Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Water in the Desert

I stumbled across this review for Game Quest the other day. It's always kind of delightful to come across reviews for my self-published work. Partly because I had no distribution model other than Amazon and my own site, so the chance of Game Quest being read, let alone reviewed, is very very small. Game Quest has kind of had a life of it's own. One of my first orders was to Abu Ghraib (yes, that Abu Ghraib - insert your jokes about my book being a good implement for torture due to its size, weight or content here) and though I've stopped promoting the book years ago, still sell ~3 copies a year on Amazon and the ebook version sells quite well - about 1 a month. Despite being the most daunting (for most people) of my books in both theme and size, it seems to have found some tenuous foothold in the underculture. Anyway, so it's extra great when you find out that someone read it and actually took the time to review the book. In this case it was particularly nice because I could tell that the reviewer engaged with the book, understood it on a deeper level and had some interesting things to say about the work.

I'm not sure what most author's motivations are for writing. Mine is a desire to communicate. I don't particularly enjoy the editing, the printing and, especially, the promotion that goes into translating a story from something cool in your head to something real on the page. All that effort is a LOT of work and the end goal is to present it to the world and hope to hear back from them on what they thought. I don't really care if it's good or bad (of course, good is preferable), I just like to hear what people thought to see how and if it engaged them. Reviews are my favourite part after coming up with the idea in the first place. It's like getting the chance to reread your book from the POV of a reader...and loving it, or excoriateingly tearing it to shreds. Which, in turn, makes the hardest part about being a small-beans author is you don't get a lot of that. But boy does that water in the desert taste good!

Incidentally, Zeus and the Giant Iced Tea also just got reviewed (huzzah!) by the University of Lethbridge Student newspaper, which you can read here.

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