Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Yes, I am still working on the next book. Epitaph is still with the publisher for approval, and yes, I am anxiously awaiting their thoughts. Epitaph 2 is more than half finished. As most authors do, I'm suffering from writer's angst at the moment. Will the publisher like Epitaph enough to buy the series? Should I keep going with the third book once I finish book 2? Should I take a break from haunted houses and make a return trip to Hoffman Grove?  DOES MY WRITING SUCK?

And then I get a nice review. And I get invited to do interviews and appear on blogs and I take a deep breath and remind myself that "this, too, shall pass," and I keep writing.

And reading.

Reading and reviewing 
How many of you are on That's where I keep my reading organized. When I add books to my TBR pile, I add them to my list on +Goodreads so I know where to find them-- they're either on my Kindle or on my bookshelf. Want to know what I'm reading? What books I liked and which ones I didn't? Hey, guess what? if you click on the Book Reviews tab up there at the top of the page, you'll see a lot of the books I've read and reviewed. I almost always review what I've read, because feedback is important to an author. If you tell them how much you loved their last book, they're likely to keep going with the one they're working on now instead of giving up when they hit that muddle in the middle, that angsty part of of the process. Or they might use that review to determine what works best. For instance, in my world, if my next book should be about haunted houses or go back to the "circle of friends" books in Hoffman Grove.

There are some "big name" authors who almost always "Like" my reviews when I leave them. Sometimes it's their "people" (and not actually them), but in either case, it's feedback. What works and what doesn't. Some reviews are way out there and off the wall -- I've had people make comments about my books that make me wonder what book they were actually reading (there wasn't anything like that in that book...). And there are some reviews where people leave a comment that it wasn't what they were expecting. That can be disappointing to some, or that can be a plus.

Not every book is going to strike a chord. I've read my share of clunkers from some of my favorite authors. It's okay to tell them that (in a nice way!). Chances are they already know. And this is where it's important to be constructive. What was it about that book that left you frowning instead of swooning?

Sharing and discovering
The aforementioned reviews also help when I'm looking for the next book to read. Statistics show that most of us buy books from newsletters. {raising my hand} I good blurb and a good cover go a long way in my decision. As far as the reviews go, if I'm on the fence about whether or not to buy it, I'll go to Goodreads and read some of the reviews. In fact, I'll often look at the WORST reviews to see what a reader didn't like. If the "bad" review isn't specific or constructive, I disregard it, but if it highlights something that I know I'll take exception to, I might pass on the book. On the other hand, if I'm not "on the fence" based on the blurb and cover, I'll buy it and NOT read the reviews until I'm done. Or until I reach a point where I'm wondering WHY I'm still reading that book. Then I'll check to see if I'm the only one who didn't enjoy the story. If that's the case, more often than not, I won't leave a "bad" review, but I'll "Like" the bad reviews if they have already commented on the things that strike discord with me.

I might also read the reviews to decide if I want to read related books by the same author, or others in that series. Have you all seen reviews that say "this wasn't her best work," or "I've enjoyed other books by him, but this one didn't work for me." When I've finished one book in a series that I've enjoyed, I might automatically look to others in that series (that's what a series is designed to do!). If I loved the book, the next book in the series is pretty close to a "one click" for me. If I liked it, but didn't love it, I'm going to check the reviews on those other books before I keep going.

Goodreads is very good at recommending books based on your list of books already read, or on your TBR list. While I have Go-To authors, I do like to venture out and discover new voices every now and then. Goodreads will look at themes that I select and present me with new options. They also give me the opportunity to recommend books to my friends. If I've just finished an outstanding book, I can click a button that tells my friends it's worth reading.

Goodreads helps me keep track of the books I've read/am reading. Yes, believe it or not, there are times I can't remember if I've read a book. I've tried LibraryThing and Shelfari as well, but for me, Goodreads remains my go-to reading website.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you have untangled the maze that is Goodreads. I have yet to be able to navigate their waters effectively. I'll look at a book that says there are 35 reviews, yet I can only find 3 of them. Most of my purchase choices come from the newsletters and word of mouth. Once I find an author I like, I tend to read everything he/she has written. That keeps me busy, but I do like discovering new authors.