Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Review for fun! For information! For love.

When Amazon was new and I was unpublished, I used to read a lot of reviews. They were informative and well-thought-out and helped me pick my next readable. I trusted them, and they rarely steered me wrong.

Nowadays, Amazon's algorithms for visibility have made reviews into a commodity, and since I have a couple of books out with my name on the covers, I abstain from reading reviews.

Not reviews of my books because neither my ego nor my self-loathing are developed enough to take that hit directly.

Not reviews of my friends' books because I get all angry and defensive and chupacabra, and it's on someone else's behalf, which makes the fury feel righteous.

Not reviews of books that are doing really well in my genre because all my attempts to replicate the success of those books have ended in manuscripts sacrificed to the dark gods of Why Even.

Not reviews of books that are clearly not selling well because, dude, someone put effort into typing all those words and then made the (foolish?) decision to go ahead and share the resultant opus. With everyone. For money. That's... kind of precious. Definitely brave. I don't want reviews to spoil that for me.

Nope, instead of putting my eyeballs on book reviews, I have a couple of super-kind friends who screen them for me. They cut and paste the reviews of my books that I'm allowed to read, send them to me, and then I print them out and frame them and ... well, they make me happy. Intensely, tearfully, gratefully happy.

Now, this isn't a foolproof system, so if you've reviewed a book of mine favorably and I haven't sent you chocolates or gifs of people hugging, feel free to message me. You really want this gif-storm. If you've reviewed unfavorably, I don't know about it but I will tell you this:


Seriously. Regardless of whether you loved my work or hated it or meh'd it, you took the time to read, to leave your thoughts out there for someone else who just wants advice on picking his or her next readable. I've been that person and would be still. You make that person's world better. So, thank you from prepublished-me.

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