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A Tough Decision – Don’t blame the Book Blogger Blame Your Fellow Indies :(

Okay so the title is a little strange but bear with me and it’ll become clear and I’m very aware that after reading this my following may plummet and I’m fully ready for the fallout and any anger that is targeted at me 😦 .  The last few days have been very stressful and upsetting for me.  Some of you may have noticed I’ve gone a little AWOL from this blog and social media.  The reason for this is that certain circumstances had plunged me into a deep depression, to the point I was seriously thinking about deleting this entire blog, and I’m still feeling bad today.  While amazon was the final straw to break my back, it’s not the main reason for my depression.

After reading another piece of fiction sent to me on request I’ve struggled to give it a star rating,  Normally I don’t struggle to give any product or book a rating but for the first time I struggled.  My problem wasn’t with knowing what to rate the book, in my mind the result was clear, but for the first time I had clouded judgement because I knew the effect it would have on someone if I told them the truth.

Reviewing a book has always been simple for me.  I write what the book is about, listing both good and bad points (if any) are there and conclude with how the book was for me, giving a star rating based on my own personal opinion on the book.  Until now I’ve always found it easy to review books I’ve bought as well as those offered to me for review.  But for the last few days I couldn’t rate a book because I knew if I did, it would be a negative review and it would crush the person who wrote it.

The Start of this stress

For the past few weeks I’ve been receiving many more review requests than I ever have before.  These have been through various sources.  While I’ve accepted to review most books (I’ve been able to check out their books using previews and such), others have offered books that are badly edited and poorly written.  This is obvious from that ‘Look Inside’ feature that amazon has.  However it’s not always possible to see if a book is good and I’ve already had the displeasure of having to tell one author that I didn’t enjoy their work.  I did it in a tactful way and with some coaching from a friend but it wasn’t easy.  The way I approached that author was giving them the option of me not reviewing the book, given the low star rating.  It’s something I’ve seen many book bloggers put on their submissions pages: They won’t rate a book below 3 stars, others state that they won’t review books they ‘don’t get along with’.  However I have a dilemma with this type of reviewing and it’s what’s been tearing me apart for the last few days.

I started out as an amazon reviewer.  I’ve always been honest about everything I’ve reviewed and although it would take a lot for me to give a book a bad rating, it can happen.  However if I was reviewing a book I’d bought, or one sent from a publisher I would happily rate it without feeling this ‘guilt’ I have when dealing directly with authors.  Giving authors the option of me not posting the review when it’s a bad rating just feels like I’m cheating both myself and the whole reviewing system I stand by.  As harsh and horrible as it would be for any author to hear they’re getting a low star review (believe me I feel your pain too, and I wouldn’t enjoy doing it) it’s unfair to treat indie books with a different rule to traditionally published or ones I’d bought.

Many authors tell me they want an honest opinion.  In fact it’s something I always state when accepting review requests: I cannot guarantee a positive review, only an honest one.  Though there are authors out there who do understand this and who are able to tolerate a bad rating or criticism to their work, I come across a lot of them who can’t.  These authors will say they are fine with an honest review, but after I’ve had that dreaded conversation about their book with them, their actions speak of everything but ‘fine’.  From authors sulking, ignoring me, breaking contact with me, to harassing comments and other such behaviour, I know these authors are anything but ‘fine’ when I criticise their work.

Of course I understand people being upset.  I’m sensitive myself to criticism.  I’ve heard a lot of it over the years (from horrid bullying to teachers criticising me) and cried enough tears to fill many glasses.  But I’ve learned to have a thick skin, or at least as thick as I can and I know and accept that there are people who don’t agree with me and who may hate what I say or write.  But a lot of indie authors, what I call ‘bad’ indie authors are giving the whole industry a bad name and are forcing me to make a hard decision in accepting new requests.

I’ve been subjected to more than any reviewer should ever go through in the last few months.  Three bouts of ‘bad’ indie authors has plunged me into three horrible depressive episodes.  Each problem has led me to a darker place than the last and it took a lot of energy and willpower to climb out of that hole and continue on with blogging.  But the last few days have been the most severe, I even contemplated shutting down the entire blog, just deleting it to save me the pain of having to deal with any more of the ‘bad’ indie authors.

So how bad are ‘bad’ indie authors?

I know from what I have said so far that nothing seems too harsh.  Well the truth is that with every incident I’ve described in the past on my blog, the story I tell is a very light version of events.  By far the scariest event was the attack on facebook.  Not only was I dealing with someone who was irate and with a greatly inflated ego of their own work, but this person scared me more when I had further contact with them, contact I never spoke of on my blog.  I truly split personality that I have no doubt would have sought to stalk me online had I run this blog using my real name.

This attitude and behaviour may sound really out there and like a one-off but in reality, a great many book reviewers and bloggers have encountered these overbearing authors.  Most think their books are brilliant, need no editing and that some of us should even pay for the pleasure of reviewing them, but this is wrong, their whole attitude is wrong and it hurts the entire indie industry.

While some authors are overbearing and have forgotten the word ‘humble’, others are nice and kind and sweet but are just too sensitive.  I’ve spent a while, quite a few weeks chatting with other reviewers, including my fellow amazon ones.  Some are happy to accept indie published books but others are not.  I’ve brought this up before with several authors and the general attitude is ‘That’s a shame, why would the do that?’.  Many authors can’t understand why reviewers turn away indies.  But you haven’t had the experiences we have and you shouldn’t complain until you know what we’ve been through.

Many reviewers, especially the amazon top who refuse books don’t only cite the over demanding authors but the bad quality of many indie books.  As strange as this may be to hear for people who read this blog, the quality of a large amount of indie books is really bad and it is still a stigma for the indie industry.

What is a ‘bad’ book?

Before I have you telling me that books are subjective, that different people will like and dislike the same books.  This isn’t what I’m talking about.  Most books I’ve been offered recently, especially those from outside of the wordpress community, look as if an editor never touched them.  I’m speaking of obvious errors such as spelling, punctuation, grammar, to plot holes, unbelievable characters or basically all ‘tell’ and no ‘show’.  These sorts of errors are ones that most amazon reviewers actually flag in their reviews as reasons for their low ratings.

While a few amazon reviewers are happy to simply rate books badly, most are actually decent people and don’t want to go and hurt author’s feelings.  It’s not easy for any of us to give bad news.  One reviewer has told me that the only time they ‘bottled out of reviewing a book critically was when the book read so badly and the author was so sincere, it would break their heart to review it’.  Instead of giving a bad rating this reviewer simply told the author ‘I’m sorry I didn’t get along with your book’.  This is a statement I see often on blogs and it makes me wonder how many times a blogger or reviewer uses this statement to get out of rating an indie book badly.

