Where Honesty Never Ends.
Greetings! No Labels here. I’m taking a slight breather from all things reviews to chat a little to those who are sending works in to get reviewed. I’m saying this not just on behalf of The Review Board but to any website where you may be submitting your work.
I like to think of sending a book to a reviewer like an episode of online dating. One person is getting to know another person for the very first time. Sure, you two seem to gel well through IM and email but now it is time for the big meeting.
Yes, you want to be yourself but you also want to put your best face forward. Unless your first date is to take place at a slumber party, you wouldn’t wear your “just chilling” gear to an expensive “wine and dine restaurant”. If you do, prepare to get a few strange looks.
I know by now, you are thinking, “Unleashed One, what could this scenario and review submissions have to do with each other?”
Thanks for asking. Getting one’s work reviewed is the final step in the process, if you will. The work should get reviewed after other eyes, red pens, and hands have been on it (in no particular order)–alpha readers, beta readers, editors, proofreaders, copy editors, Cousin Pete (well, you get the idea). Every one else who can possibly spot a glaring flaw needs to be on it–like acne cream on a zit–before any website, blog, or organization doing reviews gets a hold of it.
The only way that is acceptable is if a review organization says it is willing to take a significantly flawed prototype. The majority of review websites I know of (particularly some where you are paying hundreds of dollars just for the name associated with the review) do not.
TRB is no exception, and we want the writer to be at his/her best. If a writer has an updated copy of the work and we haven’t reviewed it yet, you are more than welcome (in fact, we HIGHLY recommend) to submit the newer version of your work. We base our reviews on the copy that you submit to us. Therefore, since you reached out to us, it is YOUR responsibility to give us the updated information.
TRB doesn’t have time to go through hundreds of requests to send out reminders to give us the good stuff. In addition, if we base our reviews on the copies you submitted to us, and you wait until AFTER the review is up to say “Hey I had an updated copy. I want you to change your review”, here is what is going to happen:
(1) We will emphasize that the review is based on the copy that was submitted to us at the time of initial request.
(2) We will say, “Although we appreciate the knowledge, we won’t go back and change the review based on a copy that we had no possession of.”
(3) It doesn’t matter how long the work has been in the queue, it is the author’s responsibility to keep up with who he/she has sent work to (for those who seem to love mass emailing…ugh) and update those people when more cosmetic work has been done.
Followed by referring you to the guidelines, which everyone is provided the link to them upon initial contact via email.
Put your best book forward. It may mark the difference between something being “just okay” to “well worth the read”.