Today I finally threaded my way through the convoluted process of becoming an approved Amazon reviewer. My first official act was to award myself a five-star review for Eldercide. I'll have to wait 48 hours to see if it goes through or if they're picky enough to catch the blatant self-promotion and maybe ban me forever.
To be a reviewer in good standing, you also have to surrender your credit card number and to have purchased books from Amazon in the relatively recent past. I wonder how recently? In other words, you have to pay to play.
A colleague's review of Eldercide inspired me to take this cyberstep. Here's what she said:
You don't have to be elderly to connect intellectually or emotionally with this book. The story offers something for everyone : for readers of mysteries, a good story ; for readers of medical thrillers, authentic (but not too clinical) health care scenes ; for readers of literary fiction, an accomplished novel with believable, fully-developed characters. And for all of us living in modern society : a contemporary exploration of unavoidable end-of-life issues. The narrative flows smoothly. The dialogue is always on the mark. The editing is sharp, uncommonly good for alternatively-published books. I read the book twice, appreciating its qualities even more the second time. And after finishing the last page, I couldn't wait to talk about it with my husband. What higher praise for a book than that it provokes discussion?
Of course I focused on the part about the editing. I was my own editor - with Virtualbookworm, as with most POD publishers, you have to pay extra for an editing package, and I didn't. I have professional editing experience, and I'm confident of my abilities in that regard. But this is one of the legitimate gripes about self-publishing - stuff gets into print that's in desperate need of editing. That's why one POD publisher I know describes her company as a "printer," not a "publisher" - she freely admits that much of what they print is, in her own words, "crap." But she also feels it's the wave of the future.