I spend a lot of time discussing books. Ones I love, ones I’m reading, ones I dislike. But one thing I generally don’t discuss are the authors themselves. As I’m a book reviewer it’s a total privilege to get the chance to chat with authors via email. I love interviewing authors and chatting with them, and for the most part all of the authors I’ve spoken to have been incredibly friendly. There are some I’d even go so far as to say I could consider online friends. But with every group, there’s the good, the bad and the ugly and here’s my take on what I think about authors!
Most authors, when you contact them are incredibly happy to do interviews and articles for us, and they’re a pleasure to chat with. Miranda Dickinson is one of the most humble authors I have ever come across. I’m not lying. She’s such a wonderful person, and I always love chatting with her. The same goes for Gemma Burgess. I love her and she made sure I got a finished copy of her new book when it came out earlier this year. Paige Toon was one of the first authors I ever contacted and she was so nice! She even told me who Meg’s babies daddy was. I loved her for that. (I was DYING to know). A lot of authors contact us after we review their books to say thank you, and what not and that’s always wonderful. Just this week Caroline Leavitt commented on my review of her book Pictures of You and is sending me a hand-painted book sticker, which is so lovely of her!
Some authors however are a bit rude. Numerous times people have offered their books to us to review, and not sent them. One in particular was earlier this year; she offered me the book to read, I said yes, she said she was going to send it. A few weeks passed, I didn’t get it and then I got an email from her asking where my review was. I told her I didn’t have the book, she asked if I was ‘The one in Tenerife’ and I said yes and she said she hadn’t actually sent my copy but would be ASAP. It’s now May and I still don’t have the novel. To me, that’s just really rude. I didn’t ask for the book, she offered it and for her to not follow through means that I won’t be buying her book. I love supporting authors but authors like her aren’t worth my support. We emailed another author to ask her a question and she never replied. To be honest, I really hate when an author is rude like that. Politeness does not cost a penny.
But what really gets me is when authors constantly (!) make mention of their books on Twitter. I can understand a few Tweets saying “My new book is out now” and re-Tweeting reviews, but I think it’s a bit far when 90% of an author’s Tweets are about their book. Twitter isn’t an advertising ground. It’s a place to connect with fans. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to buy your book whether it’s #1 in the Amazon chart of #10000000. I buy a book based on reviews, synopsis and cover. So to continually tell me where your book is is going to drive me nuts. I understand you have a book out, I understand you need to publicise it but you also need to censor yourself. Instead of blindly updating every time you move up a place in a chart, think about it. Twitter is about more than pimping your book and people will be put off if that’s all you talk about. Personally I prefer authors who tell us about themselves, who make themselves more real to us and answer our Tweets.
The final thing that drives me up the wall is the Chick Lit authors who write Chick Lit who then say “Oh I don’t write Chick Lit.” It makes me want to find the nearest brick wall and bash my head against it. We interviewed an author recently who said that instead of calling her books Chick Lit we should call them ‘feisty romps’. With the greatest of respect, I know which one I find more embarrassing of the two. All I want to say to the Chick Lit authors who refuse to acknowledge they write Chick Lit is this: Go and write something else. Because they aren’t helping the genre and if they’re embarrassment to name their novels what they are then they should be writing something else! Just call me the outspoken Chick Lit reviewer!