Focus on the ones who matter…

The latest wank heard ‘round the internet is to resurrect the reviewers vs. authors debate. This includes how authors should or shouldn’t behave towards reviews (really? This horse hasn’t been beaten to death yet?) and whether reviewers are worth the salt to give a shit about anyway. I won’t reiterate those arguments or even link them because they’re tired, stale, and nothing especially original anyway. Plus I’m also lazy and I can’t remember all the various posts and don’t want to twist anyone’s panties by not linking them.* If you want my take on whether reviewers are “professional” you can read that HERE.

*as an aside if anyone has a post they’ve written about it comment with a link to your post and I’ll be happy to add a list of links so everyone can read those posts too.

However the point of this post is because unfortunately some very good, honest reviewers have said “fuck it” to reviewing after feeling like their efforts aren’t appreciated. That’s really sad, just as it is when any author gets bogged down in the negative reviews. It’s focusing on the negative instead of the actual real purpose in reading and reviewing.

My take on the whole fubar situation is to focus on those that matter.

If an author wants to slam reviewers, bitch about reviews, and basically call reviewers worthless? Fine. Don’t buy, read, or review those authors anymore. You know who they are. Let them stew in their little corner without those they deem immaterial. Don’t waste your time on them either.

Focus on those dozens if not more of authors that respect reviewers and actively seek out the blogger readers who buy their books and convince their friends to buy the books too. The positive authors easily outnumber the bitching rhetoric filled ones so focus on those that do care and do matter.

Promote authors that you like and actually send out a positive message on their blogs instead of veiled or open insults. The positive blogs tend to be quieter since they’re not stirring up shit and trying to spew hate but they’re out there and worth your time. These authors are the ones we should be focusing on and caring about. These books are the ones we should be reading and reviewing.

Let the negative ones disappear instead of giving them the time, attention, and focus they don’t deserve. Focus on the ones that do matter and care.

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15 thoughts on “Focus on the ones who matter…

  1. *clap clap clap*

    I have to confess I’m usually on the oblivious side of this stuff. I only follow a few blogs of people I “know” and respect and I’ve not seen that kind of wank festery on those blogs. Sometimes someone posts a link on twitter so like a good sheep I follow it and gasp in shock and awe at what’s happening, then I go back to reading about my friend’s new hardwood floors and guessing what Mariah Carey’s kids’ names are.

    Someday I suppose I’ll get a kick in the ass when some author gets a hate on for me, but as a rule I’m pretty good about just tuning stuff out and pretending it’s not happening. LOL It’s a skill. There are so many author’s now, it’s pretty easy to be able to pick and choose who you want to review, for whatever reason.

    • Kassa says:

      There are so many author’s now, it’s pretty easy to be able to pick and choose who you want to review, for whatever reason.

      Yep exactly!
      I don’t go searching for the drama but I’m curious enough that I want to know what the latest wank going around is. I rarely get all bothered by it but what bugs me is when others get -so- bothered they take it out of bounds. Like reviewers actually quitting because some idiot thinks they’re worthless.

      Much better to stick to the happy and just do what you want to do.

  2. Well said, Kassa. I’ve been feeling rather disheartened about the whole reviewing thing recently but have deliberately made myself keep going because I don’t want to feel that a small minority have such an effect on, what is for me, an important pastime.

    Posts like this which encourage positive thinking are a great help. I’ve found that turning my energies away from those who look on me with disdain and onto reviewing books by other, maybe less well known authors, gives me a boost and shows readers that there are some excellent books out there that just don’t get enough credit.

    • Kassa says:

      I’ve found that turning my energies away from those who look on me with disdain and onto reviewing books by other, maybe less well known authors, gives me a boost and shows readers that there are some excellent books out there that just don’t get enough credit.

      Absolutely! I’ve noticed a lot of your particular reviews for the A to Z challenge are smaller, lesser known authors. Those are the ones that are so incredibly happy for any kind of review that help make what we do worthwhile. It’s nice to do something positive with book reviewing.

  3. YES.

    My list of “do not buy this author because s/he is prone to temper tantrums” authors continues to grow.

    We have available to us an unprecedented number of m/m romances. These badly behaved authors are simply making it easier to figure out what to read… and what not to read.

    • Kassa says:

      Absolutely and not shocking but dropping one author or even 2 dozen authors won’t make a dent in your reading. There are always 3x as many more waiting to be read.

