A Power Riddle

A Power Riddle

Posted by on Feb 13, 2015 in Matty Says, Random, You Tell Me |

Most of us use them every day, although sometimes in the wrong way. They can break hearts or mend them. They can change lives, or ruin them. They can be invisible, or seen anywhere. They can tear us down, or lift us up. They can hurt us, or they can heal us. They can take us on adventures, or bring us back to reality. They can confuse us, or help us understand. They mean nothing to anyone, but everything to us. What are they?       Words. They’re interesting things. If you didn’t know it already, now that you have the answer, you can see how everything above applies.   They mean nothing to anyone, but everything to us.    Water is my zone. It’s not my element, it’s not part of my astral sign, but it’s my place of comfort. It helps me think and sort through thoughts and ideas, and on occasion, it gets me clean. While in my zone, I realized something: words are powerful. You didn’t need me to tell you that, and when I thought it, I didn’t think it was news. What really had me thinking is how a word(s) can mean something to one person, and nothing to another. Sometimes it matters who is saying those words. Or does that person matter at all? Do words themselves hold power? The word hate and the word love can mean everything or nothing to us. It really depends how we feel at the moment they’re said, and who might be saying them. If somebody you don’t care about, or perhaps don’t even like, says I love you, what do those words mean to you? Probably nothing. On the other hand, if somebody you’ve been dating for a while says it, and they’re the type of person that makes you feel like butterflies are shooting cannonballs across your stomach while tap dancing to Living the Vida Loca, it’s a pretty powerful thing. It’s not that the words mean anything different in theory, but they mean something different because of how we perceive them. We don’t care that the first person loves us, but those words were powerful to them. That’s why they said it. But we wanted the second person to love us, and it meant the world to both of us. Can the same thing be applied to books? Art? Everything? Someone might hate your book and that doesn’t bother you, but someone else can hate it and it tears you up inside. It’s the power we give. Words are in the ears(?) of the beholder. They mean to us what we let them, or in some cases, want them to.  That’s a strange thought. We all know what it means to hate something, yet we can throw the word around a hundred times in a day, hear it from a hundred people, and it only matters a part...

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You Tell Me: What’s Your Current Genre Obsession?

You Tell Me: What’s Your Current Genre Obsession?

Posted by on Jun 25, 2013 in You Tell Me | 11 comments

There’s so much changing in the world every day. When you break it all down, you can see the massive changes happening in different divisions of it: politics, your own personal life, movies, books, technology, etc. Since we’re about wordage and make-believe here, lets talk books. New Adult was something that started to really come into its own last year, and the push hasn’t seemed to slow down, but that doesn’t mean that’s the only thing trending for you at the moment. A lot of readers are finding a new genre of book that they’re falling in love with, all because of a recommendation, or because they yearned for something a little different. Each of us go through our own phases of reading preferences, so today I want to open up the discussion to you. For me, Fantasy always is at the top of my list. I’m a big fan of Urban Fantasy, and for years that hasn’t changed. The Maze Runner was the most recent series to take me by surprise, and that’s not really Fantasy. I mean it is, but it’s more Sci-Fi than anything else, I think. I’m not sure. Genre’s have always kind of messed me up. Regardless, I really enjoyed it, and that has made me want to try out more Sci-Fi since I’m seriously under-read in that category. In general, I seem to prefer Young Adult Fantasy to anything else. There’s something about taking the world we live in, and adding in magic and monsters that never seems to get old to me, but I’m always willing to try new things. Today I want to hear from you. I want to know what your current obsession is? Is it Fantasy, New Adult Romances, Romance in general, Mystery, Thriller? Anything. What is your bookish guilty pleasure right now, and to support the authors you love, tell us about a book you’ve read recently that helped push this new obsession along, or the book that started it all for...

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You Tell Me: When Do You Quit A Series?

You Tell Me: When Do You Quit A Series?

