As an Easter treat, I am providing a link I stole from Ron who took it from Ed who got it from somewhere else I imagine. Stephanie Perry reviewed a book called Leah’s Way from a small independent press and is now receiving a lot of flack from said press because she didn’t like the book and had the nerve to say so. I started getting review requests months ago from small presses that frankly I’ve never heard of before. I am nervous about agreeing to review their books for this very reason. The woman from the press who wrote to Stephanie just sounds terrible.
Hi, Did it ever occur to you that the other 100 or so positive reviews of Leah’s Way are right and that you might be wrong? Or are you the typical Gen-X whiner who is completely self-absorbed and sees herself as always picked on, a perpetual victim? Look at yourself. You pride yourself on being a critical bitch, pampered, on a college scholarship that obviously led to nowheresville, you’re a failure in life, you judge books not on their merit but on your own prejudicial beliefs, and like a typical liberal you are only tolerant of people who think like you do. Liberals are the most intolerant people on the planet, all the while “preaching” tolerance.
Everyone, I would restrain myself from buying anything from Windstream Press until they apologize to Stephanie. Maybe this is just one bitter woman working amongst a great group of people. I don’t know. But until I do know, I am not planning on doing any business with them. I appreciate that small presses have a lot of trouble. They have small budgets and a harder time getting mainstream coverage of their books. But that does not justify what this woman has written to Stephanie. Not much does.
Now I have a question for everyone—-If a small press, or any press for that matter, asks you to review one of their books and you don’t like it, do you write a review or just decline to review it period?
I should point out that I read at least the first 20 pages of EVERYTHING that comes my way, which includes small publishers and vanity presses. If it proves to be dull, hackneyed, or otherwise hopeless, I discard the book and never think about it again. Which seems the polite thing to do.
The publicist at the Christian publisher is a nightmare and an enemy of the “free flow of ideas” that writers and reviewers and readers should cherish. Stephanie should be congratulated for keeping her cool in an absurd situation. Where the heck is H.L. Mencken when we need him?
I try my best to get a feel for the book based on press releases or emailed question/answer back and forths. If it doesn’t sound like I’d be interested I usually throw them a couple of reviewers that I think might be interested.
Once I begin a book though, I’ll read it to the end and give my honest opinion. With so little time avaialble though, I really screen pretty hard – I have enough to read that I’m pretty sure I’ll like and have a dozen or so people recommending things who know my tastes very well.
Someone apparently failed PR 101, and from the comment “Liberals are the most intolerant people on the planet,” Irony 101 as well.
You can’t only review books that you like – if someone wants a review, they have to take the rough with the smooth. Some people will like it, some won’t.
If I make it all the way through, I’ll write about it. As Neil Innes once said, “I suffered for my art. Now it’s your turn.”
I’ve been getting lots of offers for books and I don’t know quite how to answer them. I can’t promise a review, frankly because I don’t have the time. But some sound interesting enough that I want to give them a chance. Should I just be up front that I will try to read it but may not review it?