Tuesday, 21 August 2012

The value of reviews?

We all like praise and feel downhearted when we receive criticism, but as a writer it's something you have to learn to cope with. It's a bit like having one of your children criticised (well, your novel/short story/poem is your baby in a sense).The immediate reaction is to be defensive, to come back with some response, witty or otherwise.
A good review can inspire you, a bad review make you vow never to write another word. But that is to mistake what many reviews are about (ignoring those which are merely spiteful). Most are a statement of what the reader thinks of your book, rather than a full blown critique and not everyone likes the same kind of novel. This is very fortunate. If they did, there would be no mid-list authors at all, no possibility of success in an increasingly crowded market.
What is important, if you use sites such as Kindle, is to make sure the 'tags' for you book help the reader decide if your genre is likely to appeal to them. If readers like scifi they are going to be less than thrilled if the novel turns out to be a romance, or if they like a gritty thriller to find they've bought a cosy crime novel set in an English village.
With an increasing number of cross genre novels being published and as many e books are very competitively priced, the good news is that readers may be more willing to take a chance on something new.
The current writing and publishing market is so fluid,so unpredictable, we are all learning as we go. All the writer can do is produce the best book he or she can, send it out and move on.
Having said all that, I have to confess I'm delighted to be able to report my latest novel  Last Dance at the Rothesay Pavilion has had a great review in this week's Buteman so a big thank you to Karen Keith...and back to writing!

The front of the Rothesay Pavilion - the only other Art Deco building of this type is in Bexhill-on-Sea and is often used in episodes of Poirot.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The joy of small bookshops

A big thank you to the Print Point book shop in Rothesay on Bute for organising the signing event for Last Dance at the Rothesay Pavilion.
It was good to meet readers, some of whom knew more about the books than I did!
The Print Point is one of those small bookshops that provide a focal point for writers and readers in a town, always willing to help and give a personal service so often missing in larger establishments.
And it's much more than a book shop, with a huge range of goods and an excellent coffee 'shop' with very comfy sofas!
As many writers (and readers) will agree it's so important that these small bookshops continue to flourish in an increasingly difficult economic climate.
                               Book signing at the Print Point

Thursday, 2 August 2012

A Bute book event

Off again to Bute for a book signing at the Print Point in Rothesay on Saturday. It's always a pleasure to spend time on the island, especially when there's the opportunity to meet readers.
I debated a suitable time for this book signing and finally settled on 11-12.30. My choice last year of an earlier time was a little unusual, I suspect, for a Saturday on the island. After all, no one wants to rush at the weekend,do they?
Is there an optimum time/day for this kind of event? Does the season matter? Writers with more experience than I have may be able to offer some pointers. In the meantime here's hoping the sun shines, but with a few showers to tempt people indoors to the bookshop!