What One Book Review Means to Me

I toiled on my first novel for years, endured years of rejection and even more years of rewriting. I wore down the soles of my shoes walking the aisles of book expos and conferences trying to generate interest in my manuscript from small presses, this after emailing every literary agent it made sense to contact to no avail. After so many “no’s” I finally get the one “yes” that I needed. It was from a small press outside of the United States.

I signed the contract. Two years later, The Talking Drum was weeks from release. I learned along the way one of the most important steps I could take as a debut novelist–soliciting book reviews. Book reviews help potential readers become familiar with what a book is about, give them an idea of how they themselves might react to it, and determine whether a particular book would be the right book for them right now. Book reviews give books greater visibility and a greater chance of getting found by more readers.

That’s why I am thrilled that Story Circle Network has reviewed The Talking Drum. The organization supports women writers and raises public awareness of the importance of women’s personal histories.

Here’s what they had to say about The Talking Drum:

Through her characterizations, Braxton compels readers to measure their own degree of racism, that universal schism that divides us.

And this:

The characters are well rounded and I came to either care about–or greatly dislike–them. And through it all, Braxton reveals the issues that all humans face: sacrifice, greed, power, love, and loyalty. Highly recommended.

On some websites, books that have more reviews are more likely to be shown to prospective readers and buyers as compared to books with few or no book reviews. As well as reviews acting as little digital recommendations for a book, they also help drive sales in other ways. This is particularly relevant on Amazon, which is both a retailer and a review platform. The latter feeds into the former. If lots of people are reviewing your book — especially if those reviews come from verified Amazon customers — the site is going to start taking note. The consensus among authors and publishers seems to be that the more reviews you have, the more likely your book is to start popping up around the site elsewhere.

The editors at Story Circle Network have posted their review on Amazon and Goodreads, which should help raise the profile of my book.

Honest, authentic reviews and feedback, written by real readers and discerning and respected editors can indeed raise your profile and impact your book sales.

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Lisa Braxton

Lisa Braxton is an Emmy-nominated former television journalist, an essayist, short story writer, and novelist. Her debut novel, The Talking Drum, is forthcoming from Inanna Publications in spring 2020. She is a fellow of the Kimbilio Fiction Writers Program and a book reviewer for 2040 Review. Her stories and essays have appeared in literary magazines and journals. She received Honorable Mention in Writer’s Digest magazine’s 84th and 86th annual writing contests in the inspirational essay category. Her website: www.lisabraxton.com

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