It’s a little ironic. Last post I was moaning about the lack of places to find reviews of horror books and then I find out one of my collections picked up a nice review on MonsterLibrarian.com last month:
So this is the point where the sales take off . . . ?
Well, actually no.
The same thing happened when the same collection received a lovely write-up on the Horror Fiction Review. It’s what I meant last week when I was talking about the difference between “for other fans” and “for other writers”. Is the audience avid readers looking for the next book to read, or avid writers eager to see how their book will be received? One is an expanding universe, the other a shrinking bubble.
That’s not a fault of sites like Horror Fiction Review and MonsterLibrarian.com (If you know of any others, please plug them in the comments—I have a kindle, and it’s always hungry for fresh words), they’re doing a fantastic job. It’s the reality of the world we live in. If we can’t offer a compelling reason for people to put down their game controllers and TV remotes, then we scribblers of fiction don’t deserve to exist. Harsh, but that’s how it is.
A review isn’t just an advertisement, it’s also valuable feedback, and especially important if—like me—you’re (sort of) self-published. The great thing about having no snooty gatekeepers around is it means we can write whatever the hell we want to write. The bad thing about having no gatekeepers around is there’s no one to stop us from walking out of the front door without any clothes on. A positive review is a nice confidence boost. It means I’m not deluded, I’m not wasting my time and I can write well enough to justify a seat at the table.
That’s not the end of it, though. It’s an okay review rather than an “Ohmigod! You must read this writer RIGHT NOW!” kind of review. Being able to sit at the table without feeling like I’m dirty bum fresh from the street is nice, but being competent is not enough. I’m not a Lovecraft, a Barker or a King. I need to work harder on my craft and write better stories (while still keeping the same level of heat as a blazing hot porn film, because that’s my thang, and we all need a thang).
I also need to remember to send my other books out for review . . .
(and finish Succubus Summoning 201. I know, I’m sorry)