I met Dianne Bylo by chance on Twitter one day. We were discussing books and how to get the attention of a potential reader. Little did I know that she is the force behind the Tome Tender Book Review Blog. If you have ever looked at Dianne's site you wonder, how can this woman read and review so many books? Well, she claims to have multiple kindles standing at the ready, which I believe. Since she has read and reviewed a million books, I wanted to see if she had any insight into what makes a good book, or a good pitch to a blog reviewer. I wanted to know what types of books grab her attention, what makes her fall in love with a book, or what makes her want to pull your hair out. Thankfully, she agreed to share her experiences with me.
Another reason why I wanted to ask Dianne to write a guest is because of her love of books. When you read her reviews, you can feel her enthusiasm. She doesn't just say if the book was good or bad, or missing punctuation, she gives her heartfelt opinion. To write so many reviews takes a lot of time, patience, and a great sense of humor to get through all the work. Though she thinks of herself as the woman behind the curtain, I wanted to bring her into the spotlight to applaud her efforts. When I asked her to write the blog, she was completely surprised. Somehow, no one has ever asked her to step outside of her reviewer persona and write about her own experiences. So I am very excited that she agreed to help me out today. Because she is a little shy, please help me welcome Dianne Bylo....
Thanks! Wow! I feel like the screaming fan standing on stage with an opportunity to talk to all of my favorite authors, friends, bloggers and readers! Wait, I AM, thanks to Tabitha Barret, this is probably the part where I start with, “Um…,” then proceed to trip as I squint into the lights. Not to worry, I am NOT picturing any of you sitting there in your underwear.
“Um…,” first thank you Tabitha, and I have a confession, I did the cardinal #1 sin when providing a post to anyone, I sent this less than 24 hours before Tabitha needed it. The dog didn’t eat my first draft, I just let the real world take up too much of my time. (Sorry Tabitha) Enough about me…wait, no, there’s more. My name is Dianne Bylo (Dii), my most awesome blog is TOME TENDER, the one with the fabulous graphics, great reviews, giveaways, etc., and most important, an amazing blog partner, Beth Hoover (Sailon). (This is the part where I boldly say, feel free to follow us, any method on our main page, to the right of the screen!)
What makes for great reading? For me, dialogue, being able to feel what is happening, forgetting that the world I am in isn’t real, that the characters are not actually living and breathing entities. Mix up the action, give me mental pictures of where I am and I’m thrilled! Not as hard as it sounds, trust me!
What makes me cringe? Abrupt POVs that rattle my teeth, a little warning is good! Sometimes a little too much scene description, too. If the characters are eating, sure, I want to know what, but if the salt is not next to the pepper, or if the mashed potatoes are lumpy, unless it is important to what is going on…probably not a vital detail, besides I like my mashed potatoes lumpy, so don’t knock ‘em!
Do I care about typos, nah, if the story is that good, I don’t lose the rhythm, for many it IS distracting, they are also human mistakes, give me a human author any day! Which brings me directly to authors.
Everyone knows an author must promote themselves as much or more than their work. Many blogs have a form to fill out with what they consider to be important items to considering a review, because, yes, we get lots of requests. We are all busy, but seriously, if an author wants a chance for a review, PLEASE, do NOT take the easy route, do not send a mazillion links so we can hunt down anything about your book. Just give bloggers what they have asked for. To be honest, I WILL NOT read ANY reviews prior to writing my own, because, like everyone else, to me, MY opinion is what counts! (Ask my long suffering husband of over 43 years.) I know it isn’t easy to have to ask for a review, you are putting your heart and soul out there to be judged by a stranger, but put yourself in the reviewer’s position and be the star! Give them what they want and they will love you for it!
Reviewers, readers, didn’t think you were getting off easy, did you? Give a book a chance, put yourself in the author’s position, respect them and reply as quickly as possible. NEVER ignore a request, NEVER. Respond and be done with it. Who knows, maybe stepping out of your favorite genre is going to be an eye opening experience! We can’t like everything, but it’s like liver, at least try it before doing saying you don’t like it.
Bottom line, everyone play nice, be positive, share your toys, give hugs, no hitting and NEVER worry about not having any shelf control when it comes to books!
A HUGE thanks to Tabitha for asking me to do this…with my knees still knocking, I’m returning control of your mouse back to you, because I have books to read, worlds to conquer and laundry.
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