The fact that I have recently published my book has hammered home how important it is for me to write book reviews about books that I have checked off of my TBR pile. This post is about my experience when it comes to leaving a review, which is inspired by a book I recently finished reading.
Generally I make an effort to find at least one thing that I like about a book. That can be anything from the reason I bought the book (usually it’s the cover) or a secondary character that I’m interested in knowing more about. Well the book I recently read left me in awe of how much I hated this particular book.
I don’t generally hate books, there are a few, but we won’t get into that now. When it comes to books I don’t like/hate, I find that the book is not meant for me or my range of interests and I will say so in my review. I will then proceed to find something beyond my personal bias to state which will allow people who may be interested in the book to decide whether they want to purchase said book or not.
This book is not one of those books. Readers on my personal Facebook page were treated to my rants about the book as I read it.
To say that I was a little peeved didn’t do my mood justice. Part of me is still a bit miffed. I’m agitated to the point that I am hesitant to post my review of the book because, well, I don’t want to be that person.
You know the one. You find them on just about every product review. Their reviews appear hateful and seem to spawn from a place that is dark and ugly. Yeah that person. That’s not who I want to be, yet this book… Suffice to say it drags that person out of her hateful pit to spew her ugliness all over my keyboard.
I am surprised my version of “that person” is pretty articulate and constructive with what she hates about said book. She even has a handy list of bullet points. Seriously, she has bullet points. Nothing says constructive and non-confrontational like bullet points of said book’s shortcomings.
Now I find myself struggling with this whole adventure because the book violently shoves me outside of my normal behavioral pattern in regards to reviews. I don’t like the idea of writing a truly negative review. In reviewing this book, I’ve gone beyond a simple “one star, I didn’t like this book” type of review to a “This book was so terribad that I’m ashamed to say I read it. I want the time that I devoted to this collection of words back. Where do I go for a refund of a free book?” kind of review.
I know that I can’t wrap myself up in the age old saying “if you have nothing nice to say…” because when it comes down to it, I wouldn’t be doing the author, nor myself any favors by seeking to avoid the issue of my review indefinitely. I have to post the review, if for no other reason than to reaffirm the simple truth that negative reviews are part of the publishing lifestyle.
And maybe that is the reason I struggle with posting the review.
I know the work that goes into writing a book, the man hours that go into prepping a book for publication, and the nervous dance that happens as you wait for your first review. And while it has yet to happen to me, I know that somewhere in the wings is someone who will not tell me how amazing my book is, who will have a dark cloud full of acid rain to drench over all my hard work. I know it to be true, because I know I can’t make everyone happy with what I do. It is because of this–with an added pep talk on my part–that I will post the review soon. Right after I erase the bullet points and make it a little less that person.