Along with every other aspect of the publishing process, reviews are now online and global. Gone are the days of the author and agent taking a respected reviewer out for a slap-up lunch, sliding a copy of the latest tome across the table during post-prandial snifters, and then waiting for a few weeks for an erudite and glowing review to appear in one of the weightier newspapers. Now anyone can set themselves up as a reviewer, and some are so popular (or perhaps deluded – hard to tell how many take them up on the offer) that they charge for reviews. I talked a little about this in an earlier post. As an author I am not keen on paying for reviews – it seems to me to remove the objectivity of the arrangement. Professional reviewers (those of the post-prandial snifter) used to be paid by the publisher of the review, which seems a much better arrangement.
As I mentioned, I am always on the hunt for suitable reviewers. Many are rather sniffy about self-published books, but I found one that was positively encouraging: the Midwest Book Review. I was particularly excited about this one, as it is one of the best-respected review publications/websites – after all, it was set up in the dark ages (1976). They have however moved with the times, and now offer an offshoot called the MBR Small Press Bookwatch,which sounded just the ticket. I did as requested, sending two paper copies of my book to them in, well, the Midwest, and waited with fingers crossed (which has made typing awkward). And then yesterday I had a lovely email from them – and a link to such a generous review: here it is. Here’s hoping that it helps to promote “Fatal Forgery” to the American market. (And to other self-published authors out there hoping for reviews, I can highly recommend giving the Midwest Book Review a go.)