Reviewer Indieview with Cody Sexton of A Thin Slice of Anxiety

The kinds of books that can sustain a life and quicken the soul. About a week on average. I’m looking for a good story. I can only really answer as to why I love reading, but I think it’s probably the same for every bibliophile. My rating system is based solely on opinion, as is every other rating system, I want my readers to understand exactly how I feel about the book. Writing is a skill that most people never really master. 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. Somewhat. I use an app called Bookly to keep track of all of my notes as well as any thoughts I have while reading. But it’s also a skill that’s not really taught anymore. Realistically though, it depends on the book itself on how fast I can get through it. And, more importantly for the author, the more their book is reviewed, the more of an audience it will potentially reach. Simply reach out. After I finish the book I collect all of these notes in one place, usually Evernote, and just start writing from there. There are just too many other books out there that I want to read. You must also be able to articulate why. Yes. I don’t really like the term “slush-pile” it feels disrespectful to me in a way. Yes, I would. Not very well actually, it’s one of my pet peeves, but I do remain honest in my reviews. We are all part of the same literary culture/community. Depending on how you define reading, I think people are probably reading more in some sense. We read to escape and we read to learn, but most importantly for me, we read to find out that we are not alone. Which benefits everyone. Why do you think people love reading? Which, the latter being the biggest reason as to why I enjoy reading. However, books will always be around in one form or another merely because people need stories in order to survive. How long does it take you to get through, say, an eighty thousand-word book? With that said, I think it has moved online to an extent and probably for the benefit of writers, and readers, that we wouldn’t have known about ordinarily under the previous model. The real problem as I see it is really an unwillingness on most people’s part to engage with a serious book in a serious way. I’m looking for those kinds of books that will really set you on fire. I would also add, that from the reviewer’s side, that it’s not enough just to say you didn’t like any given book. I have had readers tell me that they now only trust me when it comes to choosing the books they read, or that they have gotten goosebumps just from reading my reviews, or even that they just really enjoy my perspective on things. We read across social media on our phones daily for example. How do you review a book? Since staring the blog the overall responses I have gotten back have been very positive ones. It’s exhausting. Do you get readers emailing you and thanking you for a review? If a book hasn’t grabbed you by the first five pages, do you put it down? Another thing is the constant temptation to write what sells. Under no circumstances to ‘argue’with the reviewer – would you agree with that? When you review a book the hope is that readers will gain a better understanding of what the book is about, without also influencing their own opinion of the book. No one is entitled to an opinion they can’t defend. I make sure my readers know what they will be getting into by identifying the positives as well as the negatives. I also try to tease out some new perspective on the book, an angle if you will, or what I hope will be an interesting take on the book. About Writing
We’re told that the first page, paragraph, chapter, is absolutely key in making or breaking a book. With self-publishing, we now have an overwhelming abundance of choice with regards to reading material, some bad and some good, but the choices that people have now makes self-publishing an easy and effective way for authors, whether known or unknown, to reach a wider audience. I had been reviewing books for myself, keeping them in a commonplace book, for years and this just seemed like a logical extension of that practice. How did you come up with your rating system, and could you explain more about the rating system? But I’m not shy in expressing my disdain for a book, especially when I think an author is being intellectually dishonest. Cody Sexton – 12 February 2019
About Reviewing
How did you get started? author interviews, study guides, etc., as I try to get as broad a perspective on the book as possible. If a book has a great plot, great characters, but the grammar is less than perfect, how do you deal with that? I have a very eclectic approach to reading and reviewing. A writer should never be afraid to be original. I also consume a lot of supplementary material associated with the book, e.g. I do give up on books if they fail to capture my attention, and I always feel terrible when I do so, but I give every book an honest chance, but after, let’s say fifty pages, if the author hasn’t really said anything or the writing is too dull, I’m done. I see a lot of the same tired old premises over and over again. If that makes any sense at all. Is there anything you will not review? The industry itself is going to be most interested in whatever makes money and what’s considered bad to me might be considered good to someone else and vice versa. I would never want to limit myself to any specific genre or style. That’s a tough one. However, books will always be around in one form or another merely because people need stories in order to survive. Do you have any ideas or comments on how the industry can ‘filter’ good from bad, aside from reviews? Overall, I would like to see publishers give equal consideration to every writer, as well as reader, and provide them with the opportunity to see if their work can really stand on its own. 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. All the time actually. It’s very subjective. It’s important we create conversations about books with the understanding that we are in this together.   The biggest mistake I see among writers is that they do not really know how to write professionally or for publication. The real problem as I see it is really an unwillingness on most people’s part to engage with a serious book in a serious way. What advice could you give to authors looking to get their books reviewed? No. But really I’m looking for a book that isn’t committing that one unforgivable sin of being boring, as Christopher Hitchens would have said. What are you looking for? I first start by reading the book and taking notes as I go along. Agents typically request only the first five pages of a novel; what do you think about that? I first got started a little over two years ago now after some encouragement from my mother-in-law. I try to set aside at least an hour a day for reading. Is it a read first, and then make notes, or do you make notes as you go along? I’m a literary philanderer in that sense. End of Interview:
To read Cody’s reviews, visit   A Thin Slice of Anxiety. 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) I’ll read anything that catches my attention. Do you think attitudes are changing with respect to indie or self-published titles? About Publishing
What do you think of the oft-quoted comment that the “slush-pile has moved online”? Especially new writers. We’re seeing lots of statistics that say reading as a pastime is dying – do you think that’s the case? I’m looking for books that mean something.