Tuesday, September 27, 2005

On being a book reviewer

About two years ago, I decided that I could save a few bucks and learn more about current trends in fiction by signing on as a book reviewer. After sending an email to the staff of Timeless Tales, an internet site with almost a thousand posted reviews, I was given an eBook and a month to read it and write a review. Apparently my efforts were satisfactory, because after that I could choose as many as three titles a month from their huge list of available eBooks as long as I got the reviews done within a month or so. Some of the titles I would have loved to read, especially those destined for print, were taken before I saw the updated database of titles, but there were always items of interest. Unfortunately, a few months after I signed on, the review coordinator died. The last few reviews I sent in were never posted, nor were any new requests for titles met by the owners of the site. Timeless Tales stayed online for a few months, but it wasn’t updated, then it simply disappeared. I’m sure running such a site is a great deal of work, but I miss both the reviews and the opportunities it represented.

One of the other reviewers for Timeless Tales with whom I had corresponded did let me know that Sizzling Romances needed reviewers, so I emailed the owner of that site, and I was soon back in the reviewing business. Although a few of the novels I chose from their list sizzled a bit too much for my tastes, I really enjoyed reading and writing for that site. The site owner has had numerous problems, including some severe health issues, so it has gone on hiatus for now. I’m beginning to think having me as a reviewer is bad luck, so I’ve decided to focus on my own writing career and leave reviewing to other able readers and writers.

One of the books I reviewed while I was with Sizzling Romances was an ARC from Whiskey Creek Press, and I liked it so much that I kept that publisher in mind when I was seeking a home for my futuristic novel, Trinity on Tylos. I did send Trinity to another publisher first, because I had corresponded with one of their authors, but after that publisher rejected it, I sent it to Whiskey Creek Press. I was delighted, of course, when they accepted it.

Now that Trinity on Tylos has been through the copy edit, I’ve been given the green light to seek prepublication reviews. As of this date, I’ve queried twelve internet review sites, but I've only had two requests for an ARC (advanced review copy). As a former reviewer, I know that many sites will take an ARC and if none of the reviewers pick the title, then it won’t be reviewed. I’m hopeful that I’ll get a few reviews before the release date, but those aren’t easy for fledging writers to acquire. If I get those reviews, I’ll link to them from www.pamelajdodd.com.

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