From the Author


Having read my blog, you might have noticed a section listing what I have read so far this year. While it is not a particularly popular part of the blog, I have maintained it until now because I saw value in doing that.  I had hoped to get some recommendations of what I could read and maybe even discuss books with some people.  I have had some great conversations in bookstores and on public transport talking about books.  Sadly this really hasn’t happened.

In the previous year, I merely listed the books and included a picture of the covers for the month. This year, until quite recently, I wrote something about the books I read. I wouldn’t call them book reviews, but rather, musings on the books I read.

Last week I read Running with Raven by Laura Lee Huttenbach. I grabbed this book from the new pile at the library.  I read the back and thought it was worth a read.

This time, rather than write anything about it, I sent a message to the author on her website. I am a big believer in feedback.  I am feeling pretty encouraging these days.

Today, she wrote me back. Mostly, she asked me to help her promote her book on Amazon and Goodreads.  The thing is that she ended with a comment about enjoying my comment.  I could be cynical and see it as just a form letter and all part of the grand marketing scheme.  However, I am choosing to see it in a more positive light.  A Perfect light, if you will.

As for the book, I enjoyed it.  I would also recommend it for its inspiring message.


About Anthony

I am: equal parts rebel, romantic and shockingly average Joe. a writer trapped inside of an ESL teacher's body. an introverted attention seeker. a teacher who hopes one day to be called "Captain, my Captain." an intellectual who can do some very dumb things. a person whose Japan experience, despite being so long ago, still exerts a strong influence upon him. a lover of books, music, beer, hockey and Pizza.
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4 Responses to From the Author

  1. You are the kind of reader every author wants! I know myself that as an author, hearing back from a reader of one of my books makes my week. I’m sure this author is thrilled by your comment. And unfortunately, all authors these days do almost need to beg to get a review on Amazon or Goodreads. It really makes a difference in how we reach other readers.

    • Anthony says:

      I am always happy to write positive letters or comments to people who have pleased me. I have called up companies to tell them that I liked their products (the used to give me coupons). So, if I can contact the author, why not.
      As for Goodreads…..I did make an account, but I didn’t really get into it and have only looked at it once.
      I have written probably a hundred reviews for Amazon, but those were all for products that I have actually purchased from Amazon. In this particular case (and most involving books) I borrowed the book from the library.
      I will probably get around to writing the review for Amazon…..sorry, mostly just thinking aloud.

  2. Dear Anthony,

    Thank you for your shout-out here. It made me smile. I wanted to let you know that I typed every word of my response to you, and I didn’t use a form letter when I wrote:

    “Thank you so much for your kind words on Running with Raven. I’m delighted to hear it held your attention and that you enjoyed the story.

    If you wouldn’t mind, it would be a great help if you could post a short review–perhaps exactly what you wrote to me–on Amazon and Goodreads. Those are super important to book sales and success, and I’d really appreciate it.

    Regardless, your note brightened my day, and I was grateful to hear from you.

    Warm regards,

    Laura Lee / White Lightning :)”

    One of my favorite essays ever written about writing is George Orwell’s Why I Write. In it, he says one reason he writes is to “push the world in a certain direction.” I don’t know many writers who write for the money. So far, I’ve not found a way to pay rent by writing books alone. But my desire is that readers connect with the stories I tell in whatever way that serves them—be it an escape, entertainment, connection, inspiration, humor, perspective, history, hope—you name it.

    Honestly, it is embarrassing for me to ask people to write a review. A kind word from you or other readers should be enough to make my job emotionally fulfilling. But we depend on readers for our stories to spread beyond our personal circles–not because we make lots of money, but because we hope our stories find an audience that likes them. I appreciate your consideration in writing the review—or not writing the review—and wish you all the best with your own writing pursuits and ESL teaching (I’ve paid some of the bills with that for many years myself!).

    I’d just hate to think you’d be tempted by cynicism on my behalf, because I’ve got nothing but positive vibes for you . . .

    Fist bump,

    Laura Lee

  3. Anthony says:

    As I wrote, I was, and am, choosing to see it in a positive light. I do appreciate your writing and clarifying your intentions and thoughts. I didn’t really think it was a form letter. I was just trying to find a way to frame that blogpost and that is what I came up with. Maybe I should have gushed like a fanboy.
    As for cynicism….I’ve got enough of that to open up my own Cynicism Emporium, but it does not come from you.
    I am sure it is tough to get your books noticed these days. Most of the bookstore marketing seems to be directed at teenage girls and their love of vampires and dystopian futures. I was happy to write a review, in my own style. It’s a little short. I hope it helps. It’s under the What I’ve Read section of this blog as well as Amazon Canada.
    As you can see by the other commenter, you are not alone in needing to stimulate business. I am unaware of the pressure to “sell” ones books, though I hope to be made aware some day. It must take a lot of energy. I hope your publisher stands by you.
    I certainly hope you are getting the positive vibes I am sending. I am definitely getting them from you.
    This response is a bit rambling because it is a) way past my bed time b) I haven’t prepared my lunch for tomorrow yet and my mind is dwelling on it as well as trying to rationalize skipping it and going to Chipotle tomorrow. c) I am engaged it several epic Words With Friends battles against my sister, and a couple of friends/acquaintances from high school.
    Good night and I hope the book is successful. I was at my library again today (the book I was reading was disappointing and I needed something to read on my daily commute–any recommendations?) and I noticed that your book had been checked out by someone.

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