It was a late afternoon on a Tuesday. Storm clouds were rolling in like taxis during rush hour. Nobody was going out in this weather. My tea was getting cold, so I hit the internet to check the chatter.
A post caught my attention. The dame was smart, a writer. She had the sort of imagination that left readers in the thick of a romance they’d kill to make reality. But it wasn’t the romance that was dying.
“It’s the reviewers,” she lamented. Even online I could sense tears forming in those baby blues. “They’ve disappeared. There were great comments on the first book, but the sequel...” If she’d been in my office, I would have handed her a tissue. Never could stand to see a broad cry. “I've given away a crate of books and I’ve only received two reviews.
What’s going on, Slim?”
“Ya got me, sister. It’s a mystery.”
Hokey Noir prose aside, this really is a mystery. For those of you who aren’t aware, the publishing industry is a machine. The machine churns out books based on specific criteria: the book follows a trend, the book is by an established author, or the book is an anomaly with guaranteed success. Harry Potter was rejected by over a hundred publishers and it became a world-wide multi-generational phenomenon. Rejection by a publishing company doesn’t mean the book’s bad. It means that book doesn’t check the boxes editors need checked to keep their job at the publishing house.
It’s no wonder many authors avoid major publishing houses all together, choosing instead to pour their own funds into editing services and cover art so they can get their work in front of people they really care about, the readers. Once that book is in the hands of readers the waiting begins. And it can kill an author. Take it from the person that spent an entire week at a conference where readers only wanted to reread books by famous authors rather than pick up a title by an indie.
Reviews can be the lifeblood of the indie trade. They are what boost a book up the Amazon sales list so other readers can find it. They are what lets potential readers know that a book is worth the effort. More than ads or giveaways, reviews are what can make or break a book. But there is still a reluctance for readers to leave reviews.
I’m asking you as a reader, why is that?
Works by famous authors will have hundreds of reviews almost the instant they go live on selling platforms. Indie writers can have a book up for months without a review. So why is it that readers aren’t willing to spend a few seconds to review?
You can even see this trend on Love Romance Reads. This is a site dedicated to Romance Readers. It’s where authors and readers are supposed to connect. However, a scroll through the author pages yields few reader comments. What would encourage you to leave a review? Is it knowing that just the words “I liked it,” hold ten times the weight of a star review, which itself is more valuable than gold to indies? What prevents you from leaving one? Is it the worry that you aren’t anonymous?
Help a writer out and let’s solve this mystery together.
Arts of Love
You know what they say about those creative types...
Playful, rebellious, sensitive and passionate, nobody loves like an artist. These sixteen stories set the stage for racy encounters with bad boy rock stars, sensual actors, and artists seeking their muse. Inside this collection you'll find:
* A drummer aching to satisfy the one woman who doesn't recognize that he's a rock star
* A writer unaware that his fans and former assistant find him undeniably attractive
* An eccentric college professor enticing her protégé with informal lessons on dance, drawing, and desire
* A stage manager struggling to remain professional with the show's sexy director
Whether you're looking for a playwright provoking her friend's uptight cop neighbor to help with blocking, two choir men battling for the affection of the girl-next-door, or a struggling writer finding an unusual muse in the Japanese countryside, this collection will have you ready for romance.
Harley Easton is a Renaissance woman dabbling in everything life offers. She's worked at a theme park, found expert witnesses, guest lectured at a national museum, and worked with medical students. Putting experience and insanity to good use, She's found her favorite job, writing. Now she specializes in erotic, romantic, and speculative fiction. Who knows what kind of trouble she'll get into next.