Friday, January 31, 2014

What Fangs for the Fantasy Expects from Authors We Review

So, looking round Twitter and following the links of the long suffering keeper of certain drunken, piratical Australians, we’ve seen something else looming on the horizon - namely a post on what one book blogger expects - or would like - from authors.

Well, everyone wants different things and the glory of the internet is we can all do things differently - but we have a rather different approach ourselves.

So in light of this, what do we, at Fangs, expect from authors who pass books to us for review? Let me write you a list:




That would be nothing. Actually we expect patience because there’s no way we’re going to get to it any time soon, but GENERALLY nothing

You don’t have to tweet the review, share it, like it, upvote it or even read it. We’re very much in the camp of “reviews are for readers, not authors.” In fact, if you submit a book for review, we probably won’t even email you to let you know the review has been written (admittedly from laziness as much as anything).

If authors wish to share our reviews, fair enough. But we won’t encourage that, praise that or even express public happiness about that - in fact, there’s a good chance we won’t even notice. In fact, I’ll even go further than that - despite our fanpoodling of authors we love, author opinion/support/attention is something we deliberately try to be indifferent about.

Whether you love us or loathe us, ignore us or pay attention to our every innocuous word, share our views or denounce us to hell and back - it doesn’t matter. Here is what matters:

You give us a book

We give you an honest review (eventually).

End of. Whether you love us, loathe us, worship us or denounce us, ignore us or stalk us are all irrelevant to that fact and we try to keep it that way; because the honesty of our reviews are paramount.

That doesn’t mean we don’t love our authors. We do - we can fanpoodle with the best of them: but that fanpoodling comes after the reviews - and we at least like to think that even with authors we’ve loved and interviewed (and we, in general, are not in the habit of interviewing authors we don’t adore) that we can still be critical in reviews and even the interviews.

By not expecting - or caring - whether authors share/like/promote our reviews this means we don’t expect or hope for anything from authors. Which means they  can’t offer us anything that would sway us and we don’t WANT to be in a position where they COULD offer us something - even something as innocuous as a facebook like or goodreads recommend.

We never want the perception that a review can be “bought”, even if it were for something as innocuous as a like, a link or a reblog. Even the perception of selling reviews can compromise your integrity

Authors, we expect nothing from you expect books - sometimes awesome, fanpoodly books (and to start the Prinny punk genre, with chickens. And to continue to be awesome. And to not mind us stalking outside your window crying that the next book isn’t out yet.) In turn, you can expect nothing from us except honest reviews - sometimes snarky, highly critical reviews.

Just to be abundantly clear here - we do NOT work on a quid pro quo system and we are not in the business of promoting authors, ever. We’re reviewers, not advertisers or a publisher’s marketing department

As for reviewers who want to be noticed and drive traffic to their site - well, I can’t say we’re any kind of experts but I think the most successful way to promote your site isn’t requiring people to spam on your behalf (or tweeting the same stuff daily). It’s always about a) producing decent content and b) getting involved in the community - go to other book blogs, comment, offer guest posts, interact - become known; it’s the only sure method. You become known in the community by joining and being active in that community