I subscribe to the Writing-World.com newsletter. In the September 18, 2014 edition, there’s an interesting article on the obligations between authors and their readers by Ms. Victoria Grossack. She made many points that I agree with, and it got me thinking about what my obligations are.
As a writer, I see my obligations in a rather simple light. For starters, I see that writers put something of themselves into everything that they put out. The books are a reflection of the authors. As such, you will not find much vulgarity or cursing, in my novels, short stories, or any of my articles. In my day-to-day life, I don’t speak like that. In the same vein, you won’t find any derision aimed toward God, or any person, nor will you find an obsession with sex in my work.
Another thing I owe my readers is that my work is written and polished to the very best of my ability. It is unfair to both me and you for me to do anything less. Not only should my writing be polished, but my story telling skills shouldn’t leave any gaping plot holes.
My final obligation as a writer is that I must never attack a reader or reviewer that does not like my work. Not everyone will like my style, but this is not the fault of the reader or the writer.
Those are my three points that I follow as a writer. Now for what I see as my obligations as a reader and reviewer.
If you are a long time follower of this blog, you already know my first obligation is to offer fair and honest reviews. I see this as necessary to both the author of said book, and the would be readers who might use my review to help them come to a decision beneficial to them.
I believe that my reviews are a great place to use those manners that most of us were taught as children. Respect is key here. I respect the authors for their work, and all I ask is that they respect me as a reader of their work.
My final obligation is that somehow I pay for the books that I read. Be it with a review for the Advanced Reader Copies, or out of pocket for those that I purchase. There should be a fair exchange between the author and reader. The only time I go for a free book out of these situations, is if I’m looking for public domain books.
The way I see it, I don’t ask for much. My demands on myself are a bit stricter that yours maybe, but it keeps me true to myself.