Reviews

Older movies and some older TV series, centered on New York City, often portray artists (playwrights, writers) as living and dying by the reviews of the local newspapers. Sometimes those stories are set in Los Angeles, too.

But, this is today. Yes, I want to see reviews. Lots of them. But, I don’t live or die by them.

When Sudden Mission launched in mid-August, we started a blog tour and got some bloggers to review the book. So far, the reviews have been positive. Generally short. But positive. That’s good to a point.

Then you get to Amazon and there are reviews there. One is especially good and from someone very close to the demographic Sudden Mission is written to. That same person posted her review on Goodreads and couple other sites. She is a voracious reader and does a lot of reviews.

The rest of the Amazon and Goodreads reviews, so far, are by adults and friends who like to read YA and young people fiction. Just because they are friends, though, doesn’t mean the praise is fluff. They are professionals and don’t mince words about story, writing, and quality. So, I’m thankful for their feedback.

This brings us to a review we tried to get earlier, but I just found on Tumblr. The reviewer, for some reason, didn’t get the review at the time promised. But, here it is and it is generally positive.

4amusingmuses Review

So, the reason for the late appearance isn’t because she didn’t like it. She did take me to task on one area. Character description. Fair enough. Some people like more, some like less description. I’m on the side that wants to leave the reader more latitude, or give them room to put themselves into the main character role. Still, she had some valid points and those are things we worked on in the editing process.

But, I’m not dying and will take the constructive input.

I’m sure there will be more comments and reviews that dislike one part or another of the story, my writing style, or some other aspect of the book. There may even be reviewers who trash the book due to a difference in philosophical views. That will be expected. It is the world of today and the anonymous reviewer has a lot of leeway in what they can say.

I don’t live and die by the reviews, though. Any attention, comment, rating, or review is good. This is especially true on Amazon. I think people use the reviews to determine if a book is something they want to read. The blurb helps, but the reviews can be the better tool.

I know I use them when trying to make a purchase decision on Amazon or other online retailers. I read the good ones and the bad ones. Then I make a judgement. I know I’m not alone.

If you are a reader, put up a rating on a book you read. Even if you don’t comment or review, the rating is a metric for what people think of the work. It helps other readers.

Keep writing and reading.

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

If both reviews do not come up, filter by “verified purchase.” Something is broken in Amazon and the “all reviewers” only brings up one review.

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.