Sunday, February 20, 2022

The First Read

As authors we’re often put in an enviable position – we get to read books ahead of publication because we’re asked to provide comments for other authors to use as blurbs, or as early reviews. Do you approach “early reading” differently than the way you read already published books on your TBR pile?

Brenda Chapman starting off the week.

First, let me say that I know how difficult it is for an author to ask another author to read an unpublished manuscript with a view to giving a recommendation. Everyone is so busy and it feels like an imposition to even ask. The other piece is that what if the author doesn't like your book? How devastating would that be!

So, for those brave souls who get up the courage to request an author read their work, trust that your book will be read respectfully and with a positive mindset. I've been asked several times over the years to give an advance blurb and always have moved the manuscript to the top of my reading pile. I read with a view to enjoying the story rather than to criticizing it.

I've learned over the years that my taste is not always the same as other readers', and this tempers my opinion if I'm not completely entranced. Some books on the bestseller or award lists are not my cup of tea. The enjoyment of a book is subjective. Sure, the writing needs to be good, but even this can be debated. I can name some bestsellers that other authors and reviewers found to be substandard. 

I guess where I'm heading with this blog is to say that writing is difficult, selling books is difficult, and rejection is difficult. These obstacles are balanced by the supportive and generous writing community that works to lift each other up. If writing a positive review or blurb helps another writer to gain a toehold in the market, then I'm happy to do so. I'm also grateful when an author I admire takes time away from their own work and does the same for me.

My latest book, Blind Date, a Hunter and Tate Mystery is due for release March 1st, and I mustered my courage to ask a few fellow authors for a review. I've been blessed with their words and copy a couple of lines below in case you're in the market to start reading a new series.

Blind Date is an absolute page turner and a promising debut for Ella Tate: blogger,
crime reporter and scrappy fighter with a heart as big as a punching bag. This is Brenda Chapman at her best. - Tim Wynne-Jones

When I settled back with Blind Date by acclaimed author Brenda Chapman, I only meant to read the opening chapters, but I ended up reading late into the night. It was that good. - Dietrich Kalteis

This riveting read offers edge-of-your-seat tension as you fear for the complex characters. Prepare to be up all night. - Mary Jane Maffini

Blind Date is a captivating thriller, well-paced, and full of unique characters and twists and turns. - Karen Grose


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Dietrich Kalteis said...

Well said Brenda. And all the best with Blind Date.

Brenda Chapman said...

Thanks so much, Dietrich. I'm so pleased that you enjoyed the book:-)