I was hanging out on Smashwords this afternoon, watching the ever-growing list of newly released e-books (most of which – ahem – are at least one dollar more expensive than my high-quality 99 cent collection. Just sayin’.) when I had a horrible realization. Yes, it was a shock to be hit with, but so true: I realized I’ve been so focused on my writing lately that I have become a not-so-great reader. Egads! How terrible! Reading has always been a huge part of my identity. I am a voracious reader, and for two years when I lived on the far side of the world where electricity is not such a reliable thing, reading quite certainly saved my sanity. Also, reading erotica is hot. So I should do more of that.
Here’s my fresh decision: I will support my fellow indie authors by buying, reading, and reviewing their work, just as I see them doing for mine. You rub my back, I’ll rub your…whatever. And sometimes I’ll just give our free back rubs. Because everybody loves back rubs!
In case you are curious, here are my personal rules for reviewing:
- Only review it if I have read the whole thing. This seems like a no-brainer, but considering some of the inane reviews out there, I’m pretty sure some people spew their opinion before finishing the book. Or maybe they just didn’t read the blurb carefully enough. In any case, that’s annoying; don’t review it unless you’ve read it. Pretty elementary, folks.
- Give a truly honest review. I admit, I have high standards for writing – my own and other authors included. Sometimes I read some of my older work and say, damn, that sucks. But I can fix it! Then I do, and sometimes I make it not suck anymore, and other times I just throw up my hands and throw in the towel. It happens. In any case, I believe in honest reviews. Otherwise, what’s the point? Which leads me to –
- Only leave a review if it’s 3 stars or higher. I am not one of those people who believes in the power of negativity. Nope, I am a proud optimist, and as such I like to live in the world of the positive. Really, who are these people who go around leaving one-and-two star reviews? That’s, like, D’s and F’s on report cards, even though you know the student worked hard. If you hated the book so much, then why did you even finish it? (Which relates back to point number 1. I’ve attempted to read some pretty awful books in my time, but a couple of years ago I decided life is just too short to waste on bad writing. Without shame, I now send the really bad ones to Goodwill – but I don’t review them, because I couldn’t bring myself to finish them, and that wouldn’t be fair. Makes sense, right?) Anyhow, nobody likes a Debbie Downer, so leave your one-and-two-star reviews in your head, and find a book you like better. Just like your mom always told you: “If you can’t think of something nice to say, better to say nothing at all!” Another easy rule to follow, right?
So there they are! Fionna’s three rules for reviewing! Stay tuned, because I’ll be reading and writing up a storm these days. Hope you all enjoy!