I was recently reminded of the importance to the aspiring writer of something that I have done for many years. It has been a great education to me, and I highly recommend it for other aspiring authors. I read reviews of highly rated books. But I also read the reviews of poorly rated books. Why? I want to know what works, what doesn't work, and the reasons why. There are a lot of very smart reviewers out there. One might as well make use of their expertise.
In one of my online writer's loops, Lena Austin, a writer of erotica, went so far as to suggest to aspiring authors that they should become online reviewers. She has some very good points, and more on her website: http://www.lenaaustin.com/. Because of time constraints, I rarely review online, but analyzing is wonderful training for a writer. Her points about becoming an online reviewer were:
1. Professionally, you assimilate what works and what doesn't. Not just what matches your personal tastes, but what's being accepted by the publishers and why.
2. You get free books from all the publishers, so you get to study the house styles without paying a penny.
3. You get a recognized name in the industry.
4. Did I mention the free books? 'Nuff said, right?
5. Most of the review sites are backlogged and desperately need reviewers. This is an excellent way to get your foot in the door of this industry.
Thank you Lena for sharing your wisdom. And dear reader, you will find several links to excellent review sites listed under the Very Fun section of the side bar.
Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future