Time to start the New Year with a whiny author whine.
Why aren’t you reading more of the books I’m in?
And if you are (thanks!), then why aren’t you reviewing them?
I don’t mean starting your own review site and laboriously writing in-depth analysis of books you’ve read. There are plenty of good review sites and reviewers out there–I give you Shane Keene at Shotgun Logic and This is Horror, David W. Spell, Rich over at The Horror Bookshelf, Adrian at the Grim Reader, and the voracious reader Gabino Iglesias.
No, I’m not suggesting you hang out a shingle and devote your life to analysis of the written word, I’m just saying taking the time to post a two or three sentence distillation of what you liked/didn’t like about a book along with a commensurate number of stars might be a nice idea…and helpful to the publisher and author who brought the book to you!
Case in point: Shadows Over Main Street 2, which came out a few months ago. Edited by a terrific duo–Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward–the book sports short Lovecraftian small-town fiction from the likes of Joyce Carol Oates, Joe Lansdale…and me! My story is entitled “Shug,” and is a…well…a continuation, let’s say, of my eponymously titled story in I Can Taste the Blood.
Anyway, it’s a solid book with a bunch of great horror authors. And a great publisher in Cutting Block Books. So, lots of great people involved in this project, all of whom deserve your support.
So far, the book has generated two reviews at Amazon. Two. Granted, they’re both great reviews, but only two. That’s not even one review for every month it’s been out there. I can’t stress enough how important reviews of any kind are for books and their publishers. Amazon’s complex and probably arcane sales algorithms don’t even kick in until a book gets more than two dozen reviews. As I look over the numbers of reviews most of the books I’m in get, it’s less than this…anemically less.
Look, I know reviewing books is a hassle. I know it takes some time and your life is hectic. I know. I’m right there with ya. But if you want to continue to read quality horror and dark speculative fiction, you need to support the small, indie press, because this stuff isn’t coming (for the most part) from the big press. Sure, there are a scant handful of big press horror authors. But by and large, most of the stuff is coming from the small press. And they need your help in beating the bushes and attracting new readers, because they don’t have the marketing budgets of a big publisher. Most don’t have any marketing budget.
So, get out there and leave a line or two or three for the books you’ve read and enjoyed, particularly books like Shadows Over Main Street 2. You’ll help those publishers continue to bring you great horror literature in the future.
Now, get out there and read more in 2018!