Good afternoon readers,
As many followers know, I am joining in with Life of B’s January daily square photo challenge. The theme is UP and because Flashes of Weather is a book that will lift you up — and wake you up — I am featuring this book for Day 8.
I have my typical book review format – where I share my top-three takeaways.
Top takeaway #1: Clever Nature Metaphors
Kelvin uses nature/weather metaphors (soil, fog, mist, rain, snow, sunshine, wind, thunder, etc.) to share human experience, life reflections, and vignettes. Kelvin takes us to the deep sea, allows us to read about “bullying a rainbow,” “dancing on ice,” and “making dew angels on the lawn in boxer shorts.” ( I do wish there was a TOC to navigate the selections.)
Top takeaway #2: Personal Growth Topics
As a short-term counselor (meaning I do not offer long-term therapy- ha…) – I REALLY enjoy when writers genuinely share about their growth and development. For some, it is the way they pay their learning and share about the grace they accepted. Kelvin obviously wants to give to others by offering such insightful selections. He shares about what has lifted him UP. This author has experienced pain, loss, and setback to push on to find joy, hope, humor, and life presence. This offers a feeling a human connection- reminding the reader that we are not the only one experiencing on and off trials.
Top takeaway #3: Refreshing Faith Shares
Kelvin Knight, who I nicknamed “K to the 2” (here) uses his original style of fiction writing to subtly share his faith. Never pushy, his words and ideas are there for the taking. The entire collection offers different things for each of us to extract. I know that coming back to this book a year after reading it the first time – I found myself taking away different things and noticing fresh angles. We are always growing and changing; good fiction allows us to bring today’s perspective to a previously read piece and find new refreshment.
Kelvin is currently working on another collection of short stories, Talking Statues, which will have 400-word entries this time. I will be sure to share about it once it hits the virtual bookstands. Thanks, Kelvin.
Free Giveaway of Flashes of Weather
I also have two copies of Flashes of Weather (Kindle version) to give away. This is my own doing and do you want t know why? Because last year K to the 2 did me a huge favor – he stopped what he was doing to review something for me. His servant-minded actions were greatly appreciated and I still feel like I owe him. And I know it is not “tit for tat”(whatever) but thanks again amigo.
Okay, so if you want a free e-copy of this book sent to your Kindle reader (value $2.99) – I have two separate e-codes to give away (Sorry but they are only good for US- ugh – I did not realize it until it was too late to get international versions – next time I won’t let that happen) – anyhow, leave a note in the comments if you are interested in a copy- and if there are more than two folks interested – we will have a raffle. 🙂
Thoughts about Stars and Book Reviews
Note for Authors
Question: Are one-star or two-star reviews an insult to my book?
Answer: Absolutely not. They could even be a compliment.
I recently chatted with an author about her response to a one-star review about her book. And because I like to offer author resources, today I want to briefly remind you that a one-star book review can be very good for your book. Sometimes it means that readership was wide and varied; other times it indicates that readers were being serious about their feedback and not afraid to be honest. And trust me, those kind of readers – who are not afraid to drop a one or two-star review- well their honest confidence likely gives more weight to that review than someone who praises all the time. Many of us know how it feels when the book is out there and criticism comes in – it is vulnerable but you need to detach a bit!
The tip to detach from the number of stars will help you embrace all reviews. Let your energy go into celebrating your book and later, you can revisit the reviews and maybe learn from the ones you did not like. Or maybe there is nothing to learn – sometimes it is just so subjective.
Did you notice that I do not offer “stars” or letter grades in my book reviews? The reason is because I know how misrepresenting stars can be. Reviewing a book is subjective and also depends upon many factors. For example, frame of mind and comparative analysis creeps in. So what the reader did that day impacts their reading that day. What an author read beforehand primed their mind and impacts their review. Also, expectations are always at play and so a “one” or “two-star” could come from what the reader hoped to find from the cover, title, or summary. We humans are so like this! hahahaha And stars for books is NOT the same thing as stars for a coffee bean grinder or weighted blanket- I think for products like that stars have more purpose.
When I see a book with a variety of stars, or mixed letter grades, I am usually more drawn to that title because it often signals variety of readership and folks with enough confidence to say what they really felt after reading the book.
Often the stars left are less about the actual book and more about where the reader was “at” during their reading and reviewing!
Oh, and have to note that some of the most disappointing books I have read were some of the ones had two dozen “five-star” reviews – — or they were books touted as “Amazon best-seller” – And in some cases this “best seller” status was because everyone in their book club bought the book, which pumped up the initial sales. Sigh. Seriously, when I see two-dozen five-stars with a starting author, I sometimes wonder about the content and the readers. Or when a starting author has to keep bragging about or relying on the “Amazon best-seller” status they received for a day – well I raise an eyebrow.
- You should be proud of your book for what it is. Not necessarily the reception.
- Try not to let the value of your book get deflated by today’s standards of reviews.
- Remember why you wrote it, who it was for, and let the superlatives get put back in the grammar book. Each book is unique and to say better and best only diminishes our uniqueness. It can puff up or tear down for the wrong reasons.
- Do you need to see the fish and the monkey comic again about innate wiring and uniqueness? A fish cannot climb like a monkey – well It applies to books too. So get detached from the reviews and get an aerial view about your book as a work of your art.
Closing thought is to embrace any and all reviews.
- Have enough confidence in your work to know that you WILL NOT APPEAL TO ALL READERS!
- Not many books are “super universal” and we have different audiences for what we share through our books. So embrace all feedback and when you see any review, you should feel LIFTED UP that someone took the time to explore your work. That is the gift and true takeaway.