15 Oct Before the Snow
Good Saturday morning.
Ann Shea, owner of Mill Street Books, sent a couple of pics to me from my talk at the Almonte Library last week. Ann bought Mill Street Books a year and a half ago, smack in the middle (or maybe beginning) of the pandemic, so a huge love for books and a large leap of faith. If you’re ever in Almonte, be sure to stop in her shop and pick up a book or two. Might even be a nice destination drive on a beautiful autumn afternoon! Also a great idea to wander a bit further down the street and buy an ice cream from the kiosk – some of the best around.
I completed another edit of When Last Seen and worked on a chapter synopsis and character list of the first four chapters for book three to refresh my memory and get myself organized before moving forward. I managed a page or two of new text and will start ramping up. The audiobook for When Last Seen is coming along too as Heather Williams settles in to the story and characters. It’s very cool to hear my words read aloud.
So I know you’re probably seen authors on social media ask readers to post reviews on Amazon or Goodreads or any other site that takes reader feedback. The question is: do these reviews make a difference? Goodreads is essentially a reader forum – readers talking to other readers, sharing their thoughts on a given book and making recommendations. Based on the number of people who are on Goodreads and the activity, this site has a lot of weight. However, some of the reviews and ratings can be brutal and even best-selling authors receive negative, one-star ratings, but savvy readers know to read between the lines. I’ve been fortunate and have over 14,000 ratings for my books, indicating a solid base of readers motivated to give their opinions.
As for Amazon, I recently read that 50 ratings/reviews moves a book up in their algorithm and means it gets more exposure and marketing. Blind Date has 49 ratings/reviews – 1 shy of the required 50! If you’ve read Blind Date and have a minute to post on Amazon, I’d be mighty thankful. Reviews and ratings honestly do make a huge difference. And while I never comment on reviews, good or less so, I always read and appreciate them. Here is a snippet from the latest Blind Date reader review on Amazon:
Brenda Chapman’s new book, Blind Date, is a bit of a feast, and an enjoyable one that left me wanting more. My favourite part, while maybe somewhat aside from the meat of the matter, was the evocative prose the author used to describe Ottawa, my home town … Chapman nails the description—that’s Ottawa alright—but she adds a gritty, shadowy feel that makes it seem like I’m seeing it for the first time, underbelly and all.
For those who followed Chapman’s previous series, the Stonechild and Rouleau mysteries, you may be sorry not to see these investigators again, but don’t worry, Ella and Tate, promise to be every bit as interesting. Chapman demonstrates again her skill in developing characters every bit as full as they need to be. Even though they really only start to get to know each other in this novel, you can sense the seeds that Chapman plants for their relationship to be friendly but fraught. Ella Tate is prickly in all the right ways.
It’s beginning to have the feel of winter around the corner. I’ve been cleaning out the garden, emptying flower pots and putting away outdoor furniture in preparation for … snow, which could be coming later this week in Ottawa if the meteorologists have it right. Summer came and went much too quickly this year. This is a good time to stock up on some books for those long winter evenings 🙂 Have a good day, everyone!