Monday, October 24, 2016

Author Requests: Reviews on Demand (Blogiversary Musings)

Technically, I’ve been blogging since 2008, but there were a few years of starts and stops. But not only is October the month of my first blog post but it’s also my favorite month, so there you go. Sometimes arbitrary isn’t so arbitrary. Of course, usually it is.

Anyhooo… For the rest of October I'm posting about some stuff I’ve been thinking about over the past year as a reader and as a blogger. Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts if you want.

Author Requests: Reviews on Demand
I’ve read several books over the past year that were for “requested reviews.” For the most part, it worked out fine and I enjoyed the book and my subsequent interactions with the authors. Notable in these precious people experiences have been Terry Maggert (@TerryMaggert) and Rin Oliver (@koliver_writes). And I loved Santa Muerta by Lucina Stona. Really, the problem hasn’t been the books (though there are some exceptions to that, of course) the problem has been feeling like I HAVE to read the damn thing. And then feeling obligated to like it or say nice things about it and or to write anything at all. AND THEN! An author told me that my thoughts about a book were wrong, which honestly kinda pissed me off since she asked me to read the stupid thing in the first place and I didn’t even like it that much. 

Blogging is something I do just for fun and any element of AND NOW YOU MUST DO THIS annoys me, which sets up a bad vibe for the book from the jump. So, I’ve been thinking of just refusing books from now on. So what’s the problem with that, right? Well, all the books I’ve read by request are either books by underrepresented groups or are small press/ self pubbed. These are stories that need to be amplified because they might not be mainstream candy. I’m still working this out in my head, but I might set up some boundaries for myself so that I can at least feel differently about this whole experience.

I am looking forward to the last request I have agreed to, though. 

Do you have a way to keep “jobs” fun and interesting? Do you feel like you have to be different in your reviews that authors asked you to do?

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  1. I have definitely felt the "oh crap I have to say nice things about this or post it in a timely manner" feelings. I prefer when an author is like "review or don't, post or don't, I just hope you like the book" but obviously not all authors are that low pressure.

    If you want to boost indie books and underrepresented voices without the pressure, though, you could always set for yourself a challenge to read X number of indie books a month, and then review them as you would other books. Take your time. You're curating your own list that way too 😊

  2. Well. I'll readily admit that most of the pressure I feel is my own. I've never had an author be mean or purposefully disrespectful. Which probably makes it harder for me to not like their book.