They don’t write, they don’t call

And they don’t post reviews, either.

A year ago I counted myself fortunate if I sold five copies of my novels a month on line; that’s paperback and Kindle versions together. My sales have grown this year to well over twenty times that, and my bank manager is well pleased.

But getting readers to post reviews or even drop me a line to say they enjoy what I have written is something else entirely.

But what the heck; at least someone, somewhere, is buying my books. I’m assuming it’s not my mother any more – she passed away some years ago (she never posted a review, either).

I have received some lovely emails from readers since my work began to sell, and it is always a great boost to my otherwise flagging ego.

And I’m not alone in this. If you as a reader enjoy what a writer produces, be sure to drop the author a line and let him or her know that – and do post a review; it means a lot.

I am not soliciting reviews for myself (okay, I am – sue me). I try to avoid that sort of thing – it seems a bit churlish, somehow. Bat as a member of the writing community I can state that we succeed in this business because what we produce pleases readers one way or another, and other readers very often base their buying choices on what other readers have to say.

So go the extra mile – take that extra step – and post reviews on what you read. Decent reviews not only encourage others to invest their hard-earned cash on a writer who’s work you enjoyed, it encourages that writer to produce more work that you will in future be able to enjoy yourself.

Recent industry statistics show that over one million new titles were published last year. One million. That’s world-wide, in every genre and almost every language on the face of the earth. That’s a lot of books.

And that growth is directly related to the end user’s ability to access internet retail sales sites and the ability of independent authors to access publishers such as Create Space, Lightning Source and other print on demand publishers (along with the Kindle and Nook no-fee self-publishing options) without going through literary agents and traditional publishing houses.

And the readers – the consumers – benefit by having a world of new books to explore.

What’s wrong with that? Not a damn thing, unless you’re a literary agent or a traditional publishing house. Guess it just sucks to be them right about now, huh?

The “Reader” now has the last word. Literally. He (generically speaking) decides who to read. The reader makes or breaks the author. The reader – finally – decides who he will or won’t read, who he will or won’t support with his money and his recommendations.

The reader, finally – not the publisher or the literary agent or the bookstore chain – decides which authors are ‘good enough’ and which are not.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly how it should be.

So post your reviews and tell your friends what you are reading. Your opinion really does matter.

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About Gary Showalter

Gary Showalter was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He lived in Aruba, Florida and the Panama Canal Zone before joining the U.S. Army during the 1960s. Following his discharge from the Army, Mr. Showalter picked cotton in East Texas, baled hay in Ardmore Oklahoma, sold light bulbs in Los Angeles, California, and built cattle pens in Fallon, Nevada (during a blizzard, of course). After settling in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Showalter worked as a professional gardener before turning his hand to furniture making. In 1981, he moved to Israel, married, and raised four children while working as a furniture maker, silversmith, goldsmith, and ornamental wood turner. He served in the Israel Defense Forces Reserves for sixteen years, and when not on active duty he worked in government and private security. He has also served in senior management positions in two software development companies in Israel. During his time in Israel, Mr. Showalter published articles dealing with international terror and the Israel-Arab conflict in the Jerusalem Post, Israel national News and several political science web sites. Mr. Showalter returned to the United States in the fall of 2003, to care for an elderly parent. He published his first novel, “The Big Bend”, in the fall of 2008. His second novel, “Hog Valley”, is now in print. Mr. Showalter's third novel, “Twisted Key”, was published in the fall of 2011, and his fourth novel, "Lonesome Cove" is now available in Kindle format and should be published in paper near the end of 2012. He currently lives in Deland, Fl, where he is co-authoring "A Silent Star" with Tony Attanasio. "A Silent Star" is the true tale (though novelized, with names changed for security reasons) about the 4-person covert action team sent into Yemen to capture Osama Bin laden immediately after the bombing of the USS Cole in the Aden harbor in Yemen in October of 2000.
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2 Responses to They don’t write, they don’t call

  1. Sara Flower says:

    Very true. What goes around comes around. It is good to support our fellow writers. I am glad to hear that your books’ sales have been doing better. 🙂

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