Monday, November 16, 2009

Book Reviewers are Overrated

Am I crazy because I am not crazy about book reviewers who haven’t bought my book? Many of these book reviewers are nothing more than a bunch of egotistical, opportunistic leeches who look for any opportunity to get a freebie out of hard working authors and publishers who actually put the hard money behind the printing and promotion of our books. **By the way, if you have already bought and read A Thousand Chances please go to my official A Thousand Chances review page to submit a review of my book. I am sick of authors and book blog writers advising new authors to send out hundreds of free copies of their books to reviewers who might or might not write a review on your book –let alone write a favorable review. Following that advice is expensive considering that book retailers want a 40% discount on your book with returns (if your book is $10 the book store gets $4 and you get $6; which is grossly unfair when your cost of printing is anywhere from $2 - $4 per book), and the distributors that we are working so hard to establish a relationship with want a 55% discount on your book with returns. It’s even more expensive when you realize that most people don’t read the book review section of the newspaper, magazine or blog which means those reviewers’ reviews –FAVORABLE or UNFAVORABLE— don’t lead to book sales. People influence book sales, not reviewers. In other words, authors and publishers QUIT GIVING YOUR SHIT AWAY FOR FREE!

You don’t fucking need good reviews, YOU NEED SALES. A sale is a fucking sale whether it occurs in a bookstore, at a bus stop, or in a chicken shack. Any book that encourages you to send out your books for review need to be burned in the story Fahrenheit 451 because it’s a waste of money and it doesn’t produce sales. I like reviewers because these are real people who have no other motive than to give their honest opinion of your book after taking the time to read your book. I don’t like top reviewers because they are very much like the book review leeches lurking in online book clubs, blogs, and print media and their giving you a favorable review depends on how much you kiss their asses and stroke there egos, FUCK ‘EM. They all want fucking freebies. You want to review my book, BUY IT!

Furthermore, many of these reviewer go beyond reviewing the quality of the story and start getting nitpicky. For instance, in the story Ex-Boyfriend written by Teresa D. Patterson and myself –although you’ll see only her name, that’s a long story and yes we fell out and I ended up walking away from the project after completion- the urban lit book reviewer says that our book IS A PAGE TURNER. Here’s the exact quote:

Despite it being a page-turner, I would have liked to see more development and suspense with the story and its characters. I also felt as though there could have been more action within the story.

Reviewed by Leona
Urban Fire Books

If there no suspense within the story and could have used more action, then I’m wondering what made our book such a fucking page turner!

And here’s another review:

Even though the book moved at a fast pace, I felt there wasn't enough character development. There wasn't any major drama happening in the book. The main character mostly went to work or back home and Terrance watched her from afar or blew her phone up. The book lacked any real excitement and twists. I thought the book was just okay.

Reviewed by nicole098
Street Lit Clique

The book lacked any real excitement and twists and there wasn’t any major drama happening in the book, yet you still felt that the book moved at a fast pace. How the fuck is that a possibility? Either the book is a good book or it sucks, plain and simple! These overly nitpicky reviews sound more like jealousy of the simple fact that they wish they could be authors too, but lack the imagination, discipline, and grasp of the English language to actually write a readable book. As bad of a beating Urban Lit authors take, even their books have a good enough sentence structure to be readable—but I digress. Of course, my coauthor (again long story) appeared to be so anxious to get this book in the hands of reviewers –FREE OF CHARGE to the reviewers and AT A LOSS to her- and this is the thanks she gets! Fuck these reviewers; I’d rather be what’s hot in the streets. Now if the streets are telling me the shit is garbage, then that’s another story, but I am not going to buy into anything a book club or a reviewer with an audience of 10 people has to say about our book. The only thing these people usually do is get a free book out of an author desperate for a review and pass it on to the rest of the free book wenches in their book club or clique who don’t have $20 to spend on your book anyway because they’re buying weed with their SSI disability checks!

This is why it is so important to get your book into the hands of people, because people sell books, not reviewers and not internet drones who think they’re book reviewers when they’re really welfare recipients who started a ning page and think all urban literature has to have some form of violence, drug dealing and ho’ing in it for it to be a real book because they don’t know life outside their project windows. They don’t speak for the majority of people out here who appreciate a good story regardless of genre. These reviewer don’t even speak for the majority of people who live in the hood, because the majority of people in the hood are out in society going to work, going to different social functions, and they actually do get out beyond their 3-4 block radius. Real people will put out the word for you if your book is good. “Yeah, Glenn Gamble’s book is the bomb! He’s a self-published author, so I think you should support him and buy his book on Amazon.” However, in order to get real people to put in a good word for you, you must go where people are and sell them your book. Get your book into those people’s hands so they can read how good your shit is and recommend it to other people through word of mouth. There’s no use in getting your book in the book section at the Chicago Reader or Time Out Chicago or any other publication when 1) your book is one of several books in that same section that have been reviewed; and 2) only 30 people read the section and since they have so many choices in each section, one review isn’t going to get people to buy your book over the other 5 books regardless of how they we’re reviewed. Save a couple grand and a tree or two and forgo sending out books for reviews. The only people who will make money in the deal are your printer and FedEX –and the book reviewer will get another free book to add to his or her pile of free books being received week after week. These fuckers are never in a bookstore and haven’t bought a book in years, yet they’re egotistical enough to believe they’re the authority on what does or doesn’t make good literature. They’re not the authority, YOU THE PUBLIC is the real authority!