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I post HONEST reviews; I'm also an author!

95% of the time when I do a review, I've paid for the book. I used to accept free books in exchange for "honest" reviews. However, I've found that people don't really want honest. They want what makes them feel good. So I started purchasing the books I wanted to read myself. That way, people can't feel that I'm obligated to post anything but my honest opinion. It's rare that I give anything less than three-stars. If the book falls below three-stars, I stop reading it and move on.

Reviewers sometimes get a rough deal. They have authors who come after them maliciously. They have authors who feel like a reviewer owes them something. Some authors even feel a reader/reviewer has to post a review in a certain time frame. They don't. There are no set rules when it comes to reviewing unless the reviewer gives their word that they will post one in a certain time frame. Readers/reviewers have lives. I'm sure many of them would love to just sit home with a mug of coffee and read all damn day. I know I would. But they have lives, families, and jobs they must attend to as well.

As an author, I have so much love for reviewers. We need them, like it or not. We, especially AA authors, need reviewers. While most black reviewers tend to review all races and ethnicities of authors, no other race or ethnicity of reviewers will touch AA authors unless they're writing Christian fiction or something that can crossover, if even then. There are very few AA authors who hit that crossover readership. Authors like Eric Jerome Dickey, L.A. Banks, Octavia Butler, James Baldwin, and Walter Mosley, are a few that come to mind. I know I may have missed some, but the rest of us don't have such luck.


Now I'm not saying we need to kiss a reviewer's backside, as a lot of them behave as if they're royalty. I've run across a few reviewers that I actually pray never pick up my book whether they like it or not. They're messy and sometimes their antics on Facebook can take away from any potential they have to be taken seriously.

What I'm saying is, we need to treat our valuable, most humble, reviewers a lot better than we do. There is no reason a reviewer should be afraid to post a less than stellar honest review for fear of an author or their readers attacking them. No reason. We have to do better.

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