The Not-So-Stellar Book Reviews

open white pages book

Today, I received a two-star rating on my debut novel, Passage of Promise. It was my first two-star review out of twenty that have been mostly five and four stars.

As a newly-published author, I expected to receive some ratings that judged my work mediocre. It is part of the life of an author.

Even top, best-selling authors get one-star and two-star reviews, some, unfortunately, with a few nasty remarks. It’s par for the course in the realm of the author’s world, as I said.

Experienced authors have always given the advice to newer authors that they must grow thick skins and not take reviews that aren’t spectacular to heart.

I found the two-star anonymous reviewer’s comments pretty fair. Not everyone is going to like my storyline or my writing style.

This is natural.

As a reader myself, I too, pick up books to read, and come to the same conclusions. Although, if I don’t like the writing style, I don’t buy the book, so I may be even more picky than my two-star reviewer!

The latest book I bought and am having a struggle getting through, I read the first few pages on Amazon and tended to like it because I thought the writing style was pretty good.

But I admit now that the storyline so far has been dragging, and I’m finding it easy to set down the book. The story just isn’t drawing me in to the point where I feel compelled to keep reading it.

Therefore, I understand everybody’s tastes are different, and that each author has her/his niche readers. And that’s good enough for me.

New writers out there and newly-published writers, don’t be discouraged if or when you may get a negative or lower-starred review. Count it as a good thing.

There are three things good about even two-star reviews that are somewhat negative, especially the one I received:

  1. The comments weren’t really insulting.
  2. The person took the time to leave a review.
  3. You learn what each reader gleans from your novel.

For someone who doesn’t really have a high self-esteem, I do know my writing is good, that my stories are worth sharing, and I appreciate the feedback.

Newly-published writers, keep writing and keep publishing your work. There are enough readers out there for each of us.

 

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Marketing Your Novel

marketing your book

For the past three weeks, I’ve been working to the point of exhaustion on marketing my debut novel, Passage of Promise.

Writers, especially introverted ones like me, who have not yet published their works, look upon the upcoming marketing and promoting of their books with some dread. It looms out there, always prodding in the back of your brain, telling you, “You’ll have to work your butt off after you hit the “Distribute” button on your publication date”.

You thought the first draft was a whole lot of sweat and mentally draining. The hundreds of revisions and several edits were drudgery. The last minute tweaks and perfecting before publishing were nerve-wracking.

Well, of course, it is true all of that is hard work, but then you’ve reached the point of promoting and marketing your book. You’ve never marketed yourself so hard since the instances where you’ve interviewed for a job.

It feels awkward at first. Your confidence isn’t quite up to the task. But as people purchase your book, you begin to truly believe your story is worth even more than you originally thought.

Then, as your confidence grows, your promoting, reaching out via social media, local bookstores, online bookstores, libraries, etc. becomes easier.

And it boosts your confidence more so when your book is accepted by a local bookstore and the library includes you in one of their Author Showcases for the year.

No doubt, I’ve had to ramp up massage appointments and drink extra calming tea through this period. But it’s all part of being an author. It comes with the job.

These are the actions I’ve taken to promote my book:

Posting on social media about my book and where my book can be purchased

Contacted local bookstore to carry my book and do a future author event

Contacted local library to participate in their 2020 Authors Showcase event

Contacted online bookstores, as well as a large bookstore in Denver

Contacted my former and current churches

Contacted a good friend who does radio interviews

Made fliers for my book to set in local and church bookstores

Will post a picture when my book is on the shelf of the local bookstore

With all of this in place, I’m taking a little breather for the next several days.

I hope these ideas are helpful to new and first-time published authors.

Happy writing!

 

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Pick up your copy of Passage of Promise  via Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

Me with PofP final print copy April 27 2020

 

My First Radio Interview

radio waves and mic

Last night, I was interviewed about my writing by my dear friend, John, on his radio show. The interviews are in fifteen minute segments. My interview is the last one.

Just an FYI: The interview wasn’t scripted, basically informal, so this shy introvert did the best she could with her first interview about her books.

By the way, the name of the anthology with my short story, Summer Memories, in it is called Take a Mind Trip, available on Amazon, if you’re into reading anthologies. At this time, you can read the anthology for free on Kindle.

Summer Memories was one of the first short stories I wrote when I returned to writing in 2014. It was written in 2015.

In the future, I will probably combine all my short stories into one book.

Link to my interview is here.