Hi everyone and welcome back to my blog post!
Here is part two of the blog I posted last month about the value and impact of
author reviews. In January I spoke about seeking professional reviews. Now, I will
conclude the topic, speaking about author peer reviews.
I mentioned last time that, regardless of whether we love it or hate it, we need the
opinions of others, in many respects, to help validate our work. I noted that sales
and critical acclaim are the two main indicators of your book being “successful” in
the general definition of how many of us creatives define “success”. Of course, we,
of all people, as writers, must first love and appreciate our writing. We must be
satisfied with the fact we have accomplished something very few people ever
achieve – publication.
Yet, many of us strive for even more. We want those big royalties coming as a
return on investment, especially for those of us who have spent considerable
monies on self or Indie publishing. We are human and desire the praise of others to
affirm that our work is worthwhile reading. And those praises, coincidentally, in
sufficient amounts, can help drive sales.
Professional reviews are ones paid for by the author, to an organization, typically
one with some measure of perceived influence, to have an honest review
completed. Peer reviews are where an author seeks the candid feedback, and
hopefully endorsement, of a fellow author, about their work.
Personally, I found the peer review process far more stressful! It’s one thing to
have complete strangers, who are paid to do reviews, and detached from you and
your work, to provide their opinion. It’s another to have the prospect of a peer,
whom you know, like, and respect, potentially think your work is garbage! Yikes!
Talk about nerve-wracking.
Yet, I spoke to the dichotomy, in the last blog post, of needing to put your work
out there, if you want your profile to be raised. So, prior to publication, I gave
copies of A Drowned Kingdom to fellow authors whose work I so greatly admired,
and whom I highly respected as wonderful people.
Two of those writers whose reviews coincided with release of A Drowned
Kingdom, were the amazing Elizabeth Eckstein, author of Quicksilver and
Brimstone, and the incredible Matejs Kalns, author of
Beasts of the Night.
I must be honest, it was intimidating having two formidable, established writers,
read A Drowned Kingdom. I have read both Quicksilver and Brimstone and Beasts
of the Night, and they are both phenomenal novels. I was unsure how my work
would measure up to that of such esteemed creatives! There was quite a few nail-
biting days, waiting for feedback!
I am pleased to say, they both enjoyed reading A Drowned Kingdom!
That said, one of the authors, who is another fantastic writer, did not like my work.
I truly value his opinion, and I learned that A Drowned Kingdom was not for him.
It was not the type of fantasy book he preferred, and my writing style was not a fit
for him. In these cases, you very much should take any constructive feedback from
your peers under advisement and consider the merits in terms of things you could
potentially change or improve in your work. Ultimately, receiving this feedback
was certainly as critical as receiving praise! Moreover, it helps steel oneself against
the inevitable fact that, not everyone will like your book, and that’s OK!
Not every blogger, professional reviewer, fellow author, or reader will end up
falling in love with the book you write! That’s the beauty of reading a book!
Everyone will see different things they like, or dislike in a book, and preferences
for books are as highly subjective and individualized as the people who read them.
Life would be quite boring if everyone liked the same things, including the same
Nor would there be much room for growth, and development, if no one said
anything that could potentially be construed as negative about your book! My
advice, take any such feedback graciously, as the person took the time to read your
work, and NEVER lash out or be rude towards someone who bothered to provide
you with input. Absorb the input, consider any merit, and continue forward.
I will provide some of the praise for my book, as it will appear in the inside page of
my novel, that is dedicated to reviews, from Elizabeth and Matejs, here:
“Richly detailed, Stuart draws you into a land of bitter rivalries and political
intrigue, a novel of pure escapism…Not only does Stuart conjure a vast kingdom
in vivid detail, he writes as if he himself were an old sage raised in Nantyx
narrating from an ancient scroll…In a time where we find ourselves more confined
than ever before, Stuart provides a welcome adventure transporting us far and
away plunging us into a distant realm of magic and mystery.”
Matejs Kalns, Author of Beasts of the Night
“Author P.L. Stuart thrills and enchants with his debut book, A Drowned
Kingdom…Beautiful descriptive writing…Through skilfully written dialogue,
actions and mannerisms, each character is vividly brought to life, counterbalancing
one another in gripping political intrigue, alliance, and romance…Lovers of book
series like A Song of Ice and Fire and The Witcher will find themselves right at
home. Political power play and an intriguing magic system in the hands of
beguiling all-female mages along with thrilling battle scenes drives the pace
forward, yet depth of character remains so poignant that every bit of action is filled
with emotional stakes. A Drowned Kingdom has been one of the highlights of my
reading list and with this strong first entry I expect great things for the series. I
personally can’t wait for the next book, and I can highly recommend it to any
Fantasy lover looking for an original and exceptionally crafted novel…I give this
book 5 stars! I could give it 100! I could give it it’s own galaxy, it shines so
Elizabeth Eckstein, Author of Quicksilver and Brimstone
So, in conclusion, take the leap of faith, and open your work up to the opinions of
others! It can enhance the credibility and marketability of your work if you seek
peer author and professional reviews.
Please feel free to comment on this and future blogs and I will be sure to get back
to you. Chat soon!
P.L. Stuart's Blog