Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Birthday Message

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish a Happy Birthday to someone very close to my heart, my youngest son, Cameron James Borgman.



Cameron James Borgman
7/26/07 - 10/18/10

Almost four years ago, Cami received his angel wings.  He would have been 7 today.  And though I and my family miss him more than anything, we are grateful for the short time that we had him in our lives.

Cami taught me that life is so precious, and so often we take even that simple miracle for granted.  We often define our lives by what we can get, but our lives are enriched and made extraordinary by what we can give back, what we can do for others.

It is for that reason that I feel so strongly about the Library Campaign I am running.  But it is not only my campaign.  It is all of ours - yours and mine.  Your shares on Facebook, your retweets on Twitter, and of course your purchases of my books on Amazon all help this campaign.

I know Cami is proud of me for following my childhood dream to be an author.  And I am proud of him - and of each and every one of you who chooses to help such an important campaign with your shares, retweets, and your purchases.

Life isn't about what we can get, how big our homes are, how fancy our cars, or how much we make.  It's about making a difference in the lives of others.  It took the loss of someone very close to my heart to see that.  That is why I want this campaign to succeed.  The new library will make a real difference in the lives of countless people, which means we will make a difference in the lives of countless people.  And that is something we can all be proud of.

Please take a moment to read my Special Announcement blog (July 13, 2014), and help support such an important cause.  Thank you, everyone.  I am truly proud of each and every one of you.


All My Best,
Scott A. Borgman

Sunday, July 13, 2014

*** Special Announcement ***

This is a very special blog for me, one that I've been looking forward to writing with excitement and anticipation.  As an author, I have the privilege of being able to reach out to people all around the world.  Now, I want to take that one step further.

In the area where I live, there is currently a project running to raise money needed for building a new library.  I want to help out, and being an author gives me such an amazing opportunity to do so that I simply cannot pass up the chance to give something back.  One of the most fulfilling things in life is not what we can get, after all - it is what we can give.

My latest digital fantasy novel, Darkness and Dragons, Volume I, will be going live on Amazon within a matter of days, on July 15th.  In conjunction with that novel, I am running a campaign where a portion of the sales will be donated to the library project.

From July 15th, 2014 to August 31st, 2014, I will be tracking my sales on Amazon.  All of my books will be included in this campaign, not just the new release.  Those books are:


The Exiled


The Exiled: Continuation


The Exiled: Infinity


Province of a Thief


Darkness and Dragons, Volume I



Here is a breakdown of how this will work:  For every digital book sale in the Exiled trilogy, $1 will go toward the donation fund, which is a little under 50% of what I receive.  For each digital book sale of Province of a Thief, it will be $1.25 (about 51%).  And for every digital book sale of Darkness and Dragons, Volume I, $1.50 will go to the donation (just under 55%).

During the time while I'm running this campaign, I'll keep everyone updated through Twitter and my Facebook Author page with how much will be donated, along with the link to this blog.  So if you're on Twitter, follow me @ScottBorgman and give me a like on my Facebook Author page at (www.facebook.com/saborgman).

This is where I need your help: Retweet, share my Author page on your own Facebook pages, and of course, pick up a digital copy of one or more of the books!  While I certainly hope you enjoy reading them, the goal of this campaign is focused on donating a healthy portion of those book sales to the library project.

I've been in touch with the library's Director, a wonderful lady named Lori.  I'd like to take this opportunity to give a personal thank you to her for providing me with the information about the library project, and where they're currently at.  Right now, the library project still needs just under $2mil in order to reach it's projected goal.

Below is a link to the library project.  Please take a few minutes to take a look at it.  There are several other links on that page as well that will give you in-depth information on the plans and goals for the library.  One of those links in particular is the Case Statement, which I highly recommend taking time to look at.  Here is the link:

http://mplcc.marshfieldlibrary.org/

In all honesty, I would be ecstatic for my campaign to go viral.  I truly believe our lives are defined not by what we can get, but what we can do for others.  In this day, when technology is such a large part of our lives, when our kids are spending more time staring at the TV, playing video games, and texting, I believe libraries are needed now more than ever.  Books have evolved from traditional to digital, and the library must evolve as well to meet the changes.

