I am pleased to say the Historical Novel Society review of my novel Sharavogue has now been posted. I am glad to see it after several months of waiting. HNS reviewers can be tough, and do not hold punches if they don’t like something, so overall this seems to be a positive review.
It is wonderful, of course, to see “nicely written” in the first line of the review. The reviewer goes on to summarize the story, and notes that it moves along at a quick pace, “sometimes too quick.” This may be true, I did intend to maintain a momentum, and most of my readers say “I couldn’t put it down” — which is a good thing.
A few other comments about timing and events I believe are subjective, but well taken as I work on the story for the prequel.
So what next? How can I maximize this review? I have shared it on social media. I am one who avoided all but Facebook for a long time because it consumes time that I would rather use in other ways. But it is hard to argue with the reach, if I have no data to actually recognize results in terms of sales. Last week I received a reader review on Amazon. I shared it on FB, and where usually I might get between 15 and 85 views, this one was reshared and drew more than 300 views and several very favorable comments. That was certainly worth the time invested.
My goal as an author is not to sell millions of books, just to sell at least enough to break even and support the next one. But there is no getting around the fact that promotion is hard work, requires constant maintenance, and is at least as much if not more time consuming than writing the actual novel — and far less rewarding!
In a very interesting post, author Eileen Goudge explains why she left her traditional publisher to pursue self publishing. Initially I felt bad for her because it would mean she would have to take on all the promotional work independent writers and publishers have to handle themselves. But Goudge dispels the myth that traditional publishers offer a marketing budget for your book. Apparently authors are on their own anyway, and then are discarded if their book sales are not stellar. Perhaps she is better off not having to play the game of traditional publishers. I wish her great success!