Monday, June 04, 2012

Release the Reviews by Nancy Gideon

SEEKER OF SHADOWS, the 6th book in my dark paranormal “By Moonlight” shape-shifter series from Pocket Books is a return to sultry New Orleans and the unique characters that populate its Shifter community. You’d think after 50+ books I’d be fairly blasé about release week, but it never gets any easier.  Because with a new book comes a new avalanche of reviews: the good, the bad, and the sometimes painfully ugly.

One thing every writer needs to pack for release week is a bulletproof vest to deflect those anticipated slings and arrows of sometimes outrageous misfortune. Don’t read them, you might suggest. But how can you not at least take a peek?  Reviews can be ego-boosting, insightful, mean, or just miss the mark. Think how you’d feel if you carried your new baby from the hospital and all your friends and family grimaced then politely smiled. Ouch. Only with publishing, every stranger has an opinion (as well they should) and feels free to express it.

Sometimes, we authors just want to duck and cover until it’s all over but the royalties.

But the power of the review is that it’s an expression of impact. Your writing has made someone feel (or not!) enough of a reaction to share it with others.  And word of mouth is the best possible advertising, even if it’s not positive (Hello, Shades of Grey!). Reviews can be treated as a learning experience, as a scourging, or avoided altogether. It’s all in how you look at them.

Maybe I’m a glutton for stress and punishment, but I love Release Week.  I devour the feedback on Goodreads and Amazon and have been known to (Gasp, I admit it!) Google my title. If I don’t know what the readers are thinking, how can I give them the books they want to read? So I populate my week (or two) with blog visits and even request (!) the anxiety of a Blog Tour from my publishers. Go ahead. I can take.  I’m not just a writer, I’m a mom and I work for an attorney. Skin doesn’t get much thicker.

Of course it helps when this is your first review:

Says Publishers Weekly: “Rich and complex.  Gideon delivers. Series fans are rewarded with critical developments layered on previous books, while enticing new dimensions to the Shifter world keep things fresh. Newcomers can still enjoy the well-crafted prose and page-turning tension.”

Whew! That’s a load off.  My job is done  … almost. Then there are still two more books in the series to come, beginning with BETRAYED BY SHADOWS on 12-18-12, a Pocket Star, e-exclusive and PRINCE OF SHADOWS which I’m currently writing.

What can readers look forward to in SEEKER OF SHADOWS?  Here’s a tease:

How can he trust his future to the woman who stole his past?

Shifter club owner, Jacques LaRoche is fiercely protective of his freedom. Stripped of his memories of a former life, he instinctively longs for the mate stolen from him. Until a mysterious visitor from the North stirs desire in a heart he thought belonged to another.
Pursuing an unexpected key to her research, Chosen geneticist, Susanna Duchamps risks discovery in New Orleans when her presence ignites a deadly clan confrontation. Forced to choose between the rediscovery of forbidden passion and the fate of a species, can she risk all to reclaim the love of the man she’s never forgotten? Or will she have to betray him once again in order to save the secret she protects?

If he knew the truth, would he still claim her?

“This dark and seductive story is rife with the delicious possibility of a happily-ever-after for an unlikely pair. Conflict keeps things exciting and plunging forward as the plot twists and turns. Don’t blink, the book will be over before you know it.” Romantic Times Book Reviews

To follow me on my blog tour, hop on board at: for a list of destinations on June 7.

How about you?  Do you read reviews? Do they color your buying decisions? Are you a reviewer?  What do you look for in a good read and what makes a truly bad one, in your opinion?  One commenter, chosen at random, will win a copy of SEEKER OF SHADOWS.

Nancy Gideon is the author of over fifty novels ranging from historicals and series suspense to the paranormal.  When she’s not at the keyboard, she works 9-to-5 as a legal assistant and indulges in her Netflix addiction. For more on SEEKER OF SHADOWS (including an excerpt!) and the “By Moonlight” series, visit: Enjoy the exciting new book trailer for SEEKER OF SHADOWS at:

***Nancy's winner is Erin!  Please email me at with your full name and mailing info!***


Karen H in NC said...

