Sunday, June 13, 2010

No Bad Reviews

_I regularly receive copies of newly released books or books that will be published in the near future. Publishers, PR firms, and authors send books to reviewers to help get the word out and hopefully build an audience. It is estimated that 40,000 books are published each year which means that too many good books can be lost in the shuffle.
_Whenever I receive an ARC (advance readers copy) or galley I can hardly wait to tear open the padded envelope and look inside ... some books are anticipated (I've already been approached with the offer to accept a copy), while others seems to find their way to my door unannounced.
_All are welcome. I am after all a reader and there is nothing like a brand new book to stir the imagination of a compulsive bookworm. Along with the anticipation there is also a heartfelt thank you sent to the author. As a writer, writing instructor and writing coach I know just how difficult it is to capture fleeting ideas and turn them in readable pages of text for waiting readers. I appreciate writers. I enjoy being in the company of writers. I love to hear the story behind the story. I'm always curious about their workday ... do they write first thing in the morning, or when the house is quiet and chances are the telephone won't ring. Details, I love the details of this crazy way of life.
_I've had the privilege of reading books about usury (Popes and Bankers), business (The Women's Small business Start-up Kit), more business (I'll Make You An Offer You Can't Refuse written by former mob boss Michael Franzese), a saint (Saint Patrick), leadership secrets (Leadership Secrets of Hillary Clinton), South of Broad the breathe taking novel by Pat Conroy, sports (James Brown) and more ... books that I might have missed. Books that I can't wait to share with others. I continue to buy books and offer reviews like The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot ... which is the best book I have read in years.
_I am a reader first, but I also view most books and novels through the lens of a writer. Some books grab me from page one and refuse to let go ... Ms. Skoot did that. Occasionally I cannot connect with the book and since all book reviews are selective I have decided that I will not write a bad review. I did that early on and I still regret it. Instead, I simply choose to pass. To allow another reviewer to step forward and find the nugget that I missed. I believe that books are written to be read and my job is to tell you about the ones I've read and enjoyed.
_FTC Full Disclosure mandates that I reveal how the book came into my hands. Be assured if I offer a written review it is because I enjoyed reading the book and want to share it with other readers. Also, I agree not to sell any books I receive for free ... and I do not. Instead, I either keep them or pass them along to others whom I feel will enjoy them. (In the future I will offer these books to interested readers.)

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