Author/Publisher/Creator? You are welcome here!
Posted by cindydraumrkopa
I have never written a post like this before. I have kept this blog mainly just about review, interviews, spotlights and other things like that. If I had an opinion about something related, but different from the usual posts, I would normally express it on Twitter and keep it at that. Now I felt the urge to actually write more than 140 letters about it. Others have preceded me and have put down wonderfully how they feel about this and I mostly agree with them, but this time I wanted to contribute, to state my opinion and make something very clear.
I’m talking about a piece blogger Renay wrote for Strange Horizons, you can read it here. For the people who don’t want to read it, here’s a short summary: it is stated that “fannish track blogs”, being blogs that are purely fan based, don’t/rarely accept ARCs and don’t do publicity, are slowly morphing into “industry track blog”, who interact with authors/publisher, review ARCs and new books, etc. The biggest issue though is the fact that Renay says authors or ‘creators’ shouldn’t comment or participate in discussions on reviews and other posts about their books.
Apparently there was a lot to do about this post yesterday, but somehow I missed it, hence my rather late response. I stumbled across the discussion earlier today on Twitter and read the article that got it all started. Needless to say, I don’t agree. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a “bad” piece, it was actually interesting to read her opinion about this, because I had never thought about it that way. I never imagined there would be people who would think about blogging that way. But apparently there are. It’s always interesting to discover new viewpoints and formulate your own response towards them. The reason I wanted to blog about it is because I totally don’t agree with the opinion stated in the article mentioned above and I want to make sure it is clear that ‘creators’ are very welcome here. Hell, everybody’s welcome to comment or participate in discussions going on here, as long as it stays civilized.
I know there have been some ‘online wars’, as I like to call them, about particular authors commenting in a rather childish way on negative reviews about their books, but that doesn’t mean authors who know how to formulate what they’d like to say in a civilized manner should be banned from writing comments or interacting with us. I love it when I get a message from an author or publisher thanking me for a review. I like discussing themes and characters, or actually anything that has to do with the genre, with authors. Fantasy and SciFi are my passion, why would I want to keep it all for myself? I started this blog because I wanted to share, because I wanted to read other opinions and responses to mine. Not only readers have those opinions, authors have them too. If they want to discuss a certain opinion with me (discuss, not correct), or if they want to know why I disliked a certain aspect of their book so they can build on that in their upcoming books, then I want them to contact me. I write reviews as much for readers as for the authors, especially if it’s a debut. Never heard of constructive criticism? Because that’s what I’m aiming at, not as a professional, but as an avid reader and fan of the genre. Not to criticize prose or something like that, but to tell the author what did and what didn’t work for me as a reader.
To clarify though, if you want to contact me about anything, be polite. I don’t want any snide comments about a negative review, I don’t want to be called names because of my opinion. That’s not the point of this blog and it gets us nowhere. The only thing you will achieve with that is making a bad name for yourself and turning me away from your books in the future. And that’s something neither one of us wants.
I don’t always like writing negative reviews, but if I didn’t like something in a book, it is my job to say so, to be honest. My readers depend on my honesty and I would never let them down. So don’t think badly of me when I write a negative review about your books, I’m just one voice of the many, just one opinion. I will always try to clarify why something didn’t work for me, so my readers can work out for themselves if it would be an issue for them as well or not. That’s the best way I can think of to run this blog. And after all, this is my blog, it’s my decision what I post here. But I am well aware I am posting this on the internet. On a blog. Publicly. Which means I want everyone who’s interested in the subject to see it and which also means I invite anyone to politely comment on it if they want to.
To conclude, just this: authors, publishers, readers, fans, bloggers, professional reviewers, whomever wants to leave something behind on this blog related to the genre, a book, a spotlight, an interview…: if you do so politely, you are more than welcome.
Posted on September 16, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged Author, blog, book, comment, Creator, discussion, fan, industry, negative review, opinion, Publicity, Publisher, response, Strange Horizons, welcome. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.