The journey to recognized authorhood is a long and winding road of lessons learned, hardships overcome and hurdles cleared. This is especially true for an indie author who is still new to the game and is trying to learn the ropes about the mechanics of indie publishing while blindly navigating through the giant behemoth known as Marketing Mountain. As any indie author will tell you, publishing a book, while certainly a huge ego-stroke, will mean absolutely nothing unless that author is able to effectively market that book and future books in order to build a lasting – and hopefully growing – readership. This will seem like a daunting task, especially since attempting to navigate through Marketing Mountain isn’t a one-trick pony, or a one-size-fits-all adventure. To those authors who have worked hard and diligently applied all they have learned in order to make a name for themselves in the publishing arena, the rewards can be great.
And regardless whether you’re a legacy author or an indie author, or whether you’re established or just starting out, all will agree that reviews are important. Reviews get books noticed and reviews sometimes have the power to make or break the success of a book. What’s ironic is that sometimes a book review is so bad that it actually has the adverse effect of attracting readers to a particular book. This is especially true for the following books, where the scathing reviews likely helped make them the successes they have become today:
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte – “There is not in the entire dramatis persona, a single character which is not utterly hateful or thoroughly contemptible.” – Atlas, 1848
The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike – “Mr. Updike’s descriptions of these magical doings are cringe-making in the extreme, not funny or satiric as he perhaps intends.” – Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov – “Unfortunately, it is bad news.There are two equally serious reasons why it isn’t worth any adult reader’s attention.The first is that it is dull, dull, dull in a pretentious, florid and archly fatuous fashion.The second is that it is repulsive.”- Orville Prescott, The New York Times, 1958
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway – “What other culture could have produced someone like Hemingway and not seen the joke.” – Gore Vidal
The Casual Vacancy by R.K. Rowling – “In another sign that Rowling has not fully outgrown the books that made her famous, there is a definite sense of late-Potter narrative bloat to the second half of The Casual Vacancy, and after letting the various storylines simmer for more than 400 pages, she brings almost all of them together for an over-the-top climax that is both needlessly melodramatic and utterly predictable.” – Nathan Whitlock, The Toronto Star
There have been countless “How-to” books published on the topic of obtaining reviews but with each new influx of indie authors vying to have their books noticed, more and more indie authors are finding the task daunting, to say the least, making some indie authors question why they ever became writers in the first place. Every once in a while, though, a writer will have the good fortune to cross paths with a potential new reader. A few brief words will be exchanged after which something extraordinary will happen to that writer: he or she will be left with an extraordinary sense of conviction that they have to keep on writing because there is a whole wide world out there with readers in it waiting to discover his or her books.
In the process of obtaining reviews for my new book, NO HARD FEELINGS, a Kate Stanton Mystery, this writer had the privilege of connecting with many potential new readers whose generous comments reminded her of the special relationship that writers and readers share. One reader in particular drove home the fact that new readers are just as eager to find you as you are to find them:
I just wanted to let you know that I'm just starting your book now. I was unable to download and transfer to my Nook, and got so frustrated that finally I just ran out tonight and bought a kindle (simple one) and downloaded directly from Amazon. SO, I get to finally start tonight!
Thank you again for this chance to review your book, but more than that, thank you for the chance for me to read you, a new author.
Now I ask you, does it get better for a writer than that? I think not...
** My new murder mystery, NO HARD FEELINGS, the next in the Kate Stanton Mystery series featuring Kate Stanton, the feisty and successful semi-retired real estate broker, was published on Amazon on April 6, 2014 with its official release slated for May 23, 2014. Find out what Ellen’s been tweeting about and buy your copy at the special pre-launch price of $2.99 or go to my website at http://martatandori.com and enter the draw for your chance to win some great prizes!