Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Get Paid to Read

Peter Riley can't get his book published and is hoping the buzz from this contest will attract a publisher's interest. The book Universes can be read online for free. Starting in July, the author will award money to folks who correctly answer questions about it.

I've looked at the page he has set up for reader reviews, and he sounds a bit delicate to me. Now, I can be a bit delicate myself, so I'm not faulting him for that, but I wonder at the wisdom of providing open space on his site for reviews of his book if he's gonna critique the critiques. At one point, he criticizes the grammar and word choice of one the reviewers. He has what he calls a "rant" posted and offers this:
Just tone it down, folks. Write with an air of civility. Don’t give unsolicited advice, which is worth the money I didn’t pay for it. Try to be clearer in making your points, please.

These are the posting guidelines from the top of that page:
This is a place where you can express your views of the novel, Universes, or the novelette, 2084. Please read a substantial amount before contributing here, telling how much you have read. Please be careful to avoid "spoilers" that give away too much about the story. You can write up to 10,000 characters, or about 1,200 words. Literary controversy is fine, but please keep the discussion polite and intelligent.

He also says,
And no, thanks all the same, but I did not, and would not, ask for the evaluations of a group of other strivers. What are their qualifications? I didn’t ask my Aunt Harriet either. I didn’t discuss the work with friends, wanting no ill-informed, unqualified advice that might skew my labours.
I believe it is an excellent book, and this opinion, my own, in the end is the one that matters to me, as should be the case with every serious writer.

I wonder why, then, he solicits opinions.

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