Friday, March 17, 2023

To read or not to read?

Book reviews can be helpful for readers. Honest book reviews, that is, not the puff pieces authors often ask friends to post online. An honest review that expresses the reviewer’s opinion of the book—good or bad—can help prospective readers weigh that opinion in their decision to read—or not read—a particular book. A review can also inspire readers to read books they had not known about or considered.

Not long ago, I got an email from the New York Journal of Books where readers find reviews on hundreds of books in every category imaginable. They invited me to join their panel of reviewers. It says on their website, “This panel includes bestselling and award-winning authors, journalists, experienced publishing executives, academics, as well as professionals across a number of disciplines and industries.” Given that, I can’t help but wonder how or where they heard about me. Still, I signed on.

Truth is, I am no stranger to book reviews. I wrote a library’s worth of brief reviews for Western Writers of America’s Roundup magazine (and not always to the authors’ satisfaction). True West magazine has asked me to review a few books. I write a lengthier book review each month for the Utah Westerners newsletter. And my reviews have appeared here and there on other occasions.

If you are not familiar with the New York Journal of Books, check it out. It may help you answer the question all readers ask: To read, or not to read?

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Talk, talk, talk.

Not long ago I was asked to do an online interview with a publisher of Western novels—not my own. Dusty Saddle Publishing, DSP for short, in an effort to wave the flag for Western literature, has launched a campaign to feature authors outside their own stable. So I uncapped the camera on my laptop and when the questions started coming I opened my mouth and let the syllables spill out and trickle down my shirtfront. Click on the video link and you can watch it happen.

Here is how DSP introduced the interview to their readers:

“DSP is always working to reach out to our fellow authors and bring them to you, our readers. This interview is one of the first of 2023, and we are very honored to be featuring the very talented Rod Miller. Rod has won every writing award the Western business has to offer, and his novels are generally considered to be some of the finest in the genre. We would consider it an honor if you would hop on over and take a listen to his brand-new interview and then try out a few of his books. These are the kind of Westerns readers sit around waiting for. It’s about time you discovered them.”