IWSG: Book Review Reciprocity

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The online world demands a lot of reciprocity. If you join a writers’ group on Facebook, and you want people to like and comment on the stuff you post there, you have to like and comment on other people’s stuff. If you want your stuff retweeted on Twitter, you retweet other people’s stuff.

But the biggest part of a writer’s dream is not about reciprocity— it’s about loads and loads of people liking your books and buying them and you not having to buy any books from all of THEM in return. That’s what you have to do to make it as a writer— sell to people including faceless strangers who only know you through your books.

Part of that dream these days is that a decent portion of your readers will write a review and that’s important. But real  writers not in the Stephen King category have another source of reviews, and that is a circle of writing friends— the kind of friends you can make in the writers’ groups I mentioned above.

Facebook Writer’s Groups

Aspie Writers (for writers with Asperger Syndrome and autism, new group, needs members.) https://www.facebook.com/groups/616192595221372/

Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers https://www.facebook.com/groups/366357776755069/

These are two of the groups I’m in— do searches at Facebook to find ones right for you— look for ones with real interactivity going on, not just people posting their books for sale.

Of course sometimes you are caught in a no-reciprocity trap. You write a review for this one, you write a review for that one, you write 2 for that author and 3 for that one— and they never think of reviewing your book in return.

That’s where I am at with my poetry book ‘surly petunia.’ (The title is taken from the first poem I wrote as a serious writer of poetry— amazingly it stood up over time, mainly because it’s weird and funny. Or sad. I can never tell those emotions apart.)

The excuse I get is that it’s POETRY and they don’t know how to read POETRY and review POETRY because, I suspect, they’d rather read someone’s overweight & second-rate fantasy tome than read a few pages of POETRY.

So today, I am taking the Nuclear Option and adding a poem to this post. Don’t worry, it’s a short one. And it’s in my book ‘surly petunia.’ Which is here: https://www.amazon.com/Surly-Petunia-Nissa-Annakindt-ebook/dp/B00NZ96EYE

catbox thriller

red explosions lying on the sidewalk
where just anyone could steal them
how can you treat your mothers so?

and why oh why the denizens
of minor towns with hidden hitlers
chastely placed beyond white window curtains

and I walk by as if quite ordinary
spies were sleeping in my breast pockets
still with their heads on they look better.

(c) Nissa Annakindt 2014

This was a post in the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. It’s a great way to build up your blog if you are a writer. It happens the first Wednesday of each month.

10 thoughts on “IWSG: Book Review Reciprocity

  1. Hi Nissa,
    I read your poem and I need to read more to give you my honest opinion. So, I have gone over to Amazon and just bought your book. Right now, I am finishing up my own manuscript but I will sit down and read all twenty-three pages and do a book review that will show up on Amazon Germany because I am living in Germany as an ExPat American.
    I’ll let you know when it is posted over your blog. Maybe, I’ll have it done before the next IWSG in September.
    All the best and hang in there.
    Shalom aleichem,

  2. Pat Garcia, thank you so much! Any review is welcome, even from people who don’t much like experimental poetry. Interesting that you are in Germany, I was there a year when I was in college, met all my German cousins.

  3. It’s vital to have a circle of writing friends you can count on to bounce ideas off of and share your work with! Friends who will retweet and review your stuff. I haven’t been around the larger circle of bloggers for a good while, but posted for the first time today, hoping to reconnect and meet new friends! (Thank you for visiting me and my first IWSG post (erica and christy)!) My pen name, cecelia, has a wordpress site so here I am visiting you as her. ❤ Christy

  4. Reviews are so important to get and to give. And I bet you have more difficulty with poetry. That’s such an art, one that doesn’t easily win over masses. Your excerpt is lovely!

  5. Such an interesting point about reciprocity when it comes to publishing a book! Such a shame that you’ve experience review non-reciprocity 😦 That sucks. I found your poem really interesting and reread it a few times. I can’t get the line of “with their heads on they look much better” out of my head, which is a very good thing.

  6. Thanks everyone for the kind thoughts! And kind actions for anyone who bought/will review the book. In the spirit of reciprocity I must say that if anyone who reviews my book needs their own book reviewed I will consider it.

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