Summer 2018 Updates

I’ve been busy with major life transitions and doing some nonfiction freelance writing. But I’ve also been busy with my fiction writing as well.

I always seem to be “touring” and doing book promotions in the summer, so I kicked that off again this year with a reading at DreamHaven Books. While I was there, I read from Bright City, and I also read – for the first time – an excerpt from Mixed Blood, the first book in my new #ThinBloodlineSeries.

I hope to get Mixed Blood out by April 2019, but stay tuned for updates.

I will also be visiting comic book, anime, and pop culture conventions from July to November of this year. I’m forever grateful to my friends at Sewn Together Reflections for letting me table with them. Please take a second to learn more about them and their fantastic work, and you can see all of the cons we’re attending by taking a peek at my Events page.

Lastly, in case you’re interested, I have Bright City t-shirts for sale! I’m working on having other merch for both Bright City and Mixed Blood available soon.

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That Moment When You Get Your First Review

I received my first review of Bright City about a week ago from Guante:

A debut novel is always an exciting event, and it’s been very cool and inspiring to see DC Edwards break into the spotlight.

“Bright City” is a post-apocalyptic tale of intrigue and adventure, but separates itself from other books with similar descriptions in some surprising and powerful ways (which I won’t spoil here). Its listed genres are “new adult” and “urban dystopia,” and as much as genre labels don’t always work, those two actually feel really appropriate.

The world-building, in particular, is powerful. This is a vision of a future USA that is fantastical, weird, and very sci-fi, but also deeply connected to our world– especially in terms of how the book explores exploitation, colonialism, commodification, and solidarity. I also like how elegantly the book takes on these issues- they’re organically woven into the DNA of the story; so the politics of the book are bold and direct, but always in service of the story.

This is big. I keep going back to read it; I also keep thinking about why reviews are important. I’ve been telling people as they buy the book to leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads, but it’s really sinking in – as a first-time author – how important they are.

Sometimes, writing a book seems infinitely easier than promoting a book. I’m lucky that I have an awesome community that supports me in a lot of different ways: buying the book, buying copies for their friends and colleagues, taking pictures of themselves with the book under the hashtag #BrightCityBook, offering all sorts of marketing tips and tricks.

I think most writers are less than excited to market our own work. As a result, even asking people to review your book feels like you’re pandering or a little too “Please, sir, may I have some more?”

But asking people to review the book isn’t just about caping for likes. As this post explains: “book reviews left by readers on Amazon.com and Goodreads can make a huge difference in the success of an author, especially emerging and mid-list authors who aren’t getting their books reviewed in The New York Times.”

If you’re not sure about how to do a review, Katie Rose Guest Pryal breaks down some solutions and things to consider. And over at She Writes, Patricia Robertson talks about this issue that can prevent people from leaving a review:

They are afraid to give you anything less than 5 stars, especially if they are friends and acquaintances. To them I say, I’d rather have an honest 3 or 4 star review that explains why, then no review. (If all you have are 5 star reviews, readers will suspect that the only people posting the reviews are your friends and family. It’s actually better to have some 3 and 4 star reviews.) Sometimes a book isn’t a genre you like. Say so. This lets others know. If the reason they are not writing a review is because they would give it a one or two stars, then I say thank you for not writing.

Of course, 5-star reviews are wonderful, but I hope, if you read Bright City, that you will take a few moments to share your thoughts on Amazon.com, Goodreads, or your own website or blog. Thanks in advance!

[If it makes you feel any better, I also plan to start taking this advice and writing more reviews of the books I read.] 🙂