Thursday, 18 April 2013

Reviewers – Why I Won’t Bother You.

First, good news everyone!

I announced it on Twitter already but the cover reveal for “The Art of Love” will be happening on May 3rd so prepare for the excitement! Admit it, you 25 people who have clicked on this blog are dying to see the cover. I have some super fab bloggers helping me out with the reveal so stay tuned for more details! 

Second, I think it’s time for me to talk about reviews.

I’m not a book blogger, although I read a lot of review sites as well as Goodreads reviews. I’m also friends with a few book bloggers so I’ve been made aware of how difficult things have been lately regarding author-reviewer relations. I think it’s safe to say that things haven’t been too good for the past year and a half or so. There have been fights, backstabbing, bitching, a whole lot of overreacting and misunderstanding and even some extremely dangerous threats made by some despicable people I won’t bother to mention. A lot of people have been hurt in the process, and it’s just ridiculous.

So here’s my review policy.

If you want to review my book, you can write whatever the hell you want.

I will not interfere with the reviews or bloggers opinions in any way. Reviews are not for the authors. One of the reasons I really love Goodreads is because it provides a forum for varied opinions by the readers and for the readers. Readers want to know if something’s worth shelling out their hard earned cash for and they need opinions they can trust. Sometimes it’s just fun to read reviews as well. There are some reviews I can read over and over again because they’re beautifully written or just so damn entertaining.

You are not a ‘hater’ if you dislike my book. You’re not even a hater if you despise it with the red hot passion of a thousand suns.

A small side note here but does anyone else think the ‘hater culture’ is really stupid? I swear that slinging around the term ‘hater’ has just become a cheap way to get out of taking legitimate criticism.

Criticism isn’t a bad thing and book reviews aren’t written by people who hate books. Why would anyone bother to put so much time and energy into something they utterly despise? Roger Ebert didn’t hate films. Ben Brantley doesn’t hate theater. Michiko Kakutani doesn’t hate books, although I do think she may be from a different planet sometimes (if you want to review my book in character as the dog from ‘Family Guy’ like she did then I would also welcome that).

The argument over snarky reviews has been a long and varied one that’s caused some controversy. Some see it as unnecessarily mean or not properly reviewing the book. As for me, I’m all for it. Get those gifs out if that’s how you want to review my work! Special points for anyone who uses gifs from ‘Firefly’, ‘Fringe’ and ‘Doctor Who’.

I don’t think there’s a right or a wrong way to review a book, or to review anything. I would prefer it if you didn’t make things personal or directly insulting towards me as a person. Insult me as an author all you want, but please don’t use sexist slurs or crack jokes about things like personal appearance or question my mental state. I’m sure you’re all lovely people and enjoy doing what you do and are smart enough to do it without lowering the tone in such a way.

Okay, I said you could write whatever you want then made requests of things you shouldn’t write, but I do think those were important things to say.

Otherwise, you’re good to go. Don’t let anyone dictate how you should or shouldn’t review something. Reviews are entirely subjective, as are people’s reactions to them. Don’t ever feel afraid to voice your true opinion, even if it goes against the grain. It can be a little daunting sometimes to be the one person in the group who hates something that seems universally loved and vice versa, but your opinion isn’t worth less as a result.

That’s not to say I won’t read the reviews of “The Art of Love” because I probably will. I’m always on the lookout for honest feedback. I just won’t comment on your reviews or try and force my way into your space to ‘correct’ you. The idea of waltzing into a reviewer’s safe space and intimidating them just makes me want to puke. Besides, I’ve seen what happens when authors do that and I have no desire to replicate it (honestly, I don’t blame any of you for adding books or authors to your shit-lists when they do stuff like that because it annoys me too. Who the hell ever thinks it’s a good idea?)

So there’s my policy. Your reviews, your rules. Just please don’t get personal about it. Otherwise, run free and be you.

It only feels appropriate to end things with a gif!

1 comment:

  1. agreed! well said - and yes, please refrain from the personal comments, especially ones about my family.