At 3pm we feature ebooks peer reviewed by fellow writers. (This feature does not run during the 5 day writers conference)
This feature has a deliberately Scottish flavour as all the authors are (by self definition) Scottish writers. The aim is to show the depth and breadth of Scots talent now investing in the ebook revolution. This is just the tip of the iceberg but we wanted to provide a focussed snapshot of authors currently writing and reviewing ebooks independently.
The authors showcased in our festival have plenty of reviews by plenty of people but here we focus on the positive reviews they have got from other showcased writers. Imagine if you will, Orwell, Huxley and Greene peer reviewing ( they did! ). Or Rankin, Walters and Banks (they didn’t – to my knowledge – but it’s an interesting thought) and it gives you something of the flavour.
The democratisation of epublishing means that more or less anyone can write a book. It does not mean that everyone can write a book worth reading. Therefore reviews become more important than ever for the reader looking to find something they want to read from the millions of ebooks ‘out there.’ And anyone can now review a book on a mind boggling variety of sites. It’s not always clear to the reader what the motives of the reviewer or the site are. They can range from financial incentive to misplaced loyalty to green eyed troll-monster. And even when intentions are honourable, not everyone knows how to write critical literary reviews. So now the potential reader has to pick their way through a minefield or ignore the reviews altogether. And for the ‘indie’ author review and recommendation is an important ‘marketing’ tool in the quest for ‘discoverability.’
During this festival we have pulled together a range of reviews written by our showcased writers about our other showcased writers. Our rationale is that we believe our writers know what works and what doesn’t. And they can tell you why they like something and why you might like it too. They can give you good reasons based on epistemic authority. It’s up to you whether you decide to trust them. There will be many opportunities during this festival to ‘get to know’ writers and reviewers and to explore (and dare I say learn) some of the basic skills of reviewing which will prove helpful if you decide to embark on a personal journey towards finding ebooks that you want to read.
We offer a variety of writers with a variety of tastes and experience and we hope that by reading some of their reviews you will become open to a whole new world of ebooks available for download and begin to see that how well a review is written is at least as much a part of the process of choosing an ebook as how well that book is actually written. It’s up to you as a potential reader, to learn how to assess the quality of a review (which is essentially a recommendation) before you purchase a book and we hope that the writers reviewing writers featured will help you on this journey.
The Auld Lum’s New Reeks event is presented in two parts.
In the first section (11th -16th August) we feature six writers who are also active reviewers. Several of them review regularly for IEBR. They work across a variety of genres. (another joy of the freedom of epublishing)
In the second section (22nd -27th August) we feature writers who are either less active as reviewers or who have been less actively reviewed by our peers (either because they only have one ebook published or because they’ve only recently been ‘found’ by our more regular reviewers). Remember this is the tip of the iceberg!
Selections have been made without fear or favour. Without money or bribes changing hands. With a focus on the goals of raising visibility of writers we think are worth reading and giving readers the opportunity to make informed choices about what they read.
Whether you buy into the value of professional peer reviewing or whether you buy any of the ebooks – that’s up to you!
If you want to find out more about this event and reviewing click HERE (from Aug 6) for a personal explanation of the idea behind this feature and the rationale of writer peer review.
*Auld Lums and New Reeks Explained. Edinburgh is known as Auld Reekie. There is an expression Lang may yer Lum Reek (long may your hearth stay lit) and we have engaged both ‘Auld Lums’ (writers with considerable professional experience) with ‘New Reeks’ (writers with less experience but no less talent) in our peer review features.
As a special extra on the final day of the festival Cally Phillips (editor of IEBR) will give reviews of her personal three favourite ebooks of the year.