This week I had the pleasure of chatting back and forth with the lovely Kelly, the very first reviewer from the United Kingdom to read and review my fiction novella "Love & Wrath: The Beginning". Insert indie writer scream here --> ________ Okay, in my defense I don't always go straight away to the groupie response, but this first book of the series has only been out for about 2 and 1/2 months and God has seen fit to accelerate the progress of this book at lightning speed. AMEN... for real. So, I suppose I should not have been overly surprised when Kelly turned out to be a sweetheart and very considerate of how I felt about her review before she posted it for the world to see. Tender, kind, and giving people seem to be on overflow these days in my life. Again, AMEN.
NEVERTHELESS, I had a few "raised eyebrow" moments when reading the review. Is it against protocol to review the reviewer? I don't know, but I mean absolutely no harm in my commentary. So, I get the e-mail with the proposed review and I start reading immediately so that I can digest the write-up that's going to make all of Europe want to buy my book. Welll... let's just say I have a few "issues" right away. "Story of Lily... middle-aged woman..." WHOA! Really, Kelly? My characters are all in their EARLY thirty's. I'm not one to quibble over minor details, but if you feel that thirty-something is "middle-aged", you may be an American after all. Seriously, I thought we were the only ones who believe that life is a steady decline after twenty-five.
Moving on... I'm loving that her summary is so detailed. She really did read the book! Awesome. Then I get to the section on why the book doesn't get a full five star rating. I still have no worries because I already know that the five star review from anyone other than loved ones and friends is a RARE species indeed, although I have been blessed with a few from readers that I truly did not know. So, reading on, I discover that one reason I'm short of a full five is because of "minor spelling errors". Aww, come on, Kelly! Cut me a break! I edited this book myself and clearly MS Word's spellchecker was off duty that day. Besides, I didn't say anything about the "independAnt" that I saw used in your review. Irony!
Then, apparently my dear Kelly, as a reader, does not enjoy third person. Fair enough, but I have been experimenting with writing in first person and let me tell you, it's not easy! Well, for me anyway... Finally, my "prose could have done with a little more polish." I'll take that. I'm a beginner and I fully expect to make rookie mistakes for a while. Overall, though, the book got 4 out of 5 stars and a "would try the author again" because "it shows great potential." Excellent. A second look is a wonderful gift to a writer. So, if Kelly from the UK gave the book four stars, why the title of this blog?
Well, let's let Kelly explain herself: "Typically a 4 star review here translates to 3 stars on goodreads, amazon and smashwords..." YIKES! So does that mean when you go to those sites to enter your review, I should expect to see three stars instead of four!?! Ok, Kelly... have it your way, but I'm only going along with this because you were the first and because of that, I hold you dear to my author heart. Seriously though, as a writer, I would be more than happy to send any book I have written to her for review. She was prompt, fair, honest, and extremely considerate. I give her a sincere THANK YOU and a "Cheers" from across the pond. Oh and by the way, when I checked Amazon UK, I saw four stars. "Cheers" indeed!
WRITERS: To contact Kelly for a UK review, go here: http://indieebooks.co.uk/ or here: http://indieebooks.wordpress.com/
UK READERS: Give me a try! I'm cheap... http://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Wrath-The-Beginning-ebook/dp/B005F4FNE4