Posted by on Apr 23, 2013 in You Tell Me | 27 comments

An interesting conversation with a friend led me to today’s topic, and it really got me thinking. I’ve read standalone books, trilogies, and long-running series. Some of them I’ve enjoyed entirely, while other I ended up leaving in the dust. And it got me to wondering, why? It’s true that often times we find ourselves reading a book series, and some books aren’t as good as others, but I think that’s to be expected. One of the reasons I believe that is because we grow attached to the characters we’re reading about, and often times we find ourselves waiting months, if not a year, for a sequel or the next installment. That gives us time to let our imaginations go to work. I know that for me, sometimes I get the next part of the series built up in my head to be one thing, and then it goes in a different direction. Sometimes that direction is even better than I imagined, but other times it leaves me disappointed. That isn’t always the book’s fault. Sometimes my expectations and imagination get the best of me. Maybe it’s not even possible to live up to that expectation. But regardless of why a book fails me, or any other reader, it still leaves me to ask the question: When do I call it quits? And nine times out of ten, I’ll finish it off. My love for the characters and the books will carry me through. But that isn’t always the case. There’s one series that stands out in my mind, and I won’t name it, but I will say that it made me fall in love with reading. My wife bought it for me, I devoured it and every book in the series I could find afterwards. The disappointment started when, as I said above, I had certain expectations of things that were building up, and they never got cashed in. In this case, that wasn’t entirely my fault, as the author led me to believe for multiple books that this was building up to some crescendo of awesomeness. However, the climax never came and as such, it left me disappointed. However, I trusted the author and so I kept the faith. I kept that faith for five more books, until the things I loved about the series slowly drifted into the background and became noise. A few books later, continuing without my faith, but primal hope instead, the story I thought was being told vanished completely, and the series became something completely unrelated. That was when I called it quits. I read about sixteen books in that series, and then I gave up. That’s really the only series I’ve ever started, fallen in love with, and then let go completely. The desire to know faded. As time goes on, we grow as people, as do authors and the stories...

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You Tell Me: What Does it Take to Get You Out Of Your Comfort Zone

You Tell Me: What Does it Take to Get You Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Posted by on Feb 25, 2013 in You Tell Me | 5 comments

In general, we are creatures of habit. I think this is just a natural human trait, although don’t quote me on that. Because of this, we tend to stick to what we know. I for one, am a bit of a picky eater, and I always have been. The difference now is, as an adult, I know there are some pretty great things out there I’ve never tried, so I’m more willing to go out of my comfort zone. I try to approach things in life now as “I’ll try anything once,” within reason, of course. When it comes to books however, I’ve realized that I very rarely step out of my comfort zone. I like vampires, demons, shifters, mythology, monsters, legends, and magic. If it has something supernatural or paranormal, there’s a good chance I’m willing to give it a shot. Step away from those items though, and I’m less inclined. However, at Christmas, my sister had bought me a few books that I thought sounded interesting, but since they had little to do with my chosen genres, I never would have bought them for myself. She bought them for me, and I devoured them. So recently, on date with my wife to the bookstore, I decided I would continue with this and step out of that little box I’d created around myself and venture into new territory.  I have to say I’m really happy that I did. I’m getting a different kind of satisfaction from reading these news stories, and it helps mix things up. So today, my friends, I come to you bearing a question. What does it take to get you out of your comfort zone? Are the type of person that is willing to try anything? Perhaps you are more of a recommendation reader, and you don’t jump out of your comfort genres unless some trusted recommendations come your way, demanding you read a certain story. And to further the discussion, what does a new book need to do to appeal to you? Does it need to hold some basic characteristics from your favorite genres, or are you simply willing to give anything a chance for the love a good story? And lastly, is there any genre or type of story you absolutely refuse to read, and why? As always, let’s keep things friendly and respect everyone’s opinions! Taste, after all, is as subjective thing as...

