I have to confess that my experience with attending author readings and events is pretty abysmal. This is a combination of several factors - young kids, being somewhat shy, and the inevitability that I will get lost if I am driving to a new place.
That being the case, the ability to interact with authors online is both wonderful and sort of intimidating. I love being able to chat with writers and am really pleased and humbled when someone says that they appreciated my review. But I also feel a tiny twinge of panic when I realize that the author will definitely read my review, either because they follow me on Twitter or because I am reviewing their book as part of a tour. Even before I start reading the book, I desperately hope that I will love their book. When I have finished it, I give special care to making sure my criticism is constructive and not cruel. Who wants to write a really negative review with the knowledge that the author will read it? Not this girl!
Does anyone else feel this way?
I feel the same way. I want to review books honestly, but I really don't want to offend any writers. I applaud anyone for taking the time to write a book regardless of if I liked it or not.ReplyDelete
I can imagine how much time and love went into crafting a book and you certainly don't want to make anyone upset. On the other hand, you don't want to be disingenuous when something really doesn't work. Balance is hard!Delete
I had to wait until my kids were grown to start jetting around to conventions and author events. It is much harder with kids.ReplyDelete
You may be cured of that hesitation by the time they are grown. I was a little reserved when my kids were very small, but I changed as they got older.
It is sort of hard with the little ones. I know that my hubby is more than capable, but his work schedule is crazy and I know that they are only little for a short time. I don't want to be away unless it's someone whose work I really adore!Delete
I agree there is not reason to be cruel about critique. Honest yes, but not mean spirited not nasty.ReplyDelete
It's a hard line to balance on! You want it to be something an author could use for improving future writing instead of something that will discourage them.Delete
Believe me. We, authors, have the same reaction you do. We carefully chose our reviewers because we want to make sure it's something that the reviewer would like to read. We're as nervous as you are when we submit our novel to you.ReplyDelete
Oh gosh, I don't know if I should feel better that you all get nervous too or feel bad that we make you feel that way! Thanks for your honesty. :)Delete
I'm similar. I'm far too shy to go to any author events, but I love interacting with authors through Twitter and blogging (depending on who the author is and what I thought about their book!).ReplyDelete
It's so cool when you enjoyed a book and you know that the author read your glowing review, as opposed to sending a letter to the publisher and crossing your fingers!Delete
I take me kids with me to events. My 4 year old says she's going to be a writer one day, and when she does signings all the authors she's met will go to her signings. It's adorable. My 10 year old loves meeting new authors and has found so many books by going to events with me. I know the fear of getting lost. It happens to me all the time. And yes, I agree about how reviews are done. I try my hardest to be informative without being cruel or rude.ReplyDelete
That's a wonderful idea. I think my six year old would like going if I could find some events around here!Delete
Since my local indie went out of business there's not much chance to go to author events. I usually find myself unusually shy at these types of things, too, and I'm pretty Type A most of the time. Weird!ReplyDelete
Boo. I have a B and N not too far from me, but they never seem to have anyone I'm really interested in meeting...Delete
I get nervous about thinking that authors will read my reviews. I don't get the chance to go to many events or signings, there aren't too may in the area that I live in. But I have really enjoyed the ones I have gone to, even though I am usually a nervous wreck.ReplyDelete
It sounds like a lot of fun. I think I have to pay better attention. I'm sure someone will come to NJ sooner or later...Delete
I feel the same way about reviews -- I get a sinking feeling when I realize the book I'm reading for review is NOT wonderful and that I will have to write a critical review. I just read your review of The Supreme Macaroni Company (which I reviewed for TLC as well) and thought it was excellent! (How many times did I just use the word "review"?!)ReplyDelete
I think you used 'review' just enough times. :)Delete
As readers, we want to be supportive of writers. Writing critical reviews can be difficult!
I hear ya. I'm one of those people that looks at my reviews/book thoughts as separate from the author...even when I write a positive review, I get nervous and a bit twitchy when an author makes it known they've read it. If nothing else, it means "they watch!" :-) Which is not a bad thing, of course. Just nerve wracking to know a person so personally invested is reading my "nothing personal" thoughts.ReplyDelete
Exactly! To us, it's one book among many. To them, it's their love and sweat and tears for years...Delete
I agree completely about the ups and downs of author interaction! I'm always humbled when an author takes the time to thank me for a positive review. However, once you've interacted with an author on a personal level, it can be very hard to be objective about their books. Like you, I try to make my criticism constructive and never mean. I'm sure it's still hard for an author to see a negative review, but I remind myself that I consider my blog's primary responsibility to be toward my readers and it's important to me to write an honest review.ReplyDelete
That's a great point. If our goal is truly to guide our readers towards great books and away from those that aren't so great, then it makes it a bit easier to write those negative reviews!Delete