Someone I have never met and with whom I have no (known) common friends and with whom I have no relationship whatsoever, has read my book. Even better, she happens to run a large English-language bookstore in Istanbul (Greenhouse Kitapevi), and writes book reviews for an English-language daily newspaper in Turkey. She reviewed my book a few weeks ago, and even though I have to say that I truly like my book and think that it's an enjoyable, informative read, I was floored when I read her review. It doesn't lack critique of the book - no book is perfect, and I have to say that I even agree with her criticisms, but the review on a whole is itself is poetic and flattering. I wonder if the reviewer is an author herself? Or maybe she can write so well because she reads so much? I am thrilled that she enjoyed the book, and I hope others will, too.
Some friends and family are buying it for other friends for Christmas... I do hope that when people read it, they will post their comments on Amazon, so that people who are curious about it can see that others have enjoyed it (hopefully). And for me - writing can be a very isolating experience. Since I'm self-published, I do get more contact with people than I probably would have if a publisher were taking care of all the marketing, but still, you write by yourself, edit by yourself, and show it to a few close friends as you're writing. Once you publish, hopefully your work will be read, but still - how often have you written to an author to tell them how much you liked their book? I once posted a comment on Amazon to say how much I loved Arther Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha, and he actually wrote me back, thanking me for my comments. Now I understand that even though he was already famous by the time I read his book, it made him happy that I had read and enjoyed his book. That is what most authors want. So I am going to write to a few authors today. Maybe you should, too.
If you'd like some inspiration, here's the link to Marion Jones' review of my book: