The Power of a Review

The other day, I was pleasantly surprised to discover on Amazon a new 4-star review of my short story collection “Aftermath”. Here is an excerpt of the most relevant parts:

Once again Mr. Stark has given us some imaginative stories. `Aftermath’ is about the experiences of a boy dealing with the aftereffects of a zombie apocalypse. `Zombie Cab’ is a very short tale of a cabbie facing the reality of a zombie takeover. `The Day the Zombies Roamed Venezuela’ is another quickie about a zombie outbreak at Eco Station One (one of Mr. Stark’s earlier book settings).

I’m always amazed at how well this non-English speaker can write! Some of his phrases are pure poetry. He has a sarcastic wit that shines in his tales.”

This certainly made my day and got me thinking about how powerful a review can be. I won’t even bother with the part about how-it-can-influence-sales and so and so. Personally, I think reviews are only window dressing for the sales page of my books and that anyone who lets a review sway their buying decision are just mindless people of the ‘ooooh-what-a-nice-shiny-thing’ sort.

Nope, I don’t mean that kind of power.

What I really mean is the power this review (or any good review) has exerted over me when I read it. There’s a lot in my life that has gone awry; I’m lonely, stuck in the middle of a rainforest, I have no family, no girlfriend… all my friends are scattered all over the world… so here I was broken-hearted (paid my dime and only… ooops.. that’s something I read on the door of a pay toilet) and then this review came out of nowhere; someone, somewhere in this crazy world liked one of my tales enough to write a positive review. It made my spirit soar… at least for a while.

Now, that’s something you certainly must take into consideration the next time you read a book, doesn’t it?

Edwin Stark
Signing Off

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