Friday, July 10, 2015

REVIEWS, ANYONE?

I’m excited today because I’m going over the proof—what is sometimes referred to as galleys—of McCLINTOCK'S RELUCTANT BRIDE as a last check of the text before releasing a book. Errors in a book annoy me as a reader.  As an author, errors in MY books upset me more than I can say. However, all the people who critique, beta read, and edit for me are humans. ☺


Regrettably, an occasional error is overlooked. Believe me, it is not for lack of scrutiny. Since I wrote the book, I know what I wanted to say. When I worked for a newspaper, we were not allowed to edit our own articles for this very reason. We need fresh eyes who don’t know what we intended to be certain what we say is clear and what we meant to relate.

A lot of criticism has been leveled at self-published authors. Trust me, I’ve been with one of the big traditional NY publishers, with a lovely small press, and now am self-published. Being self-published is NOT the problem. The problem as I see it is that in their eagerness to get a book online, some authors skip the editing process. Others are novices and don't yet know the craft well enough to publish their work.

Of course all authors love our books, they’re our babies and we are proud of them. Having criticism is like someone telling you your child looks like a monkey or a pig. Words spoken or written in a review can hurt.


Better is what one is taught in writing an editorial. For every negative, offer a positive. No matter how much you dislike a book you are reviewing, there have to be several things you liked.

I confess that if I dislike a book, I don’t leave a review (Except once when a book was infuriating). I’m ashamed to admit that even when I love a book, I seldom leave a review. I’m trying to break this lazy habit and leave a review for each book I read—and I read a lot of books.

Why bother? Many places for an author to promote require a certain number of 4 and 5 star reviews. Numerous readers scan the reviews before purchasing a book. Good reviews help an author immeasurably. Bad reviews do not. As I said before, bad reviews are heartbreaking for an author; good reviews are balm for our soul.


Lately, there is a tendency of some people who’ve downloaded a book for free to bash the book. Many times, the review makes clear that the person didn’t read the book. Who would do such a mean thing?

I won’t belabor the point, but please leave a review for every book you read, especially if you enjoyed the book. 

In the meantime, happy reading!
   

1 comment:

Zina Abbott said...

A lot of good thoughts. I agree that a few errors can slip into a manuscript, but I get annoyed when a novel is full of them. Also, yes, those reviews are so critically important to a writer. If readers only realized how much they affect an author's marketing abilities....Sure, we all want those 5 star reviews, but honest reviews with 3 or 4 stars, not nitpicky reviews that bash just to bash, have their value.