Friday, April 8, 2011

The Risk and Reward of Seeking Reviews

I've taken the leap off what feels like a very high cliff.

When I published my latest YA novel, The Toymaker's Son, in 2009, I had high hopes for marketing it to the world. My imprint, Pugwash Publishers ("Classroom-friendly fiction for kids and teens") was just starting to roll. Two previously published novels, Wild Dog Summer and Abby and the Curling Chicks, were moving well.

The Toymaker's Son came off the press and looked full of promise.

And then Life hit.

As a self-publishing imprint, Pugwash depends on the efforts of - well - me to keep it going. When 2009 turned into my annus horribilus, and 2010 didn't show much improvement, those efforts focused on other matters. Like, survival.

But it's 2011, now, and survive I did. The sound I hear getting closer is the thrum of Pugwash Publishers coming back to life. And the first item on the To Do list is to launch The Toymaker's Son out into the world.

So I've launched it at the venerable Canadian Review of Materials, the go-to site for teachers, librarians and parents in Canada who want to know what children's and YA books to read and, perhaps, what books not to read.

My hope is that a reviewer will say nice things about my book and (happy ending) The Toymaker's Son will find its way into the classroom, where it belongs. But the risk is that a reviewer will not like it. And where does that leave me?

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Risk and reward.  Sending out my novel to be loved or loathed is the price I pay for being a writer.

I'm willing to take the leap.

Attention Reviewers:  If you're interested in writing a review of The Toymaker's Son for your blog, your school newsletter, your library or wherever, please email me at jrmills (at) I'll take the risk.