I know that today is supposed to be about novel writing. But once the book is published, the author has to promote it in hopes that it gets read, especially by literate people. Pubby is a review-exchange service that allows you to review other authors’ works in exchange for points that you can then spend on getting books reviewed by other Pubby-participating authors. Sometimes the result is not so good. There are authors out there who really need to go school more before publishing their vanity projects. And some may be capable writers who are really terrible reviewers. But it can also work well. https://app.pubby.co/
Here is an example of a review I did for Pubby and posted both on Goodreads and Amazon;
The Epic Book of World War II Heroes
by Chili Mac Books I really liked it, 4 of 5 stars
This is a well-researched and very entertaining book. The narrator has a voice that seems very authentic and soldier-like. I would give it five stars except for the fact that it needs some serious editing. The author warns us from the start that the language could seem crude, but that is part of being authentic. It is the grammatical errors, confusion of pronouns and their antecedents, incorrect word choice, and metaphors that run too long that make the book hard to understand at key moments in the action. A good editor could turn this book into an excellent high-interest book for middle-school students, especially boys who are otherwise reluctant readers.
So, here is the review I got for Sing Sad Songs with the points I had earned for my reviews. SS1967 apparently uses a number instead of his/her real name.
Top reviews from the United States (Amazon)
Reviewed in the United States on May 28, 2021Verified Purchase
Sing Sad Songs, despite the sad narrative elements, is really a book about the celebration of feeling your emotions. It’s about discovering the freedom, and love that is waiting on the other of feeling difficult emotions, despite how hard it might be. The main character, comes from a past of true tragedy, and loss. In order to navigate the emotional waters in front of him, he transmutes his feelings into songs expressing the specific emotions he encounters. It is these songs that not only help pave the way to a new life for him, but help him find resolution within himself about his past, and how he wants to live his life.
The pros are very descriptive, and the story almost reads like a song itself in how it meanders, and explores moods in different settings. A beautiful book for parents unafraid of exploring the reality of difficult emotions with their kids.
Here’s another Pubby review I did on a very short novella, or possibly even short story by C.S. Jones, Overload
Reviewed in the United States on May 27, 2021Verified Purchase
This short story is like a punch in the gut. It hits hard with considerable force. The author’s command of detail, carefully crafted paragraphs so well done they come across as effortless, and well-built psychological tension all give this short story a power that is rare even among great works of literature. There is a stark realism to this story that suggests either extensive research or personal experience. I am impressed. I recommend.
This review was on Amazon only because, apparently, Goodreads doesn’t allow short stories to count as books, while Amazon allows scads of them.
Here’s the second most recent review from a Pubby reviewer, this time on my novel, The Baby Werewolf. Laura uses her first name only on her reviews.
Reviewed in the United States on May 24, 2021Verified Purchase
I really liked this strange little novel. It is a very fast read, but also layered so it would be as good the second time through as the first. There’s an entertaining mix of reality, fantasy and the often off-kilter perspective of an inexperienced teen. The writing is well edited and proofed, the pacing is tight and effective, and the characters endearing.
This review of Pubby and how it is working for me really focusses on the positives. There are negatives too. You have only 4 days to review a book. And we are not all speed readers. Some reviews are done only on the first half of the book And some reviewers don’t read the book at all. They fake a review based on the prior-existing reviews. Some can’t even do that well. The verified purchase notation on the review means you had to pay $1 to $5 for the Kindle e-book. That, over time, makes for loads of expense to the reviewer. And you don’t make back what you put into that. Verified Purchase reviews count more than regular responses. If you get a bad one, it hurts your average even more than a good one helps it.
All in all, I have enjoyed participating in Pubby. But it is work. And it is definitely expensive in time, effort, and money.