Share it Please
Even though I don't really mean to be, I have to admit I'm super awkward about getting review requests by authors. This is 100% on me.
Most experiences I've made so far were delightful and I ended up liking most of the books that were offered to me by their authors.
But what if I hadn't?
WHAT IF I DON'T LIKE THE BOOK?!
How do I phrase politely that I absolutely hated your novel and wrote a 300 word review about how much I hated it? Even though I feel like my reviewing style is at that point where even negative criticism is phrased respectfully, I'm sure no author wants to read this about their book. And yea, indie authors read reviews. I know they do because I get reactions to the reviews from them once I have sent the links over...!
I still want to review books that are offered to me by the authors, I think it's a great opportunity and I like that they are so approachable, but sometimes I just wish there was more .... distance. I wish I didn't have to bite my nails feeling ashamed. I wish I would stare at my email account, just waiting for one author to absolutely flip out when I send over a bad review. That stuff happens.
Last year an author actually tracked down someone who gave them a negative review and wrote an article in The Guardian about this, not seeing what's wrong with that. Since I read that article I've been extra picky with accepting books for review that weren't offered through a publishing house.
AM I SCARED OF AUTHORS?
Heck yea, I am. I'm scared of getting negative reviews, possibly managing to agitate a black sheep that turns out to be a psychopath. Things like this are known to happen. Remember that author who tracked down a reviewer and hit them over the head with a bottle? I'm flat out scared to get my face slashed by someone that didn't like my opinion. Is this far-fetched? Maybe.
The thing is, while this probably, very likely *knock on wood* won't happen to me, there's always the possibility. The easiest solution would be to only work with big publishers then and completely cut off any contact with authors that isn't going through their publicists first. Well. I don't know if that really is a solution.
- I want to read indie books,
- I want to talk to authors,
- I want to see their reactions to nice reviews,
It will tell me to censor my review a little more, which I definitely wouldn't have done if the book were offered to me through a publicist.
While I do know that not every author can afford a publicist and/or it doesn't make sense for everyone, sometimes I wish there was a puffer person.