Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Don't Judge Me!

Actually, in this case, please do!

I've entered the premiere contest for romance writers, and in order to enter, you have to also agree to judge. As such, I've been assigned six books from authors I have never met/heard of before. The process is simple. On a scale of 1-10 (with decimal points encouraged), how did you like the book, and then three simple questions. No essays, no reviews, just straightforward, yes/no answers.

As an author, I'd love to have those essays, the feedback, but since this is first round judging, they're trying to separate wheat and chaff.

The contest allows you to designate which sub-genres you do NOT want to read. In the past when I've participated, I was sent books that were way outside my general reading scope. This is good and bad. If the book is written well, it attracts my attention and I want to read more. I've had some clunkers in the past, but I've also found some excellent authors who make me want to read more of their work. Example: I have a critique partner who writes sci-fi, not my first go-to when I select a book. When the group worked through his first book, I found his concept very interesting. Does it make me want to read more sci-fi? No, but I can recommend his book without hesitation.  High marks, were I to judge.

I'm on the my last selection, and I have to say overall I'm pleased with the books I received. A couple of these authors are good enough to pursue more from. I stop to wonder if someone is reading my book and thinking "This is awesome!" Book distribution is done "blind" so we don't know who has our books and what they think of them. I might just as easily not resonate with the judges who have my book. This process reminds me of how subjective reading can be. Sometimes we reject a book not because it isn't good, per se, but because the subject matter doesn't "click" with us.

In the everyday world, our books are always being judged by the people who read them. We, as authors, hope to reach the appropriate audience and resonate, either good or bad. If you've read a book, mine or anyone else's, this is a reminder to leave a review on the site where you found it. Let us know how we scored, and if something in particular jumped out at you, a few words to let us know makes all the difference in the world.
The Epitaph Series


  1. So true. I'm at a conference which attracts a lot of sci-fi/fantasy/horror authors, while I used to read a lot of sci-fi, I've shifted my reading preferences over the years, but deep down, we're all writers, and sharing information about the craft and the business of writing/selling books transcends genre differences.

    1. Agreed, a well written book will entertain regardless of the genre.