With the Holiday Season there comes an urge to give thanks. In the Rolodex of my brain I can flip through many names of those who reach out regularly to help make my life and those of others better. As an author, I am particularly beholden to my reviewers.
For readers, this is a brave new world. There are more books available now at low-cost or no cost than any one person can read in a lifetime. In this new world, books are plentiful, easily found with keyword searches, and short. Readers can shape their searches efficiently and then download the book they want immediately. And when browsing free books, the reader can download a few hundred of them onto their reader and wait until another time to flip through them and decide whether or not to read them. Books are shorter now, and at 150 pages a dedicated reader can devour one or two a night.
And this is why I’m so grateful to my reviewers, regardless of how many stars they assign. It takes time to write a review, and for some, it takes a good deal of effort. It requires mental reviewing and deciding what it was that so impressed us, for good or ill, that we are making this effort. My two published novels, THE OTHER and MESTACLOCAN, are by no means short. I don’t write short; I write the story, edit it, and the length takes care of itself. And for those who read my books, and then take the time to review them, I raise my glass.
I’ve said in past posts that reviews are the life’s blood of authors. I say now that readers who review are the future for authors. With the proliferation of self-published books and eBooks it has become the reader who decides what is worth reading. The literary agents and the publishers and the book stores no longer set the standard. They must turn now to the reader. As Penny Sansevieri wrote in her latest newsletter, “Readers have the power to drive the success or failure of books and no amount of advertising or traditional media will change that.”
And so Readers and Reviewers, I dedicate this post to you, along with my gratitude to those who took the time and effort to review my books. Withhold not your quill, for ye hold the literary world in the palm of your hand.