As I work on my third poetry collection, To Be Human – Always, I have spent time thinking about book reviews, and reviews in general. Today, oftentimes book reviews are created to build buzz for a new book release. As a writer, I read between 20 and 30 books a year. Lately, I have noticed a significant increase in the books I’ve read that did not match the reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble creating a disconnect. Some of the comments from readers were off base leaving you wondering if they had even read the book.
Books are similar to art, each person interprets the experience differently. Also, just as we change, what we think and feel about books changes with our life experiences and time. Effective reviews offer a preview encouraging us to open the book at a store or library.
I believe the rush to obtain a flood of “likes” and to run up ranking on Amazon, NYT Best Seller lists can backfire. As an author, the last thing I want to do is create disconnect by seeking promo reviews from individuals that do not read the book or take the time to write a quality review.
So, for now, I have stopped seeking promo book reviews and will reconsider some time in the future. I wasn’t a fan of promo reviews and have rarely used them in marketing. In April, I informed my social media team, that I would no longer post new poems on weekly content to social media networks. The whole process felt fake by posting on a schedule as I dumped my art in a cyberspace black hole.
Similar to relationships or misplaced careers, I believe when you have to chase someone or sacrifice yourself, you are giving away too much of your spirit for their empty approval. Relationships and actions founded on false pretense do not last long. With each new poem about humanity, life, what it means to be human in our digitized world, I write for the love of writing instead of seeking to gain a follower or two knowing they most likely didn’t read the poem.
I think its important that we stop and step back, and appreciate art in its native format, and take the time to read share, and appreciate the efforts authors contribute, this also includes writing authentic reviews.
While am I writing and sharing this post? Because, I have decided, for now, to write, publish books I believe in publishing, and then will purchase ads to promote. I am thankful for the reviews I have on all my books, a few are given after I asked for the reader to share their thoughts. Otherwise, most are authentic which is exactly what I want.
To be human – is willing to be yourself, to create your art for the love of the art.