Warning: Rant forthcoming.
I am a reviewer. In the cases where I don't purchase or borrow the books, normally the author will send me a copy of the book. In exchange for the copy of the book, I agree to read it, then write up and post an honest review. It sounds straightforward, correct?
In essence, what I do is marketing.
So! When I receive a perfectly good book that has been covered in graffiti by the author, what am I supposed to think? I'm not sure what I'm supposed to think, but I'll tell you what I do think!
First, if you write 'proof' on several pages in black magic marker as well as mark out the isbn, you're showing me that you have zero respect for your own artwork. I would never graffiti anyone's book, let alone my own that I spent hours and hours and weeks slaving over!
Alright, you can play Devil's advocate. 'But you might sell the book after you read it.' SO STINKIN' WHAT!? Look, let's be honest. If you're an unknown author coming to me for a review, the odds of me selling your book are incredibly slim. First, nobody knows who you are and nobody cares. That's the reason you need a review in the first place. Second, the depreciation value of books is insane! I'd be lucky to get a dollar for your book after I've read it. Is it worth it? Second, wouldn't you be thankful I'm sharing your 'baby' with another human being? Isn't that the point of writing? So that you can share your stories with the world? Be an entertainer?
I try to be as honest as possible in my review, and I'm honest in my business practices as well. If you, as an author, send me a copy of your book and it's full of graffiti that you put on there, a few things will happen. I will assume that you have zero regard for your work and will proceed to review it with the same care that you have for it. I will assume that you are, in fact, not talented, but rather writing because you want the money. I will force my way through this book, but I will never review for you again.
Writing throughout your own book is not only disrespectful to the book, it's disrespectful to me. Do you think I have some deep, dark underground black market book business going on? If so, you're as deluded as I assume your written word is going to be. I'm angry! How dare you treat your own art work this way? How dare you ask me to treat it any better than you have? Good day, Sir! I said, good day!
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