Well, I have a counter-conventional idea I’d like to share.
I wonder if the whole Review concept, like so many other things in the publishing world, is an artifact of the traditional publishing industry. I also wonder if it will end up going to the same place…the grave.
During the publishing process for The Awakened, I had to prioritize my time carefully. Between choosing a printing house, starting a publishing company, doing my own graphic artwork, editing my manuscript, and setting up this blog, I had way too many things to occupy my already limited free time. On top of it all, every time I read indie author blog posts about self-promotion, I ran across the concept of the highly-esteemed Review.
I researched websites of the big companies first, and quickly became discouraged by the variety of ways in which they essentially said, “If your book isn’t being published by a major publishing company, don’t even bother wasting our time by submitting it!”
I’m paraphrasing, of course.
So, for the sake of time-management, I followed their advice. I didn’t bother. And I’m glad I didn’t! Because a few weeks after publishing on Amazon for the Kindle, I began to get reviews from people whose opinions really matter—readers.
It took me a while to wake up and change my thinking, but eventually I asked myself, Am I writing to win awards? Am I writing to gain credibility from critics? As an indie author, do I care about any of that? Isn’t it most important that my writing finds support from people who are reading for pleasure? After all, if my writing is going to survive, it will have to be from word-of-mouth.
That’s when I realized, instead of putting quotes in the front matter like this:
“One of the best blah blah blah blah blah.”
—Somebody no one’s heard of, Some Newspaper
…indie authors should be publicizing what readers are saying. Once I came to this realization, I jumped on it. You may have noticed that the quotes I now have on my blog are from Amazon reviewers. Many people have said some very nice things about The Awakened. None of them were obligated to do so. They chose to. And in so doing, their opinions actually influenced others to read the series, as well.
How different this is from the traditional Review concept!
This is real. This is honest. And these are the opinions that really matter!
Oh yeah. I finally heard back from one of the review companies I mentioned above. While their review was mostly positive, I only received one blog hit via their website. Hardly the impact I expected. Which leaves me thinking, how is this better than a reader review?
The answer—it’s not.