Okay, “begging” is too strong, but it’s meant to get your attention. How about “asking-real-nice?” So here goes: please, please, pretty please with sugar on top, if you’ve read either or both Dragontamer’s Daughters books and enjoyed them, PLEASE take a few minutes to post a review–it doesn’t have to be an essay, just a few lines–on Amazon, Goodreads, or both. Handy-dandy easy-peasy links are below:
Link to Amazon for Dragontamer’s Daughters, Part 1: Pearl
Link to Amazon for Dragontamer’s Daughters, Part 2: Stormcaller
Link to Goodreads for Dragontamer’s Daughters, Part 1: Pearl
Link to Goodreads for Dragontamer’s Daughters, Part 2: Stormcaller
DTD is self-published and only available on-line: I don’t have a multi-million dollar corporation stocking the shelves of Walmart and Target and K-mart and Barnes & Noble and wherever else with thousands of copies that people will see as they browse. I don’t have nice end-cap displays and posters in the windows of bookstores to tell people about DTD. I don’t have reviews in major metropolitan newspapers: the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun won’t touch self-published books because of their not-entirely-unfounded prejudice that self-published = crap.
Nor can I get a review from a well-known outfit like Kirkus: they’ll review books from publishers for free, but for indie authors like me, they want at least $425 (just another example of the many, many entities out there to part a budding author with his cash). Similarly, I can’t afford advertising: I have one kid in college and another to be there in 5 years.
I’ve submitted DTD to many, many book review blogs that take self-published books (not all do): some don’t reply, some aren’t interested, some have too much to read already. For those who do say they’ll take DTD, it nevertheless takes a lot of time before a review comes out: I’ve been waiting on one blog since June of last year, another since last August. Most published authors are not going to reach out to help an unknown, self-published scrub: they have their own stuff to write and promote, and besides, many of them also buy into the “self-published = crap” mindset.
The local papers here on the Eastern Shore have been very, very helpful (as evidenced here and here and here and here), but there’s only so many times that the same people can get the same message before they tune out. I can natter away on this blog, but it doesn’t get nearly the visits that Whatever does. Which means all I have, the only card left for me to play, is word-of-mouth. And that means you.
If you liked the books, I need you to tell people. I need you to loan or give away your copies to people who might be interested. I need you to spend a few minutes to go to Amazon or Goodreads or both and tell people what you think. I wish I could give you something in exchange for your review–gift cards to Dunkin Donuts, say–but I can’t: like you, I’m not made of a lot of disposable cash, and anyway, that’s just wrong. I wish I could write the review for you–you’d just tell me what you wanted to say and I could go online and type it up for you–but that’s sock-puppetry, and it’s wrong. It has to be you.
If you write a review and you say something critical–for example, you didn’t like a certain character, or you thought one part was too long, or you didn’t think this or that worked–that’s fine. If you give it three stars out of five, or two, or hell, even one, that’s fine. It’s unprofessional for an author to answer his critics, good or bad, except to say, “Thank you.” I haven’t done it yet, and I’m not going to start now. And as I’ve mentioned before, I can take criticism (it’s praise I have a hard time accepting, but that’s my issue, not yours).
So, please, please help spread the word about DTD. Writing and publishing the book were the easy parts: getting it noticed is considerably more difficult. I never expected to make a lot of money or sell a million copies: DTD is not the lowest-common denominator, derivative crap the publishing industry shovels to our kids and teenagers for easy consumption (if you thought Twilight was dreck, you should see what else is out there). Everyone who has read DTD and spoken to or e-mailed me about it has told me how good it is and how much they liked it. Sometimes I joke to myself that DTD is the best fantasy book that no one knows about. But for more people to know about it, I need your help. Please.
Please, and thank you.