I was in a coffee lounge having morning coffee with a group of friends when a woman I had met briefly before came up to me.
‘I’ve read two of your books now, and I really enjoyed them,’ she told me.
You might think that’s not uncommon for an author to hear, but for me it changed a pleasant outing into a special morning. To be told your work has given a reader pleasure is the ultimate satisfaction for any writer.
It made me think about the importance of book reviews, for both readers and writers.
For readers, an assessment by someone else who has read a book, showing their like or dislike of a story, can be a helpful guide in choosing whether a book is worthy of the investment in time takes to read it. Of course, a book review is subjective – no book can please every reader. But it is a signpost, pointing in one direction or another.
For a writer it is also a guide. Do readers like my work? Do they hate it? The answers to that question can make or break a writer’s confidence. For a novice writer it is acutely important.
I remember well when my first book, Inheritance, was published. I had written it and re-written it many times, until it was as good as, I believed, it could be, but as a beginner in the world of writing and publishing I was full of doubt. Was it any good? I had been fortunate to find a publisher willing to take a chance on an unknown writer, but what would the world of readers think of my offering? This was my big test. Could I really write? It was with trepidation that I waited for the first review. When it came, from Aussie Authors, I was shocked.
I reprint the review here:
Inheritance – by Kate Loveday is listed as a “romance mystery novel yet the book is so much more.
It is the story of young Cassandra Taylor who inherits a cattle property from her uncle. The property – Yallandoo – in Northern Queensland, though suffering from the long-term effects of the drought, is in dire need of Cassie’s wholehearted efforts to keep it self-sustaining.
The male interest – Mark Pierce – is a man who comes with his own set of personal issues and a child in tow while attempting to woo Cassie into selling him Yallandoo for his own business development purposes.
If the story ended there it would be a typical romance novel yet the author has incorporated so much more into this book. Apart from Cassie’s childhood memories and emotional bond with the property and the staff who run the cattle station, the girl has a feel for the land, the rainforest areas, the aboriginal heritage and the descendants who still remain, now working for Yallandoo.
With lots of characters, each with their own personality, perspective, and in some cases – agendas, Kate has done a terrific job of weaving them all together.
Overall I found the book compelling. Kate Loveday has a wonderful talent for getting into each and every character’s head and telling the story from their point of view. The different twists and turns in the story retain the reader’s interest while not all the outcomes are as one would expect!
A very believable story; one that draws the reader in and leaves them feeling as though they have not only met these people but have really managed to get to know them all, very well.
With her first novel ‘Inheritance’ Kate Loveday has created a fantastic read. I for one, applaud her wonderful talent. Great work! Can’t wait for her next book! I give it 5 Inkwells. Reviewed by Sarah Cook
I had never expected such a glowing reception!
This review gave my confidence the boost it needed, and encouraged me to continue writing. I have always been grateful that Sarah Cook took the time to read and review my book. It encouraged me to continue down the path of writing, whch has brought me so much pleasure and satisfaction. I(nheritance went onto receive an ‘honourable mention’ in the Hollywood book awards 2013)
So next time you read a book that you enjoy, perhaps you will take the time to write a review. It could mean a great deal to another reader – or an author.