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How To Be A Responsible Book Reviewer #BlogchatterHalfMarathon

By Jaideep Khanduja @PebbleInWaters
Please note that this is not a part of any fiction. The views are completely and purely mine. I am expressing them without going under any pressure or influence. This is my story. I have been reviewing books for decades (not centuries). Earlier, I used to be very punctual and sincere in reading and reviewing. Due to certain factors like age, popularity, pressure, I started noticing my punctuality is getting impacted. I found that I didn't develop a habit of saying 'No' to any publisher, PR, or author, whosoever contacted me directly for reviewing a book. Initially, it used to be my purchased, and my choice of books that I started reviewing. But gradually there started a larger inflow of books, including from overseas.
How To Be A Responsible Book Reviewer #BlogchatterHalfMarathon
As a result my deficit started increasing. The pending books for review kept piling up. One thing was already, and is still sure, that, I won't review any book without reading it competely. This piling up started giving me a bad taste. There was a level of commitment given to every publisher, author, or PR for timely delivery. Because of my strong bonding with them and a good reputation in the world, mostly they would either silently keep waiting for me to get back to them with the review link or a few of them, especially PRs would ping me asking politely for it. I started feeling bad about it and decided to offload and stop this burden and guilt in a slow but consistent manner.
One, I started saying No to new offers. Two, I paced up my reading and reviewing to cover up the backlog. Despite both these efforts, I found my inventory of pending books to review almost touching 200. More than 50% were foreign authors. A couple of those from a very reputed publisher were of price tag more than Rs 5,000. I remember a not too good incident in this regard. I got a phone call from an author one fine day asking about the status of review and how did I like the book. I was completely blank and I asked her which book? Definitely, it didn't give her a good feel. So, I told her I will get back to her shortly. On the other hand there are a plenty of very interesting and memorable good incidents. My reviews have a mention in many Author's websites, mostly from UK, US, Australia, Holland, Hungary, and so on.
I still am passionate about reading books and ofcourse reviewing them. But now I have put a break in accepting new books. As every new book comes with a commitment from my end which I don't want to fail. Following are, based on my long journey in this field, my suggestions :
1. Discipline. A strict discipline is very important to adhere to timelines and commitments. 
2. Accept only what you like. Don't accept a genre you don't like that could cause a bit of disinterest and thus derail from plans. 
3. Be sincere in reviewing. Read complete book with full interest and actually find out what you liked most and what didn't. Biased reviews will haunt you more than anybody else. 
4. Apologise for delays in deliverables.
5. Read and review for your own sake. Not for anybody else. Write what convinces you most.
6. Encourage authors. They are creators. And creativity must go on. 
Do add any points I skipped. I would appreciate your feedback in comments section /email / on social media.
Thank you for reading the post.
This post is a part of #BlogchatterHalfMarathon hosted by Blogchatter

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