The main thing I miss about being published by Random House and other mainline publishers is having my books automatically reviewed in all the important places: Kirkus, Publisher's Weeky, and Booklist. Because I always got great ones! And they were widely publicized for book buyers to read. I can get nostalgic thinking of those times my NYC editor called in excitement because "our" book had received a starred review in Publisher's Weekly or a diamond in Kirkus.
So yeah, I miss that. Because you cannot get a self-published book reviewed. I tried mightily with Accidental Addict. Nada. So I didn't bother with Wedding in Yangshuo, except to send it to the Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards, knowing that even if it didn't win, I might get a bit of a positive "blurb" out of the promised critique.
So here it is, a slightly condensed version of the flattering comments written by an actual human being entirely unknown to me who read and liked my book and gave it top ratings in all six categories:
"Gorgeous realism and reflection. Well done. Author excels at illustrating settings, and breathing sensory details into them. Dialogue is fresh and natural….fascinating elements of Chinese culture and the bride's family's values. Pace is lovely, as the author's instinct for structuring the story shines, and we spend just the right amount of time in each scene. There are no lulls in the middle, as can sometimes affect narrative. Such a lovely exploration into another culture, tied together with unforgettable interactions, questions about cultural norms and history, parental hope and optimism. Author's writing voice has great energy and positivity, and she has devoted great time and care to enlivening and layering all other characters as well. Beautiful crafting."….Judge, 25th Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards
It's very nice for me to read this. Maybe I should get the Award for Best Review of a Book Ultimately Read by the Fewest Number of People!