Dear Unnamed Author:
This letter is to respond to your completely unnecessary attack on me and my character. I am determined to ignore your venom but first, I must get this off my chest.
You asked me three times in separate communications to swap reviews of each other’s books. I normally don’t agree to do this but you were persistent and so I decided to go forward against my better judgment.
To tell the truth, your book turned me off completely. Even the blurb was almost impossible for me to get through. It was full of rage, abusive words and was utterly racist. But, I had agreed to read it, so read it I did.
When I finished, I was appalled and wondered even how a publisher would accept such vitriol. It took me a while to figure out how to write a review that I could post since I really hated the book. But, I had agreed to do it so I slanted the review to the best spin on the book I could. I wasn’t happy about putting it up, but I did. I immediately received an email from you to please put it up in another place. Which I did.
Months passed. I would check periodically to see if you had reciprocated on the review deal but you never did. The more I thought about what I posted as my review of your book, the more I regretted it. I get a lot of correspondence that people rely on my reviews when deciding to purchase and, the more time that went by, the more I knew I needed to remove that review. I wasn’t being true to myself.
You actually made it easy for me to remove it since you hadn’t lived up to your part of the bargain. Almost the minute I removed them, I suddenly heard from you- and you were almost done with my book and would post the review as soon as I put mine back up. Really? You think I am that naïve? You were merely wanting that review back and would say anything to get it.
Two more months pass and last night, I get an email from you. It was couched as, “put back up the review you did for me and I will give you a favorable review.” Not that you liked my book but that tit for tat, if I went back and reposted, I could get the benefit of the bargain I made four months ago.
When I declined- in the nicest possible way- without making any confrontational remarks, you came back immediately on the attack and accused me of being dishonorable and not living up to what I agreed to. Your angry words were cruel and unkind. Perhaps I should have expected such since your book was the same.
If you think about how things really went down, you’d see that I did exactly what I said I would. I honored my word. When you didn’t reciprocate, I removed the review that was actually eating at my conscience. So, ultimately, I followed my own heart and showed that I do have integrity by pulling the review.
This is one of the reasons I don’t agree to swap reviews. Your behavior was abominable and uncalled for. I am sticking to my guns from now on. I will never again agree to swap reviews with someone. I will review the books I choose.
Thank you for reminding me just how nasty some people can be. It’s a lesson I sometimes forget as I try to think the best of people until I am proven wrong. You definitely proved me wrong in this situation.
** Edited to add**- I see you’ve now had your friend post a 3 star review of my book. Let’s talk about the definition of dishonorable. AND since you gave her my ARC without my permisson, that’s more loss of integrity by you, isn’t it?