Technically, it means a ballplayer gets a hit every time they’ve been up to bat in a game. But for me as an author, it has a whole different connotation because Chasing the Case, the first in my Isabel Long Mystery Series, broke a thousand reviews Friday on Amazon. As I write this, sixteen more came in.
First, thank you to those who chose to read my book and made the effort to tell people what they thought of it. These days, many people do ratings while others give a bit of feedback. Both are welcome. The general outlook is 4½ stars, which makes me smile.
I will admit I am not obsessive about reading reviews, especially since you will get a couple of stinkers like the person who gave a one star for another book and wrote he/she doesn’t do reviews. One person complained it was obvious I wasn’t into religion because my main character isn’t and couldn’t finish the book. I am aware not everybody is going to love or even like what I write. And being a journalist for 35 years gave me the hide of a rhino when it comes to criticism.
What did captivate me was watching the reviews grow. I recall being excited when Chasing the Case broke a hundred, then two hundred. A successful promo in January with BookBub got it downloaded by 31,000 readers. It was no. 1 for free books in the U.S., U.K. and Canada. That promo threw the proverbial gasoline on the fire. (Thanks BookBub.)
Yes, the book was free but my publisher and I get royalties for pages read if the reader subscribes to Kindle Unlimited. Of course, those who aren’t subscribers got the book outright. That’s to be expected.
Here’s a sampling of the most recent reviews, all except two, which I note, gave five stars. By the way, Amazon requires reviews to come from a verified purchase.
A solid whodunnit — enjoyable read.
The author has created believable characters and a relatable community. She builds the story patiently and discloses just enough information to keep you guessing without being totally blindsided by the ending. I will be checking out more of her work!
A great read
I really enjoyed this book. I loved all the characters . They felt so real. The mystery was excellent. Very well written, even a touch sad.
The author dumps the reader in the middle of Isabel’s life and it’s hard to get away from her. Isabel is a great character. Her mother is also. I liked the way Livingston plotted Isabel’s investigation and let the story lead the action. The Old Farts are a particular enjoyable part of the book. Good mystery. (This one gave four stars.)
Small Town Secrets
I loved the small town feel, the closeness and protective nature of the residents. The Old Farts are perfectly adorable. I’m glad Isabel has her mother for company and I’m happy Jack came back.
A decent read but a long way to get there
There were so many space-filling dead ends and smoke screens plus descriptions about the town(s) and just stuff, that this could have been told in half the time. It needs more honest insights and ‘distractors’ to be a better-than-average read. (This one gave three stars.)
My hope is that if readers like the first book, they will want to buy the next four in my Isabel Long Mystery Series, actually five since I am two-thirds of the way writing number six. I typically aim for 500 words a day, a manageable and enjoyable pace. But on Friday, I surprised myself and wrote a thousand. Yes, it was a good day.
PHOTO ABOVE: On my daily walk Monday, I came across this flowering bush, so fragrant I kept inhaling its blossoms. I returned yesterday just to smell it again.
MY BOOKS: Interested in reading my series? Here’s the link to all of them on Amazon: Joan Livingston books