Gratitude

Let’s talk for a minute about being truly thankful. No, no, don’t worry. You didn’t go to sleep and wake up to find that time has slipped away and it’s already November. (That’s next week)

I know November is traditionally the month when we discuss what we are thankful for, but for me, this October has been one filled with an enormous amount of gratitude.

Growing up, authors were like celebrities to me. I didn’t care a lot about tv stars or movie stars. Unlike my daughter who would likly faint if she met her idols (Selena Gomez, Miley as Hannah Montana), my idols were authors. If I ever met James Patterson or Walter Farley or Patricia Cornwell, I would have likely been rendered speechless.

Now, I am an author. I’m not suggesting that I’m on the same level as my icons, only that I now realize they are real, regular people too. They just have amazing creative minds and cool jobs.

A really interesting switch has slowly taken shape in my thinking. Now, instead of authors being the celebrities, I admire book bloggers.

Book bloggers are these amazing, selfless people who take the time to further expand upon what they read, for the benefit of other readers. Most of us readers, we read something, we like it, we go get another book, perhaps by that same author. But not Book Bloggers. Book bloggers read something, and then they tell you about it. While us authors appreciate this immensely, the real winners here are readers.

As readers, following book bloggers who review books that match our own interests is like going into a book store and having a dedicated, knowledgeable and enthusiastic book connoisseur follow us around, making recommendations or warning us away from titles not to our tastes. 

Now that I’m an author, book bloggers have become a bit more like celebrities in my eyes. Although, I guess they are better than celebrities, since most of them aren’t running around, getting drunk and making fools of themselves. Regardless, the fact that book bloggers are willing to give me the time of day pretty much makes my jaw drop and renders me speechless.

But that’s how book bloggers are. They don’t care if you are James Patterson, G R R Martin, or a brand new, unknown indie. If you’ve got a good story to tell, they want their readers to know about it because they are dedicated to the pursuit of the next great read. How friggin awesome is that?

I’ll let you in on a little secret. Querying book bloggers is about as nerve wracking as querying agents. Here’s why. When you are querying agents, you are offering¬† a partnership, where you hope that both you and the agent will financially profit. Not so with book bloggers. When you query book bloggers, you are asking them to give some of their time to not only read your book, but to write up a review afterward, without any financial compensation.

But, I’ve digressed from gratitude. Here is what I was trying to get at. Today, I had reviews posted on two book blogs. Seeing them, even before I read the words, was like celebrity shock. The fact that my book was being talked about on these blogs that I admire is unbelievably cool. Especially since one of the blogs was a blog I frequent often, to help shape my reading choices.

Even had the reviews been critical, I would have been immensely grateful, and let me explain why. No book is for everyone, and reading a book takes a significant time commitment. I want my book to find its way into the hands of readers who will enjoy it, not into the hands of readers who won’t. Thoughtful, in depth reviews help that happen regardless of if they are positive or not. Sometimes you read a negative review, and the things the reviewer didn’t like might actually appeal to you. Just like a positive review might mention something you know will annoy you. The bottom line is, reviews help match readers and books, and in that situation, everyone wins.

I am incredibly grateful to both Leigh from Little Book Star and Lori, the Indie reviewer on Parajunkie’s View for taking the time to read and review Cornerstone.

As a last note: If you are reading this and you are a book blogger, first – Thank you! and second – I am always more than happy to provide digital copies of Cornerstone for review. Just contact me and I will get you a copy.