Author to Author: The Writing Life
Quote of the Day: You see, I am trying in all my stories to get the feeling of the actual life across – not to just depict life – or criticize it – but to actually make it alive. So that when you have read something by me, you actually experience the thing. You can’t do this without putting in the bad and the ugly as well as what is beautiful. Ernest Hemingway
One thing I think we can all agree on is the road to discovery for authors is challenging. We write and hope for the best reception for our stories. Most times it seems as though our stories come from a place of inspiration rather than a rational decision to write and plot around a specific topic. I’m speaking for myself here. If you have a writing method that works for you, good!
I’m going to skip right to reviews and reviewers for this is the pressure point for deciding the fate of your novel.
- The shoot-gun approach to seeking reviews thinking everyone will want to read and leave a great review is a journey filled with perils and one you’ll most likely regret.
What to do!
Find your niche, your tribe, or following many say. Don’t send out review copies or place your work on websites that are not friendly to your genre. For example, you may ask why in the world someone would download and read or attempt to read about murder mystery if they find it appalling?
They do and are subject to leaving crass reviews making it difficult for real mystery lovers to find your novel. It doesn’t matter if you’ve written in Agatha Christie’s style or the most eloquent presentation of your story. Your novel and some readers just do not match. And, Lord help you if you get an overly zealous reviewer that goes to every site your novel is published on and shares their distaste. Please beware this is cyber-stalking!
You may ask, “Didn’t they read the novel’s description, clearly stating what it was about?”
I’m with you there. If a novel is crime fiction or in similar categories, you can expect a story line with gritty details about happenings that some may find offensive. That’s why their different genres for novels on all the platforms selling books.
What to do
- Clearly identify the genre/s your novel falls into.
- Write an accurate book description about your novel.
- Find where the readers hang-out who would enjoy reading your story.
- Think about groups on social media seeking books of your genre.
- Your website is a goldmine and where true readers will navigate to keep up with your writing. Also, your website is the real estate that you own unlike the social platforms where you may post. Think back to social sites now dissolved and the followers that you no longer have access to.
- Become a developer and up your game by engaging your fans on your website and where they hangout.
- Find professional reviewers in your genre. You can post their reviews to your online book platforms.
- Don’t give-up! There are readers who will enjoy your novels and give positive reviews. An interesting part of the writer’s journey is finding your base support. Once you do that, the sky is the limit. Go create!
If you’d like a sample of my new psychological thriller, Primed For Revenge, the 1st in the Sydney Jones Series, follow my blog using your email address and I’ll forward you a PDF of the first 25 pages. Note: Crime fiction, murder mystery, psychological thriller, adult rated!
I look forward to this new season and connecting with mystery lovers here and on social media. Carolyn Bowen