In trying to write a review for the book I’ve been struggling to rate I too feel bad about giving a low rating.  The author of this book has told me such a sad story of their lost and then regained confidence in writing, I don’t have the heart to tell them that their book still needs a lot of work.  But if I continue to never rate any books because of an author’s feelings it calls into question my integrity as a reviewer and why should these authors get special treatment seeing as if I’d bought their book I wouldn’t be contacting them to ask whether they’d want me to leave the review.

Don’t hate me, blame you fellow indies.

So after being though a lot of abuse by authors and almost compromising my integrity with reviews, I’m at a loss as to how i could possibly continue to accept all indie review requests.  Many times it’s impossible to see whether a book will be good, some authors come to me with sob stories that DO get to me and then I struggle to review with a critical eye.

Other indies treat me like a commodity, a service to be used, like I don’t matter unless I give them the 5 star review they are secretly wishing for.  It may be fine to treat me as a service and complain if I charged them money but I don’t.  I do this reviewing for free, as a hobby, I never get paid, so why should I be treated in a way that makes me unhappy?

It’s unfair to be treated in this way and it’s even more unfair for other authors reading this to lay the blame with me.

I’ve seen many articles on the internet..  Bloggers shutting their submissions to indies and getting the blame.  Blamed for crushing the indie market all based on a few bad incidents.  But the reality is that my experience with the facebook attack was a mild one, a lucky escape that the author didn’t continue to stalk me.  I’ve read and heard of a LOT of accounts, even from close friends, of authors using stalking and abusive behaviour towards bloggers.  This behaviour has interestingly been geared more towards female bloggers than male, but the fact stands, this DOES happen and it’s forcing me to now ‘vet’ who I will review for in future.

I will still review all the indie authors I’ve previously reviewed for, agreed to review for and who I am on good terms with, those who can take a bad rating if I ever gave one.  I will also cautiously accept anyone referred to me via friends or other authors, though this will depend on whether the friend/author believes the book to be good and the knows the attitude of the author, knows that they can handle true criticism and a low rating (if I was going to give one).

I’ll be taking myself off the book review directory listing.  Will this hurt a lot of indie authors?  Maybe.  Will I miss out on a lot of good books?  I’m sure I will.  But it’s something I have to do to preserve my own mental state and integrity as a reviewer.

BUT before you go leaving comments, complaining about how I’m hurting the industry, hurting my blog, etc….Ask yourself this….Who is REALLY at fault.  Me?  Or your fellow indie authors?  Perhaps instead of blaming me, and complaining about my attitude, you should write open letters to them, blame them for their treatment of bloggers.  THEY are the ones hurting your industry.  And they’ve now cost you another reviewer. :/

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101 thoughts on “A Tough Decision – Don’t blame the Book Blogger Blame Your Fellow Indies :(

  1. I’m an indie author. I’m saddened that you’re closing your doors to reviewing self-published books, but not for the reason you think. I totally understand your dilemma. You have been torn between honesty and hurting someone. You’ve been harassed by indie writers who have an elevated opinion of their writing abilities. And you’re done. What bothers me is that these indie authors are basically ruining things for the rest of us. Some of us hire professional cover designers, editors, and formatters. Some of us understand that we are competing with traditionally-published books and want to do everything we can to look like a professional. But, we inadvertently get lumped in with indie authors who play by their own set of rules. That makes me sad — and just a bit ticked off. At them. Not you. If I was in your shoes, I’d probably would be making the same decision.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I don’t know what solution there is but it is a real shame as many people’s first experience with an indie book might be via a bad one on amazon and then it gives the whole industry a bad name. I wish I knew a solution but authors need to point it out more to each other I think.

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  2. Sorry you had to experience this and sad that you’re “closing” your doors to indies but totally understand where you’re coming from.

    Authors need to learn from constructive criticism and not berate the person giving it. I’m one author that welcomes criticism because it’s the only way I can grow as a writer.

    I wish you all the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I so admire you for your decision, and totally understand. I admit to not being as brave on occasion reviewing. I look at the reviews for my books and wonder to what extent they are OK or niot – or are peple just being nice and polite. I treasure those 3 star reviews when people have posted honest comments. Now I’m deparate to find out if my books are any good and one of the very few honest reviewers is going off grid 😦 Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I understand your decision and that it has been a difficult and necessary one to make. It seems to me that when asking anyone to review your work, it is with the understanding that there is going to be some kind of criticism and that criticism is an opportunity to make improvements to your work. No book reviewer should have to deal with spelling and grammar errors and I would be absolutely unapologetic about telling the truth. It can be delivered kindly. If the author can’t deal with the truth it is their issue. Unfortunately you have had a few people with over inflated opinions of their skill, that can’t take the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I learned to put my heart away long ago. I would rather have honesty than lies any day of the week. Review me I can take it.

      On Wednesday, October 19, 2016, happymeerkatreviews wrote:

      > elementhealing commented: “I understand your decision and that it has been > a difficult and necessary one to make. It seems to me that when asking > anyone to review your work, it is with the understanding that there is > going to be some kind of criticism and that criticism is an oppor” >

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Yes, unfortunately a lot of these people in a short space of time, compared to other reviewers. Ultimately I need to be happy myself first is the way I see it. Reviewing is something I do for free and as a hobby, it should be a fun experience and not a stressful one. Thank you for understanding 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Reviews serve two purposes:
    1. To help readers discern which books to buy, and
    2. To help authors see where they went wrong so they can correct course on the next book.
    With indie books, we can download a sample before we commit to the eBook or print version, so we really don’t need the review, although a review can save us time spent on the sample chapters.

    However, authors can take feedback from reviews and rewrite their books and rerelease them online and in POD. The luckier readers who bought the eBook may even be able to update their version and read the corrected version.

    Should a writer let their ego interfere with the critical process and fail to listen and learn then they deserve to watch their sales sink. Even the most bombastic windbag critic usually hits on something correctly in their review. Writers should pay attention and see if their comments have merit.

    Sadly, too many writers I know have thin skins and can’t take criticism. If only they would enroll in writing classes, and participate in workshops where they have to listen to criticism weekly to thicken their skins, then maybe they would be prepared for reviews and be ready to use them to hone their craft.

