Lately I’ve been pondering the relationship between book reviewers and authors, particularly reviewers with book blogs. It’s a strange and delicate balance. On the one hand, it can be mutually beneficial and highly productive (I don’t mind admitting that I’ve met many book bloggers this year that I’d like to call friends and that have certainly spurred me on to produce more work). Quite frankly, authors (particularly indie authors) need book bloggers like Wallace needs Gromit and there’s no getting around that. And bloggers need their books just as much to feed their passion for reading. The flip-side of that perfect union is when the relationship breaks down.
Authors are a needy bunch. We live to tell stories, to evoke emotions in others, and we crave approval for what we do more than anything. It hurts to hear someone say that they don’t like the thing that you poured your heart and soul into, the thing that you very likely spent a great many months – even years – creating. Not to mention the amount of money indie authors can spend on producing a book. I don’t mind saying that it hurts just as much to hear someone say they didn’t care either way about your book. To hear ‘nice’ is about as painful as ripping an author’s still-beating heart from their chest and eating it in front of them (melodramatic… me? Humour me, I’m a writer). Despite all this, we still don’t have the right to criticise someone else’s opinion about it. What makes one person’s view count more than another’s? A reviewer is no less passionate about literature than an author is – that passion just manifests in a different way.
So, because I’m a curious type, I thought I’d ask some of the writers and reviewers I’ve got to know over the six months I’ve been publishing what their take on the relationship was. I compiled a list of questions; some chose to answer them straight, some found that the questions took them on a journey of musings all of their own, which they very kindly wrote down for me. During the next week or so, I’ll be publishing these ramblings on my site (in no particular order, I hasten to add). Tomorrow will see the series kick off with the gorgeous Sharon Goodwin of Jera’s Jamboree. Enjoy!