As many of you know my third book is released next week. The Dangerous Gift is a romantic suspense, a new genre for me but one I enjoy reading, so I thought I would write one and see what happened. It is also with a new publisher – Limitless Publishing so these are exciting times.
Since the release of the second book in ‘The Dragon Legacy series’ in December 2014 I have concentrated on promoting other authors, through spotlight posts, book reviews and social media posts. I love doing this. So I should be well placed to promoting my own book.
In many ways I am. I have a good social media following but getting the balance right is difficult. It’s easy to recommend the work of others, not so much your own. Writers are by nature I think self-critical and introverted so ‘blowing your own trumpet’ is well out of their comfort zone.
That said overcoming your barriers to self-promotion is essential if your book is to get noticed. The biggest hurdle for authors is to get your book seen, by the people who would love to buy and read it. So with this in mind I have been promoting The Dangerous Gift across all my social media platforms and I have been touched by the support from my social media and blog followers. Thank you.
I have supported a number of ‘Thunderclap’ campaigns in the last couple of weeks and thought I would give it a go for The Dangerous Gift. It’s a chance to reach new supporters and readers but only if you get the required number of sign ups.
The minimum is 100 people and since The Dangerous Gift campaign went live yesterday evening I have 9. 🙂 So there is some way to go, before I reach my target. If 100 supporters sign up; one Tweet, Facebook Post and Tumblr post will made on 9 Feb 12.00 pm to support The Dangerous Gift
Briefly, it examines the differences between critique and review. Paraphrased, it asks the question, do writers know too much about the logistics of story writing and risk unmasking the illusion that all story tellers weave, if they review books?
I personally don’t read reviews before I read a novel or watch a TV programme. I didn’t even before I wrote. I like to make my own mind up. Reviews for every product and service are popular now with the growth of e-commerce and many people like to read reviews before they read the book.
In a saturated market ,reviews seem key to a book’s success. It’s the quantity not the quality of the reviews that appears to sell books and that’s a shame but not something that’s likely to change.
If a writer reviews a book without allowing themselves to be immersed in the fiction,seeing only the mechanics of story’s creation. Any negative comments on point of view, grammar or flow they make, are likely to shatter the creative illusion for other readers.
All reviews, like everything else in the publishing world, are subjective, an opinion. Useful reviews shouldn’t contain many if any ‘spoilers’ and should highlight the story’s positives.
I don’t offer a critique or review as a writer. I’m new to writing but I’m a reader of almost 50 years 🙂 I read fiction and I reviewed over 130 books in 2014. I review the story and how it effects me. The feedback on my reviews from other readers and authors is usually positive. They find them useful and surely that’s a good thing?
So to answer my original question ‘Can Authors be Book Reviewers too?’One of the points Kristen makes is that there is a conflict of interest. Authors that are book reviewers risk alienating their peers if they give critical reviews. Or their reviews are full of platitudes, so’s not to offend.
It’s a fine line to walk certainly, but I rarely find a book that I can’t say something positive about. You don’t have to be unkind. If you can only find a few positives, the review is short.The inference is, the book wasn’t for you but you are offering an opinion in positive terms, whilst still being honest. If I find a book I don’t like, I don’t finish it and don’t review it.
Most authors that are also book reviewers, do it because they enjoy it. If that makes me less cutting edge, as an author that’s fine I write because I love it and book reviews are writing too.
So typically as the holiday season starts in the UK there were thunderstorms and rain last night and when I woke up this morning it was still raining. I don’t know about you but when the weather is grey and miserable my mood mirrors it, even if I have nothing to be unhappy about. Yet when its sunny I am happy and the day has never-ending possibilities. Is this just me or are you like this too?
Anyway onto the real subject of this post, book reviews and how important are they?
I come to this debate from two viewpoints; I am an avid reader and book reviewer and a new author who knows how difficult it is to get reviews for my own book but does this matter? It’s still selling with the small number of reviews I have but I can’t help but think it would sell so much better if it had more reviews on Amazon , Amazon UK and Goodreads but is this really the case? 🙂
Yet as a reader and book reviewer I rarely read other people’s reviews before I read a book. I rely on personal recommendations from my writer friends or the book blurb. Many of the books I read and review are sent to me by the author or through NetGalley as these are often advanced reader copies (ARC) I rely entirely on the book blurb to pick my next read.
Do you read the reviews before you buy a book or is it the cover and book blurb that make you take the plunge?
My book reviews are popular because they are quotable. Snippets can be included on Twitter,Facebook and Google +, which help draw attention to the book that is being marketed. Book reviews are now important marketing tools. If they are positive they assist book promotion and help authors and publishers judge the popularity of different story brands.
Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. 🙂