    My writing teachers, among them John Vandezande, who wrote Night Driving, the poet Diane Wakoski, and the novelist Don Webb were brutal, and to them I am eternally grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for commenting :). You are right, writers do need to have thick skins, the fact is that no book in the world will ever have a 100% positive fan base there will always be negative reviews. Many of the most popular books like Harry Potter have hundreds of bad reviews. I do think that these ‘bad’authors I’ve had experiences with see all criticism as personal and not directed towards their book. they take it as a criticism against their character and that’s where things go wrong. Some reviewers will plain rant and they are often unhelpful to both author and reader but most reviewers like me who might rate something negatively will still touch on good points and if we criticise anything it’s with the hope that it can be fixed or doesn’t happen in a future novel. Thank you again for commenting, perhaps all indie authors need to have some kind of lessons on criticism yes 🙂

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    1. Thank you for commenting. I don’t really want to abandon all indie author requests, but I need to be able to write reviews without the ‘bad’ authors attacking me for being honest. The reviews are ultimately written by readers for readers and I hope by posting this maybe authors can get involved and tell their fellow indies the importance of keeping cool and professional when dealing with reviewers 🙂

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  6. I like this because it is honest and genuine. I am new to the promotion business, but I don’t want to be a part of a phony community in which everyone is so busy being nice that only phony material gets noticed. I became an indie because a small press tried to replace my views with their racial bias. I didn’t want to be censored. I crave feedback and am sensitive but would rather hear something real even if it frustrates me. I think good books challenge the limits of mainstream meaning and help people change, grow and stop feeling alone. I think reviewers and writers need to be bold enough to be real. If someone reads my book and is so bias as to be unimpacted and claim that my experience is invalid, I will not be hurt by them. Like the reviewer from Ben Franklin awards who kept me from placing who just didn’t get it said so, i’d rather know the truth about them. Our Truth, it is why we right write.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for commenting :). You are right I believe that knowing why someone may dislike a book can only help a writer grow. I think there are some communities of writers (or maybe they’ve been living in their own sort of world) where the authors believe that everything they write is perfect, they can’t understand it when someone says no to that perfect scenario and hence some authors who perhaps shouldn’t be authors attack reviewers like me for being honest. Of course books are subjective but as someone who’s now writing a little and in general learning in life I try to hear any criticism with an open mind. You can choose to ignore criticism but authors should still be able to hear it. Thank you again and I hope this post highlights the issue and might make it easier for reviewers in the future 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. As a writer and reader of different genres, I have come to the conclusion that all reviews are subjective and misleading anyway. I just dive in and read the bloody book and draw my own conclusions at the end. My all-around advice is, if you need praise and want to please everyone…give up now. Just write and be damned. The whole literature world is swamped with good and bad material, that is loved and hated in equal amounts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi! My name is Patty Fletcher. I am the published author of one book. The creator of an online magazine. I get lots of criticism. Some of it I am thankful for because it is well given, and has great learning potential for me if I am willing to take it. Sometimes, I get nasty reviews, or comments. I set those aside, and say well, to each his own. To these self serving, self-centered, bad authors, you cannot take the time to edit their work, or have it done. Who get angry, and strike out violently, bitterly, and with no thought or respect to those who take the time to read their work, I say knock it off! I also say, take your heart Off you’re Sleeve! Put it away! It has no place! No place when you are being reviewed! No place when you want to perfect your no place when you want to perfect your work! You want to be razor-sharp? You want people to read you? To talk about you over coffee, and recommend you to others? And you’re going to have to toughen up! Cause I am coming up behind you! And so are a lot of others who can take it and that will make it! I welcome a strong review! I don’t want someone to trash me. But, if I have a weakness, I want it out! How can I know it is there, if someone does not pointed out to me? Obviously if I left it in, I didn’t realize it! So all you WA WA! Authors! Step aside, we who appreciate, and value, and strong, honest, review, love you, and beg you to stay!
      Take a break. Gather your strength. We love you and support you❣️

      May harmony find you! Blessid be!
      ☮️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome, and thank you for the good luck. I get crap all the time from people. I know how it feels. I am happy when people are honest about my book magazine, and Bubba tales series. I am happy when they are honest about what I share of others. I do not require it to be all roses and sunshine because I cannot improve if I do not know what is wrong. Stand strong and do not let those who would cry and whine who are weak and on capable stop you! Go forward and do what you do. Be yourself everyone else is taken.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you. That’s the point I’ve been trying to make, books ARE subjective. It’s not like I’m reviewing a can opener which either works or doesn’t, books will always have people who love, hate and are indifferent towards them. My own reviews are for others like me and if I don’t like something I should be able to just say it without some ‘bad’ author attacking me verbally or online. You’re right, I don’t want to please everyone, it’s more a fear of being attacked on social media and the likes, but from now on with the reviews I’m doing I’m making it clear that I will write whatever I believe, be it a good review or bad. Thank you again for the push and the comment :).

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      1. It does make sense to have someone check your work and give feedback good or bad.Christ knows, I tend to baffle nearly everyone who reads my stuff when I go off on a wild tangent. I take on board the harshest of comments and carry on regardless because I believe in it even if no one else ever does. The first rule of criticism is, ‘don’t shoot the messenger’ and don’t whinge if you don’t like what you hear. ( Ok that’s two rules!) My advice to you Meerkat is, don’t feel bad about being honest,at the end of the day you have given up your time to help a stranger.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the reblog. I hope the post highlights the issue, more reviewers have gone through this than are willing to admit, I keep having conversations with them. I hope authors will also somehow get the message across to other indies to be more professional when contacting and dealing with reviewers and their reviews :).

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      1. You are more than welcome. I wonder if it is time to set up a form or query letter to ask for reviews. A bit like with traditional publishing where you can wiat up to six months for a reply…Do you think this might help the issue. Happy to reblog any interesting articles. With your permission I am hapy to put your article in my newsletter. 🙂

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  8. This is a textbook case of the proverbial ‘bad apple ruining the bunch’.

    A few points:

    1. I’m an indie author, but I’m also a reader, and if a book sucks, it sucks, period. As a reviewer, I want you to be honest. When I’m looking at book deciding if I want to buy it, I download a sample AFTER checking out the reviews, good and bad, to try and get a general sense of what people think of the book.

    2. I’m one of those people who says, “Give me an honest review” and really means it. I’ll freely admit that it sucked when my novel got a two star review, but the reviewer made a number of valid points for why she didn’t feel it was worth more. Because of her comments, I think I’ve learned to look at my work a little more critically and I think possibly, it might have made me a better writer. Maybe…

    3. You’ve gotta do what’s best for you. If that means limiting who/what you review, then do it. You don’t owe any author, indie or otherwise, a damned thing. Social media is supposed to be fun, not led to depression.

