Views and reviews

I loathe those ghastly reports that WordPress sends round every year, or to be more precise I loathe the flurry of them that dominates people’s blogs.

Who cares how many times I filled Sydney Opera House? Unless you want to say ‘Hurrah!/Boo! I got more/less hits than her’ it is of no interest to anyone else.

I was, however, mildly surprised to see that the top three popular posts on Roughseas, both for hits and comments, were all about writing.

Last year I wrote about reviews, and what a reviewer wanted.

For this post, I thought I’d ask a couple of authors (neither of whom I work for), for their views about reviews and reviewers.

Three of the best authors I’ve blogged about last year were (in chronological order of the reviews I wrote):

  1. TB Markinson
  2. Susan M Toy
  3. EJ Simon

Why?

Every one of them provided extra info, answers to questions, and extra photos that I asked for. It helped that I liked their books, obviously. Whether or not they found it a pain isn’t relevant, if they did, they didn’t let it show.

While EJ was part of a commercial book tour, the other two authors simply offered free review copies via their blogs.

As TB and Susan were so helpful before, I thought I’d pester them again with a few nosy questions.

TB:

T B Markinson
T B Markinson

How do you decide who to send free review copies to?

To be honest, I’m not picky. If someone shows an interest in reading one of my books I’m more than willing to give them a copy in exchange for a review. Even if they don’t typically read books like mine, it’s important to me to see how different readers react to one of my books.

Do you have a core circle of reliable reviewers?

I do now. In the beginning it was tough getting reviews on Amazon and on Goodreads. It takes time to build relationships with reviewers. Luckily I had a blog well before I thought about self-publishing. Many blog buddies have volunteered to read my books and to leave reviews. I wouldn’t be this far without them. And I’ve been fortunate to meet many book bloggers who enthusiastically support Indie writers. I really enjoy my email interactions with many of the reviewers. I’m always trying to find more core reviewers since it’s vital to have tons of reviews.

How do you react to negative reviews?

Ah, yes, the question people love to ask. It’s never fun to read a negative review. Some make good points and I do listen. Some are attacking me (I write lesbian fiction). I won’t lie, it hurts. But we have a saying in our house, “Pick yourself up and wipe off the dirt when you stumble.”

I never confront a reviewer who has written a negative review. Even if they are attacking me and not the book. Responding would draw unwanted attention and would put me in a more vulnerable situation. I read the review. Determine if they make good points. And then move on. There’s not much more I can do, really.

How often do you monitor sites for reviews? Do you Google your name/book title/s regularly?

I keep track daily for sales and reviews. Knowing the numbers is helpful for future projects and launches. I do Google myself and book titles, but probably not nearly enough. There are so many daily tasks I have to complete in addition to writing that some things fall to the wayside like this one.

Do you comment on blogs that review your books? Do you reblog/pingback reviews?

I do comment on blogs, thanking the blogger for writing the review. I keep it simple. I also try to remember to email them saying thanks, no matter if it was positive or negative. Everyone has busy lives and I appreciate anyone who has taken the time to not only read one of my books, but to review it as well. I have done a pingback or two but have stopped. Not sure why. And I don’t reblog. I’m not a fan of reblogging, not just reviews, but with all posts. Unless of course someone requests reblogging then I love to help out.

What do you look for in a review/reviewer?

I never expect a good review from anyone, not even my best friend. I look for several things: those who will post on Amazon and/or Goodreads, give their honest opinion, and who are timely with reviews. Most book bloggers have a review policy on their blog about how to request a review and what types of books they read. Always read this and follow their directions. These policies are helpful in determining if I should ask them to read my book or not. And I do prefer reviewers who are respectful, even when offering constructive criticism. That’s helpful. And a piece of advice to authors: always be respectful, even when being attacked. It’s not always easy to walk away without saying what you want to say, but it’s best for your career. Think long term. And remember, reviewers talk to each other.

