Whilst I have afforded precious time in writing book reviews and acting as Judge for several prestigious off-line and on-line book awards, all in between writing my own novels, I can tell you it has been a challenge at times, a pleasure in many ways too, until the day one realises there are more people who take than give in this world.
It goes without saying I have written thousands of reviews for differing review platforms since the Internet came into being as a prime market place for books. However, I disliked Goodreads and its toxic environment from the first day I poked my nose on the site. Thus I left it almost immediate of posting several 5 star reviews which trolls tore apart as biased reviews for friends. As a matter of fact I didn't even know the authors at all. Aside from that I posted all my reviews to Amazon in hope it helped authors thrive! I was also surprised by the amount of UK readers who had never heard of Goodreads and, or, had no interest in the site.
Prior to life on the Internet as author and reviewer, I reviewed novels for a magazine supplement for some thirty years. As an author at that time with several publishers (UK and US publishers under differing pseudonyms) I gained an NYT best seller accolade, and not once have I posted NYT Best Selling Author on any of my self-published/Indie novels under my present nom de plume. To me that would be a white lie because not one of my Indie novels has been presented to NYT reviewers nor have any of my Indie novels sold a million copies per book.
In my time on Facebook groups I've encountered lovely authors and some so mean and downright unpleasant at times I pondered their sanity. But aside from the vindictive elements there always was an underlying competitiveness to the publishing industry, with publishing houses jostling for space on book store shelves and all sorts of incentives put forth to gain prime slots, Nothing has changed in the conventional world of high street bookstores, but Amazon has shifted the balance in who gets top slots on their platforms. Aside from faux novels and click-farm boosting, Amazon now promotes its own imprints (see them topping most pages as sponsored products) and that is aside from author sponsored ads.
Other top slot books are rated on sales only, and most Indie authors contribute their book listings to KU which gain no rating whatsoever no matter whether they achieve bonus mega downloads or not. But there is a cheat mechanism to KU if you know where to purchase those downloads. Ha, you thought no one would cheat? They do it all the time, not only with Sweepstake sites, they do it through Bookbub and other! If you're willing to pay you can purchase high ranking, you can even purchase reviews to requirement! Honest authors therefore lose out on sales, lose out on KU downloads, and lose out on reviews, Why? Because few readers will delve deeper in a chosen genre or sub genre more than two or three pages, so unless your book is in the top 50 sales will plummet and KU reads likewise.
And so, with great sadness I am closing the blog to submissions for review. One simply cannot win against scammers and cheats no matter how many reviews one posts to help a newbie or established author!