I’m trying not to become a nuisance with self-promotion, but it’s difficult. This is all exciting and I feel more like a real author than I ever have. Before I was kinda faking it. But, hey, with an author page up on Amazon and several other sites, and with two books scheduled to hit this year, I feel like the marginal effort has finally paid off. Becoming an adroit faker, I’ve learned, is an important life skill.
Self-promotion is a big part of this whole authoring thing. Unless you’re signed with a major publishing house, which is about as likely to happen as Georgia schools staying open when there’s snow in the forecast, much of the promotional work falls to the author. Getting reviews is crucial. Best I can tell reviews posted anywhere on the internet are important, especially Amazon because of metadata, algorithms, and other stuff I don’t understand. There’s also Goodreads and other social media book sites that solicit member reviews. So keep this in mind when you stumble upon a good read: your posted review helps potential readers as well as the author.
My anxiety over waiting for Make It Right to finally make it into the world is alleviated by favorable advance reviews that are coming in. Let me explain. Before a book is officially released, galley proofs or advance reader copies (ARCs) are produced and sent to potential reviewers. These advance copies are not the finalized version of the book and may (probably) contain a few errors and formatting glitches. I know mine did (do). The fact that a reviewer is reading an imperfect version of your soon-to-be realized vision is disconcerting, not to mention the possibility (albeit slim) that he or she may not even like the book! These are issues real authors have to deal with in hopes of generating buzz.
The buzz grows louder as reviews roll in, like this one from “over.the.edge,” a LibraryThing reviewer:
The harsh realities of life explored in this anthology bring life to the power of our choices, our own resilience and the spirit within us all. Ron Yates is a wildly talented writer whose stories I welcome. Wonderful stories.
This excerpt is from Wendi Berry’s kind review:
In the Eastern hills of Alabama, abandoned barns and houses invite lurid inspection, and Yates’s characters inhabit them. Perhaps the most eerie of the stories is “Spooky House,” where the narrator’s companion Jack convinces him to enter the house where four people were killed and burned. Instead of the house’s spirit trapping them inside like Amityville or a hotel like The Shining, what the narrator can’t stop recalling are what his companion accrued from the dead brothers. …
Here’s one more from the blog (Discursus) of Jessica Upshaw Glass:
Yates’ characters are great because they are — most of them — very typical Southern blue-collar folk who are fully realized enough to resist being typecast. Some of the stories, “Inertia,” “I Sank the Mandolin,” and “Barbecue” come to mind, turned my thoughts immediately to their kinship with Denis Johnson’s writing. There’s something about the dark, slightly unhinged quality of the characters, the gritty and visceral writing, that speaks to the connection. If a slightly less drug-addled Johnson character lived in rural Alabama, he’d be here in these pages.
As you see, the buzz is building. Soon it will sound like the humming symphony of night creatures heard from a rural Alabama back porch in summertime. You, dear reader, can be a part of the music. After you read Make It Right, please post a review, on Amazon and wherever else strikes your fancy. It doesn’t have to be long, fancy, or “literary”; just share your impressions of the book. If you can’t wait till the April 15 release date, let me know and I’ll send you an ARC, (regrettably a PDF file as I am all out of physical copies).
Thanks, and keep reading and posting those reviews for all of your favorite authors!