As I have mentioned previously, reviews are the lifeblood of the self-publishing world. For big-time authors like Jim Butcher and Brandon Sanderson, there are teams of people who work to get the works of these authors into the hands of reviewers. For freshman authors – such as yours truly – you have to rely on friends, family, and if you’re very lucky, complete strangers for reviews.
Several months ago (October maybe?), a reviewer came onto my horizon. This reviewer has an awesome gimmick for their reviews: you have to “immerse” him (the reader) or your book “dies”; hence the name of his reviews: Immerse or Die.
The concept is great. He steps onto his treadmill, turns on his Kindle and begins reading. He does 40 minutes on his treadmill, and if you manage to capture his imagination for the duration, your book “lives”. If your book does not, he gives a very fair review of what went wrong, and where (time-wise) he got into the book. From what I have seen, he has a preference for science-fiction but doesn’t blow off fantasy works.
So, here is where my book comes in. I submitted my book to him to see how well I’d do. To be honest, I held out hopes that he’d find my first published work to be shaky, but a great start. I was not up to this task. Let me offer here sincere thanks to Jefferson Smith and his review of my book. I cannot thank him enough for this review. Not because it is some gilded ticket to the upper tiers of author-hood (is that a word?), but because he gave me a real review.
On December 9th, 2015, Jefferson Smith published a review of my book on his site. I will admit that my book “died” at the 2:26 mark. Here is a link to the review. Mr. Smith provided a candid, and honest, critique of my work. I will honestly say; he’s largely right on with his assessment. As a first time author, I have little experience with the profession of “writer”. I made tons of mistakes in my first book. I have spoken at length on how much I wish I could go back and “just re-write that one part….” and such. But, I won’t.
Reviews are always good, so long as they are helpful. Mr. Smith’s analysis is outstanding. And trust me, I could only wish he could’ve found some part of my book to be more to his liking, to entice him to finish reading the book. My start might have been a tad rough, but the book ends well. In the interest of providing my real opinion on his review, I was a little disappointed but happy that someone else had given it a chance. As a freshman author, I always hold out hope that someone will love my story as much as I do.