October has been a month of spectacular events. This month I attended a wonderful weekend conference hosted by the BRAB Online Book club. BRAB- Building Relationships Around Books organized the Southern Readers Retreat-A Literary Affair in Roswell, GA just outside Atlanta.
There were lots of exciting sessions put in place over the weekend. One of my favorites was the Author Panel on Saturday morning. I love taking part in Q&A sessions and this one ranked right up there with the best. Panel authors fielded loads of questions from a fun and highly engaged audience. Readers queried the authors on everything from what they read when they aren't writing to how they select names for their unforgettable characters.
One of the more interesting questions for me focused in on book reviews. Attendees wanted to know what authors think of them. I decided to pass the mic on that particular question. Over the years, I've been rather vocal about my indifference to reviews-as an author. As a reader however, my opinion is quite different and therein lays the purpose of this blog.
As a reader, I find reviews to be a great help. I don't really rely on them to help me make the decision to purchase a certain book though. Instead, I refer to them when I'm already in the process of reading a story and wondering what's wrong with me because I'm not in agreement that it's a 5-star piece of work. Reading reviews with lower ratings, let's me know I'm not alone in my opinion and therefore not off my rocker- not completely anyway :-)
The most exciting part of the answers given for this question however, involved the power of the reviews. I learned that the 'power' of a review wasn't so much in the number of stars associated with it, but in the number of reviews a book has overall. More reviews increases a book's discoverability- this term gets tossed around a lot in my line of work. Basically, it means just what is says. A review increases a books potential to be found by a reader. As a librarian I gotta appreciate that! As a writer, I love it all the more. Do you have any idea how many great books there are that no one knows about simply because it hasn't generated a enough reviews? So sad! :-(
I can honestly say that I took in as much information as I gave during this year's BRAB Conference. It makes me eager to attend next year's event- Vegas, Baby!
Looks like those reviews (good or bad) that I'm so indifferent to, are really a huge help.
This author still prefers the good ones, though :-)