Whatever you write, you naturally crave that wonderful phrase. ‘Wow! That’s just so good. A brilliant story!’
Unfortunately, getting that reaction from the people who matter isn’t easy. At the end of the day, it’s paying readers you want to say this. But in the meantime, most writers would be pleased to get it from anyone at all. As long as this anyone has arms, legs, can read and doesn’t bark or meow.
With the interconnectivity of social media, this craving for validation has overtaken some writer’s logic. Every day I receive at least ten messages asking me to ‘Please read my book and let me know what you think.’ Or, ‘I know you’re busy, but if you could read my book and post something positive on my blog, I’d be eternally grateful.’
Well, I’m really sorry, but for starters, I can’t possibly read ten books per day. Secondly, I’m quite busy writing my own bucketful of hopeful words. Thirdly, I read for pleasure and carefully select my reading list as my reading time is already limited. Lastly, there are a million book bloggers and book reviewers out there, so why pick on an author?
If I have written the message once, I’ve written it a thousand times. ‘I’m an author not an editor, proofreader, book reviewer nor a book blogger. Please make contact with people who specialise in this. Good luck.’
Often I’m tempted to add that you are disturbing my day, but I refrain. In my experience, another author is the worst person you can ask to review your book.
Writers are so engrossed in their styles and genres (and naturally think that their writing is so superior to anyone else) that they are unlikely to give a truly objective response anyway.
So to those writers who are looking for an independent opinion of their work, start making contact with people who are good at judging writing and let us fellow authors get on with what we love doing.
Writing. Quietly and uninterrupted.