    4. If one of the jackasses who harassed you is reading this – this is your fault. Grow up and learn to deal with the fact that not everyone thinks your shit smells like rainbows. It stinks just like everyone else’s and if you can’t deal with that, tough shit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your words and support! 🙂 I never wanted to compromise my reviews which is why I made the decision to stop indie requests, although I think iin future I will cautiously begin to accept them. I just have to be careful about which books I accept and try to gauge the authors attitude beforehand. You’re right social media, reviewing IS supposed to be fun, afterall I don’t get paid for doing any reviewing and it’s just a hobby that’s supposed to be fun. Thank you again…I love point 4 🙂

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  9. It’s sad to hear how you have been treated. As much as I appreciate reviews of my books, I could never be a reviewer per se. I write reviews for books I have read, but I don’t accept requests for reviews nor keep a review blog. Your decision is understandable. I hope many good books and rational, friendly authors come your way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you I do hope that only the sensible authors who could handle potential criticism come my way now too :). And I hope this post has highlighted the issue, it’s certainly something I think a lot of reviewers have gone through but not everyone is ready to talk openly about it. Good luck with your books 🙂

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  10. It is hard to put yourself out there, both as an author and as a review blogger. For a while, my husband and I were doing reviews pretty regularly (now it’s when I have time). I’ve had to turn away books because they were unreadable and we had a couple of authors who thought it appropriate to respond to criticism in the review directly.

    Most of the authors, though, were polite, thankful, and cool to work with. Even the ones who wanted to respond to criticism were not abusive, though . I guess we got lucky or maybe it was just that we only did reviews regularly for a short time.

    As an author, I’m sorry that there abuse happened and had the effect it did. It gives everyone a bad name and is yet another story that proves why reviewers are hesitant to work with indies.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for commenting. I have found a lot of reviewers have similar problems, book reviews who do it for months or years, many of them have spoken to me over the last few months and all have the same problem. While the percentage of ‘bad’ authors isn’t very large it certainly does ruin it for the reviewer. What those authors don’t understand is while they (hopefully) making money out of their books, reviewers aren’t. we earn nothing for reviewing, most of us do it for free and don’t have any way of raising money through reviewing. I hope this post highlights the issue and maybe authors can get involved in bringing this to the attention of other authors :). Thanks again for commenting :).

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  11. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I’ve gotten into more than one serious argument on Facebook with indie authors who believe they write so well they don’t need an editor. And that errors in their book should not bother me at all. For some of the most arrogant, I’ve searched them out on Amazon and read their “Look Inside” sections. To quite George Takei, “Oh, my!”

    My argument to those authors remains the same — if a reader buys a book that is badly written, that lowers the possibility they’ll buy my book, even though it is professionally edited. Readers cannot always tell from the Look Inside pages. So they choose to avoid all indie authors rather than be burned again.

    We all need to treat our writing as a business. We are a brand. Our writing is one of our “products”. Shoddy products can destroy the brand. And it can hurt others in the process.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, you’ve said it exactly right. Badly written books will spoil future sales. I’m surprised when indie authors think that typos and spelling and grammar errors in their books are fine and people should just read past them. I know some peoples grammar might not be up to scratch but that’s what an editor is for, at least someone who can really catch those mistakes if you don’t have a professional editor. I’m sorry you’ve gotten into arguments with people on facebook, it’s really not a great platform for calm and intelligent debate sometimes is it? That’s where I got ‘attacked’ for my views on authors too. I hope this post has highlighted the issues. Someone has shared this and hundreds of people have been reading this posts :o! Thank yo uagain for commenting :).

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  12. It makes me sad to read this. How can people be so awful? I would hate for you to give up doing something you enjoy, but would totally understand. Life’s too short and too precious for that kind of nonsense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I don’t want to give up all reviewing and I don’t want to give up on all indie reviewing either but it’s hard with such unpleasant people around. It’s a shame that some authors cannot see how they are just hurting their own work. Hopefully this post might highlight the issue.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I like the fact you write a review whether the book is good or bad. I am not a reviewer so I can only imagine what you have had to endure from thin-skinned indie authors.

    The most helpful reviews I’ve received pointed out shortcomings in my story. If every reviewer only praises an author’s story, that author might never learn things that could possibly cause some readers not to have a good reading experience.

    Even the worse review of one of my stories had things in it that helped me. The reviewer was known for giving harsh reviews. My thought was she would at least find all the stuff wrong with the story and not be afraid to post it. Although she gave the story two stars and wrote a blistering review, sales actually spiked for three days because the review was so over the top, readers apparently decided to see what all the fuss was about. My guess is some of those readers read the other reviews and opted to give the story a try. For whatever reason, the reviewer posted the review on Goodreads and her blog, but never posted it on Amazon.

    I appreciate your taking of your time to read and review books. I won’t send you any review requests. I am sure you have a backlog that will keep you busy.

    Thank you for your post. Writers need to know what book reviewers have to deal with. Hopefully, it will make more writers act a little better when they get a bad review. Wishing you the best.

    PS Before I became a writer, I tried my hand at oil painting. I copied several of Claude Monet’s paintings. I never sold a single painting, but my kids will hand them down to their kids and so forth. Who knows, one day a future great-grandchild might look at one of those paintings and think I can do better than that. The same with my stories.

    Life to too short to allow disgruntled writers to get you down. I came close to death three times in my life, before I was twenty years old.

    I have been shot at.

    I came extremely close to drowning when I tried to swim across a raging river. A single large log being washed away down the river was my salvation. Had it been two inches farther away, I would have died that day.

    I nearly crashed an airplane. I was flying an unfamiliar aircraft and made a stupid mistake that disrupted the airflow over the wings at low altitude. Even with full throttle, the plane continued to plummet toward the ground. I struggled to level the wings. Just before impact the nose of the plane came up, and I was able to climb out.

    Focus on the good stuff. Try not to let the negative things drag you so far down you can’t climb back up.

    I apologize this turned out to be so long.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment. Please don’t apologise for it being long, I like reading long comments :). Wow, you certainly have had an eventful youth! I’m glad you are alright. Thank you for the advice. I don’t want to let the ‘bad’ authors get me down. It IS a shame though that these authors can’t read a critical review and see it as helpful. My reviews aren’t rants and I once gave a neutral review to a book, I didn’t hate it but I didn’t really like it either, and someone reading my blog immediately wanted to read it despite my criticisms. Authors need to know that even negative reviews (as you’ve demonstrated) can increase sales, raders and customers can usually read past silly reviews and will take a chance on a book even if the reviews aren’t great. I sometimes do. What is a shame about the first author who got angry and upset at me is that I was ready to tell them exactly where their book failed, it was a simple character issue, but they told me they ‘don’t want me to tell them what will improve the book’. My review wasn’t even negative is was 4 stars but this one author couldn’t even handle that :o. In the end a few months down the line and I can see a handful of reviews all pointing to a 3-4 star novel….perhaps they should have listened to me! lol Anyway thank you again for commenting and good luck with your book. I do have a long tbr pile at the moment you are right, but I’d be happy to hear from you for a review, if you don’t mind a ridiculous up to 6 month waiting time. I may not be able to accept lots of requests at the moment but I’m happy to still accept the odd request from the more sensible authors and you clearly aren’t like the ones I’ve had bad experiences with :). Or wait a little while. I don’t mind either way, but thank you for commenting and for the advice :). Take care and good luck with your books

