It’s been over a year since the publication of my first novel, and the book is picking up steam and readership. I’m steadily getting emails from strangers through my contact page, or through friends of friends, that Jaden Baker is being well-recieved, and frequently people will tell me how quickly they read the book–the record is held at one day. Though the readership is expanding, and praise is coming in through various channels, review numbers are staying the same. For a while I’ve wondered how to broach this subject, as stacking up online reviews posted through a retailer are important to garnering respect and increasing sales, but asking for them seems a bit…needy? I finally decided to suck it up and just ask for them. Because I need them.
Most people either do not like writing and/or don’t know what to say. I think the same can be said for online book reviews. Of all the books I’ve read, I’ve rarely left a review on the place from which I purchased it, so I’m guilty of review-withholding. Many of the books I’ve read have been around for years and their review counts are in the thousands, hence my review refrainint. Plus, it probably doesn’t need to be said that I think Prisoner of Azkaban is a testament of brilliance and proof that a book can be written solely on back-story and still be funny and entertaining, or that Scarlett O’Hara is literature’s biggest screw-up and oh how I wish someone had slapped her in the face a few times. Because, chances are, at least one thousand other readers have already reviewed both of those things. Neither J.K. Rowling nor Margaret Mitchell need me to add my two cents.
Fresh and green
But since Jaden Baker is a baby out there, it needs more reviews to stand up to its brothers and sisters in fiction, even if some of them are repetitive. In fact, since the book is such a baby on the scene, reviews of the same ilk are good, as they show a consistency in reception. If you’ve written to me about the book, really all you can do is copy and paste into a review. The letters I get (which I love!) are all perfectly formatted for online reviews. They can be poignant or casual.
I understand that leaving a review often means jumping through some hoops. Amazon requires that you login to your account, create a pen name, and then submit. I’m not sure how many hoops you have to jump through for iTunes. Barnes and Noble accepts anonymous reviews, I believe.
Even if you only have a few sentences, or a few words, or just wanted to click how many stars you think it should have, I’d appreciate it.
Thanks to Bob for writing about Jaden on his website BoatBits.
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