Rating and Reviewing Revisited


reviewYet another bout of squawking over reviewing practices has erupted, this time mainly on Threads, which I have recently leapt aboard (find me at zak jane keir (@zakjanekeirdsw) on Threads ). I’ve posted about reviews more than once on here and, if anything, the situation is getting even worse. Authors are whining and screaming, not about negative reviews so much as about the way some people who are sent review copies just don’t review them. This isn’t new, of course: back in my own professional-reviewer days, not everything sent to us got reviewed, for reasons of space as much as anything else. Publishers, even the handful of very small independent ones, mostly understood this and saw sending us (and any other magazine they pitched to) review copies of things as a gamble. But there are also reviewers whining and fretting, not so much that they don’t have the time or the brainspace to review all the books they get, but that they ‘feel bad’ for either giving a negative review or finding a book is just not their thing, but saying so might hurt the authors feelings.

I *could* go off on one yet again about what a bunch of wusses the young are when I think of how much fun it was to rip into something abysmal, particularly if it was either overhyped or had arrived with an especially arrogant covering letter, but I am still harking back to the days when the role of the reviewer was to inform and/or entertain, whether the thing being reviewed was of interest to someone reading the review or not.review

These days it seems that reviews, particularly on either the Zon or Goodreads (and let’s not digress into what a howling cesspit of chaos that is) are far more to do with attempting to game the algorhythms than anything else, and the star rating given is far more important than the specific content of any given review.

I don’t know about those of you with books newly out or in the pipeline, but it makes me a little nervous. Particularly when I think about some exciting news that I may have for you all in the fairly near future…

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