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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Guest Post & Giveaway by Michael D. Young - The Last Archangel Blog Tour

Hi, everyone! I am thrilled to participate in The Last Archangel Blog Tour. We will be joined today by the author of The Last Archangel, Michael D. Young.


About Michael:

Michael is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a degree in German Teaching and a minor in Music. He puts his German to good use by working to build online German courses for High School students. Though he grew up traveling the world with his military father, he now lives in Utah with his wife, Jen, and his two sons. Michael enjoys acting in community theater, playing and writing music and spending time with his family. He played for several years with the handbell choir Bells on Temple Square and is now a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

His first book, "The Canticle Kingdom", was released in February 2010 through Bonneville Books. He is also the author of the inspirational pamphlet "Portrait of a Mother". He has also had work featured in various online and print magazines such as Mindflights, The New Era, Allegory, and Ensign.


Five Tips to Being a Five-star Reviewer:
Guest Post by Michael D. Young, author of The Last Archangel

One of the things that shocked me when I became a published author was how many people wanted me to review books for them. I had never done as much as a single book review at the time, if you don’t count those one page book reports of mandatory books in elementary school. (which I don’t.)

Since then, I have written many reviews and seen many more, both of my books and of the books of friends, colleagues, and complete strangers. Several things have become completely clear in this worldwide democracy of book reviewing in which everyone wants to have their two minutes, including the fact that there are very few fast rules.

I’d like to suggest five to make things better for both reader and reviewer. Let me know what you think.
  1. Don’t Review Books Out of Your Preferred Genres. Of course there will be exceptions to this one, but think about it. If you are not well-read in a genre it will be very difficult for you to form an informed opinion about it. You may also end of giving a stellar book a lackluster review simply because the genre bothers you. I could review fantasy books all day, but I doubt I could spot a good romance if it landed in my lap with five golden stars stuck to the cover.
  2. Write Well-Rounded Reviews. Whew that one’s a mouthful! What I mean by that, is to remember to bring up both pluses and minuses in your review. Very rarely should a review be all bad or all good. We authors are just as imperfect people as the rest of the population, and we shouldn’t expect to be churning out perfect books.
  3. If You Can’t Say Something Nice…Don’t Say Anything at All. An immortal Disney quote, altered slightly for grammar. Sometimes you run across a book you just don’t get along with. You have two choices: 1. Write a scathing review and complain about how bad it is. 2. Politely bow out of the review and let the person who requested the review know. Remember, that author’s book sales are their livelihood and I’m pretty sure they won’t be offended if you politely say “no thanks” instead of dragging their book through the mud. (By the way, both choice 1 and choice 2 happened to me recently.)
  4. Give Specifics. You’ve probably seen many reviews breaking this rule. Reviews like “BEST BOOK EVER!!!!! IT WAS SOOOOO AWESOME!!!!!” make me groan a little more with each capital letter and exclamation point. Help people make an informed decision by giving specifics about what you liked and disliked. What did you think about the characters, the pacing, the dialogue, the plot twists, etc.
  5. Always Use Professional Language. A book review, online or otherwise, is going up for the entire world to look at. Put your best foot forward and write more like you are doing a school assignment and less like a text message. Go over your review for spelling and grammar and avoid slang. People are more likely to pay attention to your review if it is dressed up nicely.
And as a bonus tip, don’t ever start a review with “I wanted to like this book, but…” Go for something more professional. For fun, in the comments, let’s see who can come up with the best comic ending to that sentence. Here I go:

“I wanted to like this book, but…it gave me a paper cut on each finger before I reached chapter two.”

Great advice, Michael! Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us here today!

Michael has generously offered a giveaway of one signed copy of The Last Archangel to one lucky winner.

Synopsis:

Xandir has been exiled to earth until the end of time. But when his cherub trainee disappears, Xander makes a deal with rogue angels and giants that could restore life to the mortal woman he loves and end his assignment as a destroying angel in exchange for helping them bring about the end of the world and all of mankind.

