I love reading and I love having lots of books to read, but sometimes promising reviews kind of puts the pressure on, especially when several of these books release about the same time. That’s the state I’m in at the present.
Publishers have their reason, I know, but it really does seem unrealistic to try to read and review the books that all come out about the same time, within the three-month window the PR people say determines a book’s sales.
Before I became a writer, there were books I hadn’t heard of three months after their launch. How was I supposed to read them and talk them up with my friends before the window closed?
It reminds me of movies that come out in May–when we here in California are still in school. By the time our school year ends in mid June, and I or my teacher friends have time to go see those movies, they no longer are in our theaters. Here and gone before I have a chance.
Thankfully the Spec Faith library gives us a place where we can find Christian speculative fiction, new and old. For that matter, it lists books that are traditional published or put out by a small independent press or even self-published. The problem there is, with so many books, how do you know which are the ones you’d really like to read? I mean, Spec Faith is closing in on 500 books cataloged in our database.
That’s were other readers come in. We need buzz–people talking about the books they’ve read. We need people willing to write a short recommendation or a longer review. We need them to copy and past reviews they’ve written on their own site or elsewhere, with appropriate links, so that readers can see more than a list of books with their cover art and back cover copy.
If someone is seriously trying to find the best Christian speculative fiction, they need to go where Christian speculative fiction readers hang out, where they talk about what they read, and particularly where they talk about what they like.
How great, then, to be able to go to a place like Spec Faith and peruse the offerings. But right now we only have six reviews for every one hundred books. That’s a lot of books without any buzz at all–at least on a site where speculative readers gather and speculative books are listed.
So I’m wondering, what’s keeping people from adding recommendations, at least. I mean, let’s say you’re a busy mom or dad with a 9 to 5 job and football games to attend. How are you supposed to write a review?
Well, buzz isn’t all about reviews. A lot of times it’s about a reader saying: I loved this one, don’t miss it. Or even, I liked the first one better. Or, if you liked this one, you’ll love that other one.
Buzz, folks. It’s just talking about books in a way that encourages other people to talk about books. Or to read them.
That, my friends, is what Christian speculative fiction needs most. So now I’m fired up and ready to do my own reviews!