This post from Janet over at Dear Author where she spells out what she expects from authors in the current reviewing furore pulled me up short. Literally. It was like someone grabbed my shoulder and pulled me to a stop while I was running for a bus (really there's not many other reasons I'd run for anything).


I realised that I couldn't remember a time where I made clear my underlying assumptions about how my books will be reviewed.


Basically, I hate conflict. So when I review, I always concentrate on the good stuff in a book (if I detest a book, it vanishes). Yes, this skews my reviews but I can live with that. Mainly I'm reviewing for myself, and I know my weaknesses. My crit partner has to reassure me when I say something a bit critical about her wonderful manuscripts.


But when others review my book, I expect them to have more guts than me (the world's worst coward). If you hate it, say so (although I would love to know why -- you don't owe me anything). If you love it, I adore you. No, no, I mean, say so :)


Once you've read the book, your experience of it is yours, not mine. How you review it, if you review it, is entirely your decision. 


Fly free!



So there you go: My response to Janet's request that authors make clear their attitude to reviews.