 – Think and Grow Rich (70 million copies sold)
#13 – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (65 million copies sold)
#14 – The Catcher in the Rye (65 million copies sold)
#15 – The Alchemist (65 million copies sold)
#16 – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (60 million copies sold)
#17 – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (55 million copies sold)
#18 – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (55 million copies sold)
#19 – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (55 million copies sold)
#20 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (50 million copies sold)
#21 – One Hundred Years of Solitude (50 million copies sold)
#22 – Lolita (50 million copies sold)
#23 – Anne of Green Gables (50 million copies sold)
#24 – Charlotte’s Web (50 million copies sold)
#25 – Black Beauty (50 million copies sold)

Be happy with your ‘success’ no matter what shape it takes. After all, you wrote and published a book (or books) and that is worth celebrating for its own worth. Many people dream of doing it and never do. Chasing a pipe dream makes us disillusioned and that is not good – pat yourself on the back for what you have achieved. It is remarkable.

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – Book Reviews from a Sick Bed

January 17, 2023
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Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

I’m suffering from a nasty chest infection, so the only thing I could comfortably do was read and drink tea and water. Screens were just too bright and in all too much information to try and process. Gently embraced into a story was just what I needed to relax and try to recover. I got through these two books in record time and enjoyed them both very much.

Villa Serena by Domenica De Rosa
A wonderful tale of reality versus dreams. Italy is a country of mystery, tradition & misconceptions. I loved following Emily’s journey from outsider to acceptance. Life is never as it seems and this book goes into one family’s world. Highly recommended.

The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell

A captivating mystery told from various POV’s made this narrative a complex and enjoyable read. The characters were well rounded and defined. I loved the twists and turns of the story the choices made- good and bad.

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – Research Rabbit Holes

January 12, 2023
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We have all experienced the research rabbit hole, when gathering information for a story. Some will takes us to extraordinary places expanding our knowledge in a fascinating way, while others can drag us into dark and hidden places, we wish we’d avoided.

With my fantasy series sited in medieval times, I have discovered a wealth of information for medical methods. Each of my novellas center around a sorceress able to heal others. In The Rython Kingdom the grandmother passes on her knowledge to her successor, her granddaughter and in the sequel, Rython Legacy, the granddaughter harnesses her powers. As I write the prequel to the series, I am once again returning to this specific subject.

What is most interesting is that even today some of these medieval cures are used today. This is remarkable in its own way, as we think modern medicine has advanced through technology alone. For example, for pain a potent mix of hemlock, henbane and opium poppy – all plants which can be lethal in high doses were used in carefully measured amounts. These mixtures were also used as general anesthetics before surgery, such as amputations, cauterization, removal of cataracts, dental extractions, and even trepanning. For the treatment of wounds maggots were applied to debride necrotic skin and honey applied as an antibacterial to prevent infection.

Other rabbit holes I have dived into include:

Barrel racing – pending manuscript – Willow Tree Tears

Reincarnation – t be honest a life long interest – The Twesome Loop novel

Corpse desiccation, hermits & voodoo dolls – pending manuscript – The Giving Thief

University courses pending manuscript – Seasons of An Affair

Police procedures – current crime trilogy – The Delphic Murders

Forest animal habitats – Ockleberries to the Rescue – children’s chapter book.

What strange rabbit holes have you been propelled down?

Bibliophile Collective Tuesday- Celebrating Author & Book Birthdays

January 10, 2023
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Author Birthday’s – first week in January

1st January E.M. Forster, 2nd January Isaac Asimov, 3rd January J.R.R. Tolkien, 4th January Isaac Newton, 5th January W.D. Snodgrass (Just love his name – it’s a character all of it’s own!), 6th January C.D. Wright, 7th January Gerald Durrell, 8th January Terry Brooks, 9th January Philippa Gregory and 10th January Dorianne Laux.

Of course, there are other famous author birthday’s to consider, I am only showing a few. Some are posthumous, while others are celebrated through social media greetings and memes. Another ‘birthday’ celebration writers hold are for the launching date of a book, and some authors recognize these milestones annually. For a non-writer this may seem odd, but when our stories go out into the world it is akin to a birth. We have nurtured and loved the creation of a narrative for months, sometimes years prior to the actual launching date, and so it is thus deserving of a celebration.

Do you have a favorite author whose birthday you celebrate?

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – Tracking Blog Readers

January 5, 2023
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As writers and bloggers, we are interested in knowing where are followers hail from. You will see on my blog there is a flag counter on the side bar. This enables me to see where my blog is read. There are also several other options on the site, that allow me to know the number of visits per country, and how many visitors from each.

For example, in 2022 – 206 different countries have visited my site

Why should we track our blog readers?

1. Understand Your Visitors Better

Tracking blog traffic sources can help you figure out where your visitors are coming from and which platforms, they use so you can learn more about them and send them targeted messages.

2. You Can Measure Your Market Campaigns

If the goal of a campaign is to generate traffic, you can track the different traffic sources to see how effective it is.

3. For Best Results, Concentrate on Channels

You can improve your results by concentrating more on the channel that brought the most traffic to your blog.

4. Topics for New Content

People from various channels may be interested in different topics, so reviewing your traffic sources for each blog will help you come up with new content ideas.

5. Identify Traffic Gap

You can look for channels that aren’t performing well and can optimize them.

How do you track your readers?

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