View Full Version : Huge problem - what should I do??

10-21-2004, 03:25 AM
A reviewer from Virginia Living wrote to me today to request review copies of my three books. Now, this sounds wonderful; especially considering they're all POD! However, to be completely honest, two of my books are of questionable reading quality; well, rather the first of the series is, and the second one is okay. So, what should I do?

I'm thinking of just taking the two books out of print so that they don't stain my writing career. Here's where the problem comes in:

I'm with iUniverse, and since I'm a minor my parents paid the publication fees ($99 and $159 respectively) for my books, and I doubt they'd be very happy it if I asked them if I could put them out of print (iU only requires a 30 day notice); they'd see it as a waste of $258, which I realize is completely reasonable.

But if I send the reviewer copies, there's no doubt they'll get a bad review. None at all. The first one reads as if it was written by a third-fourth grader; after all, that's how old I was when I wrote it. The second one is pretty good, though it doesn't really stand alone.

What should I do? My third book, luckily, isn't a problem as I am quite confident in it's quality

Edit: Typos.

10-21-2004, 03:31 AM
The first one reads as if it was written by a third-fourth grader; after all, that's how old I was when I wrote it.
Personally, I'd send them all three. If the reviewer knows how old you were when you wrote them, then it should be taken into consideration.

10-21-2004, 03:57 AM
How did the reviewer learn of your books to begin with? Most reviewers won't touch POD or iUniverse. I think you need to be honest here. You can send the books the reviewer with a disclaimer that you wrote it when you were very young (they understand since it's iUniverse) or you just have to say you're not comfortable sending them something of such quality.

10-21-2004, 04:01 AM
I assume you are sending your work to this reviewer so your books will be reviewed.

I also assume that the reviews will be published.

I further assume that the reason authors want reviews published is so that potential readers will find out about the book and then go buy it.

Generally speaking the worse the review, the smaller the chance that people will buy it.

So if you think that your earlier books are bad and are likely to get bad reviews, then why put it out there to the world that you wrote a lousy book? It's kinda like shooting yourself in the foot. What if the paper chooses to only print one review, and the bad book is worse than the good book is good so they print that one. Or what if the reviewer reads the bad one first and then doesn't even bother reading the good one?

Just send the one that you think has a chance of being reviewed well.

10-21-2004, 04:20 AM
Send them the one that you are comfortable with. Add a caveat that you would like to establish a good professional relationship the result of which will lead to the sending of the other two with a written understanding that a line would be added regarding age, situation etc.

After a good review of the first, you know they will take care of you with the others. If they give you negative press, you have cut your losses.


10-21-2004, 06:06 AM
Even a good review for a book published by iUniverse is usually a bad thing because it will mention the publisher.

My advice is that unless you think these books are up to the quality of professional, mainstream published fiction, bury them and don't look back. Write a book that's good enough for an agent to represent, and a mainstream publisher to accept, and then worry about getting reviewed.

iUniverse is especially known for the horrid quality of the books it accepts from writers.

10-21-2004, 06:20 AM

I can empathize. My novel was written when I was a teen (16-17) and it was published when I was 21. Reading it now makes me want to hurl. Really, the writing is AWFUL. However, I just leave it out there as is for now because it WAS a book that I wrote AT THAT POINT IN TIME. Right now, I'm revising it and since the publisher folded, I have the luxury of publishing it again with a new house. Still, it's there because, well, it IS a book I wrote ... AT THAT POINT IN TIME.

Don't beat yourself up over this. You owe it to yourself to hold on to your books. Why not rewrite/revise it and try shopping it around? Some publishing houses do publish previoualy published books. DON'T GIVE UP ON YOUR BOOK!

And, send them to the reviwer. Like the others suggested, include a note that you wrote it at a young age. Who knows? Maybe someone will LIKE it.

(And I never found out what happened to the person I sent a review copy of my crappy novel to. Ah, well. C'est la vie.)

10-21-2004, 07:45 AM
Thanks, Greenwolf! The first book does get very funny at times, thanks to what I like to call "psychotic onomotopaeia" (that's probably not the right spelling, but the spellchecker isn't working). So I'll do that.

James D Macdonald
10-21-2004, 08:06 AM
I assume that the cost of getting the review copies to the reviewer would come out of your own pocket?

That violates Yog's Law.

Write a new, better book, and get it published the old-fashioned way.

(BTW, while cleaning out my mom's house recently, I came on a copy of my first novel, written when I was 12. Boy am I glad iUniverse wasn't around back then. (My mom loved it, and kept it....))

10-21-2004, 08:16 AM
Yeah, that's what I've done. I've sent out my latest novel to many traditional publishers. No bites yet (except from PA *shudders*), but I'm going to keep looking!

10-21-2004, 09:22 AM
Good luck, Anders!! :thumbs

And, Uncle Jim: :hug It is a good thing she had your book to cherish. A book nobody else got to read. Those things from our kids are priceless.

Writing Again
10-22-2004, 11:25 AM
It just struck me.

I use to do book reviews. The people who wanted the reviews done sent me the books, I read them, gave my opinion. It was not high pay, but I got to read brand new books for free, plus a few dollars for the review, which I thought was pretty good.

How come this reviewer is requesting books from the author? Where are they going to publish them? Do they have a regular by line?

The more I think about it the more suspicious it sounds.

10-24-2004, 09:45 PM
I assumed the reviewer found my site and thought the books looked interesting. That and he was impressed that I'm a minor *shrugs* .

So you're saying that a reviewer doesn't typically do that?

I looked up Virginia Living and it's definitely a legit magazine; it's for sale on Amazon and has a very professional Web site, plus I think I've seen an issue of it before. Circulation is 50,000.

Bill Glose isn't listed in their staff, but perhaps he's a freelance reviewer.

10-24-2004, 10:35 PM
It's not unusual for freelance or staff book reviewers to contact authors directly -- though I doubt this happens very often with staff book reviewers.

I've contacted authors, publicists and agents to review books. No problems there, though I did have to put up with "is it reviewed yet? is it reviewed yet?" by the publicists. Ugh.

Funny thing is, my first book review came about because the author contacted ME -- and I wasn't even reviewing books. That's what got me started. I was lucky to get that review published.

I don't remember the name of the person who reviewed my book, though I know this person is female, lives in my state and requested the book through here. I searched through the archives and couldn't find the thread where it was requested.

10-30-2004, 08:13 AM
Thanks Greenwolf :)

06-05-2011, 10:56 AM
My recommendation is to send the book for review. You can mention your age in cover letter and when the books were written. If your book was written when you were a 4th grader, then the reviewer would review it as a work of 4th grader as he already knows that it was written by a 4th grader.

Old Hack
06-05-2011, 12:55 PM
Adnan, you're answering a question that was asked six and a half years ago. I think we can assume the review's been written now.

Wayne K
06-05-2011, 01:12 PM
How'd it go?

06-05-2011, 09:41 PM
lol. yes, i see it now. this post was interesting and popped up in my search.

anyway, let us be optimistic and hope it'd pop up in search of someone else in the same situation.