This blog promotes my writing and exercises my writing skills outside of fiction. It also has enabled me to interview many authors. In my first year of writing for this blog, I learned that I needed to read the books of those I interview. It’s time consuming. When I hadn’t read the authors’ books, I focused the interview so that I didn’t give my opinion of their books. The problem with that, of course, is that by interviewing an author, the interview itself becomes an endorsement. So I made a rule not to interview anyone whose work I hadn’t read. I’ve also reviewed books on this blog that I’ve read and loved regardless of interviewing the author. In short, I try to promote good writers and good books here.
When I’m not writing, revising my own work or doing “real” work, I read—a lot. It goes with the territory of being a writer. That’s where my writing started—by reading other writers work. Since I got a Kindle, I beg Amazon gift cards when asked what I want
presents (we’re the practical sort). I’ve downloaded the work of authors I know
and don’t know. In hardcopy, I usually try new authors at the library before
buying their work. But “in these times of municipal-fiscal austerity” my
library doesn’t carry many new authors. So, I have downloaded works that I
sometimes love (and interview the author, such as in the case of Ellen
Elizabeth Hunter) or wish I hadn’t downloaded, reconciling my expense as a
What I haven’t done, and feel guilty by my lacking, is providing reviews of books I’ve read online. Time is an issue for me, but it is for other writers as well, so that doesn’t pardon my lapse. Online reviews help sell books and further the careers of new authors. On venues such as Amazon, reviews can make or break a book. I admit that when a book on Amazon has five stars behind it and many reviews have averaged that five star rating, I’m inclined to buy the book. When a book only has two stars, I don’t hit the buy button unless I know the author or the rating comprises one review—then I think about it.
I’ve made a new rule for myself. I won’t write a bad review. Withholding my negative opinion will decrease the amount of reviews a book
and that in and of itself negatively impacts sales. But—because I haven’t
provided online reviews for books that I’ve loved—I’ve inadvertently and negatively
impacted the book and the author’s career producing bad karma for myself.
I hope that exposing readers here to new authors and that writing reviews online for other new writers—they in turn will take the time to do the same for me. My blogging hasn’t been intentionally to get just as much as I receive because it all depends on whether or not I deliver a good product worth reading. But if I can write a worthwhile entertaining novel, then I fully hope my good intentions will motivate and deserve others’ time to do the same for me.
Have you written an online review for a new author today? If not, get cracking!