Goodreads and Reviews: A Stone Throw Away

There are so many sites writers can use for their social platforms. The last few weeks I have posted about Twitter, FB’s author page and one’s own website. It does not stop here. Goodreads and Shelfari are a book lovers dream. There you can share reviews of books you have read. It is similar to the reviews of Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It is a good way to let others know what your thoughts are on individual books.

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 3 star worthy or 5. A good combination across the board will help not other the author but those interested in purchasing the book

I have been reviewing for BookSneeze for a few years 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. Even 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 and 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 1? There is so much to take into account.

There are times I have come across books and by the end of the first few chapters want to put it down to never read again. A flaw I use to have. No matter how bad the book was I would always finish it, always. Thanks to Booksneeze I no longer have that problem.  I will finish the book for them.  However when I am reading a novel primarily for pleasure if it does not hook me, down it goes.

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.

A tool that should not be ignored b y anyone who wants to make it as an author.

My Online Platform

Writer’s Digest is a magazine I inhale. About a year and a half ago I was reading this article where the writer in her following credits listed her twitter name. The article was on online platform and how one can use it to further one’s works. That one little name got me started on establishing my presence.

A lot of people have told me well I don’t have a book out we should wait. That is the opposite of what you should do. No matter what magazine you read that is on writing or webinar you have seen the topic of online platform is bound to be talked about.

This is a tool that indie writers use to promote their works. But it is not just for indie writers, traditional houses are now following suit.

When you are a new author you need all the help you can get in promoting your works. This is done in a variety of ways from Twitter, FB, Goodreads and other forms of publicity.

In March of 2011 I made the move to getting my name out there. What I had to my credit was a number of complete books, short stories and my soon to be 2011 NaNo book but nothing in print. But that was okay. You want to start ahead before you release a book. You want people to know who you are and what you are about.

Doing it when you have a book out and then shouting, “ Hey hey look at me! I wrote a book come check it out” will get you some looks but not as much if you had planned ahead and started working on your platform.

By doing this in advance I have gotten a lot of positive feed back. One major woohoo was a small indie publishing company wanting to include two of my short stories in their anthology e-book. Something I am still pretty proud of for now I can say I been published. From that I met my current editor who is a dream and worth her weight in gold. It continues to meeting a publisher who helped me with my query letter that got my MS to being read by a few publishing houses. This all done before I had one single book out in print or in e-book format.

Pretty cool right? By doing all this people are starting to know me and what kind of stuff I write about. When I have up and down days they are there to help me with encouragement, suggestions and tips to help me along the way. I have a circle of publishers, editors, authors and bloggers to turn to in time of need. To say they are incredible is a gross understatement. These are people who are well established but take the time to help me out. Why? Because they know me from the various mediums we belong too. People who are making it in the business that I am attempting to break into. They are there for me because they have come to known me. I am no longer the new kid on the block. That is something that I can not put a price on.

Because of the people I have met my book is getting a second look at by a publisher. Something I can not say would have happened if I had done this alone. It would be a lonely walk if I had waited until my first book came out whether it was self publish or in print.  If the publisher decides to publish my book it would partly due to the people I have met through my online platform. And that would be freaken amazing.  Over the next few weeks I will dedicate one post a week to the various social medias I use in hopes of passing along to others what I have learned over the last year and a half.