*******

My review of TB’s latest book:

Claudia Must Die by TB Markinson

I like TB’s style. It’s sparse, succinct, and dry. Claudia is her fourth book to date and is the second one she published in (Dec) 2014, which, it seems to me is good going.

With Claudia though, TB has broken away from her comfort zone of primarily romance novels, and written a funny, witty, touching, clever, black crime noir meets Pink Panther type of story, as Claudia goes on the run and one mishap follows another.

For me, it’s my favourite out of her four books and if you want quirky, humorous with action, and wonderful cock-ups, this hits the mark. Add road trips, gradual development of characters and relationships, and you end up with a good read. Aside from the satire though, there are some deeper moments, should you choose to find them. And it has a fine, understated ending.

Claudia Must Die is a good read that I recommend to anyone who likes something different, funny, and well-written.

Link to how Claudia was born.

image

An excerpt from Claudia:

The assassins were not trained killers—after all, how many were? Perhaps unsurprisingly, the two brothers had fallen into the trade. Before they became assassins, most of their free time was spent playing video games and hanging out at the only 7-Eleven in town, drinking Slurpees. Their sleepy Texas town didn’t offer much for young men who wanted more from life than playing video games and drinking Slurpees.
All of the adults they knew hated their jobs—if they had one—and loathed their responsibilities. Life had become a disappointment to everyone in this shithole town near the Mexican border.
Then, one day, a man approached the brothers in the 7-Eleven parking lot. He offered them a job. It was not a factory, nor anything of that sort. They simply had to deliver a package, which they did.
For more than a year, they worked on and off for the guy. After they had earned his trust, the man asked the brothers if they owned any guns.
Boyd Woolf, the eldest brother, laughed. “Mister, we were born with guns in our hands. This is Texas.”
The man smiled, but there was no joy in his expression. “Good to know.” He handed them another package.
Two weeks later, the man showed up without a package. Instead, he handed them a picture, an address, and a wad of cash. “Take care of it,” was his only instruction.

*******

Susan
image
Thanks for the invitation, roughseas, but I’m going to attack your questions on reviews from a different angle. I have never been all that concerned about sales of my print and eBooks, so racking up reviews on sales sites is not a priority. The main reason authors like to see plenty of reviews posted to Amazon is that the more reviews the higher the book’s rating, which presumably leads to increased sales. Do authors really believe readers read all those reviews or are impressed by them? As a reader, I certainly don’t, and am not.

I used to promote the “Best way to thank an author is by reviewing their book” idea but have backed away recently. I realize that not every reader is comfortable with posting their opinions online and, again, I certainly don’t review every book I read so how can I expect others to do this for me? Nor do readers owe authors reviews as a means of boosting our books’ popularity … and sales.

We can only hope that when a reader enjoys our books they will tell their friends or even tell us directly. A couple of my readers have contacted me personally, to tell me they’d read and enjoyed my novel. Neither wanted to post a public review but were quite happy with the idea that I quote them anonymously on my blog. Those quotes gave me far more promotion and attention than any number of 5-star reviews on Amazon.

Specifically, though, in reply to your other questions:

How do you decide who to send free review copies to?

I’m not organized in the way I send out review copies. I either wait until someone asks for one, or offer free review copies on blogs where I’ve been interviewed or reviewed, or receive reciprocal promotion from authors I’ve promoted on Reading Recommendations. I stumble upon review blogs rather than actively search for them.

Do you have a core circle of reliable reviewers?

For my first novel, I did not have a core group of reviewers, but now have a solid list of readers interested in reviewing the second one.

How do you react to negative reviews?

As for negative reviews, I’m pleased (or possibly lucky!) to have only received one. I would never respond to a negative comment at all and hope my future readers will weigh that one negative review against the many more I’ve received that are very positive.

What do you look for in a review/reviewer?

I have learned to pay attention to all comments made about my first novel and keep in mind what was liked, not liked, while I write the second. In fact, that’s the biggest benefit I see in all reviews – they give me an idea of the strengths and weaknesses in my writing, the characters, the storyline, so I can improve in subsequent books.

