Hostage to Reviews

I was reading a Kindle Unlimited book recently — the fifth one in a series — and at the end, in the author’s note, the author said he wouldn’t start working on the next book in the series until he received 100 reviews. Fortunately this book was published a couple of years ago so I won’t have to wait, but it really pissed me off.

Why would you not write something until you received a certain amount of reviews? Why would you hamstring your creative flow, make it subject to the whims of others? I get maybe wanting to not publish it until you got the reviews you wanted, but not writing it? I have enough trouble getting words out when I don’t have to wait for other people to meet a certain condition first.

Honestly, I think it’s a holdover from fan fiction writing. In the past, a lot of fanfic writers would hold off on posting new chapters until they received a threshold number of reviews on the previous one(s). That’s less common now, but it does still happen. However, whether it’s fanfic or original fiction, holding your readers hostage until you receive a certain number of reviews is a bullshit tactic for both writing and getting reviews. Why would you force people to write them? What if they wrote bad reviews; would those still count?

Write and publish at your own pace. Don’t make other people’s behavior a condition for sharing your work. It only hurts you, in the long run.

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