One of the most difficult things to get for a new author is a professional review. I'm not talking about a 'paid-for' review - NEVER PAY FOR REVIEWS! It will irrevocably damage your reputation! But I digress ...
Following the TAO of Dean Wesley Smith, Sensei Dean mentioned sending queries out to Reviewers as one of the final steps of publishing your work. I did so back in January to about a dozen reviewers and it produced only one request for submission from Book Pleasures. I remitted the requested info and ... nothing. <sigh> Move on ...
Two months later, as part of my daily social networking regimen, something I'll discuss soon in a later log, I noticed that Norm Goldman of Book Pleasures wanted to link with me on LinkedIn. I remembered his name as the person who had requested _TWOE_ for review two months prior. So, I accepted his invitation to link and sent him a little message asking if he remembered me, since I had not heard back from him or his staff (Norm is the President of Book Pleasures). He replied very quickly, telling me to resubmit the information about _TWOE_ directly to him and that he would make sure his staff saw it. He still didn't give me any guarantees that any of his staff would want to review my book, but he would at least make sure they were aware of it.
Within 60 minutes, I heard from Fran Lewis, requesting _TWOE_ for review. I followed the communication protocols of dealing with a professional reviewer posted here and I'm ecstatic to report that I just received my first professional review and it was FANTASTIC! 5-STARS! Wow, how's that for hitting the ball out of the park on the first swing?! (grin)
Fran has already started posting her review of _TWOE_ on all of her websites and blogs. She also is posting it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords and ... she has invited me to appear on her radio show for an interview!
I don't have to tell you writers out there how cool it was for me to read such a great review after all of the "... I didn't fall in love with ..." reviews from all those agents I queried before publishing the book myself.
One thing I learned from the music business though ... take compliments and criticism with the same grain of salt. Don't live by them or you'll die by them.
But I'm still stoked! (grin)
Meanwhile, I'm still learning from every single blog that Dean and his wife Kristine publish re: Self-Publishing. I'm going to post the links to their fantastic blogs at the end of every log I write. If you haven't already, definitely check them out - including the excellent comments posted by other writers. What a fantastic community self and indy-published authors are!
Some other things of note:
- I've tweaked the price of the eBook version of _TWOE_ down from $5.99 to $4.99. By the end of the year I will publish here in Self-Publishing Diary: Author's Log a good deal of info about my sales in the hopes it will be edifying and if sales continue to grow, inspiring to other self-publishers.
- I republished on CreateSpace and Smashwords, fixing one important (to me) grammatical error and an updated cover for the trade paper edition. But of course, as soon as I did, my son Jared noticed two other small grammatical errors <sigh>. It's all good though because this experience publishing _TWOE_ has taught me a lot. I already plan to refine my editing process (to include my son) from now on. My objective is perfection!
- Through the power of INGRAM's distribution channels, _TWOE_ is now being sold in booksellers as far away as Australia, India, and South Africa. Sensei Dean was once again 100% correct when he said that nowadays self-publishers can reach the WHOLE WORLD! Distribution is not a problem in the self-publishing world - product recognition is the key - and as Sensei DWS always stresses - recognition comes with writing and publishing quality works!
Which brings me to my dismal performance lately putting words on paper. Life prevented me from writing for the last 7 days - completely unacceptable ... and so is my waistline! Both things can be fixed with more DISCIPLINE! <spank myself>
Words WILL get on paper this weekend!
If you self-publish or intend to self-publish you need to check out the blogs by Dean Wesley Smith and his wife Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Here's the links:
Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing
New World of Publishing
Think Like a Publisher
The Business Rusch: On Writing
(Please feel free to leave comments – your comments can be as helpful as anything I write for others. I hope this series turns out to be less my talking at you and more – a group of like-minded storytellers that self-publish or intend to. Peace & God Bless!)
About Gerard de Marigny
Gerard de Marigny is an American novelist and screenplay writer. His newest release is WHITE WIDOW (Cris De Niro, Book 7) and he is currently writing the sequel to the Amazon-Bestselling Modern War Western, JOSHUA'S COUNTRY.
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