The reviews are finally starting to roll in on Amazon. Nothing on Goodreads or Apple iBooks yet. I think I would be happy even if they were all 3 stars. It was nerve-racking, waiting for reviews to appear. And just having reviews of any sort is critical to promoting further sales.
Reviews are inherently subjective, but I would give myself 4 stars. As a debut novelist, my skills aren’t quite there yet to give myself 5 stars. I know where the weaknesses are in the writing. I give myself four though because I am satisfied I accomplished what few others have done, which is to convey fairly technical information on cyber attacks in a digestible fictional story. I read a few books in the sub-genre and can tell you, no one else has done this. I’ll add that I just discovered a book written by a German author that looks promising, but everything else merely references cyber attacks in the title, and give near zero details in the book.
Of course, this is also one of my book’s major distractions. I broke the rules of the genre to get so technical. I was warned. But I wasn’t necessarily writing to sell a million copies. Like my blog, I was writing for myself. And what myself wanted to do was to relate a computer security primer as a fictional read. I did, based on advice from beta readers and my editor, delete thousands of words. I also moved much of the technical narrative into dialog – that helped make it more readable.
So most of the reviews reference how technical the book is. One review clearly phrases it as a criticism, which is totally fair. It’s a no-no for a thriller to get so in the weeds. I was ready for that critique though. Very curious to see what else readers will comment on. One of my early beta-readers said he couldn’t read it because it was so in-your-face political. He didn’t provide examples and I have no idea what he meant. My undergrad is in poli-sci and I feel confident I didn’t intentionally insert political commentary. My characters had points of view, very few of them were mine. Beyond politics, there are some easter eggs in there I’m waiting for readers to challenge.
Amazon and Goodreads allow me to comment on reviews directly online. I have been advised by other authors to not do that. I probably will though. It’s review season people. Review early and review often.