I always loved the concept that Jon Stewart called “A Moment of Zen.” Though his choices were almost always taken from the media of the moment, the idea can be used in a number of different ways.
My husband and I have a favorite hike just up the hill from us that includes a small branch (okay, twig) of the Appalachian Trail. There’s a pond at the end that sports pink waterlilies this time of year. We were up there today. So here’s your moment of Sunday Zen.
Readers of my latest Carding novel, Thieves of Fire, have been very generous in their praise on Amazon.com. I consider myself a fortunate writer, indeed.
I wanted to take a moment not only to acknowledge the praise but to let all readers know how very important reader reviews are to a writer and a writer’s career.
You see, reviews used to be the province of the media only, and publishers (and authors) lived and died by what the New York Times or Publishers Weekly had to say about their books. But that was back in the days when the publishing industry was monolithic, and what we now call “traditional” publishing was the only legitimate game in town.
But then Amazon opened up the review process, encouraging its members to voice their opinions about what they read. That’s when the tide started flowing in the readers’ direction, and now the power of reviews lies firmly in their court.
Here’s how this works: The quality of reader reviews (the number of stars given) has a definite impact on sales. How many of us are going to read a book with a one-star review?
But equally important is the NUMBER of reviews. Why? Because they foster links among books. For example, Thieves of Fire has been compared to works by Maeve Binchy and Alexander McCall Smith. The higher the number of Thieves reviews, the more likely it is that searches for books by Binchy and Smith will include links to Thieves.
And the more links, the more likely there are sales.
So if good books are important to you, then you need to support them by writing reviews on Amazon and elsewhere.
On behalf of all writers, thank you for taking the time to support us.
The berries of deadly nightshade may be bad for you but how many beautiful things are bad for you?
A bumble bee always strikes me as being aerodynamically impossible. But as this little one on comfrey in my garden will attest, they fly just fine, thank you very much.
Jay and I have kayaked on a number of ponds in Vermont and New Hampshire but we’ve never boated in a place that was SO GREEN as Shelburne Pond.
There was this algae throughout the pond. It swirled in the water and stained everything along the edge this amazing green color. Even the birds fishing in the water had green legs.
My husband and I discovered this great blue heron nest full of chicks on Grafton Pond a couple of years ago. We watched them for a long time, and then were rewarded because one of the parents showed up to feed them.
The chicks were HUGE and completely silent until the parent showed up. Then they raised a ruckus for attention by clacking their beaks. The half moon in Jay’s picture just makes this even more special.
It seems to me that the Joe Pye weed down along the river is taller than ever this year. It’s just towering over my head.