Today’s picture is a view of the slowly-being-constructed Crazy Horse Monument in the Black Hills of South Dakota
I am a book reviewer.
I enjoy sharing my thoughts about books. I love to talk about books, write about books and think about books.
I love the opportunity I have to get to know authors and other professionals in the book world. Be it chatting with Stina Leicht on twitter, or commenting on fellow book blogger’s Justin Landon’s latest review, or re-sharing something that Harry Connolly has shared on Google Plus to all and sundry, I enjoy and revel in the role that I have carved myself into the community. Am I small fish? Yeah. Most publishers have no clue who I am; I’m far more faceless than most of my peers.
What I am not am, however, is your bitch.
I may not get review copies directly from publishers, but I get plenty of emails from self-published authors. I generally turn these offers down. I have way too many books already to read, and, frankly, I am extremely careful about authors without any background in writing who are pushing out a novel in a self published format. The samples of such novels I have read, with very few exceptions, have not been to my interest or liking.
Getting emails is fine and dandy. The following sequence of events is why I am writing this rant today.
People who get to know me and follow my stuff know that I am a amateur photographer, too. I love to share my photos and in point of fact share them nearly every day.
So, today, I put up a photo for today of Mary Robinette Kowal. Besides being charming to meet (and allowing me to photograph her), today is her Book release day for A Glamour in Glass. So, it makes perfect sense to share a photo of her, right?
So, imagine my surprise when I get a comment on the Google Plus edition of the sharing of the photo from an author I have never talked to. Never engaged with. Au author I don’t know from Adam and doesn’t know me:
Hey Paul. Here’s a link to the trailer for my upcoming novel. Email me if you’re interested in reviewing it.
(link to book trailer)
I’m sorry. I’m not your bitch. A comment on the photo is welcome. Using the photo to cold-pitch me a book is not. Especially since I am sure the author knew what he was doing in that others, looking at the photo, would see the comment and find out about the book. A book that has zero to do with Mary Robinette Kowal, photography, or even the Regency.
Yes, I got angry. I deleted the comment. I also contacted the author and said the following:
I’m not pleased with your comment on a post unrelated to topic with a book trailer for your book. I understand your desire for me to read and review your book and to get the word out about your work, I get that, okay?
However, that said, to take a post where I share a picture of Mary Robinette Kowal and comment with the offer, having absolutely nothing to do with the picture, the author or her book is out of bounds. Some might even call it spam. That’s why I deleted it. I am pretty open about how to contact me via email. That’s the place to make such offers.
Sorry, I will not be reading and reviewing your book.
The author did not appreciate that. His response:
Delete the post then you idiot. You’re lodged on G+ as a book reviewer and you don’t have the option to send you a message. You’re right you won’t be reviewing my book!
So the author turned to insulting me instead.
I’m sorry, author. I’m not your bitch.
If you are a publisher, agent, publicist, or the like and are interested in sending me review copies of books, you can contact me at my email address of firstname.lastname@example.org. My email address is not a secret, and had the author in this story did the smallest amount of legwork, he would have found it.
If you are an author, the best way to get me interested in reading your book is not to cold-comment me, but rather engage me on a personal level. Get to know me. Let me get to know you. Let me become interested in you and your work. Then we can talk books.
Quick and dirty thoughts on how I would change John Carter the movie:
*Retitle the movie John Carter of Mars.
*Drop the framing story in New York City. Go with an opening with Carter in the Wild West.
*End the movie with John Carter ditching the medallion. Forget about him getting sent back to Earth.
*Add more Dakka. There has to be plenty of more good Mars footage to make a good running time after the edits above.
What you get is NOT the novel, no, but its a story that will work, tell a story in one movie, and you can leave John getting zapped back to Earth and getting back again for a sequel. You tell a complete story in one movie. Scary thought, huh?