I currently have 20 customer reviews of Catskinner’s Book on Amazon, and I am very impressed with them. The fact that a bunch of people, most of whom I don’t know, took the time to write out their thoughts on my work is extremely gratifying. Some liked the book a lot, some didn’t care for it, but they all were moved enough to sit down and tell the world about it. People care about what I write. I can’t tell you how pleased that makes me.
Reading over them (oh, like you don’t sit down and read your reviews over and over again?) two points stand out.
- Character Is King. Catskinner’s Book is James’ story, and if people like James, they like the book. The reviews from people who didn’t like the book all mention not being able to relate to James as a character. This mirrors my own experience as a reader–I need a person to care about, and if I don’t get it, then it doesn’t matter what else a book has. Fortunately, more people seem to like James than to dislike him.
- Weird Is Good. Nearly all of the reviews mentioned the originality of the universe positively. A few reviewers mentioned being confused by it, but even they said that they appreciated the fact that I made a deliberate effort to avoid the standard science fiction/fantasy tropes.
Now, I’ll admit that I was betting on both of these factors when I wrote Catskinner, and I am working on deepening both the character and the world in Cannibal Hearts. It’s really good to get so much feedback from readers confirming it.
Okay, so tomorrow MzSusanB and I hit the road at sometime before the crack of dawn. I’ll have my Kindle with me, but I don’t know how much networking I’ll do on vacation. So I’ll probably catch you all on the flip side some time early next week.