I’ve been thinking a bit about reviewers lately. Mostly it’s because I’ve been sending out oodles of requests for people to review my book (Awfully Appetizing). There’s a longstanding love/hate relationship between writers and reviewers. It’s kind of a parallel between the love/hate relationship between writers and publishers.
By the nature of what we each do, we are dependent upon one another. Obviously reviewers need writers so that they (the reviewer) has something to do, while reviewers are able to present a book to a group of people who, otherwise, might never have even heard of it. One might assume that there was a symbiosis between the two, and in a way there is. But there is also a rivalry. The rivalry is, I think, based upon an imbalance of power. For every reviewer out there, there seems to be a thousand authors. Or perhaps its just that every author is trying to contact every reviewer.
Whatever the reason, the effect is the same: the reviewers are inundated with requests from desperate authors. When, inevitably, the reviewers find themselves unable to read every single book, the result is a collection of annoyed authors who feel that they’ve somehow been stiffed. Not all of us, some of us have been around long enough to know that it isn’t personal, but when nine hundred people didn’t make the cut, some of them are bound to be resentful.
It’s an interesting situation. And, frankly, it highlights some of the problems with the way the writing world works.