So... I don't know if you guys know this, but... a couple of weeks ago, THIS happened:
GIANT TOWERS of KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES ARCs were given away at BEA--along with a small batch of LET THE SKY FALL ARCs. And even more KEEPER ARCs will go out this weekend at ALA. And then the special mailings will begin...
All of which is SUPER exciting.
But it's also... awkward. Really awkward. Because all those books are Advance READER/REVIEWER Copies. And reviews put me in a rather sticky situation.
See ... here's the thing:
I DON'T expect everyone to love my books the way I do. I get it that some people won't like them--or that some will think they're good-not-great and give them mid-level rankings--or that even in a favorable review they might point out small quibbles with things in the interests of being fair. It's the nature of this business and I totally, totally get it.
I'm not sure I want to SEE the negative reviews.
Especially since I kinda sorta *know* some of you--and while I would NEVER (seriously, NEVER) expect all of you to 5-Star my books if that's not genuinely how you feel about them, it might be a *little* awkward knowing what you really think. Seems like ignorance might be bliss in that area, yanno?
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Then there's all the crazy Author Etiquette: Should I "like" good reviews--or does that look self serving? Do I comment on a review thanking the person--or will that make them uncomfortable? But will they think I'm rude if I don't thank them? But... will it look bad if I don't comment on or "like" a negative review?
I know those seem like small things, but we ALL know that Authors + Reviews x Twitter = one big giant pool of Drama.
So ... I've decided that I'm going to do my best to NOT read or respond to reviews. But ... that's awkward too!
See, I'm also a long time blogger, and I remember how excited I got when an author would stop by my blog and comment on my review (shoot, I STILL get excited when that happens). And I would love to be able to do that for others. But I don't know HOW to do that and not stumble across bad reviews that will make me want to throw my laptop off a bridge and flee to Mexico. Or how to not inadvertently breach some cardinal rule of online author etiquette and end up eyeball deep in faux pas.
Do you see my dilemma?
As if that weren't tricky enough, there's the RT factor. (Oh Twitter, it's a good thing I love you because you make everything so complicated). Again, I'm a blogger, so I KNOW how awesome it is when an author RTs about a contest or a review. BUT... I can't RT a link to something if I haven't checked the link first. And then there's the added challenge of balancing my Twitter feed, so it isn't all: ME ME ME, MY BOOKS MY BOOKS MY BOOKS, LIKE THEM, BUY THEM, SEE HOW MUCH EVERYONE LOVES THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That gets old REAL quick.
So ... yeah. Like I said: IT'S AWKWARD. And I have a feeling I'm going to make a whole lot of mistakes as I muddle through these next few months. Which is why I wanted to write this post, even though I knew I'd never get through it without abusing all caps, ellipses, and exclamation marks to a point of absurdity.
I DON'T want you guys to think I don't appreciate your reviews. ANYONE who takes the time to read my book and talk about it online is AWESOME, whether they 1 star me or 5 star me. I seriously mean that. Sure, I'd prefer good reviews. But even if my book wasn't for you, the fact that you took the time to read it instead of the other thousands of books out there is a truly amazing thing and I'm incredibly grateful for it.
But I *may* not comment on it, or "like" it or RT it--even when its a good review. OR, I *may* get brave some days and do any or all of those things and unknowingly breach author etiquette. Either way, please bear with me. Please know I'm just trying to muddle through this icky pool of murky awkward the best I can. And PLEASE don't take this post to be a plea for you to not review. Basically: you--as bloggers/readers/reviewers--should feel free to do what you do best and review as you see fit. Just ... please bear with this awkward Newbie who has NO IDEA how to handle any of this.
And... I've now rambled about this for WAY longer than I wanted to--and I'm pretty sure the grammar police is on their way to arrest me for my many abuses. Not to mention I've now used the word "awkward" more times than anyone probably ever has or ever will in a single blog post. So I'll just end with a great big sparkly:
For reading. For bearing with me. For just generally being awesome. And now...
*runs away before she can say "awkward" again*