Friday, March 17, 2017

Reviewing Reviews

During a break between panel discussions at Murder & Mayhem Chicago I picked up a flyer that used three really high-powered quotes to help promote a book. It had a level of sophistication far above what I could ever do—or afford. But I liked the format and it got me thinking of my reviews. I had to go back and reread them.

My review count so far: Amazon-nine, and Goodreads-three. There are a couple of others: one from an author’s blog, and one from the Swedish American Genealogist. So far, so good, but no where near the magic number of fifty. Fifty is the threshold for the powers that be with Amazon to take notice. (Actually, it’s more likely one of Amazon’s algorithms.)

Anyway, I believe studying reviewers’ comments can be enlightening and fruitful. They are likely to use words and phrases I never would have thought of. They might hit upon a point that I totally missed. Or have a very different interpretation. It’s all good. They are the readers, the audience, and I must take note of their reactions.

For the purpose of creating a flyer I searched for short useful passages that were interesting and brought up pertinent points of plot, character, and theme. Quotes that showed enthusiasm. I was lucky enough to find four. Three came from noted local authors. They would become my celebrity endorsements.

So, I was set to start on my own version of a promotional flyer. I wanted a basic two-column layout and knew I wouldn’t be getting fancy. My job would be to make blocks of text look, well, not too boring.

Then the difficulties began. I had to use a program that I was totally rusty on. One that hadn’t always cooperated with me in the past.

Long story short, after hours of trail and error, I had something that was pretty decent. It would be something I could adapt for different occasions. Which was very much what I needed. Because first up is a reading at the Bettendorf Public Library on April 12th and the panic is setting in.

Here's my original inspiration:

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