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  14. It’s a real shame that you’ve had to come to the decision you have. I’m an indie author and totally agree with what you’ve written. Unfortunately, anyone can write a book, but it takes work to be an author. Being an author is a profession, and therefore requires a professional attitude. It goes way beyond writing some words in a word doc and uploading it to a sales platform. I’m often baffled when I see an author share what they deem to be a negative review. Yes, it’s wonderful to receive those 4 and 5 stars. Yes, it smarts to receive those 1 and 2 stars. I’m human, but I’m also a professional who takes my profession seriously. Before I published my first book, I first took the time to learn what it meant to be an author. I sat back and watched, followed some. I read daft comments and knew what not to do. I read great comments and learned from that. I’d like to thank you for bringing this attention to what is a serious issue. It only takes one rotten apple to sour the bucket load, as my old nan would say! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for commenting. I don’t want to abandon all indie author reviews but it’s hard to be able to accept random people’s books when you don’t know them or haven’t had them referred to you by another trusted friend/author. I think this happens to many more reviewers than authors know. when I published several posts about my ongoing issues with different authors I’ve had other book bloggers and amazon reviewers all tell me of those ‘bad’ authors who ruin the reviewing experience. It’s definitely an issue I think needed talking about and I hope authors will bring this to fellow authors attention too. I am going to cautiously open up my submissions page to indie authors but for now a long tbr pile needs to be dealt with first :).

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  15. That’s a horrible occurrence. I’m not a reviewer, but I can emphasize from the opposite side. I stopped participating- for a year- in author fairs after two consecutive ones had me sharing tables with two different but highly toxic, degrading fellow authors. I just started- two weeks ago- to take part again. Incredibly anxious about it even after a year. Readers are great, even if they don’t purchase or don’t like my genre. But other writers can be either amazing or brutal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry you had trouble with toxic authors at book fairs :(. I hope you won’t run into any more problem authors there. It does seem to be a weird divide. Authors are either super supportive and all help each other or they can be really nasty. Two extreme opposites with little in between. I hope we both continue to meet only nice authors from now on. Good luck with your author fairs, enjoy them 🙂

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  16. Thankfully I haven’t had to deal with “bad” authors during my 6 years of blogging. A few years ago there was a rash of authors acting badly and several bloggers I was friends with eventually left book blogging. The only books I don’t review are the ones I don’t finish. Maybe it’s because I don’t review at Amazon that has “safeguarded” me. I think I have gotten better at reading between the lines of review pitches, but I always tell my review staff that if a book has problem point them out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you’ve never had to deal with any of the ‘bad’ authors. I hope that continues for you. I am being more careful now with what books I accept. Some authors can’t even get my name right – not caring about the name of the blogger means they care little for the bloggers opinion or in general. I am not sure if all the ‘bad’ authors come from amazon, but there are a fair few badly written books I’ve spotted in my time browsing the kindle shelves :). Thank you for your comment.

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  17. I struggle with this as well! The thing is, if I were able to see a book before it was published, I would gladly give that author the whole truth. However, once it’s out there, published, ugly typos and all…it’s hard to be as critical. I don’t want to hurt that person’s feelings, but I also think future readers should know what they’re getting into. When I review a book, I usually go with the assumption it will be a five star novel, deserving of a perfect score. If I score below five stars, I like to explain why I knocked off each star. I think it’s the only way to be fair to both the author and the reader. I also try to say a few nice words about the book, no matter what, to counteract the negativity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s how I like to review too. I haven’t come across a book so far that I’ve absolutely hated. There’s always something good about a book. But authors need to learn how to take on board the fact that someone may not love their work and that some criticisms are valid, especially if they are cited by more than one reviewer as is sometimes the case on reviews I read of books.

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  18. I’m not a reviewer of books from fellow indies – for the reasons you mention, my skin is not very thick. Speaking as an Indie author I appreciate comment, like a previous answer I cannot afford, on a pension, professional services although I do have a friend who is a grammar and punctuation pedant but I know mistakes get through. If someone is blunt about what they didn’t like I can then choose whether to do anything about changing things – and so much easier as an Indie – withdraw the print or ebook, correct, rewrite and republish. Unfortunately it does tend to be a me me me attitude and self glorification – walk away from the nasties, concentrate on the enjoyment books bring – review the good books and let us all know what to read. Fudging reviews screws the whole system – doing no-one any favours – please don’t let them upset you.
    All sensible Indie authors are on your side and there are great many of us, we appreciate honesty – keep smiling:)

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    1. Thank you so much for the support :). I won’t ever compromise my reviews to please the over-demanding authors. I do know that the majority are good and appreciate constructive criticism (if It’s there) but the ones who get so irate and unpleasant make it hard. I have managed to tolerate and live though their attitudes but I’m not the thickest skinned individual either. Ultimately my reviewing is done for free and it should be something I enjoy, otherwise what’s the point? Thank you again for your comment and kind words :).

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  19. As a HSP I am extremely sensitive, however I am also professional. A real author understands several things:
    * Their book must be polished
    * Their book must be beta read
    * Their book must be critiqued
    * Their book will get negative reviews

    Whether it’s you or someone else, SOMEONE will not like their book. Let’s take me as an example – In my eyes J K Rowling is not a good author, neither is Stephanie Meyer. These two best selling authors with huge fan bases write poorly in my eyes. But that’s okay cus someone does love their books.

    Reviews are not for authors they are for readers (sadly many authors forget this bit of wisdom).

    The problem is in this digital world people are seeing others publish and think “I can do that!” and then rushing ahead. I’ve seen new writers claim they want their books finished in 3 months. O.o 3 months?!? are you kidding?

    To me if a person is not going to learn how to make the book great, never mind the story idea but the development, the editing….if they aren’t going to go and bleed for their novel then that’s their issue.

    We don’t need rush-job authors.

    Finally… (wow this is a long comment)… it’s not your job to tell them their writing is bad. That is what alpha readers, beta readers, critique partners, editors are meant to do. As a reviewer you are there to tell the truth (good, bad or ugly).

    Sounds like some writers are using you as a type of beta reader. These people are doing it wrong and need to learn but it’s not your place to advise them.

