Yesterday, we had the pleasure of Vivienne Tuffnell coming to visit and I mentioned that her blog is often very thought-provoking. Very much so in the case of “I would do anything for love but..” which covered the delicate subject of how much we authors have to sell our principles to sell our books.
I refuse to bombard my friends with “Buy my Book” messages because it isn’t polite. If they see my adverts coming up on FB and don’t want to read them, they can ignore them. Face it – I don’t even mention my own books very often on here. The links are there on the right, if you like my style and are interested you can go and have a nosey-about. Nobody is forcing you.
One thing I won’t do is review books which I haven’t read or do “review swaps” which is a form of organised debasing of the review system. Yes, it has come in for a lot of flack recently with authors inventing “sock puppet” reviewers (non existent folks who all give them 5* reviews) but it still means something to me. If I say I did or didn’t like a work it is because I have spent the time reading it.
I’m also a very trusting soul; as I’ve said before, we tend to judge others by our own standards. So when I was approached by a young man on Twitter offering to “swap reviews” I told him I would only review his book if I’d read it and he responded with “Great”. Silly me. I gave him the link to the first in one of my series and dutifully purchased the e-book he proposed.
You will imagine my chagrin (not to mention bad language) when the very next day a new five star review appeared for Alchemy that had obviously been cobbled together from snatches of other reviews. He had not had time to read it, I’m sure he didn’t buy it and I was furious – no I DIDN’T shrug and say “So what? Another few stars is another few stars!” I felt utterly cheated. So that young man will not be getting any kind of review from me.
Perhaps in future I will grow a thicker skin or maybe I was properly dragged up and won’t work the system, certainly not to take advantage of other writers.