That’s what I look for in a review – an honest assessment of how well, or poorly, I did with telling the story (all aspects of the story). I also appreciate an honest reading. When someone begins a review by saying, “I don’t usually read this genre,” (as though they’re stooping to my level of writing, giving it a try but not expecting much out of it) I know I’m not going to receive a constructive review.

Likewise, if a reviewer gives my novel a 5-star rating and says nary a critical word (I like to think my book is perfect, but I’m not that delusional!) I consider them to be unrealistic and just too nice to tell me the truth. The only author who consistently receives 5 stars from me is Richard Ford, and I can only hope to ever be that good a writer! While flattery is lovely, I would prefer receiving a whole raft of 4-out-of-5s with one comment in each as to some aspect I can improve upon.

Do you comment on blogs that review your books? Do you reblog/pingback reviews?

I always thank the reviewer directly and reblog, share, and promote the review. I will comment, if a question is asked or a blog reader makes a flattering comment. Many of my readers, fans and reviewers have come to me through comment exchanges I’ve had with a blog’s readers. I always continue to promote these blogs to my own readers and follow them so I can read other book reviews they post. Also, if the reviewer is an author, I offer reciprocal promotion on Reading Recommendations.

How often do you monitor sites for reviews? Do you Google your name/book title/s regularly?

I do check Goodreads ratings and reviews regularly, but only because I’m in there every day to enter Giveaways from other authors. I occasionally think to check Amazon. I don’t bother with the other sites. I created a document posted on my blog’s info page that compiles all reviews and lists links to blogs and sites where I’ve been interviewed or received a review. I set up Google Alerts for my name and book titles early on and receive notices by email. I try not to be obsessive about checking for mentions of my name online. It is still exciting though when I discover either my name or book titles listed somewhere new. I don’t think you ever get over the thrill of that!

*******

Susan is currently working on One Woman’s Island, which is the second in her Bequia Perspectives series set in the lush Caribbean island. The first in the series is Island in the Clouds.

Bequia – the island in the clouds – Friendship and islands off Bequia
Friendship and islands off Bequia – the island in the clouds

An excerpt from One Woman’s Island:

Not having made any previous plans as to where I would spend the rest of that morning, I drifted down the road towards the Harbour and wandered around town a bit. I could have gone back to Miss Hildie’s, but I’d forgotten to pack a book.
Then I saw a woman tending to one of the stray dogs that always hang around the streets. She was sitting by the side of the road, a large open bag beside her, plastic gloves on her hands. She sponged a liquid onto the hide of a mangy mutt that complacently sat between her legs. The dog was whinging a bit, but holding steady.
This must be Solfrid, the expatriate woman Melanie had mentioned. I decided to be bold and say hello. She was speaking a foreign language to the dog, a language I didn’t recognize, but whatever she said was obviously soothing and possibly understandable since the animal looked up at her with big round trusting, brown eyes.
“Excuse me. Are you Solfrid? Melanie Halliday suggested I seek you out.”
Solfrid’s face broke into a large smile. Melanie’s name certainly did seem to have a lot of clout on Bequia. It had definitely been opening doors for me.
“Ah, just give me a moment longer with my friend here and then we will have a talk. I always like to meet Melanie’s friends.” She turned her full attention back to the dog.
When Solfrid finished, she took off the plastic gloves, buckled a new flea collar around the dog’s neck then opened a plastic container of dry kibble. The dog appeared to be used to the routine and wagged its tail. Solfrid stood up, said a few final kind-sounding words in her own language, patted the dog’s head, and turned her full attention to me.
“Now we meet formally. I am Solfrid,” she said, her voice assertive. She held out a hand for me to shake, the grip just as assertive as the voice, even though she was missing an index finger. I liked the woman right from the beginning. She seemed so sure of herself.
“Would it be possible to go somewhere so we may talk,” I asked, “perhaps even have a drink together?” I must have sounded like an alcoholic. It wasn’t even ten o’clock yet.

