So I started doing this thing.
I got to the point where all my really good friends who had read The Book of Beings had written me reviews, and all my beta readers who were at all reliable had written me reviews, and there weren't that many reviews. Other people were buying my books, I could see that. But except for a few random readers, they weren't writing reviews, even the ones that had read the whole series.
This was a bit of a disappointment to me, and a place that many of us slightly naive first-time independent authors come to, I think. J.C. Mells has written about having this very same experience on her blog. Something tells me that she and I are not the only ones.
So I knew that if I wanted to get more reviews, I would have to do things besides what I was doing. (Mells herself gives a wonderful description on her blog of all the things she did to promote her wonderful books, which was invaluable to me in getting started.) And I did go ahead and do those rational, reasonable things, things that you would expect to have results. And they do seem to be gradually paying off.
But I also had this moment of realization. I mean, here I was, a person who had never bothered to write a review of a single thing in her entire life, but I wanted other people to write me reviews? I'm not quite enough of a narcissist to be able to ignore the irony there. It seemed to me that I needed not only to do the practical things, but that I also needed to shift my karma. If I wanted there to be more people in the universe who wrote reviews, I had to be one of them.
But it seemed to me that I would have to be completely open-hearted about it. I would have to go around writing reviews of other authors and leave them for them as gifts, free gifts, with no strings attached. (Raise your hand if you've been exposed to Barrington Bunny. Was that a twisted story, or what? I'm not talking about the part where he freezes to death in the snow!!! Okay?!!! Only the part where he leaves little presents for the other animals. But I digress...)
So that's what I've been doing. And it's been working out really well. More on that later. For now, I just wanted to get the concept out there...