Review Time

Well, not reviewed quite yet.

Last week I posted to a writer’s group on LinkedIn and very shortly after got a reply from Agy Wilson (Literature Correspondent; Maine at Examiner.com) to read Any Tomorrow: The Calling, review it, and post about it.

After I read her offer, it took me a moment to gather my thoughts.

Almost immediately the cynic took over.

And then the questions came:
·    Is this for real?  Is this a scam?
·    Why doesn’t she just buy a copy?
·    How do I know she’s a legitimate reviewer (whatever that is)?
·    Is she really qualified to review my work (and what qualifications does a book reviewer have anyway)?
·    Will her review really mean anything?  If her review is favorable and I post it to Amazon and other distributors, will her review potentially influence readers to buy my eBook?

I knew I had to be reviewed, I wanted to be reviewed, but it just seemed so sudden.  I tend to be a researcher and very methodical.  Before I sent a copy of my eBook anywhere I wanted my questions answered.  The problem was that I couldn’t find a directory of “reputable” book reviewers to check.

The problem it seems is that blogging has made the whole reviewing process more egalitarian.  Just as self-published eBooks have challenged the paradigm for publishing (anyone can publish anything now), blogging has challenged the paradigm for reviewing (anyone can review anything).  Credibility as a reviewer is built within social networks.  An MFA isn’t necessarily required anymore.

Despite the evolving paradigms, there are those elitists who remain highly critical of bloggers, preferring to keep reviews, as well as publishing, the province of a chosen few, rather than the many.

In the end, of course, I sent Agy a copy of Any Tomorrow: The Calling and told her to go at it.  I once again stepped off into the dark water without any thought of the sharp rocks that might lay beneath the surface.  Out of my comfort zone and into her hands (inbox) goes my eBook.

After all, what could happen?  Well, basically three things:
1. Her review could be favorable and I’d have my first review to post.
2. Her review could be critical, in which case I’ll have to back up a step and reevaluate my work.
3. She could post a copy of the eBook online so by the time it’s taken down it’s stuck in the slipstreams of the internet forever.

Well, there we are.  I have absolutely no concerns that Agy will do anything beyond providing me with a well thought out comprehensive review.  Whether it’s good or bad, let the chips fall where they may.

Sometimes you just have to take that step out into the unknown.  The dark water that terrified you may turn out to be clear below the surface and the water much deeper than you thought.

I can’t wait for Agy’s review. It can only help me to improve.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions about this or any of my posts, please leave a comment by clicking the Please leave a comment link.  Thanks.

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About Kevin_Fraleigh

I am a novelist, and much of my writing is predicated on the concept that within each of us is a hole. For some of us, the hole is a divot, shallow and insignificant. But for many of us the hole is a cavern, deep and expansive. We try to fill it with sex or drugs or religion, but the cavern has an insatiable appetite. This is where the dark things live―the things that fill our nightmares. The things that claw at our minds. The things that inspire the stories of horror, madness, and twisted realities. From the depths of that cavern come the seeds of my stories. Won’t you join me in the dark edges of reality? Learn more about me from my blog at anytomorrow.wordpress.com. You can find my novels at amazon.com, smashwords.com, and most eBook retailers. You can also read some of my full length short stories at http://www.wattpad.com/user/Kevin_Fraleigh
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4 Responses to Review Time

  1. Catana says:

    Just a couple of thoughts about your questions. Why didn’t the reviewer just buy a copy? Because that’s not what reviewers do. The normal procedure is for the publisher or author to forward a copy to the reviewer. Well-known, professional reviewers, who are often writers in their own right, are often sent books without their even having asked. All the other questions — about whether it’s a scam, whether the reviewer is qualified, etc., could be answered by looking her up at examiner.com. Hope this helps in your future dealings with reviewers.

    • bert1482 says:

      Thanks for your comments. I do appreciate them. The questions were basically rhetorical to illustrate the thought process while I mulled over whether or not to submit my book for review. I understand the theory behind how the process works, but all that kind of goes out the window when someone actually says that they’re willing to read something I’ve writen and give me feedback. Just like seeing your creation up on Amazon for the first time, it’s one more critical event that makes you realize what you’re doing is real.

  2. Catana says:

    I can definitely see your point. I’ve been on the verge of publishing my first novel for a while now. Maybe it’s that step into the reality of the thing that makes me put off the final steps.

  3. You’re several steps ahead of me. I love watching what you’re doing.

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