Monday, June 3, 2013

New Review Policy

It's been a while since I've done a review here.  I've had several really bad experiences for a variety of reasons, and I've been taking some time to create a new policy to address several problems.

The majority of books I have received are self-published.  Many authors sent me books in dire need of editing.  I felt obligated to read the entire book, so my reviews wound up turning into editing sessions.  This was not always a bad experience.  As a teacher, it's fun to help folks find creative ways to address problems in their projects.  However, I was only able to manage to do it while I had a student teacher, which gave me a lot of time to ruminate on issues and how to solve them.  After I returned to full time teaching, editing was incredibly time-consuming and took time away from my projects.

Additionally, I felt I had to be honest, but I'm very good at spinning feedback in a positive way.  However, I had so many books that were substandard it was beginning to be hard to be positive, which led me to make some bad mistakes with one author that I regret deeply.

As a book blogger, I feel it's important to be honest.  Those who visit my site to read reviews are deciding whether or not to purchase a book based on what I say, but I do not like publicly stating why a novel is lackluster.  As a teacher, that is something that should be done in private, but I am not an editor being paid to polish an entire novel, so I couldn't really win.

From now on, if you would like a review, please send me the first chapter.  I will read the whole chapter.  If I don't see issues like excessive exposition, poor editing, flat characters, etc., I will read the whole book and give it a review.  If I do not think there's a possibility of a good review, I will reply with a short blurb as to why I would rather not review the book.  Sometimes it may be due to personal taste, more often because projects are rushed to self-publication without enough rumination.

I feel the new policy will allow me to give self-published authors a chance, and give me a chance to have a relatively stress-free reviewing process.  For more information on what types of books I like to review, click on the "Want a Review?" page above.

If you have contacted me for a review and have not received one, please go ahead and send me the first chapter.  After changing computers I lost many of the files I had set aside for review.


1 comment:

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