Monday, November 21, 2011

Book Bloggers & Reviewers Need To Edit, Too.

Today I can blogging about book bloggers and reviewers.We indie authors love book bloggers and reviewers.  Their reviews are very important to us, especially if we are indies.  We provide our books at no cost in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.  We don't pay for those reviews. (At least you shouldn't.  How fair is a paid review?).  But, we do expect to be able to use snippets of those reviews for marketing our books.

Let me stop to say that MOST reviewers and book bloggers do a very good job.  They are careful to present a well written review.  But, as more people join the book blogging arena, I see quality slipping. Are some people pretending to be book bloggers so that they can get free books?

How disappointing it is to get a great review, only to see that it is filled with misspelled words, poor grammar and poor use of punctuation.  How do you use a quote like "He don't want to.." or sentences with "by" instead of "be", commas instead of periods, and sentences that don't start with a capital letter?  Hey, I can even forgive one mistake.  They get by all of us.  But all of these things in a two paragraph review?

Here is the unfortunate part: While the kind words can still help us, what these bloggers don't realize is that is makes THEM look bad.  If they want people to come to their blogs and read their reviews, they need to show professionalism.  And, while the words help us authors some, the review does not hold the credence it should.  It is hard for readers to believe that the review was done by a professional.

Professionalism means that you know the difference between "does" and "don't", a comma and a period, and that you use spellcheck!  Spellcheck will not catch the "does" and "don't" or (usually) the poor use of punctuation...but it WILL catch a word spelled wrong. If you are not a good speller, type out your review in Word first and use spellcheck.  Then check for wrong words spelled right and change it to the right word.  Check punctuation!  There are many good sources for punctuation online.  Please, bookmark them and use them if you are unsure of punctuation.  Punctuation is not abstract art.

While we indies are very grateful to people who review our book, we wait for weeks or months for that review to appear.  If we have presented you with a well edited book, could you please take the time to do the same with your review?  And, please...keep in mind that one or two misspelled words in 500 pages is a whole lot different than one or two misspelled words in two paragraphs. 

Both parties should do their best.  Please don't rush to get your reviews out, ending up with a posting that looks like a junior high drop out wrote it. 

Also, if you are a book blogger or reviewer posting a review on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads or other websites, please include name of your blog with your name.  That way people know that the review was indeed impartial instead of done by a friend.  "Cathy" does not have the same impact as "Cathy from Book Lovers".

Reviews should be worded a little differently for each site, or else Amazon pulls the review down.

If you are a book blogger or reviewer, please understand that I am not ungrateful.  Truly, the only reason this post should upset you is if you are guilty of submitting poorly edited reviews.  I don't like editing, either. Still, I understand that editing means the difference between being taken seriously or not, being successful or not.  The same is true for you.

I want to see you succeed and become a blog or review site with hudnreds, or even thousands, of readers.  That helps you and it helps me.  The only way to become that successful is to offer quality product. Please don't just slap together a few reviews in a haphazard fashion and call yourself a reviewer so you can get free books.  Authors work too hard for that.

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