top of page

Why it’s Important for You to Review Books

Writing is a lonesome act filled with hazards. Okay, not life and death hazards like bullfighting or stunt piloting. But hazards nonetheless. There’s the I-suck-at-this hazard. The overly-confident hazard. And let’s not underestimate the ill effects of the no-one-seems-to-give-a-shit-so-why-should-I hazard.

Let’s Take a Closer Look at These Hazards

The Over-Confident Hazard

This hazard, in my experience, is a rare but costly one. It usually stems from putting a book out there without the necessary steps of cover review, editing and/or beta reading. It is rare because...well, because over-confidence isn’t the average author’s problem. Most of us are fraught with under-confidence. But more on this later.

The I-Suck-at-This Hazard

This one is pretty self explanatory. It stems from the wicked little pixie that sits on every author’s shoulder, shouting “YOU’RE AWFUL!” This often results in stories that hover above the safe (and boring) cities of “Don’t-screw-this-up-ville” and “Don’t-you-dare-take-any-risks-land.” As a reader, you should want to help kick this pixie to the curb.

The No-One-Seems-to-Give-a-Shit-so-Why-Should-I Hazard

This one is perhaps the most devastating of all three hazards. I say this because, how the author completes the “Why should I” question will determine whether or not they survive this author business.

The least debilitating to the author, but perhaps most debilitating to the reader, is the “Why should I give a shit” query. Easily overcome by apathy, the author can continue to crank out uninspired work. And who, in their right mind, would want to spend their money on that?

Next step up the debilitating “Why should I” ladder is “Why should I continue writing?” If a writer starts wondering why they’re writing in the first place, it’s only a matter of time before they throw it in altogether. And then what will you read?

And, the top step of the rickety “Why should I” ladder, and without doubt the one with the most real life consequences, is the “Why should I go on living?” step. This one actually makes authoring as potentially deadly as bullfighting and stunt piloting. Because we authors pour our blood and marrow into our projects, to be received with crickets casts the purpose of our very existence into doubt.

As a reader, you have a duty to kick this hazard right in the nuts and poke it in the eyes.