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I hope "2015" has been a fulfilling year for you and that you were able to achieve all your writing goals.
Some of you might not have set any goals, but still accomplished something; some might have set goals and went beyond them; while others might have set goals, but didn't accomplish all or any of them. But don't worry, 2016 is just around the corner to complete all that is left and focus on new goals.
I honestly didn't set any writing goals for 2015, but I was able to complete two novels; two novellas and about five or more short stories, but I only got to publish one novel, one novella and two short stories... not bad, right? That's only because I said I want to publish a novel a year. The novellas and short stories are just pleasant additions for me.
For my 2016, I want to write two novels, one novella and two short stories by Q2/Q3, then I can use the rest of the year for publishing, marketing, researching, exploring, learning, etc.
Also, I want to READ a lot in 2016, and share with authors the best way we can get reviews, and more reviews this new year...Authors are great readers, who read a lot for ideas, motivation, inspiration, to help a fellow author edit or proofread, or just for fun, but what do we do after reading? We move on to the next thing, right? We dive directly into the project we had put aside for some research and inspiration? We eventually forget about the book we just read, although we liked it and it helped us move forward?
Why don't we do all the reading, then leave a constructive review... or any type of review at that?
Let's face it, authors sometimes read more than the average reader. I believe we are equal, if not greater "consumers" of books, so we can review a book and even commend it for the ideas we got from it or criticize it for what we didn't get from it. As bad as a review can be, it can help the author, and even many other authors who would read the review and profit from the wealth of information.
I say this because I visit pages of books in similar genres as the books I write, and I see myself benefitting from some of the reviews: of what to do and what not to do... what's realistic and what's not... what's good in that genre and what is not.
So I said to myself, this new year, no more pleading with people to leave me a review, instead, I'll leave reviews for the books I read, with the hope that it will do a lot of good to others. It starts from me, it starts from you, too. If everyone left a review for every book they intentionally got and read, then everyone would benefit. What goes around comes around.
Let's leave reviews as we read each day, each week and each month to encourage each other. I have been reading and reviewing other authors since 2013, but before then, I never left a review. I just read and moved on. And just recently, I retitled my reviews, adding #BAFA - by authors for authors - to it.
IMPORTANT NOTE (I set up this note as response to some concerns received from authors on GR)
This idea is NOT a review request or review swap. It's simply YOU as an author leaving a review for a book you read, whose author you probably don't know or never contacted... you just heard about a book and read it; you just wanted something new, and you got a book; you saw a book ad somewhere and you got the book.
If you buy a book, you have every right to leave a review, whether you are an author or not. Once you buy a book to read, it automatically makes you a reader. Here, we assume that we don't even know the author at all.
I guess the message I'm trying to pass is: "It starts from YOU, the author."
Review what you read, but don't ask other authors to swap reviews with you.
I have set up a community on Google+, please join the community and ask other interested authors to join in too. You can post titles of books you are reading and why; leave comments for others on what you gained from reading a specific book or simply what you liked about a book; you can also leave comments on what you didn't like about a book; it's also a place where you can recommend books to other authors and give writing tips to them. But it's not a place to request reviews or review swaps.
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I will be reading only 49 books because my full-length realistic fiction novel "Twenty-One Days" made the list... 3rd place :).
I hope you join me on this review adventure in 2016 and I look forward to many more book reviews for all of us.
Remember, it starts with YOU.
Happy New Year!!!