They say an author lives and dies by reviews. I don’t know if this is 100% true. I know several authors, some of whom have gotten less than favorable reviews (read: “out-and-out pannings”), yet they are still alive. At least they are still writing, so I’m going out on a limb and saying that their reviews have not killed them.
This post will share with you some of the review’s I’ve received, both for Welcome Home and for A Dark Clock.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I readily confess there haven’t been that many reviews posted thus far. That fact leads us to the second purpose of the post, which we’ll get to in due time. Also, it should be noted that I have, to date, not received any reviews from people I do not know, at least through Facebook, which is probably why I haven’t received any scathing, soul-crushing entries thus far, and according to the adage, at least, why I am still drawing breath. Nothing to die by yet. Final disclosure: A Dark Clock has, thus far, only received one review.
These are all honest-to-Pete reviews, culled from the electronic pages of Amazon.com (motto: “If we don’t sell it now, we will by 4 p.m. and the drone will drop it in your lap in time to watch Lester Holt”), and I’ve included links for you to read the originals, lest you think I’m making all this up.
Select Reviews for Welcome Home: Short Fiction
“I love this book! The characters in each story are brought to true life by Mr. Varengo’s fluent and descriptive writing. Every one of the stories conveys a range of emotions that are powerful and heartfelt. The author’s humor is sometimes sharp and sometimes subtle, but always delightful. My only complaint is that the book came to an end. I highly recommend this book, and anxiously await future volumes.” – Nanette Stine
“Welcome Home is an excellent collection of short fiction by author Scott Varengo. The strongest story is “The Terror,” which centers around a boxer trying for his big break at the sacrifice of everything else in his life. “The Great Gazoo” is a whimsical tale populated with a cast of colorful characters (I can’t say more without giving away spoilers), and “The Hunters” is a great tale of friendship and forgiveness. I look forward to reading more from the talented Mr. Varengo!” – Erik Therme
“This book was fantastic. The first story really touched me and was written how people actually think and not an idealized inner monolog. Highly recommend.” – Dustin Pease (aka cool)
“A great debut! In the book description, Welcome Home promises to ‘leave the reader with a wide range of emotions.’ And does it ever deliver. The author demonstrates excellent ability to render characters that appeal to something deep inside a reader, causing them to become invested in the narrative and making them actually care what happens! I look forward to more offerings from this fine writer.” – Craig Hart
“Welcome Home is an enchanting and engrossing group of short stories that draws the reader into different worlds inhabited by diverse, captivating people. The author is a skilled and proficient writer who has the ability to subtly put the reader into the minds and the essence of his richly developed characters. The stories are overflowing with pathos and I found myself having a visceral reaction to the events as they unfolded. I was so deeply affected by several of the stories that I was compelled to read them several times to enable myself to absorb the beauty of the writing and the depth of the story. I hope that Mr. Varengo enriches us with more of his writing in the future.” – Jeff Goldstein
And for A Dark Clock
“Dragon Riders of Pern meets The Earth Sea Chronicles with a little Madeleine L’Engle thrown in for good measure.
“Very readable yet with a depth that will sneak up on you. I have been enjoying this as part of my daily commute and have almost missed my station on several occasion. I feel like I have come to know Cerah and Slurr just as they have come to know each other, and accept the roles they will play in saving their world. My only complaint is that I have become so used to binge watching on Netflix and Amazon Prime that I hate the fact I have to wait for the next book. I expect great things to come.” – Eric Reiffenstein
That’s All, Folks!
To date, that is my scrapbook of reviews. Which brings us to that “second purpose” I alluded to above.
I may not actually live or die based upon reviews, but there is much more than vanity involved in having reviews posted on the selling portal. There are both quantitative and qualitative reasons why they are important.
Quantitatively, the more reviews a book receives on Amazon, the higher it will appear in searches, meaning it is more likely to be found, and if we extrapolate, more likely to be purchased, which I admit freely is a very big part of the reason I do this gig. I want people to read my work, and I want to make a little bread in the process. Call me, in the words of the Marxist yoga instructor, “A capitalist downward dog.”
Qualitatively, when someone does find the book, either on purpose or by some happy accident, they are likely to scan the reviews to see what other customers thought. Having some readers who were happy with the work post a review means future browser may take a chance on reading, and perhaps later reviewing, themselves.
So, I close with an appeal. If you have read either book and you can spare a few minutes, would you consider dropping by Amazon and writing a review of your own? I’m not soliciting praise, but rather honest opinions. It doesn’t have to be long, it doesn’t have to be worthy of the New York Times Book Review, it just needs to be your thoughts on my work.
And if you haven’t read them yet, why not click the “Purchase Books” link at the top of this page and start the process from there?
One thought on “Living and Dying (By Reviews)”
Ver optimistic and I love it. At the end of the day, as humans, we will do what we love. As writers, we will love doing it with critics or followers. Beautiful piece and inspirational 🙂