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You Tell Me: What Sells a Book

You Tell Me: What Sells a Book

Posted by on Jan 23, 2013 in You Tell Me | 13 comments

When it comes to books, it’s almost impossible to discern the ‘it’ factor for any given title. The reason being, to be cliche, is the missing link. The missing link isn’t just luck. You don’t just happen to sell a million copies. You don’t just happen to make it on the New York Times Bestseller lists, or the Amazon Top 100. That doesn’t just happen because of luck. Sure, if your an author and it happens to you, you’re lucky, but that isn’t the only factor. That book has something  about it that pulls readers in, and it continues to do so. There is something inside the story that does that, and word of mouth starts moving and before you know it, you’re getting “lucky.” But before there was luck, before there was word of mouth, there was something else. Something that made people pick up that book. Not everyone will have a built in audience, so it isn’t always just past readers. Because really, if you had millions of readers for a past series, chance are you were already a bestselling author. Based on some bestsellers, we can agree that it isn’t just positive reviews. So what was it that made readers pick up that book in the first place? For me personally, I pick books like I pick movies; if I like the cover, I’ll pick up the book and read the synopsis. For me, synopsis does it all. That is the factor that decides if I want the book, but the cover has to get me there. It’s worth noting that if everyone is talking about a specific movie or book, I’m going to check it out. But I won’t buy it for the simple fact that other people love it. That love and word of mouth gets me to the book, but after that, usually, it’s the cover and the synopsis that hold the tipping scale. The reason for this is, I can respect the fact that taste is subjective. What everyone loves, I may not like. And this goes for everything. Movies, books, food, etc. So, at some point, it all boils down to our judgement. So for me, cover and synopsis are essential factors. Do they ignite the desire in me? The desire to know more, the desire to meet the characters, the desire for me to experience this journey? If yes, then I’m buying it. But what about you? You Tell Me: What sells a book to YOU? Is it the cover, synopsis, price, reviews, word of mouth, where it’s ranked on the charts? Something totally different perhaps? Maybe it’s a book trailer or a marketing website. It’s discussion time today, so tell me what it takes for you to click...

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You Tell Me: eBook Pricing

You Tell Me: eBook Pricing

Posted by on Nov 27, 2012 in Publishing, You Tell Me | 38 comments

So I spent the weekend reading some interesting articles, a million comments, and having conversations about eBook pricing with people. I even took to my Facebook Fan Page, where we engaged in some wonderful discussion, where people brought up some great points from every angle about what they’re willing to pay for an eBook, and why. Now I want to go bigger. I want to take to the blog and see what you have to say about it. Before we get started, let’s assume the eBook is cheaper than the paperback by at least $5. I really want to focus solely on eBook pricing here and avoid comparing them to paperbacks. I think it’s a safe assumption to make that we all believe eBooks should cost less than paperbacks. That being said, I realize paperbacks are part of the discussion and they will be brought up, both by me and you, but I just would like it to be as much about eBooks as possible. And lastly, this is a very hot topic. So as with all discussion posts, lets keep things polite. Feel free to disagree with me, or anyone else, but do so in a civil manner. And with that, lets get going. I believe eBook are valuable. Sure, production costs is cheaper than paperbacks, but since we’re avoiding discussing paperbacks here, lets get straight to the nitty gritty. I’m willing to pay $9-$12 comfortably for an eBook. More if it’s a book I really want. I might not be happy about paying more, but if I love the series or the author, I’ll pay it. Now based on previous discussions I’ve had, people probably think this is ridiculously high. But the thing is, when I buy an eBook, I’m paying for an adventure. I’m buying a piece of someone else’s imagination and demanding it take me places. That just so happens to be the same thing I’m buying with a physical book. When I buy a story, I’m not interested in holding a dead tree, I’m interesting in a journey of some kind or the lessons it has to teach. That’s the most important part to me. That’s the reason we read, isn’t it? To venture into unknown worlds with unknown characters? Not to mention, someone spends hundreds or more hours putting this together, and although that worth may be unseen, it’s there and it has value. I want more from those authors.: more books, more imagination, more adventure. It’s easier for me to get that from them when I’m paying more than a dollar or two, and I accept and welcome that. Now when it’s a debut author or someone I’ve never read before, I may be a little more leery, but that’s what recommendations and reviews are for, so for the most part, I’m okay with that price point. My point is – and I’m breaking my own...

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