Many thanks to TB and Susan for their considered answers, time, insight, and courtesy. Thanks also to Susan for a lovely selection of Bequia photos, all Bequia images are hers.

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87 comments on “Views and reviews

    • Thanks for your contribution Susan, and for those gorgeous photos. There’s a lot posted about reviews on the book network, eg every reader MUST write a review (why?) and how poor authors aren’t being nicely treated. I wanted a view from independent authors (ie ones I don’t work for) to hear their point of view.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Very interesting indeed. I find that i mostly read books written by men and I caamot ecplain exactly why, I will have to be very introspevtive. I do judge a book by its cover. Very much so. At the moment I am watching the tv series The Affair and I saw a book with the same title so I started to rzd it and So far I like it – it is written by a woman And oh yes women do great history and here I have a lot!

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    • I judge a book by its cover too. If I were to break it down, women seem to do historical (romantic) fiction, chick lit and romance. Men do spy, mystery, thriller, crime, history (no romance). But women also do crime, mystery, thriller, spy, but usually not as much as the men. Both do memoirs, fantasy, sci-fi.

      My reviews are probably 60:40 women:men. But the books I read and don’t review eg library books, are well different. Depends what comes my way rather than choice half the time.

      Might write a post about preferences, thst would be fun.

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      • That would be nice! So btw I did not like Gone Girl, did not even finish it. On the other hand The Silent Wife was excellent. Please google the book plus the author, she has now passed away, never saw the success of this book.

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        • Yeah, think I’ll add it to Tuesday’s post. A mixed bookish post will work for it.

          I’d heard of GG, but not TSW. Because I work with Indies, the latest craze tends to pass me by unless someone shoves it in my hands (hence reading Twilight series).

          Off to draft up my poll!

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  2. Bequia looks beautiful. I find it hard to read books, which is why I haven’t really tried to read books for years properly until relatively recently, and find myself reading back through the same page again and again until information has sunk in. Do you never have that problem when you’re reviewing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oddly yesterday, I was editing, and the flat about had really repetitive electronic type music with phrase of about ten notes. Luckily it stopped.

      Boring books can be a problem when reviewing. Then, I have to analyse, why are they boring? And the answer is usually poor style. I can read books about something I’m disinterested in if it’s well written. I do skim read, but, I notice inconsistencies. Information doesnt sink particularly, but something that doesn’t flow jars immediately.

      Are you talking fiction or non-fiction? And if fiction, what sort?

      Bequia looks quite gorgeous, I appreciate being able to share Susan’s photos with my readers.

      Liked by 1 person

    • We all write what we think, but it’s good to hear from a different perspective on the same subject.

      Sort of like you inviting: SOM, Kathy, IB, and all the others that I run a mile from, onto your blog …

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          • Why write? Why engage? Simple: it infuriates theists who have never been challenged. To show that their beliefs are nonsense, to demonstrate (publicly) that they cannot compete in the marketplace of ideas is to assist in the dismantling of the nonsense.

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          • I’m not convinced. They are as entrenched in their views as I am in mine. I acknowledge Victoria’s point that the waverers might be interested, but still. Theists take the same point of view you have laid out, ie challenge, and ‘prove’ your lack of belief in a god is nonsense. Because a god just IS. Even predictive text wants to capitalise god for me 👿

            Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not the gloating, the wretched firework image appearing endlessly everywhere, and a summary of someone else’s stats. Why, just why?

      My stats always say the same thing: olive pâté. Although I may need to revamp and repost as olive tapenade since I made the original post to get back to #1 on Google.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Damn, someone got their blogging arm back! This is great. Love the pic and the reviews are fab… I’ll have to come back to this one for another lookie… right now I have so many books to read, it’s beyond a joke. Pat bought me a box set for Christmas, then I downloaded several I was interested in. Not to mention giveaways authors are throwing my way. Better get reading. I did some today. :D

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    • Darling, I needed to post on a ‘day off’. I’ve been drafting this since Christmas time, ‘cos I had to pull it together inbetween times.

