Every author is forever in search of reviews for our books. We have been known to hand out innumerable copies of our ARCs, in order to have the necessary number of reviews on Amazon to get our books on the newsletters and into better search engines.
Recently, authors have let me know that reviewers are including their opinion about a book’s formatting or cover art in the review. These reviewers are using information being spread on the internet that says they must comment on these items and list and “editing errors” found in a book as part of the review.
That is a fallacy. The way a book is formatted for any author signed with a publisher is by the publishing house’s standard, not what a blogger has told you. This means you don’t have to have one asterisk, two, three, or ten. There’s may or may not be a requirement to have spaces between these asterisks to indicate a scene change. Some publishers require a space before and after the asterisk. Others don’t. In other words, any reviewer who claims your book is improperly formatted because you didn’t follow the rules as set down by Blogger A versus Blogger B isn’t writing a review. If they give you a lower star rating because of this, they are not doing their job as a reviewer.
Another issue brought up was the cover art. I’ve had several authors contact me to say Reviewer D says their cover art is awful. It doesn’t do anything to tell the reader what’s inside the book. Again, I cry foul. Cover art is subjective. It’s based on many things. Yes, the author does have some input, but in the end a publisher also has guidelines to follow for the cover art to be successfully uploaded to sales venues. That’s who determines how cover art looks, by taking into consideration the size, the DPI (dot per inch), and the amount of bleed space. Again, if you are with a publisher, you will be held to their standard as to how the final cover art appears. That’s because the publisher knows what will work and what won’t when the upload your book.
In reality, the only thing a book reviewer should be commenting on is the contents of the inside of the book—the story itself—and nothing else. A good reviewer won’t say, “Oh, I loved the story but because the author didn’t do their formatting in this way, or their cover art totally sucks and should be done by this artist.” A good reviewer will indicate what did and didn’t work for them in the story. They will explain their reasons but always stick with the story.
Nothing else about the book should concern a reviewer.
About the K.C. Sprayberry
Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond.
She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Those who know her best will tell you that nothing is safe or sacred when she is observing real life. In fact, she considers any situation she witnesses as fair game when plotting a new story.
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