So, I figured that I’d pen my thoughts after this has happened to a couple of times in the past few months. Let me preface my soliloquy (well, not so much since I’m blogging about it) by stating that every author has a right to be proud of his/her printed works.
Now, with that being said, the minute you put it up for sale to readers you open yourself up for reviews ranging from “loved it” to “this is drivel”. So, what’s an author to do in that situation. Do you praise the good reviewers and bash the bad ones? I would say not but it seems as if a lot of authors are taking the stance of bashing “bad reviewers” not the reviews themselves but the reviewers.
In the past couple of months, I have been verbally attacked by an author or his/her friends because of my reviews…two specifically. In each case, my review stated exactly why I didn’t care for the book. I didn’t bash the author or call their work drivel but stated why I rated it the way I did. In both instances, the stories were incomplete and just ended…not concluded…ended. I understand that novellas and short stories are just that…short…however I don’t think an author should leave a reader hanging unless there will be some conclusion to the story or the story serves as an introduction to a series or another book.
My greatest issue is that these authors (and/or their publishing companies) have attached a $2.99+ price tag to books that are only between 20-50 pages (if even that). I’m sorry but I call FOUL. That’s absolutely highway robbery for incomplete or hastily ended stories. As a reader, I want to immerse myself in a story, even if it is a short. Give me a bit of a back story or something. Please don’t just start in the middle of a sentence − which seems to happen in a lot of the short’s. The reader has no clear understanding of character personalities or their motivations. Again, I understand you can’t always do this in a short but if you aren’t going to provide a back story then certainly don’t just drop the reader at the end. The story needs to have some solidity to it either at the beginning or the end. The story is just a fragment and not a story at all if not even a hint of solidity is present. And you just can’t (or at least shouldn’t) attach a high price tag to a fragment.
Authors can’t kill the messenger when reviewers rate books based on price vs. story completeness. As a reader, I wouldn’t mind paying $2.99 for a novella if the story were a complete one. Complete for me means a beginning + middle (with story crescendo) + ending. With some of these novellas, readers are only getting the middle, sans story crescendo, but the price tag is not indicative of that. I know that authors put their heart and soul into their books but readers make investments of their time and finances to read them. Shouldn’t we be compensated by receiving a pleasurable experience for our hard earned dollars?
I try to venture out and read new authors a couple of times a month; however, the new-to-me authors are the ones going into attack mode. Their actions inspire readers *points to myself* to stick with well-known authors who don’t publicly attack, gripe, or complain about reviews. These attacking authors certainly make me want to stick to books in my “approved” author reading circle. Indeed, one bad author can ruin the bunch.