I mostly ask this of any authors participating in the challenge, rather than the bloggers, but my question to you is this:
Do you want me to post about why certain books don’t make it past my initial 3-chapter chance?
I ask because last year, some authors expressed a wish to know why their books didn’t get further than they did. Most of us didn’t post anything about why we stopped reading a book, or why it didn’t advance further, which is a perfectly valid question. Were I in that position, I’d probably want to know what problems a reader had with my book too.
On the flip side of that, being open and honest about it might result in some hurt feelings, which is something I also encountered last year. Some people didn’t take too kindly to the fact that I thought their book needed a lot of work.
Hence, my question. Do you want to know? Do you want me to say it here, in public, on this blog?
I have no intention to be deliberately cruel. My comments aren’t going to consist of, “Holy crap, this book sucked balls and it shouldn’t have seen the light of day!” But they might consist of comments like, “The plot was uninspired,” “I was given no reason to care about any of the characters,” or, “Stylistically, this book reads like it was written by your average junior high school student for a creative writing class, despite being targeted to an audience of adult grimdark fans.”
I’d argue that even if you don’t want to know someone said that about the book you worked hard on, negative reviews are just part of the publishing game. They have to come alongside the good reviews; that’s just life when you choose to put your work out there for public consumption. But I also figure it’s fair to give people a chance to say nah, they don’t want this.
If general consensus is that people would rather see the problems I saw than not, then I’ll make posts every now and again about just why a book didn’t pass my first criteria, why I couldn’t find a reason to read beyond the initial 3 chapters (or prologue and 2 chapters, in the case of some books). If not, then I won’t. Simple as that.
Additional – Before anyone asks, I’m not going to do a halfway thing of sending emails to every authors whose books doesn’t make it, to mention the problems privately. I don’t really have the time or energy to spend getting into what might turn into an emotional battle if people rightfully feel like I’m shoving issues right in their face; I don’t send emails to every traditionally-published author to talk about why I didn’t read their books, so I won’t do it in this either. That does feel cruel, and I have other things I’d prefer to work on than a set of individualized emails that may or may not escalate into something painful. So no, doing that isn’t an option.