Ahh, Book Reviews


Book Reviews are the written opinion of  others on a book.  Authors wait for them.  Worry over them.  Want them to be good.  Because they reflect approval.

A bad review can devastate us if we let it.  A great one can keep us chained to our computers clicking away on the keys to produce our next book.  A favorite New York Times best-selling author advised a group of us (and I’m paraphrasing) to avoid reading the bad ones because you can’t please everyone all the time.  Just dwell on the good reviews.  Good advice for a new author without a rhino-hide.

Today I’m dealing with two types or reviews: reader and professional.

This past week I learned about a “professional” book review published and on the web for Black Ribbon Affair.  This means on a website that regularly posts reviews and maintains a staff or reviewers to do so.

Some review sites are very prestigious.  Think NY Times Book Reviews or Publishers Weekly.  Many larger and local newspapers have book reviews and you see tidbits from those reviews on the “brag page” of an author’s book.  People read these and think: “Yeah, I’d like to read that.”

Publishing houses send out advance copies to these places for “professionals” to review or sometimes authors submit a books for review.  My publisher The Wild Rose Press has a list of approximately 30 – 40 review sites that it sends its new books for reviews.  The one I’m talking about today was one of those.  My Google Alert told me to check it out.

I held my breath.  Would it be awful?  Would I like it a titch? More than a titch?  A lot?

I stared at the link,  almost clicked on it, then chickened out.  No, I couldn’t face it, not without another cup of coffee.  After all, it was early morning and a bad review could ruin my day’s outlook.  I read email and called a friend—all to ease my anxiety and stave off the moment of reckoning.

Finally, my courage bolstered, I clicked on the link for Long & Short Reviews.  And read a wonderful review.  My first “official” review.  I’m validated.  I feel like I’ve been nominated for a Golden Globe.  Did Meryl Streep feel this way with her first great review?  Or Nora Roberts?

This positive review brings a certain kind of satisfaction.  And hosannas to a reviewer named Camellia which means gratitude.  I am grateful she “got” my book.  So have my readers who’ve posted great reviews.  Thank you for that.  Good reviews and word of mouth help sell books.

Book sales bring profit to the publisher.  If a reader loves a book and tells other readers about the book, then those readers go out and buy the book.  This makes the publisher happy (and the book seller, too) because the book may earn back what it cost to produce and stock.  Of course, sales make the author happy because she will get a percentage of that sale.  Anyway, that’s a simplified version of the process.

I make it a point to read the blog Magical Musings every day.  I find the topics these women write about both inspire me and provide a sense of connection to our creative spirit.  Imagine my delight to see a wonderful review of Black Ribbon Affair on their site.  Every weekend they give a review of a book.  Their book selections are as individual as the women themselves.  But most often after I’ve read a review from there, I click on the buy site and purchase the book.  I’ve not been disappointed yet.

Joyful Bubbles

I’ve climbed another step this week.  Of course, I have more steps ahead.  Realistically, I’ll likely suffer some slips.  But I’m holding on to the memories of the exciting glow of “job well done.”

I thank you all for helping me get there.

Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized, Writing, Writing goals

5 Comments on “Ahh, Book Reviews”

  1. Edie Says:

    I hopped over there. Terrific review. Congratulations!!! I saw Stacey was there ahead of me.

    And thanks for the shout out to Magical Musing!

  2. caseyclifford Says:


    I tried for over a half hour yesterday to post to that site. To set up an account and all I got is frustrated. I’m sure it’s this ancient machine. Goal today–try again. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. I read it the other day and meant to respond! Such a wonderful review, Casey! 🙂 I bet you’re still on cloud nine!

  4. caseyclifford Says:

    Donna, Cloud nine–yes, but I’ve got much room for improvement. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Heck, who doesn’t? LOL Again, awesome review. 🙂

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