Random Ramblings: I just don’t get it…

Posted May 15, 2017 by StaceyisSassy in Book Talk, Random Ramblings / 8 Comments

 

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.

 

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8 responses to “Random Ramblings: I just don’t get it…

  1. Debra

    I agree, Stacey. I am on the Street Team for my favorite author and the ARCs we receive are prior to the last edit so they have already been through proofing. There might still be a mis-spelling here and there, but not much. What gets to me is the formatting for some ARCs that I have received from other authors. My real pet peeve is a format where the entire book is under one chapter. UGH! You wrote a very good article

    • Thank you, that’s very sweet of you to say. Yes, bad formatting is one of my pet peeves as well. An author recently mentioned that bloggers help sell books. Great, so how about making it easier for us to love them? I’m not doing this for the big bucks. 😉

  2. Luckily I haven’t come across any ARCs that have been severely un-edited. I’ve seen an error here and there, but most of the ARCs I’ve received have probably already undergone a first (or more) round edits. I guess I’m lucky!

    I’ve definitely had issues with formatting though. Sometimes it’s because the ARC was given as a PDF (yuck…) and I’ve converted it to Kindle format. So in that case the formatting issue is because of the conversion. But there have also been times when the Kindle format they gave me was wonky. Formatting issues can absolutely affect my enjoyment of a book. If there are randomly new lines in the middle of a sentence (leaving 2-4 words per line) it can disrupt the flow and make it hard to concentrate.

    • I had one like that recently and I spoke to the author after struggling through and finishing it. It was an interesting conversation. Turns out her agent had been given mobi, pdf and epub versions but had not forwarded them to NetGalley. I was gobsmacked to be honest and one of the reasons I wrote the post. I get a lot of indie authors who supply an unedited copy and it makes me nervous that they’re not getting it properly edited before publishing. Thanks for commenting. I appreciate it. 🙂

  3. Good for you for writing this post! Because aren’t ARC copies supposed to have been already content and copy-edited? When my book released a few years ago, the ARC copies were lacking only the very final edit, after two previous edits, so that while there may have been a few typos, most of the hard work had been done, content smoothed, errors and grammar corrected, etc. I totally would not (not!) want to read a book that was in rough shape. I mean, why? And what good does that do the author? It’s kind of like attending a professional event in crappy jeans and a tee-shirt, you know? It doesn’t show the author in a favorable light. Plus it’s rude to expect someone to overlook your mistakes. If you’re an author, your responsibility to make sure that reviewers receive only the best, cleanest copies of your work.

    • Exactly!! I wish there were more authors like you out there. I can’t believe that it happens to be honest. I would be mortified to send out a story that hasn’t at least been looked over by a beta reader. Thank you so much for commenting on my post. I hope you are OK? All the best. xoxo ❤😀

  4. Steph

    LOVE THIS POST STACEY! I am often told I’m too picky because I pick up and deduct stars for grammar and editing issues. But I totally agree, especially when an ARC is given so close to release. It should be near perfect by then

    • Thanks love. I think so too. I can look past little errors but I expect that the book will read well despite those little errors. If I’m struggling to make sense or every second sentence has errors…we have a problem. 😃❤

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