Please make it easy for me to review for you this year, by remembering all these things:
Please get my name right, it’s not hard to learn, it appears all over the web. Either call me by my name, or just say ‘hi’. But please don’t call me something else. Would you want me to mix up your name with someone else’s, to say your book was written by another person? I don’t think you would, so why would you want me to review for you if you can’t even call me the right name?
Please read all my submissions guidelines. I know that many of you do not. I know that you may think you’re too busy, or can’t be bothered, or just want to mass email all reviewers at once. But it doesn’t take being smart to see when someone hasn’t read my submissions, when someone emails the wrong address, or asks me to review a genre I won’t touch. It makes you look lazy and uncaring. And I won’t review for you if that’s the impression you give.
Please don’t send a generic email. Though I know some of you prefer to do it that way. But after all the requests I’ve received in the past, I know which are generic and which aren’t. Sometimes a generic request works, if the book is one I’d really love. But most of the time it just reads like spam, and it just shows you couldn’t care less about who I am or who reviews your work. So if you don’t really care about who reads your work, then I won’t really care about reading it myself.
Please understand I can’t always accept your book for review and I have my many reasons. Sometimes your book just doesn’t interest me, it’s not in a genre I care about, or maybe I just don’t like the sound or look of it, but that doesn’t mean your book is bad. You wouldn’t want to read a book if you were forced to read it, if you felt like you ‘had to’ read it, so sometimes I just don’t feel like reading your work, but it’s nothing against you.
Sometimes I can’t review a book because I’ve just got too many, and I can’t keep saying yes to everyone who asks. Sometimes I just don’t want to feel overwhelmed, so I just have to say no but it’s nothing against you. And sometimes on a rare occasion I just don’t like a book, I can see it’s not something I’d like. I know I’d give it a bad rating before I’ve even read it, so isn’t it better I say no rather than saying yes and disappointing you later?
Please understand that I’m picky when it comes to English. I shouldn’t have to apologise for being good with grammar, for hating typos and bad spelling, for disliking a badly formatted book. So please make sure you’ve had your book proofread – several times if necessary. And if you can’t find anyone else to do it, make sure it’s flawless before sending it to me. I don’t like to pick out holes in work, and I won’t unless it happens too often. But I won’t enjoy your book, no matter how good the story is, if I have to rearrange the words and punctuation in my head so they make sense. Besides, if you’re an indie author, surely you want to be on a par with the traditionally published books, so why wouldn’t you want your work to be flawless?
Please really edit your work, proofreading is not always enough. Get someone else to read your work and make them pick flaws in it not me. And don’t hate me for what I say next…If everyone says your writing is perfect, if you don’t see many flaws in your own work, if all you get is good praise, then you’re either a highly talented and exceptionally brilliant writer, or maybe no-one is willing to hurt your feelings or they themselves may not be good at seeing flaws. So please find someone who is good, someone to edit your work before you send it to me. Trust me when I say I’ll be really grateful, and believe me it shows when somebody hasn’t edited their book.
Please understand I’m sometimes late with reviews, real life often gets in the way. I’ve had personal health issues that have stopped me reading in the past and it’s made me get behind. Sometimes I don’t like to read digital books, they give me headaches, so they fall behind in my reading pile. But it doesn’t mean I won’t get to your book, it just might be later than I had planned.
Please understand that sometimes I see negative things about your book, I won’t always enjoy everything I read. If something doesn’t sound right, or didn’t feel right while reading it, I’ll tell everyone in my review. But the review’s about your work, your book, it is not about you. Nothing I say is ever personal and you don’t have to agree with it at all. But even if you don’t agree you shouldn’t just dismiss, I’m not always alone in what I say. Sometimes a flaw I spot is something that only bothers me, but sometimes it bothers others too. So don’t blame me for pointing out what I think is bad, you can choose to ignore if you wish, but sometimes if it’s more than just me pointing it out…Maybe it’s worth reading and thinking about.
Please don’t befriend me unless you really want to be friends, I don’t mind people being nice. But don’t pretend to be a my friend and then ignore me when I give a bad review, it’s just a bad reflection on you. Don’t attack me on social media or leave weird comments on my reviews. Don’t ‘go off’ me when you’re confused over what I say, especially when you asked for an honest review. Such behaviour looks unprofessional and silly and you could end up making yourself look bad instead.
Please understand that sometimes I feel bad and find it hard to tell you the truth. It’s not happened often but sometimes I’ve read a book that was so ‘terrible’ that I couldn’t tell you why. I’m human too, I don’t like to make people feel bad, so sometimes I won’t tell you the real reason why I won’t review your book. Sometimes it’s true, I just didn’t like your book, but sometimes it’s more than that. Sometimes a book is flawed in grammar, spelling and story….And sometimes I’m just too ‘scared’ to tell you the truth. Too ‘scared’ of you attacking me through social media, or maybe I just don’t want to break your heart. Your book is your baby afterall, and who wants to be told their baby’s ugly? Or who wants to tell that to a parent?
Please remember I’m a human too. I have feelings and emotions just like you. I don’t get paid for doing this ‘job’ so I deserve to be paid with respect instead. I’m no better or worse than you, though some of you may think you are better. Some of you may believe you are better than me, better than all reviewers. But we are both human beings, we both write, just not the same things, it doesn’t make me any worse than you.
Please make it easier for me this year. Make it easy to review you book for you. If I’ve agreed I’ll do it, don’t bug me or ask me if I’ve done it yet, I won’t feel like reading it after that. Please treat me with equal respect, even if you don’t like what I have to say…If things were reversed and I was the author, you the reviewer, I’d expect no less of you. Please let me enjoy reviewing for you and make it easier for yourself. Let us both have a positive experience from our interaction. Let this year be a good one for both of us. Thank you.
‘Dear Authors…’ written by thehappymeerkat of Happymeerkatreviews. In relation to the daily prompt word: capable
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