Reviews (not a rant)

I actually started writing this post several days ago. Except, at that time, I was writing it more as a rant than anything that might be useful.

Let me begin by explaining why I was upset and felt the need (which I overcame…eventually) to write a rant.

Reviews are extremely important to anyone with a product. Books, as you might guess, are products – they are the result of a lot of work, creativity, (more) work and stress, but they are products nonetheless.

I cannot speak for other products that receive reviews but I have seen many instances of where an individual, apparently fueled by a sense of anonymity and overwhelming feeling of power, has left what could only charitably be called a bad review of a book or story. These “bad” reviews often focus on things that have nothing to do with the story itself – maybe the reviewer didn’t like the cost of the book, or the formatting, or they were shocked when a book clearly labelled as one genre didn’t turn out to be another.

Nonsense like that makes my blood boil just a little (probably more easily due to the elevation I live at) and hence the reason for my wanting to rant.

So, that all being said, let me take a moment to explain why I feel that well thought out, intelligent reviews are important:

  • Potential readers will look at the reviews to make that final decision as to whether a book is worth investing time and money in.
    • Inane reviews, especially if that’s all there is, do not help readers in any way. If nothing else exists, a reader may (incorrectly) assume that the reviewer actually knew what he/she was talking about and leave, never looking back.
    • Intelligent, well thought out reviews, whether positive or negative, can give the potential reader some insight into both what the reviewer likes/dislikes and how to approach a book. That gives a true indication whether or not to pick up a book. It also (at least for me) says, I may not like a particular book, but the author’s other works might be worth checking out.
  • Author’s need feedback. Beyond just bragging about all the 5-star reviews one might (or might not) have, it is nice to get an idea of how one’s work is perceived.
  • Reviews mean people have read the book (typically). Some readers don’t want to be the first one to try something new. If the trail has already been blazed so much the better.
  • Publishers, editors, agents (and many others) read reviews. If you (author) are trying to attract the attention of any of the aforementioned types of people, having real reviews is a very good thing.

I know I haven’t captured every single reason why reviews are important. The message I do want to convey is how important proper reviews can be.

If you have enjoyed something, please take a moment to say so and why. If a story hasn’t worked for you, its okay to say so. Just couch it in terms that explain why it didn’t work for you. What isn’t good for one person might be for another. Reasons are important.

Most importantly, if you don’t have anything useful to say, don’t say anything at all. Flaming a book because you don’t like the price or the choice of layout only shows you to be…well, I’ll let you fill in that particular blank.

After all, this post isn’t about ranting.

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Exciting Times

As I have probably mentioned several times, JR Murdock and I have collaborated on a YA Steampunk Superhero mashup novel.

Well, today we received the cover art to share with you.

JackKane-EBOOK

I know I speak for JR when I say, we cannot wait to share the book with you.

You can find out more about the book at: Champagne Books

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Did I Mention There’s a Contest?

When I was in the final edits of Mik Murdoch: The Power Within,Mik2 my publisher (Lorina Stephens) suggested I add an element to the story that we could use as a contest.

I did that and so, now that the book is available, so is the contest. Here are the details directly off the 5 Rivers’ site:

So, here’s the deal. Get yourself a copy of Mik Murdoch: The Power Within as soon as you’re able. Read it. All of it. And while you’re doing that remember all your best scouting lessons, because you’re going to need them. In fact, mapping skills is what you’re going to need. Why? Because there are coordinates you’re going to need, and once you find them you have to pinpoint the exact location for us, email us what you’ve found with your super-mapping powers. If you’re the first, you’ll wOut+of+Timein a free digital copy of D.G. Laderoute’s fabulous YA fantasy, Out of Time.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and pick up a copy for yourself (if you haven’t already done so). Here, I’ll even give you a couple links :):

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