I'm honored to have such an amazing opportunity.  Please, follow me on Twitter and my Author Page on Facebook so you can stay updated on how the campaign is going.  Share the link to this blog on your own Facebook pages, tweet the link to your own followers.  And of course, from July 15th to Aug. 31st, head on over to Amazon and pick up a digital copy of one or more of my books.

I'd love to help the library get closer to reaching their goal.  Okay, I'd love to be able to not just get them closer to their goal, but to reach it.  Is that hoping for something that seems impossible?  I don't think so.  With your help, I believe it can be done.

Every tweet and every share that links to this blog helps, and every digital book sale on Amazon will get a little bit closer to the library project's goal.  Ultimately, that's what this is all about - giving something back.

My deepest thanks to each of you.
 

All My Best,
Scott

Friday, July 11, 2014

Cover Reveal

Here it is, the cover reveal for my latest fantasy novel, the follow-up to Province of a Thief.

Releasing in a matter of days:  Darkness and Dragons, Volume I





A special announcement will be following in a few days!  Don't forget, you can find me on Twitter as well @ScottBorgman and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/saborgman



Saturday, July 5, 2014

Special Plans in the Works!!!

Hi, everyone!

I just wanted to let everyone know that I will be having some very special news coming up within the next few weeks.  I can't reveal anything right now, as I still have some details to work out, but I can let you know what's coming up.

First, there will be a cover reveal for my next novel, 'Darkness and Dragons, Volume I' which I will be posting on here, on my Twitter (@ScottBorgman) and on my Author page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/saborgman).

After that will come the announcement, hopefully about a week before the book goes live on Amazon, which I will of course write a blog up for, as well as mention on my Facebook page and tweet about.

I want to let everyone know beforehand though, that this is something that I feel is very important, something that I feel very strongly about and am fully dedicated to doing.  I'm truly excited about it... I wish I could say more right now (believe me, it's hard not to reveal much info right now, as much as I would like to!) but I will keep you updated.

I'm going to try and pair the cover reveal with the announcement, so stay tuned!  If you're on Twitter, pop on in and give me a follow @ScottBorgman.  If you're on Facebook, drop on by www.facebook.com/saborgman and give me a 'like' so you can stay up to date!

I hope you'll be as excited as I am when the time comes.  Keep an eye out, the cover reveal will be coming shortly!!!

All My Best,
Scott

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Think About It

The other day a story went viral - chances are you saw it, but for those that may not have read it, here is a link to a follow-up story.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julia-wykes/the-disturbing-trend-i-noticed-when-my-breastfeeding-story-went-viral_b_5551589.html


Take a moment to read the story.  Don't worry, I'll wait :)
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Okay, I assume you've read the story, or already knew about it.  I'm writing this blog because I feel that I should voice my thoughts on this incident.

First, to the barista of that Starbucks, my thanks go out to you.  To the mother, my deepest thanks and respect to you for having the strength to stand proud against the backlashing you received from this incident.

Of course there are those out there who for one or more reasons find that seeing a mother breastfeeding in public offensive, disgusting, and not something they want to see.  There are those that fully support the practice as well.  I count myself among the second group, personally.

In the center of this story, we had an infant who was hungry.  That is the most important issue here.  An infant that needed to be nourished/fed, however you want to describe it.  Surrounding that infant, there was a woman (and possibly others in the store) who was disgusted at seeing the infant's mother breastfeeding him and wanted her to leave, go somewhere else, cover up... do SOMETHING so she didn't have to see it.

And that is the point of this blog.  For you Trekkie fans (and even if you're not a fan you've probably heard this famous line) remember Spock's line in Wrath of Khan?

'The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.  Or the one.'

