Thursday, June 15, 2006

Reviews and Reviewing (Part II ?)

It’s been a while, but I remember writing about being a book reviewer sometime last year, at a time when I was compiling a long list of places to query about reviewing Trinity on Tylos.

That first review has, thus far, been the best one. Indeed, I can’t imagine one being any better. The second review which came in described Trinity on Tylos is “entertaining,” but I found nothing really quotable in it. Two others have come in recently, and one of them was mostly positive, while the other one had a bit too much summary. Most reviewers try to avoid spoilers, but not so with this one, so I really can’t quote much from it.

When I’ve had discussions with readers of The Gift Horse, my debut novel in the suspense genre, it is interesting that folks either love it or hate it. My reader reviews for Trinity on Tylos at Fictionwise reflect the same phenomenon— two readers said “great” and two others said “poor.” Since there are some errors in the Fictionwise version which aren’t in the print book— don’t ask me how that happened, b/c I really have no idea— I decided that those who voted “poor” were annoyed by those. I certainly was.

Rob Preece, the publisher of Books for a Buck, read Trinity on Tylos, and gave it “three stars” which is the same # he gave the latest David Weber. Now if I could just sell as many copies as Weber will!

Harriet Klausner also reviewed Trinity on Tylos, saying one plot device, which is dependent on a character’s decision making, was “inane.” Whatever. The character is loosely based on someone I once worked for, and the decision making reflects what I saw at my job on a regular basis, which is probably saying too much in a public forum. I’ll include the link to that reviewer’s archive review of Trinity for any readers who want to see what she had to say.

Recently, I reviewed a book which had been out for a while and is being rereleased by a different publisher. By following the new publisher’s links and doing a Google search, I counted twelve reviews and one interview on various websites, as well as eighteen reader reviews at Amazon. As I was trying to find something new to say, a task I found rather difficult under the circumstances, I did some real soul searching about my own efforts to get more reviews for Trinity on Tylos. Do reviews really help sell books? Perhaps, but at what point does an author reach the “overkill” mark?

I suspect that better distribution and marketing might be more helpful to increasing sales than multiple reviews, for my book or anyone else’s for that matter. With that in mind, I am off to Sci Fi Summer this weekend to autograph books and pass out flyers. Distribution is a primarily a Whiskey Creek Press matter, but publicity falls to me.

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