Here’s Why Those Reviews Matter

If you go to Amazon.com to buy my book, the first thing you do is type the title into the Search bar.

“A Road To Joy”

One would expect to see my book. But here’s a screenshot of what you get:

Yeah. There are 6 (!!!) books (okay, one’s not even a book…) that come up in the search before mine does. And of the six of them, not one is an exact match for the search parameters. (That’s me, second row, third one from the left. Seventh, and the first exact match…)

You see, Amazon, and any other sales site for that matter, rank their products based on a number of factors. But when it comes to books, reviews are the key. And it doesn’t take many reviews for a book to get bumped up a few notches.

But here’s the real kicker. I’ve entered A Road To Joy into the 2019 Kindle Storyteller Contest. As contests go, there’s a huge popularity component to being recognized, or even considered for that matter. But with books, popularity is pretty much the point.

So in the end, those reviews matter. Telling friends about the book matters. Lending them your copy is a great way to share it – just remind them to leave a review. On Amazon if the book is purchased there. On A Road To Joy’s website if not.

The bottom line is, I’ve written lots of other stuff. But A Road To Joy is something that I honestly think is worthy of the recognition a contest of this magnitude would bring. So I’m pestering big time for your help. And it’s a good story. So I’m promising a great entertainment value in return.

With Overwhelming Gratitude,
Alex.

2 Easy Steps To Write A Great Review

So much of avoiding writing a review for someone’s book is the idea that you can’t write.

P-shaw…

It’s easy. It takes five minutes. And it is the single most effective way to support the author of a book you took the time to read. (Or maybe even didn’t finish…) Here’s the 2 – Yes, 2! – Steps to Writing a Review

First,

Find a link to the book/author’s review page. Chances are they’ve sent you an email. Or it’s right at the top of their website. Or it’s printed on the book itself. Reviews are gold. The publisher and author are going to make it as easy as possible for you to share your comments. This whole paragraph links to mine.

And Second,

Write a review. Not a report. Not an essay. Just tell them what you think about their book.

Use the 3-Word-Rule.

I loved it.” Or, “I hated it.” Or just the first three words that come to mind: “funny, sad, wow.

If you’re game, you could elaborate by answering why?
Why you loved it – I felt every word of this book, I’ve been there myself.
Why you hated it – I cried the whole time. Ugh.
Why someone else should read it – I want my mother/brother/husband/daughter to read it because they’ll understand me better.

That’s it! Quick, easy, painless, and a boon for an author who’s trying to change the world!

With Overwhelming Gratitude,
Alex.

It’s All About The Reviews!

Let’s put aside for a moment the fact that it’s unbelievably cool to hear what people think about something you think you aced.

Like this message from Dianne yesterday:

"I just finished your wonderful book for the 2nd time.  

"I loved it both times but the 2nd time I took longer to read it and it touched me in ways I missed during the first time. Thanks for sharing. Overwhelming Gratitude."
~ Dianne

I’ve discovered the Joy in hugging myself!

Anyway, to get a book out into the masses, an author and her publishing company have to spend gobs of money on advertising and marketing, tons of time travelling and planning, and every ounce of energy they have trying to get people who read the book to tell others what they thought about it.

No matter how you release a book, the end game is the same. Word of mouth is what makes or breaks a book. And because I am both tremendously proud of this work and I truly believe it’s meant to help people, I’m pushing for those reviews.

If you purchase your copy from Amazon, they’ll send you an email asking you for a review. Please save it for when you’ve finished reading A Road To Joy, and then use the link to share your thoughts.

If you get a copy from me, however, you can leave your review here on the website at REVIEWS. The website’s listed on the back cover of the book as well. (You can also copy your Amazon comments into the REVIEWS page here to really get your comments out there!)

And rest assured that the Gratitude I feel when someone takes the time to respond to my words is, to say the least, Overwhelming!

Alex.

People Are Talking!

