Posts Tagged With: reviewers

Dear ARC Reader

Let me state up front, that as a writer, I enjoy sending out ARCs and opening on release day with reviews. To those who read and review for me so I can hopefully open strong, THANK YOU!

You get a free book, hopefully one you enjoy, but you give so much more than the $2.99 list price.

  • You give the writer your thoughts and ideas. Speaking personally, I have altered things in future books because of reviewers.
  • Amazon may even noticed a book, if only for a fleeting moment, because of reviews.
  • Someone out there may  discover a new author or book solely because of YOU. Remember that fluttery feeling when you found a book or author that just spoke to you? You can help someone else get that same feeling.
  • Your fellow readers get valuable information to make a book selection that best suits them.
  • ARC holders are envied a little bit. Yep, there are people out there who would love to get ARCs. Some I’ve met can’t afford books, and this is how they are able to read new stuff.
  • You have a good chance to get the next ARC, and the next, and the next. Also, authors talk, a lot. They might even recommend you to another author who wants to put ARCs in the hands of people who will review them.

That is some pretty amazing shit when you think about it. So much power contained within roughly 300 electronic pages, your opinion, and you willingness to share your thoughts.

A book that has a set number of reviews on Amazon can get better placement, recommendations, and get noticed by potential readers, while books with few reviews are sometimes buried and never seen by anyone not specifically looking for it by title or author.

So hell yeah, writers love ARC holders.*

*When they do what they agreed to do.

Lately, there seems to be a trend of people signing up for ARCs simply for a free book. Hell, I love free books as much as the next person, but there is a spirit to the exchange that isn’t being honored. Now that I’ve told you what is to be gained by ARC holders who follow the spirit of the exchange, let me show you the other side.

You get a free book, hopefully one you enjoy, but you give so much less than the $2.99 list price.

  • Other readers get nothing from it. Nothing!
  • The writer, who gave you a book that others have to pay for, before its released, gets nothing for their months of hard work. Well, this is not entirely true, we get acid reflux, heart palpitations, and sore fingers searching and praying and waiting for something we never see. Something we trusted you at your word to do.
  • The ARC was taken from others who would have followed the spirit of the exchange. I send out a limited number, not everyone who asks, gets one. Like I said, I have met faithful ARC readers/reviewers who only read ARCs because they can’t afford to buy books.
  • Someone new doesn’t get that fluttery feeling by discovering a new author/book simply because of your opinion.
  • Amazon doesn’t recommend it.
  • You threw away power! Never wielding it for good, or even evil. You just tossed it aside.
  • Future ARC distribution is impacted negatively.

I am sorry if this seems harsh, but for me personally as a writer, when I see less than 10% participation in a program, I drop the program. It’s not worth it at that point. It’s not a good enough return on an investment to continue to invest. As I have limited resources, I need to put my energy and other resources, where it can impact me most as an author. While there is a financial aspect, I am speaking in a non-financial sense also. But as with finance, if an investment is tanking, you pull out and find a more suitable one.

So please all you ARC holders out there, if you just want a free book to read at your leisure without the pressure to review it, go to the library, or hell, even the book store and read it there. But please do not take a “free” ARC that ends up costing others.

Categories: arc, writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Second Chances & First Impressions

You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

We all know that old saying, right?

While I agree with it in fact, I don’t feel it is truly factual, or wholly factual? I should say. I have broken this rule myself, and let’s face it, an up and coming writer has to bank on it being broken.

While I agree this saying holds true for say, a 32 year old interviewing for the CFO of a muti-billion dollar company, I think (and pray) there are cases where this is, well, not the case.

As much as I agree with the once-a-dick-always-a-dick kind of thing, there are circumstances where I think; no, not really.

Like the dick I dated at 17 with a black Trans Am, Member’s Only jacket, and bad boy attitude in full bloom. He was a HUGE DICK back then, and if you would’ve ask me at 17, or even at 25, I would’ve said he was a pox riddled dick that needed to masturbate with a chainsaw. However, he turned out to be a really great guy later in life. Faithful husband (as far as I know), devoted dad and not the party favor prison bitch I killed a chicken and danced naked in the moonlight, while praying to unseen forces he’d become.

Same with actors, writers and other artists. I hated some of their early work. There were times I wanted to jump through the movie screen and strangle the fuck out of an overacting, wooden bastard, whom I now go all gooey eyed and wet Victorias over. No, I will not mention specifics, but I said more than once that they would never become anyone and I would never spend a dime on their work. WRONGO – Same with some of my absolute FAVORITE authors, again, I will not name names. I will say that one book was so bad, (IN MY OPINION), some passages are still a running joke in my house, but I read every word they’ve written since then faithfully, and stalk them creepily on social media.

Why?

Because like Trans Am dick, they grew. And as they did, they changed. In the case of artists, got better in their craft. So while that first impression is there, and it’s true that it will never go away, I do not believe that is always all she wrote, fat lady singing, and curtain closing type final.

When it’s an arena where you can grow, whether literally or metaphorically, I think this saying shouldn’t apply.

While I like to think I am the greatest author in the world, the truth of the matter is,  I’m not even close. BUT, what I am, is growing. Growing with every sentence and I hope I never stop doing so. Just reading the 2 books I’ve published, I see tremendous growth. And that’s saying something considering I think I’m the Muhammad Ali of authors. LOL (actually I don’t, I’m very insecure in that arena)

The problem I face as a just starting out, independent author, is getting people to know when to apply the first impression thing and when to fucking throw it out the window.

I’ve heard that many authors (even some big ones) go back and entirely re-write their first books because they personally think they are awful. Now, if authors themselves find them horrid, then why should little ole me expect all the readers in the world to find my first book brilliant?

The truth is I never did. I was so blown away by the people who enjoyed it, I cried, yes, me who only cries over fictional characters and my kids, cried over real people. While the bad reviews stung, still do. (I’m being nice by saying sting, they fucking burn like a bitch.) I expected them, prepared for them, the best I could anyway, but I never prepared for people to say nice things, so when they did, my soul ate that shit up like warm Krispy Kremes at 3am. And in doing so, it made the bad so much worse. I got a taste of something sweet that I never anticipated, making the expected more bitter.

But even worse than the taste in my mouth, is the fact that some people will never know that I can do better, am doing better.

As long as we grow and learn, we are better. And that applies to EVERYTHING in life.

So, I have a proposal for anyone with who (whom? I never know which) I made a bad first impression.

  • If you wrote a review before this date and didn’t enjoy my first book, zip me an e-mail. Verlene.Landon@gmail.com
  • Let me know you left an I-Was-Not-Impressed review and why, (the why helps me grow) and I will send you my second book FREE, to see if maybe we just got off on the wrong foot and if I’ve grown as an author in a way you might appreciate.
  • If you’re still not a fan after you read book 2, at least you gave me a second chance and I thank you for that. That is more than some people ever get.

Well, I’m off to work on book 3 (which by the way will be better than 1 & 2) and maybe save the citizens of Solstheim from the evil Miraak.

Categories: books, contemporary romance, creative writing, fiction, indie author, indie writer, modern romance, reading, romance, romance book, romance novel, self publishing, writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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