Confessions of a Bookaholic: On Authors and Review Copies

So recently I got my first few review copies from authors. And although I was excited, one of the first things that struck me was: What if I hate this book?

I’m not saying here that receiving a free copy influenced any of my reviews at all. In fact, I told myself to be more truthful than usual (which, guys, is saying something since I try to tell the truth as much as possible) because I owed the truth not only to my readers but also to the author.

The thing is, though, I don’t like getting review copies from authors. Don’t get me wrong, I love the books themselves, but I don’t like the idea of having a personal relationship with an author before I even start their book. If I read something and really enjoy it, I love telling authors on Twitter. I love saying things like OMG YOUR BOOK WAS SO GOOD I COULDN’T GET ENOUGH OF IT I NEED THE SEQUEL SO SO SO BAD. But if I write a bad review, I never ever tell the author that I hated their book. I never tag them when I post the review on Twitter. Because it’s mean. It’s like bullying. And I hate it.

In the end, I was 100% truthful when I wrote those reviews. I didn’t sugar coat anything, and I wasn’t any more tactful than usual. But I didn’t enjoy writing the bad and the so-so reviews and then having to send it to the author and wave it in their face and say, Hey, I didn’t like your book. This is what was wrong with it and I think you need to correct this. It stung, even to me.

This is why I don’t like getting review copies from authors. And I will continue to receive these review copies and continue to read them and post truthful reviews. But what this experience has taught me is not to form relationships with authors before reading their book. That I should reply to their email saying that yes, I will read their book, and thank you. Nothing beyond that before I start. It’s painful both for me and the author when we’ve become acquaintances and I need to tell them that I hated their story. No matter how much an author understands that not everybody will love their work once they make it public, it will still hurt.

Is this just me, or has anyone else encountered this problem?

 

 

Loyalty vs. Transition

There is certainly nothing wrong with trying to better yourself with a new job. But first, carefully consider why it is, or may be, “better.” Is it because of compensation, advancement opportunity, a desire to change careers, the next step in your career planning or a combination of these factors. Regardless of why you may regard the change as “better,” here are some important considerations.

Loyalty

There is something to be said, actually many things, for staying with one employer for an extended period. Consider each one carefully. Favor. Often employees who have been with the company for many years receive preferred assignments, more opportunity for advancement and the associated compensation increases, additional fringe benefits (health insurance, life insurance, accelerated retirement benefits, vacation time, etc.) and possibly general favor with their superior/boss, often due to the rapport developed with him or her.

Stability. Job security is usually greater when you stay with one company for an extended period. This is particularly important if you have a family with several children. Moving to another geographical location, sometimes even out of the country, will impose both stress and at least temporary hardship on your entire family. These may include possible temporary loss of income, moving and relocation expenses, leaving friends and relatives, and making new friends. However, if you are single, or have a spouse and no children, you may still be flexible enough to make the transition; but this must be a joint decision between you and your spouse.

Resume. Frequent employment changes, especially if it is not a clearly planned career move, may not look good on your resume. Employers often look for the potential for company loyalty when hiring new employees. For example, cab driver to flight instructor to commuter airline to a national or international Part 121 carrier (Delta, American or United Airlines) are all clearly planned career moves. However, moving from one flight instructor position to a second and then to a third within a two or three year period will not give the desired impression to new employers.

Transition

Will moving from your present employment to your new employment be a smooth process? Will you be using skills developed with your present employer in your new employment? Does your new employer consider your present employer as a competitor, a supplier of required materials or supplies, or a non-consequential factor in their business? Each of these could have different consequences for both you and your new employer.

Competitor. Is your new employer trying to attain a competitive advantage by hiring you? If so, and if you regard this as legitimate, the move may be best for you and both companies. You are promoting your career and bettering yourself; the former employer is realizing that the transition to higher quality workers, and retaining quality employees, must be part of their business planning; and the new employer is learning about new sources of employees as their business is growing. Conversely, if hiring you is meant to tunish or put another company out of business, you have to decide if the new company really wants you or if they are using you as an ends to a

Conversely, if hiring you is meant to punish or put another company out of business, you have to decide if the new company really wants you or if they are using you as an ends to a means, and that means may not be completely legitimate, maybe not even in your best long-range interest.

Supplier or Non-Consequential Factor. Is there a motivation for your new employer to hire from one of their suppliers? The motivation may be very innocent or even non- consequential. However, do look at the situation from your new employer’s perspective. Additionally, consider the perspective of your present employer and how they may view you, and your work, if they are knowledgeable about your efforts toward seeking new employment.

Thank you for reading!