I have the pleasure of welcoming one of my closest friends, and my editor, to the blog this week. She has spent countless hours pouring over, not only my manuscripts, but also that of many other authors in the indie community. She is also a tireless reviewer who strives hard to provide quality reviews to for not only her authors but for other readers like herself.
Please give a cold dead body welcome to LJ Redding.
She will be a permanent guest here on the blog every third Monday of the month, real life permitting, so be sure to come back and join her every month!
Reviewing isn’t always just fun and free stuff; it isn’t even always easy. I wanted to share a peek into my mind right now – as I work on a particularly stressful read/review. Things that are going through my head, in this instant, as I struggle to find the balance between the not-so-pretty truth and not wanting to make someone give up on writing… Authors are delicate creatures… but they need the truth in order to be the best they can be!
Here are my raw thoughts as I struggle through a poorly produced book: Wow – there are so many mistakes and inconsistencies; I cannot give this book a good review! It’s not even edited. If she couldn’t be bothered to spend the time to edit it, why should I spend time reading it? *BUT* Perhaps she doesn’t realize how bad it looks – perhaps that’s why she hit up a total stranger for an honest review! I’ve got to tell her! How do I tell her the book looks terrible without being a total bitch? *WHO CARES?! GET ONLINE AND TELL HER IT SUCKS RIGHT NOW and find something GOOD to read, quick!
She likely put a lot into this book and will take anything I have to say personally… but wait! This is exactly the sort of thing that makes indie authors look bad – dropping un-polished books and contributing to that dreaded “everyone’s a writer” attitude that the masses seem to have…. so screw her feelings! *BUT*… no … spare them. Just tell her she needs a proofer to take another pass.
No! She’s counting on HONEST feedback, she can’t fix it if she doesn’t know about it… BUT… but… You get the idea.
So many people read book and product reviews on amazon and automatically discredit anything with a disclaimer. I do not feel compelled to give anyone a good review just because I may have received their book or product for free or discounted – and while many people do fit this stereotype, there are many of us reviewers who are honest. Who like to think that the seller/author came to us because they want to IMPROVE their product, not just for blind praise. Who work hard to deliver an honest account of our experience with every single product.
We do hurt sellers’/authors’ feelings. We get bullied by those assuming we’re all liars. We put up with it all in the hope that someone, somewhere- be it seller or consumer – finds our feedback helpful. I am one of them. I’m aware that words are powerful. I’ve inspired authors to pull their books for re-edits. I’ve made authors second guess their writing careers and I even contributed to one “giving up on writing”. I’ve also prompted happy tears and inspired new readers for some authors. Some of us do consider every word we post with extreme caution. Some of us speak the truth in our product and book reviews. Certainly not all of us… but definitely some of us.
If you’re one of them – share this post or your own experience. And if you’re one of those reviewers who just gives everything blind, positive feedback, I implore you to re-evaluate that because, you’re making us all look bad and you’re helping no one.