Wanda's world wiews and wamblings.
So today it's all about us, the reviewers. Hold on to your hats, this is going to put a few things out in the open that is a big no, no on Facebook.
We all work with these authors 24/7, sometimes 29/7 and then some. We love them and they love us, we love reading and they love writing. Good, right? NO!!!!!
I know of this I am as guilty as sin, especially in the beginning, way back when, when I started this I felt so grateful towards the kindness of an author for giving me a book for free that I would give them a way higher rating that I in reality thought their book deserved. I wanted to please them, but it only got worse.
I got to know some of the authors and I found them to be great human beings and I could not give a low rating to such an awesome person! I grew out of that to a degree. Not completely but a bit. So the other day I was reading a review done on a book I reviewed way back when, and this reviewer very nicely stated what the shortcomings of the book were and what bothered her as a reviewer. It got me thinking. Are we creating a culture of coddling professional authors?
Because really, whether your indie published or mainstream published, this amount of talent is no longer on the level of creative writing 101.
The idea that we might be coddling people because they are nice and because we don’t want to hurt their feelings is getting to me. I feel we are doing the authors and us as reviewers a great disservice. These are professional people, grownups who, if and when they make it big will have to face the same amount of critique thrown the way of Stephen King, Karen Rose etc.
Here we are handling them as if we know nothing about writing, well….. NO. We might not know anything about writing, but let me tell you what I think we all know something about. Reading. We are their target audience. We are the people they need to please; we are the people in whose imagination their creation is coming to life.
So am I preaching unfair, unjust, unfounded criticism for the sake of critiquing? No most assuredly not. But if you find a book published with a host of spelling and grammar mistakes, let the author know.
If you come upon a book where the jumps in logic is so fantastic that you need to go back three chapters to make sure you did not miss some link to get you from A to G, let the author know. If the book is in anyway not suitable for a crossover group of people. Let the author know. And when you are reviewing the first book in a series, and the strong heroin is flat and breaks down into uncontrollable sobs at the first hint of trouble, let the author know. They might not appreciate it, but if they learn from it, hone their craft - it is worth it.
I seriously expect authors might be losing a bus load full of reviews because readers see all the five star reviews on a certain book and feel as if their own review might be perceived too harsh! So authors stop chasing stars and listen. Reviewers, our work is not only in pleasing the author, it is in informing the readers. How do you get a balance? I am still working on that. What I do know is this. I would hate people reading my reviews and thinking - aah she is only saying that because…. I love reading, books and all things that go with it way too much to cheat us all by encouraging this culture of coddling grownups from the truth. So will all my reviews be only a 3 star review in future? Not at all, but it will contain some valid, constructive suggestions.