Reviewer IndieView with Amanda Elizabeth Abend of The Wanderer

Is it a read first, and then make notes, or do you make notes as you go along? Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Typically, I am able to read ‘good’ books within a week or less. However, with the creation of e-books we have been exposed to new opportunities for literary mediums. End of Interview:
To read Amanda’s reviews visit The Wanderer. In my own reviews I strive to summarize without spoiling, mimic the tone that readers can expect from the book, and provide readers with self-awareness of what they want to read next. We didn’t want to limit ourselves to a specific genre or style, because we all have a very different approach to our reading and review methods. At The Wanderer, we prefer to “review” books that have been recently released (within the past year). We have evolved from cuneiform tablets to papyrus, from bound books to digital literature. Readers sometimes comment on our review, if they feel compelled to read the book or agree with our review. Research based books (like memoirs or biographies) take a little longer, depending on how well it is written and how dedicated I am to retaining the material. Many people tend to think of a book as a printed, bound volume. Tasked with creating a literary review journal in order to better understand the standards of the publishing industry, I worked with peers Nia Hilton, Hayley Spence, and Iyari Padilla-Hernandez to create the basis for The Wanderer. How do you review a book? At the same time, I understand that mistakes foster growth, so I try and stay unbiased and understanding of mistakes. I believe that literature evolves. Authors should take constructive criticism seriously and use it to improve their writing without taking it personally or getting emotional. As an author of reviews, I myself have been criticized for run on sentences, the overuse of grammar, or poor word choice. Anything older than a year we consider ‘commentary’. Do you get readers emailing you and thanking you for a review? By “moving the slush-pile online”, as readers we have much greater accessibility to literature. About Reading
We talk a lot about writing here on the blog, and possibly not enough about reading, which is after all why we’re all here. What advice could you give to authors looking to get their books reviewed? The Wanderer’s collectively preferred to maintain an element of unbiased ambiguity in our rating system. The first few posts on the site were graded as assignments for our English coursework, which is why the site still retains a certain academic tone. I am able to remember what affected me the first time I read it and compare it to details I didn’t see before. I write my revelations and opinions on sticky notes as I am reading, which makes it easier to recall points of discussion. To just ask! Meaning that, by posting a review, we hope that readers will gain a better understanding of what book will be about, without influencing their own opinion of the author’s style. Anything literary, we look for. As literature is made digital, accessibility and exposure to new forms of literature make people think differently about literature in the traditional sense. We didn’t want to limit ourselves to a specific genre or style, because we all have a very different approach to our reading and review methods. And though we have evolved our reading technologies, we still read, and we still find value in literatures of the past. About Writing
What are the most common mistakes that you see authors making? With a book I halfway like, I make sure and identify the positive and negative, in the hopes of better informing potential readers as well as providing useful though gentle critique to the author themselves. What are you looking for? We do not read in the same way today that ancient peoples read. I try and remain honest in my reviews, because I would want someone to be honest with me. However, with the creation of e-books we have been exposed to new opportunities for literary mediums. Do you think attitudes are changing with respect to indie or self-published titles? Reviews are intended to help inform readers as well as authors. Whether a review is paid or voluntary, it is important to create conversations about books. We have also written event reviews and author interviews. How long does it take you to get through, say, an eighty thousand-word book? Is there anything you will not review? The internet has made it much easier for readers to access books and for writers to gain feedback and publication. At The Wanderer, we prefer to “review” books that have been recently released (within the past year). Instead of newspapers, we read social media memes and short-form articles. I collect my books and am fond of re-reading favorites, sometimes years later, and I have found that leaving my books marked improves any second readings. Amanda Elizabeth Abend – 8 June 2017
About Reviewing
How did you get started? The Wanderer started off as a group project for an undergrad Publishing course. Anything older than a year is consider commentary. I tend to notice details like that, simply because I am self-conscious of my own weaknesses with them. We prefer to rate books by opinion. Engaging with a community of readers and writers is essential for growth and discovery. If a book has a great plot, great characters, but the grammar is less than perfect, how do you deal with that? Yes. We’re seeing lots of statistics that say reading as a pastime is dying – do you think that’s the case? I like to lightly mark my book as I am reading it, by highlighting lines with beautiful imagery or key plot twists. How did you come up with your rating system, and could you explain more about the rating system? I have personally had authors thank me for the reviews I have written about their works, which has been exciting and flattering. About Publishing
What do you think of the oft-quoted comment that the “slush-pile has moved online”? I believe that reviews are (generally) not written maliciously. My advice to authors on getting a ‘bad’ review (hasten to add that might mean a perfectly honest, well written, fair review – just bad from the author’s point of view) is to take what you can from it and move on. Why do you think people love reading? There are numerous ways people read in their daily lives, and the incorporation of the digital not only makes reading convenient but necessary in a digital age. The more a book is reviewed, the more of an audience it will reach. With the advent of self-publishing, we are provided with an overwhelming choice of reading materials, some bad and some good, but the numerous choices people now have for reading make self-publishing an easy and effective way for authors to reach readers. Instead of newspapers, we read social media memes and short-form articles. We decided that the books we would review would be journey-based; that is, if we could wander through the book, it would be considered on-theme for our site. Under no circumstances to ‘argue’ with the reviewer – would you agree with that? There are numerous ways people read in their daily lives, and the incorporation of the digital not only makes reading convenient but necessary in a digital age.