So there you have it. The RT review, and a Top Pick at that! The second encouraging review for Winterwood and it’s not even out until 2nd February! Whoo-hoo! Widen the doors I need to get my head through!
But seriously – reviews, blogs, word of mouth are lifeblood to an author, especially in these days when high street bookstores are disappearing which limits reader-browsing for new and interesting titles. I found some of my favourite authors browsing in the much lamented Borders. I’d never have read Joe Abercrombie’s First Law trilogy (grimdark with a streak of black humour running through it) if I hadn’t found Last Argument of Kings in Borders in York. I took it home, realised I needed the first two books, so ordered them via the net. (This was before I’d been seduced by the convenience of Kindle.)
Speaking of ordering e-books via the net. My local bookseller, J.R. Nichols in Denby Dale – a tiny independent bookseller and small-press publisher – has alerted me to hive.co.uk. You can order e-books online and log in the details of your local independent bookseller and they get a small cut – which helps to keep them open! Yay! Go for it!
So if you like a book, blog about it, review it, tell your friends and help to spread the word. I found my absolute favourite author of all time (so far), Lois McMaster Bujold, because the lovely readers on the usenet newsgroup rec.arts.sf.written kept mentioning her. Eventually I had to try one of her books and once I did I was hooked. I’ve read her fantasy and her science fiction and all I can say is that I’ve never met one of her books I didn’t like. My top pick in fantasy would be her Curse of Chalion and my top pick in her science fiction would be Warrior’s Apprentice. Both are good starting points. If you haven’t come across her books, do give them a try. (If you have, you’ll be reading this, nodding, and muttering I know, I know.)