Well. I’m a few weeks into Book Launch mode and the comments and reviews are now coming in. And I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Here’s a few examples:

“Alex, I had to read the first chapter to motivate me to finish the book I’m currently reading. I LOVE IT! You had me at ‘blasé what-the-fuckedness.’ I enjoyed meeting “her” and look forward to what she has in store for me! ~Norma

“Hi Alex. I can’t put A Road To Joy down. I am almost finished it. I have smiled, cried and laughed with almost every page.”
~Dianne

“I felt your pain, your anguish and your fear in your words (because it perfectly described how I too would feel if our roles were reversed) and although you’ve had to carry on without him for a few years now, I wanted to tell you how brave and strong I think you are… Writing this book was the most admirable thing you could do to honour him [Alex’s husband, Paul], and I feel incredibly privileged to have been able to learn of your journey.”
~Dana

“It has taken me a couple of days to speak to you after reading “A Road to Joy.” …Wow. Double wow!  I have always respected your ability to speak and write with clarity and emotion from the heart, but this novel spoke to my heart completely.  I felt like I was your shadow, experiencing all the heartbreak, angst, grief, questioning, anger, relief, calm, acceptance, joy – the kaleidoscope of feelings was almost overwhelming.   Thank you for being able to so eloquently express your “head space” these past few years.”
~Cathy

It’s getting pretty darned exciting!!

But marketing a book these days is a process, and I’d like to ask for your help….

Bottom line: A writer’s bread and butter is in the reviews.

Ideally, Amazon reviews. (You have to purchase a copy through Amazon to be able to leave a review there.) But also here, at http://ARoadToJoy.com/Reviews

Because word of mouth is everything. For the book to rank at all in the search engines, and within Amazon’s website, it all comes down to the number of reviews. So whether you liked the story a little or a lot, or hated it completely, please take a few minutes to just post a quick comment. As long or short as you want. As kind or ripping as you feel.

But so you know, when it actually comes right down to it, I really just want to know what you thought. And so does everybody else!

Thanks for this! And for telling others about it! And for lending your copy to someone else! And for connecting with me! It’s turning into an amazing journey – I thought The End was the end. Turns out it’s just the beginning!

With Overwhelming Gratitude,
Alex.

What A Crazy Month!!

So much has happened since we last spoke!

I took a quick trip to Watson Lake in Yukon. My Cracked Pots trusted me enough to tag along, and we had the trip of a lifetime. I couldn’t have asked for a better time, and the support of such incredibly great friends means more to me than even I could describe.

When I was there with my kids five years ago, I didn’t realize until too late that I should have left our license plate at the Sign Post Forest. My co-pilot simply decided that I would have to go back. I remember hmmphing at that, thinking, yeah, right…

My Cracked Pots.
They’ve given me so much, all I could give them was a book.
I love you man!

But then it showed up in the book. And it’s a turning point. It matters.

So I announced to the Cracked Pots that I was going this summer, and they promptly decided that, not only was it a great idea, but that they were coming along. The morning I sat there in a coffee shop, watching the five of us book our plane tickets to Edmonton, was one of the most surreal, emotional, and joyful days of my life. I’m pretty sure that, if there had been a dead body involved, they’d have not been swayed in the least.

7BROWNS finally find their home at the Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake YT

Five of us, in a 250 square foot RV with one tiny little bathroom, 3,800 km from Edmonton to Watson Lake, via Jasper, and back, ten days, and our friendship is cemented for life. I couldn’t be more grateful.

In the end, the plate is now there. Just like in the book. Right next to a horseshoe. With a huge sense of accomplishment, I felt like I’d come full circle and finished something I’d been working on forever, without ever realizing that I was creating something real.

The book is live. It’s really good. High praise considering that I am my toughest critic. Take a read through it. Let me know what you think. I still haven’t had a chance to do a Book Club with it and really dig deep. I’m dying here!! (There’s always someone in the room screaming ‘SPOILERS!!’)

It’s going to be a busy week. I have to move my mom into a new home – she’s been in hospital for weeks now and needs more care than I can manage. The busy of the task is keeping the emotion at bay. There’ll be time for tears and regret and forgiveness later. For now, there’s work to be done.

And the Cracked Pots are hosting a booth at Hamilton’s ArtsFest in Westdale this weekend. Stop by for a visit – check out our pottery and wares. And with any luck, my first shipment of books will be available for sale and signing! Fingers crossed on that count!!!

I’ll try to get in here with more pics and updates as we go, but if you don’t hear from me, you know where to find me. 😉

As much as the busy drives me nuts, it fuels me in ways that I find inspiring and energizing. Shout out if you need me! I’ll be the crazy broad with her hair on fire!

Talk soon,
Alex.