I apologize for the lack of posts over the past few weeks. I promise I'll do better in the new year, mostly because I should be less busy at work (I hope anyway!). I was trying to finish a book so it made eXcessica's 2011 catalogue. It did (pub date: November 18 2011...so far away!). So now, hopefully I can relax a little. And read, a lot. And write some more. Isn't that what a writer does though?
You see, I've been following the discussion at Dear Author about reviewing. The gist of it is that you shouldn't (badly) review a book in your genre because of the possibility of being maligned forever (the term 'professional suicide' was banded about, but I'd rather ignore that one). I don't understand this point of view at all. To be fair, I'd never even thought of it. If you don't read your own genre, you'll never progress as a writer... Or is it just me thinking that?
I also don't get why you shouldn't write a bad review if you didn't like a book. Sure, you're not going to trash it (otherwise, well, I won't be your friend anymore!), but you can still say why you didn't like it and why it didn't work for you. No?
OKay, so it might be different if you're a professional reviewer. I only write reviews on Goodreads, and short ones at that. But, if I want to write a review and explain why I really didn't get a ménage novella by Maya Banks that countless others have adored, will that be taken as jealousy by others? Will it screw up her sales? Of course not, it's Maya Banks! I might have liked some other books of hers but not that one, and it's my right to say that.
I must admit I'm a bit shocked by this whole debate. I hadn't realized I should keep my mouth shut so I didn't rock the boat. Aren't we all supposed to be in this together? Are authors really that jealous of each other? What do you think? Would you rather not say what you thought of somebody's work, just in case it bit you in the butt later on? Or, would you be willing to explain why it didn't work for you?
Constructive criticism is something you learn to deal with when you're a published author and you start receiving reviews, good or bad. People might love your work, people might hate it, but it's always better to know... Isn't it?