Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Shill Stops Here

OK, folks, in my little review guide I mention briefly how shill reviews, sock puppets, and well-meaning bloggers/reviewers have cheapened the entire indie/small-market publishing community. When everyone gets five stars, it really makes you wonder: Is there anything bad out there?
Because the entire stream cannot be filled with shining gold, sparkling champagne, that's impossible. Sometimes it's clogged with piss and shit.
There are some really super awesome indie/small-market books out there, folks! Really! I'm finding a ton of gems even as I write this, and am blogging them. Some come to me by request, others I find on my own.
I'm sorry to say that not everything is Jane Eyre.
There will be reviews on this site that are rated low. When I built this site, I expected that would happen, but not until these pieces crossed the transom did I realize how hard that would be. You see, I'm a writer too, and if someone hit me with a two-star review, I would be sad. I thought, "gee, do I really want to give out these two stars? How would I feel if I got a low ranking?" The more I pondered and evaluated however, the more I realized I would need to embrace such reviews, work on what needed improving, showcase the various thoughts about my work, and move forward.
And so, with a slightly heavy heart, I will be posting some less-than-stellar stuff here. I've decided I can't shirk from what I've committed to do. There will most likely be consequences, but I have steeled myself and am ready for them.
But, please, please, please, please, keep this in mind: This is my opinion! I am one person in the great web of nets, one little dude. And so are other readers and reviewers. Someone may even choose to buy your book because of my reviews! Think—a book/story with a balance of opinions is indicative of a good work. 100 five-star reviews does not highlight skill or genius to me, but is the result of a carefully built network of shills, well-meaning friends/relatives, or reviewers afraid to give anything less than five stars. Balance, folks, balance, is the meaning of life.

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