Friday, November 08, 2019

Flogging My Way to Success

Just can't do it folks. Can't nag my friends and family members about writing reviews of my books. I consider it an honor when someone tells me they bought one of my books and just loved it. Yes, that happens! But as far as going the extra step and twisting their arms to get on Amazon and give me a good review, I just can't. 

Good reviews are very important. I'm thrilled every time I get thoughtful comments from one of the four major review magazines: Publisher's Weekly, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, and Library Journal. One of my biggest honors was when Hidden Heritage, the third book in the Lottie Albright series, was flagged by Kirkus as one of the 100 Best Mysteries, and one of the 100 Best Fiction Books of 2013. I wondered if they had made a mistake.

Publicity directors send books all over the country to magazine and newspaper editors who write book reviews. These people are swamped. There were over 1 million books self-published in 2017. In 2018, 675 million print books were sold in the United States. That's print books. The statistic doesn't include ebooks. And every one of the these writers would love to have a review.

Everyone who has ever held a job knows there are parts to their employment they really don't like to do. Personnel in health care complain about the volume of government forms they have to fill out. Some management positions involve a lot of travel. When my husband had the livestock truck line I remember one of the drivers commenting that if had wanted to be a bookkeeper he would have taken a job in that field. Filling out envelopes, check records, fuel purchases, dispatch information, and log books was a tedious undertaking.

Most of the writers I know would like to write. The more gregarious among us like speaking to groups. Frankly, I enjoy this. But I balk at constant blogging, creating newsletters, commenting on my computer, and even updating my website.

But the reality is--the work has changed. We are no longer sequestered in a garret courting our Muse in blessed silence. I'm very interested in how other authors manage this problem.

Nevertheless, I draw the line at pressuring my friends to write a review for me on Amazon. When someone does, I am grateful. But somehow asking them to do this reminds of chain product selling. You buy a product and the seller immediately pounces and wants you to become a distributor under them.

Doesn't that sound like a grim approach. "You've bought my book! Wonderful. Now review it."

1 comment:

Donis Casey said...

I am the same way, Charlotte.