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Reconsidering Reviews at the TEotWaWKI Diary

Alas, sources have told me that at least one thing hasn't changed since pre-SHTF times: Publishers shun those who write negative reviews. At first I was outraged. How dare they infringe upon my free speech! But I realize I am not prevented from saying anything, there's just some consequences to what I might say. Despite this, I will not change what I say, but I might be more careful how I say it.

Going forward, I will make these changes:

  1. I'm ditching the star based system. Upon reconsideration, it is at best superfluous. At worst, it prejudices the readers' conclusions. Truly, I don't want you to buy (or not buy) a book based on how I feel about it. I hope that I provide enough information in even a bad review for you to determine whether or not you might like it on your own terms. If I haven't done that, then I have failed.
  2. I will be clearer in the delineation of fact and opinion. This applies to the positive as well as negative. I will still ding a writer for factual mistakes and poor writing, but I will be more circumspect when it comes to differences of opinion.
  3. I will not rule out bad reviews, but since I cannot review everything I read or watch, I will focus on those that I think will be particularly useful to the readers of this blog. Lest you feel you can no longer trust what I say, or rather not say, I have set up a Twitter account (TEotWaWKIDiary) where I will list what I have seen, read or played. Just give me 2-3 weeks before you infer anything from a lack of a review.

I admit that this has taken some wind out of my sails. It depresses me, but I must remember that publishing is a business. It make money by producing stuff people buy. Whether it is great art or not is almost coincidental.