Welcome Catriona. It’s great to have you here on your very first blog tour. Because I have reviewed several of your books, including Puggle, I thought it might be interesting to chat with you about the review process from the author’s perspective. So, here goes.
1. Can you share with readers how your books get reviewed ?
When my first book came out, I sat down with the publicity person and was given a list of do’s and don’ts. I’ve broken most of them now! I was also given a list of people/agencies that copies of books were regularly sent out to. I guess every publicist has their own list. Often it’s a surprise when a book gets reviewed but I do a have a google alert on my name which tells me if something new has cropped up…or if people have reserved my books in libraries!
Friends will often tell me if they have read a review. That networking is all important. Also the publisher will send out copies of reviews in mainstream media or links to reviews.
2. Why are reviews important to you, and to your books?
There are so many books out there that book shops can be confusing places. A review will put the idea is someone’s mind and hopefully stay with them. It’s also nice to have your work acknowledged and feel that the job has been done well.
Reviews mean that people are actually out there reading your books. And it would be a sad thing to have put in all that time and effort into them for them to languish in some dark storage warehouse.
3. What is your best review experience?
The good thing about being reviewed is that it gives me the opportunity to stand back from my work and see it evaluated through other eyes. We get so close to things that we have written sometimes that it’s hard to see the wood for the trees.
I often learn things about my writing that I didn’t know or hadn’t conceptualised. Sometimes it’s a pleasant surprise, other times it can be something that I can learn and grow from.
Of course I like all your reviews Sally!
4. What is your worst review experience?
There are probably two that stick in mind. ‘My Grandad Marches on Anzac Day’ has been very popular and even now, I still get some touching emails from people who have read it. To me it was very real, in fact I used my husband’s own words in the book when the Dad says ‘well done boys’ as they march past. I was a little flabbergasted when one reviewer called this ‘patronising’. My husband certainly didn’t mean to be patronising when he was watching his father march in the parade!
The other was more recent when someone pointed out a flaw in one of my books and implied that it would have been better if she had edited it. Which I found a little inappropriate.
5. What do you do with the reviews of your books?
If the links are on line, I will often post the links on my website, so that people can read these. Increasingly I’m finding reviews posted on people’s blogs which is nice to find. I usually post a thankyou on their blog to let them know I’ve read it and appreciate the thoughts.
For other reviews, I have a big cardboard box under my desk, where lots of clippings go. Maybe I’ll put them in a scrapbook one day when I stop working. I’m curious, what do you do with yours?
Sally says: Like you, I link to the online ones, and print them too. I keep hard copies of reviews along with any other press in two lever arch files. Each cutting is in a separate plastic sleeve.
6. What advice would you give to someone who is about to be reviewed for the first time?
Don’t take it personally! Celebrate with your friends if it’s good; share it with the world. If it’s not quite what you had hoped, let off steam in a trusted environment if you must. Be very careful what you say however, as the writing world is a very small place. Accept that not everyone will like your book.
7. Can you share any links to reviews of Puggle, or your other books, online?
Well Sally, you have reviewed all my books so far! So I’d encourage everyone to go to your aussiereviews website. I honestly don’t know how you find the time to review, write, teach , be a mother! You are amazing! other online reviews include:
Mummies Are Amazing
I like this review of My Grandad Marches on Anzac Day because it was written by someone young.
Here is an example of a blog review for Puggle. I liked this one because it highlighted the educational aspect of the book.
Thanks for dropping in Catriona. You can follow the rest of Catriona’s tour at the following blogs:
April 12 http://scribblygum.wordpress.com/
April 14 http://sallymurphy.blogspot.com/
April 16 http://orangedale.livejournal.com/
April 17 http://sherylgwyther.wordpress.com/
April 18 http://sandyfussell.blogspot.com/
April 19 http://katswhiskers.wordpress.com/
April 20 http://belka37.blogspot.com/
April 21 http://angelasunde.blogspot.com/
and you can buy Puggle online from Fishpond, or in any good book store.