The most exquisite Goodreads review… (and how to get one) for SBWC 2014

Greed.  It’s not a bad thing for a writer to have.  The kind of greed I’m talking about, is “the review.”   How on earth will you get them, and what will happen next?  Let’s face it, we want them, and we want good ones.  I’ll never forget the first time I saw feedback for something I had written.  It was at on a serial I did called “Man in the Moon.”  First of all, the genre I write in isn’t known for the feedback because it’s so secretive… it’s one of those reads that you don’t really discuss too much?

Along came “50 Shades,” and that changed everything.  Most of the writers I know in my genre are very serious and Literary with a capital L.  The jealousy was palpable over in my group at Erotica Readers and Writers Association.  How did she get all those readers?  I think our jaws dropped.  She was self-published at first.

One day I was floating around reading my friend Remittance Girl who has been an adept at Social Media for as long as I’ve known her.  She’s in Goodreads and I was happy to see what reviewers were making of her.  Feedback is what we crave as writers, maybe.  Someone had given her an animated gif review.  Did I ever want one after I saw that.  That’s the greedy part.  Facing your inner Hemingway.  Well I got one, so I’m going to tell you how.  It’s for my book “Gardenias.”  And you can see that here in Goodreads itself.

I spent a day in Goodreads looking around at groups and readers.  How do you find the audience for your genre?

Your audience is like you…

Go see what they read?  It’s in there.  I took one look at Shurrn and she had a Pinterest page linked to her.  I went and smiled.  I looked at her books.  I looked at what she said about herself…

“I am a professional reader of Erotica.”

How many people will you come across that say that?  In this lifetime?

I looked at the charm with which she was doing reviews full of animated gifs and art.  I think I fell in love with a new friend.  She was like a long lost little sister!

And then I asked.

And then I held my breath.   Because then the gravitas hit.

Waiting to see the review was pins and needles time.  I wept when I saw it, and as I saw it unfold.  I wished Ray Bradbury had seen Goodreads.  He would have loved it.  My words touched the reader’s mind.  My words were a work of art as they came back to me translated into a piece of art.  The core message came back to me. “Love.”  I had written LOVE on the page.  Shurrn showed me.

So, members of Santa Barbara Writers Conference… get yourself a Goodreads page.  The Librarians will help get all your published pieces in order.  I was able to tell my editor we were getting advance reviews for the new book I’m in this year, “Book Lovers” because I saw what was being said in Goodreads!

I figure, anybody who likes Anais Nin might like me?  So, go find her books and see who said what.  These might be people to ask for a review?

You will know the reader by the sample of books on his or her bookshelf, you really will.  There are groups you can join, and you can also check out the competition.  But I’ll tell you something?  If you ever meet a friend like Shurrn?  You’ll be the luckiest writer in the world.

5 thoughts on “The most exquisite Goodreads review… (and how to get one) for SBWC 2014

  1. I am humbled, Valentine.

    At their core, Professional Readers are really just big fans.
    We tend to specialize in one genre or sub-genre, and we share our love of books (and the talented authors who write them) with all of our followers.

    I actually have a lot to say on the topic of utilizing Professional Readers. I would love the opportunity to do a follow-up guest post here on your blog if you’re willing.

    All my love,


    1. Fixed teh links! I have no idea what went wrong but now they are to your GR page and also to your Bookworm Love pinterest! (all your pins are fab!!!) but when the writers I know see your Bookworm are they ever going to smile!


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