Thursday, 9 February 2012

How Reviews Impact Me: the Author and the Reader by Sierra Dean + Giveaway

Button made by the very talented Susi! Thank you!!

I met today's guest over Twitter. She was a new author pre-publication preparing for the release of her first novel.  Shallow book cover lover that I am (come on, you know you are one too, no need to pretend here, we are among like minded friends) I loved the cover, was intrigued by the blurb so I agreed to review Something Secret This Way Comes and fell so hard and so fast for Sierra Dean's Secret McQueen urban fantasy series that each time I count back the days 'till her next release (and thank God that she is such a prolific author that she released 4 books in 2011) and Sierra Dean has her reserved spot on my Favourite Authors List. If you haven't yet discovered this action packed, funny and sexy UF series, don't waste any more time, it's time to start it! (Especially as Book #1 is a Kindle freebie right now) So please give a warm welcome to Sierra! 

How Reviews Impact Me: the Author and the Reader
by Sierra Dean

Since we're coming together to celebrate a great book blog and the wonderful lady who writes it, I thought I might do a post about what reviews mean to writers, and how reviews impact me as both an author and a reader.

Authors have to have a pretty thick skin. When I first got into the publishing world and the initial reviews of Something Secret This Way Comes started to flow in I was on cloud 9 from all the positive response. They liked me! They really liked me! And then the inevitable occurred. Someone didn't like the book.

I wanted to go hide in a closet. I wanted to throw my hands up in the air and stop writing. Hell, I just sort of wanted to throw up.

In short: negative reviews suck.

I continued to get reviews, both positive and negative, and while the negative ones kept hurting, I learned not to let them get to me as much. I stopped reading reviews on Goodreads, mainly because while most reviewers will be polite even if they don't like a book, the general public won't be so kind.

Here's the ultimate truth about books: you won't EVER write one that is universally loved. The best way to realize this (and this has been said many times before) is to go to the Goodreads page for your favorite book of all time and read the reviews. People will love it as much as you, but there will also be people who HATE it with a passion so strong it will blow your mind.

Understanding this goes a long way to helping authors deal with negative reviews.

Reviews are amazing, they really are. Book blogs are the reason I achieved any initial success at all, and I will be forever grateful to book blogs and their reviewers because of that.

And for one other reason... they help ME find books to read I'd never consider. In the past year I read dozens of books I wouldn't have ever thought to pick up, based solely on the reviews of bloggers whose opinions I respect. Those books include, but aren't limited to:

Silk is for Seduction by Loretta Chase (AMAZING, a must read)
Stacia Kane's Chess Putnam series
Sandy Williams's Shadow Reader
The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie by Jennifer Ashley

and dozens more. I LOVE it when a review convinces me to pick something up I wouldn't otherwise try.

So to Stella and all the other bloggers out there... we salute the wonderful service you provide to both authors and readers alike. Thank you.

Sierra Dean is a reformed historian. She was born and raised in the Canadian prairies and is allowed annual exit visas in order to continue her quest of steadily conquering the world one city at a time. Making the best of the cold Canadian winters, Sierra indulges in her less global interests: drinking too much tea and writing urban fantasy.

Ever since she was a young girl she has loved the idea of the supernatural coexisting with the mundane. As an adult, however, the idea evolved from the notion of fairies in flower beds, to imagining that the rugged-looking guy at the garage might secretly be a werewolf. She has used her overactive imagination to create her own version of the world, where vampire, werewolves, fairies, gods and monsters all walk among us, and she’ll continue to travel as much as possible until she finds it for real.

She’s also a book lover (of course!), obsessive collector of OPI nailpolish and the owner of way too many pairs of shoes.

You can find Sierra at her website / Twitter / GoodreadsFacebook

You can read my reviews of the series here: 

Secret Santa (Book #2.5)

Something Secret This Way Comes, Book #1 in the Secret McQueen urban fantasy series is FREE on Amazon right now, so click HERE to get your copy and start this amazing series!


Sierra has generously offered an ebook copy of any of her Secret McQueen books (winner's choice) to a lucky commentator!

To be entered all you have to do is:

1. fill out the main form so I have your contact info (just once, if you have already filled it out for a previous giveaway that's enough)

2. leave a comment and tell us: what great book, series or author did you discover thanks to book blogs?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 15 March 2012.

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