Another IWSG has rolled into view. We writers eagerly wait for IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group). Started by Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh, this group makes it easy for us to vent our frustrations, insecurities, anxieties, fears and doubts with other writers who completely get it. The first Wednesday of every month is IWSG day. Click here for the IWSG website.
Of late, I have been doing many book reviews for the newspaper I write for. Not every book I have reviewed has been great. Some have had bad writing and some weak plots. But they all have one thing going for them: they have all been published by one of the Big Five publishers.
I mentioned in two of my reviews about the writing being mediocre and in another review about the glaring errors in the book. In both the books I mentioned the shoddy editing. My heart would not let me gloss over or ignore these errors. And unfortunately for me, both the books I reviewed and pointed out the mistakes in had been edited by the same editor. And this particular editor has five chapters of one of my manuscripts.
For a few days I was a bit anxious. Had I jeopardized my chances with this editor (because I clearly mentioned in the review about the not so great editing). My worry was whether the editor would reject my manuscript based on my criticism of her work.
Last week, summoning all my guts, I called up the editor and spoke to her. She was really sweet. She asked me not to stop reviewing the books and to be as honest as I wanted to be while reviewing, as the publishing house liked all my reviews (even where I am pointing out their mistakes).That was such a huge relief. I did not want my reviews to clash with my submission’s outcome.
Have you ever had a conflict of interest, where you are worried about the future of your own work? Do you think I am doing the right thing by being honest in my book reviews? What would you have done in my place?