Recently I was asked to read and review someone’s book. I don’t mind doing that, especially when it’s an indie author. Sometimes the little guy could use a boost, and sometimes you’ll find their writing to be way better than some stuffy traditionally published author as well.
One author sent me a copy of his book as a gift from Amazon. He sent it to me a while ago, but I was just in the middle of reading another book and then I was reading Norma Beishir’s The Unicorn’s Daughter so that I could give her a review. And now I’m beta reading for William Kendall’s debut novel Heaven and Hell. I will get to this author’s book when I’m finished with William’s book, giving it a review. I think I owe it to him to give him that much since he did send me the book as a gift.
Norma, William and Mike Saxton have all beta read for me, short stories and novels alike, and Martin Rus has edited for me before. Eve Gaal has done reviews and read-throughs, as well as Shelly Arkon. And all of us have been promoting a little known author from my brand name, Bent River Books, named Devon Cooper. She is the author of Bad Day, and is promoting when she can. She is a newbie to Twitter and Facebook, but we scratch each other’s backs. We care that the other’s work is well written and I would do what I could for them.
I do tend to gravitate to romances and romantic comedies more so than thrillers and horrors, but I have been known to read my fair share of paranormals. I’m not a huge sci/fi and fantasy fan, but if it’s well written, then I’ll read anything. I do tend to stay away from mysteries and horror, but sometimes you have to try something new once in awhile.
If any of my friends asked me to beta read for them, I would. If they asked for a review, I’d give them as honest a review as I could. So, why is it that I feel that I’m scratching everyone else’s back, but not getting any relief from my own itch?
It seems that there are many Indie author’s who are hellbent on writing that “next best novel”, and expecting it to be read and reviewed, and yet, do nothing for anyone else.
One fellow author told me once that she would do a bloghop with me (whatever that is, exactly), but that I would have to pay for her services. WTF? I couldn’t believe that! Paying for a service because it would take up some of your time was a ludicrous thing for her to do/say. If I did that for every time I’ve read, reviewed, formatted, blogged about or otherwise promoted someone else by tweeting or by facebook etc, then I guess I’d be a rich woman who wouldn’t have to write to try to earn a little extra spending money.
What I’m getting at is that there are authors out there that aren’t interested in anyone but themselves. They tell everyone on Facebook how many words they’ve written that day and that after the beta reads come back, they’ll be starting their next novel. I-haven’t-got-time-for-anyone-else kind of attitude.
I don’t know. Maybe it’s my Canadian nature. Canadians tend to be a little more giving of ourselves, wanting the “little guy” to succeed. I want every one of my friends to succeed. And they will. You know why? If you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s because they give back.
I’m not saying that you have to read and review all books that come your way, (because I have a shitload of free books on my Kindle) but I think it would be nice to take time out of your otherwise busy schedule to read and review your friends books. And don’t think because I read and review books that I don’t have a life. I work fulltime, I’m a fulltime mother and wife, and that means there’s always stuff to do. I write, and because of the reading, reviewing, promoting, formatting etc, I haven’t blogged that much lately. I have my online relationships that are maintained through emails and Facebook, and those relationships are important to me because those people have been supportive of me and my works as I’ve been supportive of theirs.
Let’s just put it this way. We’re all struggling to make a go of this. It’s a difficult thing to be #1…and especially in this industry when there are so many great indie authors out there that are just begging to have their works read and reviewed…yet, there are others who
won’t don’t want to take the time out to give a little scratch for someone else.