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Launch Day: The Bellbottom Incident

The Bellbottom Incident is now available both in paperback and on Kindle! You can find the book here in the US Kindle store, here in the UK store, and here in Canada. I’ve started to get some sales in Australia (*waves hello to Australians*) so I’m going to add that link as well.

Launch days tend to be somewhat of a bittersweet occasion. You’ve done all you can for the book and it’s now time to send it into the world and hope it finds its wings. That’s not quite true, of course, as there is still plenty that can be done and that needs to be done for the book — working on promotions, arranging giveaways, perhaps a book signing, and so forth. But mostly you’ve said good-bye to the characters, to the story.

That’s even more the case when it’s the last one in a series, as The Bellbottom Incident is; while there may be at least one short story to go along with the series, the three full length novels are done and it is time to clear the board and get cracking on that next idea.

So here’s hoping The Bellbottom Incident finds its wings. There’s already a nice 5-star review on Amazon to greet the book, and a giveaway happening on Goodreads. More to come!

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The Runestone Incident Release Day!

It’s finally here — release day for The Runestone Incident! This is the second book in the Incident series (and my third book in all). You might think that the long wait between the final proofs (mid-October) and release day (today!) would get easier with each successive book… but it doesn’t.
It’s always the same mix of nervous anticipation and itchy impatience. But that’s now over and Book 2 is out and available in these formats: trade paperback, ebook for your Kindle, tablet, or iPad, and audio book, as read by the immensely talented, Hugo-winning author Mary Robinette Kowal. (On a side note, I thought I’d throw Mary a curveball this time around by including a few Old Norse words in Book 2, but no — it turns out she speaks Icelandic, so Old Norse was right up her alley!)

In celebration of the release, 47North is doing a giveaway on Goodreads. Enter by February 24 for a chance to win one of 20 complimentary print copies.

The book has also gone up on NetGalley, where professional reviewers can request a digital copy. Near as I can tell (since I’m not really involved in the process), that includes book bloggers and also readers who regularly post Goodreads reviews, so if you fall into one of those two categories, it might be worth looking into.

Cheers,
Neve

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I’m a Writer, not a Critic

Some people give out book ratings like they’re candy. I’m not one of them. A hundred or so books sit on my virtual shelves on Goodreads. I’ve written a handful of one-sentence reviews, but so far I’ve only given a single rating — for an audio book. Stephen Fry reading the Harry Potter books. Phenomenal. Five stars. Easy-peasy to give it a rating. Same with movies — I’ve rated dozens and dozens of movies on Netflix, four stars, two stars, five stars, not interested, whatever. No problem.

Books not so much. It’s worked for me so far.

But the other morning I awoke to this on my Goodreads author dashboard:

It’s the new recommendations feature. In the large gray square it points out that I’ve rated only one book (the Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter audio set; Goodreads treats books and audio books the same), and to the right it tells me that I need to rate at least 19 more (twenty being apparently the minimum threshold) to get personalized recommendations from the site.

Maybe it would be different if I’d grown up with the everyone’s-opinion-counts-equally-and-should-be-heard system, but I didn’t. The hundred books on my virtual shelf are only a sample, a sliver of my reading life, the books I happened to catch sight of on my (real-life) bookcases in the past few months and thought, that’s a good book, I should it to my Goodreads shelf. If I added all my P.G. Wodehouses, that be, like, another hundred books right there.

Besides, how do you rate a book you read years ago and remember fondly but suspect that rereading it now that you’re an (ahem) older, wiser adult might change your view of it?

How do you rate books by fellow authors?

For that matter, how do you rate a book in the first place? I think I’m too close to them. I rate movies easily because I’m not in the movie industry. Does anyone expect George Lucas to rate films? (Actually, I have no idea. For all I know, he might.)

By the way, I like all the books on my Goodreads shelf. Why go to the effort of adding them otherwise?

Goodreads recommendations are a welcome feature, but I don’t think that in itself will nudge me into assigning ratings. One thing might, however. It’s not that “1” that sits in the large gray square above. It’s the unintended grammar gaffe in it: “You’ve rated 1 books so far.” That will drive me nuts in about a week, and I’ll have to rate at least one book to change the “1” into a “2”. Once I’ve done that, well…