So WILD ONES has been out for just under a month! How crazy is that? So crazy. Have you read it? Did you like it? JUST KIDDING OMG DON’T TELL ME. Instead, go this way: and tell everyone what you thought. Seriously. Even if you hated it, even if you think I should forcefully have my keyboard ripped away from me, go tell people. Because that’s how people find out about books, good or bad. When you tell someone. And books are a glorious drug, aren’t they?
But while we’re on the subject of telling people, I thought now would be a good time to talk about Reviewing Etiquette. It’s like a seminar! Only better! Because chances are I’m not wearing pants and I will encourage you to shuck yours as well. PANTS: Ain’t nobody got time for that.
1.) Reviews are for readers.
This is first and foremost. I don’t care what anyone else tells you. I don’t. If they tell you that reviews are for everyone, you tell them I said no. And if they ask who the hell I am, speak warmly about my hair. Because reviews are not for everyone. When you go somewhere like Amazon or Goodreads, you’re telling other readers why they should or shouldn’t pick up this particular book. Authors should never ever come and engage you unless you invite them to. Seriously. This is a party for readers. Not for authors. Authors aren’t allowed unless they’re invited. Otherwise the waters get muddied. You should always, always be able to say exactly what you want about a particular book without fear that that author is going to show up and make things weird. So go forth, preach the gospel, and do so without worrying about offending the author. If they show up, feel free to tell them to GTFO unless they bring back pizza.
2.) Still try to be respectful.
Don’t call the author an “a stupid” or say someone needs to burn their house down. That’s not nice nor is it constructive. But if you must say these things, don’t then invite the author to this arson party you’re throwing. Chances are they put a lot into their book, whether or not it worked for you.
Think of it this way: would you walk up and tell someone on the street that their baby is hideous and just looking at it makes you want to puke shards of your pelvis? Probably not, right? Because it’s mean. Think of a book like that author’s baby. Talk about the hideousness of it to your friends. Don’t puke on the author if you can help it.
Now, personally, I am a-okay if someone wants to approach me with constructive criticism. Say there was something in WILD ONES you had a major issue with and you’d like to discuss that with me. Bring it here! Let’s talk! I promise to not beat you over the head if you promise not to beat me. In fact, chances are, even if you do beat me over the head, I still won’t try to beat you back because I’m unfailingly southern when it comes to politeness.
3.) It’s always okay if a book didn’t work for you and did make you puke your pelvis.
Never apologize for it. Not everything works for everybody. I don’t like bananas. I never apologize to the bananas for not liking them. It’s not their fault they make me uncomfortable, just as it’s not my fault they do either.
4.) With that in mind, if you do like it, don’t argue with others because that book might have been their banana.
You’re not doing anyone any favors by taking to the comments to argue. Not yourself, not the other person, not the author. Debating is fine. Sometimes books bring up issues that need debated. But there is a difference between debate and arguing. Don’t argue. Let others have their opinions because you want the ability to keep yours.
5.) It is okay to point out that someone got something wrong if it’s an actual wrong.
For example: say you come across a review that states Bri is a three-headed dragon that sucks the marrow from the bones of small children. This would be okay to dispute, assuming it’s not a metaphor. You might bring up the idea that perhaps they have confused books and there wasn’t even a child present in WILD ONES. If they insist, it’s probably best to walk away because who knows? Maybe they got a hold of my first draft somehow.
6.) If you pirated the book, give the author an additional star.
It’s the least you can do, Thieve-y McThieverson.
7.) If you do like a book, it’s totally cool to tell the author.
Pretend that book is a baby again. Moms love when people say how cute their baby is. It makes our hearts happy. Because HEY WE MADE A THING AND PEOPLE LIKE IT!
Have I forgotten anything? Are there any you disagree with? Any you’d like to add? Want to see a picture of two dinosaurs having a polite disagreement in a field of daisies? OF COURSE YOU DO.