author C.C.Cole's blog

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

On The Clash of the Reader/Writer

As I note on the left side of my blog, I review short stories and novellas.  I also do some beta reading; usually for authors I’ve reviewed previous works.  Sometimes I review a book because I want to.  Also, I make it no secret that I don’t post reviews I’d give two out of five stars or less.

I’ve been criticized for that self-inflicted policy, understandably so, because it appears that I’m not honest.  But I’m a writer first and reviewer second, and I’m not a professional editor or an English teacher.  To me, when I review, I read, when I read, I learn, and when I learn, I write. 

I review a number of Indie books, but not exclusively; to me, it’s my way of promoting talented new authors.  And the talent I’ve seen has been much more impressive than not.

But all things are not equal to every reader.  I just came across a couple of books that I chose not to post a review.  Neither of them clicked with my line of thinking.  Was it their writing or my thinking?  Or lack of thinking?  I’m not sure. Like I always state, I handle my reaction by private email to the author.  Is that the best way?  I’m not sure, but at least I can say I’m not bashing their book on a sales site (sensitive stuff these days).

I want to be fair, and I focus on content.  So when the content of the story doesn’t grab me in a way that expands my mind, I feel guilty because I cannot give the writer what they’re seeking.  I understand it because I seek the same thing:  Approval.

Referring back to my article on “Finding an Audience” I think when books don’t ring my chimes, I find myself on the other end of the review.   I’m not a member of the audience.  To email an author saying I don’t want to post a review doesn’t make my day.  But fortunately, it doesn’t happen often, and I don’t want to miss out on any more great books out there than I have to.

And a gentle reminder to authors raw with me:  I usually purchase books I review, unless the author sends me an ebook.  If nothing else, they got a sale.


  1. I really like this post. I was talking about this earlier today. It is strange how your last few posts were similar to things I had just talked about.

  2. Thanks William! I meant "left side of my blog." brain misfire.