Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Eclectic Electric: A New Review Site



Writers read.
Me, reading at home

          Whenever you meet a writer, you can confidently predict that they read. A lot.

          The reason they wanted to write in the first place is because they loved reading – it’s a sure bet. Take it for granted that they learned to write by reading avidly - reading anything and everything - classics, thrillers, comics, magazines, newspapers, romance, sci-fi, plays, poetry, satire. Sauce bottles, cereal packets, lists of ingredients. Instructions on how to operate machinery.

          As with anyone who practices any craft, they develop a keen appreciation of its tools and techniques. A good cook, for instance, notices the way flavours are combined and quickly learns, from observation, exactly when to stop applying heat to a steak or fish. It’s an education  to attend an art show with an artist - sometimes they'll almost ignore the works, so keenly aware are they of the medium used, the size of the brushes, the way the mounts and frames have been chosen to set off the work.

          So I'm always interested when another writer recommends a book. They know what they're talking about. They’ve been round the back of the verbiage and checked out the machinery.

          And here, on this site, we have a whole bunch of writers. They write - and read - widely in a variety of genres. They understand the craft, and know the amount of work, planning, rewriting, thinking, research and understanding of people required to produce a short story, a play, a novel or a poem.

          As self-publishing writers we're well aware that self-published books rarely feature in newspaper and magazine reviews.

          So we've decided, between us, to set up a new site as a home for reviews we’ve written of e-books, and reviews we’ll doubtless write in the future.

          It's called Eclectic Electric, and it will feature reviews by Authors Electric on any and every book they enjoy and want to wave in the air and shout out to others about.

          They will all be of books available as e-books, and they will all be positive reviews of books we enjoyed and think others will enjoy. Some will be e-books produced by the big publishers, others will be self-published by the author.

          Some of the reviews will be of books by other Authors Electrics, and we're resigned to being accused of doing our friends favours – but please do us a favour and consider that we are just like any other group of people drawn together by a common enterprise. A few of us know each other personally. Most of us have never met. Still, like any other group of people, we're curious about each other. What better way to check out a writer than by reading one or two of their books?

          After all, we read all the time anyway, and we're always looking for a new book.
          And if it turns out that we really enjoy a book by another Author Electric - because this a gathering of good writers - then why not share our good opinion of it?

 
In another room of my house
         There will also, we promise, be many books reviewed that are not by Electrics, or anyone else we know. They will simply be books we've read, enjoyed and admired - and which we hope others may enjoy too.
          Reviews will not appear to any particular schedule, but as and when - the appearance of a new review will be flagged up to the right.

          In every case, we will follow this simple rule: a review must be of a book that we genuinely enjoyed. Otherwise, we will pass over it in silence.

          Speaking personally, I have to really love a book before I can find the energy or make the time to review it – regardless of who the author is.

          It’s that lack of time and energy which makes us apply another rule: we will not accept books to review. Do not waste your time and energy by sending us books, or asking us to review them. We can’t do it – we haven’t time to organise a way of keeping track of submitted books, matching them to writers and so on.

          But if, by chance, one of your books is reviewed by one of us on EclecticElectric – well that means that we not only loved it, but we probably bought it too! What higher recommendation could there be?

Images: Wiki Commons

          Susan Price's first contract was with Faber, at the age of 16. She has won the Carnegie Medal, and the Guardian Fiction Prize, among other awards. To find out more about her, and her e-books, click here.
          Or visit her website here.

7 comments:

julia jones said...

Lovely choice of pictures! Delighted to see my review of Willett Thomas's book opening the Eclectic Electric blog and am looking forward immensely to whatever my fellow AE writers recommend. Thanks so much Sue for getting this new site going.

Lydia Bennet said...

thanks Sue for all this, hope the site proves a success for AE

madwippitt said...

Yay! A great introduction - and so true what you say about the reading. It does interfere with the writing though ...

Pauline Fisk said...

You couldn't have put this better, Sue. A lovely introduction to a review site, and if I came across it out of the blue, I'd be keen to follow it and find out what got reviewed and why, both from a writer's point of view and a reader's one too. Thanks for setting this up.

Hywela Lyn said...

May I add my thanks for setting this up too. I have reviewed several books myself - and yes I won't review it if I haven't really enjoyed it, and it's great to share some favourite books this way.

Peter said...

I just stumbled across this site, it sounds like a cool idea. I find ebooks easy to read in between other things, since I am on the computer working more or less all day. I'll be keeping tabs!

diebooth said...

"In every case, we will follow this simple rule: a review must be of a book that we genuinely enjoyed. Otherwise, we will pass over it in silence."
This is brilliant and I wish more reviewers worked like that - if you can't say something nice, then don't say anything!!