Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Advice for new authors

Over at AOER we've worked at putting together some pages with advice for new writers, from a relatively new writers perspective. I thought that I'd repost the ones I authored. I hope you find the information useful, new or older author alike.

Reviews - both the joy and the bane of an author’s existence.

Will they like it? Did they hate it? Does anyone really read reviews? Do readers take notice of the one bad amongst the many good?

The reality is that every reader is different. Take me for example - while I take note of reviews I’m not strictly guided by them. Unless of course every single review says don’t touch this with a barge pole. In fact I have read many books that have been panned by reviewers and enjoyed them, and of course thrown many books against the wall in disgust that reviewers have gone gaga over.

Reviews can be biased, unfair, indignant and rude. They can also be a gratifying love fest that lets you know that all that work you did was worth it. The best word of advice I can give about reviews is to take them all with a grain of salt. Enjoy the good ones, learn from the bad ones, but most of all don’t let them affect your enjoyment of the process of writing. But biggest tip of all - don’t get to believing your own hype, after all your only as good as your last book!

Reviewing itself comes into the line of fire at times. Many reviews are little more than a regurgitated blurb with an "I liked/didn’t like it" tagged on the end, while others will discuss plot progression, dialogue, character building - they run the whole gamut giving you a good run down of just what it was like to read that particular book. Both styles of reviews have their good and bad points. Readers all read in differing ways - from just zoning out/taking a little rest to immersing themselves whole heartedly into a novel, inspecting and dissecting as they go. Review styles cater to both. For some people a simple "hey this was good" is enough, others want to know why it was good.

We are lucky at Loose Id to have a person in charge of sending out ARC (advance reader copies) or blurbs to review sites. This makes the job of being a writer a little easier. That’s not to say that that is the be all and end all of getting your book reviewed, because it sure isn’t!

There are many other avenues for you to explore on the internet, locally, and nationally to get your book out there to a greater audience. They take a bit of hunting out, but they are out there and can be very effective means for generating new readers who don’t know eBooks even exist. Look around next time you go out to eat - all those free newspapers/arthouse magazines - you guessed promo opportunities. Have you ever thought of submitting an article to your local papers about what you do or the ePublishing world? Indeed all of those suggestions all have review sections - why not bring the world of eBooks to their attention!

Just because you write eBooks doesn’t mean that you can’t have printed reviews. Romantic Times and Affair de Coeur are two well known romance review sites that publish monthly newsletters available through subscription or your local bookseller. But be aware, there are rules and unfortunately many reviews are tied up with being a "big name" or an advertiser.

This is the list of internet review sites as provided by the lovely L2 over at Loose Id. These are a great starting base for having your work reviewed

Please feel free to leave a comment of new review sites and I'll add them to my list :)

1 comment:

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Check out my friends at Front Street Reviews (http://www.frontstreetreviews.com) -- tell Barb I sent you!