If you look at my review site, braytonsbookbuzz.wordpress.com, you’ll see a list of requirements for review requests. Not many authors have followed the requirements, which, in one aspect is not showing respect for the person from whom you’re seeking help. Some have and even though I probably wouldn’t have accepted the book because I wasn’t interested, the request letter impressed me because it showed the person took time to include necessary information. So I took that book.
When I accept a review, I ask for a copy of the book (naturally) and because I have a Nook, I’ll ask for an epub file. If not, I can usually convert other files into epub. Not always, and sometimes the conversion messes with the formatting. I’ll also need the author to send me an image of the book’s cover as well as an image of him/herself if the person wants his/her face to be displayed. I’ll also provide a tentative time period for the review. Early July, sometime in April, etc. This allows me freedom to read at my leisure, but with an estimated time the review might be posted. I may have other books ahead of the latest request. I also try to have reviews in the queue scheduled for a couple months in advance.
I urge the prospective reviewee (is that a real word?) to read my requirements and a couple previous blogs in order to understand how I review. When I set out to be a book reviewer, I wanted to go more in depth into the craft of writing and not just praise the story. If something didn’t work, I wanted to let it be known. If there were errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, or continuity, I wanted readers to know. I wasn’t going to hold back. I wasn’t going to outright ‘trash’ the book, but would point out how, for me, the book or parts of it, didn’t work for me. Since I was going to read a lot of crap, I had to be tactful and not say it was crap, but to imply it with the errors I found and let the reader decide.
If you visit the site, you’ll notice I do not do the four or five star type of rating. I’ve also seen a four or five mushroom rating, or a numbered cupcake rating. Since I was in martial arts, I wanted something different. I felt the nine colored belt ranks would be interesting. This allowed me to have a bit more leeway on the level of crappiness (lol) the book was. I won’t repeat the descriptions of each belt rank as it relates to the review ranking, you can look for yourself. I believe I’ve stayed true to the ranking system with each book I review. Yes, there have been a number of White belt rankings which means, basically, the book should never have been published, probably not even have been written. There were so many errors or things wrong or aspects that didn’t work, it was a complete waste of my time, paper and ink. Many have fallen into the higher ranks of crappiness and the mid-rank levels where they books were pretty good, but not the best and I probably wouldn’t read another by that author. Most of the books fall into the Purple or Blue belt rankings which means they were enjoyable and I would read the author again. Those that reach Brown or above are excellent. It’s rare I give a book a Black belt, but look long enough, they’re listed. Bloodman and Pobi’s next book, Mannheim Rex both received the top rank. A few others, too. (I see Pobi has a few others published and I really want those. If I had them, I’d put them ahead of any other books to read. I think he’s that good.)
Next week, let me get into how I review books.