Final copies – the importance of being finished

Or, as the late Terry Pratchett eloquently put it, ‘Life is like a sewer; what you get out depends on what you put in.’

Because, you know what? We read A LOT of books here are By Rite of Word. Something like ten a month. We really, really prefer being able to give people good ratings. Not because we think we ‘owe’ anyone four- or five-star ratings. But because it means the book was good, which is easier on us as readers; it looks better for you, the author, not to have two stars, one star, or a DNF flashed all over the Interwebz, and because, on the whole, we’re a fairly conscienceless bunch and we prefer not to have to feel bad for you.

Writing back to us afterwards to say ‘But that wasn’t the final version!’ is not going to alter your review. We’re not going to say ‘Oh, really? Well, that’s OK, then, we’ll give you a five.’ Unfortunately, if you don’t give us your final version to review, your final version is going to cut about as much ice as a soap hacksaw.

So, please. Make it easy for us to give you a good rating. Don’t send us your unedited, non-final effort – because a reviewer is not a beta reader. We’re not going to say ‘thanks for playing and take this away for another six months’ work’; we’re going to review what you give us. If the book you give us still has mark-up in it, includes so many typos it looks as if an executive wrote it in a hurry, and the plot meanders around like a drunk spider – well, that’s exactly what your review is going to say.

Make us (and Sir Terry) happy. Make yourself happy. Make sure what you send us is as good as it can be. We really prefer reading things that wow us, and being able to say nice things about how much the book wowed us.

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