I read a lot less than I normally do this year and I have to admit that it was an intentional move on my part. You see, for several years I've read no less than a book a week, To some people that's peanuts but it was quite a bit for me. Often times I found myself drifting through books and sometimes even rolling my eyes at the predictable nature of them. A beginning a middle and an end and they were slowly starting to meld together into one mediocre mass of words. That's when I realized I was slowly losing my love of reading and it had nothing to do with the quality of books, just the fact that in my rush to get through them, I was forgetting what was important, the story. So this year I cut my usual reading demands in half. It was certainly easier to maintain and over the last few months I think that I've cured myself. This is embarrassing to say, but as an author I think I love to read again.
While leaving my reviews I'm still coming across some astoundingly bad reviewers. Before you think I'm being an unprofessional author, I'll explain myself. I say this because I believe leaving a review is important to the author and potential readers. You have a responsibility as a reviewer to do very few things before leaving a review that could potentially hurt an author and prevent a person from finding a great new book.
Ten things a reader MUST do before leaving a review.
1. Read the whole book or if you couldn't finish it, explain why.
2. Know what kind of book you're buying. I read a review yesterday for a book titled, Turning me on. One of the reviewers complained that it wasn't YA appropriate and gave it 1 star...come on, really?
3. Know what kind of book you're buying. Yup, I said it again. I'm not even sure how many reviews I've read complaining that a book was too short...item description folks. It says it right there. You bought it under no false pretense.
4. What did you like and what didn't you like about it. I don't want a spoiler infused book report. Was it well written? Was it funny? Was it horrible?
5. Don't complain about other people's reviews in your review. Your debate is no stronger for trashing someone else's opinion.
6. Don't judge a book by its cover!
7. Don't judge an audio book by its reader.
8. If you've given the last twelve books in a series less than three stars...you can stop reading them.
9. If hate a certain genre stay away from it. If you don't like comedies don't buy a book titled Slappy's Big Adventure in Pirate Land and then go on to complain about how silly it was.
10. This should go without saying but don't troll (give an unfair review without ever reading the book) another author because you think your writing is better than theirs. Ann Rice was so harassed by Trolls this past year that she started a campaign against unfair reviewers. It really is that big of a problem.
Okay, that's it. That's all I'm asking. Also I just wanted to use this time to say thank you to each and every reader that took the time to read one of my books this year. Whether you liked it or not, thank you for your reviews and I hope a few of you will return to read another in 2015. It's going to be another great year, I know it!