Guest blogging for us today is Jeff Carlson. Jeff is best known for the Plague Year series and his bestselling Kindle novella “The Frozen Sky,” which is also available on Nook and will soon appear on iBooks. As a working pro, Jeff lives on the other side of the author-reader connection. He promised to give us a look behind the curtain, which he calls…
For me and many writers, one of the most eye-opening changes since the e-revolution has been the rise and importance of book reviews on personal blogs and corporate sites like Goodreads, Amazon, and B&N.
To writers, strong word-of-mouth is catnip. Even bad reviews can be useful in honing your craft.
I spend a lot of time alone in a room with a laptop listening to the voices in my head. That sounds like a joke, but it’s a large part of my job description. There’s no one to hang out with at the water cooler in my office. Heck, there’s no water cooler! That’s why it’s especially cool to get fan mail or to have my Google minions find reviews such as: “This novella was so fast paced and action packed from the very first line that I was sucked in like a two by four in a F5 twister!”
Reading that, I thought, Fantastic. She gets it.
Capturing you is exactly what I want – to connect, to entertain, to make you a 2×4 in my tornado.
When eight people say the ending is abrupt, that’s useful, too. My brain says to me, Okay, you thought you had every element in place, but you’d better add at least another paragraph to wrap things up. Readers want to walk away with a feeling of completion. Sometimes I move too fast, so I’m learning to take it down a notch.
Even the people who hate a story are right. No writer reaches everybody, and it’s perfectly fair for someone to leave a low-starred review if he doesn’t feel like he got his money’s worth. That’s expected.
But in today’s brave new world of e-media, my inbox is also peppered with a steady dose of diehard political outrage, accusations, and messages from weird alternate realities.
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