There are so many sites writers can use for their social platforms. Goodreads is a book lovers and author’s dream. There you can share reviews of books you have read.
Leaving a review however should not be taken lightly. A number of people will base whether they will read a book on the reviews they read. We all know that some of the good reviews will come from family and friends. That is to be expected. But a good book should have various reviews whether the member thinks it is a three star worthy or a five. A good combination across the board will help not only the author but those interested in purchasing the book
I have been reviewing for close to a decade now and I take it very seriously. This is not just for the author that I am reviewing but for potential readers. It is my job to honestly state what I feel about the book whether it is good or bad. This is not always easy for we don’t want to hurt one’s feelings but to tell an author empty compliments does them no favors especially when you personally know them. One does not have to be cruel but instead use tact when the review is one that they might not like.
One thing I have learned from my writers group thankfully is how to review and critique the various books that come across my desk. I look for flow and pace. Are there any loopholes? Is it believable? For even if it is fiction it has to make sense to a point. Does it have a hook? Are the characters well-developed? Does it keep my attention or am I bored by the end of chapter one? There is so much to take into account.
You have to have thick skin to be a writer and equally so as a reviewer. People will not always like what you have to say even if it is in their best interest. The questions I ask myself is what I want people to ask when they are reading anything of mine. It may not always be easy to hear the negatives but it is one of the best tools for us to grow as writers. So while I may not always like what people tell me I am grateful for them First for taking the time to read my writings and second for telling me where it can be improved. One of these ways is from reviewers.
This is a tool that should not be ignored by anyone who wants to make it as an author.
I came across something by complete accident. I found out that my children’s series in audible made the Amazon Best Sellers list last week. I am not sure how high up the chart they went since again I found out by accident. But they did make the top 75, as of last week that is, and for that I say WOOHOO!!!
I been on this list before years ago with an anthology I collaborated with but this time this is my own individual works.
I had not even announced that my books had been made into audibles yet. That will be for a different post however.
Making a splash for our books is not only wonderful but not easy to do. So to see something like this really made me pause, not believing I was seeing what I was seeing at first, but after the happy, giggling and good feeling inside quickly filled in.
But even if does not maintain that number or improve at least I can say it has occurred with the screen shots for prosperity.
According to Margaret Maron, creator of Judge Deborah Knott: Voice is the most important ingredient in a successful book. The plot may be clever, but if the voice doesn’t engage us, how can we care?
According to John Morgan Wilson who writes the Benjamin Justice mystery series: There is difference between voice and style though it is difficult to get at. To me voice is closer to attitude and the emotional quality of the prose, reflecting the personality of the author.
Jason Pinter, ( an author who I love reading) a former St. Martin’s Press editor states: Voice is the conversational quality of your writing, the way you “talk” to your reader. It’s as important in writing as it is in conversing aloud with someone or speaking to a group. If your voice isn’t confident, assured, authoritative, natural, and appropriate for your characters and story, the writing will feel stilted, forced, ragged, weak, awkward. Just as speaking aloud is ineffective if one is halting, hesitant, lacking in confidence, and so on
Now that is all well and good until I try to find my own voice. My Character Development instructor said he knew my voice and I did as well. I do? Funny I thought to myself for my last instructor told me the same thing. This is a trend for people out of my writing groups concur with these teachers. How come everyone knows what my voice is but me? I try hard not to think on this and just write. Apparently I am accomplishing the voice subconsciously.
One good way is to read your story aloud. It may sound silly but it is a good way to hear one’s errors, pace and flow. Perhaps a writer will discover their voice. Will I ever be able to describe this important ingredient to others, I do not know. Hopefully though my voice is being written loud and clear in my writings.