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Amazon Best Sellers Rank

a "loading" graphic showing 2020 on the left and 2021 on the right

How did our books do in 2020? We looked at Amazon’s best seller’s rank for each of our titles.

We’ve been reviewing how our books fared in 2020, a different sort of difficult year. We were pleasantly surprised when we reviewed the different books’ Amazon rankings. We have some standouts:

Sisypha Larvata Prodeat by Jan Cole, translated by Angela Liu, and edited by Lorrie Lo

Read more about Sisypha Larvata Prodeat

A Clearing Space in the Middle of Being by Jeff Hardin

Screen capture of the Amazon.com bestsellers ranking for Jeff Hardin's A Clearing Space in the Middle of Being
read more about A Clearing Space in the Middle of Being

Some Notes You Hold by Rita Sims Quillen

Amazon.com's best sellers rank for Rita Sims Quillen's Some Notes You Hold taken at the end of 2020
Read more about Some Notes You Hold

The Memoir of the Minotaur by Tom Shachtman

Amazon's best sellers rank for Tom Shachtmas's The Memoir of the Minotaur. Image captured end of 2020
Read more about The Memoir of the Minotaur

Congratulations to all our authors on this list. Keep up the good work!

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Pushcart Nominations 2020

The Pushcart Prize logo for 2020

We’ve made our nominations for the Pushcart Prize 2020. We wish we could nominate something from every single book we published this year, because we believe all of our authors are winners or we wouldn’t have published them in the first place, but the Pushcart committee limits us to six nominations per year. And every year that means we’ve had to leave six authors out. (We publish 12 titles per year on average)

We at Madville Publishing are pleased to nominate the following for your consideration for the 2020 Pushcart Prize:

Three poems:

  1. “Mysteries of the Corn” by Kyle Potvin from the poetry anthology, Mother Mary Comes to Me: A Pop Culture Poetry Anthology edited by Karen Head & Collin Kelley. Madville Publishing, (November 2020).
  2. “I Know You’re in Detroit” by George Drew from his poetry collection, Drumming Armageddon. Madville Publishing, (June 2020).
  3. “Hive Mind” by Gerry LaFemina from his prose poetry collection, Baby Steps in Doomsday Prepping. Madville Publishing, (February 2020).

Three short stories:

  1. “Ritual” by Aden Albert from the short story anthology, Runaway, edited by Luanne Smith, Michael Gills, & Lee Zacharias. Madville Publishing, (March 2020).
  2. “Lubbock, 1974” by Bobby Horecka from his short story collection, Long Gone & Lost: True Fictions and Other Lies. Madville Publishing, (March 2020).
  3. “The Last Ride, 1928” by Brian Petkash from his short story collection, Mistakes by the Lake. (May, 2020).

Congratulations everybody! Thank you for providing such high quality work for us, that we want to include it as one of our Pushcart Prize Nominations for 2020. And thank you for all you do to promote Madville Publishing.

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Support your favorite authors without spending a dime

Pale Yellow Lettering and illustrated books stand out on a red background. The text reads: Support Your Fave Authors, Give Them Nice Reviews, Swipe for instructions

Wanted to support your favorite authors somehow beyond just buying their books? We all have a favorite author or artist, someone whose work we love and would like to support. However, sometimes, times are tough and we just don’t have the spare cash to buy a book right away. Or our favorite author may not have a new book for us to buy in the first place.

What can we do to support them so that they can still afford to write the books we enjoy?

#1: Leave reviews.

This is true for any business today, and that is what writing is–a business. Products with higher star ratings and a larger number of reviews tend to sell more, and in this, the era of Amazon, more reviews makes them more likely to be seen. Amazon and Barnes & Noble (the two biggest marketplaces for books in the United States) both require a minimum of at least 30 reviews before they will start to feature a product in a customer’s “recommended” section on their websites.

A lot of people feel overwhelmed at the idea of leaving reviews–especially on books. Our theory is what we like to call PTECD (Post Traumatic English Class Disorder). Don’t worry, this is an E for Effort classroom. Something as simple as “I liked it” is immeasurably helpful. We don’t require full book reports to pass. 😉

#2: Request copies at your local bookstore or library

Despite common misconceptions, authors and (indie) publishers love libraries, because they make their books readily available in an otherwise financially blocked market. By requesting a library stock a book from by your favorite author, you are helping that author and his or her publisher to earn an income while you gain access to the book at no cost to you (as long as you don’t accrue late fees–tsk, tsk!). You are also making the book available to other people who might enjoy it and who may also write a review for it (full circle).

I want to write a review, but I don’t know how!

Here are instructions for writing reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and our own Madville Publishing (the website you’re on right now).

It is important to note that there are many other places where you can leave reviews such as Goodreads (owned by Amazon) and StoryGraph. Our list is not exhaustive, but it will get you started. Every little review (the more stars the better) helps.

Amazon

After making sure you are logged in to Amazon (or Amazon Smile to also have a portion of any proceeds from your purchases go to a charity of your choice), look up the book you would like to review and select it. In the sample image, I have searched for What Magick May Not Alter by JC Reilly which already has two (wonderful) reviews. It does not matter whether you choose the paperback or kindle edition of a book, they both go to the same place.

Once you have selected the book, scroll down to the bottom of the page. In the sample image I have prepared here, you can see a lovely 5 star review from Linda Austin. There is a grey button labeled “Write a review.” On mobile, it is under the other reviews. On Desktop, it’s to the left of them.

