Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Reviewer Compatibility

After having spent anywhere from months to years preparing and editing your manuscript, the next step is the submission. Now, anyone who has ever submitted their work to a publisher knows that it is a long, tedious process. The last thing we want is to receive a rejection letter stating, “Good story, but it doesn't fit what we are looking for.”

If this is something you have come across, you know that the next part of your market research will be a little more vigilant to ensure you match your work to the publisher as much as possible. 
So my question is this: Why don’t authors take the same care when it comes to submitting their work to reviewers?
OK, granted, this is only applicable for reviews we have a say in, such as blog tours or reviewers approaching the author for a copy. Taking a moment to get to know your reviewer is important. Letting them know what genre they are going to be reading is only part of it. Looking over their past reviews is also a good idea.
Don’t make the mistake of leaving that to the reviewer, you might be disappointed in the end.
So, what kind of things are we looking for?
Let me give you some examples…
One person wrote in her review: “I have never been a fan of sci-fi and this is where my habit of not reading a blurb caught up with me. *Sigh* This one's a sci-fi adventure. It didn't work for me because I don't like the genre in general, there's nothing wrong with the book.”
Another reviewer confessed this:  “And thank you for not being hateful. :-) I have received nasty emails from authors in the past, and there is that moment, where I post the review, that I dread checking my email.”

That said, authors have to assume some of the responsibility and look into who is reviewing their work. I was shocked when following a webinar by author Steve Piacente who said that he was very selective of who he gave his novel to. I had never even thought about it before.

Another example of incompatibility is when an adult is reviewing a children’s book from an adult point of view. I read to my four year old often enough, and although her idea of a great read is not the same as my own, I can appreciate a good children’s book. I could not even imagine reviewing one from an adult point of view. Not everyone realizes what they are doing and sadly, their evaluation is off or unjust.
In this case I would suggest reading previous reviews posted by this reviewer before handing over your novel.
The same care should be taken into consideration when it comes to religion, sexual intensity, violence (either verbal or physical) and such.
Yes, I believe the reviewer SHOULD, to some extent, look into what he or she is about to rate and review, but ultimately, the author should be on the ball. There are no set of review standards, no set of ethics to guide either party by. So, authors, after having poured heart and soul into your work, take it one step further and get to know your reviewer.

Happy ratings!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Author Neal James, Upcoming Release!

Derbyshire author, Neal James, releases his fifth book
‘Full Marks’
on April 4th 2013.

Dennis Marks thought he had seen it all. That was before Solomon Goldblum crossed his path –after that, things were never the same again. The trauma which the old Jew had inflicted upon him had brought about a near psychological collapse. That the DCI had been able to conceal the fragility of his mental state from the shrink whom the Met had forced him to see had been down to his sheer determination.

Now, all of that effort was about to be challenged by one of the most daunting figures at New Scotland Yard – Superintendent Eric Staines. The Independent Police Complaints Commission were about to take Marks’ life apart, professionally and personally, and Staines, as one of its fiercest inquisitors, was not a man inclined to show mercy.
The story tracks the fortunes of one of the Metropolitan Police’s finest officers as he tries to clear his name. A raft of accusations, laid before the IPPC, threatens to undermine everything that he has achieved in over thirty years in the force. Powerful forces, ranged on either side of the investigation, are set to determine the course of DCI Dennis Marks’ professional and personal life.

Neal James began writing in 2007 when a series of short stories found favour on a number of international writing sites. Since then, he has released two novels and an anthology of short stories. 'Threads of Deceit', his fourth production in as many years, draws on the eighteen years he spent working within the textile industry. As an accountant for over three decades, he has drawn on his background to provide an insight into much of the substance required in the creation of his writing to date. He lives in the East Midlands with his wife and family.

Following on the heels of ‘A Ticket to Tewkesbury’(2008),
‘Short Stories Volume One’ (2009),
‘Two Little Dicky Birds’ (2010),
and‘Threads of Deceit’ (2011),
‘Full Marks’ is the latest in Neal’s growing portfolio

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