“You take my money, you get my opinion.”- Ridley
Author Raani York has written a blog about how authors would like reviewers to review their books. I held out hope for a scant few minutes that she wasn’t serious but, alas, she was.
All italicized quotes from York’s blog.
While every Author loves reviewers and is happy and grateful to every single person who takes the time and effort to write and publish a review, maybe it is time at this moment to let you know how some of us feel about reviews.”
I’m wondering in view of recent events why on earth she would think this was a good time to lecture.
“Authors, and in particular new Authors, whom are unknown, hopeful and a tiny bit scared, are thankful to every single Reader who buys their book and invests time to read the story entirely, write and publish a review to recommend our books to more readers.”
Notice that she acknowledges that we have bought the book but then she veers off and insists that we read the entire book. First of all, no one needs to read the entire book if it is, well, crap. If the first few chapters are full of bad spelling, bad grammar, inconsistent pacing, and wretched plotting it isn’t going to improve. No one needs to read an entire book if it is badly crafted.
“Of course we are well aware that our book might not be for everyone.” ” I am sure I’m not the only Author hoping that my “Masterpiece” is for everyone who opens it, but I do of course accept that this will hardly be realistic.”
Mmm, that’s right, cookie, very few books appeal to everyone so you could leave out the “might” and “hoping” for the universal approval of all and sundry. That ain’t gonna happen.
“…write and publish a review to recommend our books to more readers.” ” And we are nearly dancing with excitement to find the respective Reader has loved our work!” ” But to us new and unknown Authors, every single review is an important support and is well needed.”
Besides trying to make the idea of a universally appealing book twice, she also tries to reinforce the idea of positive, and only positive, reviews three times in eight short paragraphs.
“We are handing our work out, for everyone to see, and it does take courage to do so, you must know. the keep in mind that we have not just thought of some story and “poof” it was there. There is so much involved…”
Wait, wait! I thought we had bought the book, yes, there it is in the second paragraph but now the author has handed out his/her book? No, this is a paragraph filled with wrong and not so subtle manipulation. “Handed out”- implying the author has given a copy to the reviewer who is too poor or cheap to buy it. “Takes courage”- lately accepting any book by any new author and reviewing it calls upon bloggers/reviewers for a level of faith and courage that a lot of authors seem to conveniently to ignore. Kathleen Hale, anyone? “You must know”, yeah, we know, do you? “…we have not just thought of some story and “poof” “, please, tell us all about it because, you know, we have absolutely no freaking idea, we just stand around with our hands out waiting for some “courageous” author to drop a book into them. Other than that we live in a positive vacuum and have no contact with authors, agents, publishers, or anyone else connected to industry. Yes, Virginia, that is sarcasm.
In case we really have no idea she includes a helpful but incomplete little list.
“It would be realistic to think that our first book has involved years of our time, effort and of course heart and soul!”
“Our books are our “babies” and of course we would love to see you as a Reader, enjoy our work!”
Barf yet again. Lady, either we have just bought your baby or you gave it away and what sort of parent does that and stays out of jail? Okay, bad sentence- hers, not mine. Is that book your baby or your work? Make up your mind but let me help you, a lot of reviewers curl their lip in disgust and back away from the wild-eyed author insisting that a 300 page book is their “baby”.
We want those authors to keep their babies at home or pass them around only to family and a few close friends and not let them loose where the general public can find them. It’s just safer for all involved.
“as an Author” ” that Authors” What the hell? As a Blogger, and the Notorious Blogger at that, I can tell you that capitalizing the A doesn’t make you something more than an author. An author you are, no caps. Unless, maybe, it’s because Authors have feelings and are sensitive and vulnerable as opposed to authors who are professional and don’t spend time trying to lecture Bloggers on how to write only 4 or 5 star reviews.
“A good review is a 4- or 5-Star review. And as new upcoming Authors we do need every possible star, the more the better! I therefore hope you will forgive me if I’d list a few wishes I have, as an Author, when it comes to reviews:”
The only good review is a 4 or 5 star review. Reinforce that every chance you get, cookie. Leave off the caps, you are still only an author. And no, not going to forgive you for this piece of tripe.
“1. If you aren’t convinced of our work, and you don’t feel it deserves a 4- or 5-Star review, please contact us in private and let us know why you are not the biggest fan of our book. When you find constructive criticisms we understand, but still have good words about our writing, we can decide together, whether or not a quite positive 3-Star review can be published.”
1. I bought your book, I get to review your book. Without you. For 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 stars- without you. You don’t get to decide squat. Are you high, drunk, or just that damn arrogant? And fix that second sentence.
“2. Make sure you REALLY read the entire book before reviewing it. I was given a review by a person who has clearly “jumped” half the book before telling me it was extremely bad(how can anyone judge a book who hasn’t actually read it?). Thank God that review was never published!”
2. If I don’t want to wade through your badly written book, I don’t have to and you don’t want me to because the more I have to suffer through, the more I have to criticize in my review. I’m certain that you and some other authors believe that any critical review means that the reviewer hasn’t read your book correctly or completely or at all but, you know, all too often they have indeed read it and, surprise, they didn’t like it. Suck it up, snowflake.
“4. Before criticizing my grammar and typos, please make sure your review is impeccable, otherwise you might not be taken seriously. Keep in mind that a self-published 1st edition still might have a few flaws. I don’t say that’s how it should be – but it happens. Every Author who is permanently working on getting better is going through it again to correct these mistakes in a second edition. So am I, together with my editor.”
3. First of all, 3 follows 2 not 4. Learn to count. Second of all, stuff it. I’m not selling a review, my grammar and spelling don’t have to be perfect but good try to silence some reviewers who feel shaky about their skills. Good try. Your blog has a few flaws, and I’m not taking it seriously. I’m taking it apart. I’m having fun, I hope you’re not.
“5. Don’t rip us to shreds just because “you can”! It seems there are a handful of Readers out there who like to read books and write reviews – but apparently not even one book is “good enough” for them to give it more than 1 or 2 stars and their reviews are written in a very rude way and a very poor grammar and spelling. Seriously: if books are so bad – you might want to consider finding another hobby?”
4. 5 should be 4. Oh dear, would you like to pick out the books we read as well as tell us how to review them? No. If the review offends you- good. I get the feeling most of my reviews would offend you and I don’t care. If reviewers are so terrible, why don’t you stop writing?
Then she blathers about reviewers rewriting the book in their review, maybe a few but most of us haven’t the time to improve on a bad book and we have no financial incentive to do so, we are already reading the next book. Guess someone must have really criticized her plotting skills.
She writes she knows she won’t get only 4 and 5 star reviews, and after this will be lucky to get half the reviews she did before, but she writes again about authors and their feelings and sensitivity. What about MY feelings? What about MY sensitivity? Stop laughing. She orders us to show some manners because a whole blog telling us how to write a review and alluding to our shortcomings is oh, so polite.
If I don’t like your book, I don’t like your book- and I get to say so whatever the reason. You don’t get to pull sad puppy eyes, shake your finger, and lecture me about how to write an acceptable review. I’m not working for you. We are not working for you.
“And when you don’t think it was the perfect story for you, then this doesn’t mean the book is bad! You still can show some respect for our efforts try to entertain you.”
About as much respect as you extended to me.