  4. Great post, Kassa! And very timely.

    Chris said, My list of “do not buy this author because s/he is prone to temper tantrums” authors continues to grow.”

    Ha, ha! Yes, exactly. I never forget a tantrum that I’ve heard about or an author who went out of his or her way to get snotty with me (especially since I’ve never, by any stretch of the imagination, posted a review that could be considered snarky), and I drop these authors from the program completely — no more reviews, no more recommendations to friends, no more purchases of their books, no more help or promotion of any kind from me.

    Meanwhile, the authors who are wonderful people outnumber the blockheads three to one, if not by more, and it’s very easy to spend what time I have reading their work and recommending them.

    And addressing what Jen mentioned about growing disheartened, and what you said about reviewers feeling unappreciated and quitting — It’s very understandable because it can feel like a lot of work for nothing, or for nothing plus a surprise ambush by a snotty author, but as you also pointed out, there are so many talented new authors out there who are desperate for reviews, both for the attention it brings to their work, and for the valuable critical feedback with which to improve their writing. It can help the disheartened reviewers to think about that.

    M/M romance reviewers these days have unprecedented influence with the readers who very much need guides to help them pick out good stuff from the flood of new releases, and the reviewers are in a position to make a huge difference with new writers who are getting completely ignored in that same flood of new releases.

    I’m not reviewing as much anymore as I sort out my free time and whether I’m an author or a reviewer and how those roles can sometimes fail to mix, and I feel guilty about it! We need m/m reviewers more than ever these days, especially as the trend at Goodreads is to race through gay romance books faster and faster in one-time reads, and leave only a star rating before moving on.

    • Kassa says:

      Meanwhile, the authors who are wonderful people outnumber the blockheads three to one, if not by more, and it’s very easy to spend what time I have reading their work and recommending them.

      Hear hear! Well said Val, on all fronts.

      You’re absolutely right that there are always more authors that appreciate efforts than those that want to be bitchy. I think we forget that when we tend to focus on favorite authors/publishers, which isn’t bad of course but it’s good to discover new authors and new experiences. That’s part of reading too.

      I think you said it perfectly that our genre is growing so exponentially that we need reviews and really have come to rely on them heavily to help us navigate. I rarely pick a book these days by a new author until I’ve checked out goodreads. And as you’ve pointed out that can consist of nothing but an arbitrary rating with no additional commentary.

      BTW you shouldn’t feel guilty! I think you handle the dual role with grace and dignity and a great deal of intelligence. Hopefully it’s working out fabulously for you!

  5. I think you reviewers are doing a wonderful job – I need you to help me pick out the sparkly stones from the overflowing creek of m/m releases. Don’t have much time or money, so I want to spend them wisely.

    Just out of interest, what’s your take on writers responding to reviews to say thanks? I’ve seen many reviewers state that they don’t want that contact as they don’t like to know the authors are watching them. It’s sad that authors are seen as dangerous and/or predatory, although having witnessed a few of these wankfests myself, I can see why they might be… Shame to let a few unstable individuals put you off the vast majority of us, though. Thanks for talking sense, Kassa 🙂

    • I think an author saying thanks is very nice, however it *is* a minefield. Some authors say thanks but really include a backhand slap at the review/er.

      I also think it’s touchy territory because it’s all or nothing. Either you thank every reviewer or none. For example Tam, Jenre, and I all reviewed the same book. The author made a point to thank both Tam and Jenre but not me. It could be the author didn’t see my review, didn’t like my review, or didn’t like me. I can’t say I personally cared much but I did stop and think “why didn’t I get a thank you?” Now another reviewer may take it more personally (which I’ve also seen and understood) so an author may get unfairly blamed if they just don’t see a review or perhaps get a bad rap among reviewers for being elitist. Sad slippery slope!

      • Tam says:

        As a rule, unless it’s an agreement with the publisher, I NEVER tell authors I reviewed their books. Some publishers want me to copy the author when I do, and other publishers I think do an omnibus “here’s our books that have been reivewed this month/week/year” but if it’s just a book I picked up on my own, I might assume the author never knows unless they google it and even then it likely doesn’t always come up.

        • Kassa says:

          I never email authors or publishers. I know some review sites do but I never do so I always assume authors don’t see my reviews (why would they when I don’t email?). I was just using that as an example so yea.

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