Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Reviewer Who Changed My Life--JL Whitehead of The Examiner

At the beginning of 2012, I heard about a reviewer who works for The Examiner. "JL Whitehead is very honest when he reviews books," a fellow author told me. "But if he gives you a good review, it can help your career immensely."    I looked him up online and was very impressed. He had helped so many authors' careers, just by reviewing their books.  I took a chance, bit my nails, and contacted him through Facebook
    I knew very little about promotion at the beginning of this year. I'd never done a book signing. I'd mostly promoted online.
    JL Whitehead kindly wrote back saying he had quite a list of books ahead, but that he would review mine in time.  Just over a month later, he read my book and was ready to write the review. He just needed some pictures of me at a signing to put at the top of the article.
    I panicked because I'd never even BEEN to a signing--let alone had one for my books. But this was a chance to be reviewed by JL Whitehead!  I had to think fast.    
   My mind raced to The REad Cat Bookstore in Clearfield, UT. Through this bookstore, many children developed a love of reading. Residents realized they could still afford to buy quality books.  The place had the most helpful staff and wonderful selection of new and used literature.
    I called and asked to speak with the owner.

    "Hello, this is the owner, Eric," a kind-sounding man replied.
    "I need your help, Eric. I'm a struggling author. I finally got a chance to be reviewed by The Examiner, but the journalist needs pictures of me at a signing."
    He understood immediately. And although he had nothing to gain, he generously helped me and never asked for anything in return.  He gave me a signing that very day and taught my daughter how to take pictures during the event--she'll never forget his kindness.  
    "Why did you do this for me?" I asked, surrounded by people he'd invited to the event.
    "Because, it feels good helping others. And I read the back of your book about your son who passed away. What you wrote will help people someday."

(I'm on the left. Melynda Fleury's on the right.) 
This was nother signing at The REaD Cat Bookstore shortly before it went out of business.  
I sent the pictures to Mr. Whitehead as soon as I got home. He posted the review shortly after and what he wrote touched my heart. You can read his review HERE.  
    That review and signing marked the beginning of all the success I've had this year. I drew the attention of big-name authors. I was able to make connections that got me a signing at Barnes and Noble and other helpful stores.  But none of this would have happened without JL Whitehead. He believed in my writing enough to promote it more than I'd ever hoped. He (inadvertently) inspired me to land my first signing.  Because of him my writing has reached more readers than I'd ever hoped.
    This post is to thank JL Whitehead. I'd also like to say that if you need a thorough, honest review, he's the person to contact. 


JL Whitehead of The Examiner reviews and promotes the works of authors. He also handles projects that entail proofreading, editing and ghostwriting.