Reviews are a wonderful thing. I almost always review a product if given a chance. And as a side note, I rarely review books because I just don’t read as much as I once did. I do a lot of reviews through Trip Advisor.

I write a review because I know how extremely helpful they are to me when I purchase an item, or go on vacation, or eat at a new restaurant. (Also a thing of the past…;)) I rely heavily on them. They have usually been pretty accurate as well. If I read about a hotel being dirty, or the staff not friendly or helpful, and we stayed at that hotel, it was what the review said. Kind of rare that it was inaccurate. I don’t believe most people write reviews to be nasty or bring a product, or place down. If they are, you can generally see through that angst.

By their very nature, reviews are subjective. You are giving your opinion. Some people are more opinionated than others. Reviewers may look at the product as a half-full item, or half-empty. When I write a review, I try to highlight the positive, state the negative. If it’s mostly negative, again, I try to state it, rather than pound home my opinion. It’s better to let those reading it come to their conclusions objectively if possible.

As an author, book reviews are extremely important, and a huge marketing tool. Book sales, check-outs at the library, and reading groups are based on other’s opinion about that book. And it can be good or bad.

I greatly appreciate a reader taking the time to write a review. I love to talk with my readers and hear their take-away of my stories. I write what is important to me, things that I have struggled with in my own life. It is my therapy. If that reaches someone else and helps in any way…or gives hope, my purpose has been fulfilled.

Reviews are needed. Write them when available, state your opinion as objectively as possible.

Please, please keep this in mind. Don’t review a product you haven’t given a fair chance. If it’s a book, and you just can’t read it for whatever reason, state that. But please don’t review what you have not read. We’ve all had the experience of something not beginning so great and ending up to be the best thing ever.


UPDATE: Book Review Awards – Authors in the Running So Far

Wow! It’s an honor to be included in this list so far. Yecheilyah Ysrayl really does an excellent job with her review process, and pours her heart and soul into them. I greatly appreciate all that she does for Indie authors, and this contest is just another example of that. Thank you Yecheilyah!

OK, looks like we are going through with this thing!!

Thank you for your feedback and suggestions. Based upon which I’ve decided that yes, we are going to do this!

First thing’s first, I am getting a logo made. Something simple but nice which I’ll outsource from Fiverr. BUT, if any of you do logos for free, like, let me know. I am not trying to spend a whole bunch of money. I love you but I am not rich so, like, help a sista out.

For now, here are the authors who are currently automatically drafted into the contest due their 5-star ratings on this blog. More authors will be added to this list as I read and review their books. Remember, to be part of this contest means that you must receive a 5-star rating from me. Excellence is priority.

We are just in the preliminary stages so…

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Big Smile!

Branding and marketing are huge if you have a business, want to sell items that you have made, or if you are an author. The list probably goes on for areas where you need to brand and market, but those are just three that came to my mind. Think of brand names that you know. Whether it’s the breakfast cereal you eat before you start your day, or the shoes you put on your feet. The symbols and colors that come to mind speak of that product, and you know exactly what it is. Drive down a strip of road located in a busy city, and your brain will be boggled with all the branding. You don’t even have to read the sign of a restaurant, or fully focus on it. You know what it is. The yellow arches beckon all of us if we are in a hurry for a quick, cold drink or salty order of fries. And you can see those yellow arches from blocks away, maybe even miles away on the interstate.

Branding and marketing take up a very large amount of my time when I’m not working. My author name of, Deborah Ann Dykeman is not known in my small town, much less around the state of Kansas. Forget about the rest of the world! But in order for me to be able to retire my husband before he’s using a walker, and move to the country, my name needs to be know everywhere. And that takes a long time! I want you to see and smell roses when my name is shown to you, and know that I’m an author, and hopefully know what I write about.

So, when someone contacts me and asks to read one of my books, and they will do a review on their site…wow! There is nothing better than that. Sure, at first I thought it would be a scam, but what do I have to lose at this point in my writing career? I always check out another site to see if it’s legitimate of course. It would be crazy in this world today to not do a bit of research before you jump in with both feet. When everything looks pretty good, I proceed.

And I’m so happy I did!

Pople Backyard Farm at contacted me a couple weeks ago, May 17th to be exact. They requested a copy of my fourth book in the Rubyville series, A Place in My Heart. I thought it strange that they requested the fourth book, but I was just so happy they requested it at all! That put a big smile on my face! They said they would do a review and have it posted within a couple of weeks. So of course I checked them out. And boy do they review products! It’s a great site, and you should really see what’s happening over there. They were true to their word. They read my book and posted a great review here, for their summer reading reviews. You may have to scroll down to read my review, but I saw some books I would like to read on my way down the list!

