If writing a book is hard work, writing a review of one – although much shorter – can be equally difficult, presenting its own particular challenges. Most people write a review because they like a book and want to recommend it to other readers: but if you really, really hated it, please let me ask you not to write “This book stinks” even if you feel it deserves it. The ease of digital publishing may have meant that everyone can now be a published writer, but it has also given new responsibilities to online reviewers.
|"The plot is a little light on gravy bones ..."|
I trusted the knowledge of these professionals. None of the rejections contained derogatory comments: any criticisms, if occasionally blunt, were entirely constructive in nature, aiming to educate and elucidate. Nowadays, self-publishing writers miss out on this chaff-sorting process and have to rely entirely on getting all their feedback directly from readers instead: it’s not always very helpful, and sometimes can be spiteful and offensive. Hence my plea – if you don’t like a book, but feel the need to post a review of it somewhere, then make it useful. Focus on detailing what you felt to be the strengths as well as the weaknesses, giving proper reasons and not just dismissing it out of hand. Insults and lazy reviewing contribute nothing, but constructive criticism will help a writer to write better in the future.
P.S. It's my birthday this month, so a review would of course, make a nice present ...