When Authors Attack! (And Praise for Those Who Don’t)

Image used by permission of Brian Renken under a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 License.

Image used by permission of Brian Renken under a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 License.

Let me tell you about my day yesterday.

Really, there’s a point. It even has to do with IndieHeart. And Indie books. And why we do what we do here.

9:30 AM – 9:45 AM: Got out of bed and immediately started removing books that are no longer free from the free ebooks list.

9:45 AM – 10:40 AM: Checked for free ebooks for the day. This includes reading reviews and book samples.

10:40 – 11:15 AM: Posted the free daily ebooks and prepared the free ebooks newsletter (which primarily promotes Indie authors).

11:15 – 11:30: Took a quick bath.

11:30 – 1:00: Went on my daily bike ride. I do this for health reasons. It keeps my blood pressure under control so my head doesn’t explode.

1:00 – 1:45: Answered my email and reviewed the free ebook and review request submissions.

1:45 – 2:00: Prepared and ate breakfast.

2:00 – 2:15: Got ready for work.

2:15 – 11:00: Worked at my paying job.

11:00 PM – 12:00 AM: Ate dinner while I copied and pasted 128 email addresses into the email I needed to send to authors whose books we were unable to accept for review (after having spent weeks reading book samples, etc. for our September and early October submissions). Prepared and sent the email.  I thought it was professional and friendly. It read as follows:

Dear Author,

Thank you for your recent review request. We have taken a look at your book, and we regret that we have decided not to place it on our To Be Read list. As I’m sure you’re aware, we receive many more submissions than we can possibly accommodate.

Please don’t hesitate to request a review for your future books. The next one may be exactly what one of our reviewers wants to read.


12:00 – 1:30 AM: Read a book I will be reviewing and then went to bed.


This morning, I received this reply to my email from one of the authors:

My mistake, I thought you were a worthwhile site and would be worth my time, clearly you’re not, so I’ll not be wasting my time with you again.

I’ll be withholding that author’s name because, even though I don’t get paid for this and have no big reputation to protect, I believe in behaving professionally with the people I interact with in the Indie publishing environment. When I write a review, I try very hard to give my criticism in a way that is useful rather than hurtful.

When authors behave badly with the people who are interested in telling the world that Indie authors have something to offer that is of value to readers, they lessen the motivation of those people to do what they do. I imagine this author has attacked a few reviewers in her time when they didn’t like her books as much as she thought they should.

I get it — an author’s book is their baby, or their  income, or their dream. However, my only responsibility as a reviewer and site administrator is to be honest, professional, and as accurate as possible given the knowledge that I have. We make it clear at submission time that we can’t accept every book submitted to us. There is absolutely no reason for a professional author to give us or any other honest book reviewer a slap for doing what we do.

That said, I want to thank all of the authors whose books we were unable to accept for review but whom sent gracious responses to our rejection letter: Molly Green, Bob Boguslavski, Laura Templeton, Emily Pooler, Jon Clarke, Rathan Krueger, Petrea Burchard, and the many other writers with pro attitudes who  realize that reviewers want to help but don’t have unlimited time. You’re the kind of fabulous, creative professionals who keep us going even when our time is stretched to the limit! We hope that some of our readers have the time to explore your books and give them reviews even though we just don’t have the time to read everything.

Posted 10/8/2013

P.S — And now I need that bike ride :-)



Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *