As authors, we’ve all most likely experienced it. That disclaimer on a reviewer’s site/blog that states, “I’ll review your book…maybe”. Of all the snobby and elitist things to say! That’s how I used to feel when I’d see that message. After all, I’m the one that poured my blood, sweat and tears into this amazing piece of work and all they can offer is “Maybe I’ll get to it…maybe I won’t”?
I’ve been a programmer since I was 12, working in just about every language out there; and I’ve been an engineer professionally over half of my life. So, it should come as no surprise to anyone that I like to take structures apart, and then figure out how and why they work – and if possible, make them work better. Or at the very least, figure out how to make myself work better with those structures.
Naturally, I found myself pondering the apparent, elitist attitude that I encountered more often than not when seeking out reviews for my work. Then, it dawned on me. Reviewers are people just like me; and if that’s true, then most likely, unless they have a job at a newspaper or magazine doing reviews, they, too, have “real” jobs that take up the vast majority of their days. Most of these fine folks are not being paid, or not being paid much, to take in the mountain of work that meets them on their digital doorstep on a daily basis.
To put it into a writer’s perspective; imagine that you had 100 people demanding that you write each of them their own little, unique story. Every day. Every month. Without pay.
So, I’ve a newfound respect for reviewers; or most of them anyway. Maybe some of it is elitist nonsense, and that usually sorts itself out in their finished product. But I admire anyone that can take a stack of books from total strangers and read them, offering them their honest opinions in a professional manner for little or no pay.
I’ve also made it a point to treat them with that respect when I request a review, letting them know that I understand the overwhelming amount of work in front of them and that I’m willing to wait in line just like everyone else. But maybe whistling a tune while I do.