#Bookblogger bashing: in the end, you’re only hurting yourself #MondayBlogs

Today I’m hosting a post written by Terry Tyler which I feel strongly about aswell.

bMBCGi9O_400x400

#Bookblogger bashing: in the end, you’re only hurting yourself.

I’ve read a few posts lately about book bloggers being bullied or ‘trolled’ by writers for whom they have received bad reviews, or whose books they have rejected.  For more on this, here’s a heartrending post from The Happy Meerkat, and an associated one on Fictionophile about whether or not reviews should be objective or personal opinion, amongst other things.

Like 99% of the rest of the online writer/reader/blogger/reviewer community, I’m appalled that bloggers who give up their time to read books by total strangers, for no payment, are receiving such harassment.

I write this from the point of view of a writer, and a book reviewer.  Although my own book review blog is mostly for my own reading choices, I’m also a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team. There are 20-30 of us, who select books from those submitted by authors and publishers.  If we’ve reviewed the book (and we sometimes decline after reading a section), we then deliver the results to Rosie for inclusion on her blog.

On the submission guidelines, Rosie clearly states that we don’t provide a 5* only book review service, and that we pride ourselves on being honest, unbiased, balanced and constructive.  If we were to give only praise for every book submitted, the blog would be a) dishonest and b) therefore not worth reading.  Yet still she’s had to deal with complaints from writers who haven’t received the glowing recommendations for which they’d hoped. Some ask her not to post them, despite the hours of (unpaid) work that have gone into considering the submission, reading the book and posting the reviews.

Book bloggers are a gift to the self-published or indie press published author.  They do what they do simply for the love of reading/blogging/the book world.  They should not be given a hard time because they do not give a wholehearted, 5* thumbs up to what they’ve read.  Since being on Rosie’s team, I’ve heard of reviewers being accused of personal grudges against the author, lack of understanding of the author’s apparent brilliance, snobbery, and even not reading the book. A couple of years ago, one writer was extraordinarily rude, on Goodreads, about Rosie’s 3* review.  He slagged her off in public. She didn’t owe him anything.  He wasn’t paying her for her time.  He submitted his book for an honest review, which he received.  All he did was make himself look like an egotistical idiot.  Less than positive reactions are a fact of life for a writer. All reviews bring the book to the attention of the public and add to its ‘visibility’ on Amazon.

To book blogger bashers everywhere: have you ever watched The X Factor, or American Idol, or any of those shows?  You know the mediocre singer who can’t cope with the fact that he isn’t good enough to make it through to the next round, and is abusive towards the judges?  That’s what you look like when you harass book bloggers who don’t tell you what a wonderful writer you are.

The book blogger community is close and supportive.  If you start throwing your toys out of your pram every time you get a 1, 2 or 3* review, you’re likely to get a bad reputation.

Reading Soft edge

(Please note: in the following section, I’ve referred to the book blogger as ‘she’, rather than ‘he/she’, for simplicity).

If a book blogger rejects your submission it might be for any of these reasons:

  • You have sent a generic request rather than looking at the blog to see if your book is suitable.
  • You have come across as demanding, or unprofessional, or not even bothered to find out her name.
  • She has a busy life and does not have the time to read it right now.
  • Her to-read list is ten miles long already.
  • She is not interested in your particular genre.
  • She has read the blurb, and the subject matter of your book doesn’t appeal to her.
  • She has read the blurb and considers it badly written.
  • She’s read the ‘look inside’ sample on Amazon and does not consider the writing to be of the standard she wishes to review.

All these elements can be summed up by this: she doesn’t want to read your book.  That’s okay.  She’s not obliged to.

If a book blogger accepts your book, but gives it a less than positive review, it’s for this reason only:

  • She didn’t think it was very good.

She’s not being snobbish, or vindictive, and she’s not too stupid to understand your art, she just didn’t like it much, for the reasons stated.  Most book bloggers assess with a combination of objectivity and personal opinion.  If more than two reviewers say the book has unrealistic dialogue, or cardboard characters, or an unfeasible plot, or it’s too long, or it needs editing, or proofreading, it’s likely that they’ve got a point.  Deal with it. Learn from it.

But, most of all, don’t give the book blogger a hard time for pointing it out. It’s arrogant, it’s nasty, and, in the long run, the only person who will suffer is YOU.

 

 

 

Wednesday Wing – Simple templates for writing a #BookReview #wwwblogs

 Wednesday Wing is about passing on observations, tips and information to readers I’ve made a note of.

Rosie's Notebook

Today I’m passing on a tip about writing book reviews.

Many people don’t write book reviews because they believe they can’t possible write one.

Recently I was asked to help in the form of some easy templates which will start readers off and from which they can build their confidence to create their own reviews.

Template 1

(Insert book title) is set in (Example select; town, or country or a year).

The Book opens with (Example select; a name of a character or an action)

The story is about (Example; The Irish Famine, or the lives of The Tudor Kings & Queens, or the loves and losses of a vampire etc)

I enjoyed the (Example; Witty dialogue, or the Historical descriptions of the era, or how realistic the characters were.)

Template 2

Book Title and Author Name

(Name the first main character) example Nicholas is a Fallen Angel/ a divorcee/ police detective/ a lawyer etc

He/She works/ lives in (name the town, country, place or era)

Name one or two other leading characters. Say a little about them.

Say what links all these characters.

What did you like about the book?

What would have made it better?

Who would you recommend the book to? 

Star Rating given.

Template 3

Book Title and Author Name

Genre

Book Setting – time and place

Introduce the main characters

Describe the storyline in general terms (avoid spoilers that give too much away)

How was the book set out? (If this was obvious) For instance alternating chapters from different characters, or chapters from different time periods.

What did you like about the book?

What would have made it better?

What didn’t you enjoy in the book?

Would you read another book by this author?

Your star rating.

**Next week we’ll look at Star Ratings**

Links to previous Wednesday Wing Posts

 Checking your WordPress is linked to your Twitter helps others share your posts http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7L2

Writer’s Craft books by Rayne Hall full of REALLY useful tips http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Ma

 Hyperlinks, Short links and Linkys http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Rl

 Making your post titles easy to share on Twitter to maximise views. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7SA

 Creating Twitter pics that fit http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Y4

 Creating a slideshow on WordPress http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Yo

 Getting the most out of Google+ posts http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7YM

 Automated Tweets, LOVE ‘EM or HATE ‘EM? make use of them http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Za

 What’s Your Book Genre? http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-84S

 Should you write dreams into your work? http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-84Q

 What can I read in the first 10% of your book? http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-84W

 Dialogue – he/she said http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-87T

Creating Twitter Lists – http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-8ck

 Making best use of your Twitter “Thank-You” http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-8cn

 Should you write a book series? http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-87R

 Book Clubs Love ’em? Or Hate em? http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-8JQ

 Blog in a Slump? Give it some TLC http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-8LI

 Let’s talk about Libraries http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-8NP

 Getting The Most Out Of Twitter Share Days http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-8Pa