I'm altering that line slightly for this situation.  On one end, we have an infant that needs to be fed.  On the other, we have people that don't want to see the mother breastfeeding in public.  Infant needs, peoples' wants.  Needs and wants.

'The need of the one outweighs the wants of the few.  Or the many.'

We all have wants, and we all have needs.  We want material things, money, etc etc.  We need the basics:  food, water, air, clothing... you get the idea.

To the mother who put her child's needs above someone else's wants, you have my thanks, my respect, and my best wishes.

I hope the next time this kind of thing takes place, that there will be a pause, and that someone who doesn't want to see a mother breastfeeding her child in public for one reason or another will realize that the needs of the child outweigh their feelings of not wanting to see it.  Think about it.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

When Opportunities Arise

Well, it's almost the end of June already... where does the time go???  I've had to make some decisions these past few weeks on what's best, not only for me, but for you as well.

I'll be forever grateful to Smashwords for giving me a home when I first stepped onto the path of the Indie Author.  But like most things in life, opportunities come around and changes are made.

So in a sense, I've moved into a new home, one that better suits me, as a writer, and I hope suits each of you who have read my work.  While my collection of poetry and my other free book will always be available on Smashwords, my novels are now available exclusively through Amazon.

These include my Exiled trilogy (The Exiled, The Exiled: Continuation, and The Exiled: Infinity), and my first book set in a pure fantasy world, Province of a Thief.  If you've been following along on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/saborgman) you of course know that my new novel is close to release.

The new novel is set in the same world as Province, and takes place roughly two years after that.  I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about it.  If you're a fantasy fan, I invite you to pick up a copy of Province.  (www.amazon.com/Province-Thief-Scott-Borgman-ebook/dp/B00KR140EO)

I hope the move to Amazon benefits you as much as it does me.  If you're an Amazon Prime customer, you've got an amazing chance to pick up those books for free with the Lending Library through Amazon.  If you're not a Prime member, I invite you to check it out, it truly is an amazing program.

I hope you're all having a wonderful summer so far!  I'll update again when the follow-up to Province goes live at Amazon.  No set date yet, but almost certainly sometime in July!  And of course, I'll post the cover image on here when it goes live for those of you who happen to check my blog before you hit the Amazon store ;)

Don't forget to check out my Facebook page, and give me a like while you're there, as well as my Twitter @ScottBorgman

All My Best,
Scott

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Art of the Book Review

I wanted to take time out from editing my latest novel to talk about something very important - book reviews, and just how important they are to Indie Authors.

As an Indie Author, I can attest that I look forward to readers taking the time to review my work, and I'm sure every author, traditionally published and Indie Author alike, feels the same way.  Certainly we love to see book sales, but a review of the books that we write means just as much to us.

When we see book sales, it's really nothing more than a number to us.  That number represents a copy of our book that was sold, but that's all it does.  But there's a reader behind there as well, someone who is more than just a number.  It's a person who lives and breathes and has thoughts and opinions about the book.  We want to know what those thoughts and opinions are.

Book reviews are the absolute best way for the reader to let both the author and other readers know what they thought of the book.  However, like books that can be both good and bad, reviews walk that same path as well.

Now, I'm not talking about the rating that the reader puts on the review.  I'm talking about the content of the review itself.  Certainly no one expects a review to be its own book, and it shouldn't by any means give anything away (it's a review after all, not a book report), but it should convey the thoughts and opinions the reader had about the book.

To show what I mean, here are a few examples:

'This was a good book, I loved it!  5 stars!'

Or on the flip side:

'Didn't finish it.  I got bored after the first two chapters.'

Two reviews (and those were merely examples), one good, one bad.  But they lack depth, and in general are not taken seriously by anyone, reader or author alike.  Now here's two other examples to compare the first two against:

'This book captured my attention from the first page.  The story is filled with twists and turns that kept me guessing until the very end.  (Author) brought the town and the people to life, and the characters' struggles were so believable that I felt as if I were right there, feeling every emotion along with them.  Though I felt the book ended sooner than I wanted it to, it was a wonderful book nonetheless, and I'm looking forward to the next one!  4 Stars!'