I do read reviews and put a lot of stock in them, especially for new-to-me authors. I'm more inclined to look at the reviews posted by readers at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. If there are no reader reviews, I may put my purchase on hold until someone posts a review. Of course, a lot depends on any excerpts I can find too.

N.J.Walters said...

I don't pay a whole lot of attention to reviews. I'm interested in the blurb and does the book look interesting. And the cover doesn't hurt either. :)

Michele L. said...

I like to read reviews but I usually purchase books because I find the back cover blurb interesting. Also, I do write reviews and have posted on Amazon. Mostly, my purchase relys on the author, if the book interests me and if the cover caught my eye.

Lil said...

I do read reviews but my decisions on whether to purchase are based on reading a randome excerpt or two of the book. Reviews can be helpful in introducing me to new authors.

Maureen said...

I do read reviews since there are just so many books out there but they are not all easily located in print in a bookstore near me anymore.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

erin said...

Congrats on the new release! I totally sympathize that it can't be easy releasing your hard work into the wild w/out checking on it once in a while. As long as you don't participate in an episode of "authors behaving badly" I think that that would be pretty standard behavior.

I'm strictly a reader. No blogs, facebook or twitter. So I do rely on the many book blogs I visit to keep me up to date on new releases and to introduce me to new authors. While I do read the reviews, it only affects my buying decisions about 40-50%. If it's a book I've already decided to purchase or have, I usually skim/skip the reviews b/c I will be reading it anyway and don't want to run into spoilers. If it's a book that I'm considering and am on the fence, I'll read a couple of reviews to see if it's worth a try. And it's usually a few reviews I read before I make my decision. There isn't just one blog that I hinge my book buying on. And if it's a new author, I'll do the same. Just like w/ anything else, there's not just one opinion that will be influence my buying.

Thanks for the great giveaway too! I just acquired the first couple of books in Nancy's series and I can't wait to start them :)

Diane Burton said...

Should be nothing but good reviews on this one. I absolutely LOVED it.

Barbara E. said...

Yes, I read reviews. They give me an idea of what the book is about, but I usually try to get more than one opinion and then make up my own mind on whether I want to read a book. I do leave my opinions on Goodreads and occasionally on Amazon, especially if I really love a book and want to make sure others know how good I think the book is. What I look for in a good read is a story that makes me not want to put the book down, that will make me stay up too late because I just have to finish it. A bad book is something that just doesn't engage my interest and/or has content that I find distasteful.

*yadkny* said...

I'm a reviewer and do sometimes read reviews before taking on an assignment, but only if the synopsis left me on the fence. Otherwise I stay away from them, so that they don't cloud my judgement. I really don't like reviews that are so personal and unprofessional that it makes us reviewers as a whole look bad. I believe that if the level of quality writing is held to a certain standard for writers, then it should be the same for us reviewers as well. It's only fair.

CONGRATS on your latest Nancy!

Pat Cochran said...

Yes, I occasionally read reviews. They along
with excerpts, back cover blurbs, and word-
of-mouth play a goodly part in guiding me in
the purchase of books.

marybelle said...

I do read reviews, but I don't rely upon them entirely. I also consider the blurb, the genre, the author & yes, the cover. I take my purchases seriously.

host said...

Congrats on the newest release! I read reviews but not too often because different people have different opinions and several times a good book was ruined for me by negative review – I couldn't get past all the negative aspects of the story that the reviewer noticed but I wouldn't by myself.

Anne said...

I do read reviews and those in combination with the blurb and excerpt do influence whether I buy, put on my wishlist or check the library for a book.

Reviews have mislead me in the past though. Which why when a book gets lots of great reviews and I think it's a stinker, I make sure to post my point of view.

Eli Yanti said...

i had bookworm friends and we love reading and sharing the book we read by doing review so I love reading review and doing review sometimes :)

congrts on the new release :)

Chrisbails said...

I don't read reviews. If I like the author, cover, or title I will buy. I do write reviews, it helps promote the author. If I like something I willo recommend to everyone. I read a lot so I also take recommendations from others.