Friday, August 12, 2011

Feature: The Reluctant by C.S. Splitter - Guest Blog!

Today, let's give a warm welcome to Mr. C.S. Splitter, author of The Reluctant. He has a wonderful guest post for us, talking all about folks like me - Review Bloggers!!  This is kind of the flip side of my guest post on his blog Wednesday.  (Hint, sure to go check that out too!)

If you missed my review for The Reluctant, go HERE!

Author Guest Post

"We Need Each Other"
By: C.S. Splitter

Last year, I finally got an idea that I thought was worthy of a book, The Reluctant.  That book is turning into a series called The Crayder Chronicles.  As I start to contemplate the marketing of that book and the series, I find myself running into this new phenomenon: The Internet Book Review Blogger! 

Imagine that you are a teenager.  You have worked odd jobs all year in order to be able to afford the car of your dreams.  It has a few small dents, a couple scratches, and the interior is a bit frayed, but it’s your car.  You love it.  You are proud of it.

Now imagine being that same teenager and when your friends see your new car, they fall down laughing.  They point out every dent and scratch.  They pick at the fabric on the seats and they don’t even want to go for a spin around the block.

Such a scenario would be crushing to a teen ego.  That same feeling is what an author risks each time someone decides to review their book.  They have put time, love, sweat, and maybe a few tears into producing something for the reader, and reviewer, to enjoy.

I am not asking for you, the reviewers, to go easy on authors.  If the story is dented, scratched, and tattered, you need to tell us.  More than that, you need to tell potential readers.  Reviewers keep writers honest.

To paraphrase a line from a great movie, you make us want to be better writers.

Indie authors are a special breed.  We have decided to put our work out there without the support of a publishing house.  Chances are that, initially, we were our own proof readers and editors.  We probably designed our own covers and wrote our own description blurbs.  Now we, not our non-existent agents, are soliciting you for a review.

Still, we ask no quarter.  “Good….for an indie author,” is no compliment.

I think most of us understand that there are a lot of bad indie books out there on the market.   The great thing about sites like Amazon, Smashwords, Journal Stone, and others, is that now ANYONE can publish a book. 

The bad thing about those sites is that literally anyone can publish a book.  There is no real quality control before publishing except that which we as authors impose on ourselves.  However, for the readers, the independent Internet reviewer is their only defense against some of the…stuff....that is produced by bad indie authors.

Along the way to helping those readers, reviewers can help authors.  In the short term, your reviews can lead to sales.  In the long run, your reviews lead us to try harder to be better at what we do.

The relationship between indie authors and reviewers is symbiotic.  Famous traditionally published authors are not asking blog reviewers for their opinions and well known literary critics aren’t beating down the doors of indie authors. 

We need each other.

So when you post that review, don’t cut the author slack because they are an indie.  On the other hand, don’t start off with the thought that indie authors only produce garbage.  Some of us work hard to compete with the big boys who have a publishing house behind them.  We have to work extra hard because we do just about everything ourselves.  We just want to be held to that same standard.  It’s up to the reviewer to hold us to the same standard.

Your reviews help the reader a bunch and the author a little.  If you really, really want to help an indie author, send them email.  Talk to them about what you liked and didn’t like about their book in detail.  Point out spelling, grammar, and story inconsistencies so the indie author can improve their work.

I believe we are on the cusp of a revolution in the publishing world.  Large publishing houses used to control the selection of available books.  No one cared about what a no-name blogger thought about a book.  But times, they are a changing.  The selection of books on the market nowadays is great and that’s a good thing.  Mostly.

The reviewer’s mandate is to be objective.  You do no favors to the author or the reader when you “try to be nice” about flat out mistakes.  In turn, the indie author does no favors to the reader or reviewer when they publish work that is sub par. 

As reviewers, you need us to produce work that is competitive with that of well-known, traditional publishing houses.  You want to be able to recommend the good stuff that no one else had heard of.  Yet.  We need you to get the word out about the good work that is being produced by competent indie authors.   

We are in this together.

You complete us.

C.S. Splitter is the author of The Reluctant available on Amazon,SmashwordsJournal StoneBarnes and Noble, and other internet. Look for book two, The Willing to be published November 2011.  Hisblog can be found at

Thank you so very much for hanging out with us Splitter!!!  You're the best!

I have read and reviewed quite a bit of Indie work, and I have come across some really terrific gems!  Don't ever discount an author or a book because some big name publishing house isn't attached to it!  Vive la 'Indie" Revolution!

C.S. Splitter will be interviewed on JournalJabberJournalStone’s super fun Blog Talk Radio show, co-hosted by yours truly, September 6th.  Tune into at 8PM CST to join in the madness!