The Covenant Between Writers & Their Readers
or why we should write reviews
If you ask most writers why they write, they’d likely say it’s because they can’t not write; it’s what they’ve always done and they simply love to do it. Writers write for themselves first, but when all is said and done, they want to share what they’ve written with the world. Otherwise, they might just as well be writing a diary.
The poems, stories, and books have often been compared to a writer’s children for good reason. There is always a bit of ourselves in what we write, and just like our children, sometimes the resemblance is a lot stronger than other times. No matter what, we love them and are proud to have created them, even though there were times when they made us want to pull our hair out—and we want others to love them as much as we do once we send them out into the world. We accept that not everyone is going to feel the same about our children as we do, the world is a big place after all, but we still have hope. I don’t think there’s a parent alive who doesn’t delight in hearing of their child’s successes. It’s our validation for all the hard work that goes into the job.
In the past, book reviews were only found in newspapers and magazines, but today everyone and his uncle can make their opinions known on the internet, be it through their personal blogs, YouTube, Goodreads, Amazon, B&N and many, many other venues. With the coming of digital books and the rise in Indie publishing, there are thousands of books out there vying for our attention; too many books and never enough time to read them all. That’s why it’s so important for the average reader to take some time when they read something they really like to write a review. When I love a book, I want to let others know how great it is. I want my friends to read it so we can discuss it. The bond between readers and writers is symbiotic. The writer writes. The reader reads. The reader shares with other readers. The demand for more great writing rises, so the writer writes more. It’s a win-win situation.
Personally, I like to focus on the positive, so it’s rare for me to bother writing negative reviews. Plus, if I didn’t like the book, I feel I’ve already wasted my time reading it, so why should I waste any more of my time on it? There’s also the fact that I’ve read many books that have hit the bestseller lists and come away shaking my head, wondering how that happened. As I mentioned earlier, opinions vary. I get that. But a good review is a beautiful thing. It strengthens the author’s resolve on the bad days and lifts the spirit, and it keys others to something wonderful on the horizon. It benefits everyone.
Today, I finished reading Vicki Pettersson’s latest book, SWERVE. (Actually, I listened to the audiobook while I was at work, and boy, did it make the dull workday fly by!) It was an action-packed, intense roller-coaster ride of a book. I made it a point when I got home to write reviews of it at Audible.com and Amazon.com, because I liked it that much. It didn’t take long and if my doing that helps someone else choose their next great read, I’ve done my good deed for the day. And who knows? Maybe some of that good karma will come back to me when my next book is sent forth into the world.
~Elise Skidmore ©2015