Saturday, August 16, 2008

Love My Book, Please!

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy

Waaaay back at the end of May our Casa publicist, the lovely Danielle told me she was ready to send out ARCs of The Wild Sight. When I read the list of places she planned to ask for reviews, I started to hyperventilate. Now, it feels like that happened another lifetime ago, even though technically it's only been 10 weeks.

Well, a few days ago, I learned that my first review has arrived! I'm so excited to take this significant step down my long road to publication. Yes, it is a happy day because this was a positive review! What a gratifying feeling to know that a total stranger read my story and "got" it.

Yes, I was SCARED SPITLESS (just like when I received the file of my cover) when I opened the email! And once again, I held my breath while I read it. Thank goodness it was both short and sweet. The review will appear in the August issue of Booklist magazine. This is the trade publication of the American Library Association, which is very exciting! I've had a lifelong love of libraries. Librarians read tons of books and I've always had a mountain of respect for them.

I won't copy the entire review here, but I will quote the gist of it:
"Northern Ireland's violent past combined with supernatural elements add an intriguing twist to this modern love story."

So my question for today is: Do you read reviews? And do they influence your book buying?

19 comments:

  1. I understand.

    When Romantic Times said about SEALed "...(it) will keep you smiling and cheering clear through to the happy ending," I completely melted. I turned into a puddle.

    Congratulations on the good review and may you have many, many more!

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  2. My favorite was Publisher's Weekly Review of Heart of the Wolf:"The vulpine couple's chemistry crackles off the page, but the real strength of the book lies in Spear's depiction of pack power dynamics, as well as in the details of human−wolf interaction. Her wolf world feels at once palpable and even plausible."

    I couldn't have hoped for better! Good luck on tons more super reviews!

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  3. Congratulations on the great review!!!
    Now, tell me, was there ever any doubt that Aunt Cindy could deliver?
    No way!!!!!

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  4. Congrats on the review! Booklist is a VERY nice quote/review to have. Lot's of credibility, so you should be very proud.
    I also have this book on pre-order. I have a lull this fall, in the month of October with my writing, so I'm planning on OD-ing in reading, and trying to learn promo for my historical coming out in Feb with Spice.

    As to reviews influencing buying. Sometimes they do. But really, besides autobuy authors, it's more word of mouth about an author, or finding out the plot/content/characters are what I'm looking for at the time. Rarely do covers induce me to buy. They induce me to pick up and see, that's for sure, but I always do the two checks after that, read the back and skim the work for writing style.
    On the flip side, reviews do sometimes make me buy, and more often it's bad reviews. I like seeing what the hubbub is all about in a scathing review. More and more frequently, I find myself disagreeing with reviewers who trash books.
    Charlotte

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  5. Good job, Cindy, and congratulations on the review. I do read reviews and I pay attention to them, but not specifically for their opinion on the book's quality. I try to read between the lines to get a better feel for what the book is really about and whether the subject would appeal to me. I do the same for movie reviews. Even if a critic was dismissive it wouldn't turn me off, especially if the subject was one I enjoy, like wolfies!

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  6. I was so excited to send you that review! I know you had been waiting and waiting for one, so a positive first review is always a joy.

    As a publicist, reviews are important for promo materials, but I think everyone knows that reviews don't explain the full nature of a book. That's why I think blogging, doing interviews, etc. are so important when a book comes out--so the readers have more to go off of when deciding on what to buy :)

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  7. Thanx MM,
    I'd have melted too! I'm keeping all my digits xxed for a good review from RT! They are "the BIGGIE" in the romance world.

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  8. Terry,
    Publishers Weekly is THE PINNACLE! They haven't reviewed that much romance in the past so you should feel doubly proud of your great review!

    AC

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  9. LOL, Cheryl!
    Well, I AM the Bandita with the riding crop, which Danielle can attest to, since I was wielding it at National. :-)

    Trust me, if it would get me positive reviews, I'd steal Indy's bullwhip!

    AC

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  10. Charlotte,
    Thanx a bunch for pre-ordering TWS. I hope you enjoy it and I'll be happy to send you an autographed bookplate if you send your snail mail addy.

    I agree with you about never buying a book for the cover, though I will sometimes pick one up if the cover is striking. Also, thank you for confirming what I've heard before about word-of-mouth. Many people, including booksellers, say this is the best publicity of all -- when people TALK about a book.

    AC

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  11. Christina,
    We used to have a local movie critic who, if he trashed a movie my BFF and I knew we would love it! HA!

    So yes, like you and Charlotte, a bad review would not sway me. In fact, it might sway me in the opposite direction. Yes, I was contrary even as a child.

    AC

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  12. Danielle,

    You are such a LUV! And yes, I've been Nervous Nelly waiting for hear something... ANYTHING! Being ignored is worse than a bad review, I think. I'll get back to you when I get the inevitable bad one. But I'm looking forward to more emails from you VERY SOON! :-)

    AC

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  13. about word of mouth. I discovered Casablanca as a reader because of No Regrest by Michelle Ann Young. think I might have goodled 'plus size romance heroines' because I was wanting to read something like that at the time.
    My critique partner who is pubbed with Kensington writes Regencies. I told her about the book, and she told all her writing buds at Kensington. Everyone bought it, and thus far I've heard that everyone loved it. Then, I started snooping in this blog, came out of lurkdom after finding more great books to order.

    Whole point, the word of mouth thing really works. Someone that I know was 'hankering' for a sexy contemp that would appeal to a working woman, I told her about Romeo Romeo, and also about my erotic sexy chef book out with NAL next June. Last I heard, she had thanked me and told me she pre-ordered it.
    So, it's good to just chat up books you've read, or are waiting for. That drives up interest elsewhere.
    Anyway, I'll shut up now about word of mouth.....

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  14. Noooo! Charlotte, please keep your mouth going! LOL!

    It's so true about never knowing what something could eventually lead to. I'm amazed that googling "plus sized heroines" led you here! Truth is stranger than fiction. ;-)

    AC

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  15. As a reader, I've never paid any attention to reviews. They have never influenced whether or not I bought a book. Of course I was thrilled as a writer when Booklist also loved Line of Scrimmage, calling it "charming." Phew!

    Congrats Aunty Cindy on getting the first of what will no doubt be many great reviews!

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  16. From your lips to reviewers' ears, Marie! And thanx for popping in while on vacation. What a trooper!

    AC

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  17. Reviews, another rite of passage for the author. What is next, trial by fire! lol Yours great. Feel proud. I must say I have rarely let reviews influence me negatively, though a good review might well make me pick up a book.

    And Charlotte, couldn't agree more about the word of mouth thing.

    Michele

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  18. Hi Cindy~

    I don't go out of my way to read reviews, I just don't have time. I'm more of a word-of-mouth type of reader. Of course, I have my autobuy authors too. All the casa sisters are on that list.

    Great reviews are wonderful to receive. I got my first one last week too. It was such a relief. When I found out Romeo, Romeo was on the way to reviewers I had to keep telling myself that it's what I wanted. I don't think I convinced myself though. It's a scary thing--putting your baby up there for all the world to throw eggs at.

    Congrats on the wonderful review, Cindy! May there be many more...for all of us.

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  19. Well done on the fantastic review Aunty Cindy

    I do read reviews but depend more on recomendations from online friends and what I read in blogs

    I truly am excited about this book and can't wait to read it.

    I am late to post here I have had a busy weekend.

    Have Fun
    Helen

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