Reading is Fundamental
Last year, I wrote my novel, A Christmas Carol 2: The Return of Scrooge (which you can see off to the right...), but I didn't get it published until very late. Something like December 1. As you can imagine, not publishing a book about Christmas until three weeks before the holiday is not really a great idea, since it gives you basically...well, no time to promote it. You're certainly not gong to get any reviews before Christmas, because people have to actually read the thing first. And unlike other books, sales of Christmas books plummet after Christmas. I mean, like the day after Christmas. Trust me.
Still, the book did sell passably, and even hit #2 somehow on the Amazon Hot List for humor. And it's bizarrely sold a handful of books in the months since Christmas. However, I determined to start promoting the book thoroughly early this year. (There's no reason to think it could only be sold that first Christmas season, after all.) And so, I've already started contacting book reviewers and setting up promotions to give things lime to kick in around November.
There's a reason to telling you all this, trust me.
One of the things I've been doing is a lot of research for book reviewers who are interested in humor, or novellas, or historical fiction, or anything related to what the book actually is. That means not just tracking down email addresses, but reading through websites and "review policies." That takes a lot more time, but I think it's the best way to do things. Not only do I not want to waste my time sending the book to people who would have zero interest in reading it -- pissing them off, which would not be a good thing if I ever do have another book that's right for them -- but they might have something personal in the information that would be helpful to address. But more to the point, if I'm going to ask someone to please read and review my entire book, the least I can do out of courtesy is the read a few paragraphs that they wrote.
That brings us to Sadie S. Forsythe. On her website's Review Policy. the very second paragraph reads --
"If you would like a book reviewed please email a MOBI file to 2lazy2readP&P@sadieforsythe.com. My policies follow. Please read them. It really is in your own best interest."
Now, I could have stopped there, since I had an email address to write to. But -- a) she did say that her policies follow. And that it's in my best interest to read them. b) As I said, I like to see if there's any interesting information, regardless. But c) there was something about that email address she left. "2lazy2read." Something had me head-scratching. And so I read on.
Halfway down through her policy I came to a line that said, "Directions." And it was followed by --
"If you have read this far and have an ebook you would like me to review please ignore the above email address and forward a mobi or pdf copy (preferably mobi), synopsis, page length and cover image to ereviews (at) sadieforsythe.com."
I got a nice laugh and admired her little test. I sent her a note to this correct address and made mention of her "2lazy2read" joke and sent off the book.
This afternoon, a few weeks later, I got the following email from Ms. Forsythe --
I have to admit, I was honored to be the first, and told her so.
But I was also stunned.
While I’m not surprised that most people didn't read through her introduction, I’m honestly flabbergasted to have been the first one. I grasp the concept that many people are "too lazy to read." But because the whole point of writing a book is that you want people to read, it's so bizarre to me to know that NO ONE had read it. At first I was a little disappointed to know that even people who rudely and thoughtlessly ignored what she wrote still got their books reviewed. Then I realized it's probably a smart thing on her behalf, since -- given that I'm the first one to have read and followed it -- she wouldn't have had any books to read!
All that aside, it’s certainly nice to be in a society of one. And I actually loved that she had the “test.” But still...the first???
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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