Reviews

This is for reviews of my own work. If you would like to see what I think of other people’s offerings to the world, please go to the Appreciation section.

Reviews for Soup

Before we get into the reviews section (OK, OK, click here if you want to skip this important message :-)) I wanted to discuss the following:

I have an announcement as it relates to Reviews for Soup, the fundraising initiative for the Jimmy Pratt Memorial Outreach Centre. I will be making a no-strings attached donation on May 30 instead of the previously pledged initiative.

By chance, I saw some people on Facebook talking about Amazon’s Community Guidelines and how they relate to reviews from friends and family. Essentially, close friends and family are not permitted to write reviews for your product, given that they are too close to you and it would be too easy to abuse the review process in your favour.

One of the other points that I noted from reviewing the guidelines is that it is not permitted to offer financial reward to a third party in exchange for reviews. The potential penalties for breach are severe, and could seriously interfere with the success of The Yoga of Strength. Given that this is exactly what I planned on doing for Reviews for Soup, I am not going to proceed with the fundraising initiative. Instead, I am going to simply donate $150 to the Jimmy Pratt Memorial Outreach Centre on May 30.

That all said, reviews are extremely important for the success of the book. If you do wish to support me in a very meaningful way, I would ask that you nonetheless offer your review on Goodreads, Amazon and / or Reddit. You have to wait until April 12 to post your review on Reddit, but you can (and I would very much appreciate it if you did) post a review on Goodreads and / or Reddit as soon as you can.

A few tips: If this is your first time writing a review and you plan on making it a long one, you might want to write the review in a word processor like Microsoft Word and then copy and paste it into the review site of your choice. Also, you might want to keep this page up and open another tab on your browser so you can click back and forth to consult the instructions. I have made the links open a new browser window by default, so you should be OK on that front if you follow the links provided.

Without any further ado, click on one of the websites below for instructions on how to participate!

Amazon - Goodreads - Reddit

Amazon

In order to leave a review on Amazon, you have to wait until April 12, because Amazon does not allow you to review unreleased products. In order to post a review on Amazon, you must have spent $50.00 with your account - you cannot do this with a new account. When the book does launch, here are the instructions:

  1. For Amazon.ca, click here. For Amazon.com, click here. For Amazon.co.uk, click here.

  2. On the main product page for The Yoga of Strength, scroll down. As you move down the page, there should be a heading on the left part of the page that says “Review this product.” Below that, there should be a grey box that says “Write a customer review.” Click that button.

  3. On this page (refer to picture posted below from my review of Nicholas Hale’s fantastic debut novel, Apprentice!), you can enter your star rating and write your review. Note that at the top (A) you can change your name. The star-rating (B) is fairly self-explanatory - click the star farthest on the right to give the book five stars. Click on the star farthest to give the book one star. You can change your rating after you click, so don’t worry if you press the wrong thing. You can also click the plus sign to add a picture here (C), if you want (like a photo of you holding The Yoga of Strength!). Below this, you can write your headline (D) and then your review (E).

  4. After you are satisfied with what you have written, click submit. Amazon will then vet the review before they post it up on their site. This may take a day or two.

  5. Congratulate yourself for supporting a debut author’s first foray into the world of literature!

Amazon reviews.jpg

Goodreads

If you haven’t heard of Goodreads, it is essentially social media for bookworms. You can read about books, reviews, see what your friends are reading, rate books that you’ve completed, chat about books. Besides being a juggernaut in the book world, Goodreads is a great place to discover new and exciting literature. It also allows you to write a review for an unreleased book, so if you have read an advance copy of The Yoga of Strength, you can write your review right now! Here are the instructions:

  1. If you have an account, click here for the book’s page!

  2. If not, click here! There is a sign up form on the right hand side of the page in large lettering - it says ‘New here? Create a free account!’ Below are the entry boxes. Put your name, e-mail address, and desired password into the boxes. Click through to create your account. If you have a Facebook account, it is easy to link through. After you have logged in, click here for the book’s page!

  3. Underneath the book’s cover on the left hand side of the screen, there should be a box that says ‘Want to Read’ and a little downward-pointing arrow to the right of that phrase. Click on that. A drop down menu will appear. Click on the word ‘Read.’

