A plea for reviewers – can we open up a dialogue about self-published books?

Thanks to Roz Morris and Nail Your Novel. Much of this strikes a chord, so I’m sharing her post with you here. It’s long, but well worth a read whether you’re a reader, blogger, reviewer, or author.

Nail Your Novel

So I find a lovely-looking review blog. The posts are thoughtful, fair and seriously considered. I look up the review policy and … it says ‘no self-published books’.

Today I want to open a dialogue with reviewers. If you have that policy, might you be persuaded to change it? Or to approach the problem in a different way?

I used the word ‘problem’. Because I appreciate – very well – that in making this policy you are trying to tackle a major problem. Your time as a reviewer is precious – and let me say your efforts are enormously appreciated by readers and authors alike. You get pitches for many more books than you can read and you need a way to fillet out the ones that are seriously worth your reading hours. A blanket ban is a way to fend off a lot of substandard material and save you…

View original post 1,510 more words

My first time

Yes, it’s my first time.  My first post. Here, that is.

Although I’m a doctor, don’t expect this blog to cover worthy health topics. The one on thehealthcounter.com does that.  Today I won’t be going on about the BRCA1 gene, measles outbreaks, a vaccine for Dengue fever, the dire state of the National Health Service, or why you should have a smear test (though obviously you should).

This baby blog is my sabbatical from medicine:  a space to share what I’m writing and doing, and for you to tell me what you’re up to. But please don’t ask me about your fungal toenail infection.

I’ll be writing a bit about my novel One Night at the Jacaranda which I started a couple of years back. It’s hard not to now that it’s become part of my life.

While it’s completely fictional, the characters are real to me.  Like my three sons, they don’t do rules. They get up to things I don’t want them to, such as saying things they shouldn’t and jumping into bed with the wrong people.  But they’re looking for someone special, and everyone makes mistakes.  I’m talking about my Jacaranda characters, not my sons.  I’m sure they do some of those too, but they’re wise enough not to tell the world about it.

Characters do things because they want to (or they did at the time, as when getting a tattoo after a few drinks too many).   In much the same way, I’m blogging because I want to.

This won’t be Danny Buckland’s blog FuturePills. Or Ben Goldacre’s.  Or Joanna Penn’s.  It’s mine,

I’m on the steep part of the learning curve and I don’t mind borrowing crampons to help me stay on.

It all takes me back to my first day at high school. Remember tiptoeing around in squeaky new shoes, trying to work out who the cool kids are, and smiling at everyone in case they want to be your best friend?  Yes, I am cringing that much.

Or maybe it’s more like a first kiss, that first love.  As daunting as it is, you still throw yourself into it.  I think I’ve taken all the precautions though you can’t insure against getting dumped or your heart being broken.

So let me know if you’ve got some great tips on blogging. And please be gentle, cos after all it’s my first time.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA