Monday, February 22, 2010

Ghost Notes "Highly Recommended"!

Ghost Notes just received it fourth favorable review of 2010! This one was at The Self-Publishing Review. After well over a year of reviewing self-published work, Jane Smith gave Ghost Notes her first "Highly Recommended" rating. Here are a couple of snippets from her review:

"There is a poignancy to Art's writing which gives his book a rare authenticity."

"As writers go, [Art Edwards is] the real thing and this book is a lovely, memorable read."

These are the kinds of accolades that are hard to come by for the self-published writer, so I'm thrilled to get them. Thank you, Jane, for your generous read.

And all this on the heels of a slam dunk review at the Boogle, as well as Ghost Notes winning PODBRAM's contemporary fiction title of the year award for 2009.

I think reviewers of self-published works are worth their weight in gold, and I think more of them are needed. I'm cooking up an idea that will turn not only me, but you, into a reviewer of self-published work, at least for a short time. More on that later.

So, what led to this swell of interest in my work? And more importantly, what can we learn from it?

First of all, I understand this is modest success--success really comes from readers, not reviews--but the coincidence of having so many good reviews hit at once is worth exploring.

Also, everything I say below assumes you have a good self-pubbed product, and that you're doing the usual press release/blog/"getting your name out there" type stuff to corral attention for you and your work.

When Ghost Notes was first released at the beginning of 2008, I had a hard time getting reviews. It was even harder than getting reviews for my first self-pubbed effort, Stuck Outside of Phoenix, the first edition of which came out in 2003. When I released the audio book version of Ghost Notes, well over a year after the print version in June of 2009, and sent out a press release asking people to review that product, bloggers all-of-a-sudden took an interest in my book. Here's the irony: They all wanted to review the print version. I sent out a press release for an audio book, and everyone wanted the print edition to review.

Why was that? Was June 2009 a better time to send a press release than March 2008? Do bloggers like it when you have an audio book version of your novel? Did I start praying a lot?

None of the above.

It had more to do with who I sent those June 2009 releases to. Two of the three review sites that eventually reviewed Ghost Notes (The Boogle and The Self-Publishing Review) didn't exist when I originally released it in print form, and at the third, the reviewer (Celia Hayes) hadn't yet started reviewing at the blog I was submitting to (PODBRAM).

So, in other words, when I'd first started pushing Ghost Notes, none of the reviewers who eventually responded favorably to my work were reviewing self-pubbed work yet. They never got a shot at the original release. With the audio book press release, the blurb for Ghost Notes piqued their interest, and they requested the print book.

So, what's the moral of the story? Even though your self-pubbed book came out years ago, you have to continue to send out press releases and review requests. New blogs might be receptive to your work, or old blogs might change their tune. The self-pub review landscape changed from March 2008 to June 2009, and it's probably changed again since then. You just have to keep trying, keep looking for folks who might like our work, and if your work is good, it will eventually see a little light.

And, hey, you're self-published, so your marketing plan need never end.

Yours in laying down the law,


Try Ghost Notes, the award-winning novel, for just $5.


Anonymous said...
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James Lorenz said...

Hey Art -
Congrats on all the newfound attention to Ghost Notes. It's a great feeling to know that I helped, in some way, get the book the recognition it so deserves. I look forward to your next one!


Art Edwards said...

It simply wouldn't have happened without the audiobook.

And I'm still waiting on Audiofile!


Irving said...

Congratulations Art, it is always gratifying to hear of a self-published author achieving a measure of success :)

Best wishes for a great career :)

Art Edwards said...

Thanks, Irving.

And good luck.