Thursday, July 9, 2015

Why the Review?

Last week one of my fellow author's on Facebook asked. "Is it rude to ask a reader for a review?"  He'd sent a contest winner a FREE  digital copy of his latest, and added "If you could leave a review, it would mean the world to me." Or something generic like that.

The response was an emphatic 'NO'. It isn't rude, not in our opinion. Every author does that. We all ask. We can tell you our novels are great, but doesn't it sound a lot less biased coming from someone else?

This author received a rather terse and detailed email telling him that if she'd known that he EXPECTED a review, she wouldn't have accepted the prize. That she was an English Major and she was FAR too busy to write a review for a book she might not have the time to read, and didn't even remember winning. She couldn't believe he'd had the audacity to ask!

How do I know? Unfortunately, he posted it. Let us all see the obnoxiousness that this woman poured forth.  Equally unfortunate? He posted his response. This included a snarling apology and reasons why he sent the prize late (death in the family) and how he didn't feel he was being rude or demanding of her time. He intimated that he too had schedule demands.

This is why you don't respond to haters. She wrote BACK, basically telling him her academics and life (Did she mention she was an English Major?) were more important than his petty needs, and it was not lost on any of us how much time and effort she'd taken to blast him. Even though she's VERY busy. He wisely decided to let it go. He has books to write.

Why do we ask our readers to write for reviews? It's a suggestion. We're hoping you'll do it, but we won't lose sleep if you don't. We are not asking you to write a thesis. We ask because it's the cheapest, easiest way for us to get exposure. If you liked it, a star rating and a couple of sentences are all that's needed. If you hated it, please feel free to do the same. Most of us, (Not all, but that's another blog) won't bite.  Hell, a handful of stars will do the trick if you're in a hurry.

I repeat:It's just a suggestion! No need to slam us, especially if you might end of working alongside us. By the way, he gave us her name too. I'm not sure if that's fair or vindictive, but I'm guilty of being glad he did it. I don't want to work with someone like that. Writers DO have feelings, you know.


  1. Review requests and responses should never turn into a back and forth of escalating irritation or hate. Thanks for posting this, Donna.

    1. Thanks for commenting Kathy. I honestly wasn't sure if I should've written this blog.

  2. Great post, much appreciate the time you took to write this.