Thanks for joining me!
“Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter.”— Izaak Walton
It is with pleasure that I start my initial blog for Absolute Author. I look forward to this journey and to the journey with authors as they make their dreams come true.
I will take this opportunity to introduce myself, I am Dr. Carol Michaels, a retired publisher. I have spent many years writing and publishing and I have learned a trick or two. It is my intent for each author to find a resource that will help them in their own personal journey of writing. Therefore, with my first blog, I want to tell you how I began as a writer.
Times were different when I began writing. There wasn’t a computer where I could cut and paste, no spell check software, no internet for research and the idea of social media didn’t exist other than on the bathroom walls in my high school. Boy, has writing and the tools to write changed over the years. I might add, for the better.
I look back on my career with awe. If I could go back and tell my younger self something, it would be just wait until you get to the computer age of writing. You’re going to love connecting with others from all over the world, be able to sit at home, look at your computer monitor and talk with a complete stranger. Of course, I would have told my older self that I was crazy, but here we are. It makes me wonder what writing tools we will have in the next five, ten or twenty years. Does is you or are you too young to remember having no social media or the internet?
Looking back, I was so excited when I could afford my first IBM Selectric typewriter. Boy, I thought I was hot stuff. I could type so fast on that thing, until I made a mistake or if I wanted to move things around I had to retype whatever I was writing. Today’s authors have it so easy.
On second thought, authors really don’t. Why? Because with the social media comes something that is so time-consuming that it takes your time from writing what you want to write. It’s a necessary evil by all accounts. Here why social media is important for an author.
- In order for your books to sell, people have to know about it.
- For people to know about it, you have to know people beyond your normal social circles.
- To grow your circles, you have to be active.
- To be active, takes away your time.
It’s a vicious circle. What I recommend for any author is to learn to balance your time on what you are writing and becoming a social media influencer. Don’t get lost in the jungle. The way I do it, is a balanced schedule. I get up in the morning and write on what I want to write. It could be I’m writing a book review, a short story, an email or an old-fashioned handwritten letter. The important thing is that you write.
Then, take a break, stretch or go to work, or whatever your day holds.
After that, concentrate for a minimum of one hour a day on maintaining your social media influence.
The moral of this story is to speed your time wisely because once it is spent there are no refunds.
The Importance of a Book Review
Are book reviews that important for an author? Absolutely! Are they easy to obtain? Absolutely not. Granted, you can go on Fiverr and purchase a book review, but those are a waste of your time unless you get lucky. Before I wrote this section of the blog I did a little research and experimentation. I went on Fiverr and purchased seven gigs from seven different Fiverr who called themselves book reviewers. I sent the same book for them to review. I wanted to know how they fair.
Now, you might be asking why I did that considering I offer a book review service. Honestly, it never hurts to know who your competition is. To be fair, out of the seven, I think one reviewer actually read the book I sent. He or she highlighted the strengths, mentioned the characters and summed it up that it was a good read. Fair. The others were so far off base. The book, a thriller, received a review that the comedy in it was so hilarious I had to keep reading. There was no comedy. Another said they were happy the main couple got together and had children. There was no main couple that got married and had children. Another said it was a perfect read for a lazy rainy day. What! That’s not what an author needs in a review. Like those words would make me hit the click button and spend money.
So, please be careful when selecting a book reviewer. I also did the same experiment with some established reviewers who cost between $300 – $1999. Oh, did they review it. Actually, they were fabulous with deep insight. But, who can afford those prices?
As an author, do your homework. When scoping out a reviewer, ask them the following questions:
- What genres do you review?
- How many book reviews have you written?
- Can I see a sample of your work?
- How long will it take for you to read and review my book?
- Do you post your reviews?
- Where do you post the reviews?
Feel free to comment below other questions you think are important for authors when vetting a book reviewer. Of course I speaking of a professional review.
Family, Friends and Peer Reviews
This brings me to my next topic. How important are Family, friends and peer reviews for your book? Very important. Why? People read reviews before they buy books. Although you can’t pay for them to write a review on your Amazon page or your Goodreads page, you can ask them to write their review and post it. You may have to encourage them a little and keep reminding them, but you can do it. Now, go out there and get a book review or two.