Monday, April 4, 2011

My Kirkus Indie Review for Aldric and Anneliese

I paid the exorbitant $425 fee charged by Kirkus Indie for obtaining a review from them. I bought into their claim of a review from Kirkus being a high-quality and widely respected review, making it worthwhile to pay the excessive fee. Well, here are two salient points from their review of Aldric and Anneliese:

1. “There are no surprises in store for the reader, delightful or otherwise.”, according to the Kirkus Indie reviewer.

This surprised me immensely since almost all other reviews that Aldric & Anneliese has received commented on the surprising twists and turns of the plot:

Excerpts from reviews which you can read at Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/Aldric-Anneliese-Jr-Harry- Gilleland/dp/0982659407/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1299221085&sr=1-1 ,
stating they were surprised at the plot’s surprising twists and turns:

"Gilleland throws us quite a curve ball, as the plot proceeds through a series of implausible twists, turns, and surprises, but we stay with it, leading us to an ending that I didn't expect and nor did I predict." Norm Goldman

"The twists and turns are sometimes surprising, but always fun to follow." Ben Langhinrichs

"Readers everywhere will be unable to let go of this adventure with its surprising (and sometimes quite tragic) twists and turns---and they will find a very satisfying end for seeing this tale through." C.Cuadro

"It is an interesting book full of unexpected twists and turns!" Kim Aures

"I did find myself captivated enough to keep reading to find out what would happen next. The plot has several twists and turns and I did not see the final twist coming at the end, which is always a good thing." Tyler Tichelaar

“The author does well with the mystery, the love, the turmoil and the reactions of the audience. It is a quick read and because it is a page turner you will most likely read it over again … This is a real neat story, the details are wonderful and the author keeps you engaged.” J. Cormier

“Read this book to see what happens next. This is a big surprise, … Believe me, however, it holds your interest and is a fascinating and unpredictable story. Wow. Read it.” By Donna Doyle of Romance Reviews, posted at Romance Reviews

When I questioned the editor at Kirkus Indie about the fact their reviewer seemed to be the only one not surprised by the twists of plot, this reply was provided by the reviewer:
“I have a long history of devouring romance books, especially historical romance, …written with no big surprises for a seasoned romance book reader."


I invite you to read Aldric & Anneliese and see for yourself if you agree with the Kirkus Indie reviewer or with all the other reviewers about being surprised by the twists in the plot. You decide!

2. I wanted readers to have mixed feelings about several of the main characters and have to argue whether they were good or not. The reviewer seems to have not seen any of this. For one example, Aldric ordered all the wounded and captured enemy soldiers after one battle to be murdered instead of letting them survive as Edmund had always done in the same circumstances. Hardly the act of a "good guy". Yet the Kirkus Indie reviewer said, “Characters are predictable, yet likeable, and fall into either good guys or bad guys.” Aldric is considered your typical “good guy” no matter how many people he murders. Hmmm.

I’ll leave it up to you readers to decide who is correct in this instance about the nature of the characters in Aldric & Anneliese, whether they are always predictably “good” or “bad”. You readers decide!

Cheers!

Harry

4 comments:

David Burrows said...

Harry, thanks for posting this. Paid reviewers have the luxury of having your money but you have no knowledge whether they have genuinely read the book or not. Some years ago I paid for a review and it was clear that the reviewer had only read 2-3 pages at random. Their report back to me was unprofessional and full of errors, quoting names of other authors incorrectly. Some of my characters are called krell which they said was the small fish eaten by whales. And I paid them for their ignorance!

I have paid for a Kirkus review - like you I am assuming they do a professional job. I await the result with baited breath, as it were.

Author of Books said...

Just wanted to add a bit of research results for the benefit of others. After looking at the Kirkus Indie top of 2011, comparing Amazon sales rank of reviewed book with the sales rank of many self published works, it would appear even with a the best review, you would sell 113-387 books annually.

At $1 profit per book it would be a multi-year pay back.

No idea how it would affect sales to third party sources such as libraries or others.

Mad Cow said...

Historically, Kirkus reviews have been perceived by the industry to be ridiculously tough. I wondered whether the indie reviews would be similarly leaning toward negativity. It's good to know they appear to still be unbiased. It does appear there is room for other professional, unbiased review sites, particularly if Kirkus is still leaning negative.

Mad Cow said...

Historically, Kirkus reviews have been perceived by the industry to be ridiculously tough. I wondered whether the indie reviews would be similarly leaning toward negativity. It's good to know they appear to still be unbiased. It does appear there is room for other professional, unbiased review sites, particularly if Kirkus is still leaning negative.