      I mix my reads so much. I’ve got hard copy and ebooks to read but I can clear them quite quickly unless it’s for a review, which takes longer although no-one seems to appreciate that,

      I might have a chill out read this arvo, good for the soul.

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  4. I thought you were talking about my blog and my yearly stats post :-(
    For some reason most of the books I read aren’t contemporary and few of them are novels. It is like am stuck in the past when it comes to what I read. You will easily find me glued to Cicero’s disputations or Marcus Aurelius meditations.
    This is a good read and when and if I should gather my thoughts to a book length, I know where I will turn to.

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  5. I found this fascinating reading.

    Personally, I find the irritation of the method of presentation of the stats is balanced by the fact that it is, at least, giving some sort of feedback – and, yes, feedback one can compare with what others have accomplished. Whether one wants to aspire to the same heights (or depths) is an individual choice.

    The review part has given food for thought. Perhaps I do need to do something more active than hoping some readers will see fit to review my novels (and, hopefully, favourably).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Col

      But where do you start to compare? Numbers of followers? Hits? Comments? Frequency of posts? Similar or different subject matter? Similar or different writing style (not sure there are many similar styles to yours … )?

      I think the different approaches to reviewing are interesting, especially the organised ones who get review copies churned out for reviews in advance of publication date, whether through a commercial book tour, netgalley, or just using their own blogging networks. But of course you have to offset a review copy against a sale. Which is worth more?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Good questions. Similar content and interests give a reasonable basis – if someone else is churning out the same sort of stuff, but has far greater apparent popularity, one would like to know why and how.
        Of course, on reviews, the answer to that million-dollar question would be that the review copy is worth more only if it generates profit on enough actual sales more than to offset the cost. This needs a pretty good review, and by a person whose assessment is likely to be seen and acted upon not only by his/her doting parents.

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        • Unless you have a single topic blog within a pretty fixed genre, I think it’s difficult to compare. And, let’s b honest, readers come and go, for whatever reason. As do blog posters.

          I think it depends on whether you are really aiming at bulk selling on the Amazon market, if you price cheaply in the first place, giving away xx copies to get the reviews (and make BookBub for example) then I think it’s a pretty sound strategy.

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  6. I blog to be read. I would like more comments at the moment- thank you for yours- and I find the stats interesting. Not so much other people’s. Are we competing? I enjoy the writing, anyway. As for reviews, I am reading “The Karamazov Brothers”, and no review I give will aid its author.

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    • I blog primarily because I like writing. I confess I would be disappointed if no-one read. Back in the early days on blogger, I wished my own blog got even half as many comments as my dog blog. I do enjoy the comments, and the wordpress reply function makes it so much easier to have decent interaction.

      Sure my stats are interesting, but reading everyone else’s? All with the same tedious presentation? I saw a couple where people had taken out a few specific stats and graphed them, or some other visual representation, and I thought they were interesting. They used it as part of a post and then went on to say something else rather than just reposting the whol tedious report. I don’t think we are competing. It would be apples and pears anyway.

      It’s an interesting perspective. The theory is that reviews are primarily there for potential readers to help them make up their mind. The (alive) author is an indirect beneficiary.

      Liked by 2 people

    • If a blogger is that interested in stats they will visit their stats page regularly anyway. I only look when = I’m avoiding doing something else.

      I find the ‘pleeeeeeze do write a review’ at the end of most books annoying. Write it on GR, on Am, on your blog etc. A lot of people simply don’t have the time and/or the inclination.

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  7. Late to the party. I have 2 email addys and should open both – but don’t.
    Ne’er mind, eh?
    First book sounds intriguing. Read all the snippet.

    I am in no position to know whether reviews do anything for sales. A nice review can’t hinder sales, I guess. and it’s certainly nice when someone reviews the book and also enjoys it.
    I would venture there is also a degree of ”feel good” ( ego?) involved.
    We are a frail bunch… lol … and need that reassurance.
    Personally, I have never been swayed by a good review.
    Pretty much every book I have ever bought has been because of personal recommendation or I liked the look of it in the bookshop.

