Sunday, August 3, 2014

Learning What People Think of My Book on Amazon

By Nancy Bilyeau

It can be tricky writing novels for a mass readership.

Many of us try our best to produce work on a high level. Through multiple drafts we labor on character development,dialogue and setting description, all set to a plot that aims to compel and enthrall. Any historical novel, mystery or no, requires extensive research. And for a significant number of writers, there is also a theme in the work, a message, perhaps even characters, that carry personal meaning.

Yet if you are writing a book for a commercial purpose, you have to send it out there and know that there is no possible way it will be universally adored. Writers are sensitive creatures who must grow the thickest skin possible once the book is for sale.

Our reaction to reviews on amazon and goodreads is the litmus test.

While there are a few readers reviews that made me wince or grumble, I am honestly grateful for the experience of learning what people think. Taking some slaps on amazon is preferable to the alternative—refusing to read any reviews and growing ossified, determined not to listen to any criticism.

And so as my first novel, The Crown, receives its 231st review on amazon, I want to say thank you to the readers who've taken the time to do this--think of a response, write it, and upload it. My page here.

The latest review is one of my best since the book was published by Touchstone (S&S) in January 2012, and I'm grateful!

5.0 out of 5 stars The Crown, August 1, 2014
This review is from: The Crown: A Novel (Paperback)
 The Crown by author Nancy Bilyeau literally took my breath away as a piece of literary brilliance.  I am not huge on historical fiction books that also fit into the genre of thrillers and or mysteries; I usually prefer historical fiction novels that are more centered around the person and their life,  the period in which they lived,  with a little romance popped in.  With this book my forgone conclusion about what I prefer went out the window.

The novel takes the reader into the world and times of King Henry the eighth and some of the events that lead to a young novice named Joanna and her struggle to fight for the preservation of her way of life as a young postulate nun living under the rules of enclosure; Joanna must do this under blackmail from a Bishop who uses her Father as leeway holding him hostage until Joanna finds an artifact that the bishop believes will change the course of actions that are ripping what he considers to be England's true faith into pieces.

Every detail and conversation  between characters was written beautifully and made me feel as if I was there with this young nun;  The scenery was described beautifully and the characters development through out the book made me relate with the characters and literally made this book an addiction as I got deeper into each chapter.   I'd recommend this book highly to anyone who likes historical fiction; Especially Tudor Era genres. 

To people like "butterflywriter," I want to say--keep reading! Not just my novels, but as many as you have time for, and keep sharing...


  1. Well, it's nice you're getting reviews.

    There are thousands of us out here who don't get any!

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