Reviewer IndieView with Laura from Berry’s Poetry Book Reviews
Having too little confidence in themselves. About Publishing
What do you think of the oft-quoted comment that the “slush-pile has moved online”? I would. Writers need to note that the way they interact with the world and describe it may not always be the case for their readers. I try my best to give every book a fair shot. You can find many arguments for and against the quality of Rupi Kaur’s poems but no one can deny the massive impact her ability to combine poetry with social media has had on the public. End of Interview:
Read Laura’s reviews at Berry’s Poetry Book Reviews. I think they are gaining more respect — especially if they are well executed. Why do you think people love reading? Do you think attitudes are changing with respect to indie or self-published titles? Writers need to note that the way they interact with the world and describe it may not always be the case for their readers. I don’t have a specific rating system. 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. It is exciting to see how modern poets take those forms and make them their own, but on that same note it is exciting to see new forms of poetry emerge as well. And — reviewers are not some almighty being. I really wouldn’t know how. That entirely depends upon the subject matter. That may be the best part of this project. If a book hasn’t grabbed you by the first five pages, do you put it down? How did you come up with your rating system, and could you explain more about the rating system? A review is a review. What advice could you give to authors looking to get their books reviewed? 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. Is it a read first, and then make notes, or do you make notes as you go along? A review is a review. I have on occasion and it is very sweet, but by no means mandatory. The slush-pile goes everywhere we go. In short, I suppose I am testing the magnetism of the poetry. Yes, they may influence but they don’t command people to read this book or that book. We’re told that the first page, paragraph, chapter, is absolutely key in making or breaking a book. I simply try to provide an honest explanation of the poetry submitted to me. The reviews I provide are free of charge — the poets don’t owe me a thing. Creative use of language, the main themes — how well the text can engage the reader. I am exposed to so many styles that I, as a reader, may never have stumbled upon. When I was a kid I ONLY read fantasy and mythology (devoured it really) because I saw it as an escape from a mundane life. Obviously, there are traditional poetry forms. Don’t give up when looking for reviewers! I do believe that reading as a pastime is dying for many reasons, which is why I am so happy poetry is making a resurgence in the digital age. That’s the point of reviewers. The worst thing a reviewer can say to a review request is ‘no.’
Do you get readers emailing you and thanking you for a review? I absolutely understand that a written work is essentially a child writers have created and feel extremely protective over, but children have to be set free from their parents at some point. How long does it take you to get through, say, an eighty thousand-word book? Berry’s Poetry Book Reviews – 16 Apris 2019
How did you get started? Poetry is finding its place in the digital age but reviews are still so helpful for readers to discover modern poets. Does it inspire emotion? Do the poems draw me in? We’re seeing lots of statistics that say reading as a pastime is dying – do you think that’s the case? Do you have any ideas or comments on how the industry can ‘filter’ good from bad, aside from reviews? Bad or not, it gets the poet’s name out there. Under no circumstances to ‘argue’ with the reviewer – would you agree with that? If it is a chapter book I will try to make it to the end of it before putting it on the chopping block. Are there particular pieces I go back to over and over? 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 believe that shows a special dedication by the author. What are you looking for? How do you review a book? Poetry is the only type of work I am reviewing. I started this project in 2018 after delving into the online poetry community and seeing that there was an incredible need for poetry book reviews. Is there anything you will not review? That would make sense to me. They are the ones who will dig in and do the dirty work for the readers. If a book has a great plot, great characters, but the grammar is less than perfect, how do you deal with that? Judging a book by its cover has always been a method, but you may have an incredibly skilled artist creating a cover that disguises less than appealing contents. Of course, with the books submitted to me for review I make sure to read every poem. Who needs non-existent dragons and wizards when you can read Carl Safina’s fascinating work about the animal kingdom or about Lucy Parsons in Jacqueline Jones’ Goddess of Anarchy? About Writing
What are the most common mistakes that you see authors making? I make notes as I go through the book and then will pour through it again to let the poetry really saturate my mind. And — reviewers are not some almighty being. Yes, they may influence but they don’t command people to read this book or that book. And poetry has to grab you almost immediately. Now as I’ve gotten older, I am turning into someone who solely reads non-fiction and poetry, because the real world is so much more fascinating than I ever gave it credit for when I was younger. Agents typically request only the first five pages of a novel; what do you think about that? Yes. Bad or not, it gets the poet’s name out there. Well, in the poetry world the rules of prose are exploded and expanded upon so I don’t really look for that. Always ask!