Oh, all right. They probably thought up this article about the power individual readers have to help authors all by themselves, without reading my blog about how you can make or break me. That doesn’t mean my resume isn’t now going to suggest that the Guardian comes to me for ideas on a regular basis.
Still, the point stands. If you like particular books or authors, you can with very little effort make a terrific game of doing a few small things to help them succeed. A great way to spend your time.
Except I don’t! I’ve been called out on it too. For all that I encourage you to blog, tweet, and leave guerrilla reviews, I don’t do near enough of it myself. With the exception of Goodreads and my annual round ups of my top five books of the year and all the rest, I stay surprisingly quiet about books. You might think that a little odd, as they’re clearly one of my biggest passions.
It’s all down to politics. I know a lot of the authors I like to read. I know their publishers too, and want to work with them. Some of them, I already work with. It’s easy enough to shout about what I think is great, but it’s treacherous ground letting people know what I dislike. Like any workplace, you learn to keep some of your opinions to yourself (well,some people learn).
By my own logic though, in the crowded world of books, I’m doing readers a disservice. Ishould tell people about books I’ve read, good and bad. That’s how books that deserve to get read, get read. It’s how people would be wasting their money on poor books get to save their money. Word of mouth works, and just because I write stuff doesn’t mean I’m not a part of it too.
Also, it’s fun. I enjoy it when somebody enjoys a thing I recommended to them. Who wouldn’t?
So to hell with over sensitive peers. If I read a book and don’t like it, I’ll say so. I’m already in the process of transferring my Goodreads reviews from this year across to Amazon so people about to buy can see them, and will make much better use of Twitter and Facebook to pass word on when I finish a book. Have to practice what you preach, and all that.
I’ll also pick my favourite book from what I read each month, and write something a little more in depth about it for you. I’ll send these out first in my monthly newsletter (sign up now, at the top right of this page), starting at the end of the month. It gives me something to talk about that isn’t just my own books, and spreads the joy a bit. I like that idea. I’m British, and a whole newsletter that talks just about me makes me feel all squirmy.
There you go. No longer a hypocrite. I feel much better now.
Currently Reading: The Bloody Red Baron by Kim Newman