Last week’s guest blogger, ‘Nathan Burgoine, once posted his Christmas wish list on his own website. Quiet simply, he wanted reviews. Any author with a book newly released understands his sentiment.
When my current ebook Nate and the New Yorker came out back in March, I spent weeks searching for reviews. Any writer will admit that this becomes a habit. You’re excited about your new work, why isn’t everyone else? And in this age where all authors, no matter who they are, have to think about marketing, we hang onto any mention of our book with both hands, pulling that quote from its original page and spreading it like confetti so no one misses out on hearing what’s been said.
I was that desperate addict. I searched into the far reaches of the web for any slither of a sign that someone read my book. And I prayed that ‘someone’ felt the tears and joys of my characters. And that after they felt the tears and joys of my characters they had to tell the world. And after they told the world I would tweet, facebook, stand on my balcony and shout quotes, tell my work colleagues until they bought a copy just to shut me up, and video myself doing an interpretive dance to the joy I felt that someone read my book!
But seriously, it’s not uncommon for an author to ask you to write a review. And once written, to share it on various platforms. This is our bread and butter, and sometimes, the life or death of a book.
Fortunately Nate and the New Yorker has many reviews this far down the track, and more coming as I’m in the middle of a Blog Review Tour. But what’s interesting about this work is that I’ve received both the best and the worst review for anything I’ve ever written. Both have become favourites, worth quoting, even the bad one. It’s hilarious and contains plenty of wit.
Not everyone will get what we do. Some criticise a book for what its not. Comments like ‘I wanted sex scenes’ tells us about the reader, not the writer. But a proper critique helps us, as authors, improve our craft.
So please, if you hooked into someone’s imagination and let them take you far from your own life, share it. Each time you do, an author spreads their wings.