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Suggestion for new forum: Reviewing the Reviewers

Discussion in 'Ask the Staff' started by ccrogers3d, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. ccrogers3d

    ccrogers3d Scribe

    Here's the problem as I see it: reviewers get to pass judgement on others but escape judgement themselves.

    You can read some of their reviews to assess their writing, but you don't know if they otherwise behave professionally. If they offer a review in exchange for a free book, take the book, and skip out on the review, how would another author know?

    The solution I propose is to create a new forum. It would be private so that only established members can view and post. It would have a rule that you cannot publicize information from it without written consent.

    In it, we would keep a table of Reviewers and the number of "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" they have received from members. And members can share the stories of their interactions (good or bad) with those reviewers.
  2. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    I don't think we need to invite hearsay and gossip about people in the industry that we mostly want to be on good terms with. Many of the people who share, retweet and like our blog posts also write book reviews, and I don't think it would be wise to make them feel like we're opening them up to insult.

    If you're sending out review copies, not getting a response is pretty much par for the course. Sometimes it doesn't fit their tastes or their audiences. Sometimes they'd prefer not to write a review than to pan your book. Sometimes they just have too much to read. It's not our place to judge these things.

    If you're printing copies, I would suggest sending them out in small batches at a time and tweaking your approach if you're not getting a good response rate. Otherwise, you could try sending digital copies with a print edition available upon request. But mostly, qualify those reviewers for which you go the extra mile with your approach and make sure they're of the sort most likely to be interested in what you have to offer.
  3. ccrogers3d

    ccrogers3d Scribe

    The actual incident that made me think of this idea was that a blogger said that a particular reviewer had sent him a "a snotty letter back" in response to a review request, and that it was "a REALLY nasty response that ended with the line, '…and never email me again.'”

    I had received a polite rejection from that same reviewer just the previous day, so I posted a comment on the blog in her defense. (Not denying that he had the experience, but suggesting that perhaps it was not the typical response from this person).

    It seems to me that it would be better to have a private venue for those kinds of discussions, but I can see your point that emotions run high when people feel insulted, and the conversations could easily get out of hand.

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