So the past weeks has been riddled with this problem that authors shouldn’t jump into reviews. I personally find this ridiculous. Yes, there’s the whole respect idea, but as a writer who’s had my work critiqued anonymously, I understand that some reviewers can be complete idiots and miss the point. If they need to be told they’re wrong, go ahead. Opinions are not a concrete line. They can be wrong, people.
It’s more than that, sure, but this tid-bit is what I focused on. As a writer and critic, I find the idea that I shouldn’t “throw my weight around” (if/when the time comes) on a review to be crazy. If I was an author I do realize I would have more weight. Should I stop reviewing because of that? Not a chance.
See, I review for myself. Critiquing novels helps me on my own journey. Does it do anything when the words hit the paper? Probably not, but it’s fun nonetheless. And hey, perhaps I’m a better critic than I am a writer. (Which would be a low hurdle to jump as it stands. I don’t see myself as a good critic.)
That little morsel of whining aside, I know that if I became a published author I would still continue to blog and review the books I read. Why? Because it helps me. Mark Lawrence does it. Zachary Jernigan does it. Both are authors I’ve reviewed. I can’t turn the editor off when I’m reading. And sometimes, prospective readers need a deeper outlook on a book other than “it was fun.”
To say that I am a part of the “industry” blogging is another crazy point. I’m a fan through and through. Do I get paid for these reviews? No more than in a couple of ARCs, which are given out to gauge the success of a book, as I see it. Do I have any publishing connections? Hell no. And to think that I have any weight both as a reviewer and a writer is ludicrous. Some people forget that writers are fans, too. Probably the biggest fans, seeing as they’re willing to take the extra step.
If I’ve made no sense whatsoever, good. Just realize that since I will continue the torch of my reviewing AND writing blog, I will also keep the same respect for authors who critique my own work, whether it be through this blog or actual publishing. When a book goes out into the “real” world, it is subject to critique. To think that authors can’t say, “Hey, this isn’t what’s right,” or “Your opinion that this book is full of rape when it only has two sentences of the crap,” is wrong. An author has a right to step into a negative review, whether it be to simply say, “Thanks for reading. Sorry it didn’t work,” or “You completely missed the detail on page 40 that shows my major plot twist wasn’t a deus ex machine.” Can it sometimes be unprofessional? Sure. But is calling somebody out on their crap or even to say thank you for reading it bad? I don’t think so.
I know this is a terse topic, and I wonder If I should’ve done an in-depth analysis, but this idea had to be brought to the light. Authors are welcome to comment on my reviews, even if it’s negative. It’s somewhat the same as writing a book (or short story) right? I love corrections and differing opinions. I do not disable comments unless warranted by me beforehand or they’re spam/anonymous.
I feel bad that this had to be said, but, y’know, it had to happen sooner or later. So without further ado, the obvious thing was to say…