Reviews & Reviewing

Reviews & Reviewing

Reviews | Guy L. PaceI’m involved in a round-robin review group for Christian writers on Goodreads. I love writing and reading. Reviewing other’s work is a challenge.

I don’t mind getting reviews from others, be they readers or writers. I learn from them no matter how critical they might get. But, writing a review of someone else’s work … that can be a minefield.

Fortunately, the folks involved in the round-robin are honest and direct, and give good reviews.

I wrote a couple of reviews so far and they were honest, constructive reviews of stories that I liked. They aren’t my normal reading fare, but it never hurts to explore new material. I posted the reviews, then crawled into a corner until the authors responded positively to the comments.

Whew!

More Reviews

I’m well into another book that I’m enjoying and will review it soon. In addition, I have some new reviews for Sudden Mission, both on Amazon and Goodreads. In this next round, I hope to see more reviews of Nasty Leftovers. This round-robin works out well, and my reviews are increasing.

Granted, the new reviews are by other authors and not my target audience (teens). But, getting teens to review on Amazon or anywhere else is very difficult. I used a little meme on Facebook a couple of times to prod folks to review.

Reviewing | Guy L. PaceThe rules are simple, if not completely accurate today. I know Amazon has changed some of their rules for reviews. For example, they usually do not accept reviews of books by friends of the author, or family members. How they figure that out is beyond me.

The Rules

As for Rule #1, that is true. But, if you buy the book and review it, you get a “verified purchase” tag on your review. That might impact the “algorithms.”

Rule #4, though, is the most important. Authors need reviews. More reviews move a book’s status in the rankings on Amazon. They make the title more visible to other readers. They help other readers make decisions on what to choose to read.

Sure, not all reviews or ratings are five-star. Not everyone likes the same thing. My books aren’t everyone’s favorite genre. But, a review is a review and I appreciate every single one I get.

Hurts

Some comments in reviews can inflict pain in the author. That’s part of growing a thick skin–which we need to survive. No one is perfect, no author writes a perfect book. Accepting that and moving on is important.

I try to keep that in mind as I review other author’s work. No, the book isn’t my cup of tea. Maybe the book needs an editor. Maybe there are issues with the story. But, I can address that with constructive, positive comments. I made the mistake of being too blunt and critical in a review once. It hurt a relationship. That’s the minefield I mentioned earlier.

Care. You write and you read. The only way this business can get better is if we all care and comment positively and constructively.

Keep reading.

Keep writing.

 

 

 

Selling and Interviews

I was never a great salesman, and avoided jobs that involved selling. I find it hard to put myself forward and get people to buy things. And, I can be a bit too honest about something. Ask any number of former employers.

I don’t mind talking, though. So, it was fun to find out that a local college newspaper interested in interviewing me, and possibly reviewing Sudden Mission. Then I was contacted for another review, and possible remote interview.

This kind of attention is new to me. I’m a little bit of an introvert. And at this point in my life, it feels a little strange to have folks interested in interviewing me. There is a lot to talk about, though, and family and friends will tell you that, given a chance, I’ll talk. A lot.

As for the marketing effort, things seem to be going along fine and attention to Sudden Mission is building. This morning, I found the book was in the top 100 of a couple Amazon lists again, and my Amazon author ranking shot up. This was good to see. It helps boost the ego enough to keep the marketing effort going.

Then, a fellow writer posted a rating for Sudden Mission on Goodreads. It was a positive ranking and much appreciated. Any time a reader posts a review, rating, or any feedback, it helps a new or struggling writer. It doesn’t even have to be all five stars, either. Constructive feedback is always welcome.

Of course, I’ll be in Missoula in a few days to sell and sign at a Booktrope authors table. I hope to meet a lot of readers and future fans. If you are in the Missoula area, look for us on Saturday.

Keep writing.

 

Reviews and Blogs

Blog Tour

The Blog Tour wrapped up this week and some guest posts were out there, as well as a few positive reviews. One site we had planned for a review broke just before the scheduled date (and I commented out the link as soon as I heard) and one other blogger just never published anything.

I updated the links on the Launch Day post, August 18.

So it goes. Still there was some activity and the book is selling in ebook and print. There is still one giveaway active on Goodreads and that closes on September 18. We’ll send two lucky folks signed paperbacks of Sudden Mission.

Goodreads Giveaway

So, make sure you are entered.

Reviews

For new and unknown writers, attention for their work from readers and other writers (like reviews and recommendations) is critical. Reviews help other readers decide if a particular book is interesting or right for them. Amazon five-star reviews are often suspect, especially early in the release cycle. Just so you know, the two early reviews of Sudden Mission were not paid for or begged for. The reviewers are friends and professionals, but would not give me more credit than is due.

You can find them here:

Amazon Reviews

Honest reviews and feedback are best. What matters is what is important to the reader. If there is something you don’t like about the book, you should say something. Another reader may like what you don’t, so a two- or three-star review may bring someone to the work who might otherwise have passed on it.

I want to thank those of you who did get the book and are reading it. Any feedback you can give will be much appreciated.

Keep writing.