The Big Smoke soundtrack
In the seventh stop of my blog tour, I’m guest posting over at Charity’s Writing Journey about the soundtrack to The Big Smoke. Here’s a sneak peak…
Like many authors, I often use music to help get me into the right mood when I’m writing. I used this technique frequently when writing my debut novel, The Big Smoke, which is told from the perspectives of the two main characters, Seb and Ceara. Interestingly, I could only ever listen to music where the lead singer was the same gender as the character. (Strange, I know!). Read more…
The Insecure Writers Support Group (IWSG) and some early reader reactions to The Big Smoke
You might remember that as part of IWSG a few months ago, I posted about a fear I had. It went something like this:
“Now that I’ve decided to indie publish my first novel The Big Smoke, I’m faced with the fact that people everywhere around the world will be able to purchase my writing and then tell everybody else what they think about it. That’s AWESOME but it’s also FREAKING TERRIFYING.
I fear that, soon after The Big Smoke is released, my Amazon page will be swamped with bad reviews by people who absolutely hated my book.”
Well, I’m pleased to say that hasn’t happened yet. I do have a slight fear that they’re still coming, but some lovely reviews from early readers have helped to set my mind at ease. I thought I might share some snippets of these reviews with you. (Note: each of these reviewers received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.)
“I’m going to be honest here and say that originally I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read this. I wasn’t sure it was going to be “my thing” by the blurb. For that reason, it means a lot more when I say I REALLY enjoyed this… Cally did a wonderful job digging into some deep emotional topics in a realistic and believable way.” Charity Bradford (read the rest of Charity’s review)
“I received an Advanced Reader Edition of Cally Jackson’s debut novel, and I read it in just a few days. It was THAT good… The Big Smoke is a complex look into the lives of college freshman that tackles issues of body image disorder… abandonment, sex, relationships, and loss. This is a great book, and you would do good to read it for yourself.” Michael Offutt (read the rest of Michael’s review)
“Relationships, romance, drama, humour, heartbreak, coming of age–this book has a lot packed into it! It’s a long book. Not long in a this-story-is-dragging-on-forever-I-wish-it-would-end kinda way. No, no, no. Long in a I-scored-two-awesome-books-in-one kinda way!!” Rachel Morgan (read the rest of Rachel’s review)
“This book sneaks up on you, grabs you by the throat, and doesn’t let you go until the last page… The Big Smoke boldly sets itself against the current trend of shallow character development and over reliance on plot. What the reader finds instead is an organic development of connections, entanglements and emotional high stakes, which provide much food for imaginative reflection.” Mari Webb (read the rest of Mari’s review)
“I don’t normally review books, and if I was going to review a book it would have to be one I was crazy in love with. THE BIG SMOKE definitely didn’t disappoint… What I loved most about this book was how distinct Seb’s and Ceara’s voices were. Sometimes with books written from a multiple POV it’s very hard to differentiate bewteen the charcaters, but in Cally’s novel the voices were not only very different but very authentic.” Tracey Joseph (read the rest of Tracey’s review)
How awesome is that?! I’m so unbelievably happy that The Big Smoke is connecting with readers – which leads nicely into the next topic I wanted to cover…
A competition idea – 50 Amazon reviews for a $50 book voucher
So many people say that reviews are one of the driving factors behind a book’s success. And while I’ve been overjoyed to receive the reviews I have, so many other people have dropped me a line on Facebook, Twitter or email to say how much they enjoyed The Big Smoke, but they don’t get around to actually reviewing it (which I totally understand – writing a review take time and mental energy). However, I thought maybe I offered up a little incentive, they’d decide it was worth their while!
It’s still just an idea at this stage, and I’m keen to hear your thoughts about it. Here’s a bit more info about what I’m thinking:
- Reviews do NOT have to be positive. Anyone who takes the time to write a considered review of 100 words or more can enter.
- People do not have to have a blog to enter. Reviews are to be posted on Amazon (as well as anywhere else people would like to post them) so ANYONE can enter.
- The winner can choose which book seller they would like to receive their $50 gift voucher from (as long as I can buy it from Australia).
- I will set a time limit of six months on the competition. If I don’t receive 50 reviews in six months, the competition will be cancelled.
- People who have already posted reviews on Amazon will be automatically entered into the competition so they’re not ruled out for being my early supporters.
I’m quite excited by the idea because I LOVE hearing the reactions that The Big Smoke has prompted from people, even if they’re not so glowing! There are a few risks though. These are the ones that immediately spring to mind:
- Am I just asking for negative reviews by putting this out there?
- Although I will be very clear that all reviews (as long as they don’t contravene Amazon’s guidelines) are eligible to win, perhaps it could come across like I’m trying to solicit positive reviews.
So… what do you think? Good idea? Terrible idea? Considerations or other angles I haven’t thought of? I’m really keen to hear your thoughts.
And don’t forget to check out The Big Smoke soundtrack over at Charity Bradford Writes!