    Do what you do, review, be honest, make it clear you will be honest and it might not be positive and let the rest go.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you ❤ ! I think that's what went wrong in mu head the last few days/week. I'd forgotten that if this had been books I'd bought I would just speak my mind about them, and I do, there are a few books I've bought or taken from a library and I haven't worried about the author's reaction when writing my review. I've taken the last few days off and am now happily reading again :). It's been a slow bounce back but I'm getting there. thank you for the support.
      I plan to re-write my submissions page up to let authors know I could offer then a 1 star review, I don't want to hold of all indie authors but perhaps I've taken on too many and those who have read me say I'll give an 'honest' review perhaps don't get that it could mean a negative one.
      I have to admit I've never read JK Rowling. Probably one of a dying few on the planet who hasn't read the Harry Potter books! lol, I did download a sample of the first book though and I agree it wasn't very impressive, didn't catch my eye to want to keep reading.
      I once spoke briefly to an author who churned out books at the rate of one every two-three months! And one was even put together in just one month after the previous. They all have grammar and spelling errors in them but I think the author just doesn't care about it.
      Thank you again (I think I keep saying that) I think you are right about authors perhaps using me as a beta or critiquing service. If they wanted that they should ask and I should really be paid for it. That's what bothers me most about these authors who go a little 'crazy'. I've done all this for free, I don't get paid to spend hours reading a book I probably wouldn't have picked up in a shop. And if there's something I don't like about a book it doesn't mean someone else won't like it. I once gave a neutral review to a book when I started my blog, and two people said they wanted to read it ater that. A bad review also doesn't equate to negative sales…Something else authors forget lol 🙂

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  20. Please don’t let this get to you, meerkat. This isn’t the first I’ve heard of it (with your Facebook issues considered), and I doubt it’ll be the last. But to put it frankly, many indie authors are unprofessional, and treat their work as such. While I can’t see things clearly from your side of things, I do sympathize. You’re doing authors a favor, and they should never, never voice discontent over a review (at least not publicly, and never to the reviewer). Unless, I suppose, there’s some personal attacks going on, but that’s not the common scenario.

    If a book isn’t up to snuff, say so. If it’s the victim of no editing or polish, make it known. Beating around the bush, hand-holding, and confirmation bias is not helping the indie community at all. Indie authors, myself included, need to be held to the same standards as traditionally published authors. Otherwise, it’ll continue.

    You aren’t hurting the industry at all. Honest reviews are doing it a favor. Even high-budget books with multiple edits have mistakes here and there, but if it’s a sloppy production, people should know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! Your words have really helped me and I appreciate the support. I don’t think the attack on facebook was personal but just general anger from an unhappy author. I think the last few books I’ve been requested to review made me wonder what I was doing. If I had bought the book and neve had contact with the author I wouldn’t ever hold back in my reviews, so why should requested review books be any different? They shouldn’t. The last couple of days I’ve spent a bit away from everything, trying to get my head sorted out, but I’m feeling much better :). And I won’t abandon all indie reviewing, I just have to be careful who I review for and state it clearly In my submissions page that I could give a 1 star and authors should be ready for this. You’re right about some high budget books, same goes with films and any industry. Thank you again for your support 🙂

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  21. I don’t think it’s the mistakes but how they’re handled. I have no editor as I can’t afford one, I also have to do my own covers for the same reason. I also don’t have as yet, a network of friends to ‘beta-read’ (though I’m working on it!), so any mistakes picked up, I’m interested to know about. I had a Goodreads give-away (Which ironically was scheduled to run about 2 weeks before I found out I was being laid off at work and which cost me a small fortune to post the books to US and India). I got no reviews from the US or Indian readers but two from the UK where I live. One reviewer approached me by email, rather gingerly, to ask how thoroughly edited the book had been? (I think she assumed I was a ‘Professional author). The woman was slightly worried to offer criticism in case of personal attack. However I was pleased that 1.) someone took time to read the book. 2.) Cared enough to point out the mistakes (which revolved around a name change I had made in a later draft and accidentally left in two instances of the old name). I responded warmly and appreciatively to the reader who was relieved by my response, helped me correct a mistake I had missed and agreed to become a beta reader for the next book. They also left a positive review. ALL writers make errors, some will have either a publisher and editor behind them to tidy up (though I still read ‘Trad-Pub’ books with awful mistakes in them), others will have the funds to pay for editing. Others will have no help whatsoever. The crucial thing is how you DEAL with criticism, and unfortunately, that transcends the Indie/’Professional’ divide, though I accept that as there are a lot more ‘Indie’s out there these days (all scrabbling for ‘fame’) there will be much more Indie Ire to deal with in reviews. Ultimately, it’s your call what to do. My only advice is to do what makes you feel happy. There will be bumps along the way, but if you’re unhappy most of the time, then it’s more important to concentrate on yourself than trying to make others happy 🙂 PS, if the zero star book is mine, I’m fine with criticism, honest 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I got into reviewing for some terrible people. It’s not that I’m against all reviewing of all indies, I just don’t personally want to encounter such people again, especially as they leave me either upset, or a little scared. Reviewing is supposed to be fun and I don’t get paid so I want to be able to freely speak my mind about any book I read without fearing the consequences of it. I don’t even write cruel reviews or rants, but if I ever see a book as being 3 or less stars I should be able to just say so. afterall it’s I’d have no issues in saying that if I’d bought the book without having had contact with the author. As for the editing. It’s not really about having professional editing from someone you pay to send it to. But one author I once spoke to (not a good one) insisted they edit everything themselves, never even relying on a beta type read by anyone not even family. unless someone puts their manuscript away for some months and then looks at it again with completely fresh eyes I’m not sure anyone could pick up on every mistake in their own work, not even me! It’s nice that you had a reader point out the obvious mistake and now they’ll beta read for you, that’s great. I don’t think you necessarily need a whole beta reading team. The best thing is as long as you have someone who can critically look at your work, I think you previously said your wife did that with your first book. Well that’s as good and important, if someone is there who can read it and pick up on mistakes then it’s much closer to being edited than the books I’ve been offered of late. btw goodreads, those people might have not even gotten to reading your book. I haven’t won a goodreads giveaway, but I’m guilty of buying books and tucking them away on a shelf for future reading lol

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  22. My opinion? If you don’t like it, (I mean really don’t like it), you should refuse to review it. Protect yourself and the author both. Anything less than three stars is, in my mind at least, not worth posting. No reviews, the author should get the hint if it happens enough. You shouldn’t have to wade through s*it in order to find a few gems. Reviewing should be a pleasure, not a pain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. You’re absolutely right, reviewing is supposed to be fun and I don’t get paid so why go through the pain of reading such terrible quality work. Thank you for the advice, good advice 🙂

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  23. I am really sorry you are continuing to suffer. I think you must put your health and happiness first and if that means refusing to review most indie books, well so be it. Perhaps it could be a temporary measure until you feel better or until circumstances change?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I will go back to indie authors, I don’t really want to stop reviewing them, I’ve found some amazing books that way. But perhaps a general break and catch up of my tbr pile will help ease off some of the stress and after that I’ll just have to be more careful about who I review for :).

