Monday, May 3, 2010

Introverted Jen Review of Alex Van Helsing: 4 Stars, "Lot of Fun"

So one of the best things I've had to chance to experience in this whole novel-writing universe while writing and promoting Alex Van Helsing is bloggers--  writers who know what they're interested in and do reviews all over the web. For any new book or new writer, this is crucial support. Getting noticed by readers is so unlikely given the number of books coming out that every mention, every web comment, every reader is important. My publisher is HarperCollins, and they have a gazillion books a week to deal with. Your book has to sell itself-- but Harper understands the web, and that's why they build an awesome book site and make sure review copies get out their to web reviewers.

(From a publicity perspective, the web offers some danger to bigger, more established guys, because you'll have far more to keep track of online, and you have to start playing the numbers on which to respond to.)

But for me, with a brand new series-- a brand new brand, I guess-- in young adult fiction, the fact that we have early reviews is a tremendous blessing.

One of the sources of reviews for Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising is the Around the World Tour, which has taken one review copy and sent it, like the Traveling Pants, from one reader to the next.This has been fascinating for me because, of course, Around the World Tours tends to review all kinds of books on the YA side, especially long, romantic YA supernatural fiction and romance. So a shorter, actiony book with motorcycles and gadgets is a change of pace.

This morning we had another Around the World Reviewer check in about Alex, Introverted Jen: 
What a fun, action-packed story! It begins with Alex running toward a scream in the woods and ends on a very brooding scene that feels like a pause. Which isn't to say that this book feels incomplete; for the first in the series, it stands very well on its own. I know more is coming, I have one or two questions, but I'm happy with the way things ended.

You know who else is happy with the way things ended here? I am-- I'm very thankful for the trip through the fire with the Around the World Reviewers, who are taking on something a little unusual and being honest with it. Thanks guys!

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