Day 6 of the #WingWritingChallenge says, “Book Review”. That’s it. No, what was the last book you read? What is your favorite review? Just straight up says, “Book Review”.
I don’t often leave book reviews. I read a lot of already popular authors and, trust me, they don’t need mine by the time I get to them. I mean, yeah, great, I can be number 15732 in their reviews, but I highly doubt they are going to see it and the multi-thousands of readers before me generally have my thoughts covered.
The non-popular authors that I have read lately … well, trust me, they wouldn’t want me to review them. I’m not a fan of several of the genres that have been sent to me. I’m afraid erotica isn’t my thing, nor is most sci-fi, or even (maybe especially?) sci-fi erotica.
I have several friends that are beginning their journeys as authors, as am I. I love many of them forever and more, like JC Wing, who you all know about because I mention her all the time, as well as JC Rochford. There are many others that I know and adore, but if I listed them all, I’d never finish this posting before I had to start on Day 7 and I’ve got things to do, man!
Because I love them, I am often afraid to read their work. If I hate it, I don’t want to have to hide that and I’m a horrible liar. Okay, I’m not a horrible liar, I’m actually quite good at it, but I don’t want to have to lie to my friends because, of course, they’re my friends! Yeah, it might be a little white lie, supposedly, but those things snowball.
What if they sent me the sequel because I “liked” the first one? *shudder*
It’s easier for me to let them collect dust on my Kindle.
But AK, what if it’s amazing? You’re missing out!
I’m afraid that is a gamble I am willing to take. I can always pick up a book and read it later, but I can’t bleach my brain if I’ve read it and it’s awful.
There is an author out there who wrote about vampires and their love stories before Twilight. I tried to read an ARC. I was so agitated by that book before chapter three that I threw it across the room and refused to touch it, even to donate or recycle it. I am friends with that author and they’ll never know, but I judge them, harshly, for that book. It has affected our friendship dynamic.
For all I know, that book is still laying on a floor somewhere.
I am happy to send my friends my books for free, and I don’t expect, or want, their reviews, generally. It’s just one of those things that makes me who I am, I think … ? Don’t get me wrong, I love it when they do leave one, but I definitely don’t expect it. Hopefully they understand my stance on this.
Besides, Amazon has been figuring out who are friends and who aren’t and are removing reviews. That is frustrating on a lot of levels.
I know my books are good, one may even be great, but when I read them myself, I catch the errors. And the errors stick with me.
When I read JD Robb and catch errors or typos, I hold it against the author and her full time editing/proofreading team. I stopped buying her books for about two years because I was so agitated at the crappy job her editing team does. I don’t want to do that to my friends, or have them do that to me.
However, if I stumble upon something from an author I don’t know, and it’s freaking amazing, well, yeah, I’ll leave a review. In the past two years, I have left one. You heard me.
Remember what I said about Sci-Fi? Without the erotica. I don’t generally read it.
When I first joined Twitter, I entered a contest. I forgot about it almost immediately. I entered because the person running it made me laugh and when I saw their profile, well, they received my entry.
About a month later I was sent a DM asking for my address as I had won an advanced copy. Admittedly I was very, very sure that this was one of those marketing schemes and everyone who entered probably won.
Turns out not to be the case here. I was sent an actual Advanced Reading Copy, signed by the author. I know how much those things cost. And it was sent from England so the shipping was outrageously high.
With some trepidation I started to read the book. When I next looked up, I had finished it and it was 4:00 in the morning. Holy shit, that book was amazing! And there’s a sequel, to which I was offered a sneak preview as I had read the first one. That contest keeps paying dividends!
Are you curious which book it was?
I suggest checking it out if you have the opportunity. My Companion picked it up as an audio book as he’s a big fan of sci-fi. I’ll let you know what he thinks when he’s finished as he may be a better judge than I am in this genre.
There you have it, my friends. My honest take about reviews and leaving them. Next time I see this kind of category, maybe I’ll talk about the ones I’ve received. Spoiler, they’ve all been quite kind so far.
P.S. Special note to my author friends: I love you. You may very well be the exception to my “I don’t leave reviews” stance, and we’ll figure that out in years to come.