To enter the giveaway, you simply need to leave your name and email address below in the comments and provide an answer to Michael's question! You do not need to be a follower, but it is appreciated!

You can earn one extra entry by tweeting about the giveaway, but you must leave a separate comment and mark your entry +1 and leave the direct link of your tweet as well as your name and email address. The extra entry will not count if you have not completed the mandatory entry (see above).

The giveaway is open to participants in Canada and the United States, and it will close on July 16th at 11:59 PM CST. The winner will be chosen using Random.org and announced here on July 17th. The publisher will contact the winner by email to obtain your mailing address.

Good luck!



17 comments:

  1. “I wanted to like this book, but… The psycho killer villain seemed like a doppelganger of my ex boyfriend."

    Does that work?

    Jenn of Frequent Reader, Infrequent Blogger
    jennlovesed14 at gmail

    ReplyDelete
  2. "I wanted to like this book, but...as I was reading the words began to change into an ancient language that I could not understand and they were glowing with a brilliant light that was blinding my eyes.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Margaret
    singitm@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. “I wanted to like this book, but...right after I got home from the bookstore with my brand new copy my tortoise broke out of her cage and ate it!”

    Thanks for the giveaway :)

    christinastrobel4@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. "I wanted to like this book, but…as soon as I opened it, a ferocious monster jumped out and starting destroying things so I threw the book and the monster down the garbage disposal ultimately saving the universe.

    Thanks for this amazing giveaway!

    susanw28 (at) mindspring (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  5. "I wanted to like this book...but it was so horrible the poor writing blinded me and I can no longer write any more reviews and must claim disability for the rest of my life!"

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    gwenythlove (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  6. "I wanted to like this book..but after I was blinded by the light that eminated from the book as soon as I opened it, it self destructed and left me with no hands. :)

    viajeradelmar@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I wanted to like this book but ... it made me look fat!
    danakburgess(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I wanted to like this book but.....it didn`t have any pictures. It used big words like "with" and "the"....hooked on phonics never taught me that stuff!
    Oprah doesn't recommend it and Dr Phil said I am too fat because I spend all my time sitting around reading (actually he was only half right I like to drink as well read.....also never met a pudding cup that didn't make me a little sad once I got to the bottom of it)
    The prison library doesn't carry it!

    countstratcula (AT) Gmail ( Dott com dude!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. "I wanted to like this book but...my sister really needed a cake plate and we couldn't find anything so we had to use the book as the plate...at least it was useful ><" edysicecreamlover18ATgmailDOTcom
    GFC Krystal Larson

    ReplyDelete
  10. tweeted http://twitter.com/#!/Icecream1891/status/91339755173842944 edysicecreamlover18ATgmailDOTcom GFC Krystal Larson

    ReplyDelete
  11. I wanted to like this book but...I lost my dictionary and couldn't understand all of the big words.
    GFC follower- Sherry S.

    sstrode at scrtc dot com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you for sharing today. I have been following this tour and it is fun that each post has had a taste of something different. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.
    GFC - Denise Zaky

    dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I wanted to like this book, but…the grammar and spelling made me jump up and buy a dozen new red pens...I was too busy editing the book to read it.

    cottoncloud8[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  14. "I wanted to like this book but...I wasn't in a charitable mood, seeing as I'd already completed my community service for the year."

    Great guest post, good tips.

    writetomakealiving(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  15. "I wanted to like this book but...I fell asleep while reading it..so I guess I DIDN'T like it huh."

    Thanks for this super generous giveaway, and such AWESOME tips..they will FOR SURE come in handy (:

    ~Harpreet
    xoxo

    My Email: hargur55@gmail.com
    http://booksforteens6212.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  16. I tweeted +1!!! Here's the link:

    http://twitter.com/#!/hargur55/status/92038513175965696

    Thanks again! (:
    My Email: hargur55@gmail.com

    ~Harpreet
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks to everyone for entering the giveaway! I will announce the winner shortly! Good luck to all!

    ReplyDelete

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