Writing, almost by definition, is a public art-form. There’s not really much point in writing if you’re not got to share your work with others. However, it’s one thing to share it with your friends and family, or even post it on your blog or on a forum, it’s quite another to put your head above the parapet and send it out to a reviewer. A good review from a recognised source can make your career as a writer, a bad one can consign your book to the remainder pile quicker than your publisher can ask for their advance back. Okay, I’m over-stating that for comic effect but good reviews will do more to make your book a success than almost anything else. The odd bad one here and there won’t really do you too much harm, but if you get too many, it will probably hurt your sales, and possibly your reputation (although it doesn’t seem to have done Dan Brown’s latest too much harm).
Regardless, I dread the period between sending a book off to a reviewer and the time the review finally comes out. I’ll spend it worrying, off and on, that the reviewer won’t get what I’m trying to say, that it might not be quite their cup of tea, that they might not like the characters or that they’ll think the premise is too outlandish. Then comes the day when the review is finally out. I know some writers say that they never read reviews (do such people really exist?), but I’m not that type of person. I’d rather know someone disliked it, and why, than not know at all. However, it’s always with great trepidation that I’ll check the website or open the email I’ve been sent that contains a copy of a long-awaited review (and it can be several months if the reviewer’s busy, as most reviewers are). Sometimes I’ll hum and haw over looking at it, putting it off but knowing that it’s there, waiting for me to pluck up the courage. Eventually, I’ll force myself to read it, or at least skim through it to get the gist of what the reviewer has to say. If they’ve hated it, I’ll leave it there; if they’ve loved it, I’ll go back and read it properly.
This was the position I found myself in this morning. I got an email saying new review of For Those In Peril On The Sea had just gone up on Literary Wealth, a blog which reviews books from independent and small publishers with the aim of finding and publicising those hidden gems that might not get the attention of those who review books from the big publishing houses. It took me a few minutes to pluck up the courage to visit the site, but when I did I was delighted to find that the reviewer had given it five stars out of five, and seemed to have really loved it.
If you want to check out the review in full, you can find it here. Me, I’m off to worry some more, because also in my inbox today was a note from another reviewer saying that they’d just received the copy I sent them and that they’ll get back to me in due course. All I can do it hope they’re a fast reader – and that they like it as much as the last one. Fingers crossed!
From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in print and as a Kindle ebook. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more. To download a preview of the first three chapters, click here.
To read the Foreword Clarion Review of For Those In Peril On The Sea (where it scored five stars out of five) click here.