Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Best Book Reviews Are The Silent Ones

We've been talking a lot this week about book reviews. There should be an awards presentation for amateur reviewers. I've already got my candidates lined up. The funniest: the book vlogger who stumbled over title of Paved With Good Intentions (come on, it's only four words!), then held the book up to the camera, turned the spine facing her, and surreally flipped the pages for her viewers - presumably to show it was a real book with real pages... and that was it. The whole "review" - 28 seconds). Or the amateur reviewer who didn't read the book. How could I tell? She thought my demon (named Lucifer) and the Devil were the same character, even though Lucifer and the Devil engage in a conversation on... page one! That's right, it's on the very first page! Or, the amateur reviewer who couldn't grasp the literary concept of episodic fiction. You couldn't make this stuff up.

But my favorite review this month came from Germany. Amazon recently opened Kindle to the German market and a frequent query on the Kindle Boards is "Have you had any German sales yet?" Apparently, Kindle sales by independent authors in the nascent German market are scarcer than unicorn sightings. One author went so far as to translate his book into German using Google's translator (which may yield a rather humorous translation). But two weeks ago, I had my very first German Kindle sale - a copy of Paved With Good Intentions. Then, about five days later, my second German sale came through - a copy of And A Child Shall Lead Them. I think it's safe to assume the sole German purchaser of the sequel was the same buyer who had downloaded the first book in the Halos & Horns series. I think it's also a valid assumption that he or she must have enjoyed the first book to have purchased the second.

My German reader never said a word. No fan mail. No blog comment. No Amazon review. He merely gave his opinion with his wallet. And it spoke volumes. The best book reviews are the silent ones.

Danke schön.

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