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  24. You know, as a reviewer, you have every right to set up your own rules and you don’t have to cater to anyone, person or industry.
    I feel the same way as you, but I realised that when reviewing a book or an art piece or whatever, avoiding to give any negative commentary actually hurts the author, even if they do not see it.
    It isn’t about you helping them build a thicker skin, it is about you helping them find their writing voice fully. To explain it better: most books nowadays are made by a pattern. We search online and find guidelines, plot devices, lists and shit and we try to follow them so our book becomes the next big thing. This causes most authors to lose their originality and creativity in the process and produce boring books with crap, unbelievable, unrelatable characters. Trust me, it is usually because a list somewhere on the internet told them so. If we don’t tell them how we really feel, they will add their drop in the sea of already triffe, bad books. If you look at it, the market and bookstore is, in my opinion, already overcrowded with mediocrity and bullshit books. Because we always try to stay positive, as readers and reviewers, obviously writers think their books are the bee’s knees, while their books are riddled with typos, spelling errors and such which could have been eradicated. Some of these books don’t have a single page without an error and this is only the technical writing, I am not even discussing the material.
    Of course, what you are doing and your attitude is very kind and noble, especially since there is a lot of trolls and evil authors who already go and bash each other with fake negative reviews and similar. What I am trying to say is that it is not your duty to like everyone’s book and think it is the best they could have done. You cannot like all books you are sent to review and that’s nothing to be ashamed about.
    The negative and hateful authors will only suffer themselves from their behaviour. Your honesty and kindness will make it so, whether you want it or not, and it is again not a bad thing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. You’ve actually spoken what’s been on my mind. I want t obe able to write a review regardless of whether I liked or disliked the book. Sometimes it’s true, there’s very little to like about a book and it’s been playing on my mind that if it were a book I’d bought, had never had contact with the author, I wouldn’t have an issue saying what I really thought, so why should it be any different with requested review books? I’d like to avoid all those horid authors who take things too personally. I understand how horrible it might b to be criticized but you are right, how can any of us improve if someone doesn’t point out the mistakes we might always be making. I think your comment has had the most impact on me, because you’ve spoken and reinforced what was already in my mind. Thank you 🙂 ❤ Sometimes it takes someone to like you to remind what's important, thank you :). I think the whole list on how to write a book is bad too. I signed up to a writing course a few years ago and there was a whole formula for writing a novel including exactly how to plan it and the only thing that did was stifle my creativity.
      Thank you again. I hope you know that your opinion means a lot to me (you've set my mind straight to what I should be thinking) and I hope I can always call you my friend 🙂

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  25. I’m sorry to hear about your experiences. As I’ve said before, us authors can be a sensitive bunch, and with indie writing there’s no weeding out of people who don’t behave professionally. Before, books would at least be edited before they made it to market and writers who weren’t respectful and polite in correspondence wouldn’t get a publishing deal. But that isn’t to say that trad published authors don’t also behave badly. See this example: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/oct/18/am-i-being-catfished-an-author-confronts-her-number-one-online-critic
    I hope your decision results in a better experience for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I read that article, wow. Although I think in that particular case the blogger was at fault too. I hope you got to read my follow-up post. I don’t want to stop all indie author reviews but there has to be an understanding from authors, whether indie or traditional that I could give any rating and whatever I give should be respected. It takes a lot for me to give a bad review but as much as it hurts an author, the reviews are supposed to be for readers and I shouldn’t feel guilty and upset in speaking my own opinion. I’m hoping that I can hold off from all requests for a while (unless they are people I have already reviewed for who I know can handle an honest opinion) and maybe when my tbr pile has gone down a bit, and I’ve had a bit of a breather I could start indies back up again :).

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  26. Hello,
    It sounds as though you’ve been having a rough time with the reviews lately. I’m sorry to hear that. But, I am glad to see that you have made a decision and, I hope, you are happy with the choice.

    I suspect that this decision will help calm things down for you and provide the peace of mind you deserve. I understand the millions of books out there demanding for attention – some better than others. It is a shame that ‘unfinished’ books are available for reading and reflect poor quality. Each time my work is done I pray that I will learn and heed the editor’s advice before it reaches other readers, whether it be an ARC or otherwise.
    I would be grateful to keep in touch with you. And, I would like to keep you on my list to request the honest review. Honesty is very important to me. Learning how I can improve is critical to moving forward as a writer.

    Try to put the unpleasantness behind you. Try to let it go and remember you are still a good person. You have done your best and you are working on your own work and want to enjoy the role of reviewer. If it takes dropping a group of people, then so be it. Your sanity, health and safety are important from now on. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your support, it means a lot. I would of course still like to review your work :). I don’t really want to drop all indie requests, just about finding a way to not review for people who cannot understand or appreciate honesty and the fact that a review is a personal opinion at the end of the day. You can contact me any time for a review, don’t hesitate, I might hold off from new requests until my tbr pile decreases (that’ll decrease my stress too ) but for those I’ve reviewed for already I’m still happy to do another review for :). Thank you again 🙂 ❤

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  27. My goodness, I can see you said you were worried I might find this offensive.

    First, although we’ve never met, I’ve followed your blog (in a non-stalkery manner) for quite some time and you seem to be a genuinely kind person. I’m not going lecture you on growing a thicker hide, you are who you are and you shouldn’t have to become anyone else.

    The thing is bad behavior isn’t limited to just indie authors (Ann Rice comes to mind.) Though, I realize more often than not, it’s the indie author that comes begging for reviews. What I am going to do is offer you a bit of encouragement and some worthless advice.

    Encouragement:
    Amazon has adopted a quality control program, and started taking poorly edited books of the market, so hopefully over time, you’ll see an overall improvement in editing quality.

    Advice: Check out all authors on Goodreads before agreeing to provide a future review. There’s nothing wrong with allowing other reviewers to go first. Look to see how well the author has handled criticism in the past because bad actors are definitely discussed. And yes, if this became a common practice it would make it harder for first time authors to get those critical early reviews, but it also might motivate them to learn to accept criticism gracefully.

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    1. Thank you for the advice and support :). It’s a good idea, to check out an author first. I found that the ones who have been ‘crazy’ have never had a negative review yet, some people asking me have never even had a review! I will certainly be more cautious but like I said in the later post I don’t want to stop all indie author requests, and I do know that traditionally published authors can go a bit weird too. I just have to find a way of making sure that people understand that a negative review is possible, have to find a way to stop those that would go ‘crazy’ from requesting a review.
      All this said of course I want to reduce my tbr pile before really continuing with more requests, that would take a little stress off my back too :).

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      1. As long as your criticism is constructive, don’t feel bad the next time you give a negative review. Depending on the reasons, some negative reviews actually help book sales. Besides, authors know negative reviews come with the territory (Lord knows I’ve had my fair share,) so if they can’t handle that, they shouldn’t be in this business.

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  28. I’m sorry you’ve run into so many bad eggs. I think that for some indie authors, blog reviews are the first time that an outside voice has had a chance to be critical towards the work whereas traditionally published books have more frequently been taken apart and reconstructed by an agent, an editor, and who knows how many other people.

