Friday, October 26, 2012
How To Win Friends and Influence Readers
One of the things I love best about being a published author is reviews. No, seriously, I gather a great deal of insight about my writing by looking at it through someone else's point of view. And I don't mean a critique, because that's something else entirely. That's what happens during the editing process, when stuff can still be changed before it's too late.
For example, I always thought I was writing a romantic comedy, of sorts. I knew there were tragic moments, but apparently, because Carlin "Carlos" Farley is inside my head and I know what she's thinking, I don't see the "dark parts" as all that dark. I suppose it's a "Can't see the forest for the trees" kind of thing. Truth be told, I'm so bad at writing a synopsis, I should have a reviewer do it for me.
A reviewer, say, like my mom.
My mom wrote a fabulous review for my novel, The Carriage Trade. It was short, concise, and essentially laid it all out there. In fact, I liked her review so much that I used a very small portion of it on my website.
"You'll meet a new kind of heroine in this funny, offbeat romance. I loved it and found the characters different and engaging. Carlos Farley is one of a kind. You may love her or hate her but you won't forget her."
But you won't be finding my mom's review on my Lisa Deon Amazon page any more, because Amazon, in their infinite wisdom, had started yanking selected reviews from author's pages. This hurts an author. It brings down their rank and review status. Plus it makes it look like very few people read the book.
Part of the reason, or so I'm told, is because some writers have been playing dirty pool, writing their own fabulous reviews under assumed names. Also they are supposedly deleting reviews by authors for authors.
Now, why does that suck dead donkeys? Because besides being writers, a lot of authors are readers. So, apparently no writer should ever read or review anyone else's work. Now, I disagree with that, because if the only writer I get to read is me, my life would be very boring. Did they pull my mother's review because she's a writer? No, but we do share a very common last name, so that might have been the reason. Of course the fact that she was a verified purchaser apparently has no validity in the entire shebang. So, what's a girl to do?
I'm proud of every review written for my novel, even the lowest (3) star one. And I'm thrilled that a few of them have a disclaimer at the bottom stating that although the book was provided to the reader for free, the review was in no way influenced by that.
Being a writer is not the easiest of professions. You strip your soul naked, turn it into words, and leave it out there for people to inspect. But if you enjoy reading, my work, or any other writer, the best way to encourage and assist the author is to go to their page at the selling website of your choice, and simply click. Click the "Like" button, the meta tags, give it however many starts you deem it worthy of, and write something. "I liked it" or "It made me think about..." are reviews. You don't have to make your review of a novel a novel in and of itself.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Your comments are welcomed and encouraged. If you've read my book, your reviews are welcome and encouraged also.
Oh, and here is a photo of a toasty fire to warm your heart.