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One of my best friends is a Sci-Fi book reviewer. Because of my friendship with her, I get an inside view on what it’s like on the other side of book publication–the people who judge the books. Now, my friend is both professional and kind, and she’s told me that she feels bad when she writes a negative review because she knows that the author will very likely read it. That doesn’t stop her from writing an honest review, but it did get me to thinking…

BookspileI have a degree in English Literature, so I spent four years in university pulling apart books and basically judging them. Being able to freely discuss a piece of literature without pussy footing around an author’s feelings was absolutely necessary. It’s part of the pleasure of reading–interacting with a book on your own terms… without the author peering over your shoulder.

As a reader, myself, I believe very strongly that readers should be able to read, discuss, tear apart, spout off opinions, and basically interact with that book to their heart’s content, and as an author, I should steer clear!

There are a few reasons for that:

  1. It might hurt my feelings if my hide isn’t thick enough.
  2. Once the book is released, my job as the author is done.
  3. My presence shouldn’t get in the way of readers doing what readers do best.

So that is why I’ve decided to do my very best to never read another review of my own work. So far reviews have been great, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some less flattering reviews at some point. These things happen. If a reader contacts me tell me that they enjoyed the book, that will be wonderful! (And please do. It makes an author’s day.) But I’m not going to Google my books or my name to see what comes up, because I don’t want the readers doing their job (honestly reviewing) to impact my ability to do my job (writing freely).

And I’m pretty sure the readers and reviewers don’t want me to get in their way, either. πŸ˜‰

I think it’s only fair. What do you think?

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