And the second one:

'I struggled with this book.  Though the characters are described pretty good, they felt bland - like they were just going through the motions without feeling.  The story bounced between time periods so often that it became confusing, making it difficult to understand most of the time.  There were some interesting moments in the book, but they seemed to be over quickly, while other parts that I thought were kind of dull and pointless seemed to drag on forever.  1 1/2 Stars.'

See the difference?  The first two examples simply say 'I liked it' and 'I didn't like it', but nothing else.  No explanations or reasoning why.  They don't give enough of an opinion to help either other readers or the author. 

The second set of examples are what other readers in general take more seriously, and what we authors hope to see in every review.  The examples not only say that the reader enjoyed the book or didn't, but they expand on those feelings by giving some of the reasons why they did or didn't enjoy the book they reviewed.  In addition, whether they enjoyed the book or not, they point out both strong and weak points in their review. 

The second set of examples are the kind of reviews that I personally pay more attention to when I'm curious about a book.  While ultimately the decision to read a book lies in my hands, I like to know what others thought about the book as well.  And they do play a part in my decision.  10,000 people that give a book a 5 star informative review tends to raise an eyebrow, after all.  And truthfully, as a reader, reviews like those first examples I typically scroll past without any consideration, because there's simply nothing TO consider.

Switching back to the author's viewpoint, sure we love to see glowing reviews painted in gold, but no book is perfect, and we know that.  WE'RE not perfect.  We want to get better, and that takes practice, just like everything else.  We use reviews as a tool to see what we may need to work on.

And by that I mean the technical aspects of the story, such as descriptions, depth, etc.  Saying that Jack should have ended up with Tara instead of Susan at the end of the book isn't what I mean.  In fact, a review should never have something like that in them. Little things that give away the story make it less enjoyable for other readers.  That's why they're called book reviews instead of book reports, after all.

I realize I mentioned that earlier, but I wanted to stress the point again because one of the things that make books so special is finding out what happens for yourself.  It's like the first time I watched The Usual Suspects.  Now, if someone had told me how good it was and then what happened, versus how good it was and why they thought so, I wouldn't have enjoyed the movie nearly as much.  The same thing applies to book reviews.

Now I'm sure some of you may have that thought running through your head, or have had it at one time or another.  You know the one: '(Author) already got money from the sale, what does it matter if I liked the book or not?'

It matters.  It matters, it matters, it matters.  It matters as much as that sale does, perhaps more.  Why?  Remember at the beginning when I said book sales are just a number, but authors know there's a person behind that number?  Writing an honest, insightful book review brings that person, with their thoughts and opinions, out from behind that number and gives that number a voice.

But it's not just allowing other readers to read your thoughts and opinions on the book.  Authors want to know as well.  We depend on it, in fact, because like everything else, if we don't know there's a problem we can't work on strengthening our weaknesses in order to become better writers.  At the same time, we also like to hear what we've done right.

Think of writing a review like being a coach.  Every good coach understands that letting a player know what they need to practice on should be coupled with praising them on what the player's strengths are.  It's yin and yang, hot and cold, sun and moon.  It's balance.

Balance.  A coach who focuses on just the negatives will make a player lose confidence in him or herself and whether it's intended or not, the player will get in the mindset that no matter how hard they work, it won't make a difference.  Eventually they'll give up, and the potential that was within them will never have a chance to come out.

At the same time, focusing on only the positives may make that player over-confident and cocky, to the point that eventually constructive criticism goes in one ear and out the other, and the things they need to work on never improve.  Once again, the potential that is within them is never fully realized.

So when you grab a book, whether you enjoy it or not, if you're considering writing a review on it after you've finished reading it, keep these things in mind.  Make a list of what you honestly liked and what you didn't and go from there.

And remember this:  We authors appreciate those reviews more than you may realize.  Good, bad, and everything in between, we are grateful for every honest, insightful review.


Scott A. Borgman