Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Adopt an author?....(generally house-trained)

Feelin cranky about the evidence of sock puppetry that has been emerging on the intramawebb in recent weeks. Authors, some established with good books and careers behind them, made up 5 star reviews on their own books and one star reviews on their competitiors using fake identities. Of course we also know some folk are paying for others to make up lots of lovely five star reviews to bolster their cache. On the one hand, after reading what Justine Larbalestier had to say on the topic of reviews, I guess I shouldn't worry. Your ratings don't seem to have a great influence over book sales, better to be talked about than not talked about yadda, yadda, yadda. On the other hand I think the minute someone discovers that some reviews are fake, it casts doubt over the integrity of all reviews. And I'd just like to say I haven't faked any reviews for myself or any other book I've reviewed online or elsewhere. If I haven't read it I won't review it till I have. If I tend to have a lot of positive things to say its because I pick books I think I have a good chance of liking. And I try my hardest to be fair and straight up. I feel proud of the good reviews my books have, and intrigued by the not so starry. And I couldn't bring myself to give a bad review with the object of hurting another author's success. What is with some people?? And if doubt is cast over all reviews than reviews have no meaning at all. Why would you do that to authors everywhere. That is a huge cost for some very selfish behaviour. Shame on you

I'm also feelin a lot more cheerful over some other things. I had my second session (and fourth visit) as author-in-residence at New Windsor School yesterday. Usually a school visit is a one off, or I run a series of workshops over a number of weeks with a small group of students (something I've done previously with Auckland Normal Intermediate and Hebron Christian College). Being an author-in-residence offers a very different kind of opportunity, one that's new to me as well as to the school. I have to say, so far, its a terrific experience. It allows you to build a special kind of relationship with the school and the children. I've had hugs, hellos and fan mail. We've been chatting and extending some things we started in the first visit. Maybe schools could have an adopt-an-author programme  where they have a particular author make several visits over a year providing more structured workshops along with informal chat or Q and A sessions, or as I am doing with New Windsor, working with their book club. Everyone benefits. What a great start for the book creators of tomorrow. Maybe the NZ Book Council might like to consider this as an alternative or option to their writers in schools programme.

In other news I think the latest MS is off to the book designer today. That text is closed to alterations now - it is what it is. I feel incredibly excited and nervous all at once. Yeehah!!


Fifi Colston said...

Like like like! (not the fake reviews but everything else!)

Old Kitty said...

The good thing is that this sort of underhanded chicanery is now exposed for the shoddiness it is!! Totally Shame on these desperados!!!Take care