Learning Something New Everyday
I’m taking a page out of Trish’s book (not literally – although now that I mention it, I’d kind of like to steal a page out of My Way or the Highway just so I can read it!) and writing down all the fascinating knowledge I gained from the chat today. Not all of it will be new to you or me, but I’m hoping this helps beginner reviewers.
- Authors are flattered, not irritated, when you request their books and ARCs. Don’t be embarrassed or intimidated – ask them. You’ve got nothing to lose. Plus, they usually forward emails to their publishers anyway, so it’s not really in their hands.
- Contrary to what you might believe, there aren’t an unlimited number of ARCs in existence. They’re a rare commodity, and you should feel special if you get one.
- In addition to the previous point, authors only get about a dozen ARCs of their own. If they send you one from their own collection, you’re pretty much a rockstar to them.
- Requesting books closer to the pub date is a better idea – there’s definitely more copies of those.
- If you do get an ARC or a book to review, do the basic courtesy of writing a review for the author. If it’s something that you really, truly, absolutely can’t read, pass it on to someone who would read it and review it instead. (Bookmooch or YA Swap helps, here)
- Ask an author if they’re willing to do an ARC tour among the reviewers for their book. What that means, basically, is that the author sends an ARC to one reviewer, who reads it, reviews it, leaves a happy little note in the book, and then passes it on to another reviewer who does the same. The chain continues until the author gets back a fantastic keepsake. LOVE THIS IDEA – especially for the newbies who probably don’t get as many ARCs as the established group. Thanks Kay for suggesting the idea!
- Okay, this one’s elementary – it’s okay to write a negative review, but don’t make it personal. Don’t bash the writer. Don’t tell them they smell or that they eat brains. Find something positive about the book and put it in there. You’re a professional – act like one.
- No, the authors will not come after you and murder you in your sleep. They can take constructive criticism, and welcome your opinion. (Most of them, anyway)
- Authors fear the sekrit underground YA blogger mafia. Mwahahahaha!
- They love us. Probably even more than we love them.
I know I missed a lot in there – I was late, and my internet is such an epic fail. But that’s the gist of what we talked about. Thank you Kay Cassidy for putting it together, and thanks to Stephanie Burgis, Becca Fitzpatrick, Tera Lynn Childs, Lindsay Eland, Lindsey Leavitt, and any other author that I may have forgotten for their insightful questions (and general awesomeness)!
If any of the other participants want to add something to the list, feel free.