The Mystery of Reviews

/Rant On

Sometimes I don't know how reviewers pick and choose books to review. And it gets frustrating. My publisher sent out a whole bunch of review copies, and so far none of those places have reviewed the book or even acknowledged it. OK, maybe it's unrealistic to think that Publisher Weekly would take notice, but the fact is that they have reviewed Behler's books before, three or four times already. That makes me wonder: Is my book so dull looking and sounding that they have no interest in it at all? I don't know.

I mean, usually Midwest Reviews would review almost everything that comes their way, but so far they haven't said a word about TPB. I even made the book available for reviewers on BlogCritics and so far there are no bites. Am I doing something wrong? I think the book has a great, attractive cover, and the premise is at least interesting, and I'd like to think that the writing is good enough. Sometimes I just want people to give me a chance -- they don't have to like what they read, but at least pick it out and read it. Darnit. I guess I do have a problem with being ignored. I'd rather someone read it and says, "I don't like it," than someone just keeps the book in a pile. In similar ways, I didn't mind all the rejections I got, because at least these people went through my material and took the time to read it. It's the ones who never replied that bugged me. For example, one agent asked for a full and then a revision, but she never replied afterwards, after more than a year now. What's going on? A simple "yes" or "no" would have been fine.

I'm glad that I went ahead and contacted some reviewers on my own; otherwise, I would have had no reviews on my book at all a and that would have been really sad. And I'm with a legitimate small press. I can't imagine how difficult it is to garner a review for POD and self-published authors. It must be incredibly difficult.

On one hand, I know I need to work hard to get the words out, etc. On the other hand, I am tired of feeling like I'm begging. I hate to feel like nobody cares to give me a break. I can't imagine how much more frustrated I would have been had I gone the POD or self-pub route. So, I am not going to ask anymore. I'll just the book speak for itself and maybe some day, people will take notice on their own. How many people actually buy books based on reviews anyway? I know I don't.

/Rant Off

I need coffee.

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Comments

paintbrushpoet said…
Pour me a cup, Ray. As you read on my rejection post, I have been whining. This post made me grin because as you say at least somebody looked at it! I am watching your progress on this and I am learning so much! Keep getting those words out. Some days are better than others, I know.
Paint
Ray Wong said…
You're right. Some days are better than others. Today I was just in a crappy, nobody-cares-about-me mood. :) Thanks for your kind words. I do hope that my journey would shed some light on this whole process.
Frank Baron said…
I hear ya Ray. I'm the Un-promotion guy - no signing, didn't even contact my hometown newspaper etc. yet somehow I still hoped the world would hear about, find, and enjoy my book.

Over time though, that's exactly what happened (on a small level of course). A couple of months after I'd long given up the thought of receiving a review anywhere, the publicist for my publisher sent me a copy of one from a newspaper. A month or two later came copies of reviews from a couple of magazines. I've even gotten two reviews a year post-launch.

I know you want everything to happen yesterday because of all the expectations and delays etc. leading up to the "birth" of your baby. But it might take a while for it to crawl, then walk, and (hopefully), run.

Do what you're comfy doing promotion-wise and then let nature take its course. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Ray Wong said…
Thanks, Frank. Ain't that the truth. Sometimes when you try the hardest, nothing happens. And when you don't do anything, someone, somewhere hears about your book and thinks of writing about it. It's like when they say, love finds you when you least expect it (yeah, it's cliched but sometimes it's true).
Pour me a cup, Ray. I haven't had my quota yet today. We can sit in cyberspace and drink until our hearts content and wait to see if Publisher's Weekly and Oprah get in touch with you. (Those reviews and letters went out yesterday. ;))Keep your fingers crossed.

In the meantime, KEEP WRITING!!
Ray Wong said…
Well, my wish came true (read the Publishers Weekly entry) and it wasn't what I expected. Expectations be damned. Oh well, maybe next time!

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