    Regardless, you have to do what it is best for you, and I’m glad you’ve taken that step for yourself. I bet more of us than you think support your stance.

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    1. Thank you for your support. It’s not like I want to stop all indie author requests, but I need to make sure the authors who ask me can handle the criticism. I don’t like giving out negative reviews and most books don’t get them either but I have to be able to be honest too. It really is a relief not to have encountered any negative comments. I’ve read other blogs online where people quote they stop all indie requests and people go crazy telling them all sorts of nasty things. Thank you again :).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s okay 🙂

        I hate bad reviews, but I know they’re part and parcel of being an author, so don’t worry, I won’t be ranting at you if you mark it low.

        I love writing and I’m learning, step by step. Looking at my book I can see already what I would do differently in the stories.

        But don’t worry, whatever you give me is your opinion 🙂

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      2. I wouldn’t necessarily give it a bad review. It takes a lot for me to really dislike a book, a LOT. It’s just after some of the people I’ve dealt with it’s important for me to be able to review fairly, being honest (we all have our preferences with books) and important for all authors to accept that bad reviews can happen, and I think all popular books eventually have a bad review attached to them…Someone told me it’s a mark of ‘making it’. Although you don’t want it to be your only review 😮 lol

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      3. Haha Well, I think it’s well edited. It’s probably me, when you read your won work and you think ‘Gah, I’d never use that word now’ or you see something you know you’d word so much better now or edit out to make it sharper.

        But that makes you a better writer. Having gone through it recently to pick extracts for my workshops I noticed bits I’d cut completely.

        It’s just learning and that I can see bits I’d cut shows I’m growing as a writer.

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  29. I find it sad that there should be so much poor editing. It seems to me now that the hardest thing I do is revise and edit and look out for those pot holes in the plot. Folk may not ‘get’ my story but I want the prose to flow as well as I can make it. I hope you have more luck with more good reads. Some publishers ask for the first three chapters and if these are poorly written they certainly will be rejected.

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    1. You’ve givenme the idea that maybe I can request a sample chapter or so from an author to get an idea of whether a book is good. The look inside feature’s not always available and it might help me in future with my book review requests. Thank you for the support. I hope your own editing and writing goes well and I hope everyone will enjoy my reviews, reading and reviewing should be enjoyable after all, right? lol 🙂

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      1. Absolutely 🙂 It’s a bit sad to see reviews commenting on bad editing when what everyone really wants to know is what’s the story like, will we enjoy reading it ourselves? 🙂

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  30. I have sent my indie book out for review and I always expect an honest review. Even when it says I left some mistakes in and did not have the best editor. I learn from this and I do not use the same editor again. If everyone said the editing was great, I would have gone back to a poor editor and my next book would repeat the mistakes. I appreciated every word of every review. Sure I have feelings. But no one told me Melanie was a horrible character or my story was lame, thank goodness. 1 reviewer said my book was just ok, I guess. If they had told me why it was just ok, I guess, I would know what to work on in my own writing studies. I learn from every review, good, or bad, but not indifferent. indifferent makes me wonder what was wrong not how I can fix it. I was happy to read my review from you. Indie authors have to find good proofreaders, beta readers, and editors. We need to know if we did not find what we were seeking. From your review, I learned to use more contractions when writing dialog. I would have loved for my paid editor to tell me that. So you have already made me a better writer and if my rating was elevated because of any of the reasons in this blog, I will not be hurt if you adjust it. You are a wonderful reviewer. I admire and appreciate your reviews. I came to you because I trusted you were honest and would give a true review. Stay if you can. Accept only Publishing house books and keep providing us with honest reviews.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you <3. Melanie was a wonderful character (is) :). And your story is a really wonderful one and worth reading for what it's about. I also meant what I said about your talent in writing romance. Those scenes plus the ones where Mel's other was struggling were my favourite as both played on my emotions, though obviously different emotions to each other. I'm sorry I was so worried I'd upset you :(. The other book I read the author has such a sad story of long their confidence that I find it hard to separate myself as a reviewer, but I kind of have to to be objective. I would still be happy to review some indie books, especially any of yours (or even read them before hand if you want like a beta or whatever read through), but no problems if you don't too. I'm going to work on my submissions though and be more careful who I review for in future. I added another post today explaining it all but I don't want to abandon indie, just don't want to go through any of those 'bad' authors again, I think the facebook incident had a really powerful effect on me (more than I realised) and one I don't want to repeat :/

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Totally understandable. It was a hard hard event to overcome. Sorry I have been sklow to respond, I have been fighting a cold and not worth anything. 🙂 Do what you do so well, and avoid conflict as often as possible. That is my opinion on life.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Great advice :). Sorry you have a cold :(. But don’t apologise for being slow to respond. I sort of disappeared from the web for a few days myself lol We all need time off, so rest and look after yourself ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  31. I always tell potential reviewers that I’m happy to give them a complimentary ebook in return for an honest review. Did you know that Tolkien received thousands of 1 star reviews., yet many more consider his books to be the best sci-fantasy.?
    A few months ago, an Aussie author got his first 1 star review – think it was number 60-something and the others were 4 & 5 stars … he wrote a celebratory blog because he thought he’d finally ‘made the big leagues’…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You are a great author because you are happy to take a possible negative review. To be honest most in this community are but there are a few who I’ve met who just can’t take the criticism and are so sensitive that they are either very upset or overreact in a harsh manner. The fat I’ve heard other reviewer stories of stalking just makes me wary of accepting submissions from just anybody. Btw, I will be reading your free story soon, I just got into another novel now. First day in nearly week that I’ve been able to read, now that all this worry is off my mind and I’ve received support :).

      Like

      1. Exactly!
        Seems like everyone wants to be a published author, but very few understand what is actually involved. In fact, far too many seem to think that once they finish the rough draft, the book is done. They don’t have a clue.
        When I finish a rough draft, I equate it to building a house and having a foundation and framework… this needs to get inspected for engineering integrity before I can deal aesthetics, which will turn the basic structure into a home. I spend two – three times as much time editing and rewriting as I do on the original draft.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It is strange that people see a draft as nearly finished. I try to write something and see my first draft as terrible, but you are right it is a foundation to be built on. One author I once spoke to (one with a bit of an over inflated ego) imagined, wrote and published an entire 300 page novel in a month! I wasn’t speaking to this author much but checked out their novel via amazon’s look inside feature….several grammar mistakes in the first few pages alone, I couldn’t even bring myself to read on! lol

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Prior to reading this, I reblogged a post about Marcha Fox’s newest book (not out yet, but probably by Dec. 1st… Don’t know if you like sci-fi, but Marcha is a retired technical writer for NASA – the new book will be a Thyron book! Thyron is a sentient plant and I adore him.

        Liked by 1 person

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