  4. A review screen will pop up (I have attached a reference image below with tags for clarity). Below (A), there are grey stars. If you press the one on the very left, you will give the book a one star review. If you press the star farthest to the right, you will give the book a five star review. Click on (B) and start typing to write your review. When you are complete, you can click on ‘Save’ below (C).

  5. Congratulate yourself for supporting a debut author’s first foray into the world of literature!

Goodreads reviews.jpg

Reddit

Reddit is a social media hub for pretty much all things human. It has a democratic element called ‘karma.’' People post things - written pieces, questions, pictures, videos - and these posts get votes up or down based on what the community thinks of the content. Other users can also leave comments on the post and those comments can get voted up or down as well. It is a pretty simple idea, something similar to an old-school message board, but it has a certain charm. And a large following.

Reddit is split into subreddits, or focused areas for like-minded people to discuss their favourite things. In this case, it is fantasy literature. A word of warning: Reddit discourages ‘low effort posts.’ If you are going to write a review on Reddit, it will have to be more than a couple of lines. You are not required to write a version of War and Peace, but you will have to make it longer than a couple of sentences. Here are the instructions for leaving a review.

  1. Click here to go to Reddit Fantasy.

  2. If you are already a member, log in. If not, click on “Sign Up” on the top right corner of the page. Click through the instructions to create an account.

  3. Once you are logged in and are on the main page, click on ‘Create Post.’

  4. Please note I have attached a picture with references below. Click on ‘Title’ below the ‘(A)’ to write the post title. My suggestion would be to use something like ‘Review - The Yoga of Strength.’ When you are satisfied with the title, click on the (B) to write your review. If your review contains spoilers, or description of events in the book that might spoil the story for someone who has not read it, you can click the ‘+SPOILER’ button below (C). When you are satisfied with your review, click on ‘Post’ underneath (D).

  5. Congratulate yourself for supporting a debut author’s first foray into the world of literature!

Reddit reviews.jpg

Reviews

Advance Reader’s Copies

Click here for fantasy author Nicholas Hale’s 5/5 review of The Yoga of Strength. Notable excerpts:

“At its core, the book is an exploration into the true, underlying nature of strength - not raw talent or knowledge, but blood, toil, sweat and perseverance- the things that make heroes what they are not just in a fantasy world but even in real life.

And that is where I feel the book truly shines - Andrew's growth is extremely believable and relatable.”

“The plot is never predictable at any point. I know that phrase is overused, but there are several twists in the book are just impossible to foresee.”

“The prose in the book is top tier and Andrew's (The author) command of vocabulary is pretty impressive.”

“On the whole, this book is a definite "must read" from me.”

Very early reviews

The following are reviews that  were written by those (un?)lucky few who have read the rougher advance drafts of The Yoga of Strength.


Congratulations on completing your book! It’s fantastic - it was actually my very first fantasy novel so thank you for such a thrilling experience! The more I read, the more I contemplated my own life - I couldn’t put it down and I finished it in one sitting. (Author’s note - the book is ~115,000 words long)
— Kerri Best

A novel that searches for the truth of personal mythology. A novel that shares a path in finding our truths. Beautiful, insightful and important. An amazing read.
— Janet Power

Finished your book! It was a great read. Hearty congratulations from me - what an accomplishment! I didn’t want to put it down - I read most of it in a few sittings.
— Peter Shea

A truly endearing tale of an unlikely hero, forced to navigate a newly discovered landscape of magic and politics, while fighting his own demons along the way. The Yoga of Strength shows that true courage means battling self doubt above all else.
— Shawn Bishop

A truly magnificent read from start to finish. With characters that grow before your very eyes, reflecting the passion and what it truly means to be human, The Yoga of Strength is a difficult book to put down.
— Reid Barrington

Brilliant! Would never have said this was Andrew’s first novel. He has a delicious gift for narrative (peppered with colorful language). I read without blinking... I laughed out loud... and I put the book down from time-to-time just to contemplate. Interesting characters set in a vibrant, magical world, each struggling with their own egos and inner demons, with differing degrees of success... as far as book 1 goes anyway. Can’t wait to get my hands on the (signed) published version and display my Yoga of Strength sticker on my laptop!
— David Mason