My Review Policy

This is going to be one of those "post so I can link to it later" sort of things. Not very relevant right now. But Harper is starting to send out ARCs of City of a Thousand Dolls to bloggers, and I thought I should say something about reviews.

So here it is, my current official review policy.

1. Say whatever you want. 

Seriously. I love the passionate discussion of books. I have books I love and books I hate with the fire of a thousand suns. And the whole idea of only saying good things in reviews feels... squicky to me.

(I mean that in a general way. Personally I try not to speak online about books I don't like because I have enough awkwardness in my life and the idea of sitting on a panel with someone whose book I've eviscerated makes me anxious. But that's me.  I think it should be an individual decision, and I would much rather see conversations that contain vivid discussion and a wide range of opinions rather than an endless stream of bland praise.)

So say whatever you like in whatever form you like to review in. HOWEVER...

2. I will not respond to negative reviews. 

Not even if you tag me on Twitter or send it to me in an email. And if you deliberately send me a negative review--especially if you do it more than once--I reserve the right to block you. But I will not respond. I will also do my best to make sure that the people close to me know about my no response policy and follow it.

3. I reserve the right to respond privately to serious accusations. 

People say all kinds of crap on the Internet. I know that and I'll do my best to ignore personal attacks. But if you accuse me of bigotry or robbing banks or throwing puppies out of airplanes, I might--if I feel the situation is serious enough--send you a polite email asking if we can discuss the subject.

If the issue is a serious one that involves my book--such as discussions of racism or misrepresentation--I may do a general blog post in response.

4. I will try to respond to good/fair reviews if someone sends them to me. Otherwise, I won't.

This one is the trickest one for me. There's a line between being an accessible author and invading into the reader's space that I don't really have figured out yet. So I've settled on this one. If you tag me on Twitter or otherwise alert me to your fair review, I will try to respond, even if it's only with a thank you. But any reviews I stumble across by accident are out of bounds.  Basically, I'll only come into the conversation if I've been invited.

So that's it! Go forth! Read my book! (or don't) Review it! (or don't)

And know that I will do my best to be respectful of my readers. I'm not perfect, and I'll probably make mistakes, but I do want to be as professional as someone who likes to post gifs and cute animal pictures can be.



Because the book isn't mine anymore. It belongs to you. Have fun.


More thoughts of mine on reviews and reviewers:

No, just no (a post on the Stop the GR Bullies awfulness)
Why I am a reader and why it matters


Note: Any and all feedback and suggestions on this policy is appreciated. Thank you! 


8 comments:

  1. Good on you! This sounds perfectly fair and nice.

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  2. LOVE this Miriam--totally gonna steal it!!

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  3. This is pretty much my exact policy so...I support you in these things! I do think it's really tempting to seek out reviews, especially early on, but the good ones will find their way to you (and some of the bad ones). If you're anything like me, keeping the negative voices away from your writing head--especially on the emotional roller coaster of being a debut author--is so much healthier for keeping at the work. (Plus, reviews are for readers, and not for us anymore, as you say. This is just one of the reasons. And no book is for every reader.)

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  4. I think that's a very fair review strategy to me - I try to be balanced in my reviews of books, but luckily none of the ones I've posted to my blog have been foul (because I tend to stop reading them before I finish, and thus don't review unfinished books).

    When I read your book, though . . . I think I shall review. because i have a sneaking suspicion that I'll love it ;)

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  5. Thank you! :)

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  6. Be my guest! *gives post to Cheri*

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  7. Yay! I'm trying to remember all that, but it's hard because I'm SO CURIOUS. And I can deal with some kinds of bad reviews but not others...it's just a complex mess. Having the policy to refer back to helps though. :)

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  8. Thanks Charley!  You know...you could alway mug your co-author for her review copy... *coughs innocently* Just saying. 

    :)

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