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  8. Does it really matter? The only reason for writing down words is the pleasure it gives. Nothing else really matters much. It is a bit like going for a walk. It invigorates and leaves one pleasantly tired for a nice nap afterwards.

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    • I think it does matter to some. There is an army of authors who write endlessly about why havent they got a string of five star reviews, what did they do wrong to only get four stars, and, don’t forget, some people actually want to make money out of this lark. No idea how they manage to break even let alone move from red to black.

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  9. I have to confess, I love the yearly stats and I published them like the true sheep I am! Phnark! That said, I reckoned mine were enough of an improvement for me to be happy about and share my enthusiasm, and yet, they were still shit enough compared to everyone else’s for it not to be an act of arrogance.

    Cheers

    MTM.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. All I ever see is the Top Posts and Pages widgets on the sidebar. WordPress’ annual stats email was among the many I deleted when I returned online, including those other annual stats posts.
    I admire the complementary (& complimentary!) relationship between you and the authors you review. The photos, info and insights are interesting regardless of if I’m interested in reading their work.
    Excellent header photo – love the light :)

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    • Haha! I tell you if I used email notification for new posts and had a load of those I would tear my hair out. Bad enough seeing them on reader.
      I think I try and be fair, and honest. While it may be a little extra publicity for them, I appreciate they took time to think about and answer my questions. Bookish posts don’t always have to be reviews or standard author interviews, and I was genuinely interested to hear their responses.
      I love Susan’s Bequia photos, a blog post in themselves, she sent me loads to choose from, and I couldn’t resist the silhouettes at sunset, as you say lovely light.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I try and avoid getting caught up in the stats thing by reminding myself regularly that first and foremost I blog for myself – records and photo’s of our life. I guess everyone blogs for different reasons. Found the interviews fun to read and LOVE the header photo. A real attention grabbing crowd pleasure….not that anyone is watching /counting….Stats or no stats the dialogue that your posts inspire are amazing. A blog success story in itself and always a good read!

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    • I didn’t start blogging as a record, more of a do and don’ts about being an ex-pat in Spain. But over eight years, of course it’s turned into a record, plus the dogblog, and the Landy blog, and it is actually nice to go back and read about things that would totally have been forgotten had I not blogged about them. And I love reading the insights into your life and where you live.

      While I review a lot of books, I wanted to hear some authors’ perspectives on it all. It’s a good sunset photo isn’t it? Cried out to be featured photo.

      Thank you. It’s due to the people who visit though, and I hope they find it somewhere friendly where they can drop in, leave a comment and move on, stay a little, or maybe return later. I have a great group of core readers and commenters. Sure, they change with time, although some of my very early ones are still around, but newer readers are just as welcome.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I have to say i quite enjoyed the yearly stats too, both receiving my own and reading others, especially as I managed to miss some great posts by some of my favourite bloggers that ended up highlighted in their annual reviews. I could have done without the fireworks, though.
    If somebody has gone to the effort of reviewing one of my books I always thank them. It takes a lot of time and effort to pull together a review so saying thank you is the least i can do. If it’s particularly well written or pertinent I’ll reblog it, partly as a means of promoting my work without bombarding people with BUT MY BOOKS posts, but also to give a little more exposure to the reviewer themselves.
    When choosing books I used to rely on reviews lot, the more the merrier. Now I tend to get my recommendations from bloggers, especially writers whose work I admire.
    I do have a polite request for a review at the end of each of my books. Reviews are still important to me as a writer because they help increase your ‘popularity’ ranking. I also offer free copies of one of my books to anyone who signs up to my mailing list, in exchange for an honest review.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think we all miss posts and I just accept I catch what I can from other bloggers when I’m not around.

      The reblog one is interesting. I’m not a fan, neither is TB but I will put it on by request. Although a good blogging friend tells me it is totally useless in terms of SEO. Depends on priorities I guess.

      I confess to rarely acting on recommendations for a good read. I read widely (for work), but for pure enjoyment, I like to choose my own books, preferably with a browse in the library.