Thank you, Pople Backyard Farm for requesting my book, for actually reading it and then writing a review! It is very much appreciated! And I love your site! I would wish you much success, but you seem to be doing really well already! 😉 But still…much success to you!

And remember to enter my giveaways over at Goodreads. This is for the third book in the Rubyville series, A Place to Heal

This is the link for the fourth book, A Place in My Heart

If you win one of the three, signed, printed books I’m giving away for each giveaway, I’ll have it in the mail to you within a day…really! And please, please, please write a review if you read my books. You can do this where they are sold online: Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, Walmart, Target and Amazon. Some of those require a purchase first, but Goodreads does not. Thank you all for your support and helping me on this writing journey! It really does put a big smile on my face! Have a great day!


Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews – To Thee I’m Wed by Deborah Dykeman

Thank you, Yecheilyah for such a wonderful review! I just had to share it on here! Pick up a copy of To Thee I’m Wed, and readers, let me know what you think! I love hearing from you!

Title: To Thee I’m Wed

Author: Deborah Dykeman

Print Length: 239 pages

Publication Date: December 29, 2015

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Language: English


*I received this book as a gift from the author*

When Jason and Kathy Miller marries in June of 1985, they are in total bliss. As any young couple is they are happy and giddy and excited to start their lives together. They are so happy in fact, that even at the beginning I knew things would not be all peaches and cream.

Twenty years and three children later and the fire dies. Once happy-go-lucky Kathy is starting to feel unfulfilled. The life of a Housewife is now just her duty where it had once been so much more. It had once been fun. Now that the children are older, Kathy seeks work to rekindle the excitement in her life but her husband…

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The Reader and The Reviewer

Goodreads badge read reviews

As an author, reviews are extremely important. Especially for authors that are self-published. They don’t have a big-name publishing company behind them. And I, as a reader really understand that. As a consumer, do I want to buy the brand that has been tried and tested, or strike out on my own into no-man’s land? I’ll probably go where others have been before. If this concerns ingesting or applying to my body, I really don’t want to be the lab experiment. I want all the quirks worked out of a product.

Now, reading a book from an indie author isn’t quite the same as putting drops in your eye or rubbing lotion on your skin that hasn’t been used before. If you’re an editor, it may be a bit painful to find multiple mistakes in editing and formatting. If you’ve read a lot of books, you may find plot and character issues. But it probably won’t kill you. (Although there were a couple books that I had to read in high school that were pretty excruciating!) To read an entire book completely out of your usual genre is very difficult for some. Which is why I probably would not make a very good book reviewer for some genres. I admire those people that are able to do that.

Since I publish my books through Createspace, and they are sold on Amazon, I was surprised to learn that Amazon also owns Goodreads. I was also shocked to read that this had happened a few years ago. I guess I’ve been living under a rock and need to find a new one! I think it’s pretty safe to say that I work for the Amazon company in a round about way! And so far, they have been pretty good to me. I just need to keep working on figuring out all the little quirks involved.

One area that’s becoming more clear is the review process. Pretty much, as far as I can tell, in order to review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million or even, you need to have purchased through them. Which again, I really do understand. Their reputation is at risk, and they are running a business. A business that they want to be profitable. But that leaves  indie authors in a bit of a hole. Generally, especially in the beginning, an indie author is not known. Their name, their books, and their photo mean almost nothing to most of the reader world.

So once again, we circle around to the review process, which helps tremendously in getting an author known. People review, people read, more reviews, more people read. And so it goes. Goodreads, as far as I’ve seen, allows you to review any book that you’ve read. It is now my favorite place! sun-310144_640

Feedback is a wonderful thing. We all like to know how we’re doing and the areas where we need to improve. It hones our skills for whatever we’re doing in life.

Goodreads is also just a fun place to go if you’re an avid reader and like talking about…books. You can ask authors questions about a book, take part in trivia questions and have discussions about your favorite books. I’ve found this to be pretty enjoyable stuff. Even though I don’t have as much time to read these days as I would like, it’s fun to take part in activities involving books I have read over the years. And yes, there are some pretty big name authors on the site.

So check it out, and while you’re at Goodreads icon 16x16 Goodreads, have fun reviewing your favorite authors!

To Thee I'm Wed

To Thee I’m Wed

reviews: 3
ratings: 4 (avg rating 4.75)