I just don’t get it…?
I just don’t get why authors / publishers / promo companies / agents give unedited review copies to reviewers.
I’ve been contemplating writing this post for a few weeks now. Do you know what has been bugging the heck out of me lately? Receiving unedited or pre-beta read ARC’s. For awhile there the quality of review copies was pretty good. You may come across a few spelling mistakes now and then but most of the time you could read it and not be distracted. Lately, the quality is less than stellar. What makes it even worse is that we are expected to ignore the mistakes. A reviewer is supposed to turn off their spelling, grammar and pretty much their brain and only review the content. Ummm…I don’t know about other reviewers, but I find that almost impossible. I can’t help but notice when their/there/they’re has been wrongly used. It’s there, I see it, I can’t help but acknowledge it and get distracted by it.
It’s not uncommon for authors to mention that they’ve taken feedback from a review to help them grow as a writer. How is it helping an author to not mention (in a review) that I had an issue with their overuse of the word but or that they may have misused a word that doesn’t mean what they think it means. Look, there are editors out there doing their job and doing it well. Great, fantastic, stellar…but unfortunately reviewers aren’t getting the goods.
Does it not seem a little strange to give your reviewers an unedited copy and expect…I mean hope, for them to give outstanding reviews? Promo companies tell us to ignore the mistakes. Authors tell us to give an unbiased review for a pre-edited story hoping we can look past the mistakes and still get the flow, feel and emotions they’re trying to portray.
I understand that the authors are trying to get us a copy as soon as they can so we have plenty of time to read and review before the release date. BUT…is it in their best interest? Would the 3 stars become a 5 if the story is in its best form? Maybe the reviewer wouldn’t be frustrated when the main character’s best friend’s name changes from Teresa to Tessa then back to Teresa again?
Another question…why is this OK? It would be similar to giving Fred likes to Write, a product reviewer, a pen…without ink, and him telling us how it feels to write with it. What about Angel likes…devil’s food cake, a food critique, who has to rate a dish but is only given the uncooked version to comment on? Obviously, they wouldn’t be able to and if they did, it wasn’t rating the true product.
As a reviewer, I want to give 5-star reviews. Obviously, it would be a dream come true that every book I touched made me feel excited that I was exposed to magic in the written form. But, sometimes my mood, outside life forces and even hormones can make or break a book for me. I don’t expect perfection, but I do expect a copy that is easy to read (format wise), flows well (I’m not distracted with spelling mistakes every paragraph) and sucks me in.
It makes me happy to read and review romance books. I still get a buzz when I find a great read and get to talk it up to my friends. What bugs me, is finding out that a book rated high, was released with a lot of mistakes in it. Should I be judged as a reviewer because the mistakes weren’t mentioned? No. Will I? Maybe. Not all readers know that book reviewers are expected to ignore the mistakes.
I hope authors don’t hate me for this post. I know there are a lot of reasons why books go out unedited to reviewers. I’m kind of hoping that an author/publisher/promo company/agent reads this and thinks… *Maybe she’s right. Maybe we should slow down, get it right and make sure reviewers are getting the best product we can produce.* If one author decides to take note, maybe others will follow.
These are just my random ramblings, thoughts and opinions. I want to be a reviewer that readers can count on. I want my 5 stars to be guaranteed 5 stars…not just 5 stars for content and fingers crossed that all the rest is up to a 5-star level too.