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It was a lovely surprise to see that someone new has given my book a review on Amazon. It was doubly surprising that the reviewer compared my work to Ursula Le Guin’s–for a fantasy writer, that’s like having your guitar solo likened to Jimmy Page’s work.

And triply surprising was that this review came from someone I don’t know personally. I’ve gotten several sweet and glowing reviews from friends and family who have read Stranger Bird, but it’s a different kind of cool feeling to get a review from someone who has no friendship with me to maintain. (I consider her a friend anyway).

reading sb

When I set out to self-publish Stranger Bird, I hoped out loud on this blog that I would find 100 readers for the book. A number of people–represented most vociferously by my wife–found that a preposterous and too-modest goal. I always answered that I like goals that I have some reasonable hope of meeting. What I didn’t consider when I made my rash pronouncement, however, is that it’s a lot easier for me to know how many books I’ve sold or given away than it is to know how many people have actually read the book.

I do know that I’ve moved 100 books into people’s hands. More than 100, actually. I feel increasingly optimistic that 100 people will, sooner or later, read Stranger Bird. But even sweeter than knowing how many copies are out there is that someone I don’t know at all has read the book and liked it.