      Wasn’t it your blog where I read about the dissonance between good reviews and no bad reviews thereby skewing popularity? If not sorry, if it was, it was a good post. Too many blogs, too much to read!

      I’m not a mailing list fan. I love Susan and TBs approach. You want to review my book? Fine, here’s a copy. One author I really like posted about mailing lists and asked what people thought. One comment was, I’m happy reading your blog. I thought that said a lot. In some ways what’s the difference?

      Thank you for following Susan’s link, and taking the time to comment.

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      • Yes, that was on my blog and thanks. It proved to be a hot topic.
        For me, mailing lists and blog are two different things, because my blog audience and my book audience are different. There is some overlap of the two, but there are many readers of my books who have never seen my blog, and blog readers who will never read my books.
        The mailing list is purely to inform readers about book launches (usually with an special price for early purchase) and occasionally to send through exclusive short stories.
        My blog is for anyone who likes to listen to my ramblings.

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        • I think it was hot enough that I prevaricated about commenting. I thought the logic was impeccable though. One of the best posts I have read about reviews for some time.

          A lot of people though have a blog readership and mailing list that are virtually the same. And therein lies the problem.

          I may have downloaded one of your books though. Can’t remember. If so, I’ll scoot it up the To Read list.

          All blogs are for rambling listeners …

          Liked by 1 person

  13. Those stats pages over and over again on Reader is so annoying. (And those aren’t really yearly stats as they are done in advance and posted before the end of the year….several bloggers like Wild Suzy had a couple of days at year’s end when they got picked up by reddit and had huge numbers..all unreflected in the Australian Opera house. ) Somehow I always feel like WP is patting people on the head like bloggers are small children. Something about the tone that’s annoying. If you want to give stats, fine, but stop writing posts for people ( to boost traffic in a lean period) and be professional about it.
    Enjoyed reading what some writers in the real world had to say. It’s a tough world for writers. Sampling seems to work for most products. I tend to only pay attention to reviews by bloggers I normally read – those bloggers already have cred. established. On-line review in Amazon can be rather flaky – and there’s some arrogant/wacko/unrealistic reviewers over there sometimes.
    Have to say the excerpt from Claudia does make the book sound like one worth checking out – do doubt many an a person was recruited from small towns like that!
    Susan’s Bequia does look attractive right now….
    and there’s Molly’s cue to go outside – it’s sunny! Can’t waste it.
    Enjoyed the post. Thanks to your authors for their conversations

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so entrenched, when I do look at stats I go back to the old stats page. WP is obsessed with fixing things that ain’t broke. Dumbing down I suppose, sign of the times as usual.

      I guess the journ in me can’t resist nosy questions from time to time and who better than a couple of authors, both with experience, but different experience?

      Some of the three star and two star reviews are quite good though instead of the gushing five star boring ones.

      Claudia is good, I liked that extract, I thought it was really vivid. Sparse and evocative at the same time. It’s not long, it’s an easy read, so if you find the time, it’s worth a download.

      Susan’s Bequia looks gorgeous, some rain here today which was a nice change. Especially for me as I didn’t go out in it 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing Claudia. And I really enjoyed answering your questions. You always make me think and see things from more than one angle. It’s a good exercise for me.

    Susan’s photos are lovely! It’s a chilly day in London and now I want to be there in the sun and warmth with a cocktail in hand.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I told you I thought Claudia was great, hope the extract and review has piqued some interest. I’ll add something to GR/Am on my next bulk review session on there.

      I don’t think the practicalities of reviews and authors’ views about them get much coverage, apart from ‘I want them’ so I wanted to dig a bit deeper. Thanks so much for being a willing victim.

      Aren’t they gorgeous? Typical Caribbean paradise, although as she says about her books, with a darker side too.

      Like

  15. I review sparingly. Someone else’s opinion doesn’t affect whether I enjoy a book or not, so why should mine? But I’m loving your looks at the minute :) That sunset is sublime.

    Like

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