Admittedly, I was one of those first-time authors who said “I wrote this book for myself and not really for a retail venture.” Shortly after publishing, I heard someone say, “Oh, one of those authors—that has a book that doesn’t sell.” I laughed at that comment, it seemed so fitting. But, now that my first novel is finished and available in every format including audiobook, the tides have turned! I was so excited at the initial debut reactions from the first trial readers, I really wanted my book to succeed!

Kirkus Reviews was obviously the holy grail of reviews. It only takes about 30 seconds of Googling the best book reviews to learn this fact. Was I the caliber of an author that should be asking for a true, professional review? After fighting my humble side in an epic internal battle, I just had to have Kirkus give me the real skinny on my first stab at writing. Deductive reasoning won. I wanted a true, unbiased opinion of my many years’ worth of research and hard work.  Period. I was extremely nervous about spending real money on a review that could potentially tell me that I should not quit my day job. I elected to spend the cash and go all in!

When the notification email arrived that my Kirkus review was complete, I had to sit back and hold my breath. I held it for a really, really long time. Blue in the face, I opened the file….My skeptical side was in control for a minute; I actually expected some harsh criticism, as I wrote this book in a very unconventional way. To my surprise, my review was excellent. Obviously, my next step was to post links to my review for the world to see! I was extremely satisfied in knowing I am of the caliber that can hold up to the industry. If only for that, it was totally worth every dime. The extended marketing benefits of my holy grail Kirkus review are an awesome bonus!

Swapp was born 150 years too late to fully realize his passion. He is infatuated with the 1800s, particularly the West and the allures that drew so many people to drastic measures of unforeseen survival challenges and hopes for riches to find their versions of true freedom. His debut novel, Clevenger Gold, The True Story of Murder and Unfound Treasure, is the result of 10 years of compiled research. The handed down stories, articles, and findings made this journey an exciting one. Stories such as this continue to bend and warp until someone places pen to paper with the backing of sound research. This was his attempt to clear the air for what did, and did not, happen.