For something new, I’m chatting with my lovely agent, Linda Tate (pictured below), about my near-future romantic suspense novel, Birthright, which has already received some great reviews. To celebrate, I’m off on a blog tour starting January 8. I’ll tweet and Facebook the stops. Feel free to visit and comment to win a download of the book and a personal authorgraph.
LINDA: to help things along I’m launching a contest for the best review of Birthright posted anywhere online during January.
VALERIE: a contest means prizes, right? I’m thinking a date with Hugh Jackman.
LINDA: Me too, but being practical, I’m thinking $50 Amazon gift card from your publisher, Corvallis Press, and posting the winning review here for all to enjoy.
VALERIE: No Hugh, sigh. But this is a challenge. What do you think makes a good book review?
LINDA: I like to see the book details and cover photo up front, giving the reader a feel for the book without having to hunt for the information.
VALERIE: then show us what the book is about, without retelling the story or giving too much away. A review isn’t a plot summary.
LINDA: yes, for example I like the way fantasy author, Erica Hayes, calls Birthright a “romance with aliens and evil astronauts”, covering the key elements in a clever way. To grab me, a reviewer also needs to write about what they liked and didn’t like about the book, and why.
VALERIE: the blurb gives an overview of the story, but avoid spoilers. Using brief quotes is one way to give readers a taste of the author’s style.
LINDA: I like reviewers who write in their own style, as if talking to a friend. The reviewer’s excitement, or otherwise, should come through, a bit like when I read a new manuscript.
VALERIE: I like to know how well the reviewer thinks the author built the book’s world/setting. And did they relate to the characters enough to care about them.
LINDA: when I first read Birthright, I felt you brought characters such as Adam to life. He’s gorgeous and brilliant, but a Neanderthal around women. Having strengths and weaknesses makes him very real.
VALERIE: he’s one of my favourites, but then all the characters are. I like reviews that comment on the theme, what the book is really about, and whether it kept you reading to the end.
LINDA: and it helps to give the book a rating, whether as a ‘keeper’, with stars, coffee cups or whatever the site awards.
VALERIE: not every review has to cover every point, as long as they have the general idea.
LINDA: so reviewers, here’s your challenge – review Birthright and post the link (not the whole review) in the comment space below, or on Valerie’s timeline on http://www.facebook.com/valerieparv to win the $50 Amazon Gift Card. Good luck.
VALERIE: See you on the blog tour. Happy holidays and happy reading!
on Twitter @ValerieParv and Facebook
Read some reviews already up at http://www.valerieparv.com/birthright.html