Once you click on this button, you should be taken to a new page with several blanks to fill. 5 star ratings are obviously the most helpful rating for an author and publisher. You can add an image if you’d like. Then, of course, the written review itself. As I said before, this can be as simple or complex as you’re comfortable with. “I liked it” is good, “I couldn’t put it down” is better, and a full essay is simply spectacular. Either way, we are eternally grateful.

Barnes & Noble

Much like Amazon, the first step to leaving reviews on Barnes & Noble is to login or sign up for an account. Then, search for the book you want to review.

In my sample image, I’m searching for Stand In The Traffic: A Himalayan Adoption Story by Kate Sauders.

As with Amazon, it doesn’t matter whether you click on the Nook version or the paperback version in the search results. They both take you to the same page.

The review link isn’t obvious if you are the first reviewer for a book.

If there are no other reviews, there will be green text beneath 5 blank stars that reads “Click here to be the first to review this product.” If there are other reviews, there will be a blue button labeled “review.” Click on whichever one you see.

Just like Amazon, B&N wants a star rating, a title for the review, a photo if you feel like it, and a review itself.

“Great Read!” is still very much appreciated.

B&N also has a few optional boxes to tick. These help their search algorithm put the book in front of people who would actually be interested in reading it–boxes to tick like, “Would you recommend this book to a friend?” or adding tags that you feel describe the book (tearjerker, laugh out loud, feminist, inspirational), whether or not your review contains spoilers for the book, and what kind of reader you would describe yourself as (casual, literary, book club reader, etc.)

MadvillePublishing.com

All publishers appreciate reviews on their own websites, as well. We are no exception.

Say it with me, kids: Make sure you’re signed into the website first!

To sign in or sign up for an account on Madville, click either “Sign Up” or “Account Details” on the black menu bar at the top left of the screen. If you can’t see the black bar, it might be hidden behind the dismissible purple banner at the top of the page. Click “dismiss” and the black bar should be made visible.

Once you are logged in, the process begins to sound familiar. Navigate to the book you’d like to review. In my example image above, I’m using Mistakes by the Lake by Brian Petkash. A little less than halfway down the page, you should see three tabs: Description, Additional Information, and Reviews. Click on “Reviews”.

When the tab loads, you should see any existing reviews as well as stars for a star rating, a text box for your review, and a submit button. Fill these out, please and thank you!

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Halloween Giveaway 2020

A promotional photo of the 2020 Halloween Book Bundle. From left to right: A goblet with a dragon for a handle has whisps of vapor trailing down its side. Next to it is a little green bottle, also dripping vapor. A gold skull and small red bottle sit on top of a stack of books that are in the bundle. Next to that is a gold statue of a cat. All of this sits infront of white wood panellin with a grey cheese cloth artfully draped across it. Candy corn is sprinkled around the image.
A promotional photo of the 2020 Halloween Book Bundle. From left to right: A goblet with a dragon for a handle has whisps of vapor trailing down its side. Next to it is a little green bottle, also dripping vapor. A gold skull and small red bottle sit on top of a stack of books that are in the bundle. Next to that is a gold statue of a cat. All of this sits infront of white wood panellin with a grey cheese cloth artfully draped across it. Candy corn is sprinkled around the image.

In celebration of spooks, frights, and pumpkin spice, Madville Publishing is running a Halloween giveaway!

You could win five of our spookiest, darkest books including The Memoir of the Minotaur, No Evil is Wide, Fairview Chronicles: A Wayward Propisition, The Autobiography of Francis N. Stein, and What Magick May Not Alter.

“How do I enter to win?”

-you

STEP 1:

Follow @madvillepub on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

STEP 2:

Tell us your favorite Spooky Season Book to read.

STEP 3:

Tag and share this contest with your friends and followers so they can enter as well.

STEP 4:

Have a very Happy Halloween!

Want to cut out the middle man and just buy the 2020 Halloween Giveaway Bundle outright? Order the bundle here.

Winners will be announced Monday, October 26th, 2020.

We have extended the entry period to Halloween Night!

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Contributors Announced for Being Home Anthology

Being Home Front Cover

Editors Sam Pickering and Bob Kunzinger have announced their final choices for inclusion in Madville Publishing’s 2021 essay anthology, Being Home.

And here they are:

CONTRIBUTORS:

• Johnnie Bernhard “Ignorance or Innocence” • Rick Campbell “Celibacy and Ancestry” • Maryah Converse “Becoming Bedouin” • Susan Delgado Watts “Being Home” • John Flynn “Living Between the Leaves” • Debra Frank “The Accident House” • Karin Hedetniemi “Inheritance” • Anndee Hochman “2 Rms, Family View: The Ones We Call Home” • Richard Holinger “Cornwall Village” • Jamie Hughes “Making Room” • Robert Iulo “The Neighborhood”* • Kyle Ingrid Johnson “The House and Its Moments”* • Judy Johnson “My Brothers” • Deb Liggett “Marking Our Place” • Mel Livatino “Going Home Again” • Geoffrey Martin “Birdland” • Robert Miltner “Into the Bargain” • Vicky Oliver “Alice in Motherland” • Lea Page “Everything and the Kitchen Sink” • Rhonda Ray “My Rock” • Claude Clayton Smith “Blue Heaven” • Marsha Lynn Smith “4 Generations of Black Hair Matters” • Bill Stifler “Not From Around Here” • Elizabeth Templeman “In Place” • Elaine Terranova “Being Home” • Lee Zacharias “On a Rocky Inland Coast” • Madelaine Zadik “Triumph”

* asterisks indicate the judge’s favorites.