I personally think that editors of reviews have a slightly harder time than other kinds of editors. I want to thank them for doing their job to the best they can and maybe send a bottle of Aleve with the box of chocolates they deserve.
Why do I think they have a more challenging task? I've touched upon it before in previous posts. The fact that many reviewers are readers and many do not work in an industry where writing is part of their job description is the reason I say that. If creative word use is required on the job, a person gets used to being aware of a level of perfectionism required to produce an acceptable product. That includes: editing, rewrites, grammar and punctuation, format, and proper spelling.
There are those of us whose writing challenges in day to day life are no more than writing checks, filling out forms and maybe a "Please excuse BobbyJohn for the day" note to a teacher. All the practicing and demands of school work are long past having any relevancy to your day to day survival. The basics are there but there is no need to stretch your writing muscles any longer.
Unless you are an avid reader. Unless you have a passion of talking about favorite books to your friends with like interests. That can translate into wanting to share more in a different kind of way and you take the next step into a brand new world - reviewing. Reviewing is sharing in written form your love and/or your opinions about a book with others. And that form has almost as many rules as a short essay in high school or college. But this time, you want to do it. This time it's about the subject that you chose. This time, you are in control-but, there are still rules. And that is where editors come in, if a review site is fortunate enough to have them.
Reviews editors have to deal with many issues yet remain polite, firm, professional and have a thick skin. They have to deal with book readers who come from every walk of life that might have no actual training on what writing a review actually looks like. Through disuse, readers turned reviewers have spelling and grammar issues; they're rusty. So,on top of format and content, an editor has to do double duty. Some reviewers are sensitive to any type of suggestion of correction and they sometimes take it personally, so that thick skin comes in handy for an editor.
New reviewers need to understand that they're on a new learning curve.
How can a new reviewing relationship work? First, be open to being corrected. Don't take it personally. Make sure you understand the format. If there is a template provided to write the review, use it. If you have any questions, ask, ask, ask! Don't guess and don't assume. The site Admin and/or editor(s) will be happy to answer questions because they know that helping you helps them in the long run.
New reviewers also need to do one more important thing. LEARN. Oh, wait. Make that two things. Learn and APPLY. Being corrected is no fun the first time around but being asked by an editor to correct the same thing over and over and over? Well, that's just plain frustrating. And silly. I mean really! If that attitude of refusing to learn and improve was adopted by an author, their books would never get published. What a bleak place our world would be! By the same token, the same thing applies to your reviews - eventually they might not be able to use your reviews if they constantly require repeat editing -- not to mention that it takes time away from your ability to continue reading and reviewing other books. Where's the fun in that? So save time for YOU and your editor by LEARNING and APPLYING. And keep the fun and excitement of being a reviewer alive and kicking.
No one expects Pulitzer-type writing-- just genuine feelings about the effect the book had on you. And use the tools that come with most word processing programs. The all important (link) SPELL CHECKER
Spell Checkers are found easily enough on the Web if your computer doesn't have it already. The thing is - writing reviews is similar to writing a book. How? If an author submits a poorly edited manuscript with spelling errors, it either gets tossed out immediately (doomed to fail), or if there were only a few, it may not tank it but the book will absolutely be returned to the author for corrections of every single error. In light of that, reviewers need to understand that they too will have to expect editing requests and they have to take them as they are meant - to make your good review better, to make it shine and to insure your point gets across to other readers of your review.
Are spell check programs perfect? Heck No! Refer to the spell checker link and look at that paragraph to the right. It's a silly poem but it shows the imperfections in the program. It suggests using a language model but I've never come across one to use. In fact, until I read that, I had no clue that even existed! I love learning new stuff. Anyway, that's another reason why an editor is vital. Sometimes the human eye and brain is best. But it starts with YOUR eyes and brain first. Check for those words that look right but are not. Check for the spelling of the author's name and/or the character's names because Spell Checker has no clue about things in Gaelic or Sci-Fi names like Raptalina Argriptos Minor and the Piper Pirates. It's team work even if we only work together through the Internet.
So, Hats off
to editors everywhere. And cut them some slack. Their job is to buff your work and make it sparkle and shine. But you, the reviewer, have to put the figurative wax on your review first. When you make that effort there's a good chance you may not even NEED an editor's input. Or if you do work with one, eventually you'll get the idea of what you have to do and will no longer get emails from that editor. When that happens, you've graduated and become a professional. And I still say that looks great on a job resume.