25 January 2013

The opinions of others

Writing is basically a solitary profession. I do have help when I need it -- everything from brainstorming plot holes to proof reading and the occasional cheerleader. But in the end, the story and the words I use are mine and mine alone.

A big part of this business -- besides the actual writing and publishing -- includes promotion. This is where writers need the most help, in my opinion. This is also the toughest part of the game. Where should you promote? How? What works and what doesn't? Those seem to be the age-old, often changing questions. No wonder an entire profession is dedicated to marketing.

We need readers, obviously. Of course we want you to buy the story we worked so hard to perfect, but we also love it when our readers give us some feedback. Reviews, in other words. The opinions of others -- which our mothers have long told us do not matter -- DO matter in this business. If you don't know the writer and aren't immediately captivated by the story premise or cover art, then a review just might convince you to buy or not to buy.

Reviews don't have to be intricate and detailed. We do prefer you don't tell everyone each surprise or how the story ends. ;) Reviews should just be honest. Sure, I'd rather hear what you loved about a story, but if something didn't work, I want to know that, too. In the kindest way possible, please. :)  But I want to know. Just in case I need to tweak my writing a bit or do a fifth run-through in editing. Writers need to know. We thrive on praise and words of adoration. We die a little inside with criticism, and then we overcome and grow a little more. As a result, each story can and should get better.

I've received many wonderful reviews for my latest novel, Broken (a Sentinels' story). One of my favorite lines from a review to-date:

"BROKEN is a beautifully written tale of mystery, betrayal and passion." (Billie Jo, RJ Reviews)

Yes, it makes me grin like an idiot every time. :) And it inspires me to keep on writing...one page at a time.

Do reviews encourage you to try a new author? A book you aren't sure about? If not, what does?

~~Meg Allison

Indulge your senses...

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