Friday, September 23, 2011

Reviewing is Difficult...

by G.Parker

I volunteer to review books simply because I like to read and I really like free books.  ;)  However, agreeing to review them is the difficult part.  What if you don't like the book?  What if it stinks?  What if it's the greatest thing since peanutbutter and it makes your own writing look bad?  You'll want to throw in the towel and never write another word again. I've got two books to read and review.  I've finished one, and now at least I have more time to do the next one.  Publishing is a low budget thing, ya know?  So you got to work with what you've got, and if people are slow mailing the book, there's not much you can do.

The first book was nothing like I thought it would be.  Unfortunately, my first thought was that the author should have been part of a critique group, they would have helped her with some small things.  Otherwise, I enjoyed it and thought it was a good story.

Have you ever done a review before?  Have you wondered how best to talk about it?  Do you give the whole story line away?  Or do you just give enough to wet the appetite and encourage the readers?  What if you can't stand it?

I often wondered what the response would be if I wrote that the author should never have published... grin.  Fortunately, that wasn't the case with this book, or any of the books I've reviewed.  They were all worth reading, if only once.


Anonymous said...

I've done several book reviews, and I made a promise to my readers that I would be honest, good or bad. Usually that's true, if there's just one or two little peeves, I'll mention them as "fair's fair" in my review Only once did I come across a book - written by someone I admire - that I chose not to review because I didn't want to pan my friend. (Don't ask, I'm not telling who.) I don't usually have problems with envy, because I believe there is room for as many good books as the world can hold! I love discovering a good book, and I'm far too much of a busybody to keep it to myself when I do!

Keith Fisher said...

If it's bad, say so. The trick is to say it in a nice way. If you aren't honest in your reviews, then your opinion can't be trusted.

I have wanted to rant about some of the books I review, but if its too bad, I don't review it.

NoSurfGirl said...

I haven't reviewed any books... but my first book will be published come April. And I need people to review it :/ I won't ask you, because I don't know you very well. Unless you would want to.

At any rate, reading this I think back on my writing and wonder what I can do to improve the NEXT book (this one's already a done deal.) Critique groups are vital--you're right. As is writing experience. Sometimes I wonder if a person should just write for five years or so, say. ANd toss out any manuscripts produced in those first five years. Or rework them.

In the end, if you were reviewing my book, I would of course love it if it were a great review. But you wouldn't be doing me any favors if you gave me a stellar review when really, there were several helpful suggestions you could have given me to improve my next work.