Saturday, January 09, 2010

So You Say You Want to Write?

It was the best of times it was the worst of times. Or something like that.

Lately, I've been feeling rather optimistic about a lot of things (and yeah, I've been worried about a lot of other things too.) While this blog is certainly not the most important thing in my life, I have to say I've been thrilled by the increase in visitors and the number of "followers" I've been able to see. I know most of it is related to my fellow aspiring novelists at AgentQuery, but I don't think all of them are.

I've also been a bit concerned about the state of freelance writing; I'll admit that part of my concern is due to my desire to do more of it in 2010 to help supplement my income and keep diapers on my babies' butts. (Note to self: Invest in companies that produce A&D ointment!)

But maybe I can mix these two things a bit and create a Net positive. An Internet positive, if you will. As those of you who read the short interview I did with Victoria Dixon of the Ron Empress blog already know, I had intended this blog to be a place where I could write and edit book reviews. So now that I have nearly twenty followers, I thought I'd see whether any of you have any interest in writing book reviews.

I'd be willing to post them here, I'd give it a quick copy edit (or depending on the quality, more than that, perhaps), and voila! you'd have a book review published. I know, getting a review published on a free blog is nothing too difficult; you could easily do it at your blog too. But I kinda like seeing stuff that I've written posted elsewhere. Maybe you do too.

To be honest, I don't expect many of you to agree to this — especially since I can't pay a dime. Indeed, it's possible I'll remain the lone book reviewer here at the Elephant's Bookshelf (Quick review: Blindness, by Jose Saramago is both disturbing and excellent!) But if just one joins, then I'll be happy as a clam.

So, what do ya say? If you're interested, you can let me know via the comments section or send an email to I look forward to hearing from you.


TK Richardson said...

Hi Matt, this sounds like a great idea. I would be happy to do a book review and have you post it on your blog. Are there any certain requirements, word count lengths, or genre preferences? Do let me know. sounds fun. :)

Matt Sinclair said...
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Matt Sinclair said...

I'll place no restrictions on it at this point. Let's see what you (and hopefully others) come up with. I'm not a huge fan of unnecessary vulgarity (I'll use f-bombs and other "stuff" in my own fiction, but I need to be convinced that there's reason for it in a book review), but other than that, I'm in favor of promoting fiction, nonfiction, poetry, playwriting, etc., and it can be literary mainstream, commercial, young adult, science fiction, cyberpunk. You name it!

As to word count, while I'm not going to place a restriction on it, it may work better trimmed down. I can look at it as an editor and say "You've already addressed this -- and did a better job of it -- two paragraphs ago," and cut it back, but I'll let you and any writer know.

I'll also give you a byline up toward the top with a link to your blog. That goes for any writer who takes me up on this. The idea is to promote writing, promote reading, and promote ourselves.

Thanks again! I look forward to seeing your review.

Matt Sinclair said...
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catwoods said...

Matt, thanks for the wonderful opportunity.

I would love to partake in writing book reviews of some of my favorite novels. Mostly because I love to promote my favorite authors and I think word of mouth sells.

I hope you get some takers, as I have such a short reading time that recommended books top my list.

Matt Sinclair said...

Fantastic! This is already exceeding my wildest dreams.

I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have that aren't answered in the comments above.

I look forward to seeing your first review.

caroline_hagood said...

I'd also be happy to contribute the next time I review a book. I have some that I've already posted on my own blog, too, if you don't mind reposting.

Matt Sinclair said...

I can do that, Caroline. In fact, we can probably do that within a day or so. And thanks for agreeing to contribute.

I'm wondering why I didn't do this earlier! (Oh yeah, I had absolutely no time and no one was following me. It's much nicer this way.)

catwoods said...

Matt, check out

Michelle does outstanding reviews--and often, as she reads voraciously--on her blog. She's been a great cyber buddy and NaNo friends for two years.

If you like her style, I'm sure she'd be up for reviewing for you.

Matt Sinclair said...

Great suggestion, Cat. I'll check out her site. Who knows, we might be able to start feeding new and slightly recycled book reviews for months to come.

I'm having fun!