Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Authors Sort of Hate Me

Considering I've got a very small book review blog that is more for my personal benefit than anything else, I've interacted with more authors than I ever thought I would, generally over books of theirs I didn't like. Some of them have been very nice. Lyn Cote was more than nice in her interactions with me, remarkable to me because I was pretty harsh in one of my reviews. Some authors aren't so much. This is a personal review blog. I'm not going to like everything I read. I'm going to be very vocal about WHY I didn't like what I read. The way I look at it, books are expensive. I don't want to spend 16 or more dollars on something I didn't enjoy. I don't want people I know to do that. Therefore if I like a book, I'm generous about it. But if I don't I'm not going to mince words. That being said, I figure if you're an author looking up reviews of your book, you're doing so under the auspice that not everyone is going to like it. I understand having thin skin about your art. I do too, but then I'm not an author of anything published officially.

I say all this because an author left a comment on a review of one of their books (which they then deleted either because they thought better of their action or because they wanted me to see it in my email and no one else) accusing me of inability to write a review and not reading their book well. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that maybe they were having a bad day and felt bad about their comment afterwards which is why they erased it. I won't mention their name because of that. But I am making this known:

Perhaps my reviews are poorly written. I'll grant that. Often I'm in a hurry or just am not paying attention well. But here's the difference between me and an author. I'm not paid for my reviews. No one has to read them. No one has to look at them. Because of that I'm not going to pander to an author, no matter how well known, if I don't like their work. My hard earned money goes into buying THEIR works. I'm entitled to not like what I read. I'm entitled to say something about that. Reading back over the particular review that the author was upset about, I still feel it was well written. I mentioned what I didn't like about the book and that it was still well written. I've written harsher reviews. I've written reviews I've put less thought into. Just because you don't like what I have to say doesn't make me a poor reviewer.

I will also say this:

I and anyone I'm associated with will never buy another book from this author again. I mentioned Lyn Cote before. She was so nice about my review of a book of hers I didn't like that I promptly went out and bought another of her books to see if I could find something of hers I liked better, which I did. This particular author, who is quite well known at least in my mind, has completely turned me off of reading anything else they've written. Maybe they have better works. I know the one I reviewed wasn't one of their more well known. Maybe I would have loved their other works. I don't know because I now have such a sour taste in my mouth for that author that I don't think I'd be able to enjoy anything they wrote without confusing my impression of their work with their rudeness.

So whatever. But if you're an author, keep in mind it's not personal. I don't want to read a book I don't like. I don't choose to go out and be disappointed by your work. I'm not hunting around for books to hate. If I love it, I'll say I love it, but if I don't, don't be surprised if I say that as well.

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